Science is Observably Unreliable

Despite the best efforts of midwits like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris to square the circle by declaring science a method of determining truth, science is not only philosophically incapable of being a truth-metric, science is practically and observably unreliable, as evidenced by the untrustworthiness of even its highest practitioners in academia:

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne will resign effective Aug. 31, according to communications released by the University Wednesday morning. He will also retract or issue lengthy corrections to five widely cited papers for which he was principal author after a Stanford-sponsored investigation found “manipulation of research data.”

According to Jerry Yang, chair of the Stanford Board of Trustees, Tessier-Lavigne will step down “in light of the report and its impact on his ability to lead Stanford.” Former Dean of Humanities Richard Saller will serve as interim president. In a separate statement, Tessier-Lavigne defended his reputation but acknowledged that issues with his research, first raised in a Daily investigation last autumn, meant that Stanford requires a president “whose leadership is not hampered by such discussions.”

“At various times when concerns with Dr. Tessier-Lavigne’s papers emerged—in 2001, the early 2010s, 2015-2016, and March 2021—Dr. Tessier-Lavigne failed to decisively and forthrightly correct mistakes in the scientific record,” Stanford’s report said, identifying a number of apparent manipulations in Tessier-Lavigne’s neuroscientific research.

The report concluded that the fudging of results under Tessier-Lavigne’s purview “spanned labs at three separate institutions.”

We’re not talking about a minor scientist here. We’re talking about the corruption of the top scientist at the third-best university in the world. This is absolute and conclusive proof of the intrinsic unreliability of science and shows that the reproducibility crisis affects science at every level.

UPDATE: Those who still subscribe to the myth of scientific self-correction should note that even the investigations of scientific corruption are themselves liable to corruption.

The investigation took eight months, with one member stepping off after The Daily revealed that he maintained an $18 million investment in a biotech company Tessier-Lavigne cofounded.