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No. I’m a scientist.

The scientific method is about proof or disproof of hypotheses. But only in maths do you have irrefutable proof. In the world of experimentation, we use a significance threshold. Usually at 5%.

How is that threshold determined? Scientific consensus. /Thread
To repeat in clearer terms:

The scientific method itself is formed by scientific consensus...

...on what works to strip away truth from false understandings.

We agreed together over time what statistical tools to use and tested their robustness over myriad examples.
There are still huge problems in science... with the publishing of false positive, non-publishing of true negatives (file-drawer effect) & those instances occurring within papers.

But the notion of a discrete “method” entirely divorced from consensus of practitioners- is false.
And it would be interesting to debate such issues with intellectual curiosity and goodwill - rather than preach from the wings that scientists engage in “pseudobabbe” about science.

Lifelong science practitioners can give insights into thorny problems within science.
To quote from John Galsworthy (no relation):

“Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.”

And so it is with the scientific method. One paper does not always (or often) prove a theory. It usually needs repeat support from different angles of test
This is why we increasingly use meta-analyses (esp in genetic/health research) to pull together all the different findings around the same issue and see if there is sufficient test-retest robustness (a consensus).

This is what I mean by scientific conclusions “crystalising”.
It sounds messy- but the progess of science with such complex systems is real and measurable.

A failure of thinking from many is to view all science from a 1920s physics perspective (taught in schools). Hypothesis —> test. Yes/no? Done.

Why doesn’t this always apply?...
In classical physics, you can control all secondary factors and manipulate the parameter of interest. It’s clean and simple.

In biology and very complex systems, it’s different. Say you knock out a gene in a mouse. The effect will differ depending upon the ‘genetic background’.
So repeating the knockout across a variety of backgrounds helps start to paint the picture of how this particular gene impacts development/metabolism/cognitive processing etc across different genetic & environmental environments.

The answer does “crystalise” out over time.
So this is not “pseudobabble” - it’s how biological and complex science stumbles forward, employing the scientific method (tools agreed by consensus, often revised) to refine a complex picture... with (data-driven) opinions regularly flexed on what is agreed on to what degree.
It’s messy and imperfect, it’s riddled with chases down wrong paths, it’s very different from the sanitised tale of science told to children in schools... but it’s all based upon the principle of the scientific method, the tools that serve it...

...and it works, bitches.
PS. On the matter of scientific consensus I’ve not touched upon peer review as a bastion of modern science. Maybe I need to do a blog post on this.
(And yes, that has flaws too. It’s fine to challenge any “scientific consensus“ & erroneous thinking that may drive it. Ample historical examples. But the notion that simple agreement in science between practitioners serves no role... is something I strongly dispute.)
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