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1203 views
00:24 Jul-12-2003

Terry Oldberg

Engineering, Mechanical Electrical Nuclear Software
Consultant,
USA,
Joined Oct 1999
42
Argumentum ad Vericundiam at the ASNT

Science arose when a group of people began to reject authority and to base their claims in empirical observations and logic. Threatened by this movement, authorities took actions to stop it. For example, they imprisoned Galileo for asserting that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

Out of the tension between science and authority arose a number of institutions. One was peer review before publication. Reviewers in this system were charged with blocking publication of any paper that made arguments not based in empirical evidence and logic. In particular, Argumentum ad Vericundiam was forbidden.

Argumentum ad Vericundiam (Appeal to Authority, in English) is an argument of the following form
(http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal0to-authority.html):
1. Person A is claimed to be an authority on subject S.
2. Person A makes claim C about subject S.
3. Therefore, C is true.
This is the type of argument that authorities made against Galileo.

One of the organizationsthat has adopted peer review before publication is the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT). Does this signify that the ASNT is a scientific institution? Evidence from a recent event is inconsistent with this conclusion.

In the event, I submitted a letter to the editor of one of the ASNT's journals. The letter referenced a peer reviewed article that I had co-authored, "Erratic Measure."

"Erratic Measure" ( http://www.ndt.net/article/v04n05/oldberg/oldberg.htm ) claims that NDT reliability assessment harbors an inconsistency. In particular, the reliabilities of some tests are being characterized probabilistically when these tests, by their design, violate an axiom of probability theory.

In the letter, I pointed out that "Erratic Measure" had been published 8 years earlier. I suggested, therefore, that it was time for the NDT community to eliminate the inconsistency by refuting "Erratic Measure" or dealing constructively with its message.

ASNT reviewers blocked publication of my letter. However, in doing so, they did not point to inconsistencies of my letter's claims with empirical evidence or logic.

They pointed to authorities. In particular, they pointed to the authors of MIL-HBK-1823.

In writing MIL-HBK-1823, these authors had assumed probability theory without demonstrating that this assumption was correct. According to "Erratic Measure," it was incorrect.

There was a conflict, then, between MIL-HBK-1823 and "Erratic Measure." The ASNT's reviewers did not resolve it by citation of a document refuting "Erratic Measure." Instead, they argued that MIL-HBK-1823 had to be correct and "Erratic Measure" incorrect because the authors of MIL-HBK-1823 "...were well-versed in NDT reliability and had significant backgrounds in statistical methods."

As this was an example of Argumentum ad Vericundiam and this type of argument was forbidden under the rules of the scientific peer review system, I appealed the decision. The ASNT responded that its reviewers had conformed to its rules of peer review.



 
00:57 Jul-14-2003
Gabriel Teodorescu
Re: Argumentum ad Vericundiam at the ASNT Dear colleagues!

I cannot understand this discussion about what is and what is not science.
Science is the job performed by a scientist.
What is a scientist? A scientist is a Researcher working in a Research Institute or Center, or an University Professor.
The scientist possesses usually a scientific title (Doctor or Ph. D.), and published in his activity a number of scientific papers. These papers are usually presented in front of other scientists, so they are very close to the scientifically proved truth.
Nobody doubts in the world of science about the value of an experiment. But an experiment performed in inadequate conditions could lead to a lie. Remember the "cold fusion" of 1989.
So, the experiment that could lead to scientific conclusion must be performed by scientists only.
I mean that is more cheaper to consult an Scientific Institute or a University before throwing on the market an inadequate standard or settlement.
I know a lot of Standards - both American and European - that simply cannot be applied, since they are far away from reality.
Do not confuse NDT practice with scientific experiment!
Let the science and experiments to the scientists!

