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Meta-Research Debunks Medical Study Findings

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the truthiness-in-medicine dept.

Medicine 261

jenningsthecat writes "From The Atlantic comes the story of John Ioannidis and his team of meta-researchers, who have studied the overall state of medical research and found it dangerously and widely lacking in trustworthiness. Even after filtering out the journalistic frippery and hyperbole, the story is pretty disturbing. Some points made in the article: even the most respected, widely accepted, peer-reviewed medical studies are all-too-often deeply flawed or outright wrong; when an error is brought to light and the conclusions publicly refuted, the erroneous conclusions often persist and are cited as valid for years, or even decades; scientists and researchers themselves regard peer review as providing 'only a minimal assurance of quality'; and these shortcomings apply to medical research across the board, not just to blatantly self-serving pharmaceutical industry studies. The article concludes by saying, 'Science is a noble endeavor, but it's also a low-yield endeavor ... I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life.' I've always been somewhat suspicious of research findings, but before this article I had no idea just how prevalent untrustworthy results were."

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For example (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33911932)

That fat in your diet is bad for you.

Re:For example (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33912092)

There is fat in diet?

Good thing I drink Coke Zero instead of Diet Coke!

Re:For example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912154)

Or binge drinking is bad for you.

Re:For example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912206)

People found it hard to get fat until after a) the great Satan of HFCS started to get put into everything because sweetening was needed to add flavor once it was decided b) we should all eat carbs. Who decided this? The ag lobby who realized that they could make more money off of carbs than from meat and veg. When the food guides came out in the 70s it didn't take long for people to start bulking up.

Overweight people have arteriosclerosis. That's not the same thing as saying dietary fats give you arteriosclerosis.

Re:For example (4, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33912236)

That's one of my favorites... or the presumption that eating fat makes you fat.

People seriously do not understand nutrition or how diet and exercise work. Lately, I have been doing an kind of experiment for the people around me. First, for about a month or more, I started riding my bicycle to work. I was working it hard. Then, after it was established that I had been riding my bike for at least a month, I started on a low-carb diet. Within two weeks people started to notice the weight loss. Some still wanted to believe it was the bicycle riding. I had to lay it out to them what the deal was. Exercise burns carbs and then fat. Trouble is, the carbs we take in our daily diet still outnumbers that which I burn from riding 10 miles each day. It is only after I limited the intake of carbs that a difference could be made and observed.

Here's why I did it like this:

People don't listen for more than a few sentences and are especially resistant when the information conflicts with what they think they know. Eating fatty meats is contrary to their beliefs about what a weight loss program should contain so they simply refused to accept it. Hell, even many doctors don't yet fully acknowledge that making your body burn fat will reduce cholesterol. (Hello? cholesterol is fat floating in the blood!)

Having lost almost 30 lbs in a 6 week period has been noticed by all and the evidence is right in front of their faces. I lost the weight, and this is what I have been eating.

Re:For example (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#33912494)

I'm not going to take you wholesale on this; but as a single data point of advice in a plot of research, do you think I could accomplish the whole "heavy aerobics fat burn" thing (the 6 pack abs... strong abs don't do it, you need to burn fat off so abs show, usually by doing a lot of running) by reducing my carbohydrates intake; or is this limiting, and at a point I'm going to have just a THIN layer of fat that's going to refuse to go away with my light amounts of activity (martial arts, actually) and demand daily biking or 5km/day runs? Also what's your opinions on sugar (soda) vs starch (bread)?

Re:For example (1)

Chaostrophy (925) | about 4 years ago | (#33912886)

Do some reading in the Paleo and low carb communities, there is no data that exercise leads to weight loss (it is good for health reasons, etc, but it will not make you thin). Unless you really want the goal (winning aerobic fitness based events, ie tour de france or just a marathon), high output aerobics seems to be harmful (check out Mark's Daily Apple, he made his living in that world for two decades).

Low output aerobics, occasional max effort work, seems to be what people are made for. The Army has moved from long runs to sprints, a sprinter can do the runs, and you spend less time and fewer injuries than the runner training.

Links:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ [marksdailyapple.com]
http://robbwolf.com/ [robbwolf.com]
check out who they link to.

Re:For example (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 4 years ago | (#33912530)

Eating fatty meats is contrary to their beliefs about what a weight loss program should contain so they simply refused to accept it.

At least in the Military pretty much EVERYBODY is aware of low-carb diets, especially Atkins.

What I hate is the amount of No Fat/Sugar products out there. I have nothing against fat or sugar. I like fats and sugars. What I want is LESS of them, or at least more bulk in proportion. I want reduced calorie stuff that tastes 90% as good as the 'real deal' more than 'no calorie' stuff that's 50% as tasty.

Re:For example (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912536)

I've been on LCHF for a while and lost 21 lb in nine months. I haven't worked out, I sit in front of computers day and night.

First months I gorged myself in as much fried pork as I could stand, with delicious lard and all. Lost 5 punds.

My blood pressure has dropped to high-school levels. Going to get a blood analysis next month, expecting improved overall.

Re:For example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912564)

Neither fat nor carbs are bad for you. It's the extreme exclusion of one or the other that is bad. You know vegetables, fruit and such are carbs, right?

Extremes work in the short term but long term your health will suffer. Moderation and balance my friend.

Plus everybody is different (or I should say each tribe we descended from is different). Some need more or less or certain things due to the way our body processes it. Some tribes were heavy meat biased, some ate very low calorie, others high carbs like fruits. Finding the correct diet for your body can take some work. You can not apply blanket rules like you seem to want to do.

Re:For example (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 4 years ago | (#33912586)

Eating fat is still unhealthy as animals store up what they eat in it and if they get fed chemicals, antibiotics and dioxins (which a lot of mass-farmed animals like chickens do get a lot off) that ends up in their fat and intestines. However, you are right that a balanced diet and exercise will work off most of your extra pouches even if you do end up eating a baked potato and steak dinner without trimming the fat or excluding the beer, cream cheese and bacon bits (which is delicious imho).

I recently started doing a full body workout (60 minutes) and running exercises (up to 30 minutes so far), still eat probably 2500 calories a day and I am also losing weight.

Re:For example (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#33912778)

First, for about a month or more, I started riding my bicycle to work.

