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Dr. Terence Kealey and the Myth of Scientific Objectivity

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“I think there is a vast myth that scientists are somehow objective and honest,” Dr. Terence Kealey said during a presentation at a CrossFit Health event at CrossFit Headquarters on March 9, 2019. During his presentation, Kealey discussed the myth of scientific objectivity, drawing examples widely from history as well as his personal experiences within many of the most reputable scientific institutions. “We commit to paradigms, and then we bend the data to it,” Kealey explained. “Now, you get money not for being right; you get money for satisfying the prejudices of the people who sit on the committees in the NIH and NSF.”

Watch Dr. Terence Kealey and the Myth of Scientific Objectivity

Comments on 190812

73 Comments

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Jasmine Wightman
August 19th, 2019 at 4:26 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

I had a great experience at the Austin, TX CF-L1 course. It was great to meet other athletes. The coaches were 100% knowledgeable and helpful. I came in with a few questions about nutrition and mobility and they were answered by the staff. I feel like I have clarity and a path forward on improving my fitness and those of my fellow athletes. Thank you, Kevin, Eric, and Tegan!

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Amberly Tobin
August 16th, 2019 at 4:34 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Had an amazing experience in New Berlin, WI. The coaches were truly amazing and so talented.

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Greta Petersen
August 15th, 2019 at 9:23 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Thank you for a fabulous weekend! Pablo, Brentnie, Kolin, and Andrew were fantastic. I learned so much and had a great time. A truly comprehensive course - coaching strategies, history and philosophy of CrossFit, nutrition, scaling, foundational movements, and more. CrossFit Funky was a great host.


Thank you, and let's get ready to change lives!

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Marilyn Gonzalez
August 14th, 2019 at 6:07 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

So happy I decided to take the L1 Cert course at CF Costa Mesa this past weekend. Nuno and all of the coaches in attendance were stellar and shared so much knowledge. Appreciated all the feedback, form correction and queues that I will carry with me forever! Super inspiring weekend, left the experience on cloud 9!

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Magali Cellupica
August 14th, 2019 at 1:55 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Merci pour ce super Week end de formation level1 a Crossfit ANTROPOS entourer de super formateurs ( Drake, Dora, Raph, Marco et Vanina). On recommence quand pour d'autre formation??? Thank you so much

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Ariane Duncan
August 12th, 2019 at 11:40 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Thank you Nuno, Camille, Cameron, Mike, And Erik for such an amazing course. I was super nervous and intimidated walking through the doors at CrossFit Costa Mesa and that was instantly put at ease as soon as I checked in. All of you were so humble, knowledgeable, and friendly that all the stress I had about being there just disappeared and I was able to soak in so much information. I came home so excited, with a fire to learn all I can. I hope that I’m able to take more courses later on with this exact group of trainers. Thank you CrossFit Costa Mesa for hosting. 🤙🏼

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Nuno Costa
August 13th, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Ariane - great to meet you this weekend. So glad you were able to take the course with us in Costa Mesa!!!!

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Jason Johnston
August 12th, 2019 at 8:37 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

So as not to leave any of the coaches out from the Costa Mesa, CA course I will not use names so I can just say all. I was quite intimidated heading up the class, I have been doing CrossFit for 3 years now but in the past 8 months really focused and got nutrition and training on par thanks to the coaches at my home box. I started competing recently at 48 years old and can say I feel much like I did as an athlete in high school. I took the Level one for myself to improve on what has helped and saved my health recently. I thought my age and fitness level were maybe not on par with what I was walking into for the Level one course. As soon as I walked in the staff seemed to quickly put that at ease and I did not feel judged. Everyone was friendly and eager to share their knowledge. The staff was very knowledgeable but not at all arrogant. I really feel like I learned a lot and fined tuned areas of flaw. The staff was able to correct problem areas and provide great feedback. Kudos and job well done by the instructors in Costa Mesa this weekend!

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Nuno Costa
August 13th, 2019 at 7:27 pm

Awesome to meet you this weekend Jason!!! Keep on this great journey you are on.

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Marian Squires
August 12th, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Commented on: 190812

This WOD is a great reminder that we need to let our bodies rest and recover. On rest days, I work on mobility, yoga, and stretching. I may take also take a slow jog or normal-paced walk. Doing something helps me feel that I am doing something but at the same time I know I am resting my body because I am not working with the effort or energy like I do in a WOD.

