Friday, January 20, 2006

Peer review and the death penalty

Chris Mooney writes about the Korean stem cell fraud:

It's a horrible embarrassment for the journal involved when published results are exposed as fraudulent.... [However,] in a broader sense, science worked in this case. The "research" of Woo Suk Hwang was exposed for what it really was. If anything, this case highlights the strengths of the scientific process....

Before you read the next quote, please decide if Chris is right. Okay, moving on...

Ramesh Ponnuru writes about the exoneration of significant numbers of prisoners awaiting execution:

Death-penalty supporters have sometimes responded to this figure by saying that it shows that the system works. It does, in fact, prevent people from being wrongfully executed. *

I expect most people will agree with one of these authors and disagree with the other. Kind of like Kevin V.'s left-right bugaboos.

*Actually, a Google search primarily shows death penalty opponents claiming that advocates say this, not them actually saying it, but I'll just ignore that inconvenient fact. Ponnuru seems to support it, anyway.

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