Then, after it was established that I had been riding my bike for at least a month, I started on a low-carb diet.

Here's why I did it like this:

People don't listen for more than a few sentences and are especially resistant when the information conflicts with what they think they know.

So, I have to ask...

Why didn't you do it in the reverse order? Low-Carb first.

They see you on the bike. Then they see you slimmer. They don't watch what you eat. They just attribute it all to the bike.

You could have skipped the bike, or delayed it till WELL after weight loss of the low-carb. The point would have been without the providing yet another opportunity for people to jump to the wrong conclusion. They probably attribute it ALL to the bike riding finally taking affect.

Re:For example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912356)

I'm reading this book [amazon.com] and I find it a really eye-opener. Frightening too.

I got hooked after reading the introduction, which tells the tale of William Banting [wikipedia.org] . Unknown to me, he basically did what I had done a few years ago and got me 40 pounds thinner.

Reality check (5, Insightful)

koreaman (835838) | about 4 years ago | (#33911936)

If medical research were really as close-to-useless as The Fine Summary claims, we'd be hardly better off with modern Western medicine than with homeopathy and prayer. Clearly, we are, refuting the idea that medical research doesn't do a huge amount of good. I'm not saying it isn't flawed, but give it some credit.

Re:Reality check (3, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | about 4 years ago | (#33911964)

I was thinking along the same lines - stuff like this only gives the anti-immunozation people more ammunition.

Re:Reality check (1)

Chaostrophy (925) | about 4 years ago | (#33912924)

Well, there is reason to think the flu vaccine does nothing.

You are far less likely to die of the flu if you get it, but it seems equally effective at preventing accidental death, and all cause mortality, which makes it seem that it is compliance effect (that people who are good about taking what the doc gave them live longer, even if it is a placebo).

Re:Reality check (3, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33911978)

Science is a noble endeavor, but it's also a low-yield endeavor ... I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life.

TFS seems to be suggesting there is no value in incremental knowledge. No, no you don't discover penicillin every day you go to the lab. But you usually achieve something that advances the state-of-the-art and the things that you learned from your predecessor(s).

Re:Reality check (1)

koreaman (835838) | about 4 years ago | (#33912002)

Right. Whether it's "low yield" is irrelevant. Brute forcing a password is "low yield" too -- only a very tiny percentage of times you try a password will it be the correct one.

Doesn't mean you won't get it eventually.

Re:Reality check (2, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33912290)

I think the implication is that "low-yield" generally means "unprofitable", so the honestly involved in the claimed results a scientific endeavor has a lot to do with how much profit is expected from said results.

Note that TFS says "major improvements", not "improvements". Pharma/Med companies generally only profit significantly from "major improvements".

If research were to uncover a drug that is 1% more effective in preventing hayfever than existing prescription meds, that would be an "improvement". Hardly a "major" one, but an improvement. But it costs a lot of money to put a drug to market.

So I, as the company that employs that scientist, have five choices:

1. Fund a completely honest study and safety testing at a cost of $X so the product can go to market and the consumer will say "1% improvement? Ho, hum, I'm happy with what I have." I lost money, but maybe a few patients ended up with a better quality of life.

2. Decide it's unprofitable, but publish the results so anyone can freely use it, since it's not worth the effort for me to pursue it. Maybe someone else can use it as a foundation to improving the state of medicine. I won't profit from it, but the world might be a better place.

3. Continue funding the project in the hopes that further advances become more profitable. Maybe I'll make money someday, maybe I won't. Ya rolls the dice, ya takes yer chances.

4. Tell the scientist to stop wasting time on it, assign them to another project, and have their notes shredded so at least competitors can't use it for something.

5. Fund a study that demonstrates a completely revolutionary breakthrough in effectiveness, advertise it as such, push it for a lot of off-label uses, send some doctors some nice pens, hope the placebo effect holds when people switch to it, and milk that mooing cash cow as long as my patent holds out, then shove it to OTC and come out with a very-slightly-tweaked new version of it immediately thereafter that has a couple of random letters after the name in the hopes I can get people to think it's a different med, and repeat the cycle as many times as there are two-letter combinations.

I've ranked them in ascending order of likelihood.

Re:Reality check (3, Informative)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 4 years ago | (#33912004)

You ARE aware of the placebo effect, right? It is a BIG problem for big pharma ...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524911.600-13-things-that-do-not-make-sense.html [newscientist.com]

--
"The Inner Space (of Mind), not Outer Space is the FINAL frontier."

Re:Reality check (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912112)

Over time I became immune to placebos, I now take Extra-Strength Placebos (liqui-gels). Twice the inert ingredients!

Re:Reality check (3, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 years ago | (#33912426)

Over time I became immune to placebos, I now take Extra-Strength Placebos (liqui-gels). Twice the inert ingredients!

I only use homeopathic remedies.
Now with 1000x less inert ingredients!

Re:Reality check (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33912584)

Over time I became immune to placebos, I now take Extra-Strength Placebos (liqui-gels). Twice the inert ingredients!

With the guaranteed spurious effects?!

Spurious -learned that from porn magazines as a kid - all the penis enlargement pill advertisements used that word. That's right parents, enhance your child's vocabulary with porn - you want them to be successful, don't you?!

Re:Reality check (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33912202)

You ARE aware of the placebo effect, right?

I've always considered the Placebo Effect to be a good thing. If your mind affecting your biochemistry works as well as the actual drugs, that's less we need to give to people.

It is a BIG problem for big pharma ...

Oh. OH. Problem for big pharmaceutical companies. They don't want people to cure their ailments unless its going to cost em.

Re:Reality check (2, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | about 4 years ago | (#33912264)

I've always considered the Placebo Effect to be a good thing. If your mind affecting your biochemistry works as well as the actual drugs, that's less we need to give to people.

Yeah, but what if they are being told over and over again by "alternative practicioners" that the medicine doesn't work, and has terrible side effects? That has a placebo effect, too.

Re:Reality check (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33912696)

N it's not. What the article failed to mention is that in ALL cases, it's was temporary.
It never cures anything, and all objective tests show that..it's doesn't help. Subjectively it certainly does.

For example, lets say you have a stiff back and it hurts. So I test your movement. Things like, how fast can you get out of the chairs, how far can you bend, and so on. I give you a Obecalp. Pretty quickly you may start to feel less pain. But if you are tested, none of the range of motion increases.
Placebo is about context.

