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Science Losing Credibility As Large Amounts Of Research Shown To Be False


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http://wakingscience.com/2017/03/peer-reviewed-science-losing-credibility-large-amounts-research-shown-false/

 

 

Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), also considered one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, alongside The Lancet, has said that “it is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

 

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”

 

– Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal

 

Interesting, well-sourced article.

 

 

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I think part of the issue is the incentive to release research that hits headlines.

 

My dad was telling me recently that he's skeptical of climate change because throughout his life there were constantly things being released as science breakthroughs that contradicted.  Eggs are good, eggs are bad.  The earth is warming, the earth is cooling etc.  I disagree, but understand his skepticism.  If you're constantly reading the headlines you start to wonder what's really true.

 

I heard a thought provoking podcast a few years ago on research studies.  They were discussing how many studies couldn't be reproduced.  The researcher and statistician on the show said in many studies there would be more value in seeing what was tried and failed verses what worked.  This is because sometimes hundreds or thousands of trials are conducted before they find a success.  But knowing what was tried and failed yields valuable information as well.

 

Some of the medical meta-studies are fascinating too.

 

Another issue is the public seems to have more faith in medicine than doctors do themselves.  I know some people who believe any medical headline is absolute truth.  Yet when I talk to family who are doctors they always state things in much more reserved terms. 

 

Someone posted a picture on Twitter recently of the American Heart Association's diet advice from the 1990s.  It said people should avoid all fat and instead should have a soda, snack food, or munch on candy.  We think we've come so far and are so modern right now.  But my guess is in 25 years we'll look back on some of the current advice and think "that really didn't age well at all.."

 

 

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Using the best information we have at the time is not a guarantee that it's correct information, and it has never been. But understanding this doesn't mean that you should disregard the best information at the time just because it's not assured to be correct and instead just randomly guess or just believe whatever is most convenient. That's worse, not better.

 

I think there's always been bad studies and that many things take a while to incrementally become more and more confirmed, but now with the internet, every one of these things can be spread far and wide and we get bombarded with it. 20 years ago, where would you hear about these things? You think they were covered in the evening news or the morning paper? It's a bit similar to how people think violence and crime has gone up overall because they're so much more exposed to it than before 24-hour cable news, while actual facts show that it has been going down overall. It's also a case of sample bias: If you look back, most of the crap has been forgotten and the gems remain, so it looks like before all science was great and flawless. A bit like music: The crap from the past fades, and the great albums remain, so it looks like things were better back then..

 

Scrutiny is good, finding mistakes is good. Let's just not draw the wrong conclusions from this.

 

btw, that website seems like a pretty iffy source itself...

 

http://wakingscience.com/2016/02/fluoride-officially-classified-as-a-neurotoxin-in-worlds-most-prestigious-medical-journal/

 

http://wakingscience.com/2017/01/vaccinate-not-vaccinate-no-longer-question/

 

http://wakingscience.com/2016/08/2354/

 

http://wakingscience.com/2016/11/vaccines-still-contributing-greater-good/

 

http://wakingscience.com/2017/01/3408/

 

http://wakingscience.com/2016/08/2-month-old-infant-suffered-apnea-died-following-8-vaccines/

 

http://wakingscience.com/2016/07/revealed-vaccine-ingredients-cause-tumors-grow/

 

http://wakingscience.com/2016/07/uncensored-truth-mandatory-vaccines-according-rob-schneider/

 

I would guess that the original article you linked to might be itself bogus. Ironic, maybe...

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I agree with most of what oddballstocks said.

 

Yes, there are issues with scientific studies. There are issues with reproducibility. There are issues with publish-or-perish. There are issues with incentives.

 

On the other hand, most of these issues are not as bad, as pervasive or as broken as anti-science critics imply.

Even in the medical field, look at the cancer treating advances in last 30 years or so. Look at HIV treating advances. Look at Hep C treatment.

Yeah, there are crappy studies and marginal or not effective cancer drugs approved (and then possibly withdrawn). But that overall does not negate the huge life extension provided by treatments in last 30 years or so.

Even with all the influence of pharma companies, there are people looking at study results, doing meta studies and pushing better analysis and better future studies.

The whole reproducibility issue makes people (at least some people) construct more reproducible studies. Criticism of placebo-level-only results makes people make better placebo-controlled studies.

