"Rethinking the scientific method." Oh, great. A NY journalist is going to fill us in on what we scientists have not been able to figure out.
This totally fits with the scietific paradigm, and, as a scientist, I have no problem with this.
Scientists, those people who have actually studied and practiced epistemology, scientific method, research design, likelihood/probability analysis, and such, have no problem with the quote above.
How? For starters: accept as a rule a few concepts:
"experiments" don't give us truth; they give us evidence that plays a role when attempting to discern truth.
no single studies proves anything. (ten lousy studies with consistent results don't prove it, either.)
all of our studies are based on models, and the map is not the landscape/ ceci n'est pas une pipe. with our measures and tests, the best we can do is confirm a model.
all measurement have some degree of error.
science never arrives at the truth; when working well, it approaches truth asymptotically.
science doesn't tell us what to study. we decide, then use scientific principles and methods to evaluate our pet theory. thus, we are always beginning with some agenda before the first trial is run.
physical reality is wildly more complicated than we can grasp. (not all scientists beleive this, but when you begin considering all of the machinations you would need to have a valid and generalizable medical outcomes study, it becomes incredibly daunting.)
finally: accept the reality that what we hold as our faith, science, is really only a method for approaching knowledge, and should not be regarded as a faith, or dogma; science only helps us be very systematic, in a certain way, in evaluating claims of knowledge. let's not be so dogmatic. you cannot swear allegiance to the idea that whatever findings might emerge from "science" will be your truth. it just doesn't work that way.
these concepts are in my mind whenever i read a journal article.