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Chris Jordan
August 12th, 2019 at 6:18 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

The only way to describe the CFL1 at Mayhem is unbelievable!! Not only did I learn more than my mind could hold (due to the expertise of our staff, Kristin, Lindsay, Luke, Jason, Andy and Kim), but I saw the true display of the Crossfit Community. It was like spending the weekend with 50 of my best friends...suffering at the hands of PVC pipe.

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Axel Rael-Sato
August 12th, 2019 at 5:41 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Amazing seminar with the guru Erik Preston and HQ trainers Nuno, Cameron, Camille, and Mike! Thank you all so much for your time and effort in making this weekend an unforgettable experience. Your passion is undeniable and infectious. And thank you to CF Costa Mesa for hosting and providing the coffee! Aloha!!!

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Nuno Costa
August 13th, 2019 at 7:26 pm

Axel - great to meet you my friend. Stoked you were able to take the course this weekend!!!

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Alaina Thompson
August 12th, 2019 at 4:14 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Thank you Tegan, Kevin and Eric for an AWESOME L1 cert in Austin this week. You all provided me so much to work on in all of my movements and made me fall even more in love with CrossFit.

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Eric O'Connor
August 12th, 2019 at 11:55 pm

Thanks Alaina! Good luck!

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Megan Buschkopf
August 12th, 2019 at 4:03 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Such an enriching weekend with Pablo, Brentnie, Kolin, and Andrew at Crossfit Funky! This is my second time through this course doing my recert, and not only did I learn new things, working with these trainers was incredibly inspiring. I couldn’t wait to get to the gym to work with our members this morning.

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pablo cervigni
August 12th, 2019 at 10:14 pm

Thank you so much Megan!! Great to meet you!!

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Kolin Theede
August 13th, 2019 at 12:32 am

It was awesome having you at the course!

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Gina Galiano
August 12th, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Commented on: 190812

This past weekend was my third time taking the L1 CERT in the last 12 years. It was by far the best one yet and far exceeded my expectations. Todd, Katie, Cassidy and Santi have it down to a science! Truly it is like a find tuned machine. It was fun, challenging, and really I was sad for it to end, lol. Wish I could hang out with them at a very every weekend! Their passion and belief in what and how they teach, engage and demonstrate is contagious. I am a far better coach after this weekend!❤️

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Chris Sinagoga
August 12th, 2019 at 7:56 pm

Gina, I am due for my third L-1 coming up in a few months.I was debating on taking the L-2 instead, but I just loved the atmosphere of the L-1 both times I took it. And after reading your comment, I solidified my decision. Thank you!

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Lacey Kranski
August 12th, 2019 at 1:50 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

CrossFit Funky you were a great host!!! Thank you for having us....also I thank all of the CrossFit staff for giving up valuable time with their family to help train us! Thank you!!!!!

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Kolin Theede
August 13th, 2019 at 12:34 am

It was great having you, Lacey!

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pablo cervigni
August 14th, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Lacey, Great working with you! Nice to meet you!!

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Brian Radford
August 12th, 2019 at 1:49 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Amazing weekend in Cookeville, TN learning from some amazing trainers. Luke, Kristin, Jason, Andy, Lindsay, and Kim taught me so much by helping me with form and ways to get better. Hope they enjoyed the Cookeville hospitality and good food. The other motivated and amazing athletes motivated me and embodied this amazing community. Can not wait to see and hang out with everyone in the future.

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Daedre Whalen
August 12th, 2019 at 1:45 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Thank you so much Pablo, Brentnie, Kolin, and Andrew for an awesome weekend!! Thanks for bringing your knowledge and energy to our gym. Every lecture was entertaining and the coaches all made it easy to understand when demonstrating each movement. THANK YOU!! 🙌🏽

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Kolin Theede
August 13th, 2019 at 12:33 am

Daedre, it was so great to meet you. So glad you enjoyed the weekend!

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Mariana Trevino
August 12th, 2019 at 12:16 pm
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Far exceeded my expectations! What an outstanding group of trainers and athletes. We were challenged, we learned and had fun in the process. Thank you for a fantastic weekend Pablo, Brentnie, Kolin and Andrew!