There is no placebo birth control, not placebo cancer cures, no placebo will mend a broken arm.

I know quite a bit about placebo effects., Also, there are different kinds, hence the plural.

Re:Reality check (1)

Evil Mammoth (1922526) | about 4 years ago | (#33912862)

NewScientist somewhat erroneously titled the described phenomenon "The Placebo Effect". That patient received a real intervention and then was switched to a placebo. The finding is interesting, but I'd be more tempted to call that an actual placebo effect if the patient was given saline solution in the first place without ever receiving morphine.

Furthermore, much (if not most) of the placebo effect can be attributed observational and reporting bias in studies, either on the part of the observing physician or on the part of the patient. You'll notice that placebo scores are often highest in studies that rely on a patient completing a survey asking them to quantify the effectiveness of the treatment they received, and this is usually a measure of the perceived benefit more than an objective measurement of treatment efficacy.

The placebo effect is oversold by alt-med proponents and people with a knee-jerk negative reaction to Big Pharma. They've made mistakes, to be sure, and you can't trust a pharma company to police itself, but the fact remains that the drugs they make are responsible for saving more lives than any other medical breakthrough besides hygiene.

I couldn't say the same for the placebo effect.

Re:Reality check (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 4 years ago | (#33912026)

A lot of modern medicines are not better than older medicines.

They had a big push to replace metformin (1950's super cheap) diabetes drug with something new--- it was the new big thing until it wasn't.

Re:Reality check (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33912764)

It is still used by 42 million people. I'm not sure why you think there was ever a big push to replace it.

Re:Reality check (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912040)

In further news, Meta-Meta-Research Debunks Meta-Research Study Findings...

Re:Reality check (1, Redundant)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 4 years ago | (#33912068)

Being close-to-useless isn't the same as being useless. Something close-to-useless can still make astounding progress, given enough time.

And medicine has been around a fucking long time, scientific medicine less so, but still, a really fucking long time.

Re:Reality check (1)

Stregano (1285764) | about 4 years ago | (#33912120)

So maybe that pill I order from my e-mail really is natural and will make it 3 inches bigger.

Re:Reality check (5, Interesting)

instagib (879544) | about 4 years ago | (#33912228)

I skimmed TFA, and it's important to note that scientific base research (for new pills, procedures, etc.) is not the issue here. This is about studies, i.e. field testing of large numbers of patients, and the (wrong, causation != correlation, etc.) interpretations that are made public afterwards. Funny enough, until recently, criticising the official results of medical studies was seen as conspiracy theory by those in power in medical circles.

Re:Reality check (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 4 years ago | (#33912398)

criticising the official results of medical studies was seen as conspiracy theory by those in power in medical circles.

You're suggesting a conspiracy of "those in power in medical circles"? Which people specifically? What criticism? Some criticism is conspiracy theory, some isn't. As far as I know, there is robust debate in 'medical circles' about much medical research, so certainly 'they' accept criticism, whoever they are.

Re: criticising the official results of medical st (0, Troll)

drainbramage (588291) | about 4 years ago | (#33912826)

So it's reasonable to criticize medical studies AND they realize that peer-review is, well, not so good AND they point out that erroneous conclusions persist....
Good thing AGW has avoided all that.

Re:Reality check (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 4 years ago | (#33912272)

``If medical research were really as close-to-useless as The Fine Summary claims, we'd be hardly better off with modern Western medicine than with homeopathy and prayer. Clearly, we are''

Oh? I suspect you're right, but I do note that you said that without providing any support for your claim, let alone convincing study results. How, then, is it supposed to be _clear_ that we are better off?

This gets to the heart of the problem. It's easy to claim things, and many people will believe whatever it is you claim, especially if they hear the claim repeated often enough. That doesn't make it true, though. In science, we have established methods for testing claims. If carried out right, scientific studies allow us to make claims that are very unlikely to be wrong, and/or not to be off by much, and/or useful even if they aren't completely correct. The problem is, the methods we have set out are not always applied, and many people don't understand the methods or why they are so important. This allows a lot of people, both well-meaning and malicious, to convince the masses that their solution will make the world a better place, whereas actually, it doesn't.

The article and the summary are worrying, because, either, the aforementioned sort of demagogy is widespread in the medical world, or they are themselves part of exactly such demagogy. In either case, the demagogues have succeeded.

Re:Reality check (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 4 years ago | (#33912912)

For most of human history homeopathy and prayer were about as effective as it got in medicine. Then medicine started getting better and more effective. Where's the proof? Look at life expectancy [wordpress.com] and compare where we are now to a few centuries ago. There are many contributing factors in life expectancy other than medicine (wars, accidents, nutrition, etc). But if you look at the things we're not dying of today that we were dying of back then, there are a great many that are medical in nature. For instance: no one dies of smallpox today, and its elimination is a direct result of medicine.

Re:Reality check (5, Insightful)

zrbyte (1666979) | about 4 years ago | (#33912340)

If medical research were really as close-to-useless as The Fine Summary claims, we'd be hardly better off with modern Western medicine than with homeopathy and prayer.

True.

Top notch research is what makes all the medical breakthroughs, but this is only the top few percent of ALL medical research. IMHO one of the main reasons there are so much bogus papers out there is because of the publish or perish attitude in academia, which requires researchers to have a set number of papers published to be eligible for research funding, tenure, other career advancements. I know from experience (although not in medical research, but natural sciences) that sometimes you have to publish a paper even if you know that the results aren't meaningful, or of value to anyone. Then there are people who publish things that were not subjected to rigorous testing, double checking of data, etc. which can easily turn out to be wrong. Lastly there are the cheats. All I'm trying to say is that it's more of a science policy problem than a problem with the integrity of researchers. If the number of publications has to go up, then their quality will surely decrease. Very few research groups (the ones which have good funding) have the luxury of publishing only every now and then. But when they do it's usually a Science or Nature paper. This problem os quality VS quantity is most serious in China. [nature.com] However, not even journals such as Nature are immune to this. [nature.com]

Re:Reality check (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 years ago | (#33912388)

Come on, this is a "meta-study". In other words, it is pretty much everything it accuses medical research to be.