Gabriel Teodorescu, Ph. D., Senior Researcher, 44 published scientific papers, 3-rd level UT.
gabi@imsar.bu.edu.ro or gabescu@pcnet.ro

: Science arose when a group of people began to reject authority and to base their claims in empirical observations and logic. Threatened by this movement, authorities took actions to stop it. For example, they imprisoned Galileo for asserting that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
.
: Out of the tension between science and authority arose a number of institutions. One was peer review before publication. Reviewers in this system were charged with blocking publication of any paper that made arguments not based in empirical evidence and logic. In particular, Argumentum ad Vericundiam was forbidden.
.
: Argumentum ad Vericundiam (Appeal to Authority, in English) is an argument of the following form
: (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal0to-authority.html):
: 1. Person A is claimed to be an authority on subject S.
: 2. Person A makes claim C about subject S.
: 3. Therefore, C is true.
: This is the type of argument that authorities made against Galileo.
.
: One of the organizations that has adopted peer review before publication is the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT). Does this signify that the ASNT is a scientific institution? Evidence from a recent event is inconsistent with this conclusion.
.
: In the event, I submitted a letter to the editor of one of the ASNT's journals. The letter referenced a peer reviewed article that I had co-authored, "Erratic Measure."
.
: "Erratic Measure" ( http://www.ndt.net/article/v04n05/oldberg/oldberg.htm ) claims that NDT reliability assessment harbors an inconsistency. In particular, the reliabilities of some tests are being characterized probabilistically when these tests, by their design, violate an axiom of probability theory.
.
: In the letter, I pointed out that "Erratic Measure" had been published 8 years earlier. I suggested, therefore, that it was time for the NDT community to eliminate the inconsistency by refuting "Erratic Measure" or dealing constructively with its message.
.
: ASNT reviewers blocked publication of my letter. However, in doing so, they did not point to inconsistencies of my letter's claims with empirical evidence or logic.
.
: They pointed to authorities. In particular, they pointed to the authors of MIL-HBK-1823.
.
: In writing MIL-HBK-1823, these authors had assumed probability theory without demonstrating that this assumption was correct. According to "Erratic Measure," it was incorrect.
.
: There was a conflict, then, between MIL-HBK-1823 and "Erratic Measure." The ASNT's reviewers did not resolve it by citation of a document refuting "Erratic Measure." Instead, they argued that MIL-HBK-1823 hadto be correct and "Erratic Measure" incorrect because the authors of MIL-HBK-1823 "...were well-versed in NDT reliability and had significant backgrounds in statistical methods."
.
: As this was an example of Argumentum ad Vericundiam and this type of argument was forbidden under the rules of the scientific peer review system, I appealed the decision. The ASNT responded that its reviewers had conformed to its rules of peer review.
:
.



 
03:30 Jul-14-2003

rodney fordham

Consultant
United Kingdom,
Joined Feb 2002
12
Re: Argumentum ad Vericundiam at the ASNT Gabriel Teodorescu says that he cannot understand
what this discussion is about.

It is about the simple truth that commonly accepted
methods used to interpret measurements of material flaws in structural components do not have a sound
scientific basis.

Mr Oldberg has explained very clearly what is wrong
with the presently accepted methods, and how his
clear explanations have been swept aside by those
who propound these fallacious methods.

There is no mystery about this.

Those NDT practitioners with the ability to see
what is wrong should band together to offer the
world a better scientifically based service.