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Kolin Theede
August 13th, 2019 at 12:32 am

Thank you Mariana, so glad you enjoyed the weekend!

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Richard Rice
August 12th, 2019 at 11:46 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

CF-L1 Training at CrossFit Lumos in Austin Tx was great - thanks to Noah for being the affiliate Sponsor and to the instructors Erin, Kevin, and Tegan. They were great! I appreciate the mix of humor with professional demonstration skills and engaging lectures. They took the time to respond to all questions and clarify everything carefully. The weekend course provided needed stimulus and motivation for me to continue my efforts in the pursuit of wellness. Yeah!

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Eric O'Connor
August 12th, 2019 at 11:54 pm

Glad to hear this Richard! Thanks for the kind words. Good luck!

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Johanna Scott
August 12th, 2019 at 11:38 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Huge thank you to Pablo, Brentnie, Kolin and Andrew for an awesome L-1 course. They have such an inspiring attitude towards health and fitness and it was a pleasure to learn from them!

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pablo cervigni
August 12th, 2019 at 11:41 am

Thank you Johanna, very nice to meet you!!

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Kolin Theede
August 13th, 2019 at 12:31 am

Thanks so much Johanna, it was great having you!

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Sharon Lloyd
August 12th, 2019 at 10:16 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Awesome weekend with a great bunch and with thee mega trainers Karl, Oaks and Jonny !

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Simon Mallegol
August 12th, 2019 at 9:55 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Thank you to all the seminar staff of Pierre Benite, it was an awesome experience, thank you again Dora, Marco, Raphael, Vanina and Drake !!

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Dorota Stenclova
August 12th, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Thank you, Simon!

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Sandra Hernandez
August 12th, 2019 at 9:42 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Another amazing L1 experience! Revalidated my L1 at Crossfit Costa Mesa this weekend and couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Nuno,Camille,Cameron, Erik,Mike and Ryan thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and tuning up my movements! Excited to get back in the gym and get back to basics !

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Nuno Costa
August 13th, 2019 at 7:25 pm

Sandra - you were amazing!!! Great to meet you.

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Elodie deCressac
August 12th, 2019 at 9:33 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Une super expí©rience pendant ce level 1 crossfit í  Pierre bí©nite ! Des instructeurs ( DRAKE DORA RAPH MARCO VAHINA au top et une super ambiance pour dí©couvrir que le crossfit c'est plus qu'un sport et que le plaisir de le partager et de le faire vivre aux autres est vraiment ce que j'ai envi de faire ! Merci aux hí´tes et aux instructeurs pour ces deux jours top !

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Marco Ferrari
August 12th, 2019 at 11:50 am

thank you Elodie !!!

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Vanina Potiron
August 12th, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Merci í  toi Elodie d'avoir partagí© ce week-end avec nous, í  bientí´t j'espí¨re :)

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Dorota Stenclova
August 12th, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Merci, Elodie!

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Hugues Piau
August 13th, 2019 at 7:01 am

Merci í  tous pour ce super WE ! Des instructeurs, que je ne connaissais pas, í©taient gí©niaux ;-) Et merci aussi í  CrossFit Antropos pour l'accueil ainsi qu'aux traducteurs pour leur super boulot

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Brett Fforde
August 12th, 2019 at 8:08 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

First time on the South Island was great! Thanks Plus64 for having us.

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Gast Kilian
August 12th, 2019 at 5:54 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Super Week-end í  Antropos CrossFit í  Pierre-Bí©nite en France! Merci pour cette formation trí¨s enrichissante.

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Dorota Stenclova
August 12th, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Thank you, Kilian!

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Rick McGuffey
August 12th, 2019 at 4:44 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

What a fun and informative weekend. Thank you Eric, Kevin, and Tegan for doing a fantastic job and truly caring about your students’ experience.


I highly recommend this course even if you don’t want to coach... it will deepen your understanding and appreciation for CrossFit!

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Eric O'Connor
August 12th, 2019 at 11:52 pm

Thanks Rick! It was great chatting with you this weekend. Take care!

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Chris Johns
August 12th, 2019 at 2:25 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Did the L1 class this weekend in Costa Mesa CA and the experience was amazing. The Staff was top notch and couldn’t ask for a better time. The host Box was fantastic as well, thank you CrossFit Costa Mesa.

