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Subject: Is Most Published Research Wrong rss

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Isaac Citrom
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I recently came across this video from Veritasium entitled, Is Most Published Research Wrong. I thought it spoke very well to (I phrase this carefully) my lack of automatic trust in the products of science. The video elucidates clearly what I, others, and namely DWTripp, only intuitively think. The video also speaks to the related discussion about polls.

Bringing this into RSP, a chief criticism of mine of the regressive Left is the reflexive acceptance of scientific-like products, such that a warrant tends to be, this is true because science; end of discussion.

I definitely espouse a personal continuum of acceptance, with physics and chemistry at the far end, and at the opposite end I have more confidence in subjective analyses of literature than I do of the softest social pseudosciences like gender studies and sociology.



Postvideo discussion

To hammer home the point of the video, I was especially impressed with the example of the pentaquark of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) in physics. With a probable chance of being incorrect of 1 chance in 3.5 million, 12 independent papers got it wrong--wow!.

Two other points really hit home with me. The first is that all else being equal, that at least 33% of studies are expected to be wrong.

But, science is self-correcting, right? That's what I always thought; that we have many thousands of scientific teams all over the world checking up on one another. This is the second point that especially impressed me, that the scientific community doesn't really do replication work, as the video explains. To be clear, it is rather that this type of work is discouraged because journals are reluctant to publish replication studies. Nonetheless, if the work is not published it may well not have been done in the first place.


Coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you, as just one example. And, if the argument is one has to take the totality of scientific products, that's neither here nor there, because the vernacular arguments tend to be, this is true because science; look at the study.

For example, my problem with the whole climate change subject is not science denial, rather my understanding of the reality of the functioning of science as a function of flawed people. Moreover, that science is being used as a convenient and sophist vehicle to advance the regressive Left's (in my opinion) pathological self-hatred and self-destructiveness by diminishing the Western standard of living in favour of others.

Relating this to this topic, for example, 97% of climate scientists... has become a mantra of the Left.

I just grabbed the first article discussing it and my point here is not about the argument of the survey of scientists per se.

(Article from The National Review. (Also, for your convenience, Surveys of scientists' views on climate change from Wikipedia))

The "97 percent" statistic first appeared prominently in a 2009 study by University of Illinois master’s student Kendall Zimmerman and her adviser, Peter Doran. Based on a two-question online survey, Zimmerman and Doran concluded that "the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific bases of long-term climate processes" — even though only 5 percent of respondents, or about 160 scientists, were climate scientists. In fact, the "97 percent" statistic was drawn from an even smaller subset: the 79 respondents who were both self-reported climate scientists and had "published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change." These 77 scientists agreed that global temperatures had generally risen since 1800, and that human activity is a "significant contributing factor." A year later, William R. Love Anderegg, a student at Stanford University, used Google Scholar to determine that “97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of ACC [anthropogenic climate change] outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” The sample size did not much improve on Zimmerman and Doran’s: Anderegg surveyed about 200 scientists. Surely the most suspicious “97 percent” study was conducted in 2013 by Australian scientist John Cook — author of the 2011 book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand and creator of the blog Skeptical Science (subtitle: “Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism.”). In an analysis of 12,000 abstracts, he found “a 97% consensus among papers taking a position on the cause of global warming in the peer-reviewed literature that humans are responsible.” “Among papers taking a position” is a significant qualifier: Only 34 percent of the papers Cook examined expressed any opinion about anthropogenic climate change at all. Since 33 percent appeared to endorse anthropogenic climate change, he divided 33 by 34 and — voilà — 97 percent! When David Legates, a University of Delaware professor who formerly headed the university’s Center for Climatic Research, recreated Cook’s study, he found that “only 41 papers — 0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent,” endorsed what Cook claimed. Several scientists whose papers were included in Cook’s initial sample also protested that they had been misinterpreted. “Significant questions about anthropogenic influences on climate remain,” Legates concluded.


My point here is to illustrate how just one or a few people make seemingly arbitrary decisions which results in millions of people making the argument, this is true because science. This leads into a related argument/video also by Veritasium about what and how people think when the same thing is repeated to them many times:




RSP-ing it

Veritasium makes the important point that even so, scientific products are still the best game in town, and I agree. What I find many people fail to recognize is that at the end of the day scientific conclusions are human beings making an argument. This delves into the philosophy of science and epistemology, as opposed to, this is true because science, characterized as obvious, absolute, objective truth, duh.

