science

STAP Stem Cell Study Boo Boo

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A bit ago, a stem cell researcher made international headlines claiming to have turned skin cells into pluripotent stem cells (STAP) using an acid bath–a seeming advance beyond induced pluripotent stem cells. But other researchers have been unable to duplicate the result. And now, the author has called for her own paper’s retraction. From the New […]

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Self Regulation of Science Doesn’t Work

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How often we are told by “the scientists” that those outside the field have no business telling them what to — and more particularly, what not — to do. And yet, again and again and again, we learn that some scientists refuse to restrain themselves. A new story in Slate about scientists making human/animal hybrids […]

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“Science” Not Be All and End All

Scientism is rampant in supposedly scientific circles. As my Discovery Institute colleague John West has noted in the very worthwhile book he edited, The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society: [Scientism is] the wrongheaded belief that modern science supplies the only reliable method of knowledge about the world, and the corollary that […]

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Science Not Way to All Truth

There is a difference between “science” and “scientism.” Science is a very powerful method of gaining and applying knowledge. In this sense, science per se is amoral, and while it has a large domain, it is not the end all and be all. It can tell us truth (small t). But it can’t determine Truth […]

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Are Science Journalists Biased?

I have noticed that “science journalists” are among the most biased “reporters” writing in the media today. Certainly on the stem cell controversy, they joined — no led — the hysterical hype over embryonic stem cells and stifled adult stem cell good news, either by not reporting it — such as a study in which […]

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THE SCIENTISTS to Public: Give Us Your $ and Butt Out!

I have frequently criticized the conceit in science that only scientists should determine what is and what isn’t ethical in science, a conceit that is the science sector’s equivalent of clericalism. Now, apparently THE SCIENTISTS think that scientists should also have the full say on what the public funds. Nature has an editorial lambasting a […]

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Skepticism Over Politicized “Science” is Not Anti-Science

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC I grow weary of that certain species of political animal who constantly complains that too many people are “anti science,” when in reality, they disagree with the advocate’s policy desires about issues that involve scientific research. Example in point: Opposition to embryonic stem cell/human cloning […]

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Scientists’ Call To Regulate Human DNA-Animal Experiments a Hollow Gesture

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC UK scientists are advocating that Parliament create a regulatory body to approve experiments with animals using human DNA. From the story: British scientists say a new expert body should be formed to regulate experiments mixing animal and human DNA to make sure no medical or […]

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“Good Ethics Makes for Good Science”

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC Legatus magazine asked me to write a column on the stem cell issue, and so I did. From “Good Ethics Makes for Good Science:” Have you noticed that the stem-cell controversy rarely makes the news these days? There’s a reason: The greatest advances in stem-cell […]

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People Don’t Trust Science When It Becomes Politics

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC Scientific American has a piece out trying to explain why people “don’t trust scientists.” I think the very topic illustrates part of the problem. Hubris. Those in the Politicized Science community — and Scientific American is part of that crowd — intentionally conflate science the […]

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Artificial Intelligent Computers Would be Tools, Not Moral Beings

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC Reading the Week in Review section of the NYT today, I came upon an interesting column about a new computer — dubbed Watson — that its developers hope will rise to the level of AI, defined in the side bar copied above. Watson will soon […]

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Partisan Science Hurts Science

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC I just read an interesting article in Slate that should disturb anyone who truly supports science — as opposed to supporting an ideological agenda that masks as science. Daniel Sarewitz writes that most scientists are Democrats. From “Lab Politics:” A Pew Research Center Poll from […]

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Why Science Needs Checks and Balances: Scientists Intentionally Infected Guatemalans with STDs

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC The US has given a long overdue apology: Apparently we funded scientists who intentionally infected people from Guatemala with sexually transmitted disease so they could study the disease and its potential treatments. From the story: From 1946 to 1948, American public health doctors deliberately infected […]

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Corrupting Science in Law and Politics: Korean Court Rules Embryo is Not A Life Form

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC Science capabilities are taking us into ethical conflicts because we are at the place where the most helpless human beings are being coveted for use as objects to be exploited like any other natural recourse. Adding insult to injury, many justify this approach by resorting […]

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Synthetic Life Concerns Primarily About Safety — For Now

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC Just because we can do something in science, that doesn’t mean we should do it. That verity should be kept in mind as we ponder the news that scientists have created an artificial bacterium using synthetic genes. From the story: Scientists in the US have […]

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Scientism Isn’t Science

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC There has been an attempt ongoing for some time to harness the respectability of science and conflate it with an increasingly popular philosophy known as scientism. But scientism and science are different things. The latter is a powerful method of obtaining and applying material facts […]

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