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Judgement The Scientific Method
 

Judgement The Scientific Method

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    Judgement The Scientific Method Judgement The Scientific Method Presentation Transcript

    • THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD JAMES TREFIL Clarence J Robinson Professor of Physics George Mason University
    • BUT WHAT IF WE FIND 11? 14? 25?
    • HYPOTHETICAL APPROACH WHAT IF WE TOOK 100 GROUPS OF A MILLION PEOPLE EACH, NONE OF WHOM HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SUBSTANCE X? IN EACH GROUP, SOME PEOPLE WOULD HAVE THE DISEASE.
    • IN THE HYPOTHETICAL EXPERIMENT, MAKE A PLOT AS FOLLOWS: HORIZONTAL AXIS: NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EACH GROUP WHO GET THE DISEASE VERTICAL AXIS: NUMBER OF GROUPS IN WHICH A SPECIFIC NUMBER OF CASES APPEAR
    • RIGHT NOW, FEDERAL STANDARD SEEMS TO BE EVOLVING TOWARD FINDING SIGNIFICANCE WHEN EFFECT IS TWICE THAT OF CHANCE
    • SEVEN WARNING SIGNS OF BOGUS SCIENCE 1. DISCOVERY PITCHED TO MEDIA 2. CLAIM THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT IS SUPPRESSING WORK 3. EFFECT AT LIMIT OF DETECTION 4. ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE 5. CLAIM THAT BELIEF IS VERY OLD 6. DISCOVERER ISOLATED 7. NEW LAWS OF NATURE PROPOSED ROBERT PARKS
    • DAUBERT CRITERIA TESTABILITY (LIKE FALSIFIABILITY) PEER REVIEW ERROR RATE STANDARDIZATION GENERAL ACCEPTANCE NON-EXCLUSIVE
    • SCIENTIFIC COMMENTARY ON SELECTED CASES JAMES TREFIL Clarence J Robinson Professor of Physics George Mason University
    • CHADD v. FOLKES 1782 Foundational case for expert witnesses
    • TIMELINE 1780 – Grand jury in Norfolk finds 1758 embankment a public nuisance. Commissioners hire men to remove it 1781 – Martin Folkes, landowner, gets injunction in Chancery Court, sues Chadd (Commissioner) in Norfolk Assizes to prevent removal
    • THE SEA IS EMBANKING, OF ITSELF, THE WHOLE COAST, AND THE TIME WILL PROBABLY COME WHEN THIS HARBOR WILL DIMINISH…..TO DRY LAND ROBERT MYLNE, FRS
    • IN MATTERS OF SCIENCE, THE REASONING OF MEN OF SCIENCE CAN ONLY BE ANSWERED BY MEN OF SCIENCE CHIEF JUSTICE MANSFIELD
    • I FIND MYSELF FORCED BY FAIR INDUCTION TO INFER THAT THE EMBANKMENT…IN 1758 COULD NOT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE LANDING UP (OF THE HARBOR) JOHN SMEATON, FRS
    • TIMELINE (CONT.) 1782– NEW TRIAL WITH EXPERTS ON BOTH SIDES. TRIAL JUDGE REFUSES TO ADMIT TESTIMONY OF JOHN SMEATON, FRS, ON GROUNDS THAT IT IS HEARSAY
    • I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT WHEN THE QUESTION IS, WHETHER A DEFECT ARISES FROM A NATURAL OR ARTIFICIAL CAUSE, THE OPINIONS OF MEN OF SCIENCE ARE NOT TO BE RECEIVED CHIEF JUSTICE MANSFIELD
    • OUTCOMES OF THIRD TRIAL (1783) THE JURY IGNORED ALL EXPERTS AND FOUND FOR THE COMMISSIONERS THE EMBANKMENT WAS REMOVED THE HARBOR SILTED UP THE TOWN IS NOW CALLED “WELLS- NEXT-THE-SEA”
    • SEVERN, KING, AND COMPANY v. IMPERIAL INSURANCE 1820 First example of dueling experts
    • BACKGROUND FACTS IN 1816-1819, HENRY WILSON PATENTS NEW SYSTEM USING HEATED WHALE OIL IN 1819, SEVERN, KING INSTALL THE SYSTEM IN APRIL, 1820, THE FACTORY BURNS DOWN. IMPERIAL INSURANCE REFUSES TO PAY
    • SCIENTIFIC ISSUE THEY KNEW THAT NEW WHALE OIL PRODUCES FLAMMABLE GASSES AT 600F SUGAR PRODUCES FLAMMABLE GASSES AT 350 F
    • BUT IN WILSON’S APPARATUS, THE WHALE OIL WAS ONLY HEATED TO 350F COULD REPEATED HEATING AND COOLING CHANGE ITS PROPERTIES?
