(09-Aug-2011, 05:23 AM)sojourner Wrote: Full Disclosure: I haven't read the previous posts in this thread.
My two cents follows.
Science is a human activity. What makes science successful is this. If a scientist is found to be wrong, his career is finished. Scientists are not particularly honest but there is a process in place to weed out the dishonest ones. Also, a premium is placed on describing their results in testable ways. This does not mean that every single paper published is automatically verified by someone else. But the potential for doing so is there, since the details are all published. Once in a while (like in the cold fusion fiasco) people indeed attempt to replicate to check it out. At other times, they replicate only to get to a point from which they can do other stuff. If they cannot replicate, that raises alarms. A published paper only has a certain amount of respect. When other people use its results and in the process end up replicating the results, it gains more respects.
I have an article that I like on the subject of the scientific method. It is written by my favorite scientist. I don't know how to attach it. Let me figure out way.
Edit by Mod: Paper available online - http://courses.umass.edu/psyc241/Skinneracasehist.pdf , so removing attachment.