It has been my experience that those on the Left tend to be far less educated than they think they are. Although well-versed in gender studies and social justice, they tend to be clueless in STEM, political science, politics, history, and economics, which makes all the difference with respect to public policy.

So, it would be nice if people on the Left weren't so smug, self-righteous and falsely self-assured. It's nails on a blackboard when I hear regressive lefties say 'Murica and edumacation. I trust in the intuition of these uneducated people more than I do in the Left. They didn't go to university, what's the Left's excuse?
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Mike Stiles
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I'm gonna be TOTALLY shallow right up front - couldn't watch the vid yet, but from the screenshot, that guy is the president douche the first of doucheland, elected by acclaim.
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Quote:
Coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you,


Didn't have time to read this post but this line reminded me of the difference between exploratory and confirmatory research. Exploratory research often leads to nowhere, or so I thought.
 
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Adrian Hague
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Quote:
Coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you,

1) 'Good' is a relative value judgement, so all the statements could be true, depending on what it is being compared to (e.g. coffee is 'good' for you, relative to drinking sulphuric acid. Coffee is 'bad' for you, relative to drinking a glass of water).
2) Is the real beef with with scientific publications per se, or is it more to do with journalists' accounts of scientific discoveries (which can often be over-simplified and/ or downright wrong)?
 
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A lot of research is not replicable -- which is a big problem. Most of the social/behavioral science studies don't replicate well. Also, drug studies don't replicate well either

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-science-cancer-idUSBRE82R1...

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/09/reliability_of_new_drug...

http://www.psychfiledrawer.org/view_article_list.php

http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2013/house-of-cards-is-som...

We need to do better at a lot of things:

1) All federally funded projects should make the data they generate/collect publicly available.

2) Publish more negative results so we can understand the true variability of effects (some journals are starting to do this, but it is a slog)

3) Make sure that we have qualified statisticians both advising on experimental design but also involved in the review process. So much stuff that is done is shitty (with a capital SHITTY) in terms of it is designed for data collection. Many published studies are almost laughable in terms of modeling and conclusions drawn.
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J.D. Hall
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Ah, a nice, snarky double-hitter of a thread to start off the week.

When it comes to science, isn't it possible that improvement in technology could account for some of the reversals in scientific studies. When I was a cub police reporter, fingerprints and blood typing were considered the be-all and end-all of forensic sciences. Now, we have DNA, which wasn't possible in the 1980s on a large scale. So all the cops and DAs back then were stupid?

And the OP kindly drops in his snark about "the (EEEEVVVVVUUUULLLLL!!!) Left, which apparently is made up of only people with master's degrees in sociology, feminist studies, and library sciences, while our brave, stalwart, and intellectual conservatives studies the hard sciences...

Like poli sci.

laughlaughlaugh

Evidently, being dismissive of your political opposites is a big thing these days.

Oh, and the subject is silly. I only have a bachelor's degree in journalism (horrors! A Bachelor of Arts!!!!) but even I understand that science is a work in progress, and every study/paper has a good chance of being overturned in the future. Happens all the time.
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Science is self-correcting. Our current publish-or-perish model blows, and there are criticisms, but defending ACC-denial w/ this is misguided foolishness. (You can talk about ACC being overstated and I'll happily agree with you. Using this to stick to a party lines about ACC being a falsehood is patently absurd.)
 
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C Bazler
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isaacc wrote:

It has been my experience that those on the Left tend to be far less educated than they think they are. Although well-versed in gender studies and social justice, they tend to be clueless in STEM, political science, politics, history, and economics, which makes all the difference with respect to public policy.




In which Isaac's seemingly well-thought out and reasonable post unravels and his ideological bias is laid bare for all to see.
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Mac Mcleod
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Ask any coffee drinker and they’ll tell you: coffee has worthwhile benefits. Beyond the pleasant aroma and the morning pick-me-up, there is growing evidence that our coffee habits could actually be impacting our health… for the better!

