Sunday, July 8, 2012

Philosophy Wire: Peer review – the best censorship system ever!

hoylePhilosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2012-07-08]: For a second time, someone who attacked a scientist for having “non-mainstream” thoughts was acquitted of all charges. After the case of Simon Singh, now Nature is acquitted of charges for an attack against El Naschie [1].
El Naschie, whose papers revolved around the idea that fractal properties of space-time can influence elemental particles and physical constants, had sued Nature journal for attacking him personally [2]. And he lost his case.
What is important to note is not whether Naschie’s theory of E-infinity is right – but that the attacks against him were mainly due to the fact that he did not had his articles peer-reviewed (as Rational Wiki claims, he published papers “without satisfactory peer review”) !!! [2]
The system of peer review is the best system for keeping consensus in place. If you have a different opinion – then you will most probably be attacked and scientifically “killed”. The same happened with the director of the Opera experiment, the same happened with Naschie, the same is now happening with the British Chiropractic Association which was similarly under attack [3] and for which the attacker was again acquitted [4]…
Bohr said “We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct”. How many agree with this position?
Keep low profile. Agree with the majority. Be a scientist.

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