Rodney Fordham


: Dear colleagues!
.
: I cannot understand this discussion about what is and what is not science.
: Science is the job performed by a scientist.
: What is a scientist? A scientist is a Researcher working in a Research Institute or Center, or an University Professor.
: The scientist possesses usually a scientific title (Doctor orPh. D.), and published in his activity a number of scientific papers. These papers are usually presented in front of other scientists, so they are very close to the scientifically proved truth.
: Nobody doubts in the world of science about the value of an experiment. But an experiment performed in inadequate conditions could lead to a lie. Remember the "cold fusion" of 1989.
: So, the experiment that could lead to scientific conclusion must be performed by scientists only.
: I mean that is more cheaper to consult an Scientific Institute or a University before throwing on the market an inadequate standard or settlement.
: I know a lot of Standards - both American and European - that simply cannot be applied, since they are far away from reality.
: Do not confuse NDT practice with scientific experiment!
: Let the science and experiments to the scientists!
.
: Gabriel Teodorescu, Ph. D., Senior Researcher, 44 published scientific papers, 3-rd level UT.
: gabi@imsar.bu.edu.ro or gabescu@pcnet.ro
.
: : Science arose when a group of people began to reject authority and to base their claims in empirical observations and logic. Threatened by this movement, authorities took actions to stop it. For example, they imprisoned Galileo for asserting that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
: .
: : Out of the tension between science and authority arose a number of institutions. One was peer review before publication. Reviewers in this system were charged with blocking publication of any paper that made arguments not based in empirical evidence and logic. In particular, Argumentum ad Vericundiam was forbidden.
: .
: : Argumentum ad Vericundiam (Appeal to Authority, in English) is an argument of the following form
: : (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal0to-authority.html):
: : 1. Person A is claimed to be an authority on subject S.
: : 2. Person A makes claim C about subject S.
: : 3. Therefore, C is true.
: : This is the type of argument that authorities made against Galileo.
: .
: : One of the organizations that has adopted peer review before publication is the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT). Does this signify that the ASNT is a scientific institution? Evidence from a recent event is inconsistent with this conclusion.
: .
: : In the event, I submitted a letter to the editor of one of the ASNT's journals. The letter referenced a peer reviewed article that I had co-authored, "Erratic Measure."
: .
: : "Erratic Measure" ( http://www.ndt.net/article/v04n05/oldberg/oldberg.htm ) claims that NDT reliability assessment harbors an inconsistency. In particular, the reliabilities of some tests are being characterized probabilistically when these tests, by their design, violate an axiom of probability theory.
: .
: : In the letter, I pointed out that "Erratic Measure" had been published 8 years earlier. I suggested, therefore, that it was time for the NDT community to eliminate the inconsistency by refuting "Erratic Measure" or dealing constructively with its message.
: .
: : ASNT reviewers blocked publication of my letter. However, in doing so, they did not point to inconsistencies of my letter's claims with empirical evidence or logic.
: .
: : They pointed to authorities. In particular, they pointed to the authors of MIL-HBK-1823.
: .
: : In writing MIL-HBK-1823, these authors had assumed probability theory without demonstrating that this assumption was correct. According to "Erratic Measure," it was incorrect.
: .
: : There was a conflict, then, between MIL-HBK-1823 and "Erratic Measure." The ASNT's reviewers did not resolve it by citation of a document refuting "Erratic Measure." Instead, they argued that MIL-HBK-1823 had to be correct and "Erratic Measure" incorrect because the authors of MIL-HBK-1823 "...were well-versed in NDT reliability and had significant backgrounds in statistical methods."
: .
: : As this was an example of Argumentum ad Vericundiam and this type of argument was forbidden under the rules of the scientific peer review system, I appealed the decision. The ASNT responded that its reviewers had conformed to its rules of peer review.
: :
: .
.



 
03:54 Jul-14-2003

Terry Oldberg

Engineering, Mechanical Electrical Nuclear Software
Consultant,
USA,
Joined Oct 1999
42
Re: Argumentum ad Vericundiam at the ASNT Gabriel Teodorescu wrote:
.
: I cannot understand this discussion about what is and what is not science.
: Science is the job performed by a scientist.
: What is a scientist? A scientist is a Researcher working in a Research Institute or Center, or an University Professor.
: The scientist possesses usually a scientific title (Doctor or Ph. D.), and published in his activity a number of scientific papers.

Dear Dr. Teodorescu

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify my posting.

In the context of my posting, "science" is a set of constraints that are described in the Philosophy of Science. "Scientists" are people who act under these constraints. "Scientific institutions" are institutions that act under these same contraints.

One, such constraint is to refrain from incorporating logical fallacies, such as Argumentum ad Vericundiam, into one's argument. To suggest that one's claim should be accepted because one calls oneself a scientist, holds a PhD degree, is a university professor,etc., etc. is to incorporate Argumentum ad Vericundiam into one's argument.

Terry Oldberg




 
01:27 Nov-25-2005
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