Science Is Stagnant, No Real Progress Since Early 20th Century

haidut

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This is a recurring theme that Peat has addressed many times in his articles and interviews, albeit focusing usually on medical fraud. However, the problem is essentially identical in virtually all of fundamental scientific disciplines. The sad reality is that despite exponentially increased funding for R&D in the 20th century, most of it has been simply wasted. A big part of the problem seems to be the institutionalization of science and education (which Ivan Illich also wrote extensively about), as well as the authoritarian climate vital for preserving the status quo and hundreds of thousands of "scientific" careers. I think that last one is probably the most pernicious problem - science has become a career, a parasitic industry dependent on lies and thuggery in order to survive and grow. A cancer of the mind, that is destroying the very core of civilization.
The two articles below sound very much the same alarm. Both conclude that not much is likely to change due to the fact that scientific funding is a political hot potato and one that no politician is willing to address. On top of that, the parasitic industries have been given full control over their own fate through the process of peer-review, and defining measures of progress that are so abstract and overly-mathematical that only a few "insiders" within a scientific field can testify to their usefulness. As such, the calls for MORE funding keep getting louder and any voices asking for actual results get quickly dismissed as either layman stupidity (if coming from outsider) or mental instability, termination of funding and banning from the discipline (if coming from an insider). Halton Arp and Peter Duesberg are two great examples of the latter. The good news is that lack of results ultimately dooms any field and eventually it collapses under its own weight. I hope that when the collapse comes, the public does not completely turn away from science, rightfully disappointed by the massive fraud spanning more than a century and killing millions of people every year at the hands of "doctors".

Is Science Stagnant? - The Atlantic
"...The writer Stewart Brand once wrote that “science is the only news.” While news headlines are dominated by politics, the economy, and gossip, it’s science and technology that underpin much of the advance of human welfare and the long-term progress of our civilization. This is reflected in an extraordinary growth in public investment in science. Today, there are more scientists, more funding for science, and more scientific papers published than ever before: On the surface, this is encouraging. But for all this increase in effort, are we getting a proportional increase in our scientific understanding? Or are we investing vastly more merely to sustain (or even see a decline in) the rate of scientific progress?"

"...A golden age of physics followed, from the 1910s through the 1930s. This was the time of the invention of quantum mechanics, one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time, a discovery that radically changed our understanding of reality. It also saw several other revolutions: the invention of X-ray crystallography, which let us probe the atomic world; the discovery of the neutron and of antimatter; and the discovery of many fundamental facts about radioactivity and the nuclear forces. It was one of the great periods in the history of science. Following that period, there was a substantial decline, with a partial revival in the 1960s. That was due to two discoveries: the cosmic-microwave-background radiation, and the standard model of particle physics, our best theory of the fundamental particles and forces making up the universe. Even with those discoveries, physicists judged every decade from the 1940s through the 1980s as worse than the worst decade from the 1910s through 1930s. The very best discoveries in physics, as judged by physicists themselves, became less important."

"...Our graph stops at the end of the 1980s. The reason is that in recent years, the Nobel Committee has preferred to award prizes for work done in the 1980s and 1970s. In fact, just three discoveries made since 1990 have been awarded Nobel Prizes. This is too few to get a good quality estimate for the 1990s, and so we didn’t survey those prizes. However, the paucity of prizes since 1990 is itself suggestive. The 1990s and 2000s have the dubious distinction of being the decades over which the Nobel Committee has most strongly preferred to skip, and instead award prizes for earlier work. Given that the 1980s and 1970s themselves don’t look so good, that’s bad news for physics."

"...Even if physics isn’t doing so well, perhaps other fields are doing better? We carried out similar surveys for the Nobel Prize for chemistry and the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine. Here are the scores: The results are slightly more encouraging than physics, with perhaps a small improvement in the second half of the 20th century. But it is small. As in physics, the 1990s and 2000s are omitted, because the Nobel Committee has strongly preferred earlier work: Fewer prizes were awarded for work done in the 1990s and 2000s than over any similar window in earlier decades."

