Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stephen Jay Gould: Full Of Crap

An object of Gould's self-righteous ire, vindicated (Wade in The Times-Dem, via Derbyshire, via rdbrewer at Ace):

"In his book, Dr. Gould contended that Morton’s results were 'a patchwork of fudging and finagling in the clear interest of controlling a priori convictions.' This fudging was not deliberate, Dr. Gould said, but rather an instance of unconscious doctoring of data, a practice he believed was 'rampant, endemic and unavoidable' in science. His finding is widely cited as an instance of scientific bias and fallibility.

"But the Penn team finds Morton’s results were neither fudged nor influenced by his convictions. They identified and remeasured half of the skulls used in his reports, finding that in only 2 percent of cases did Morton’s measurements differ significantly from their own. These errors either were random or gave a larger than accurate volume to African skulls, the reverse of the bias that Dr. Gould imputed to Morton."