ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2018 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The intrinsic unreliability of science

This 19x rise in retractions should suffice to put the lie to the ridiculous idea that published scientific papers are the best means of determining truth, let alone the only one:
In the first decade of the 21st century, retractions of papers published by medical journals went up 19 fold, although the number of manuscripts being published only increased 44 percent. The reasons behind this surge in evidence of scientific falsification were examined in a recent editorial in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (the Red Journal), published in October 2013.

"One of the greatest, and sadly all too common, challenges facing a contemporary medical journal editor is the adjudication of ethical integrity issues," Editor-in-Chief Anthony L. Zietman wrote. "I had originally presumed that this would be just an occasional role, but it transpires that these problems are quite widespread, ranging from unconscious and unwitting naivete to the conscious and willful betrayal of scientific trust."

Studies suggest that a majority of papers are retracted due to deliberate falsification by researchers, rather than simple mistakes.
Science fetishists have long ignored the fundamental flaw in the system of modern science; it is only as reliable as the moral character of the scientists involved permits. Of course, this could be seen as a positive; more science fiction is being published than ever before!

Labels:

96 Comments:

Anonymous David of One April 21, 2014 9:34 AM  

Whoa! "Studies suggest that a majority of papers are retracted due to deliberate falsification by researchers ..."

Science Fiction Rules!!!

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 21, 2014 9:35 AM  

The medical communities claims to the contrary, Medicine is not science.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler April 21, 2014 9:40 AM  

I am going to quote this in my book about the attack upon science. Thank you.

Frege, Husserl and Mises all advocated strict Logic as that all humans do. There is no such thing as polylogicism. But Plato and the Doric Greeks discovered much earlier is that without Character, all the knowledge in the world will be of any good without Virtue.

Virtue and knowledge go together. It is character that forms knowledge. There is a mind/body connection. Plato and Socrates demanded Virtue in all of their students. That is the first perogative of Science. Character comes first. No Virtue--No Science.

“All knowledge, when separated from justice and virtue, is seen to be cunning and not wisdom”. (Menexenus: §247 ª)

Anonymous Bah April 21, 2014 9:41 AM  

Only Bible-thumping morons doubt science!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/21/big-bang-poll-american-doubt_n_5184931.html

"Americans have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago.

Rather than quizzing scientific knowledge, the survey asked people to rate their confidence in several statements about science and medicine."

Anonymous indpndnt April 21, 2014 9:45 AM  

But but science is self-correcting!

I love that line, because it implies that it wasn't correct before. Extrapolating on that view is where the real fun begins.

Blogger Hanns Strudle extra gooey April 21, 2014 9:54 AM  

But....but.... Seth McFarland says so....and Neil Degrasse Tyson...no chance they're hucksters!!!!

Blogger Nate April 21, 2014 9:55 AM  

"The medical communities claims to the contrary, Medicine is not science."

k.

That can just be your special little secret.

Anonymous Josh April 21, 2014 10:05 AM  

If medicine is not science, can we disregard claims by atheists and science fetishes that science has added twenty years to human life?

Anonymous stevev April 21, 2014 10:09 AM  

Vox,

I read the paragrapsh re fabrication and falsification as a prelude to making feeble efforts, going forward, to distinguish along these lines; a justification for decreased diligence, if you will.
Not encouraging.

Anonymous Y not April 21, 2014 10:10 AM  

If science is not medicine or technology or engineering or new produce development -- what good is it?

And why is this kooky religion called "science" spending my tax dollars again???

Anonymous Steveo April 21, 2014 10:18 AM  

Josh, if we gave 20 years to life for falsified science... we'd be doing something positive.

Anonymous H April 21, 2014 10:18 AM  

IIRC in the first Foundation book the Foundation society built what was essentially a religion around science, maybe all these scientists read that when they were kids and thought it was a good idea.

Blogger tz April 21, 2014 10:23 AM  

Maybe they were going after a Hugo?

Anonymous RedJack April 21, 2014 10:32 AM  

The whole problem with peer review is that it is really based on opinion. Results don't have to be replicated, they only have to confrom to what the community wants it to say.

The state of medicine is such that in many cases it is little better than snake oil. No one really knows if pill X is as effective as claimed, but it is what people want to believe. There are real advances, but much of it is horrible.

Anonymous Stephen J. April 21, 2014 10:41 AM  

"[M]odern science... is only as reliable as the moral character of the scientists involved permits."

And the moral character of the scientists involved is only as reliable as the ratio of rewards (funding/prestige) to risk and cost.

As with politics, the challenge is not to require moral scientists; the challenge is to build a system that rewards would-be-immoral or -amoral scientists for doing the moral thing.

Anonymous John Regan April 21, 2014 10:48 AM  

There's an underlying "scientistic" fetishism behind last week's article in CNN making fun of the idea of the resurrection.

I did my best to address it here

Blogger Brad Andrews April 21, 2014 10:53 AM  

Many of the things sold in the name of science, including something like the Big Bang, have a huge number of completely fabricated things when you really dig into it.

Kind of like Walking with Dinosaurs.... It must be true because I saw it on the Discovery Channel!

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 21, 2014 10:56 AM  

If medicine is not science, can we disregard claims by atheists and science fetishes that science has added twenty years to human life?

"Half of what is true today will be proven to be incorrect in the next five years. Unfortunately we don't know which half that is going to be..."1.

Medicine claims to be an applied science. Which is to say that it is not a science. It fails in the very definition.

Ask any honest physician and you'll hear the bone chilling truth. Of his patients that recover eighty five percent will recover will recover, ten percent will recover because of what he does and five percent will recover in-spite of what he does.