Re:Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912440)

The problem comes when scientists start ignoring experiment results in favour of the belief that some hypotesis is true. As far as I know, in the case of homeopathy, scientists at large agree that experiment results do not support it, so it's not viable.

Re:Reality check (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | about 4 years ago | (#33912514)

The summary is scaremongering; the article is more in depth and interesting. Basically it says that researchers need money in order to, you know, actually research Because they need money they need to receive grants. In order to get grants, they need their grant approved. In order to get approval, their research needs to show "promise". In order to increase the amount of "promise" in their research, they need to have flashy results.

All of these steps give a lot of reason for scientists to introduce bias into their work. Even if it isn't intentional, it happens. Introduce the facts that doctors are not mathematicians, some people are lazy, and some people really are bastards, and you get a lot of false promises.

The article goes on to say that even after some conclusions are completely refuted, many doctors still use the disproven results. Whether it's through neglect or bias doesn't matter at this point, it's just bad news for the patient.

Re:Reality check (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#33912580)

I'm more a fan of TCM and such than modern Western medicine. This is mainly because the pills all have 6 billion side-effects. Mind you, as much as I like the idea of picking up random root/leaf/etc and fixing issues, this loses its effectiveness a little beyond "nibble ginger to cure nausea" (which works). The real magic of TCM is that the so-called "doctor" is actually coming back to ask you questions every 2-3 days, and trying to balance out the treatment; today's doctors throw pills at you, and then say "oh well ... let's try a different brand of the same medication." Or they throw two different types of pills to treat the same thing at you. There's no "This didn't work, and the visible effects were as such, so I believe that my initial diagnostic was wrong and we need to correct these problems instead..." going on here.

well, that's actually mostly true (1)

yyxx (1812612) | about 4 years ago | (#33912612)

If medical research were really as close-to-useless as The Fine Summary claims, we'd be hardly better off with modern Western medicine than with homeopathy and prayer.

In fact, we aren't: medical research has added fairly little to our life expectancy. Most increase in life expectancy is due to improved public health, hygiene, quarantine, isolation, city planning, etc. Of course, there are some success stories: some vaccinations, antibiotics, some surgeries, but they represent a tiny fraction of all medical research. Another dirty little secret is that for many drugs, while the drug treatment is statistically better than a placebo, the placebo effect is often bigger than the little bit of extra effect you get from the drug.

Having been sick recently, I also found that doctors really have very little idea of what's going on. Their hands-on experience is valuable, but they don't really think about it much (or just get it wrong); they are really more like medicine men with knives and drugs, and they rely less on medical research and more on their own experience.

Re:Reality check II (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | about 4 years ago | (#33912876)

And exactly how are we to determine wether homeopathy or prayer doesn't work as well as the results found in medical journals / studies, if they are all flawed and biased in different sorts of ways.

I am glad I am not the only one who sighs every morning when reading a newspaper about some study claiming all sorts of stupid "facts" we:
A) already know about, ie. common sense. Example: Your hygiene may affect how many mating partners you may get, or some other ridiculously subjective and unnecessary study. Just an example pulled up from the air, but in today's media, not entirely unlikely.
B) can find no direct proof of causation, ie. correlation != causation. Example: Teenage pregnancy and video games. Study shows correlation, but if you give these "researchers" the task to find correlation between weather climate in Dakhar and teenage pregnancies in USA, their statistical short-curcuiting will "prove" correlations there also, and present it like it is a significant causation. Especially if you don't reveal where their datasets really come from... (just a hint)
C) find littered with known prejudices, political biases and limited understanding, ie. bias. Example: Global cooling, global warming. One decade the first is the Truth And Only Truth, then another decade the latter one is the Truth And Only Truth.

Now I'm NOT saying all these studies are garbage, or that we can't derive anything meaningful from them. However, they are misrepresented in media, and when funding them, blown out of proportion and usually fails the "common sense check", ie. your reality check.

So when the quality of science today is so low, how can we REALLY know that prayer doesn't work (btw, lots of studies show that prayer DO work in many cases, ie. as a placebo effect or something similar), or homeopathy? If you're gonna present something "better" than existing cures, then you gotsa make sure the science is there, or your just falling into the same trap as we've fallen in for the last thousands of years of authorities making bad decision based on flawed data.

My personal opinion is that whatever works the best for you, will work. Western medicine is mostly based on herbalism, and works for fixing immediate damages to the body. While, sports, yoga, meditation, prayer, healing, good friends, smiles, laughter, will do wonders to prevent later ailments and make life more enjoyable.

What I find despicable, is people offering healing for dying patients, when there is no proof to support the cure, especially when offering money, which is illegal. However, other than that I think people should take responsibility for their own actions, and have freedom to choose what works the best for them.

Why not combine the best methods, or let people decide for themselves, and stop playing games once and for all?

Research or the people? (1, Flamebait)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about 4 years ago | (#33911948)

The problem I think is the people doing the research and not the research itself. People can lie about the results, which happen far to often.

Re:Research or the people? (2, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | about 4 years ago | (#33912108)

I was going to suggest just the opposite. Medical studies aren't like doing physics experiments in the lab: you can't control the minutae of the experiment to anywhere near an ideal degree. You need to have control groups, you need to factor out all possible other causes (and even then, you can be sure you won't catch them all), you need to have long-term observations and follow-up studies. Sometimes you'll see a trend and it turns out it was pure chance [youarenotsosmart.com] . Everyone is different, both in terms of genetic makeup and environment, and that's going to mean that everyone has different reactions to just about anything.

There's clearly room for a great deal of improvement here, but people might need to accept that results of medical studies are never going to be as clear-cut as math papers. I think, and now I'm moving into personal opinion, the most important step-- and this applies to both the media and to scientists who might want to cite or cross-reference something-- is that nothing is ever, ever proved after the first paper. Ever. The first paper on some hypothetical connection really should just be ignored, except for prompting further investigation Like I said above, it needs follow-ups, and experiments with different variables controlled for.

Re:Research or the people? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33912618)

Everyone is different, both in terms of genetic makeup and environment, and that's going to mean that everyone has different reactions to just about anything.

