Writing in the New Yorker, Jonah Lehrer argues:
Games With Words does an extensive deconstruction of Lehrer's article that discusses the sources of error -- publishers' bias; confirmation bias; a tendency to fudge figures; careerist incentives to publish false data; the fact that most scientists are piss-poor statisticians; etc. In some ways it is an illuminating piece, but in the end it doesn't repudiate Lehrer's basic point -- that much of what is reported as scientific truth turns out on close examination to be questionable at best.
Read the article here.
The Games With Words article notes that with regard to error in scientific publications we are operating on faith. We assume that the proportion of unreplicable results is low because if it is high scientists might as well "question the meaning of [their] own existence". Well, according to David Freedman, writing in the Atlantic, notes that "Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong." and wonders "why are doctors—to a striking extent—still drawing upon misinformation in their everyday practice?"
Read the whole disturbing article here.
And, check out Daniel Engber's piece in Slate on the inadequacy of the peer review process [here].