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Sadly, our science is bullshit

Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 15, 2012, 05:15:27 AM
Quote
A link between eating processed meat, such as bacon or sausages, and pancreatic cancer has been suggested by researchers in Sweden.

The World Cancer Research Fund suggested the link may be down to obesity.

Prof Susanna Larsson, who conducted the study at the Karolinska Institute, told the BBC that links to other cancers were "quite controversial".

She added: "It is known that eating meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer, it's not so much known about other cancers."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16526695

The causation-correlation guesswork commences. Is it that people who eat a lot of processed meat tend also to be obese and not exercise? Or that the sulfides in the meat cause cancer? Or that these people also tend to smoke, live near nuclear power plants, guzzle down six gallons of horse semen at Christmas, etc?

Here comes another study, this one also based on a questionnaire no doubt, which claims to adjust for those factors. But all we really know is which checkboxes got ticked, not whether it was true.

And then honest links, like between Macintosh ownership and egomania, get discounted as much as the prevalence of HIV among melodic metal bands. Our science is truly useless on too many subjects.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 15, 2012, 10:07:05 AM
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melodic metal

Is this a catch-all for "melodic death metal", "power metal", "gothic metal", "symphonic metal", "folk metal" etc.?

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 15, 2012, 11:58:53 PM
I noticed this bullshit also on a study linking red meat to higher risk of heart disease + cancer. What the fuck are these people eating? McDonalds? Of course that is cancerous, but it might hurt your study funding to say McDonalds is cancerous, or more likely the strange chemical additives are cancerous (duh).

An honest study would be someone eating organic produce vs modern lifestyle and we'll probably see that "yeah all that junk is cancerous"
I don't know about you guys, but I love my under-120s. They're so cute and funny. Just yesterday one stole my GPS unit and another one took a dump in my yard. Ha ha, they're such cards.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 16, 2012, 02:28:38 AM
That's already pretty accepted. I don't understand the problem. The article is quite clear, it cannot be misconstrued as "don't eat bacon". It benefits us to find these things out regardless of whether the overall behaviour is bad, or whether the scientists miss the point. That's how we learn anything in these fields, if we learn the specifics of "How" in a mechanical sense we gain knowledge and can apply it elsewhere. We are led to that by recognizable statistical trends in Medicine very particularly.

Red meat does cause more cancer. McDonalds or not. The science is mostly fine, the scientists may mostly not be, doesn't matter. The media is the worst offender though, by far.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 19, 2012, 07:06:25 AM
This forum is dissapointing. You get booted off if you show that a senior poster is being stupid. I posted a very valid response to Conservationist about the misguided direction of his railing against science by using this parituclar 'bad' study as an exampe. I wrote that, if one cared to look, the study was very forthright about possible correlating factors which were or were not ruled out, as opposed to what was claimed by the opening poster. In other words, the study is what it is, humble and non-interesting, but not foolish, and definitely not something to hold up and say 'look people, modern science is all shit'.

If you stay within the lines of new right ideology, including the idea that science is lost and modern scientists are dum-asses, you can argue, if not, your booted. This isn't a nihilist forum but a new right forum, plain and simple. If it were a nihilist forum, 'bad' arguments would be attacked, not cencored. Would people prefer a world where we don't know which food gives you cancer?

No doubt this will go soon too.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 19, 2012, 10:15:03 PM
I stated the same, but my comment is still there. Perhaps you need to couch it in more mystical prose.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 19, 2012, 11:03:41 PM
No doubt this will go soon too.

The researchers in Sweden controlled for such variables true or false:

Quote
Is it that people who eat a lot of processed meat tend also to be obese and not exercise? Or that the sulfides in the meat cause cancer? Or that these people also tend to smoke, live near nuclear power plants, guzzle down six gallons of horse semen at Christmas, etc?

Phoenix

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 19, 2012, 11:36:15 PM
No doubt this will go soon too.

The researchers in Sweden controlled for such variables true or false:

Quote
Is it that people who eat a lot of processed meat tend also to be obese and not exercise? Or that the sulfides in the meat cause cancer? Or that these people also tend to smoke, live near nuclear power plants, guzzle down six gallons of horse semen at Christmas, etc?

This meta study very clearly identified its findings as correlational rather than causational in nature. When Conservationist said "The causation-correlation guesswork commences", I assume that he was referring to how people would interpret the study, and that he was criticizing the study for being so specific and impractical as to leave out factors such as weight, exercise, etc. Admittedly investigation taking into account these variables must first start somewhere, presumably with a study that does not take them all into account, but perhaps Conservationist was commenting on the volume of studies inspected in this meta study and pointing out how much time it is taking to begin accounting for additional common-sense variables.

I would have preferred the thread to be a bit clearer, so that readers understand Conservationist is not saying science is bullshit (as The Right often does) but that *our* science is bullshit, i.e. the way *we* use science--such as by investing many resources to determine irrelevant truths--is bullshit.

I agree to some extent with his argument against the way we use science, although I wouldn't take it so far as he does. But I don't have time to get into it now, just wanted to try and clarify what we're talking about here.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 21, 2012, 02:33:48 AM
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The story of torcetrapib is a tale of mistaken causation. Pfizer was operating on the assumption that raising levels of HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL would lead to a predictable outcome: Improved cardiovascular health. Less arterial plaque. Cleaner pipes. But that didn’t happen.

