Can you use research to debunk research?

Layperson v sole expert

a group of laypeople were set in a competition to outperform a sole expert in a randomly chosen field.

I am told there is a theory that was based on observations made by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton in 1907. He observed that the average of all the entries in a ‘guess the weight of the ox’ competition at a country fair was amazingly accurate – beating not only most of the individual guesses but also those of alleged cattle experts. This is the essence of the wisdom of crowds: their average judgement converges on the right solution.

Wisdom of crowds

It turns out that collective cooperation and the average of their guesses is more accurate than people considered to be experts. However, it may also be that guessing the weight of an ox could be a little different from the results of the likes provided by group research with double blind tests or experimental research.

Image of flow chart ofr scientific method
Image of flow chart ofr scientific method

By ArchonMagnusOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Either way, the person using some of the information from this research has never tried, questioned or tested the research further and uses it lavishly to support an arguement that this alone debunks all science. Even though it is based on the supposedly sole results of one researcher/scientist/philosopher versus the collective, which is then given the power of being declared correct and accurate every single time, which it isn’t in numerous examples.

My response would be to ask what would be the results if a group of experts, equal in proportion to the laypeople and all from opposing views (see article link to the BBC Future’s – ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’: The myths and realities, had a competition?

Where collaboration wins every time

You could include the varied success of Open Source software platforms. Open Source is a policy direction and software choice within the US government – Federal Source Code Policy.

WordPress is an industry standard for Blogging sites and websites in general. This is a WordPress website. I created it myself. You donate, if you want to. There is a community of thousands of people who will give you answer to any question related to the software or any third party add on that you ask.

It’s excellent software.

Should judgement by the legal system be passed to the masses?

Could there be an Open Source, worldwide government? Would a voting system using a collective average as the correct choice be more accurate than an individual leader or cabinet making decisions for us?

Would two experts outwit the layperson group? When is the group large enough and does size matter?

The main question I wonder now after reading the articles on this subject is whether scientific research could begin to prove itself wrong?