In an earlier post, I explained why I sometimes feel that reason is greatly overrated; people often leave unnoticed gaps in an explanation and are not good at spotting these. In addition we are all prone to various cognitive biases which incline us to believe things when we shouldn’t and not to believe things when we should.
The final hidden gem is this article on reforming science. Although it appears in the journal Infection and Immunity it is concerned with the culture of science as a whole and will be of interest to all scientists. The authors Arturo Casadevall and Ferric Fang diagnose some serious systemic problems with 21st century science and prescribe some reforms by way of treatment. At the bottom of this article there is a survey for you to express your views.
Continue reading “Hidden Gem III: What’s Wrong with Science?”
The next gem concerns another cognitive bias of great significance to scientists and especially philosophers.
People overestimate their ability to form coherent explanations. This paper investigates the overconfidence through 12 experiments.
The upshot of this phenomenon is that we should be extremely cautious of verbal explanations which, in their nature, tend to obscure explanatory gaps, hidden assumptions, false premises and reasoning errors.
Read on for a hubristic rant about the implications for Philosophy and Science…
I have been hoarding some gems. All three relate to science and the foundations of belief and knowledge, so they should be of interest to all scientists. This is the first: how do our cognitive biases lead us to the wrong conclusions? The CIA explain.