In the 1980s I was very interested in scientific fraud which was then rife in the Ivy League institutions in America. I wrote an article, Fake! , which details the many frauds that were then revealed. The article is available for free if you want to download it. At about the same time New Scientist published a cartoon which showed an old tramp playing a violin for pennies on a street corner with a caption which read, "He learned his trade fiddling at Harvard."
Another Harvard fraud has apparently now surfaced. It concerns the psychologist Marc Hauser who is on a year's leave of absence while the dodgy data are investigated. Hauser's research focuses on the evolutionary roots of the human mind. In a letter he wrote to colleagues, he described the inquiry as painful. The letter said that his lab has been under investigation for three years by a Harvard committee, and that evidence of misconduct was found. He alluded to unspecified mistakes and oversights that he had made, and said he will be on leave for the upcoming academic year.
According to the Boston Globe, "Hauser’s work falls at the intersection of psychology, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience, and he has studied everything from the cognitive and evolutionary underpinnings of language to the idea that morality is innate. He began teaching at Harvard in 1992 and several times has been voted one of Harvard’s most popular professors by graduating students, according to his CV. He is writing a book titled 'Evilicious: Explaining Our Evolved Taste for Being Bad.’"
"A paper in the journal Cognition has been withdrawn. The paper tested cotton-top tamarin monkeys’ ability to learn generalized patterns, an ability that human infants had been found to have, and that may be critical for learning language. The paper found that the monkeys were able to learn patterns, suggesting that this was not the critical cognitive building block that explains humans’ ability to learn language. In doing such experiments, researchers videotape the animals to analyze each trial and provide a record of their raw data. The Harvard investigation, said video records and field notes of one of the co-authors were incomplete. The investigation also raised questions about two other papers co-authored by Hauser. The journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B published a correction last month to a 2007 study. Science, another top journal, was notified of the Harvard investigation in late June and told that questions about record-keeping had been raised. Science has requested a copy of Harvard’s report of its investigation and will “move with utmost efficiency in light of the seriousness of issues of this type."
This isn’t the first time Hauser’s work has been challenged.
"In 1995, he was the lead author of a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looked at whether cotton-top tamarins are able to recognize themselves in a mirror. Self-recognition was something that set humans and other primates, such as chimpanzees and orangutans, apart from other animals, and no one had shown that monkeys had this ability."
"Gordon G. Gallup Jr., a professor of psychology at State University of New York at Albany, questioned the results and requested videotapes that Hauser had made of the experiment. “When I played the videotapes, there was not a thread of compelling evidence — scientific or otherwise — that any of the tamarins had learned to correctly decipher mirrored information about themselves," Gallup said in an interview.""
What strikes me now and what struck me in 1981 was how many of these frauds seem to concern evolution. Starting with Piltdown Man, scientists have fabricated data so as to get out from under a creator God. If we have been created by God then we owe him submission and obedience, something that modern man can't abide.