Such failures occur all the time in the drug industry. (According to one recent analysis, more than 40 percent of drugs fail Phase III clinical trials.) And yet there is something particularly disturbing about the failure of torcetrapib. After all, a bet on this compound wasn’t supposed to be risky. For Pfizer, torcetrapib was the payoff for decades of research. Little wonder that the company was so confident about its clinical trials, which involved a total of 25,000 volunteers. Pfizer invested more than $1 billion in the development of the drug and $90 million to expand the factory that would manufacture the compound. Because scientists understood the individual steps of the cholesterol pathway at such a precise level, they assumed they also understood how it worked as a whole.

This assumption—that understanding a system’s constituent parts means we also understand the causes within the system—is not limited to the pharmaceutical industry or even to biology. It defines modern science. In general, we believe that the so-called problem of causation can be cured by more information, by our ceaseless accumulation of facts. Scientists refer to this process as reductionism. By breaking down a process, we can see how everything fits together; the complex mystery is distilled into a list of ingredients.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/12/ff_causation/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=facebookclickthru

Probably the best attack in recent memory.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 27, 2012, 04:49:37 AM
Where science at its worst is only misleading for a while, scientists sometimes deliberately misuse their already imperfect profession. The results we are handed In The Name of Science and our faith in The Sainted Experts, are untrustworthy.

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The doctors were asked whether they had "witnessed or have first-hand knowledge of UK-based scientists or doctors inappropriately adjusting, excluding, altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication," - to which 13 percent said yes.

http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre80b1dn-us-scientists-research-survey/

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
January 27, 2012, 05:54:35 AM
Once, when I was a child, I repeated the word "science", over and over, to myself, until, at length, it ceased to have any meaning at all.
It hasn't had any meaning ever since.
It's funny how grunts and rattles in the larynx are somehow taken to describe stuff. Because they actually don't describe anything.
The brain is really a complete idiot, with the tongue of a sexy woman. All promise and no substance.
You have to be beyond teen-age to appreciate this.
Smoke and mirrors.
Science is like this.
To actually know a thing, is to first learn how to not make it into something it never was.
Squawk!

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
March 07, 2012, 12:20:22 AM
Study finds heavy metal music really does make innocent children devil worshipers:

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The study involved 148 undergraduate students, who were told they would be participating in a study concerning the funding of student groups on campus using tuition funds.

When each participant arrived for the study, they were told to wait for the beginning of the session. They were placed in a waiting room with music playing softly in the background. They were not allowed to have access to any other media, including music players, computers, phones or reading materials.

Participants sat for seven minutes while the music played in the background. They listened to one of three types of music: mainstream rock (artists included Bruce Springsteen and The White Stripes), Top 40 pop music (including Justin Timberlake, Fergie and Akon and Gwen Stefani), or radical white power rock (including the bands Prussian Blue, Screwdriver, and Bound for Glory).

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/586442/

Just kidding. Study found that 7 minutes of radical white power rock really does transform innocent children into wicked haters needing reform education. This is credible. Seriously.

NHA

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
March 07, 2012, 10:30:41 AM
Blank minds are the easiest to stamp ideology on and the first stamp always leaves the deepest impression.


Anyway, theres always some asshole talking about how xxx is now so healthy or unhealthy to eat and i really don't give it much weight. With stuff like smoking it should have been fairly obvious that long term use would negatively impact your body regardless of studies.

Amusingly, if Hitler woulda won ww2 and banned smoking there would probably have been a net loss of life lower than today even if you include all the political enemies he executed.

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
March 07, 2012, 11:25:51 AM
All processed meat is carcinogenic. Most meat is carcinogenic. Food science studies demonstrate this.
There is also a wealth of anecdotal evidence to support the hard, empirical study, where similarly-developed societies with varying diets show similar patterns. For example the longevity of Okinawan Japanese is attributed to their diet.

These days, the USA has little going for it at a federal level besides large-scale money laundering and publicly-subsidized corn production. So I can see why a strongly-nationalistic website would support the eating of patriotic slop for the furtherance of the stars and stripes.

Freedom Fries For All!

Re: Sadly, our science is bullshit
March 07, 2012, 03:44:38 PM
There seems to be a lot of pseudo-science going around in this thread. There are two forms of risk: deterministic and stochastic risk. Deterministic risk is typically measured by exposing an organism to a contaminant, which results in acute and chronic effects which may or may not be reversible, or will result in death. Stochastic is much harder to measure, since it's based purely on probabilities. You may or may not increase your risk of cancer by rubbing yourself down with uranium, but it is best to avoid it and not take that chance. You either get cancer or you don't. In any case, you need to put things into perspective. Currently, reducing risk to individuals nowadays is very hard because just by living, you are exposing yourself to hazards. There is no such thing as "no risk". You must accept a certain level of risk every day and that totally depends on what you value.

Risk Data
Actions that increase the risk of death by one in a million.
  • Smoking 1-4 cigarettes.
  • Drinking 0.5 liters of wine.
  • Spending 3 hours in a coal mine.
  • Traveling 30 miles by car.
  • Flying 1,000 miles by commercial jet.
  • One chest x ray.
  • Drinking water that contains 5 parts per billion TCE (i.e., the TCE concentration equals its MCL) at a rate of 2 L/day for 70 years.
Source of data used in table: Richard Wilson, “Analyzing the Daily Risks of Life,” Technology
Review (February 1979).

http://www.epa.gov/IRIS/