"...The picture this survey paints is bleak: Over the past century, we’ve vastly increased the time and money invested in science, but in scientists’ own judgement, we’re producing the most important breakthroughs at a near-constant rate. On a per-dollar or per-person basis, this suggests that science is becoming far less efficient."

"...Productivity growth is a sign of an economically healthy society, one continually producing ideas that improve its ability to generate wealth. The bad news is that U.S. productivity growth is way down. It’s been dropping since the 1950s, when it was roughly six times higher than today. That means we see about as much change over a decade today as we saw in 18 months in the 1950s. That may sound surprising. Haven’t we seen many inventions over the past decades? Isn’t today a golden age of accelerating technological change? Not so, argue the economists Tyler Cowen and Robert Gordon. In their books The Great Stagnation and The Rise and Fall of American Growth, they point out that the early part of the 20th century saw the large-scale deployment of many powerful general-purpose technologies: electricity, the internal-combustion engine, radio, telephones, air travel, the assembly line, fertilizer, and many more. By contrast, they marshal economic data suggesting that things haven’t changed nearly as much since the 1970s. Yes, we’ve had advances associated to two powerful general-purpose technologies: the computer and the internet. But many other technologies have improved only incrementally."

"...But while many individuals have raised concerns about diminishing returns to science, there has been little institutional response. The meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, the current nominee to be President Donald Trump’s science adviser, claimed in 2016 that “the pace of discovery is accelerating” in remarks to a U.S. Senate committee. The problem of diminishing returns is mentioned nowhere in the 2018 report of the National Science Foundation, which instead talks optimistically of “potentially transformative research that will generate pioneering discoveries and advance exciting new frontiers in science.” Of course, many scientific institutions—particularly new institutions—do aim to find improved ways of operating in their own fields. But that’s not the same as an organized institutional response to diminishing returns. Perhaps this lack of response is in part because some scientists see acknowledging diminishing returns as betraying scientists’ collective self-interest. Most scientists strongly favor more research funding. They like to portray science in a positive light, emphasizing benefits and minimizing negatives. While understandable, the evidence is that science has slowed enormously per dollar or hour spent. That evidence demands a large-scale institutional response. It should be a major subject in public policy, and at grant agencies and universities. Better understanding the cause of this phenomenon is important, and identifying ways to reverse it is one of the greatest opportunities to improve our future."


Backreaction: The present phase of stagnation in the foundations of physics is not normal
"...Nothing is moving in the foundations of physics. One experiment after the other is returning null results: No new particles, no new dimensions, no new symmetries. Sure, there are some anomalies in the data here and there, and maybe one of them will turn out to be real news. But experimentalists are just poking in the dark. They have no clue where new physics may be to find. And their colleagues in theory development are of no help."

"...Some have called it a crisis. But I don’t think “crisis” describes the current situation well: Crisis is so optimistic. It raises the impression that theorists realized the error of their ways, that change is on the way, that they are waking up now and will abandon their flawed methodology. But I see no awakening. The self-reflection in the community is zero, zilch, nada, nichts, null. They just keep doing what they’ve been doing for 40 years, blathering about naturalness and multiversesand shifting their "predictions", once again, to the next larger particle collider. I think stagnation describes it better. And let me be clear that the problem with this stagnation is not with the experiments. The problem is loads of wrong predictions from theoretical physicists."

"...We know this both because dark matter is merely a placeholder for something we don’t understand, and because the mathematical formulation of particle physics is incompatible with the math we use for gravity. Physicists knew about these two problems already in 1930s. And until the 1970s, they made great progress. But since then, theory development in the foundations of physics has stalled. If experiments find anything new now, that will be despite, not because of, some ten-thousands of wrong predictions. Ten-thousands of wrong predictions sounds dramatic, but it’s actually an underestimate. I am merely summing up predictions that have been made for physics beyond the standard model which the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was supposed to find: All the extra dimensions in their multiple shapes and configurations, all the pretty symmetry groups, all the new particles with the fancy names. You can estimate the total number of such predictions by counting the papers, or, alternatively, the people working in the fields and their average productivity. They were all wrong. Even if the LHC finds something new in the data that is yet to come, we already know that the theorists’ guesses did not work out. Not. A. Single. One. How much more evidence do they need that their methods are not working? This long phase of lacking progress is unprecedented. Yes, it has taken something like two-thousand years from the first conjecture of atoms by Democritus to their actual detection. But that’s because for most of these two-thousand years people had other things to do than contemplating the structure of elementary matter. Like, for example, how to build houses that don’t collapse on you. For this reason, quoting chronological time is meaningless. We should better look at the actual working time of physicists."

