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The Courts Science

The Scientific Method Versus Scientific Evidence In the Courtroom 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the pi-is-exactly-three dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A few months back, the National Research Council and the Federal Judicial Center published the Third Edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, the primary guide for federal judges in the United States trying to evaluate scientific evidence. One chapter in particular, 'How Science Works,' written by David Goodstein (Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at CalTech), has raised the issue of how judges should see science in the courtroom: should they look at science to see if it matches our idealized view of the scientific method, or should they consider the realities of science, where people advocate for their own theories far more than they question them?"
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The Scientific Method Versus Scientific Evidence In the Courtroom

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  • One-sided (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:07PM (#39773803)

    The focus on science seems ridiculously one-sided. We should also allow for some room for alternatives in the court room. Science may be at odds with some religious beliefs and it would be unreasonable to just ignore those beliefs. This becomes a problem, for example, when God scatters around skeletons to test people's faith. A scientist would fail God's test instantly, claiming someone killed the victims.

  • by earls (1367951) on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:10PM (#39773843)

    Science in the courtroom?! Not on my watch. Someone fetch a Pastor to discern what God's will was in this case.

  • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:13PM (#39773885)
    The proper way to do it is that each party places a knight on a horse, and they go at each other full tilt. God will ensure that the best man wins.

    That the way real men do it!

  • by husker_man (473297) on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:16PM (#39773913)
    Thogg not understand - Thogg knows that if he bashes club into skull of enemy Thogg is right.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:17PM (#39773931) Homepage

    No, we should do things following the method of a traditional witch trial: Throw the suspect in the lake. If they don't sink to the bottom and drown, they're a witch and should be burned at the stake without delay.

    Alternately, you might also weigh the suspect against a duck ...

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday April 23, 2012 @02:21PM (#39773993) Homepage

    Blind judges can cause problems though:

    We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the 27 8x10 colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, sat down. Man came in said, "All rise." We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the 27 8x10 colour glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the 27 8x10 colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog. And then at 27 8x10 colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry, 'cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American blind justice, and there wasn't nothing he could do about it, and the judge wasn't going to look at the 27 8x10 colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us.

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