Do you believe in the scientific method?

Today’s scientific method involves lawsuits over hurt feelings, or bullying, sexism and/or racism. If you disagree with another scientist and publish a critique then you could be headed for trouble.

Climate Scientist Mark Jacobson Sues Journal For $10M Over Hurt Feelings

The back story is rather simple and straightforward. Dr. Jacobson published a paper in PNAS that other scientists found faulty. So, they published a rebuttal, which concluded that Dr. Jacobson’s analysis “involves errors, inappropriate methods, and implausible assumptions.” While this is considered rather harsh language for the scientific literature, critiquing the work of others occurs as a matter of routine. Indeed, questioning another scientist’s conclusions is a healthy and integral part of the pursuit of knowledge.

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But that’s not how Dr. Jacobson saw it. He believes that scientific disagreements are lies and personal assaults against him. According to the lawsuit, PNAS asked Dr. Jacobson if he wished to respond to the rebuttal. PNAS certainly didn’t have to do that, but it is standard practice and a courtesy to the author being critiqued. Dr. Jacobson’s response was unhinged: He warned PNAS not to publish the article.

Climate Scientist Mark Jacobson Sues Journal for $10M over Hurt Feelings | American Council on Science and Health

Unless you do the experiments yourself, then you don’t believe in the scientific method. You believe in the men (or women) who claim to use the scientific method. Increasingly, we see scientists using sloppy methods, data manipulation and even political bias. The scientific method is being corrupted.