I have written several times about how Edward Baptist just makes up numbers for his estimate of the importance of slavery to American economic development. It turns out that he is on to something. Just making things up seems to be very popular in the social sciences now. Here is some recent just making things up in sociology, and here is some recent just making things up in political science. All of these examples share three things in common:
1. They just made stuff up.
2. It wasn’t that hard to see that they just made things up.
3. The all got glowing reviews or awards because their conclusions confirmed the beliefs of the reviewers.
Of course, this isn’t really new