So just how does coffee affect your well-being?


http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/is-coffee-go...
8 ways coffee is good for you.
1. Boosts Your Mood
2. Helps Ward Off Diabetes
3. Protects Your Heart
4. Good for Parkinson’s
5. Prevents Gallstones
6. Loves Your Liver...
7. ...And Protects It from Cancer?
8. Lends You a Longer Life
(resists lack of exercise and mitigates red meat issues)


http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/10-reasons-to-quit-cof...
1 The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, your stress hormones.
2 Habituation to caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity
3 Unfiltered coffee has the highest amount of beneficial antioxidants yet also leaks the most diterpenes into your system. (linked to higher levels of triglycerides, LDL and VLDL levels).
4 May increase heart risk in diabetics.
5 The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heart burn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in your gut flora).
6 Addiction is often an issue with coffee drinkers
7 Associative addictions trend with coffee (cream, sugar)
8 5-HIA, elevated in coffee drinker urine (maybe lower serotonin),
9 Elevated urinary excretion of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in your electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
10 Constituents in coffee can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver

---

In other word, the real world is complicated. Following the scientific method takes time to tease out the facts and non-scientists often seize on facts they like out of context and before they are confirmed by more studies. Politics and corporate politics are much more involved in science today and have driven us away from basic research towards targeted research.
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Damian
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isaacc wrote:
It has been my experience that those on the Left tend to be far less educated than they think they are. Although well-versed in gender studies and social justice, they tend to be clueless in STEM, political science, politics, history, and economics, which makes all the difference with respect to public policy.

Considering a Pew study showed that 81% of scientists* self identify as Democrat or Democrat-leaning and only 12% as Republican or Republican leaning, that's just your observational and confirmation bias at work.


*Sampled from US-based members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science whose membership is not 'K-12 educator'.
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C Bazler
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damiangerous wrote:
isaacc wrote:
It has been my experience that those on the Left tend to be far less educated than they think they are. Although well-versed in gender studies and social justice, they tend to be clueless in STEM, political science, politics, history, and economics, which makes all the difference with respect to public policy.

Considering a Pew study showed that 81% of scientists* self identify as Democrat or Democrat-leaning and only 12% as Republican or Republican leaning, that's just your observational and confirmation bias at work.


Pretty hilarious considering his entire post was about valuing academic honesty and fact-based research.
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Well, we have three ways to approach a subject.

1. The perfect way(which there probably is no perfect truth, as Isaac states)

2. The pretty good way(with peer reviewed research and expert opinions, and consensus among peers in the field)

3. The random, I made shit up way.

So yes, research is not always right, but it's not always wrong, and a lot of times it's right.

What I am fairly sure of is made up shit is like right only by random occurrence, or dumb luck.

The crux is, should we follow possibly flawed research that has a good chance of being correct, or made up shit I heard on the intarwebs that is probably not ever going to be correct?
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Some science is wrong. It's actually quite possible to identify where it's quite likely to be wrong, where it's probably right, and where it's just plain right.

But ignore that for now. How do you have a clue whether science is right? With rare exceptions, the only way you know science was wrong is when more science shows that.

Not exactly what the OP wanted to hear (science is wrong because he thinks it should be) but that's life.
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Mac Mcleod
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An excellent example of religious scientists...

http://www.icr.org/
http://www.icr.org/triune



 
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M. S.
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isaacc wrote:

But, science is self-correcting, right? That's what I always thought; that we have many thousands of scientific teams all over the world checking up on one another. This is the second point that especially impressed me, that the scientific community doesn't really do replication work, as the video explains. To be clear, it is rather that this type of work is discouraged because journals are reluctant to publish replication studies. Nonetheless, if the work is not published it may well not have been done in the first place.



Here's an example that relates to your topic.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-...
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Isaac Citrom
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damiangerous wrote:
isaacc wrote:
It has been my experience that those on the Left tend to be far less educated than they think they are. Although well-versed in gender studies and social justice, they tend to be clueless in STEM, political science, politics, history, and economics, which makes all the difference with respect to public policy.

Considering a Pew study showed that 81% of scientists* self identify as Democrat or Democrat-leaning and only 12% as Republican or Republican leaning, that's just your observational and confirmation bias at work.


*Sampled from US-based members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science whose membership is not 'K-12 educator'.


Then it's for me to clarify. That is why I specifically use the term regressive Left so as to differentiate this demographic from all people whose political leanings are left of centre, which I consider to be a legitimate stance.

I'm speaking of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, social justice warriors. 3rd wave feminists, Western Marxists; I think you know the crowd I mean.

And yes, I'm not making a categorical claim, and yet I do have confidence (more and more as I grow older) in my intuition in identifying patterns.