The twenty years you are referencing are primarily the result of sulfonamides, antibiotics and increasingly steroids, ("no patient should have a chance to die without corizone".) Before you jump on this as proof of the science-y power of science, be advised medicine isn't fundamentally certain why these things do what they do.
Aspirin would never be approved by the FDA today. We still don't know what it's mechanism is.



In summary: the claims are based on a fallacy. All cats have four legs, my dog has four legs therefore my dog is a cat. Medicine looks all science-y but that doesn't make it a science. Medicine is art.

Modern Medicine is not a science

1. Lakshmipati G. Care of the medical outpatient, (Preface) 1st ed. 2003. pp. vii–vii. Nama publication, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu.

Anonymous JP April 21, 2014 10:57 AM  

"Science fetishists have long ignored the fundamental flaw in the system of modern science; it is only as reliable as the moral character of the scientists involved permits."

That's pretty much my argument against any system of politics or economics right there. Man will find a way to rig any system, as evidenced by how the Pharisees twisted God's own law to rationalise killing Jesus.

Anonymous Cranberry April 21, 2014 10:58 AM  

RedJack, I put more faith in the healing powers of my herb garden than in most doctors' hands. I'll take the kids in when the rare fever-inducing illness hangs around for more than three or four days - sometimes antibiotics are a valid, and rapid, treatment of resort - but unless there is unstoppable bleeding or a broken bone, I don't think doctors have much use.

They are mechanics of the body, trained to diagnose and repair. As far as being helpful with maintenance, I've learned to not ask about how I can eat/live better or differently to help with some annoying health issues I've had, rather than take drugs everyday to keep stomach pain and skin conditions at bay.

Anonymous indpndnt April 21, 2014 10:58 AM  

Mr. Regan,

To add to your comments, let's not forget 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul states:

"But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty."

It's completely obvious that from the beginning the church believed in the physical resurrection. A spiritual resurrection (whatever that means) is not God defeating death, and makes no sense. The non-believers must chip away at the resurrection and reduce its value in order to have any assurance in their minds that they aren't going to be held to any standards that they don't like.

Blogger Nate April 21, 2014 10:59 AM  

"Medicine claims to be an applied science. Which is to say that it is not a science. It fails in the very definition."

Practicing medicine is art.

Medical experiments are science.

Doctors do both.

Anonymous Michael April 21, 2014 11:01 AM  

RedJack, "The whole problem with peer review is that it is really based on opinion. Results don't have to be replicated, they only have to confrom to what the community wants it to say."

Precisely.

Anonymous DrTorch April 21, 2014 11:03 AM  

Traditional medical research is white privilege.

Retracting these papers is raciss, as they just expressing they's own personal experience.

Anonymous Anonymous April 21, 2014 11:10 AM  

>Of course, this could be seen as a positive; more science fiction is being published than ever before!

And many scientists are inspired to enter the profession after reading science fiction, so this is a win-win.

Anonymous Roundtine April 21, 2014 11:13 AM  

If medicine is not science, can we disregard claims by atheists and science fetishes that science has added twenty years to human life?

How much has science extended human life? It's debatable that it's done much at all for the individual. Plenty of people lived into old age in the ancient world and their life spans were similar to those of today. Medical advances have kept more people alive to reach old age and made that life healthier, but they have not extended life spans much. And in the past 50 years, the decline in smoking has done more than any medical advance in increasing population life expectancy.

Anonymous Nate Wagstaff April 21, 2014 11:16 AM  

At the risk of conjuring untrue Scotsmen, the scientific method is a very effective way of improving our approximations of the truth.

Your title is like saying sex is a lousy way to reproduce because Elton John still hasn't gotten pregnant. The proper response to that would be, "hang on, let's first agree on some definitions here".

Feynman's term "cargo cult science" is very much to the point here. As is your observation about moral character; even in fields that *can* be real science, the practitioners are increasingly products of the modern university system.

Anonymous Porky April 21, 2014 11:20 AM  

If there's a ton of money to be made, there will be a ton of corruption.

No matter if it's science, politics, or farming.

Anonymous dh April 21, 2014 11:27 AM  

Ask any honest physician and you'll hear the bone chilling truth. Of his patients that recover eighty five percent will recover will recover, ten percent will recover because of what he does and five percent will recover in-spite of what he does.

Just because there is an element of choas or unpredictibility to it, doesn't mean it's not science.

I can run a water drop experiment, to test which direction a drop of water flows down my ice cold glass of water, a hundred times, and 85% of the time it could go one way, 10% of the time another and 5% of the time another. It does not mean that the drop falls by art, or that you must be use the terms of art to describes it motion.

How Ask any honest physician and you'll hear the bone chilling truth. Of his patients that recover eighty five percent will recover will recover, ten percent will recover because of what he does and five percent will recover in-spite of what he does.

Practitioners of medicine usually fall back on the claim of art to defend not being rigorous. I am deeply skeptical.

What are the elements of medicine that make it an art? Surely not simply uncertain outcomes?

Anonymous jack April 21, 2014 11:29 AM  

Test comment checking comment delete function.

Anonymous Heh April 21, 2014 11:35 AM  

Your title is like saying sex is a lousy way to reproduce because Elton John still hasn't gotten pregnant.

God knows he tried, but he just couldn't keep from taking a crap afterward...

Anonymous RedJack April 21, 2014 11:39 AM  

Cranberry,

I agree. My wife's water broke at 15 weeks, which is a hell of a serious thing for a pregnacy. Most doctors would have terminated the baby (without consent), we did not, and our doc is one who would not anyway. My bride is now at week 28, and the baby is doing ok as far as we can tell.

