Top five real solutions to the Replication Crisis

We discuss the most plausible ways out of the replication crisis in the sciences

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about how to solve the replication crisis in the science. Recently, scientists — or, more properly, “replicationists” — have consistently produced failed experiments which disagree with the results of the original experimenters.

Most of the discussion about the “crisis” revolves around issues like better methods training, more statistical power, pre-registration, and data sharing.

I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

Anyone that has ever talked to a real scientist — e.g., not one of those weirdos on Twitter —knows that these “solutions” are only chains to bind the heroic scientist in his quest for Truth. Or her quest.

If we are to see the end of the crisis, we’re going to need some real talk. The most plausible solutions aren’t cooked up by ideological methodologists in smoke-filled rooms at conferences devoted to i̶m̶p̶r̶o̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ destroying science. Here we present five ways that the replication crisis — if there even is a crisis, which we are not admitting — might come to an end.

Zombie apocalypse

Embodied cognition research is much more difficult with zombies. (Image credit: Jayel Aherad)

In our experience — don’t ask how— replications are substantially more difficult to perform when one is being pursued by nightmarish, brain-hungry ghouls. In a world where the zombies take over and no one is left to read the scientific literature, the literature stands. Forever.

Asteroid impact

The post-asteroid burning hellscape will prime ideas of success, as we will all literally be on fire.

There’s nothing like a looming asteroid to unify the scientific community. When the government calls on the real scientists to study how the asteroid can be “nudged” — followed by the inevitable end of life on Earth — replication won’t seem like such a priority.

Demonic invasion from nether planes

The Hell Gate inscription is taken directly from a paper in the Journal of Mathematical Psychology.

When the replicationists’ dark statistical incantations open up a Hell Gate in Virginia and the demons drag their souls to the deepest pits of the underworld to be tortured for eternity with replications that yield only p values between 0.04 and 0.05, they will not be so glib.

Sol spontaneously goes nova

Earth is no longer round, p < 0.05. (Image credit: Aziz Natour)

Admittedly, this one is not as plausible as some of the others, but the total vaporization of the Earth by an exploding sun would solve the replication crisis, and it is also more likely than getting scientists to increase the power of their studies. Or pre-registration.

Ignoring it

We could be celebrating the end of the crisis tomorrow. Just believe. (Image credit: bfick)

If a replication happens in the woods, and no one is in the woods to hear the replicationist talk about it, did it really happen? No. So get out of the woods. Step away from the replicationists, and we can solve this whole “crisis” immediately. As a bonus, we won’t be around when the Hell Gate opens.