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Thursday, May 28, 2015

5-Sigma: Science Morally Broke amidst Worldly Wealth.

Updated.

It has been a busy week and so many things standing out as Hilary's Village goes headlong down the slippery slope.  Much of the talk has been about Ireland where the Church has exposed its spectacular failure and allowed the same-sex marriage buggers overturn morality. 

But has 'science' taken over, or just stupidty, hytseria and cant?  The Ireland/Church/Buggers issue has to take a back seat right now.

The IPCC has started to distance itself from its own outlandish predictions though and 'science' itself is being exposed.

A conversation most people will not have noticed was being quietly spoken in a dark corner of the Tavern, that needs to see light.

It was Richard Horton of the Lancet - you must have heard of the Lancet: it is the Premier Medical Journal - who had been to a secret meeting of science bods.  He had some very startling (and perhaps chink of light) things to say.

We all know that so much of 'science' today is ruled by money, feminism, politics and socialism. It has gone so far as to corrupt science.

Remember Sherlock Holmes' famous dictum, told to Watson? 

"It is a Capital Error, Watson, to make the data fit the theory. We must change the theory to fit the data."
Offline: What is medicine’s 
5 sigma?

“A lot of what is published is incorrect.” 
I’m not allowed

to say who made this remark because we were asked

to observe Chatham House rules. We were also asked

not to take photographs of slides. Those who worked

for government agencies pleaded that their comments
especially remain unquoted, since the forthcoming UK
election meant they were living in “purdah”— a chilling
state where severe restrictions on freedom of speech
are placed on anyone on the government’s payroll.

Why

the paranoid concern for secrecy and non-attribution?

Because this symposium—on the reproducibility and

reliability of biomedical research, held at the Wellcome

Trust in London last week—touched on one of the
most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that
something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of
our greatest human creations.
*
The case against science is straightforward: much of the
scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.
Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects,
invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts
of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing
fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has
taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put
it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical
Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology
and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put
their reputational weight behind an investigation into
these questionable research practices. The apparent
endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their
quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often
sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they
retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve
their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst
behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels
an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few
journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature
with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important
confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants.
Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and
talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as
high-impact publication. National assessment procedures,
such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise
bad practices. And individual scientists, including their
most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that
occasionally veers close to misconduct.
*
Can bad scientific practices be fixed? Part of the
problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right.
Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive
and innovative. Would a Hippocratic Oath for science
help? Certainly don’t add more layers of research redtape.
Instead of changing incentives, perhaps one could
remove incentives altogether. Or insist on replicability
statements in grant applications and research papers.
Or emphasise collaboration, not competition. Or insist
on preregistration of protocols. Or reward better pre and
post publication peer review. Or improve research training
and mentorship. Or implement the recommendations
from our Series on increasing research value, published
last year. One of the most convincing proposals came
from outside the biomedical community. Tony Weidberg
is a Professor of Particle Physics at Oxford. Following
several high-profile errors, the particle physics community
now invests great eff ort into intensive checking and 
rechecking

of data prior to publication. By filtering results

through independent working groups, physicists are

encouraged to criticise. Good criticism is rewarded. The

goal is a reliable result, and the incentives for scientists
are aligned around this goal. Weidberg worried we set
the bar for results in biomedicine far too low. 
In particle
physics, significance is set at
5 sigma—
a 'p' value of 3 × 10–7

or 1 in 3・5 million (if the result is not true, this is the

probability that the data would have been as extreme

as they are). The conclusion of the symposium was that

something must be done.

Indeed, all seemed to agree

that it was within our power to do that something. But

as to precisely what to do or how to do it, there were no

fi rm answers. Those who have the power to act seem to

think somebody else should act first. And every positive
action (eg, funding well-powered replications) has a
counterargument (science will become less creative). The
good news is that science is beginning to take some of its
worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody
is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.


  1.  Vol 385 April 11, 2015

Not that they will of course.

Science is a captive of politics, socialism and dishonesty. It is rife with 'Advocacy' research where the outcome is already decided. 

Update  -  A case in point is an article below. Horton is a very 'high profile' person in the scientific field and people take notice,  but what of other's less well known? In the light of the substantial cant and fabrication by the 'Gay' lobby, the experiences of David Brookman below are instructive, especially what he was told by his superiors about not challenging clearly faked data.


http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/05/how-a-grad-student-uncovered-a-huge-fraud.html
Broockman is a thoughtful, fastidious guy — you don’t get a tenure-track Stanford professorship at 26 without being one. Before we spoke on the record for the first time, he sent me a seven-page document outlining all the thoughts that had rattled around in his head since the news broke. So it wasn’t surprising that he also prepared and emailed me a quote that, in his view, sums up the problems that plagued him during his sometimes-halting investigation of LaCour’s work. “I think my discipline needs to answer this question: How can concerns about dishonesty in published research be brought to light in a way that protects innocent researchers and the truth —  especially when it’s less egregious?” he wrote. “I don’t think there’s an easy answer. But until we have one, all of us who have had such concerns remain liars by omission.”
He shows just how even a nonentity like LaCour can fool so many and actually be passively protected by people who should know better.

But is Horton understating the problem?

“” The slide into the abyss is not new. Writing in 2003 in ‘Fads and Fallacies in the Social Sciences’ Steve Goldberg said there “was a time when you could assume that an intelligent person looking for the truth was guided by the most basic of scientific intuitions: nature will give you a lift only if you are going her way.” That time is no more.
Particularly in sociology “we find large and increasing numbers of ideologues who act as if nature is not something to be discovered no matter what she should turn out to be, but a handmaiden whose purpose is to satisfy one’s psychological and ideological needs.” (It’s worth noting that Goldberg is a self-declared liberal.)
The situation is no better in medicine. “”
Ask me, I don’t think the system can be fixed. 
We have to let it burn itself out, like a tire fire.


The laboratories are alive with a Legion of Cancer researchers also should know better and who should have solved that medical problem decades ago. But heck, all that money awarded by Government, collected in 'Fun Runs' by an army of people who have to be 'employed', and lorded over by 'Charity' Directors on several hundred thousand dollars a year, cannot be dried up or diverted to something else. 

The Tax systems of several countries and major parts of the world rely upon taxing 'carbon'. Scientists are very reticent to correct the term to Carbon Dioxide in case they be blackballed by some government flunkey. 

The Universities were mentioned. The Uni of Western Australia, for example, has turned away Professor Bjorn Lomborg because he is not Global warming 'Enough'. !!!

Its enough to make a chap believe in God. Well the one or more that are said to send mad the folk they wish to destroy. 

I shall stick with the Real One.

But..... our civilisation is going mad.



Pax.


5 comments:

  1. And still the left makes out there's no global agenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not convinced of a 'global agenda', unless we are talking about a descent into the Pit. It seems to me to be - as Scott Peck pointed out a long time ago - a function of laziness, greed and narcissism developing the environment for Evil. The pollution of Truth is a necessary first step, idly followed by the eyes of those who sit and do nothing.

      Delete
  2. Well, "science", like "the arts" has it patrons.
    In art, the patrons get to define what art "is", as well as assign it's (tax deductible?) value.
    Usually long after "the artist" invested in, is dead.
    In "science"....well ....those gub'mint "grants" and budget line items, of tax dollars don't grow on trees ya' know!
    "Catering" isn't just the rubber chicken at the awards banquet!
    CaptDMO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, follow the money. It is not so much 'Industry' that leads the way in manipulation for its own ends, but Politics that makes the wide, metalled road that Industry drives down. A 'Down' is the direction.

      Delete
    2. One could add that 'Art' provides the road signage.

      Delete

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The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..