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Returning to the thread: "Selection of scientific theories - metascientific
experiment", I want to thank Vincent Campbell, John Wilkins, and Joedees
for calling my attention to interesting literature.
For those who haven't seen the abovementioned thread, my project is to
study the selection criteria that guide the development of theories in the
soft sciences, like sociology and psychology, when hard core experiments
I have done a lot of literature studies since last time I wrote about this
subject, and I have found more selection criteria that guide the social
sciences. The article by Mahoney, that Vincent found, actually describes an
experiment resembling the one that I suggested. It shows that peer
reviewers are strongly biased in favor of what they already believe. Other
selection criteria that I have discovered are of a more ideological or
philosophical nature, relating to the nature-nurture debate, the 'science
wars' debate, reductionism versus holism, and the question of whether
scientists should control nature. These controversies have been strongly
polarized and created a communication gap between the natural and the
In order to further study these conflicts and their influence on the social
sciences, I want to make a request to all of you:
Have you ever had your works peer-reviewed by social scientists? If so, I
would like to see the peer-review reports, whether positive or negative.
I am interested in both peer-review reports and informal communication in
connection with work written within the areas of memetics, cultural
selection, sociobiology, ethology, evolutionary psychology,
neuroendocrinology, and other paradigms on the fringe of or outside the
standard sociology tradition, which has been evaluated by sociologists,
anthropologists, and others in the social and humanist sciences.
If you, or anybody you know, have submitted such publications for sociology
journals, books, or as a thesis, then please E-mail me.
I am sure that many of you have been frustrated by the difficulties of
communicating memetics theory to sociologists, as well as the difficulties
of understanding their theories.
I want to study the selection criteria that has caused the different
disciplines to drift further and further away from each other and created
this communication gap between the natural and social sciences. For this
purpose, I want to study the arguments in the peer review reports. Of
course there may be hidden motives which are not written explicitly in the
official peer review reports, but I already have a few such reports that
reveal emotional reactions.
Please Email me for details if you think you can help.
M. Schwartz, Ph.D.
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