 

On the third hand, how many of the people who criticize the studies have tried to make a large, placebo-controlled, double-blind, long-term medical study. These are horrendously difficult. That does not excuse all the simplifications, but the simplifications are not just because researchers are lazy, ignorant, on-the-pharma-payroll, etc. (E.g. because of ethics, you can't have control group on placebo if there are drugs that somewhat-perhaps-work and control group may die because you did not give them these drugs... )

 

On the fourth hand, and I mentioned this in another thread: a lot of devil is in the domain-specific details. So reading a popular-oriented articles about issues in field X is like watching a movie: some things are real, some things are way oversimplified, some things are distorted, some things are flat wrong.

 

The problem I have with OP's article is that it is completely one sided. LC claims it's "well-sourced". But really it presents one side only and gives zero opportunity for the science side to answer any of the issues raised.

 

Edit: I posted this before reading Liberty's reply. Liberty's pointers to other articles on that site completely shoots whatever credibility it had before. Yeah, I was right: it's a site for anti-science kooks.

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Someone posted a picture on Twitter recently of the American Heart Association's diet advice from the 1990s.  It said people should avoid all fat and instead should have a soda, snack food, or munch on candy.  We think we've come so far and are so modern right now.  But my guess is in 25 years we'll look back on some of the current advice and think "that really didn't age well at all.."

 

From Woody Allen 45 years ago

 

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Guest Schwab711

I agree with most of what oddballstocks said.

 

Yes, there are issues with scientific studies. There are issues with reproducibility. There are issues with publish-or-perish. There are issues with incentives.

 

On the other hand, most of these issues are not as bad, as pervasive or as broken as anti-science critics imply.

Even in the medical field, look at the cancer treating advances in last 30 years or so. Look at HIV treating advances. Look at Hep C treatment.

Yeah, there are crappy studies and marginal or not effective cancer drugs approved (and then possibly withdrawn). But that overall does not negate the huge life extension provided by treatments in last 30 years or so.

Even with all the influence of pharma companies, there are people looking at study results, doing meta studies and pushing better analysis and better future studies.

The whole reproducibility issue makes people (at least some people) construct more reproducible studies. Criticism of placebo-level-only results makes people make better placebo-controlled studies.

 

On the third hand, how many of the people who criticize the studies have tried to make a large, placebo-controlled, double-blind, long-term medical study. These are horrendously difficult. That does not excuse all the simplifications, but the simplifications are not just because researchers are lazy, ignorant, on-the-pharma-payroll, etc. (E.g. because of ethics, you can't have control group on placebo if there are drugs that somewhat-perhaps-work and control group may die because you did not give them these drugs... )

 

On the fourth hand, and I mentioned this in another thread: a lot of devil is in the domain-specific details. So reading a popular-oriented articles about issues in field X is like watching a movie: some things are real, some things are way oversimplified, some things are distorted, some things are flat wrong.

 

The problem I have with OP's article is that it is completely one sided. LC claims it's "well-sourced". But really it presents one side only and gives zero opportunity for the science side to answer any of the issues raised.

 

I have nothing to add

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In North America, we live in the land of the free and home to more contradictions than anyone can imagine.  Maybe the lexicon of ‘false’ or ‘wrong’ is too pejorative and a more appropriate description is just inaccurate.

 

Because even the most seemingly bulletproof scientific theories of times past eventually proved to be inaccurate, we must assume that today’s theories will someday prove inaccurate as well – Pessimistic Meta-Induction from the History of Science.

 

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I agree with most of what oddballstocks said.

 

Yes, there are issues with scientific studies. There are issues with reproducibility. There are issues with publish-or-perish. There are issues with incentives.

 

On the other hand, most of these issues are not as bad, as pervasive or as broken as anti-science critics imply.

Even in the medical field, look at the cancer treating advances in last 30 years or so. Look at HIV treating advances. Look at Hep C treatment.

Yeah, there are crappy studies and marginal or not effective cancer drugs approved (and then possibly withdrawn). But that overall does not negate the huge life extension provided by treatments in last 30 years or so.

Even with all the influence of pharma companies, there are people looking at study results, doing meta studies and pushing better analysis and better future studies.

The whole reproducibility issue makes people (at least some people) construct more reproducible studies. Criticism of placebo-level-only results makes people make better placebo-controlled studies.

