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post #766 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:00 PM
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Re: God: Summing it up

There is a world of difference between academic research (not driven by investment) and pharmaceutical research. So, it is not surprising that many pharmaceutical studies are problematic. They usual start with a natural product that has been screened for affinity binding characteristics. Run several other assays on that product then chemically manipulate it for better binding. Then they analyze the agonist or antagonistic characters based on different assays. Do some preliminary cell studies, whole organism screens, etc. All within tight window constraints because time is money. And, yes scientists are skeptical as to why you saw the video with this claim (study was published in peer-reviewed journals). However, making the case that all science is unreliable based on pharmaceutical reliability is totally disingenuous. It does not surprise me that so many confuse this based on few understand the difference.




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post #767 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:33 PM
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Re: God: Summing it up

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There is a world of difference between academic research (1)(not driven by investment) and pharmaceutical research. So, it is not surprising that many pharmaceutical studies are problematic. (2)They usual start with a natural product that has been screened for affinity binding characteristics. Run several other assays on that product then chemically manipulate it for better binding. Then they analyze the agonist or antagonistic characters based on different assays. Do some preliminary cell studies, whole organism screens, etc. All within tight window constraints because time is money.

And, yes scientists are skeptical as to why you saw the video with this claim (study was published in peer-reviewed journals). However, making the case that all science is unreliable based on pharmaceutical reliability is totally disingenuous. (3) It does not surprise me that so many confuse this based on few understand the difference.
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(1) Except for the university or institution represented by the research. To ignore that the amount and visibility of research (publish or perish) has an effect on reputation, thus continued funding would be a mistake. While not directly researching to generate revenue the two are not so far apart.

(2) This describes lab analysis and research prior to the 4 stages of clinical trials. Not one drug in our lifetime has been approved by the FDA without clinical trials. Not until all four clinical phases are completed can a company even submit their findings to the FDA. (A bunch of antagonists that review their studies and results...often rejected) Once approved by the FDA results are in every package insert of a drug sold in the US. Leaving this bit out to describe pharmaceutical studies does even this shoddy industry a dis-service. Yes, drugs fail to produce results and do produce some serious side effects but lets at least represent their studies accurately.

(3)1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility : Nature News & Comment Lots of disciplines represented here other than pharma industry.
"More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments".

There seems to be some doubts in the cancer biology world as well -
Success and Failure for Scientists Reproducing Results of Key Cancer Studies ?*NOVA Next | PBS
This is rich ---> "In the field of cancer research, some of the pressure to improve reproducibility has come from the pharmaceutical industry, where investing in a spurious hypothesis or therapy can threaten profits."
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post #768 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 10:07 PM
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God: Summing it up

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(1) Except for the university or institution represented by the research. To ignore that the amount and visibility of research (publish or perish) has an effect on reputation, thus continued funding would be a mistake. While not directly researching to generate revenue the two are not so far apart.
Except unlike pharmaceutical research, they have to publish their work under peer-review. The reviewers have little stake in pushing along a bad study just so a person can gain tenure or an institution gains more reputation. Personal experience.



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(2) This describes lab analysis and research prior to the 4 stages of clinical trials. Not one drug in our lifetime has been approved by the FDA without clinical trials. Not until all four clinical phases are completed can a company even submit their findings to the FDA. (A bunch of antagonists that review their studies and results...often rejected) Once approved by the FDA results are in every package insert of a drug sold in the US. Leaving this bit out to describe pharmaceutical studies does even this shoddy industry a dis-service. Yes, drugs fail to produce results and do produce some serious side effects but lets at least represent their studies accurately
I understand how it works... I'm merely suggesting that the preliminary assays need not be published.



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(3)1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility : Nature News & Comment Lots of disciplines represented here other than pharma industry.

"More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments".



There seems to be some doubts in the cancer biology world as well -

Success and Failure for Scientists Reproducing Results of Key Cancer Studies ?*NOVA Next | PBS

This is rich ---> "In the field of cancer research, some of the pressure to improve reproducibility has come from the pharmaceutical industry, where investing in a spurious hypothesis or therapy can threaten profits."

Did you actually read the first article... it suggests attitudes on reproducible experiments. And, 1,500 redacted articles given the number published are small. So, sure we critique each other to the nth degree. This should answer the question "do we try to reproduce others work?" Yes we do.

In the end, scientists are still their own worst critics as evidence in these reports. I'm sure for some this means all research is bunk, for me it's just means we continue to refine our skills and test to get more accurate knowledge.