Indeed. We get it drilled into our heads over and over that fat is bad for you, salt is bad for you, but not all of us sit at the top of the bell curve. I'm a naturally thin man whose blood pressure is either normal or low every time it's tested, so a low fat low salt diet is bad for me, while most people (in America anyway) are overweight and have high blood pressure. A healthy diet for me is completely different than a healthy diet for a fat man.

In math or physics you don't have that.

Re:Research or the people? (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 4 years ago | (#33912462)

The problem I think is the people doing the research and not the research itself. People can lie about the results, which happen far to often.

I think you've found the problem of every institution in the history of humanity, from governments to your Linux Users Group. People. They lie, act selfishly, do dumb things, become jealous and political, etc etc. But until we build the perfect robotic overlord, we're stuck with people running things.

The question is not, do the people do these things. The question is, does the institution work regardless.

It seems that, though flawed (shocking!), we benefit from medical research. Yes the information is imperfect, but that's the nature of the beast.

Re:Research or the people? (1)

firewrought (36952) | about 4 years ago | (#33912490)

The problem I think is the people doing the research and not the research itself. People can lie about the results, which happen far to often.

Deliberate deceit is only one avenue of error mentioned in the article. Flawed experiment design and statistical analysis are also major problems. The significant question is not "who do we punish?" or "how do we avoid conflict of interest?", it's "how do we better scrutinize research and researchers?".

Answer that and you'll raise the overall quality of medical study as well as the care with which doctors lean on current researchers for informing their practice. Is there something that works better than the current grant/research/publish/cite process, or does science fall apart once too many extrinsic interests get involved?

Re:Research or the people? (1)

AkkarAnadyr (164341) | about 4 years ago | (#33912516)

People can lie about the results, which happen far to often.

Then the problem isn't people doing research, it's people finishing their research. Without that, we won't have results happening nearly as often.

As a bonus, grad students can stay on longer and defer those ugly student loan payments (which also happen far too often, from their perspective).

Re:Research or the people? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33912592)

People can be wrong, but I think out right lying isn't that common at all. You do see conclusion that don't match the data, often the people in the study don't realize it because of certain bias. Sometime people do outright lie. Andrew Wakefield springs to mind.

Both case are exactly why multiple studies need to be done, and peer review must be adhered to. It's also why when just a few studies counter consensus, you need to be extra careful when reading them. Sometime that find something, but usually they don't.

homeostatis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33911984)

Short answer:
SSRI = none self limiting Hallucinogenic drug, that lowers self consciousness. (so you may get more concious of other for instance and get anxiety, or loose control, or stop giving a ship and top yourself)
'street' version, MDMA, self limiting.

Difference, well think think of SSRIs as like a year long MDMA hit (that keeps going and going) and your brain adjusting to the chemical defficancy you never had, so when you come of that shit...... well shit... it's worse than before, with years of flashbacks.

Anti-psychotics Make you 'less conscious' or more stupid or just 'thoughtless' in every way possible, like a dead man on legs constantly seeking the pleasure they remove, too stupid to realize you a cabbage.
Then when you get off that shit, well a 'year' or so possibly of withdrawal and longer of flash backs (kind of psychotic withdrawal) as your body regains homeostatis.

'street' version, bullet to the head.

As my shrink said 'if it worked they'd be using it',
I didn't realize she meant, 'if it worked they'd be paying some dodgy bloke on the corner their hard earned cash and using it'.

Would you trust Microsoft to be a drug pusher?

There ain't no money in things that work! (well not for big pharma)

Gorgias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912030)

So this is a research paper that tries to convince the reader that research papers can't be trusted. Really now.

Couldn't be more shocking! (0, Offtopic)

pooh666 (624584) | about 4 years ago | (#33912032)

I click on that link, and .... I got just an article!!! I was sure my browser was broken when 30 ads and noise from all directions didn't load. Oh the beautiful text! Ok one banner ad but nice...

I'd comment on that scientific study ... (1)

SengirV (203400) | about 4 years ago | (#33912042)

But the results are copyrighted and can't be used without a licensing fee.

Study shows (3, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33912044)

... that most people will believe anything, as long as it starts with 'study shows'.

Re:Study shows (1, Offtopic)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33912110)

Hmmm...

Studies show that I should be modded up.

Re:Study shows (0, Troll)

Knitebane (64590) | about 4 years ago | (#33912216)

Gosh, it's a good thing that climate change studies are immune from this kind of thing! Otherwise there might be a bunch of people that are denigrating and insulting the skeptics for no reason!

Re:Study shows (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | about 4 years ago | (#33912632)

Last time I checked, climatology wasn't a branch of Medicine.

Re:Study shows (1)

DavidTC (10147) | about 4 years ago | (#33912922)

It's not nice to confuse people like that.

Just like democracy.... (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 4 years ago | (#33912050)

... it's the most useless way to progress, except for all others.

Be a skeptic, but don't confuse skepticism with truthiness. Unfortunately, I expect a rise in the use of truthiness over science when people will investigate reality.

We've known this for years (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912052)


I'm a Doctor of Chiropractic, posting anonymously so no one thinks I'm pushing my practice.

Ask any Chiropractor, Naturopath or Homoeopath and they will all tell you the same thing: MODERN MEDICINE IS POISON

All a person needs for good health is:

A) Proper diet.
B) Exercise.
C) Regular Chiropractic Adjustments to keep your nerve function at peak performance.

The poisons your "Doctors" push should be illegal. MDs are no better than the "Doctors" in Auschwitz doing experiments on helpless children.

Re:We've known this for years (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 4 years ago | (#33912114)

I'd replace item C with regular fucking. Don't see the quacks, just fuck someone. Chiropractors are worthless and evil. Fucking is fucking AWESOME!

Re:We've known this for years (1)

instagib (879544) | about 4 years ago | (#33912480)

What the fuck are you talking about?

Re:We've known this for years (1)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | about 4 years ago | (#33912874)

you could fuck a chiropractor tho, just to be safe

Re:We've known this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912486)

All a person needs for good health is:

A) Proper diet.
B) Exercise.
C) Regular Chiropractic Adjustments to keep your nerve function at peak performance.

Which one of those prevents Tetanus? Just curious.

Re:We've known this for years (3, Funny)

turing_m (1030530) | about 4 years ago | (#33912488)

Ask any Chiropractor, Naturopath or Homoeopath and they will all tell you the same thing: MODERN MEDICINE IS POISON

I'm a firm believer in Homoeopathy. I don't believe in all of it though, just a homoeopathic proportion of its principles.