The reason most doc's give for killing the child is risk of infection to the mother and unborn child. They cite all kinds of stats, but when you drill into it the stats are very old, some from before the time of antibiotics, and often in cases where the mother didn't know she lost the water. In other words the data is very off. If you look at stats from other countries, you see a different picture. Many African countries will try to keep the baby in the mother as long as possible. The odds are not great, but they are not the "99.9%" death rate of baby and possibly 50% death rate of mother that American OBGYN's seem to like to quote.

Our doc is very pro life. She has said she will let the child go as long as possible, in order to keep the child alive and to give the child the best chance of survial. She has kept my wife home on bed rest for three months now, with two to go. By throwing out the Scientist answer, we still have a child, and hope.

Anonymous jack April 21, 2014 11:39 AM  

OK. I ask for forgiveness of the blog master. I could not get that test comment deleted. I've seen countless other folk do this in blogger but googleing up the question helped not at all. And, opening the elements and trying to select and delete the HTML does nothing.
Help!
If any are so inclined to expand the understanding of this poor soul.

Anonymous Blogmeister-T April 21, 2014 11:43 AM  

If any are so inclined to expand the understanding of this poor soul.

You have to have a Blogger account and be logged in.

Anonymous Mike M. April 21, 2014 11:47 AM  

I'm an engineer...which means that I understand the difference between "scientific" speculation, and observable facts that can be used. My fear is that science has gone too much down a speculative path, and lost contact with reality.

Blogger James Dixon April 21, 2014 11:48 AM  

> What are the elements of medicine that make it an art?

The degree of complexity involved, primarily, dh.

Blogger Bogey April 21, 2014 11:52 AM  

Wait!..."The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."

Anonymous Cranberry April 21, 2014 11:57 AM  

I'll keep you and your child in my prayers, RedJack.

When I had my kids, thankfully the pregnancies went off without a hitch. For the first two, I had the same OB, a kind older man. I did the usual tests but refused amnioscentesis when the first ultrasound came back with some fuzzy results, possibly indicating Downs. I was 31, but Downs is not the sole domain of older women who bear children. He never questioned my decision, and I was heartened by that, as I expected he would sit me down to have a talk about how hard it is to raise a Downs baby (my SIL got this talk from her OB when, at 38 with her first, she had similar results and got the amnio).

My kind OB had retired and referred me to another practice for my third pregnancy. Same fuzzy results, same offer for amnio, same refusal. THAT was when I got the talk about Downs and how it can be a good thing to spare the child such a difficult life.

Difference in the new practice? ENTIRELY staffed by women. Not a single male on the staff. I was not treated with much kindness there, and when I delivered and had a complication that almost left me dead, no one, not the midwife, nor any doctor, explained to me what had happened or how to manage my care afterwards. I ended up back in hospital a few days later at risk for a pulmonary embolism. Still, nothing explained. I was also asked at my follow up what kind of birth control I wanted to use, like it was a nothing thought...and the woman doc was surprised to find out I didn't want any.

And my GP? I have chronic stomach pain, every time I eat. And chronic anxiety, sometimes its crippling and I don't leave the house much. I don't want a cocktail of pharmas, I want to be free of these symptoms. She won't do anything other than tell me to take some Xanax because my stomach problems are related to my anxiety, and that my diet is not the problem.

So guess what, I started a strict elimination/reintroduction diet to find the culprits (eggs, nuts, milk, same stuff my son is allergic to, yes real anaphylaxis-inducing allergic). And wheat, I can eat it, but it does me no good.

My n=1 has revealed more to me than her science/art.

So pardon me if you're insulted when I say doctors are worse than useless. In my case, this has been the case most of the time. I said earlier they are merely mechanics, which is true. Unfortunately they are also gatekeepers to treatments you can't get on your own.

Anonymous Josh April 21, 2014 11:59 AM  

Remember, the definition of science is fluid. If it makes scientists look good, it's science. If it makes scientists look bad, it's not science.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 21, 2014 12:09 PM  

Remember, the definition of science is fluid. If it makes scientists look good, it's science. If it makes scientists look bad, it's not science.

Well there is that. In any case medicine is about to stop being either of those things in America. It's about to become bureaucracy.

Anonymous Don April 21, 2014 12:11 PM  

Josh - My guess is that modern plumbing has added more years to human life span (especially in cities) than medicine until antibiotics. Of course, plumbing and clean water were front-loaded with the Greeks and Romans. So it's had a 2000 year head start.

Blogger The Observer April 21, 2014 12:27 PM  

"THAT was when I got the talk about Downs and how it can be a good thing to spare the child such a difficult life."

Don't see them wanting to kill the poor for having a "difficult life". Oh wait, the poor can fight back and are visible.

Anonymous Redjack April 21, 2014 12:32 PM  

Cranberry,

Our doc is a woman, but she has admited to us she is a rarity. Most women will pro death. She travels to pro life doctor's conventions on occasion, and the majority are men. Our doc has had her own struggles, but she has always been pro life. She says that most women OBGYN (which are the majority now) are VERY pro death.

Blogger Joel April 21, 2014 12:33 PM  

Cataline Sergius: In summary: the claims are based on a fallacy.

Hate to wreck your worldview, but all scientific claims are based on fallacies, not just those of the medicinal variety. The scientific method does not furnish truth.

Anonymous RedJack April 21, 2014 12:34 PM  

The Observer.

If you drink with the "right" crowd, they will openly talk of killing the poor. They are sad it has to be by abortion and not adult murder.

Blogger Joel April 21, 2014 12:37 PM  

At the risk of conjuring untrue Scotsmen, the scientific method is a very effective way of improving our approximations of the truth.

