The Problem with “Peer-Review”

31 05 2018

In graduate school, I had a professor who introduced a popular study in the particular field I was studying. This field was in the life sciences, so it was not in the so-called “soft sciences” or social sciences. To illustrate a point, the professor introduced the paper to us, which was peer-reviewed and published in a reputable journal in the field. He had noticed a clear and undeniable error in the statistical data included in the study which rendered the conclusion void. When he wrote his paper with the correction to the original research and presented it to the journal in question, the journal replied with a refusal to publish the correction because “this is not the type of publishing we are engaged in”. This means that they did not want to contradict the method and validity or their peer-review process, nor did they want to damage the reputation of the author of the original paper who was a figure of high stature and regard in the life sciences field. He cautioned us to be aware of this sort of political consideration in the so-called “sciences” and that sometimes being correct is not the only factor evaluated in whether or not scientific data will be published and/or accepted by the official “scientific community”.

This phenomenon is an example of what is known as publication bias. Publication bias occurs when the outcome of an experiment or research study influences the decision on whether to publish it or not. If the outcome does not fit official scientific orthodoxy, it may not be published by a journal. Moreover, it may receive negative reviews in the peer-review process for details such as methodology, research design, sample size, interpretation of data, and so on. In fact, papers which purport to have attained a “significant result” are more likely to be published than papers which report no significance or a null result. This distorts the information that is contained in the available literature and used for papers such as review articles and informing “general knowledge” about a given area because the available research is not privy to alternative studies which may contradict or show vastly different results and interpretations. This is mainly because of the bias towards publishing data that “discovers” something new or that supports prevailing belief. This sullies the entire field of scientific research and does not inherently validate research studies and peer-reviewed articles simply because they contain a fancy data set and a may report a fascinating outcome or proclaim that many “experts” have read and approved of the paper.

This brings up another issue in scientific research papers called replication crisis. This is a crisis in the methodological manner in which studies are designed and conducted that produce results that either cannot be replicated by other independent researchers or in some cases by the original researchers themselves. These scientific studies were written, peer-reviewed, and published in reputable journals. It was only on subsequent investigation through attempting to replicate the study that it was revealed that it was impossible or very difficult to attain the same result as that in the original research. If major scientific theories, such as the theory of evolution, are based on an inability to replicate certain studies that support the theory, or an inability to ascertain the validity of data sets presented in subsequent review papers that contain conclusions which cannot be replicated or have irreproducible results, then this has serious implications for overall science which has major and prominent theories that are widely accepted but are based on unsound experiments and data.

Lastly, I will mention the “file-drawer effect”. This is a variation in publication bias wherein the author of the study refuses to submit the article for publication because the results do not conform to the author’s preexisting beliefs. The self-censorship occurs because it is politically unwise and may result in career death if a researcher publishes a finding that challenges prevailing wisdom and scientific orthodoxy. Many examples exist of this especially in virology and cell biology which have conclusions that challenge the official theory of HIV and AIDS, but that is another discussion. One notable example of the file drawer effect is in regards to Robert Putnam’s study “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century”. Now, this study was in the field of social sciences, but when the results of the study challenged the self-proclaimed liberal researcher’s view of multiculturalism as a “great good” and instead concluded that social diversity is actually damaging for society and in fact has many negative effects, he filed the paper away for seven years trying to find some other explanation, but to no avail. He reluctantly published the paper in 2007 which was 7 years after the study was complete. Are we to believe this is the only instance of such an occurrence in any field of study? I think not.

I could give some links and references to support what I have written in this article, but I would urge the readers to do your own research on these topics. It is possible I am in error, but if that is the case, I am not one to say that just because something is either “generally accepted” by scientists who occupy highly placed institutional positions and have fancy titles, or because something is published with whizbang statistical models and data, and with colorful and compelling charts and graphs, then that confers a certain infallibility on the reasoning and results. The fact is with all of the praise and deference given for the theory of evolution, I have still not heard a reasonable explanation from official science-dom about the specific biological mechanism for the mutation which allegedly occurred from Afrikan people to non-Afrikan people if this “Out of Africa” hypothesis is to be accepted. People always give the innocuous statement, “…and then they/we mutated” to explain how non-Afrikans arrived on the scene in Eurasia. This for me is inadequate and the entire theory will always be in question no matter how many sophisticated studies are published and genetic analyses are done. Having data does not mean the theory which the data claim to support is valid.

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3 responses

2 06 2018
amosnwilsonuniversity

BRILLIANT! Lots of Negroes think because they mimic European speaking patterns and regurgitate “Peer-Reviewed” scientific data that it validates opinions! How can you be a serious African-Centered person and actually believe that because something is peer reviewed it validates it? Not to say all science is pseudo science but many of it is. Dr. Bobby E. Wright said the biggest mistake African people make is they are the ONLY ones who believe science is not bias/political.

Liked by 1 person

9 07 2018
Kushite Prince

Very good point!

Liked by 1 person

27 06 2018
White Power Supports Bad Science | The Lumumba Afrika Report

[…] Pay particular note to the discussion at minute 9:30 of the interview when they discuss how peer reviewed papers published in reputable science journals did not stop the charade this psychopathic white woman was orchestrating. For more clarity on the issue of peer review, please see my article “The Problem with Peer Review” here. […]

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