Re:We've known this for years (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | about 4 years ago | (#33912646)

Personally, I would have modded this "Funny."

Re:We've known this for years (1)

pinkj (521155) | about 4 years ago | (#33912784)

I know doctors and you, sir, are no doctor.

I couldn't get past the first paragraph (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33912066)

In 2001, rumors were circulating in Greek hospitals that surgery residents, eager to rack up scalpel time, were falsely diagnosing hapless Albanian immigrants with appendicitis. At the University of Ioannina medical school’s teaching hospital, a newly minted doctor named Athina Tatsioni was discussing the rumors with colleagues when a professor who had overheard asked her if she’d like to try to prove whether they were true—he seemed to be almost daring her. She accepted the challenge and, with the professor’s and other colleagues’ help, eventually produced a formal study showing that, for whatever reason, the appendices removed from patients with Albanian names in six Greek hospitals were more than three times as likely to be perfectly healthy as those removed from patients with Greek names.

Okay - so I only bothered getting this far into TFA.
Now - I'm no medical junkie, I didnt' even take Bio in high school, but I have occaisonally watched Scrubs and House and ER and a bunch of other medical dramas from time to time.

One thing that always seems to surface in these TV shows is the patients history, like their religion, nationality, where they work, etc. This leads me to believe that maybe - JUST MAYBE - there is actually some correlation between something in the Albanian culture and society that has an increased chance of appendicitis, and that its entirely possible that this pushes doctors towards diagnosing that when some of the symptoms appear. (Not that this is particularily the best course of action, but what else would you do? Run every test?)

But at the same time I know how incredibly innaccurate a lot of television can be about portraying a subject. However, the IT Crowd has basically mimicked my life, but thats another story for another time. Anyways, so if I'm absolutely and completely wrong, feel free to mod me down - but I just thought I'd interject.

Re:I couldn't get past the first paragraph (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33912518)

Not likely, but I would say it warrants further studies.
It certainly doesn't prove it was done for more scalpel time.

Quack Attack (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912082)

The problem I know because I am (retired) RN. I went to my MD for a severe sinus infection and chest infection some years ago. During the visit I asked for Abuterol Inhailer to assist with clearing my chest. This is standard Respiratory Therapy stuff. They gave me a puffer which I took home, used 10 or 15 puffs out of and threw it in the drawer. Ever after that BCBC has me as Diagonsis Asthma. I am not asthmatic. This will screw up my healthcare for the rest of my life! Makeing all of these errored stupid databases cross link will do far worse than this. My daughter (age 23) was emergency taken to the local hospital with what appeared to be an Epileptic Seizure. Consequences included she couldn't drive for 6 months! I will skip the details, her seizure was a cardiac seizure. It took her actually taking her case to the local Fire Department to get a heart monitor strip to make this undeniable. She is now treated well but forever she will be DX Epileptic even though it is completely wrong. Does any sane person want this sort of a system where you cannot go to another doctor and have him/her look at you rather than some record first? Who wants in that trap? If you are an MD in that trap even if you see that the record is wrong, you can go to jail, lose your job etc all if you go against this insane record that is completely in error. Please wake up people this is a prison without walls! You cannot escape! You will have to leave the country to get away from a bad diagnosis or a stupid keystroke error. Remember the computers have a forever memory and no intelligence.

Re:Quack Attack (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33912246)

Indeed, it is more than just the research. One of the problems is that one doctor can't remove the diagnoses of another doctor. And there's an unhealthy obsession with common ailments. It happens all the time and it's hard to know whether it's a new awareness of missed cases, or whether it's become the diagnosis de jour. During the 90s it was carpal tunnel syndrome, now it's ADHD. Unfortunately it's hard to say how much of it is over diagnosis and how much of it is just noticing missed cases.

Anytime a record follows a person there needs to be some form of error checking involved and the ability to fix it.

Re:Quack Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912578)

Your issue is that you are living in a broken society. I cannot understand how you could let it go that far. You are misdiagnosing your own problem. Your issue is political and not medical/technological.

CHeck MIB (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33912768)

This will screw up my healthcare for the rest of my life! Makeing all of these errored stupid databases cross link will do far worse than this.

She is now treated well but forever she will be DX Epileptic even though it is completely wrong

Have you checked the MIB [mib.com] to see if both of you have those entries? If they are there, dispute them.

For those those don't know, the MIB is yet another company that collects data on us to report to subscribers who want to know about your health care history.

You gave them permission to use that information when you signed the patient information form at the doctors office in order to get treatment.

Re:Quack Attack (1)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | about 4 years ago | (#33912846)

I'm envying you in some respects because you appear to have a functioning medical records system. My recent experience with hospitals is that every time you see a new doctor, it's as if you just got off the boat from Mars with respect to the state of your medical records. Whether the procedure was done yesterday or years ago, the doctors don't know about it until the patient or somebody else in the room tells them. Of course, the medical records system you describe has obvious flaws, but at least it seems to record some data.

Re:Quack Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912956)

False, physicians using any reasonable EHR can absolutely inactivate a problem or diagnosis and document that it isn't the correct diagnosis. On the every medical database is linked and cross-linked: That's laughably, absolutely not true in the clinical world. That would be somehow solving the problem of clinical data exchange which has never been really solved at all and may never be. It might, maybe be true of insurance company diagnosis databases, but it certainly isn't true of EHR's. I cannot get a EHR chart across the street to another hospital much less around the country.

The problem I know because I am (retired) RN. I went to my MD for a severe sinus infection and chest infection some years ago. During the visit I asked for Abuterol Inhailer to assist with clearing my chest. This is standard Respiratory Therapy stuff. They gave me a puffer which I took home, used 10 or 15 puffs out of and threw it in the drawer. Ever after that BCBC has me as Diagonsis Asthma. I am not asthmatic. This will screw up my healthcare for the rest of my life! Makeing all of these errored stupid databases cross link will do far worse than this. My daughter (age 23) was emergency taken to the local hospital with what appeared to be an Epileptic Seizure. Consequences included she couldn't drive for 6 months! I will skip the details, her seizure was a cardiac seizure. It took her actually taking her case to the local Fire Department to get a heart monitor strip to make this undeniable. She is now treated well but forever she will be DX Epileptic even though it is completely wrong. Does any sane person want this sort of a system where you cannot go to another doctor and have him/her look at you rather than some record first? Who wants in that trap? If you are an MD in that trap even if you see that the record is wrong, you can go to jail, lose your job etc all if you go against this insane record that is completely in error. Please wake up people this is a prison without walls! You cannot escape! You will have to leave the country to get away from a bad diagnosis or a stupid keystroke error. Remember the computers have a forever memory and no intelligence.