Modernity has shown that not all research is bunk based on some of what it suggested.

This quote says it all:

Indeed, there are no agreed-upon criteria for judging whether a replication is successful. At the project’s end, he says, the team will analyze the replication studies collectively by several different standards—including simply asking scientists what they think. “We’re not going to force an agreement—we’re trying to create a discussion,” he says.


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post #769 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 10:32 PM
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Re: God: Summing it up

So I don't reproduce other labs experiments directly, however I do spend time reading their procedures if I'm doing similar experiments. I may or may not use the same cells lines or model organism. It can be one of discussion on how we view interpreted ideas given some of the differences rather than similarities. So, Nature commentaries of this sort are not surprising at all.


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post #770 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 07:23 AM
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Re: God: Summing it up

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The conspiracy argument is not useful and the article you listed to make this claim does not hold muster. It's always easier to assume something does not work than to do the work and understand it.

Actually more people are skeptical of science now, with better tools and more knowledge, than in decades past. No doubt the information is more complex and there is a lot we have yet to discover.



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No conspiracy here. Just human nature. People make mistakes, even scientists and engineers (I fall into that category). The problem, as I see it right now, is that anything published in the name of science is viewed as pure and correct, even though we KNOW some not insignificant amount of it is built on errors, mistakes, etc.


I totally disagree about people being more skeptical now, I would say it is clearly the other way.
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post #771 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 07:35 AM
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Re: God: Summing it up

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Applying adjectives to science like "skeptical" or "infallible" is non-sensical, it seems to me. It is constantly self-correcting. Religion on the other hand is "set in stone". If certain experiments fail to reproduce after they have been published, this is a problem with the testing method and rigour with which the results have been assessed. It does not "disprove" science as a method nor does it follow that all science is useless, or even, that there is a better method.

Let me ask you and @Kivlor a pragmatic question: if you were diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and the doctor prescribed you a drug that (according to studies) showed to have a 90% chance of keeping you alive, would you take the drug or would you put your life "in Jesus' hands" because the bible had accounts of people being healed by him? According to you and Kivlor, both choices are rooted in "human testimony". Are you implying that both provide the same amount of usefulness when it comes to this choice?

If you chose to take the drug over Jesus you must by definition acknowledge that the scientific method is more useful to your life than religious faith. You obviously could choose both (or none, if you were fed up), but I am deliberately posing a black & white choice (you can only chose one) - because that's how you set up the premise of your argument - and to find out if you have a preference, in spite of a degree of skepticism one way or another.

Again, we are talking about degrees, not absolutes. I am asking you whether you value one over the other when it comes to your own life.

I agree with you that there is plenty of arrogance with some scientists. I don't think we are debating this. But it doesn't follow that so far, there is a better method available to us to make sense of the world around us. There might be, but we haven't come across one yet.
Most religious people would take the drug and pray (which by the way is proven to improve one's health). The problem, as @Kivlor points out, is if scientist (the NEJM editor, for example) stating to not try to copy the experiments to see if they get the same results. Doing that IS making science a religion and the dude preaching that IS on par to a religious zealot. The problem is mostly less do to scientist themselves, but more on those who wish to impose their views using bad or wrong or imperfect science to sway the skeptics.
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post #772 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 09:14 AM
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Re: God: Summing it up

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That comes from people who know nothing about science claiming scientific proof for their beliefs.

Science allows you to and encourages you to question theories (there are no "Beliefs" in science). The key is that you need to question them in the right way:

If someone says that they think all objects fall at the same rate and has done some experiments that are consistent with that, you can't just say "you are wrong". You need to provide a suggested experiment and a reason why that experiment might give a different answer.
So the editor of a peer review journal knows nothing about science? That's a pretty strong indictment of the scientific community I would say. Are you sure you want to stick with that argument?

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For the wretched of the earth / There is a flame that never dies.
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post #773 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 09:24 AM
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Re: God: Summing it up

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Climate change can be questioned but let's consider the physical chemistry:

In 1896 Svante Arrhenius (Swedish scientist) first proposed that carbon dioxide had heat trapping capabilities, through experimental evidence.

Most of these early researcher's work were largely forgotten till the 1940s when infrared spectroscopy was able to measure gas values, including CO2.