 

On the third hand, how many of the people who criticize the studies have tried to make a large, placebo-controlled, double-blind, long-term medical study. These are horrendously difficult. That does not excuse all the simplifications, but the simplifications are not just because researchers are lazy, ignorant, on-the-pharma-payroll, etc. (E.g. because of ethics, you can't have control group on placebo if there are drugs that somewhat-perhaps-work and control group may die because you did not give them these drugs... )

 

On the fourth hand, and I mentioned this in another thread: a lot of devil is in the domain-specific details. So reading a popular-oriented articles about issues in field X is like watching a movie: some things are real, some things are way oversimplified, some things are distorted, some things are flat wrong.

 

The problem I have with OP's article is that it is completely one sided. LC claims it's "well-sourced". But really it presents one side only and gives zero opportunity for the science side to answer any of the issues raised.

 

Edit: I posted this before reading Liberty's reply. Liberty's pointers to other articles on that site completely shoots whatever credibility it had before. Yeah, I was right: it's a site for anti-science kooks.

 

You bring up an interesting point.  It's that of incremental improvement.  The current is based on the past, whether the research is flawed or not.  And the present is better than the past.  So you have to conclude that even if things can't be reproduced exactly that there is enough 'correct' to be pointing in the right direction.

 

Maybe that's what some of this is really about.  Now finding that the meaning of life is a precise value such as 42, but rather researching to point in a direction to further explore.  I think most articles are looking for '42' rather than a direction.  A direction doesn't make a compelling article, but a specific figure does.

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Liberty, I am not anti-science... at all.

 

Question though, did you read all these articles that you state are iffy?

 

 

Like the one that states:

 

Judges at the German Federal Supreme Court have confirmed that the measles virus does not exist and that the measles vaccination may have been injected into millions of unsuspecting German citizens for sinister reasons.

 

Emphasis mine.

 

::)

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Here's a fun new "App" you can install in your "Necktop" computer.  It's called the "Surely alarm."

 

 

Basically, when a scientific paper contains words like “surely” or “it goes without saying” in their writings, that is a tipoff that here lies the weak point in their argument (because they’re propping it up or decorating it with useless words that wouldn’t need to be there if the argument was strongest in that point)

 

I probably jived with what he said here because it rhymes with my all time favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography:

 

"...never using, when I advanced anything that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or I should think it so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or it is so, if I am not mistaken. This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversion are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purpose for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure. For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention. If you wish information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet, at the same time, express yourself as firmly fixed in your present opinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error. And by such a manner you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasing your hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire."

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From a great old essay by Neil Postman, titled "Informing Ourselves to Death" 

 

https://w2.eff.org/Net_culture/Criticisms/informing_ourselves_to_death.paper

 

...by telling you of a small experiment I have been conducting, on and off, for the past several years. There are some people who describe the experiment as an exercise in deceit and exploitation but I will rely on your sense of humor to pull me through.

 

Here's how it works: It is best done in the morning when I see a colleague who appears not to be in possession of a copy of {The New York Times}. "Did you read The Times this morning?," I ask. If the colleague says yes, there is no experiment that day. But if the answer is no, the experiment can proceed. "You ought to look at Page 23," I say. "There's a fascinating article about a study done at Harvard University."  "Really? What's it about?" is the usual reply. My choices at this point are limited only by my imagination. But I might say something like this: "Well, they did this study to find out what foods are best to eat for losing weight, and it turns out that a normal diet supplemented by chocolate eclairs, eaten six times a day, is the best approach. It seems that there's some special nutrient in the eclairs - encomial dioxin - that actually uses up calories at an

incredible rate."

 

Another possibility, which I like to use with colleagues who are known to be health conscious is this one: "I think you'll want to know about this," I say. "The neuro-physiologists at the University of Stuttgart have uncovered a connection between jogging and reduced intelligence.  They tested more than 1200 people over a period of five years, and found that as the number of hours people jogged increased, there was a corresponding decrease in their intelligence. They don't know exactly

why but there it is."

 

I'm sure, by now, you understand what my role is in the experiment: to report something that is quite ridiculous - one might say, beyond belief. Let me tell you, then, some of my results: Unless this is the second or third time I've tried this on the same person, most people will believe or at least not disbelieve what I have told them. Some-times they say: "Really? Is that possible?" Sometimes they do a double-take, and reply, "Where'd you say that study was done?" And sometimes they say, "You know, I've heard something like that."