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Nuno Costa
August 13th, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Thanks for attending - great to meet you this past weekend!!!

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Jesse Williams
August 12th, 2019 at 2:21 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Great experience this weekend attending the level 1 at CrossFit Costa Mesa. All the coaches that ran the course, were great and had a great way of teaching us in a way that was easy to process. Thank you to all the coaches as well as all the participants for making this an enjoyable experience.

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Nuno Costa
August 13th, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Awesome job this weekend Jesse!!!

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Kalani Hawkshaw
August 12th, 2019 at 1:57 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Costa Mesa L1 was kick ass! Nuno led an awesome seminar! It was an all around fun weekend. Lots to learn and glad I got the chance to take the course and it was nice to know that all of the seminar staff is within a stone throw at boxes near me. Definitely gonna drop in to lot more gyms now 🤙🏽

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Kalani Hawkshaw
August 12th, 2019 at 1:59 am

If you were there and you’d love to drop into boxes like me, come check out 24K CrossFit in San Marcos and follow me on IG @kalanihawkshaw and that way I can drop into your boxes!

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Nuno Costa
August 13th, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Great job this weekend Kalani!!!

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Chris Sinagoga
August 12th, 2019 at 1:54 am
Commented on: 190812

I hope this doesn't hijack any other discussion for today, but I wrote a post a few days back on my experience at the CrossFit Games/Health Conference if anyone wanted to pass some time at work.

http://championsclub.squarespace.com/home/2019/8/7/that-2nd-grade-diorama-project-your-mom-did-for-you.html

(w/f safe - including the South Park video embedded, believe it or not)

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Bill Bowden
August 12th, 2019 at 2:41 am

Great read and summation. Appreciate you posting. We were at the Games but did not make the Health Conference. Will likely try to hit it next year after reading your piece.

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Chris Sinagoga
August 12th, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Thanks Bill. It's a different world in there man. Incredible quality of people.

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Amy Bechstein
August 12th, 2019 at 1:50 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Greg! Thank you for flexing with me 😄 I had the best learning experience! I can't thank Jen, Greg, and Steve enough for the outstanding energy and engagement throughout the weekend. I not only learned a lot about myself, but also ways to reach others to help them become more successful. I also want to shout out to everyone in the Chicago class with me, everyone was so dedicated and enthusiastic. I made some great friendships through this journey as well. Thank you Crossfit Goose Island! #Chicago

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Gregory Kerschbaum
August 12th, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Amy - No Problem! always fun flexing for a picture. Really glad to hear you had such a good time and hope you can take that energy back to the gym and your coaching journey. I know I can speak for the Jen and Steve, that we had a great weekend with you guys also.

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JOSÉ LUIS RÍOS INOSTROZA
August 12th, 2019 at 1:36 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Gracias Pablo carimí¡n y Carlos andrade por un gran fin de semana!

El grupo de Buenos Aires estuvo muy bueno!

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Ryan Becker
August 12th, 2019 at 1:15 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Had an amazing time learning how to enhance simple movements and learning how to teach those same movements. Coaches provided an exciting and captivating environment and there efforts did not go unnoticed by me. I hope to train and learn from them again in the near future.

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Shawn Hakimi
August 12th, 2019 at 12:59 am
Commented on: 190812

I really enjoyed watching the games this year. But i was a little surprised how they’re wasn’t specific coverage of the athletes who weren’t national champs from countries being represented for the first time. Woulda loved to hear their stories as I’m sure for some of them They must have made huge sacrifices to be able to attend. Thoughts?

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Shawn Hakimi
August 12th, 2019 at 12:59 am

***who were national champs

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Doug Tran
August 12th, 2019 at 12:54 am
Commented on: Dr. Terence Kealey and the Myth of Scientific Objectivity

Crossfit.com please please please stop posting these articles that are clearly biased. Kealey is a professor in the UK and where I can not comment on what happens on the other side of the Atlantic I truly believe in our scientists, professionals and people in position for expert opinions. Can we hold this same article to hold benefits of Crossfit as unbiased and pure?

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Russ Greene
August 12th, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Doug,

This is a video, not an article. Kealey's nation of origin is irrelevant to his assessment of the practice of science, which is transnational by nature. An a priori belief in scientists and "expert opinions" is neither consistent with the principles of science, nor with available evidence. Moreover it is not even internally consistent - the experts in whom you trust themselves disagree with each other.


