Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by John Maguire, Dec 2, 2014.


    Brian Wansink won fame, funding, and influence for his science-backed advice on healthy eating. Now, emails show how the Cornell professor and his colleagues have hacked and massaged low-quality data into headline-friendly studies to “go virally big time.”
    Wansink couldn’t have known that his blog post would ignite a firestorm of criticism that now threatens the future of his three-decade career. Over the last 14 months, critics the world over have pored through more than 50 of his old studies and compiled “the Wansink Dossier,” a list of errors and inconsistencies that suggests he aggressively manipulated data. Cornell, after initially clearing him of misconduct, has opened an investigation. And he’s had five papers retracted and 14 corrected, the latest just this month.
    David Bailey likes this.
  2. Why do scientist say 96% of human DNA is the same as chimp DNA, but only 1-2% of human DNA is the same as Neanderthal, and 50% of our DNA is the same as our parents and siblings? That is a rhetorical question, I know the answer. But I think it is relevant to point out that scientists use statistics to subliminally influence how people think.
    Chimps, Humans 96 Percent the Same, Gene Study Finds
    They estimated about 1.5 to 2.1 percent of DNA of people outside Africa are Neanderthal in origin
    We share 1/2 of our genetic material with our mother and 1/2 with our father. We also share 1/2 of our DNA, on average, with our brothers and sisters.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  3. Can the adult human brain produce new neurons? No. ... I mean yes. ... I mean no. ... Scientists don't have a clue.

    in a paper in Nature cited 1581 times, Song et al determine that astroglia have an important role in promoting neurogenesis from FGF-2-dependent stem cells.
    one of the major studies was Gould et al in Nature Neuroscience (2207 citations) finding that Learning Enhances Adult Neurogenesis In The Hippocampal Formation. Lledo et al (1288 citations) find that neurogenesis plays a part in explaining the brain’s amazing plasticity
    A study in Nature Neuroscience that garnered over 3000 citations found that running increased neurogenesis.
    Fun fact: there’s no such thing as adult neurogenesis in humans.

    At least, this is the conclusion of Sorrells et al, who have a new and impressive study in Nature.
    the Neuroskeptic blog, which I tend to trust in issues like this, thinks it’s legit and has been saying this for years. Ed Yong from The Atlantic has a really excellent review of the finding that interviews a lot of the major players on both sides and which I highly recommend. Both of these reinforce my feeling that the current study makes a really strong case.
    We know many scientific studies are false. But we usually find this out one-at-a-time. This – again, assuming the new study is true, which it might not be – is a massacre. It offers an unusually good chance for reflection.
    I’m also struck by how many of the offending studies begin by repeating how dogmatic past neuroscientists were for not recognizing the existence of adult neurogenesis sooner.
    How do you get so many highly-cited papers speaking so confidently about every little sub-sub-detail of a phenomenon, if the phenomenon never existed in the first place?
    I don’t feel like anyone else is conveying the level of absolute terror we should be feeling right now. As far as I can tell, this is the most troubling outbreak of the replication crisis so far.
    I feel like every couple of months we get a result that could best be summed up as “no matter how bad you thought things were, they’re actually worse”.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
    David Bailey and north like this.
  4. Crossposting:

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  5. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Oct 31, 2013
    Maybe it is worth pointing out exactly what happens if you take some data and search for something interesting.

    Suppose that, in effect you test just 20 possible hypotheses to see if they fit. Well typically results can be published at p<=0.05, which means there is 1 chance in 20 that any particular result was due to chance! So if you test 20 hypotheses, you have a good chance of 'proving' at least one hypothesis due to pure chance!

    Now consider a researcher that collects water samples, and measures minute traces of 20 different chemicals. Duppose that he also takes medical details from people drinking the water, and records 6 different diseases - 3 different types of cancer, a drop in sperm counts, arthritis, and reduced libido. He has tested 20 chemical contaminants against 6 different hypotheses - 120 different hypotheses of the form chemical_5 causes disease_3. This is just one of the ways junk science gets published!

  6. Crossposting...

    David Bailey and Trancestate like this.

Share This Page