"Not funny, Cowboy Bob!"
Well, sorta. Anyway, the situation for science itself, especially historical science like evolution, is quite grave. One way for a researcher to give the impression that research has credibility is to give references to other research. Unfortunately, this give an impression of life for something that should have remained buried.
|Image from Clker clipart|
Most scientific papers contain numerous references. Rather than enhancing scholarship, careless referencing can sometimes advance zombie science.You can dig the rest of the article by clicking on "Scientific Referencing Perpetuates Myths". Also, check out "Scientists Blind to Their Failings".
Some theories deserve a quiet death. Unfortunately, they are kept on life support by the common practice of referencing in journal papers. Dead ideas re-emerge as zombies, parading around as if they never really died.
A typical paper contains dozens—sometimes hundreds—of references. It’s doubtful any one author or co-author takes the time to read them all. Perhaps that boring task gets delegated to grad students or contributing authors. Is it possible, too, under the pressure of publish-or-perish deadlines, that scientists pad the references to impress editors? It can work like name-dropping, giving the appearance of reputation without the reality.