"...According to membership data from the American Physical Society and the German Physical Society the total number of physicists has increased by a factor of roughly 100 between the years 1900 and 2000.* Most of these physicists do not work in the foundations of physics. But for what publication activity is concerned the various subfields of physics grow at roughly comparable rates. And (leaving aside some bumps and dents around the second world war) the increase in the number of publications as well as in the number of authors is roughly exponential. Now let us assume for the sake of simplicity that physicists today work as many hours per week as they did 100 years ago – the details don’t matter all that much given that the growth is exponential. Then we can ask: How much working time starting today corresponds to, say, 40 years working time starting 100 years ago. Have a guess! Answer: About 14 months. Going by working hours only, physicists today should be able to do in 14 months what a century earlier took 40 years."

"...Developing new methodologies is harder than inventing new particles in the dozens, which is why they don’t like to hear my conclusions. Any change will reduce the paper output, and they don’t want this. It’s not institutional pressure that creates this resistance, it’s that scientists themselves don’t want to move their butts. How long can they go on with this, you ask? How long can they keep on spinning theory-tales? I am afraid there is nothing that can stop them. They review each other’s papers. They review each other’s grant proposals. And they constantly tell each other that what they are doing is good science. Why should they stop? For them, all is going well. They hold conferences, they publish papers, they discuss their great new ideas. From the inside, it looks like business as usual, just that nothing comes out of it. This is not a problem that will go away by itself."
 

Nokoni

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“They have no clue where new physics may be to find.” And yet it’s as easy to find as going to youtube. The EU guys are making steady progress and building a beautiful edifice year by year with minimal resources.

“It’s not institutional pressure that creates this resistance, it’s that scientists themselves don’t want to move their butts.” Recently read a book about Birkeland. Built a laboratory on a mountaintop in the frozen north and spent an entire winter there to study the northern lights. He designed and built monitoring instruments of fantastic ingenuity that ran on springs he would wind daily. And he was then able to figure out the source of the aurora. He literally risked his life for it. One of his assistants died. Another had his fingers amputated due to frostbite. He had a passion, he worked very hard, and he got it right (confirmed decades later by NASA instruments), only to see his amazing work be dismissed by the science establishment. He died in 1917, so the sclerosis in science was already well underway more than a century ago.

“How long can they keep on spinning theory-tales?” Great line. “I am afraid there is nothing that can stop them.” His fears would seem to be well-founded :)
 
L

lollipop

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“They have no clue where new physics may be to find.” And yet it’s as easy to find as going to youtube. The EU guys are making steady progress and building a beautiful edifice year by year with minimal resources.

“It’s not institutional pressure that creates this resistance, it’s that scientists themselves don’t want to move their butts.” Recently read a book about Birkeland. Built a laboratory on a mountaintop in the frozen north and spent an entire winter there to study the northern lights. He designed and built monitoring instruments of fantastic ingenuity that ran on springs he would wind daily. And he was then able to figure out the source of the aurora. He literally risked his life for it. One of his assistants died. Another had his fingers amputated due to frostbite. He had a passion, he worked very hard, and he got it right (confirmed decades later by NASA instruments), only to see his amazing work be dismissed by the science establishment. He died in 1917, so the sclerosis in science was already well underway more than a century ago.

“How long can they keep on spinning theory-tales?” Great line. “I am afraid there is nothing that can stop them.” His fears would seem to be well-founded :)
+1
 

CLASH

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@haidut
Do you think the stagnation is due in part to the foundational principles being faulty from the base (such as genetics in phyisology)?

