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Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

Verification - Peer Review, Jury Process, Replication

North Miami Beach, FL 12-2402005
A.H. Schectman

Be careful what you say.  Think before you speak. Remember that words have consequences.  These are things your mother and father told you while instructing you in the way of the world. In other words, watch your mouth. Science is different from journalism.  Journalism is vastly different from opinion.  There are rules for one and the other is free from restraint unless you attract a fist against your nose.

Today, with the advent of the internet and the ease with which you can establish a web-site, you can publish your “blogs” to your heart’s content. My old Random House Webster’s College Dictionary does not know these words exist.  My reach up into the internet found 5 entries for “blog” dating to 2003 but etymologically goes back to 1999 as an abbreviation of “Weblog”.  The definition is that a “blog” is an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page.  Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.”  I had not known this about my personal idiosyncrasy of my daily writing habit. But what it actually means is that my thoughts are my beliefs and expressions of my opinions about almost everything and are not subject to verification.

Now, verification, meaning getting to the truth of what you say, does NOT mean that your opinion is as good as mine.  All verification says is – is what you say and believe to be as true is the same as what others say and believe.  On one level this is acceptable but in science it is an entirely different thing and far beyond the frivolous behavior of writing a daily journal and sending a page or two up to the internet to entertain or start a verbal battle with someone who thinks differently or has different opinions.

Science is in the news daily with new discoveries that expand our knowledge but not necessarily our belief systems. Our belief systems rely on what we have been taught mostly at home or at church.  Science is different because it involves truth on a level that can result in a great deal of harm if a form of it is used for selfish and mischievous reasons. What real science is can be time consuming and revelatory to professionals who work hard to create something acceptable to others in the field.

The field of science says that what you posit as truth should be subject to peer review, a jury process and most importantly, replication.  Without these, the protestations of someone who says he or she is a scientist are nothing more than someone like me who has an opinion and a web page – and writes blogs. Be careful what you say. Proof that it is true is not just your word or your opinion.  There is a difference.



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