Do scientific fraudsters have a distinct literary style? They do, suggests a new study from researchers who pay close attention to the vocabulary of deceit.
… according to sciencemag.org.
What is the extent of this deceit?
So there are fraudulent studies. And they can detect them by the words used. Neither of these is particularly shocking.
But look at the words in the picture above – which was included in the article. Was this a slip – or was it intentional?
Maybe even an attempt at subliminal influence on the people reading the article?
I mean – look at some of those words –
All of the definitions above are the first ones listed for the word at dictionary.com.
Not from a religious or Bible dictionary. Just an ordinary site that anyone who speaks English would be likely to go to.
But let’s look at them –
Obviously a Biblical word – and has something to do with God.
Again – obviously religious. The word appears 126 times in the NIV translation of the Bible. And again – related to God.
Not necessarily Biblical – but the words in the definition clearly could be a reference to something related to God – or a person following God.
This is the least obvious – and yet, it’s still related.
For that reason – I’ll include a couple references –
Mt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Ps 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
Ps 37:6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun
So let’s get real here.
Poetry – always – with – by.
These are also words in the picture above.
So did I just do a deceitful study above?
Yes – but no.
And that’s the point.
As they found out in the study that was done – words, by themselves really can’t be used to detect a deceitful study.
But linguistic sleuthing is still far from a perfect method for revealing fraud, Markowitz says. In particular, he notes that the team’s method was able to flag whether a paper was dishonest or not only 57.2% of the time.
That means “that almost half the legitimate articles would be improperly flagged” as fraudulent, notes Paul Ginsparg, a physicist at Cornell University and founder of the preprint server ArXiv. “This is barely better than a coin flip,” Ginsparg notes, and makes the approach “unusable” for publishers seeking to ferret out real-world fraud, at least in its current form.
It takes more than just the words.
When we read something – it’s really important to figure out the intent.
My intent here is to get you to really pay attention. To the intent.
When I read a scientific study I look for two things –
- Does it make sense? Are the conclusions logical – based on things we think we know – and what we see in the “real” world around us.
- Who gets the credit? Often times – scientific studies very closely align with what the Bible says. And yet the credit goes to “nature” – “evolution” – something as yet unknown – Etc. Anything but God.
As Paul wrote in Romans 1:18-23 –
Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Ro 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Don’t be fooled by deceitful scientific studies.
When they point to the truth in the Bible – acknowledge it.
Accept that God is continuing to make Himself known.
Give credit where it is due.
Give God the credit for the brains of the people who discover some of how the world He created works.
Give God the credit for revealing to us some of the details of how His awesome creation works.
Don’t be deceitful about who really deserves the credit.
Give credit where credit is due – to God.