Also, how do you think this plays into the new technologies coming out such as AI (perhaps another human genome debacle)? If the foundational tenants of neuroscience and psychology are faulty from thier base then how can we accurately code/model consciousness and recursive learning to produce a machine that has has those abilities?
 

MrBenjamin

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I have little reason to believe we can understand everything about the universe. As such, it is very possible that we have come to understand about as much physics as we are capable of understanding.

Another possibility, with regards to medical research, is that there is a financial incentive to not discover too much. Companies may not want us to have strong control over our bodies. If there were some sort of simple treatment you could take, some collection of hormones that you'd only need to take once every year or maybe less, that would make your body stronger and healthier than ever, and to help your body not hurt itself and to repair itself easily, it would be a major threat to every medicine available.
What if using stem cells from our skin we could help repair our entire body easily?
Tons of patents from multiple massive companies would become completely useless. The entire field would change in incomprehensible ways. And imagine how it would affect academics. If you are a scholar studying how different chemical structures could help minimize effects of dementia, are you really going to be happy about that? Who is going to give you any grants to research those chemicals if nobody has debilitating cognitive issues anymore, and everyone heals by themselves? Suddenly your research would be overtaken by some guy who spent his life studying effects of particular growth factors on cell development, something you have little knowledge or expertise in.

New discoveries lead to new technologies, new technologies replace old technologies. But, I doubt this is the only thing causing the lack of breakthroughs, because the problem of new discoveries threatening old technologies has existed for a long time.

It is very likely that we are getting into more and more difficult problems. We can only perceive so much. You can search the Earth for centuries looking for undiscovered land, but you must consider the possibility that most land has been discovered already. Of course, we can also explore space now. Perhaps if something in our perception changes massively, we will have a bunch of new discoveries resulting from seeing completely new things, like if we found another dimension. If we found a completely new way of looking at the world, we might see objects and particles that are completely undiscovered. Then we would really have discoveries, and again have the sorts of breakthroughs we had in the early 20th century.
 

lvysaur

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Suddenly your research would be overtaken by some guy who spent his life studying effects of particular growth factors on cell development
CRISPR and general bio-hackery will be the next big breakthrough, for sure.

this plays into the new technologies coming out such as AI
If by AI you mean computer consciousness, then we've made 0 progress on that in the last half century. If you mean getting computers to do even more specific fine-control tasks, then yes, it will be revolutionary, and it will put a lot of people out of work.
 

Whichway?

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While this may be true for physics, it certainly isn’t for biology. There is research coming from Univeristies that will cause a wave of clinical products which will alter the way medicine is done.

This happened because of a confluence of factors and technology, all of which were necessary to help the advances. Physics might be the same. It may be able to snap out of its doldrums as the result of a change in technology such as quantum computing.

Reading the article I thought most of it was rubbish and I strongly disagree with their assessment.

If you look at all of human history there are long periods of people working at things with little progress, followed by jumps or leaps which cause big changes. To think that human progress is “linear” and that for every dollar invested you get a guaranteed return in a specific time frame is just flawed thinking.

Oh and the idea that scientists are just out to protect their career and funding. Crap! They are simply being honest about what is required to make progress. Think you can learn all about metabolism in three years and make an advance which is commercialisable. BS! It takes a long time to learn anything deeply, so either the rest of society should consider it an investment in improving yours and you kids future, or we should give up and just go back to being primitives and throwing stones at one another.
 
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Runenight201

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While this may be true for physics, it certainly isn’t for biology. There is research coming from Univeristies that will cause a wave of clinical products which will alter the way medicine is done.

This happened because of a confluence of factors and technology, all of which were necessary to help the advances. Physics might be the same. It may be able to snap out of its doldrums as the result of a change in technology such as quantum computing.

Reading the article I thought most of it was rubbish and I strongly disagree with their assessment.

If you look at all of human history there are long periods of people working at things with little progress, followed by jumps or leaps which cause big changes. To think that human progress is “linear” and that for every dollar invested you get a guaranteed return in a specific time frame is just flawed thinking.

