Medicine and the social sciences are particularly prone to bias, because the observer (presumably a white-coated scientist) cannot so easily be completely removed from his or her subject.Double-blind tests (where neither the tester and the subject know for sure whether the test is real or just a control) are now required for many experiments and trials in both fields.Other new techniques which can look even further back in time have been introduced one after another including thermoluminescence, paleogeomagnetism, fossil dating based on fluorine content or the decay of uranium 235, investigation using the accelerator mass spectrometer and so on.Digital technology has also been brought into play to support field excavation.
The text materials and references listed at the end together give a more thorough discussion of this scientific evidence.
Of even greater concern are proliferating cases of outright fraud.
The “discovery” of the Piltdown man in 1912, celebrated as the most important early human remain ever found in England, was only exposed as a deliberate fraud in 1953.
University of California provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
University of Newcastle provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU. As with “cheating” it comes loaded with negative connotations, but can potentially lead to far greater penalties and consequences. The world of economics was shaken two weeks ago by the revelation that a hugely influentual paper and accompanying book in the field of macroeconomics is in error, the result of a faulty Excel spreadsheet and other mistakes – all of which could have been found had the authors simply been more open with their data.