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How objective we are?

  1. Dec 7, 2008 #1
    Dear all,

    Few years back I have given up. Simply, the climate was not right then. In hope that global warming has thawed some minds of young physicists, I decided to give it another try.

    We all know how important scientific method is, especially peer review process. We are, however, often reluctant to look closer at our methods and observations. And psychologists and neurologists (rather than neuroscientists; tautology) did make here big strides recently. It turned out that our observations (data) are inevitably altered (biased) towards what we expect. Funny. We seem to be less objective than we think. Even scientists are human. So, how objective we are?

    Also, a food for thought: Why we cannot replicate anything 100%? (But, don’t tell me because of that little devil that spoils otherwise perfectly predictable outcome; little devil called chance.)

    Kind regards,
    Damir Ibrisimovic
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2008 #2
    It's established, according to one group of psychologist, that in collecting data, it is expected to be more tightly grouped than the statistics would tell us. Data is expected to group closer to a theoretical value than the objective error distribution will statistically indicate. Then there is outright fraud, fabrication, misdirection, character assassination and the rest.

    It seem, that as one moves down the sciences from mathematics and physics, toward those sciences less certain by direct experimental evidence, the more personalities may donimate, who server their own cause, rather than nature as final arbiter.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  4. Dec 8, 2008 #3
    Dear Phrak,

    Even counting (and resulting statistics) can be biased towards our expectations. Subjects subjected to threshold stimuli often reported different counts that depended on the ways of reporting, blinks or lingual for example. Counting varies with cultural differences also.

    Peer review helps, but only if non-same-thinkers are among peers. And this is a rarity in iron curtain divided sciences. A chemist would be hopeless as reviewer in quantum physics.

    Kind regards,
  5. Dec 8, 2008 #4
    Surely you are right about this. When trying to discover something which has not yet been discovered, we only look for what we already think is there. Having never seen a real mouse, the physicist has a difficult time designing a mouse trap, and catches a lizard instead but thinks it is a mouse. In looking for the Higgs Boson the particle physicists are only looking for what they expect and may be completely missing what is really there. I realize this may be better suited for philosophy than science or physics, but at some level they do merge.
  6. Dec 8, 2008 #5
    Dear Schroder,

    Thank you.

    But it is much more relevant in the science and is science. I had almost all of my replies on another thread deleted. “Competent authority’s replies must not be disturbed.”

    The science depends on observations. And if we do not make this clear to younger generations, they are doomed to make the same mistakes we did. I’m not very comfortable with guards some are imposing here.

    Kind regards,
  7. Dec 8, 2008 #6
    And ethics, that by its very nature, will always be under continuous attack.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  8. Dec 8, 2008 #7
    Dear all,

    In very short time I had my posts censored (deleted) and I received reprimands. I’m sorry, but my assessment of few years back has been confirmed and my hopes that things have changed here are dashed.

    My apologies to those few open minded here, but there is always a hope that we could meet in a less rigid (orthodox) environments.

    Kind regards,
    Damir Ibrisimovic
  9. Dec 8, 2008 #8


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    I have TOLD you to contact mentors if you have any problems with moderation decisions, but you continue to complain out here in the forums. I suggest you start reading these 'reprimands' instead of moaning that you've been hard done by. This is your final warning.
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