This recent bit of news shows why pratyakṣa (direct sense perception) and anumāna (inference) as pramāṇas are imperfect means of acquiring correct knowledge.
Washington (AFP) – A few years ago, two researchers took the 50 most-used ingredients in a cook book and studied how many had been linked with a cancer risk or benefit, based on a variety of studies published in scientific journals.
The result? Forty out of 50, including salt, flour, parsley and sugar. “Is everything we eat associated with cancer?” the researchers wondered in a 2013 article based on their findings.
Their investigation touched on a known but persistent problem in the research world: too few studies have large enough samples to support generalized conclusions.
Ivan Couronne, “Beware those scientific studies–most are wrong, researcher warns,” 5 Jul. 2018, Yahoo! News, 6 Jul. 2018 <https://www.yahoo.com/news/. . .>.
What is the cause of such a great proportion of scientific studies being wrong? The article indicates it’s the cheating propensity, vipralipsā.
But pressure on researchers, competition between journals and the media’s insatiable appetite for new studies announcing revolutionary breakthroughs has meant such articles continue to be published.
That is, despite the fact that researchers know their results are dubious, they nonetheless transmit such defective knowledge for the sake of personal gain.
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