Mod+ 261. WHY SCIENCE IS WRONG...ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING

https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniem...term=.dprwEOx773&ref=mobile_share#.csL2zywRRb

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.”
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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.
 
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.


https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/0831_050831_chimp_genes.html
Chimps, Humans 96 Percent the Same, Gene Study Finds

https://www.livescience.com/42056-neanderthal-woman-genome-sequenced.html
They estimated about 1.5 to 2.1 percent of DNA of people outside Africa are Neanderthal in origin

http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask138
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.
 
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Can the adult human brain produce new neurons? No. ... I mean yes. ... I mean no. ... Scientists don't have a clue.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2018/04/04/adult-neurogenesis-a-pointed-review/

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.
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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
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A study in Nature Neuroscience that garnered over 3000 citations found that running increased neurogenesis.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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”.
 
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Crossposting:

Scott Adams writes in his book, "Win Bigly", that when you understand the psychology of persuasion, you are not impressed by the consensus of scientists because they are just as suceptible as ordinary people to mass delusions. According to the psychology of persuasion, mass delusion is actually the normal state of consciousness. This is particularly true for scientists studying climate change because their career and financial incentives are involved. In the following excerpt, 2-D is the normal world view and 3-D is Adam's world view that people are not rational but make decisions based on other factors and then use logic to defend their beliefs.

On top of our mass delusions, we also have junk science that is too often masquerading as the real thing. To the extent that people can't tell the difference, that too is a source of mass delusion.

In the 2-D view of the world, mass delusions are rare and newsworthy. But to trained persuaders in the third dimension, mass delusions are the norm. They are everywhere, and they influence every person. This difference in training and experience can explain why people disagree on some of the big issues of the day.

For example, consider the case of global warming. People from the 2-D world assume mass delusions are rare, and they apply that assumption to every topic. So when they notice that most scientists are on the same side, that observation is persuasive to them. A reasonable person wants to be on the same side with the smartest people who understand the topic. That makes sense, right?

But people who live in the 3-D world, where persuasion rules, can often have a different view of climate change because we see mass delusions (even among experts) as normal and routine. My starting bias for this topic is that the scientists could easily be wrong about the horrors of change, even in the context of repeated experiments and peer review. Whenever you see a situation with complicated prediction models, you also have lots of room for bias to masquerade as reason. Just tweak the assumptions and you can get any outcome you want.

Now add to that situation the fact that scientists who oppose the climate change consensus have a high degree of career and reputation risk. That's the perfect setup for a mass delusion. You only need these two conditions:

1. Complicated prediction models with lots of assumptions
2. Financial and psychological pressure to agree with the consensus

In the 2-D world, the scientific method and peer review squeeze out the bias over time. But in the 3-D world, the scientific method can't detect bias when nearly everyone including the peer reviewers shares the same mass delusion.

I'm not a scientist, and I have no way to validate the accuracy of the climate model predictions. But if the majority of experts on this topic turn out to be having a mass hallucination, I would consider that an ordinary situation. In my reality, this would be routine, if not expected, whenever there are complicated prediction models involved. That's because I see the world as bristling with mass delusions. I don't see mass delusions as rare.

When nonscientists take sides with climate scientists, they often think they are being supportive of science. The reality is that the nonscientists are not involved in science, or anything like it. They are taking the word of scientists. In the 2-D world, that makes perfect sense, because it seems as if thousands of experts can't be wrong. But in the 3-D world, I accept that the experts could be right, and perhaps they are, but it would be normal and natural in my experience if the vast majority of ciimate scientists were experiencing a shared hallucination.

To be clear, I am not saying the majority of scientists are wrong about climate science. I'm making the narrow point that it would be normal and natural for that group of people to be experiencing a mass hallucination that is consistent with their financial and psychological incentives. The scientific method and the peer-review process wouldn't necessarily catch a mass delusion during any specific window of time. With science, you never know if you are halfway to the truth or already there. Sometimes it looks the same.

Climate science is a polarizing topic (ironically). So let me just generalize the point to say that compared with the average citizen, trained persuaders are less impressed by experts.

To put it another way, if an ordinary idiot doubts a scientific truth, the most likely explanation for that situation is that the idiot is wrong. But if a trained persuader calls BS on a scientific truth, pay attention.

Do you remember when citizen Trump once tweeted that climate change was a hoax for the benefit of China? It sounded crazy to most of the world. Then we learned that the centerpiece of politics around climate change—the Paris climate accord—was hugely expensive for the United States and almost entirely useless for lowering temperatures. (Experts agree on both points now.) The accord was a good deal for China, in the sense that it would impede its biggest business rival, the United States, while costing China nothing for years. You could say Trump was wrong to call climate change a hoax. But in the context of Trump's normal hyperbole, it wasn't as wrong as the public's mass delusion believed it to be at the time.

I'll concede that citizen Trump did not understand the science of climate change. That's true of most of us. But he still detected a fraud from a distance. It wasn't luck.​
 
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https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniem...term=.dprwEOx773&ref=mobile_share#.csL2zywRRb

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.
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!

David
 
Crossposting...

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/environment/sd-me-climate-study-error-20181113-story.html

Climate contrarian uncovers scientific error, upends major ocean warming study
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Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University recently walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change.

In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60 percent more than outlined by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper on the blog of Judith Curry, another well-known critic.

The findings of the ... paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media,” Lewis wrote. “Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results.

Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake.

“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” he said. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

Keeling said they have since redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. However, that increase in heat has a larger range of probability than initially thought — between 10 percent and 70 percent, as other studies have already found.

Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”​
 
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