Of course, the only way you can say this is if you know beforehand what the truth is. Otherwise, how are you to judge how close to it the scientific method is getting? Keep in mind, just because something works does not necessarily mean it is true.

Blogger Thordaddy April 21, 2014 12:38 PM  

I think the fundamental flaw of modern science is that it absolutely rejects one time universe-wide material configurations, i.e., singularities, but nonetheless is tolerated in their usage of the Big Bang and Abiogenesis.

Blogger IM2L844 April 21, 2014 12:39 PM  

Remember, the definition of science is fluid. If it makes scientists look good, it's science. If it makes scientists look bad, it's not science.

Science is often the art of coming up roses.

Blogger The Observer April 21, 2014 12:51 PM  

Redjack:

One can only wonder how many such women had their pro-death ideologies influence their decisions to be ob-gyns. How many joined just to make sure "reproductive rights remained free"?

And at least one has to drink in the right circles to hear such notions, instead of seeing them trumpeted everywhere. Yet.

Blogger IM2L844 April 21, 2014 12:52 PM  

Practicing medicine is art.

Do bad artists need more practice or less?

Anonymous Luke April 21, 2014 12:52 PM  

Several thoughts here...

1) During my biotech days, I found an Indian (dot not feather -- are there any of the latter in science?) Ph.D. had published a paper on what needed to be added to whey permeate so that the yeast species K. fragilis would find it a nutritionally complete growth medium. I discovered this from trying to track down the relevant sources he referenced, and finding that none of them existed. I called the man on the phone about this, and he embarrassedly admitted to this. (I have repeatedly Indian scientists to be unethical frauds when working with them during my career.)

2) During my time in Geology academia prior to the fall of the USSR, I became so disgusted with Soviet research papers routinely falsifying conclusions just to be different from Western ones, that I adopted a policy of NEVER bothering to use ANY Communist reference for anything.

Anonymous Will Best April 21, 2014 12:56 PM  

So guess what, I started a strict elimination/reintroduction diet to find the culprits (eggs, nuts, milk, same stuff my son is allergic to, yes real anaphylaxis-inducing allergic). And wheat, I can eat it, but it does me no good

I read a book that came out a week or two ago called "The Missing Microbes". The doctor presents a decent case that the billions of bacteria living in and on your body serve valuable purposes. And that perhaps automatically dropping a nuke on them at the first sign of trouble isn't the best thing. He laid out some decent evidence to suggest that the dramatic increase in immunity related diseases (Celiac's, asthma, allergies, etc.) and even obesity and things like GERDs are the result of inadvertently killing off good bacteria.

Anonymous Cranberry April 21, 2014 1:02 PM  

Observer, I'd hazard a guess that somewhere along the way they're encouraged to be OBs because:

1) women should be treating women, what could a man know about how a woman feels?
2) women think it "compassionate" to not assign a woman to a life of duty to a child who cannot function normally, or who has a health problem requiring constant care, and female doctors are the best ones to help a woman manage her decisions in "these difficult situations"
3) only a woman can offer non-judgmental advice about terminating pregnancy, men are too harsh and insensitive to handle this task, so we need female OB/GYNs just like you, snowflake, to do this precious duty of convincing women to terminate their pregnancies when it would be just too hard to raise the child

at least, that's my suspicion. I've had a few female docs in my lifetime. None were terribly good, or compassionate, or straightforward. Some male docs have been better at that, but lately I find that all doctors like to obfuscate to a degree. I don't know if they think I'm not smart enough to handle the truth, or if they just don't want to be challenged.

Blogger RobertT April 21, 2014 1:04 PM  

Never forget plain old fashioned competence. I spend all my time trying to find competent people. I once hired someone who had been on the fast track to partner at one of the big four, the reporting officer for one of the biggest stock brokers in the world, and the chief accountant for one of the largest legislatures in the wold. In six months she never produced a minute of billable time. When I let her go, she said to me, "I couldn't believe you used me in a production role." Excuse me? Around here, everyone should produce billable time.

I could cite story after story about incompetence in surprising places. Including Silicon Valley. The world is becoming so technical that incompetence is rampant. One of my weaknesses is ... I always assume the heavily credentialed or the well known and famous are going to be competent. But they seldom are. Any more I pay only scant attention to credentials and/or education.

It is funny that science is so full of incompetence because one of the requirements to genuine competence is experimentation. Which you would think is part and parcel of the scientific method, but obviously you can distort anything. Plus if you are always taking short cuts or ignoring unfortunate findings, you are hot filling your data-banks with reliable information.

Anonymous Nate Wagstaff April 21, 2014 1:19 PM  

@Joel,

If your predictions are good enough for GPS and cell phones to work, you've learned some important things. You can test your predictions against observable reality.

If that's not clear to you, you're in well over your head. I won't waste my time trying to reach you. I'll note, though, that our host seems to grasp the distinction between knowledge and b.s. just fine.

Anonymous Dr. Doom April 21, 2014 1:42 PM  

I don''t see how this could be surprising. Most scientists today are Leftists whose beliefs contradict virtually every facet of daily observable reality. Leftist dogma are based on equality, which is impossible, and rely on completely subjective outcomes of feel-good nonsensical new age magical thinking that totally ignore objective reality when it involves anything that contradicts their core beliefs like egalitarianism, Marxism, etc.
One can not possibly accurately test and report findings when the parameters of debate are constricted to unrealistic goals like egalitarianism, Marxism and other Leftist dogma. Its not possible to frame reality from the basis of unrealistic expectations, which can be readily seen by the Damning of treatises such as The Bell Curve and almost the entire history of psychometrics and racial biology because of the conflict to the dogma of egalitarianism. Scientists today have to perform mental gymnastics and outright fraud or even suppress their science to protect their reputations from Political Officers of the Supreme Soviet that dominate departments at Universities and unfortunately Big Businesses.
Until the Long March through the Institutions by Leftists is pushed out, science should be always suspect in that any conceivable reference to Leftist Belief Systems must have a substantial effect on the reported outcomes and findings.

