May 16, 2016

Becoming Less Wrong

"Even relatively straightforward questions cannot be definitively answered in a single study, and the scientific literature is riddled with results that won’t stand up. This is the way science works — it’s a process of becoming less wrong over time."

"Years ago, someone asked John Maddox how much of what his prestigious science journal Nature printed was wrong. 'All of it,' the renowned editor quickly replied. 'That’s what science is about — new knowledge constantly arriving to correct the old.' Maddox wasn’t implying that science was bunk; he was saying that it’s only as good as the current available evidence, and as more data pours in, it’s inevitable that our answers change."

 - Christie Aschwanden, "Failure is Moving Science Forward," fivethirtyeight.com

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