1950s and 1960s Charles Keeling's group were able to develop ways to use the infrared technology (which then had even better accuracy) to sample atmospheric air along with ice core samples. This latter method provided the first samples of carbon dioxide levels trapped in the ancient earth. Using sampling data of surrounding minerals help to age the ice cores.

Scientists had been measuring temperatures, rainfall, etc around the globe since the mid 1800s. In the 1980s, scientist around the world begin to independently publish studies showing temperature rising, globally. At the same time better sampling of air and analysis showed a similar rise in gases like CO2.

Given the fact that the physical chemistry properties were well established by this time while both GHG and temperatures begin to rise, trends were developed. So, by 1990s scientists begin to independently theorize on the speculation of the GHG and the effect it was having on global warming rise. And, began the march forward not to prove the link but rather to eliminate other factors.

There were many any more skeptics in the science community in the early years. But as time marched on and temperatures were not cooling even though they should have based on solar factors along with other background cycles challenging the notion of warming planet due to GHG, could no longer be ignored. It is only now accepted. So, question it, but like any other theory, it requires a step by step deconstruction rather than an A-ha event of challenge.

If we started the planet we live on in the same celestial position to the sun along with the same portions of water to land, ice masses and other land masses - solar input and calculated albedo affects would mean average global temperatures would be about -18C. What we can measure are averages around 15C. The main reason for the disparity, GHG. So, in fact GHG, like CO2 actually makes our earth a comfortable place to live. But too much of that good thing can make it less comfortable over time.

Oh, I forgot, C14 studies help us to fingerprint sources of CO2. So, yes we are the cause of this added source.


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Without getting into all of the gory details RE: Climate Change™ because that is a subject for another thread, the issue here isn't whether or not climates change (something that we have known forever) which implied by the statement, but the supposed data, which is often redacted after publication when we find that it has been misreported. This misreported (fraudulent) data is then used as some impetus for demanding changes that don't necessarily follow from the information. We have climate scientists who have been saying the world is going to end in the next 3 years for the last 20 years, just like any Doomsday preacher. This doesn't inspire someone to believe anything that comes out of that entire school of research. In fact, it would be wise to remain skeptical of it.

I don't think anyone disputes that humans are the cause of a large increase in CO2. Or that CO2 in controlled, closed conditions causes increases in temperature. The question is how much of an effect does it have on the planet at large. The followup question is what, if anything, should be done? But this is not how the question of Climate Change is treated. Anyone asking the questions I just listed is labelled an evil "denier" when in fact they are engaging in proper inquiry and discourse.

This is why CC is a perfect example of treating "science" as a religion.

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For the wretched of the earth / There is a flame that never dies.
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post #774 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 09:35 AM
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Re: God: Summing it up

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First off most chemotherapeutic drugs, while effective, are themselves carcinogens.

However, your case that science cannot be replicated in 25% of all cases and conflating that with pharmaceutical R&D is like suggesting to someone that tofu taste like top sirloin.

Pharmaceutical companies are started by venture capitalists that expect a short a turn around on their investment. This means research is not meant to be repeated based on maintaining patent rights for seven years, and quickly. FDA rules were lightened up so that pharmokinetics policies could ensure quicker drug placement in the market.

However, the diagnosis was based on research at the academic level. All of that carries a greater burden of proof and replication. So, we need to separate the two forms of research.


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Not Research and Development. Published in peer reviewed medical journals. This wasn't limited to medical only, in fact it was worse in Psychology. There were issues found in publication of physics even.

I understand why you're scared to address this Ikaika. You have a dog in the hunt. Your reaction is exactly what is wrong with the scientific community today. You don't want people to question your findings.

Do you hear the people sing / Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people / Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth / There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end / And the sun will rise...
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post #775 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 09:52 AM
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Re: God: Summing it up

Could be - what is the particular case you are talking about - I've lost track in this long thread.

Some scientists are idiots - sort of like some people in all fields. A lot of other scientists make the mistake of trying to simplify things for the general public and end up saying things that are not quite true. In their defense, the public is not very good at accepting probabilities, they want clear answers to questions where no clear answers exist.

For example: Does human activity change climate? Well of course it does - to some extent. If I light a match it will "change climate" just by an insanely tiny amount. The real question is what is the range of predicted outcomes and probabilities for changes in climate as a result of various scenarios of human activity. The answer is hundreds of pages of documents.

Another example: Is the speed of light the fastest anythng can move? Again a badly formed question - I can sweep a laser pointer across the moon and the spot will move far faster than light. Really no information can be transmitted faster than light. This is known with as much confidence as we have in any physical law.

