4 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. That sounds more like Ian Stewart or Jack Cohen than Terry. Though obviously he agrees with them.

  2. “When a scientist proposes a new theory, a new idea, other scientists … try very hard to shoot it down.” Oh, join the real world, `Tim. They first ask themselves: could this idea be exploited to make us, in this discipline, powerful, famous or rich? Or even just bring us tenure, promotions, and a flow of research grants and new research students?

    If the answer is “yes” then they form a club, yell “the world is going to burn in hell” and conspire to stop nay-sayers publishing.

  3. The scientific method in action:

    What Keys did was spend the rest of his career wallowing in the confirmation bias. Instead of following the scientific method and trying to refute his diet-heart hypothesis, he made it his mission to look for anything and everything that confirmed it. And ignored or belittled any conflicting data.

    Keys’ formidable powers of persuasion along with his academic credentials led over time to his diet-heart hypothesis being accepted by just about everyone. Anyone who dared to disagree was attacked with great vitriol in the pages of any journal in which the opposing argument appeared.

    And do you think Ancell Keys was an outlier, a bad apple in a world of scientific angels who themselves followed the scientific method vigorously?

    Science is a human enterprise in which tribal politics plays the most important role. The top dog declaims his thesis, his acolytes cheer their support and anyone who voices any disagreement is ruthlessly attacked. Only when the reigning top dog is toppled and a inter tribal war breaks out do new ideas gain traction, and when the new tribal leader and his council of elders take their place, the new paradigm is set firmly in concrete and nothing can be allowed to challenge it.

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