 

Now, there are several conclusions that might be drawn from these results, one of which was expressed by H. L. Mencken fifty years ago when he said, there is no idea so stupid that you can't find a professor who will believe it. This is more of an accusation than an explanation but in any case I have tried this experiment on non-professors and get roughly the same results. Another possible con-clusion is one expressed by George Orwell - also about 50 years ago - when he remarked that the average person today is about as naive as was the average person in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages people

believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what. Today, we believe in the authority of our science, no matter what.

 

But I think there is still another and more important conclusion to be drawn, related to Orwell's point but rather off at a right angle to it. I am referring to the fact that the world in which we live is very nearly incomprehensible to most of us. There is almost no fact - whether actual or imagined - that will surprise us for very long, since we have no comprehensive and consistent picture of the world which would make the fact appear as an unacceptable contradiction.  We believe because there is no reason not to believe. No social, political, historical, metaphysical, logical or spiritual reason. We

live in a world that, for the most part, makes no sense to us. Not even technical sense. I don't mean to try my experiment on this audience, especially after having told you about it, but if I informed you that the seats you are presently occupying were actually made by a special process which uses the skin of a Bismark herring, on what grounds would you dispute me?

 

 

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Why would anyone read any article that starts out

Science today, in all fields, is plagued by corruption.
(with apologies to LC)

 

I use the clickbait rule, the claim is preposterous on the face of it like the clickbait "Obama says refinance your mortgage" or "Trump uses xyz you  should too" 

  • You don't need to read any further.
  • Next

 

Now, I know enough about the sciences to know there are bad studies, that nutrition is particularly complex, that some of the incentives to publish research are wrong and that "facts" have a half life, but still what is the proposal here? Witchcraft?

 

 

 

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btw, that website seems like a pretty iffy source itself...

...

I would guess that the original article you linked to might be itself bogus. Ironic, maybe...

 

Before I posted it, I checked some of the other articles from the homepage. I had the same response that you did.

 

But I thought to myself: If the article itself is thoughtful, has legitimate points, and legitimate sources (I checked most of the sources myself), then it should be posted.

 

The section on vaccines is what first made me question the article's authenticity:

 

Dr. William Thompson, a longtime senior CDC scientist, published some of the most commonly cited pro-vaccine studies, which showed that there was absolutely no link between the MMR vaccine and autism (Thompson, et al. 2007, Price, et al. 2010, Destefano, et al. 2004). However, Dr. Thompson recently admitted that it was “the lowest point” in his career when he “went along with that paper.” He went on to say that he and the other authors “didn’t report significant findings” and that he is “completely ashamed” of what he did. He was “complicit and went along with this,” and regrets that he has “been a part of the problem.” (source)(source)(source)

 

Sounds a little funky, right? Well let's check the source:

 

http://morganverkamp.com/statement-of-william-w-thompson-ph-d-regarding-the-2004-article-examining-the-possibility-of-a-relationship-between-mmr-vaccine-and-autism/

 

It is a whistleblower law firm website with the following statement:

 

My name is William Thompson.  I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998.

 

I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information  in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased  risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue  to save countless lives.  I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated  with their administration are vastly outweighed  by their individual and societal benefits.

 

So the source appears authentic, if you ask me.

 

The problem I have with OP's article is that it is completely one sided. LC claims it's "well-sourced". But really it presents one side only and gives zero opportunity for the science side to answer any of the issues raised.

By that I meant that the claims made are backed up by authentic sources with the knowledge and relevance to have a professional opinion (such as the example earlier in this post). Not that those claims are the end-all.

 

 

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From a great old essay by Neil Postman, titled "Informing Ourselves to Death" 

 

https://w2.eff.org/Net_culture/Criticisms/informing_ourselves_to_death.paper

 

...by telling you of a small experiment I have been conducting, on and off, for the past several years. There are some people who describe the experiment as an exercise in deceit and exploitation but I will rely on your sense of humor to pull me through.

 

Here's how it works: It is best done in the morning when I see a colleague who appears not to be in possession of a copy of {The New York Times}. "Did you read The Times this morning?," I ask. If the colleague says yes, there is no experiment that day. But if the answer is no, the experiment can proceed. "You ought to look at Page 23," I say. "There's a fascinating article about a study done at Harvard University."  "Really? What's it about?" is the usual reply. My choices at this point are limited only by my imagination. But I might say something like this: "Well, they did this study to find out what foods are best to eat for losing weight, and it turns out that a normal diet supplemented by chocolate eclairs, eaten six times a day, is the best approach. It seems that there's some special nutrient in the eclairs - encomial dioxin - that actually uses up calories at an

incredible rate."