Oh and the idea that scientists are just out to protect their career and funding. Crap! They are simply being honest about what is required to make progress. Think you can learn all about metabolism in three years and make an advance which is commercialisable. BS! It takes a long time to learn anything deeply, so either the rest of society should consider it an investment in improving yours and you kids future, or we should give up and just go back to being primitives and throwing stones at one another.

Yes I also didn't appreciate the tone nor the asserted connections with productivity and science within the article. While I don't think it's fair to stress scientist under the dollar input productivity output type of model, I think it is fair to make a critique about the strategy and implementation of scientific pursuits, and perhaps we can encourage initiatives from outside models and modes of thought that may produce different results or modes of inquiry. I certainly think it's dangerous to sustain hive mind mentality within the sciences, just as it is to encourage that type of thinking anywhere else.

Also, I think they could cut the theoretical scientists some slack. They're literally guessing at the unknown, of which any idea could have 1/infinity chance of being right. Maybe in the next thousand years one of them will grasp at a theory come to them in a dream that transforms the fundamental nature of our reality....
 

yerrag

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I don't think we can expect progress to follow a straight line of ascent. There would be periods where plenty of activity would be followed by a process of consolidation, whereby knowledge gained is digested, before another period of rapid progress would ensue. It's not a matter of funding either. Intellectual capital can easily be misspent by misallocation and misdirection of incentives. Many solutions that are arrived at by brute force cannot compare to the elegance of solutions arrived at by good insight, steeped by careful synthesis within the mind, enriched by a conducive environment. Modernity easily gives way to siren calls that distract us from developing our intellectual capacity. We have to rein in these distractions.
 

haidut

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@haidut
Do you think the stagnation is due in part to the foundational principles being faulty from the base (such as genetics in phyisology)?

Also, how do you think this plays into the new technologies coming out such as AI (perhaps another human genome debacle)? If the foundational tenants of neuroscience and psychology are faulty from thier base then how can we accurately code/model consciousness and recursive learning to produce a machine that has has those abilities?

I think no theory is completely correct (or wrong either) and has to be constantly improved through experiment. However, what happened in the 20th century is that certain powerful business interests seized control of science and turned it into career/business, and careers/business do not like disruption and will do everything possible to prevent it. So, if you pay people to produce benign "science" that does not threaten the status quo and promise them they will keep getting paid as long as they do not threaten the status quo then no progress will occur. As such, the fundamental progress in physics, chemistry and biology that occurred in the early 20th century dried out and instead of improving the theory through experiment, the millions of now career-scientists kept producing useless junk by design as to keep their jobs. After 2-3 decades, new generations of scientists coming on board assumed this is the real deal and this is how science gets done so they kept doing the same and it became the new reality. So, in summary, it was not that a completely wrong theory led us astray but that corrupt interests saw progress as a fundamental threat to power and have been paying people to not "disrupt", and it became the common perception of scientific reality, which now stalls any real attempt at progress. Progress will still happen but it will be from peripheral agents like Peat and other independent researchers.
As far as AI - beyond some very specialized tasks it is likely junk. Determinism + randomness (which is what computers are) cannot produce true knowledge. I do not say this lightly as my graduate degree in computer science is in natural language processing (NLP), which is a subset of the AI field. Some food for thought below.
https://mindmatters.ai/2018/09/meaningful-information-vs-artificial-intelligence/
"...An important property of mutual information is that it is conserved. Leonid Levin’s law of independence conservation states that no combination of random and deterministic processing can increase mutual information. A series of coin flips would not have told you the direction you are heading in if you enter one of these lanes. This raises the question: What can create mutual information? A defining aspect of the human mind is its ability to create mutual information. For example, the traffic sign designer in the example above created mutual information. You understood what the sign was meant to convey. This brings us to the debate regarding artificial intelligence. Can artificial intelligence reproduce human intelligence? The answer is no."

The AI winter is well on its way
 
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Whichway?

