Wednesday, November 12, 2014

That's some righteous "Peer Review", right there

We're told that peer review is the quality control mechanism for scientific papers - Global Warming will be THERMAGEDDON because of Peer Review®.  Well, nazzo fast:
By now we all know, or ought to know, that just because something is published in a peer-reviewed academic journal doesn’t mean it’s true. But we can at least assume it's been proofread, right?

Apparently not. A priceless gaffe, which has been making the rounds of academic Twitter this week, is Exhibit A.
Click through the link for another equally funny peer reviewed slip up.

The answer, of course, is not better peer review.  The answer is experimental confirmation of results.  Without confirmation you might get weird results, like the climate models all missing out on a near 20 year lack of warming

But hey, they're Peer Reviewed®!


Archer said...

Peer review simply means someone else with the same initials after their name (Ph.D., for example) as you has read your paper and agreed your idea is possible. Not proven, not definite, not likely, not even plausible. Possible. It's an amazingly low bar. As such, peer review on its own doesn't mean much to intellectually honest folks.

What is important, then? Proof. Observational or experimental evidence. Preferably from the real world and not from a computer model, which if we wanted could produce a climate model that says it will rain Volkswagon Beetles by 2020. Just sayin'.

Paul, Dammit! said...

It's always worth noting that peer review is what doomed Socrates. And Jesus.