 

Another possibility, which I like to use with colleagues who are known to be health conscious is this one: "I think you'll want to know about this," I say. "The neuro-physiologists at the University of Stuttgart have uncovered a connection between jogging and reduced intelligence.  They tested more than 1200 people over a period of five years, and found that as the number of hours people jogged increased, there was a corresponding decrease in their intelligence. They don't know exactly

why but there it is."

 

I'm sure, by now, you understand what my role is in the experiment: to report something that is quite ridiculous - one might say, beyond belief. Let me tell you, then, some of my results: Unless this is the second or third time I've tried this on the same person, most people will believe or at least not disbelieve what I have told them. Some-times they say: "Really? Is that possible?" Sometimes they do a double-take, and reply, "Where'd you say that study was done?" And sometimes they say, "You know, I've heard something like that."

 

Now, there are several conclusions that might be drawn from these results, one of which was expressed by H. L. Mencken fifty years ago when he said, there is no idea so stupid that you can't find a professor who will believe it. This is more of an accusation than an explanation but in any case I have tried this experiment on non-professors and get roughly the same results. Another possible con-clusion is one expressed by George Orwell - also about 50 years ago - when he remarked that the average person today is about as naive as was the average person in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages people

believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what. Today, we believe in the authority of our science, no matter what.

 

But I think there is still another and more important conclusion to be drawn, related to Orwell's point but rather off at a right angle to it. I am referring to the fact that the world in which we live is very nearly incomprehensible to most of us. There is almost no fact - whether actual or imagined - that will surprise us for very long, since we have no comprehensive and consistent picture of the world which would make the fact appear as an unacceptable contradiction.  We believe because there is no reason not to believe. No social, political, historical, metaphysical, logical or spiritual reason. We

live in a world that, for the most part, makes no sense to us. Not even technical sense. I don't mean to try my experiment on this audience, especially after having told you about it, but if I informed you that the seats you are presently occupying were actually made by a special process which uses the skin of a Bismark herring, on what grounds would you dispute me?

 

I think your last conclusion is closest to the truth. I highlighted the key sentence above.

 

I am waiting for Elon Musk'y integration of humans and cloud-AI, where I could run a comprehensive analysis of any claim, e.g. "aspirin reduces heart attacks while having no negative side effects", with all publicly-available data within couple minutes and have a reasoned statistical analysis (which I can still agree or disagree with). Then we might actually have a real current-fact-and-theory-level understanding and explanation of the world and any claims we hear. Yeah, this will still have drawbacks (e.g. you might not have facts, the past studies might be crappy, etc.), but it will move towards data-based claims/understanding.

 

Some of responses you get in your experiment might just be politeness though. I might say something positive to a person who claims that "salt purges your organism from mercury" while thinking that he's total moron.  8)

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Why would anyone read any article that starts out

Science today, in all fields, is plagued by corruption.

 

I use the clickbait rule, the claim is preposterous on the face of it like the clickbait "Obama says refinance your mortgage" or "Trump uses xyz you  should too" 

  • You don't need to read any further.
  • Next

 

I tried to address this in the original post by emphasizing that the article is well-sourced, and also by including two quotes from former editors-in-chief of the NEMJ whose statements echo the points made in the article.

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btw, that website seems like a pretty iffy source itself...

...

I would guess that the original article you linked to might be itself bogus. Ironic, maybe...

 

Before I posted it, I checked some of the other articles from the homepage. I had the same response that you did.

 

But I thought to myself: If the article itself is thoughtful, has legitimate points, and legitimate sources (I checked most of the sources myself), then it should be posted.

 

The section on vaccines is what first made me question the article's authenticity:

 

Dr. William Thompson, a longtime senior CDC scientist, published some of the most commonly cited pro-vaccine studies, which showed that there was absolutely no link between the MMR vaccine and autism (Thompson, et al. 2007, Price, et al. 2010, Destefano, et al. 2004). However, Dr. Thompson recently admitted that it was “the lowest point” in his career when he “went along with that paper.” He went on to say that he and the other authors “didn’t report significant findings” and that he is “completely ashamed” of what he did. He was “complicit and went along with this,” and regrets that he has “been a part of the problem.” (source)(source)(source)

 

Sounds a little funky, right? Well let's check the source:

 

http://morganverkamp.com/statement-of-william-w-thompson-ph-d-regarding-the-2004-article-examining-the-possibility-of-a-relationship-between-mmr-vaccine-and-autism/

 

My name is William Thompson.  I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998.