This study may be misleading, too (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 4 years ago | (#33912142)

"I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life."

I'm not surprised that this is true even of well-conducted research and well-written papers. How many baby steps had to be taken between the discovery of a disease and development of a way to cure it or control it? Every one of those baby steps would be a paper that had no real effect on clinical outcomes.

As far as I can see, the most important thing is to get the disproved and superceded papers out of circulation. The internet and a good database would probably be useful, but many medical doctors tend to be reluctant to embrace technology outside their expertise.

Cue the crazies... (-1, Troll)

demonlapin (527802) | about 4 years ago | (#33912170)

The comments section on this one should be a lot of fun. Don't disappoint me, trolls!

Well Considering (0)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33912194)

Considering that when I was treated for cancer I was put on experimental therapy, I'm lucky to have my arm and be alive (been in remission for 15+ years). Praise God. (:

Re:Well Considering (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912248)

Praise God

The same god that gave you the cancer in the first place you mean? Or did you get the cancer because you masturbated too much?

Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912240)

So are meta-studies implicated?

What about the meta-study published in the JAMA which determined that allopathic medicine (MDs, hospitals, pharmacies) is the second leading cause of death in this country? You know, deadly infections in hospitals, wrong drug dosages, drug interactions, drug side affects, botched surgery, failure to detect disease, misdiagnosis. And the occasional murder.

The first report was that medicine is the third leading cause of death, and then a follow-up study raised it to the second leading cause.

So do I believe that study, which jibes with the fine article, or is this meta-study suspect?

statistical studies are the worst (1, Troll)

drdrgivemethenews (1525877) | about 4 years ago | (#33912252)

Medical people tend to understand statistics, to reuse an old saw, the way a drunk understands a lightpole--using it more for support than illumination.

As most/all /.ers know, for a statistical inference to be valid, the underlying dataset must be completely random. Not just sort of random, not just I'm pretty sure it's random, not just that's the best I could do random, not just they-said-it-was random. It must be completely random. Most of the time included random variables must also be completely independent (unless you're doing covariance studies, but let's not go there).

Thing is, complete randomness and independence of variables within a human dataset is probably impossible, even in the big ones sponsored by NIH, the Census Bureau and so on. If that is so, then doing "statistical studies" on human datasets--which AFAIK is what the majority of medical studies attempt to do--is about as scientific as creationism.

Gibberish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912304)

My meta-meta research (the one I just did) found that the article has 6,000+ words in it. About 1,000 unique. The word FESTOONED is present which immediately debunks the entire premise asserted.

John Ioannidis and his team of meta-researchers (just one meta) have obviously been padding their numbers....

You know, I started out believing this (1)

vm146j2 (233075) | about 4 years ago | (#33912324)

But then I saw a paper showing how unreliable meta-studies are.

bad-um-tsching!

These are well known problems (4, Interesting)

Grond (15515) | about 4 years ago | (#33912360)

I don't want to discount the value of the study itself. Clearly it's important to quantify how bad the problem is and try to develop solutions. But at the same time, the article and summary might give one the impression that the errors and biases involved were newly discovered by the researchers. A few examples:

The secondary marker problem (e.g. tracking cholesterol levels instead of real outcomes like deaths)
Comparing new drugs only to placebo or only to drugs that aren't best-in-class or using an intentionally weak dose of the comparison drug
Using meta-analysis of other studies instead of doing new research (and often doing it badly)
Doing retrospective analyses like chart reviews instead of prospective studies (and often doing those badly)

To expand upon that last example: common problems with the methodology of chart review studies were investigated thoroughly by Gilbert and Lowenstein in 1996 [nih.gov] . Despite their findings and recommendations for how to do a chart review properly, things haven't improved much since.

Many doctors and researchers have been critiquing studies and warning about these problems for years. In the emergency medicine context, for example, Jerome Hoffman, a UCLA medical professor and emergency department physician, is well known as a critic of poorly designed studies in the emergency medicine literature. He has critically reviewed studies since 1977 as part of a continuing medical education program called Emergency Medical Abstracts [ccme.org] .

So the problems are well known. The bigger issue is how to fix them.

Don't get Vaccinated (1)

netsavior (627338) | about 4 years ago | (#33912424)

Studies say that Jenny McCarthy says that the MMR [go.com] will give you the dreaded Autism. [guardian.co.uk] Andrew Wakefield told me so, and his patent for a competing vaccine has nothing to do with it [briandeer.com]

So which shot is "the autism shot" you could probably ask 10 moms and 5 would tell you "MMR", even though the whole thing is obvious fraud horseshit.

I have no idea why "information" is perpetuated so quickly but "rebuttal" is so slow.

If there was a better way, I'd be all for it (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | about 4 years ago | (#33912452)

Science is a noble endeavor, but it's also a low-yield endeavor

This may be true, but it is the ONLY reliable yielding endeavor. Everything else that works, can't prove it works. If you could prove it, it would be science.

Science is like democracy. It's the worse system there is, except for all the other systems.

Jeez. (1, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33912460)

a meta study? right there is suspect.
Now there are things you need to understand when reading a study.
A)Sometimes the conclusions do not match the data. This rarely happens in proper qualified journals, but it does happen.

B) Understand what p value means and when it's significant.

C) Understand blinding.

D) Understand sample size.

E) people make mistakes, but that doesn't necessarily mean a study is wrong. In fact, very few times is any one flag mean the study is bad.

F) many things called studies, aren't really studies. Of course, he lumps anything the uses the word 'studies' into the same category. Effectively saying TV is just a valid of a place to get studies as is NEMJ.

t seems to me, that this guy like to take certain situation and that extrapolate them to ridiculous levels. I wouldn't trust him to give me directions. He cherry picks data and then applies the sharp shooter fallacy.