As a matter of chance, it happens that my path through life has brought me into contact with a lot of people from the regressive Left, particularly university, the location of my shop in a Greenwich Village type area, among other instances.

Here are a few illustrative gems that colours my thinking:

(1) A young person gets a city government business grant and is all happy about it. But, then complains about the unfairness that his rent has been significantly increased. You see, the city slapped yet another tax increase on the evil businesses and property owners. The building owner passed the increase along to the cooperative renting the space who passed along the increase to this young person. I said, where do you think the grants come from. I don't think he made the mental connection.

(2) WWII was fought between the US and Russia. What about the Nazis, I say. Uhm, yeah, they were in there too, uhm, yeah.

(3) Yay Marxism because Venezuela.

(4) At the start of the so-called Arab Spring, I said, you know, Egypt is likely to get a worse government, the Muslim Brotherhood, for example. My interlocutor's facial expression was as if I just snuffed his puppy.

(5) Million student march



I could go on at length but I think it would just serve to irritate those who disagree. I'm confident in my assessment. That is not to say that I have not met individuals who really knew their stuff and got me thinking about various positions I hold and positions on which I've changed my mind as a result. But, these are by far a minority of cases.
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J.D. Hall
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Your intuition didn't alert you to the fact you're basing this mostly on college-age people (i.e. 20-somethings) who are mainly concerned with having enough money to go to the club, buy the latest ap, and some weed, as well as getting laid. Not exactly deep thinkers or people who pay attention at college. Be that as it may, your description of the regressive Left might be apt, but then to claim that good, patriotic, loyal conservatives are rational, highly-educated people who only make decisions based on facts makes it even more snarky. There are lots of people who neither identify as liberal or conservative who are smart, and others of the same leaning who are dumb as a bag of rocks.
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isaacc wrote:
Then it's for me to clarify. That is why I specifically use the term regressive Left so as to differentiate this demographic from all people whose political leanings are left of centre, which I consider to be a legitimate stance.


Sounds like a pretty clear case of selection bias on your part.
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I remember when you made sense isaac. This latest diatribe could have come from tstone or pown3d.

As for science John Oliver (omg lefty!) Did a thing on the biggest problem.

Also is 'regressive left' a new thing? It sound like the latest form of 'librul' ie an insult translarently wrapped in a descriptor.

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isaacc wrote:


I'm speaking of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, social justice warriors. 3rd wave feminists, Western Marxists; I think you know the crowd I mean.

And yes, I'm not making a categorical claim, and yet I do have confidence (more and more as I grow older) in my intuition in identifying patterns.
.


Yeah, but what percentage of the RSP left do you consider "regressive left"?

And for that matter, who do you feel is "regressive right"? Do you think for instance, Drew "regressive right"?

Do you feel there is a higher percentage of "regressive lefties" on RSP than "regressive righties"?
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Tom McVey
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isaacc wrote:
Then it's for me to clarify. That is why I specifically use the term regressive Left so as to differentiate this demographic from all people whose political leanings are left of centre, which I consider to be a legitimate stance.

I'm speaking of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, social justice warriors. 3rd wave feminists, Western Marxists; I think you know the crowd I mean.


You forgot to include the False Scotsmen in there as well, in their irritating fake kilts.
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Drew
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All hail Pastor Oliver! Another fine sermon! Hallelujah, brothers!
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
isaacc wrote:
Then it's for me to clarify. That is why I specifically use the term regressive Left so as to differentiate this demographic from all people whose political leanings are left of centre, which I consider to be a legitimate stance.


Sounds like a pretty clear case of selection bias on your part.


It's a good irony; he's taking a major potential failure of research (anecdota and confirmation bias) and just OWNING that shit.
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Mac Mcleod
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isaacc wrote:
Then it's for me to clarify. That is why I specifically use the term regressive Left so as to differentiate this demographic from all people whose political leanings are left of centre, which I consider to be a legitimate stance.

I'm speaking of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, social justice warriors. 3rd wave feminists, Western Marxists; I think you know the crowd I mean.


Still biased.

Your statement is true of extremists. The extremism is more important the the left or right wing slant of the extremism.

 
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Drew1365 wrote:
All hail Pastor Oliver! Another fine sermon! Hallelujah, brothers!


All hail Exxonmobil!

May your ministrations never lead us astray, deliver us from knowledge, blessed be!
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