 

I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information  in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased  risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue  to save countless lives.  I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated  with their administration are vastly outweighed  by their individual and societal benefits.

 

So the source appears authentic, if you ask me.

 

The source is likely authentic. The Wakingscience website though amps up the source into single sided "scientists cooked results, vaccines cause autism, etc." diatribe.

 

Even if all sources of the article are authentic, reliable and not exaggerated (and some of them clearly are), there is still a huge anti-science slant by not reporting anything from the other side. Let's put it that way: if there's 98% of studies that did not cook data and reported X, 1% that cooked data and reported X, 1% that reported "not X", what would be your conclusion about X if you read an article that only mentioned the 1% that cooked data and the 1% that reported "not X", but said nothing about 98% of other studies? Would your conclusion be valid, interesting and justified?

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Even if all sources of the article are authentic, reliable and not exaggerated (and some of them clearly are), there is still a huge anti-science slant by not reporting anything from the other side. Let's put it that way: if there's 98% of studies that did not cook data and reported X, 1% that cooked data and reported X, 1% that reported "not X", what would be your conclusion about X if you read an article that only mentioned the 1% that cooked data and the 1% that reported "not X", but said nothing about 98% of other studies? Would your conclusion be valid, interesting and justified?

 

Less justified than having 100% certainty.

 

You have a guy from the CDC who is admitting that they withheld data linking autism to the MMR vaccine pre-36months administration.

 

Instead of having a knee-jerk response in either direction ("oh, all vaccines cause autism!" -or- "this guy is a liar let me bury my head in the sand"), I think all it does it raise questions and make people be a bit more thoughtful about what they are accepting as fact with 100% certainty.

 

And if you'd like to post 99 more studies with contradicting conclusions, please do. The point is to have a discussion, not make drastic conclusions immediately.

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Liberty, I am not anti-science... at all.

 

Question though, did you read all these articles that you state are iffy?

 

I see what kind of rhetorical trap you're trying to lay here.

 

How many articles exist in the world? How many have you and I read? How should we allocate our time to reading?

 

It's called a BS detector. Knowing the general arguments in favor and against vaccines/etc, and then being able to decide which makes more sense based on the evidence and reasoning, and then recognizing these arguments in the wild. Skimming a few paragraphs and seeing preposterous lies/propaganda is enough for me to stop reading further. Of course the hit rate on my BS detector isn't 100%, but in very widely scrutinized areas like vaccines, there's quite a strong consensus by people with good BS detectors. Where it gets harder is with much less scrutinized areas where the data is opaque, like companies :)

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And if you'd like to post 99 more studies with contradicting conclusions, please do. The point is to have a discussion, not make drastic conclusions immediately.

 

I won't. First of all neither you nor I are experts in medical studies. So even if I posted 99 studies, there won't be any productive discussion afterwards.

 

Second, your phrase drastic conclusions immediately shows your existing prejudice against the scientific studies. Your attitude is to question an established long term results based on a couple samples that are questionable. While this might be productive if you were an expert in the field, for non-expert it shows a prejudice against the experts in the field.

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It's called a BS detector. Knowing the general arguments in favor and against vaccines/etc, and then being able to decide which makes more sense based on the evidence and reasoning, and then recognizing these arguments in the wild. Skimming a few paragraphs and seeing preposterous lies/propaganda is enough for me to stop reading further.

 

Maybe, but at the same time there are lots of money and power who really want to have the outcome go one way. I think the point is to be your own advocate, educate yourself as opposed to blindly accepting something (which may or may not be biased without your knowledge).

 

So again I'll post this because I think it's important:

 

I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information  in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased  risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

 

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue  to save countless lives.  I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated  with their administration are vastly outweighed  by their individual and societal benefits.

 

So it's possible to have a more nuanced conclusion: perhaps there are some risks with vaccinations that we may not even be aware of because scientists may have been coerced into withholding data (or other reasons). Does that mean we throw out the baby with the bathwater? Not necessarily.

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