    • PLAINTIFF’S EXPERT ROSTER FIRST TRIAL WILLIAM ALLEN, FRS, Chemistry, Guys Hospital CHARLES SYLVESTOR, wrote chemistry section of Rees’ Cyclopedia THOMAS BERRY, Industrial Chemist FREIDRICH ACCUM, Chief Engineer, Chartered Gas and Coal Co. SAMUEL PARKS, author, Chemical Catechism
    • DEFENDANT EXPERT ROSTER FIRST TRIAL ARTHUR AIKEN, Author, Dictionary of Chemistry RICHARD PHILLIPS, Chemistry Professor, Royal Military Academy MICHAEL FARADAY, Royal Institute JOHN BOSTOK, FRS, Chemist, Guys Hospital JOHN TAYLOR, JOHN MARTINEAU, Engineers, owners of refinery
    • IT MUST BE A MATTER OF GENERAL REGRET TO FIND THE RESPECTABLE WITNESSES…DRAWN UP, NOT ON ONE SIDE, AND FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE SAME TRUTHS, BUT…IN MARTIAL AND HOSTILE ARRAY CHIEF JUSTICE LORD DALLAS
    • SECOND ROUND DRAFT PICKS PLAINTIFFS THOMAS THOMSON, Professor of Chemistry, Glasgow, author System of Chemistry JOHN DAVY, FRS, Chemist JOHN DALTON, President, Manchester Philosophical Society DEFENDANTS ALEXANDER TILLICH, Editor, Philosophical Magazine
    • FINAL WORD THEY LEFT THE COURT IN A STATE OF UTTER UNCERTAINTY, AND THE TWO DAYS (OF TESTIMONY) WERE DAYS, NOT OF TRIUMPH, BUT OF HUMILIATION FOR SCIENCE CHIEF JUSTICE LORD DALLAS
    • SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AT THE TIME 1808 JOHN DALTON PUBLISHES A NEW SYSTEM OF CHEMICAL PHILOSOPHY, INTRODUCES MODERN ATOM 1828 FRIEDRICH WOHLER MAKES UREA IN LABORATORY (FIRST ORGANIC SYNTHESIS)
    • EXAMPLES OF THINGS THAT COULD HAVE GONE WRONG OIL COULD HAVE HAD DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE VAT THERMOMETER COULD AFFECT OIL TEMPERATURE IN SMALL EXPERIMENTS BUT NOT IN FACTORY
    • PEOPLE v. FRYE 1923 Established traditional standards of admissibility
    • BACKGROUND In 1921, James Frye was arrested on robbery charges While in custody he confessed to the murder of a prominent physician He later withdrew the confession, claiming that the detective had offered him half of the reward money His attorney tried to get evidence from a ‘deception machine’ admitted
    • (DECEPTION TESTS) ARE INADMISSIBLE UNTIL THERE IS AN INFALLIBLE INSTRUMENT FOR ASCERTAINING WHETHER A PERSON IS SPEAKING THE TRUTH OR NOT………
    • ….I SHALL BE DEAD BY THAT TIME, PROBABLY, AND IT WILL BOTHER SOME OTHER JUDGE, NOT ME JUDGE WALTER McCOY FRYE
    • THE THING FROM WHICH THE DEDUCTION IS MADE MUST BE SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED TO HAVE GAINED GENERAL ACCEPTANCE IN THE PARTICULAR FIELD IN WHICH IT BELONGS FRYE (1923)
    • SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AT THE TIME 1897– FIRST PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT ANYWHERE (LEIPZIG) 1907- FIRST ATTEMPT TO USE ‘LIE DETECTOR’ IN A POLICE INVESTIGATION 1918 – ARMY TRIES (UNSUCCESSFULLY) TO DEVELOP LIE DETECTOR
    • DAUBERT v. MERRILL DOW PHARMACEUTICALS 1993 Established judge as ‘gatekeeper’ of scientific testimony
    • HOW IS IT PRONOUNCED? IS IT Dough- BEAR? DAW- bert? DOW- bert?
    • BACKGROUND Jason Daubert and Eric Schiller, minors, were born with serious birth defects after their mother took Bendectin There were 30 published studies (130,000 patients) with no evidence for harm Daubert wanted to introduce unpublished work. Trail court ruled the evidence didn’t meet Frye, appelate court affirmed
    • RULE 702 IF SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL, OR OTHER SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE WILL ASSIST THE TRIER OF FACT TO UNDERSTAND THE EVIDENCE…. A WITNESS QUALIFIED AS AN EXPERT BY KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, EXPERIENCE, TRAINING, OR EDUCATION MAY TESTIFY….