Blogger Nate April 21, 2014 1:45 PM  

"What are the elements of medicine that make it an art? Surely not simply uncertain outcomes?"

I will provide an example... When anesthesizing a child for oral surgery... an anesthesiologist has a lot of options. Some prefer to give a little versed to the child to calm them down before surgery.... and then adjust their other narcotics accordingly.

Others may prefer to load up on the narcotics in the OR.

Some anesthesiologists ligthen things up toward the end of surgery so the patient will be breathing for themselves after surgery. Other anesthesiologists keep the narcotics going and transport the patient to the recovery room with oxygen to make sure they don't stop breathing.

Each case is different... and each patient is different. A good anesthesiologist varies methods case to case patient to patient and in some cases varies the techniques themselves based on the patient.

That's art.

Blogger WATYF April 21, 2014 1:52 PM  

A 19-fold increase over what, though?

It appears from this link (sourced in the original journal article on the topic) that the total percent of retracted articles still sits well below one percent (around 0.01).

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0044118

WATYF

Anonymous Jack Amook April 21, 2014 1:53 PM  

The whole problem with peer review is that it is really based on opinion. Results don't have to be replicated, they only have to confrom to what the community wants it to say.

Peer review is something that - if actually done the way it's supposed to be done - is a decent tool of honesty. The point of peer review is supposed to be that a group a peers believe the paper is clear enough and provides enough details about the experiment that a competent peer could attempt to replicate it based on the published paper. It's the equivalent of providing a reference for your quotes - someone can fact check you. But the mention of cargo cult science points out the problem - these are people going through the motions of things they don't really understand. Once you have that much hokum going on, con artists see too much potential to stay away.

I have repeatedly Indian scientists to be unethical frauds when working with them during my career.

I find the same thing. Add China to the list too.. Every society has it's frauds, but sure seems something about having a billion people around brings out the frauds. Maybe it's the perception of an inexhaustible supply of suckers.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 21, 2014 1:59 PM  

Keep in mind, just because something works does not necessarily mean it is true.

Yes, but it's a hell of a lot better candidate than something that doesn't work.

Anonymous MendoScot April 21, 2014 2:18 PM  

In my opinion the groundwork for this was laid with the adoption of "publish or perish" as the maxim for professional advancement in the sciences. When originally proposed back in the 1950's, it was rejected precisely on the grounds that it would corrupt peer-review, not only in publication but also in grant-reviewing. This has happened.

Secondly, there was a move away from traditional, objective reviewing to subjective "like or don't like", as evidenced by the increasing use of recusal lists in referee selection. It used to be that you could expect a fair review from your opponent or competitor - they would tear you to pieces in public but would be painstakingly objective in an anonymous review (there were always exceptions and I could give many examples from my own experience). This generally degraded the quality of reviews and also boosted the tendency towards consensus reviewing - not the quality of the work, but its conformity to the current paradigm.

Finally - the Chinese. It is easily overlooked (especially in the rigidly PC environment imposed on modern academe) the degree to which the scientific method in general, and peer review in particular, are based on the Western cultural tradition (with a large side of Christianity, e.g. Hannan and others). The Chinese cultural tradition is very different, and not compatible with the Western scientific method. The Cultural Revolution rooted out the late 19th/early 20th century adoption of the Western academic model and methodology. The problem here is that China now accounts for fully one third of global scientific output (papers published).

Blogger WATYF April 21, 2014 2:21 PM  

[The problem here is that China now accounts for fully one third of global scientific output (papers published).]

According to the source article (which I linked to above), they also account for the majority of the retracted articles, so it appears your theory has some support.

WATYF

Anonymous Josh April 21, 2014 2:23 PM  

Obviously the scientific method is white privilege.

Anonymous Luke April 21, 2014 2:36 PM  

Not entirely OT (since misused science is part of its roots) bit of news here.
Italy sets up prison just for transsexuals:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/7092137/Italy-opens-first-prison-for-transsexuals.html

Anonymous Luke April 21, 2014 2:44 PM  

I will add that I don't consider people holding university degrees from Third World countries to have the equivalent of anything more than a Western B.S. degree, whatever stratospheric claims they may make. Too many of them in my experience don't know squat re graduate-level background. This is further supported by how many of them have attended what are considered diploma mills by Western companies and colleges.

I remember reading about some Russian Jews emigrating to Israel, who didn't even know to look into children's ears when earaches were suspected, instead just tugging on earlobes to see if the kids cried. Kind of like the Nigerian geologist who'd never heard of the two classification schemes for carbonate minerals (Dunham's vs. Folk's).

Blogger Lud VanB April 21, 2014 8:11 PM  

"Our doc is a woman, but she has admited to us she is a rarity. Most women will pro death. She travels to pro life doctor's conventions on occasion, and the majority are men. Our doc has had her own struggles, but she has always been pro life. She says that most women OBGYN (which are the majority now) are VERY pro death. "

Pro...death?...as in being in favor of killing their patients?

Anonymous Don April 21, 2014 8:18 PM  

Lud - Yes as in killing their patients. Or don't you count mother and child as patients? I guess one's just a 'lump of tissue' if that makes you feel better. Of course, being atheist you could choose to eat the baby afterward without moral qualms or perhaps use it to heat your home.