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As such, the fundamental progress in physics, chemistry and biology that occurred in the early 20th century dried out and instead of improving the theory through experiment, the millions of now career-scientists kept producing useless junk by design as to keep their jobs.


My father was a physicist for approx 40 years at a major Univeristy in Australia and I’ve been in the biological sciences there for 12 years. The assertion that we produced junk science to keep our jobs has NOT been my experience at all.

I think you do not realize how difficult it is to make a breakthrough in biology. Can’t comment on the other fields except for my conversations about physics with my father.
 

Waynish

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CRISPR and general bio-hackery will be the next big breakthrough, for sure.

Why do you think that? It just seems like a much better obfuscated human genome project - in terms of its idiocy, at least.
 

haidut

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My father was a physicist for approx 40 years at a major Univeristy in Australia and I’ve been in the biological sciences there for 12 years. The assertion that we produced junk science to keep our jobs has NOT been my experience at all.

I think you do not realize how difficult it is to make a breakthrough in biology. Can’t comment on the other fields except for my conversations about physics with my father.

Well, maybe junk is too strong of a word. I should have probably said extensively theoretical (and often unverifiable) propositions that have not resulted in any breakthroughs in any of the mentioned disciplines. String theory, dark energy, dark matter, LHC, Standard Model, sequencing of human genome, personalized medicine, etc, etc. There are just a small number of scientific pursuits that have gobbled up billions (if not trillions) of dollars and have not produced much progress. To the contrary, some of these hypothesis have rather obviously made life worse for humanity and have led to largely dead ends in the respective scientific fields.
Did you read the articles in the original post? Can you name one breakthrough discovery in medicine that conquered a devastating chronic disease in the last 100 years? It is hard to argue that it is just coincidence. These are not my words, that is what the articles pointed out.
Coming up with new things is always hard and there is no evidence to show that the process is harder now than it was 100 years ago. If anything, one could argue that it is now easier with all the new tools, computers, data analytical tools, etc AND all the additional scientists toiling in the various fields. Yet, not much has progressed in 100 years. What else would you call this other than stagnation?
 
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We have Big Medicine and Big Science. Funding is based upon fads and projected profitability.

Drug companies used to do their own research. Now I believe most is sponsored research, so universities are not doing research without funding from drug companies.

NIH is a real joke. They spend billions and accomplish basically near nothing.
 
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Science is about as real as the economy or the monetary system. It's all b.s. meant to keep you enslaved. The ether is real free energy is real they have been using it for ages. Burning oil and coal is for slaves. The hollow earth is real it's all real.
We're all literally slaves kept deaf dumb and blind and there exists advanced breakaway civilizations with technology and science we can only dream of.

Do you really think they drink the same water they poison or eat the same food they genetically modify? This goyim gullibility has to stop.
 

lvysaur

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Why do you think that?
I can't think of anything more revolutionary than changing your offspring's features. And even potentially one's own features in vivo.
 

haidut

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I can't think of anything more revolutionary than changing your offspring's features. And even potentially one's own features in vivo.

Many of the CRISP studies turned out to be fake or overblown. Possibly even the recent news on CRISPR babies.
Uh-Oh! CRISPR Gene-Editing Stocks May Be Worthless -- The Motley Fool
Potential CRISPR damage has been 'seriously underestimated,' study finds
The Crispr baby news was carefully orchestrated PR—until it all went wrong
"...“Normally there will be a scientific paper. But instead there is… just a press release. We’re all talking about these babies. Have you seen a picture yet?” asked Regalado. “Is it a fraud? The question is out there. We still didn’t know.” Some on Twitter suggested this might be similar to the 2003 announcement made by the chief executive of Clonaid, a US-based human-cloning organization, that a human baby clone named Eve had been born. Clonaid never published pictures of Eve, but the press gave the company the benefit of the doubt. “Journalists were looking for the cloned baby. People believed it might happen at any moment,” says Regalado. “[Clonaid] took advantage of people’s expectations. They put out this fake press release. They got a lot of attention and media coverage.”