    • GATEKEEPER THE TRIAL JUDGE MUST ENSURE THAT ANY AND ALL SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY OR EVIDENCE ADMITTED IS NOT ONLY RELEVANT, BUT RELIABLE JUSTICE BLACKMUN
    • DAUBERT CRITERIA TESTABILITY (LIKE FALSIFIABILITY) PEER REVIEW ERROR RATE STANDARDIZATION GENERAL ACCEPTANCE NON-EXCLUSIVE
    • THE PART NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IF ‘ANYTHING GOES’, WILL GULLIBLE JURIES BE HOODWINKED BY CHARLATANS? IF THE PROCESS IS DOMINATED BY ORTHODOXY, WILL IT BE TOO RESTRICTIVE? I COME DOWN ON THE ‘GULLIBLE’ SIDE
    • COMPLAINT (MAINLY FROM PLAINTIFF’S BAR) THIS ALLOWS DEFENDANT TO ‘CHERRY PICK’ EVIDENCE– THE SUM TOTAL OF THE EVIDENCE MAY HAVE WEIGHT, EVEN THOUGH EACH PIECE CAN BE CRITICIZED
    • THE PLURAL OF ANECDOTE IS NOT EVIDENCE ANONYMOUS
    • TREFIL’S LAW IF YOU PUT A LOT OF GARBAGE IN A PILE, WHAT YOU HAVE AT THE END IS……. A PILE OF GARBAGE
    • GENERAL ELECTRIC v. JOINER 1997 The standard for trial judges is “Abuse of Discretion”
    • BACKGROUND Robert Joiner worked for utility company in Georgia, was exposed to PCBs in transformers A lifelong smoker with a family history of lung cancer, he contracted small cell lung cancer Joiner claimed the PCBs had ‘promoted’ his disease Trial judge excluded evidence, applelate court reversed
    • TESTIMONY OFFERED • ANIMAL STUDIES • DOSE CALCULATIONS • RE-EVALUATION OF EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES
    • ANIMAL STUDIES SPECIES DON’T ALWAYS REACT THE SAME WAY FOUND PCB CAUSED CANCER (BUT NOT LUNG CANCER) IN YOUNG MICE, BUT NOT IN ADULT MICE OR IN OTHER SPECIES TESTS HAVE TO BE MADE AT HIGH DOSE TO GET A MEASURABLE RESULT
    • BUT WE REALLY NEED ANIMAL STUDIES EXAMPLE: MULTIDOSE CHEMOTHERAPY
    • KUMHO TIRE v. CARMICHAEL 1999 Daubert criteria apply to technology as well as science
    • BACKGROUND FACTS IN JULY, 1993, PATRICK CARMICHAEL BUYS USED MINIVAN DRIVES 7000 MILES UNTIL TIRE HAS BALD PATCHES AND 3/32” OF TREAD TIRE BLOWS OUT AND HE SUES KUMHO TIRES FOR MANUFACTURING DEFECT
    • BACKGROUND (CONT.) CARMICHAEL’S EXPERT, DENNIS CARLSON, WORKED AT MICHELIN FOR 10 YEARS TRIAL JUDGE EXCLUDED TESTIMONY BECAUSE IT FAILED DAUBERT. APPELATE COURT REVERSED
    • SCIENTIFIC ISSUE WAS IT ‘OVERDEFLECTION’ (UNDERINFLATION) OR DEFECT? PLAINTIFF’S EXPERT STATED FOUR CRITERIA FOR OVERDEFLECTION, FOUND TWO, AND CONCLUDED THE CAUSE HAD TO BE A MANUFACTURING DEFECT
    • (THE COURT) FOUND THAT NONE OF THE DAUBERT FACTORS, INCLUDING THAT OF “GENERAL ACCEPTANCE” ….INDICATED THAT CARLSON’S TESTIMONY WAS RELIABLE JUSTICE BREYER IN KUMHO
    • IN SUM, RULE 702 GRANTS THE DISTRICT JUDGE THE DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY… TO DETERMINE RELIABILITY IN LIGHT OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS AND CICUMSTANCES OF THE PARTICULAR CASE JUSTIC BREYER, IN KUMHO
    • SIDE ISSUES CARLSON ACTUALLY FOUND ALL FOUR CRITERIA ‘TO A LIMITED DEGREE’ HE DIDN’T ACTUALLY SEE THE TIRE UNTIL THE DAY OF HIS DEPOSITION
    • EVALUATION FROM A SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, THIS SET OF RULUNGS SEEMS PRETTY REASONABLE
    • What Killed the Dinosaurs? A Scientific Detective Story James Trefil Clarence Robinson Professor of Physics
    • INTERESTING FACTS ONLY ABOUT 1 SPECIES IN A THOUSAND APPEARS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD THE AVERAGE LIFETIME OF SPECIES IS ABOUT 3 MILLION YEARS 99% OF ALL SPECIES THAT EVER EXISTED ARE EXTINCT
    • ALVAREZ HYPOTHESIS THE EXTINCTION WAS CAUSED BY A DUST CLOUD RAISED BY THE IMPACT OF A METEORITE ABOUT 8 MILES ACROSS
    • OBJECTION COULDN’T IT JUST BE THAT FOR SOME REASON THERE WAS A SPECIES OF PLANKTON THAT METABOLIZED IRIDIUM?