Anonymous Red Skull April 21, 2014 8:21 PM  

Off topic, but its happened again! Another bankster takes a dirt nap:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609479/Horror-banker-wife-nine-year-old-nephew-assassinated-drive-shooting-outside-home-Belgium.html#comments

Blogger kurt9 April 22, 2014 12:01 AM  

Much of the problem is the government funding of "science" and the corruption of academia that results from this. Privately-funded science tends to lead to tangible technological innovations. Government-funded science is measured by the number of papers published, no matter the uselessness of the content of those papers.

I discovered the reality of fraudulent research in the mid 90's when I tried to develop a faster process (higher growth rate) for making thin-film diamond. I found I was not able to duplicate the results of several key papers despite doing the process exactly as described in the papers. A co-worker told me he was certain that the papers were fraudulent because he had done the same thing while in grad-school! He said it was common practice. This is after I spent several months "beating my head against the wall". A good friend of mine in the biomedical field has told me that much of the published work in this field is fraudulent as well.

Blogger Lud VanB April 22, 2014 4:38 PM  

"Lud - Yes as in killing their patients. Or don't you count mother and child as patients? I guess one's just a 'lump of tissue' if that makes you feel better. Of course, being atheist you could choose to eat the baby afterward without moral qualms or perhaps use it to heat your home."

your childish diatribe aside, I just want to be clear about what you are implying here...namely that obgyn doctors of the female gender as a rule advise ALL their patients to get abortions all the time in all pregnancies.

Anonymous Don April 22, 2014 7:39 PM  

Lud - well I certainly appreciate a disqualification from one such as yourself. Obviously some of them are not 100% pro-death all of the time but since every abortion kills at least one patient I do consider the abortionists to be pro death.

Since abortionists world wide have committed those vile practices recently and you being an avowed atheist and all I figured you'd be all for 'repurposing' the unneeded tissue. Humans just aren't human unless the law says they are don't you know.

Anonymous kh123 April 23, 2014 2:18 AM  

"Of course, being atheist you could choose to eat the baby afterward without moral qualms..."

Oh no you di'n't.

Anonymous kh123 April 23, 2014 2:20 AM  

...Will have to mark on the calender several weeks from now before he returns. Unless the computer's situated relatively close to the dinner table.

Blogger Lud VanB April 23, 2014 7:37 AM  

"Lud - well I certainly appreciate a disqualification from one such as yourself. Obviously some of them are not 100% pro-death all of the time but since every abortion kills at least one patient I do consider the abortionists to be pro death. "

An obgyn is not by any definition of the term an "abortionist". But I certainly welcome the opportunity to be proven wrong by your supplying me with empirical data showing that obgyn female doctors do as a rule advise their patients to get an abortion.

"Since abortionists world wide have committed those vile practices recently and you being an avowed atheist and all I figured you'd be all for 'repurposing' the unneeded tissue. Humans just aren't human unless the law says they are don't you know."


and now I would like for you to either come up with a quote from me where I ever claimed to be an "avowed atheist" or kindly retract your statement.

Anonymous RedJack April 23, 2014 8:49 AM  

Lud,
Pro death as in killing unborn babies. Now they may not do the procedure themselves, but the default position is that if there is an issue, flush and try again.

Blogger Lud VanB April 23, 2014 10:07 AM  

"Lud,
Pro death as in killing unborn babies. Now they may not do the procedure themselves, but the default position is that if there is an issue, flush and try again."

no...the default position is that the choice to be a mother rests entirely with the carrying woman. And before the 20 week mark of a pregnancy, the embryo is no more a person distinct from the prospective mother than one of her red blood cells. This is not a question of ideology...its a simple unambiguous medical fact. Giving any consideration to the embryo over the woman carrying it at that point makes no more sense than giving consideration to one of her blood cells over her. The only person in this decision is the woman and as such she is the only one who deserves any consideration

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 10:15 AM  

No. Talk to a woman who gave birth to a child with life-threatening birth defects. You'll most likely hear about how the doctors tried to convince the mother -- as early as possible, while she's still weak and emotional and feeling under their authority -- to let the baby die. No, not just leaving the decision up to her, but trying to convince her that death is the way to go.

Anonymous RedJack April 23, 2014 10:57 AM  

Lud, let me explain something to you.

My wife's water broke at week 15 (she is still pregnant thank God). They did a very intensive ultrasound.

I saw my child's face. She isn't just bunch of cells, she is a defined person. She looks a lot like oldest daughter. At week 15, when you say she is just a bunch of cells.

Now, for you, that doesn't matter. It is abstract, and not real. But I have in front of me that 3D ultrasound. I know you don't care, heck you probably think us horrible for not killing our child for some reason. But my child was not just a glob of tissue, anymore than you are. She is a person, and loved.

I would also encourage you to state that to a parents face (your child wasn't real unitl week 20 or so). Many would get rather angry.

To add another story which I have shared here before, my college roommate's youngest was found to have spino bifida at week 18 or so. The doctor repeated to the parents just what you said, that the child "Wasn't a real person yet" and was scheudling them for an abortion later that day (standard procedure in such cases, kill the child). It took a number of security personal to pull my friend off of the pro death doctor. Lucky for my friend they were in Texas. Lucky for the doctor it wasn't someone who could have cheerfully disassbled the guy before anyone could stop him. There was another case, very similar to ours (PPROM) where the doctor induced labor without the consent of the parents because, well, it is just "easier". The default position for many OBGYN is kill the kid if there are problems.

If a baby isn't a baby before some cutoff, then what is it? A turnip? The child has a seperate DNA code, and is moving well before week 20. As I said, I have a picture of my yet to be born daughter from week 15. I can see her face, and recognize it as similar to her sister's. What was she at week 15?