Generally, thinking that any one researcher is correct means thinking that others, their peers, are wrong. Take the replication crisis. Do you believe in the original researchers whose work later failed to replicate, or in the researchers whose experiments replicated their methods, but not their results? Or take another example: if you believe in the work of Professor John Ioannidis, then you must not believe that most research findings are accurate.


Perhaps it is time for you to stop chasing belief in science and instead pursue critical thought. You will not by such means find truth, but you may evaluate the extent to which diverging models approximate it.

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Richard Sheehan
August 14th, 2019 at 11:15 pm

Couple of points here. First, I think it's most useful to approach the question of scientific objectivity from a Bayesian (statistical) perspective. We all approach any problem with some guess as to the best solution. Think of those as our paradigm or prior beliefs - or Bayesian prior probabilities. Those prior beliefs could be incredibly incorrect, and Dr. Kealey certainly points out some important examples. But the role of science and scientists is to seek evidence to confirm or to refute or to extend that paradigm. Copernicus, Darwin and Einstein, for example, all took a very different approach to what had been conventional wisdom after extensive analysis of data that was, at times inconsistent with that conventional wisdom. And you could likely have made the argument that 97% of astronomers or biologists or physicists initially disagreed with their findings. That percentage changed dramatically albeit sometimes slowly as scientists revised their Bayesian priors. But when you've operated for a very long time under a certain set of beliefs, to think that those priors are going to change quickly is simply unrealistic in most cases.


Second, most of us have neither the time nor the expertise to wade through conflicting perspectives on statins, cold fusion or the impact of a change in a Federal Reserve policy. The implication is that our priors will be formed, for better or worse with a very limited information set heavily dominated by experts. This isn't necessarily a problem, and from a Bayesian perspective, the phrase would be - or should be - that our prior beliefs/probabilities are flat or disperse. With statins as an example, conflicting evidence suggests that maybe whether statins will or won't help might be equivalent to a coin flip. We simply cannot get a definitive answer, and maybe the best thing we can say with that evidence is that rather than there's a 97% probablilty that a statin might help and won't hurt is that there's a 60% or 40% or ... probability that it might help - or that the benefits outweigh the costs.


Third, and directly on the title, The Myth of Scientific Objectivity, virtually all the scientists that I know, including some with whom I strongly disagree on some points, want to get things right. Can they/we make mistakes? Absolutely! But when limitations of our analysis are pointed out, often in the review process, we go back and re-experiment or re-analyze and attempt to rectify those errors. And Keyes is a good example of doing just that. I think that problems are more likely to arise when you have business funding with an aim at marketing. And that would hold whether we're talking statins or breakfast cereal or cigarettes. But it doesn't hold in so many other areas, whether you're talking Boeing hiring researchers to determine optimal wing shape for lift and drag or a financial firm hiring researchers to determine whether it's cost-effective to move their transmission station 100 meters closer to the trading floor.


That scientists can be wrong isn't a news flash. That they are not scientifically objective is, I believe, fundamentally incorrect in general although there certainly are exceptions. And it's important to point out those exceptions. But we shouldn't be talking about belief in science vs. critical thought as though they're two different entities.

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Brittany Zenisek
August 12th, 2019 at 12:33 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

I had a fantastic weekend with four outstanding coaches. Pablo, Brentnie, Kolin and Andrew made both days interesting, challenging and most importantly fun!


Thank you CrossFit Funky for hosting!

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pablo cervigni
August 12th, 2019 at 12:36 am

Britt, so much fun working with you over the weekend! Thank you for wonderful 2 days!!

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Kolin Theede
August 12th, 2019 at 4:02 am

It was great having you!

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Ed Reams
August 12th, 2019 at 12:20 am
Commented on: Course Photos | Aug. 5-11, 2019

Awesome experience to spend the weekend with nearly 40 highly motivated Crossfit athletes while learning from 4 fantastic Crossfit HQ trainers! They set great examples for us to follow! Big "thank you" to Crossfit Funky for being a great host!

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pablo cervigni
August 12th, 2019 at 12:35 am

Ed, Greta working with you!! Nice to meet you!!

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Kolin Theede
August 12th, 2019 at 4:01 am

Thank you so much Ed, it was great working with you this weekend!

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