He also doesn't seem to know there is a difference between blinded, double blinded and triple blinded.

Then we shouldn't trust these researchers either? (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 4 years ago | (#33912484)

Why should I trust the researchers in TFA? Oh ... I see ... they have the truth.

Where is the link to the meta-research? (1)

sackbut (1922510) | about 4 years ago | (#33912500)

Nice interview with a charismatic guy. His opinion, not data. It may even be true. This link was not a study though!

The Real Shocker (1)

mpapet (761907) | about 4 years ago | (#33912594)

... is it took a meta review to bring this forward. What do you think will happen when University research funding sources are corporations with very specific short term interests?

The social phenomena described is quite common. People in general trust the messages coming from some sources more than others. Being high on the trust ladder is what Marketing people are hoping to achieve with their efforts. My favorite example in the "trust the messenger" department is Microsoft. How many times over how many years does it take before people will disregard their "yeah, we've got that feature" a year or more out from a product release? Lots. Doesn't matter though. The same people that trust Microsoft after being routinely mislead then defend Microsoft. They trust Microsoft. Pharma does the same thing.

Let's see - the list of orgs who betray our trust (1)

fkx (453233) | about 4 years ago | (#33912626)

Let's see - the list of orgs who betray our trust:

1) government
2) banks and financial institutions
3) education
4) media ...
and now .. the research establishment !!!

Oh no.

Who is next?

Religion?

Re:Let's see - the list of orgs who betray our tru (1)

fkx (453233) | about 4 years ago | (#33912716)

oops - forgot ..

every single business and corporation in existence.

Why believe *this* article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912704)

OK, so the article was saying that other articles are misleading or untrustworthy, etc. But why take this article at face value? Just because it's negative towards other articles? It seems to be human nature to believe the *second* thing you hear is correct, because it implies that the truth has finally come out. There is no real basis for that to be true though.

Meta-researchers (2, Interesting)

plcurechax (247883) | about 4 years ago | (#33912858)

Why I don't doubt that some good critical thinking, and legitimate questioning come from these meta-research studies, I fear that the process is ripe for abuse, as basically being so awash in data (information overload) that given enough data you can pick and choose to fit your a priori or posteriori hypothesis.

I applaud the increased scrutiny of statistical analysis, which is truly difficult to administer on even the best designed and controlled biological and medical studies, where you have very little "total control" of the experimental subjects - damn ethics committees on testing human subjects, and using double blind testing is the best you can do to eliminate bias, yet may mask discovery of experimental flaws during the testing phase. Things go "wonky" in strange ways, for example testing a heart medication, and a freak snowstorm skews all the results because of the rise of heart attacks from the increase in shovelling. We can't legally put 1000s of humans in vats for 10-20 years to test everything, and computational models are primitive and only address what the model is designed to look for, while most medical testing focuses on the unexpected results and effects that may only appear in a small fraction of society, yet if the consequences are dire, it can kill an entire potentially life-saving product.

I fear that the "undergrad social science" approach of meta-study research will make the approach stained with a reputation of people who want to "do science", but without the messy get-your-hands-dirty that costs money (an increasingly mythical subatomic particle in most fields of science and labs around the world) and just do a PR-style re-spin (think: re-branding) of the results of multiple similar but different experiments to reach a conclusion that was not considered by the original experimenters, so whom may not include appropriate experimental controls to minimize draw incorrect conclusions from this re-interpretation of the experimental data. Of if they are really lazy (like social science elective takers), draw conclusions from a compilation of results, and not even bother looking at the original (raw or filtered) data at all. I guess I'm trying to say that there is limited latitude for re-interpreting data for anything beyond what the experiment was designed to test. It can be very useful for detecting and thwarting bad or biased experiments, but as far as I know, it cannot produce trustworthy results from bad experiments.

I'm going to stop... (1)

nilbog (732352) | about 4 years ago | (#33912894)

Alright, I'm going to stop trusting scientific studies - starting with this one.

debunking corepirate nazi freemason hypenosys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33912898)

anyone with a pre-school education could do it. just look around you, like they do.

the corepirate nazi holycost (life, liberty etc...) is increasing by the minute. you call this 'weather'?

continue to add immeasurable amounts of MISinformation, rhetoric & fluff, & there you have IT? that's US? thou shalt not... oh forget it. fake weather (censored?), fake money, fake god(s), what's next? fake ?aliens? ahhaha. seeing as we (have been told that) came from monkeys, the only possible clue we would have to anything being out of order, we would get from the weather. that, & all the other monkeys tipping over/exploding around US.

the search continues; on any search engine

weather+manipulation

bush+cheney+wolfowitz+rumsfeld+wmd+oil+freemason+blair+obama+weather+authors

meanwhile (as it may take a while longer to finish wrecking this place); the corepirate nazi illuminati (remember, (we have been told) we came from monkeys, & 'they' believe they DIDN'T), continues to demand that we learn to live on less/nothing while they continue to consume/waste/destroy immeasurable amounts of stuff/life, & feast on nubile virgins while worshipping themselves (& evile in general (baal to be exact)). they're always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere/planet (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

all the manuals say we're not to kill each other, & we're mandated to care for/about one another, before any other notion will succeed. one does not need to agree whois 'in charge' to grasp the possibility that there may be some assistance available to us, including from each other. there's also the question of frequent extreme 'distractions' preventing us from following the simple 'directions' we were given, along with everything we needed to accomplish our task. see you there?
boeing, boeing, gone.

newsflash! (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | about 4 years ago | (#33912950)

This is a bit like finding out politicians lie during campaigns.

I will often ask new grad students in my lab to try and find a new journal article that will never be superceded by future research. This is, of course, a nearly impossible task. Scientific publications are all a work in progress and represent one group's current understanding of some experiment. In physics (my field), this is all a nice scholarly activity and something that everyone knows and understands at some level. Einstein corrected Newton and one day someone will correct Einstein. The point of all this is to get them to think for themselves; there's almost nothing more frustrating than being in a scientific argument with someone who treats published papers like a fundamentalist Christian treats Bible verses. It's a bit scary to realize the same thing happens in medicine, but not surprising. The fundamental structure of how scientific careers are advanced will need to change if we want to change this behavior.

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