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 11:27 AM  

Anyone who claims a 19-week embryo is no more distinct from his mother's body than one of her own cells is either lying or far too ignorant to be expounding on the topic -- or perhaps any other.

One thing I wonder: medical procedures keep getting better, and many premature births that would have been hopeless a generation ago are nearly routine now. It seems reasonable to expect that someday, perhaps not too far off, it will be possible to remove the baby safely from the womb very early and incubate or transplant it. If we get to the point where a woman with an unwanted pregnancy can give up the baby for adoption and have it transplanted then into the adoptive mother, what will happen to the pro-abortion side's "a woman's right to choose" argument? How will they justify pushing her to kill the baby when she can have it removed alive just as quickly? That will even remove the "she can't be forced to bear the child of her rapist" argument that they trot out for rape cases.

I'm pretty sure I already know the answer: they'll say that even knowing that an unwanted offspring is walking around somewhere is too much infringement on the rights of the mother to control her reproductive destiny. Not that they've ever considered a father's rights whatsoever in that respect, of course.

Blogger Lud VanB April 23, 2014 4:07 PM  

RedJack let me explain something to you...I m very glad that you wife is still pregnant because having another child is obviously what you both want. Bu8t having a face is not what makes you a person. Before week 20-22, the brain and nervous system are as yet separated in human embryos. This essentially means that the brain in the embryo at that point is a blank slate since it doesn't have anything to feed it information and experiences to accumulate, store and remember later on. And it is the sum of those accumulated information and experiences which makes you a person as opposed to an empty shell that somewhat resemble your sister. As for your friend, the doctor was obviously aware of the potential lifetime of debilitating pain and suffering that such a child born with such a defect could look forward to and his suggestion, which is lets be clear all it was, certainly did not merit him being assaulted for trying to help and your college roommate's youngest should spend some time in jail to help him ponder on this point.

Anonymous RedJack April 23, 2014 4:55 PM  

Lud,

Let me be clear.

You are a monster. Nay, worse than that, a fool.

I notice you went to the nervous system from red blood cells. Interesting, in that studies show the nervous system develops quite early. As for being a blank slate, so is my five year old, to a point. So is a college freshmen.

As for my friend, he was reacting the way a man acts when someone tells him his child would be better off dead. Oh, and that little girl is now five also, and doing fine. She is still pretty clumsy walking, but she can run very well and is a decent soccer player for a five year old girl. Of course it is always easier to kill her, since her life was not worthy of life.

Of course why stop there? There are millions of people who face advesity, who should be spared the pain of living in say, Michigan, who should be told it is much easier just to end it all.

Either life is sacred, or it is nothing.

Anonymous Don April 23, 2014 6:13 PM  

Lud VanB
looking for morality in the bible is akin to looking for corn in a turd


Good enough? You've made more comments around the web but all of them encourage people to embrace atheism and mock believers. You're not an atheist? You do a good impersonation. No I will not retract. I can point to enough quotes of you mocking religion and the Bible. I will retract the 'avowed' for now. Of course I expect you to lie and dissemble every chance you get.

If you don't want people to believe you're an atheist you shouldn't spend so much time around the web mocking religion, defending atheist belief, and mocking believers.

Anonymous Don April 23, 2014 6:18 PM  

Lud said, no...the default position is that the choice to be a mother rests entirely with the carrying woman. And before the 20 week mark of a pregnancy, the embryo is no more a person distinct from the prospective mother than one of her red blood cells. This is not a question of ideology...its a simple unambiguous medical fact.

Is there anything you won't lie about? Dr.s do push for abortion in cases of Down Syndrome.
"the baby is no more a person distinct than one of her red blood cells." For a man who prides himself on science that is a remarkably unscientific statement. But liars lie.

Anonymous Don April 23, 2014 6:26 PM  

Lud said

Wrong. nothing in the bible is desirable. If the bible was true, this is the reality in which you would be living...a world where you are constantly bring watched, every move, every bodily function, every thought continually scrutinized and judged against a standard that cannot be attained by one that never had a clue what it was to be human living in this world that he made himself the way it is and your only options is to either grovel like a worm so you can get to kiss his celestial ass forever or be sent to a place where you will be tortured forever. If I believed for one moment that the bible had any kernel of truth, I d kill myself on the spot. of course, if the bible was true, I d go straight to hell, which would have been my final destination anyway because groveling is just too much work and ass kissing just leave you a taste of shit in the mouth, which I don't care for even if its divine shit. But at least I d get the satisfaction of no longer being surrounded by sniveling retards who look at this book of absolute, incomprehensible evil in its pure undiluted form and call it love.


Italics added.

Blogger Lud VanB April 23, 2014 6:57 PM  

"You are a monster. Nay, worse than that, a fool."

why is it worse to be a fool than a monster?

"I notice you went to the nervous system from red blood cells. Interesting, in that studies show the nervous system develops quite early. As for being a blank slate, so is my five year old, to a point. So is a college freshmen."

your five year old and a college freshman have something in common...they are sentient. A blood cell and an embryo that is less than 20 weeks old also have something in common, they are devoid of sentience. That's why it is foolish to give more or even equal consideration to that embryo than to the woman that carries it. Its not to say that you should not care about your 15 week old embryo or even that I shouldn't care about the fact that you want it. I hope that your wife carries her pregnancy to term without any further complication precisely because you want her to and I assume she wants to as well. But none of this changes the fact that a 15 week old embryo is not sentient and therefore not a person and that if neither of you wanted it, no one else should force you to have it. I m not in favor of abortion...I m in favor of persons and freedom to choose for each one of them.