Let's see what comes out of it but for now I would not hold out much hope for CRISPR. So far it looks similar to the "AI revolution", which gobbled up billions in funding and may also turn out to be much ado about nothing. See my comment further up on that.
 

Whichway?

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Well, maybe junk is too strong of a word. I should have probably said extensively theoretical (and often unverifiable) propositions that have not resulted in any breakthroughs in any of the mentioned disciplines. String theory, dark energy, dark matter, LHC, Standard Model, sequencing of human genome, personalized medicine, etc, etc. There are just a small number of scientific pursuits that have gobbled up billions (if not trillions) of dollars and have not produced much progress. To the contrary, some of these hypothesis have rather obviously made life worse for humanity and have led to largely dead ends in the respective scientific fields.

Science can be very depressing for the public, and for the people that do it, as you are literally trying to uncover the unknown. The process does have many failures. Edison failed about 1,000 times before he got the light bulb right, but no one remembers that now. You just turn on the light and it is there.

Did you read the articles in the original post? Can you name one breakthrough discovery in medicine that conquered a devastating chronic disease in the last 100 years? It is hard to argue that it is just coincidence. These are not my words, that is what the articles pointed out.
Coming up with new things is always hard and there is no evidence to show that the process is harder now than it was 100 years ago. If anything, one could argue that it is now easier with all the new tools, computers, data analytical tools, etc AND all the additional scientists toiling in the various fields. Yet, not much has progressed in 100 years. What else would you call this other than stagnation?

Yes I did read the articles and I stated in an earlier post that I disagreed with their conclusion. I would the perceived lack of progress the calm before the storm. If you think there has been no progress in the last 100 years in biology then what about, vaccines, antibiotics, anesthetics, aspirin and other pain killers, improvements in imaging, blood tests, antibody drugs, burns and trauma surgery.

Its certainly true that acute medicine is helpful, but we haven't made much impact in the chronic disease area, and lifestyle choices are the only prescription that we currently have. However that will change.

There are approx 20,000 genes, and about 40,000 metabolites in humans. Working out what does what is extraordinarily complex at the moment, and many of the tools to seriously examine function have only been available in the last 30 years or so. If you think it is possible to do a science degree in biology, do a PhD of specialised study, come out and in 3 years solve the puzzle of a major disease then you are seriously underestimating the enormity of the task.

Biology is really just getting going. It is like learning the alphabet. You have to learn all the letters before you can put words together to describe things, then put together a sentence, then its even longer before Shakespeare comes along. You get where I am going with the analogy?

If you want a potion to restore you to homeostasis no matter what condition you've got yourself into, come back in 100-200 years.
 

Whichway?

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Many of the CRISP studies turned out to be fake or overblown. Possibly even the recent news on CRISPR babies.
Uh-Oh! CRISPR Gene-Editing Stocks May Be Worthless -- The Motley Fool
Potential CRISPR damage has been 'seriously underestimated,' study finds
The Crispr baby news was carefully orchestrated PR—until it all went wrong
"...“Normally there will be a scientific paper. But instead there is… just a press release. We’re all talking about these babies. Have you seen a picture yet?” asked Regalado. “Is it a fraud? The question is out there. We still didn’t know.” Some on Twitter suggested this might be similar to the 2003 announcement made by the chief executive of Clonaid, a US-based human-cloning organization, that a human baby clone named Eve had been born. Clonaid never published pictures of Eve, but the press gave the company the benefit of the doubt. “Journalists were looking for the cloned baby. People believed it might happen at any moment,” says Regalado. “[Clonaid] took advantage of people’s expectations. They put out this fake press release. They got a lot of attention and media coverage.”

Let's see what comes out of it but for now I would not hold out much hope for CRISPR. So far it looks similar to the "AI revolution", which gobbled up billions in funding and may also turn out to be much ado about nothing. See my comment further up on that.

Sorry, but I've seen CRISPR work in the lab to rescue gene mutants. It does work. Sure it has some bugs to iron out and more is still being learned about it, but it is a MASSIVE breakthrough in being able to manipulate DNA, with the hope that one day you can eridicate horrible genetic diseases like Huntington's and others.
 
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