Faith-Based Empiricism

Before you judge the analogy with theology as being too harsh, conduct the followingexperiment. Randomly select one of your own publications from a year or two ago and think about what would be involved in reproducingthe results. How longwould it take, assumingyou would be able to do it? If you can’t reproduce those results, why do you believe them? Why should your readers?

Our inability to reproduce results leads to a debilitatingparadox, where we as reviewers and readers accept highly empirical results on faith. We do this routinely, to the point where we seem to have given up on the idea of being able to reproduce results. This is the natural consequence of faith-based empiricism, and the only way to fight that movement is with a little bit of heresy. Let’s not accept large tables of empirical results on faith, let’s insist that we be able to reproduce them exactly and conveniently. Let’s insist that we are scientists first and foremost, and agree that this means that we must be able to reproduce each other’s results.


So much important information is left out of journal articles that often the results are not reproducible.

Folksonomies: empiricism reproducibility

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/hobbies and interests/magic and illusion (0.447421)
/home and garden/home furnishings/sofas and chairs (0.442881)

faith-based empiricism (0.963151 (positive:0.075486)), results (0.765314 (positive:0.157536)), highly empirical results (0.684919 (positive:0.945475)), important information (0.512800 (negative:-0.408750)), journal articles (0.511601 (negative:-0.408750)), natural consequence (0.460843 (positive:0.484237)), little bit (0.453090 (negative:-0.725366)), large tables (0.450405 (negative:-0.702947)), reproduce (0.342972 (neutral:0.000000)), readers (0.271945 (positive:0.342808)), analogy (0.217262 (negative:-0.320018)), inability (0.207031 (negative:-0.756102))

Scientific method (0.947700): dbpedia | freebase
Empirical (0.945694): dbpedia | freebase
The Point (0.689844): dbpedia

 Empiricism Is Not a Matter of Faith
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Pedersen, Ted (2014), Empiricism Is Not a Matter of Faith, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Retrieved on 2014-04-21
Folksonomies: empiricism reproducibility