Another example: Did evolution create life? A completely wrong question, evolution doesn't talk about the origin of life, only about how it has changed since it originated. Evolution is supported by a great deal of evidence of many different types (from fossils to DNA) and there is no clear contravening evidence. It is as well supported as anything in observational sciences to be true in general, but there may be a lot of details still to be worked out (the evolution of the type of DNA coding that makes evolution more efficient). Here "very likely",





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So the editor of a peer review journal knows nothing about science? That's a pretty strong indictment of the scientific community I would say. Are you sure you want to stick with that argument?


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post #776 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 11:30 AM
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Except unlike pharmaceutical research, they have to publish their work under peer-review. The reviewers have little stake in pushing along a bad study just so a person can gain tenure or an institution gains more reputation. Personal experience.

Your first sentence is half truth and perhaps misleading by leaving out the bit that pharmaceuticals go through a lengthy and rigorous approval process by the FDA. Some would say that is more difficult to get through this process than peer review publishing because getting it wrong could be disastrous to public health. And It's industry versus fedgov, not peers.

Your second sentence is a negative argument that I did not make. To clarify, publishing and drawing prestige talent and funds to an institution is a monetary influence. I agree that poorly done or unsupported studies don't get this done. But I did not make any inference about pushing bad studies.


I understand how it works... I'm merely suggesting that the preliminary assays need not be published.

I'm certain you do know how it works and that's why I pointed out the exclusions.

Did you actually read the first article... it suggests attitudes on reproducible experiments. And, 1,500 redacted articles given the number published are small. So, sure we critique each other to the nth degree. This should answer the question "do we try to reproduce others work?" Yes we do.

I did read it. There were more than 1,500 scientist surveyed. It suggests attitudes as well as some interesting survey results. Some of which are concerning: "Although 52% of those surveyed agree that there is a significant 'crisis' of reproducibility, less than 31% think that failure to reproduce published results means that the result is probably wrong, and most say that they still trust the published literature. So, more than half agree on "significant crisis" yet about a third still trust the literature. Do you see where there may be some lack of trust in published data? Why would any scientist ignore a significant crisis and say, "trust us!"?

I'm not sure you can consider critique as reproducing someones work. The article addressed this fairly directly: " Although the vast majority of researchers in our survey had failed to reproduce an experiment, less than 20% of respondents said that they had ever been contacted by another researcher unable to reproduce their work. This does not account for all efforts to reproduce but is not a ringing endorsement of nth degree reproducing of others' work.


In the end, scientists are still their own worst critics as evidence in these reports. I'm sure for some this means all research is bunk, for me it's just means we continue to refine our skills and test to get more accurate knowledge.

What?!? Refer to my comments above. The evidence in these reports is that scientist often cannot reproduce others' results or even their own. Then actually publishing replication results has several hurdles not in line with 'own worst critics' theory.
"What's more, incentives to publish positive replications are low and journals can be reluctant to publish negative findings. In fact, several respondents who had published a failed replication said that editors and reviewers demanded that they play down comparisons with the original study."

Modernity has shown that not all research is bunk based on some of what it suggested.

I have not tried to say "all research is bunk" and haven't seen that from anyone else yet. Is there some problem with scientific research? Yes. All of it, no. There does seem to be some significance to it though. The problem that I have is when any science is questioned there is an often strong and negative response that sounds like: "We got it right... science! scientific method...!! Peer review!!! You sit down and shut up because you don't have a Phd and you're not qualified." (Not you on the last one)

The brouhaha is stirred because reproducibility is integral to the scientific method. When experiments and studies cannot be reproduced this calls into question the results and conclusions.



This quote says it all:

Indeed, there are no agreed-upon criteria for judging whether a replication is successful. At the project’s end, he says, the team will analyze the replication studies collectively by several different standards—including simply asking scientists what they think. “We’re not going to force an agreement—we’re trying to create a discussion,” he says.

It says a lot and raises questions. We can conclude beyond doubt that global warming is man made, evolution did happen as scientist describe, FenPhen is a safe drug, laparoscopic morselators don't cause metastasis etc, because the scientific method and peer review has been followed. Yet we might have a wee problem with reproducing those experiments.

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post #777 of 777 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 06:58 PM
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Re: God: Summing it up

Do you love science and all it's complexities but wish it was a little less complex and A LOT less scientific?

Then Todd Talks are for you:

It's not just uncredible, it's INCREDIBLE!

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