Blogger Lud VanB April 23, 2014 7:10 PM  

Don, you actually managed to quote me twice without ever even coming close to getting the point...so I ll give you a hint...you and Christians by and large equate God and the bible as if they were one and the same....I do not. God is God....the bible is a book written by humans claiming to have received messages from God and is filled with stories that are D E M O N S T R A B L Y false. the 6 day creation...demonstrably false. the manufacturing of human male from dirt and human female from ribs...demonstrably false. Humans living to be 900...demonstrably false. talking snakes...demonstrably false. Knowledge imparting fruits...demonstrably false. Global flood 4600 years ago...demonstrably false. The building of a cloud reaching tower a mere 200 years afterward...demonstrably false. The whole exodus and Joshua campaign of bloody murder...demonstrably false...and it goes on and on and on. I don't believe God had anything to do with the bible...save perhaps giving birth to the universe where humans eventually evolved to decide to write it in service of their own agenda I suppose. And I don't embrace Atheist beliefs but I do tend to defend them from malicious reflexive demonizing by religionist zealots

Anonymous Don April 23, 2014 7:27 PM  

Lud - You know since you've made it an issue. Then I'll ask you directly. Since you claim you are not an atheist.

Are you an atheist?

Do you believe in any deity?

Do you believe in anything supernatural?

You're the one claiming you're misunderstood. Please enlighten us as to your views. You don't seem to have any trouble finding where others are wrong. Tell us where you are right.

Anonymous Don April 23, 2014 7:39 PM  

Lud - Now that I see you I do pity you. If you wish to answer go ahead if you do not, do not. God has spoken to me very clearly and I wish you nothing but the best truly. I hope one day you may find Christ and know his peace. You have my prayers.

Blogger Lud VanB April 23, 2014 9:36 PM  

"Are you an atheist? "

no...Deist would probably be the closest thing I d say.

"Do you believe in any deity?"

not in any sense to mean some personal entity that demands or would even care to have worshipers. I believe in God as an original first cause of reality but not as one having any trait in common with any part of it.

"Do you believe in anything supernatural? "

supernatural is to me a words that means exactly "does not exist"...if it exists, its natural.

"You're the one claiming you're misunderstood. Please enlighten us as to your views. You don't seem to have any trouble finding where others are wrong. Tell us where you are right."

My views are more closely aligned with secular humanism than anything else I d say

Anonymous Discard April 25, 2014 6:17 AM  

Lud VanB: Whether or not a fetus is sentient is irrelevant. A pig is sentient. In the normal course of events, that not discernibly sentient (Yet, with current technology) embryo will in fact become more than sentient, it will become fully human. It is not potentially human, it is part of an unbroken continuum of humanity. Do you really rely upon the dials and meters of some medical machine to determine the value, even the existence, of human life?

Blogger Lud VanB April 25, 2014 6:42 AM  

"Lud VanB: Whether or not a fetus is sentient is irrelevant. A pig is sentient. In the normal course of events, that not discernibly sentient (Yet, with current technology) embryo will in fact become more than sentient, it will become fully human. It is not potentially human, it is part of an unbroken continuum of humanity. Do you really rely upon the dials and meters of some medical machine to determine the value, even the existence, of human life?"

no...if the embryo was the only element to be considered then I would oppose abortion even a few hours after conception...but its not the only consideration and you know it. And forcibly requiring a person to go through the grueling and potentially life threatening process of carrying a pregnancy to term AGAINST THEIR WILL is always going to be the greater evil in this situation. This will only change if or when it becomes possible to safely transfer the burden of the pregnancy to a willing host...and please don't give me the idiotic "she should have kept her legs closed" retort that always seems to follow...I reject it completely and will continue to do so as long as only one of the party involved is subject to the physical ordeal and potential risks that accompany a pregnancy.

Anonymous Discard April 25, 2014 7:21 AM  

Lud VanB: We disagree. Bearing children is what women do, whether they like it or not, just as men may be forced to fight and die to preserve their communities. A society that allows its members to opt out of these disagreeable duties will die and be replaced by one that does not.

Blogger Lud VanB April 26, 2014 9:04 AM  

"Lud VanB: We disagree. Bearing children is what women do, whether they like it or not, just as men may be forced to fight and die to preserve their communities. A society that allows its members to opt out of these disagreeable duties will die and be replaced by one that does not. "

Neither the human race nor western civilization is in danger of extinction so lets not pretend to speak as though they were shall we? Most women will be more than happy to have children which means there is absolutely no immediate, intermediary or even far remote requirement to force it on the few that don't. If we can afford to have a volunteer professional army to defend us, we can certainly also afford to let women decide for themselves if and when they want children.

Anonymous Discard April 26, 2014 11:49 PM  

Lud VanB: Whites are being outbred in their own countries by non-White immigrants, so let's not pretend to speak as though Western Civilization is not in danger of extinction, shall we?

Blogger Lud VanB April 27, 2014 6:24 PM  

"Lud VanB: Whites are being outbred in their own countries by non-White immigrants, so let's not pretend to speak as though Western Civilization is not in danger of extinction, shall we?"

ohhhh....I see now...apologies I wasn't aware I had just stumbled upon a klan meet up.

Anonymous Discard April 27, 2014 9:38 PM  

Lud VanB: Klan meet up? No. Just tell me how you'd expect Western Civilization to continue when Whites become minorities. In this country, we are already a minority of babies and toddlers. Do you really expect the Blacks, Mexicans, Orientals, and Indians to sustain a culture that is not their own? From your handle, I gather that you like the music of Beethoven. Are you willing to let it disappear?
I wrote of commonly known demographic trends, and you invoke the KKK. Name-calling is the argument of those who have no argument.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts