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[SN] Why Most Research Findings are False
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Sir Hamster of Elderberry
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: [SN] Why Most Research Findings are False Reply with quote

Just to be fair, let's pick on the scientists too:

Why Most Research Findings are False
http://medicine.plosjournals.org/archive/1549-1676/2/8/pdf/10.1371_journal.pmed.0020124-L.pdf

To very briefly summarize, there are a LOT more scientific findings published than there are scientific facts to discover. Over time (many years) most of these findings are proven to be false or seriously biased (as happened recently with drug eluting stents), or are refined into more accurate theories. This seems flawed (and it is), but it is part of the scientific process: Only a few original published results stand up to the test of time.
Even more briefly: Don't believe every "scientific finding" that you hear on the morning news, because proving validity is a long and difficult process.

Note: This may be a bigger problem in the biomedical research fields where true experiments are difficult to conduct, than in fields where true "hard" data is available (like astronomy, for example).

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Environmental science is another one with some validation problems. Everyone is jumping on the global warming bandwagon, which is still a phenomenon we don't nearly have enough information to prove (cause, not that there is a slight warming trend).
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JerWA wrote:
Environmental science is another one with some validation problems. Everyone is jumping on the global warming bandwagon, which is still a phenomenon we don't nearly have enough information to prove (cause, not that there is a slight warming trend).


The trend is becoming well accepted (even GWB accepts it), but it's certainly true that the cause (or at least the mechanism) is not fully understood.

You might find this interesting:

Nature Reports: Climate Change.
Quote:
Explore the news behind the science and the science behind the news. This online hub on global warming will cover the science of climate change through reviews, research highlights and features, as well as debate and discussion through regular blogs and podcasts. Sign up now for alerts:
http://www.nature.com/climate/index.html


Somebody please let me know if this link doesn't work. Nature.com does that to me sometimes.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The link works fine.

I would like to ask you all one thing. Do you think western countries are taking seriously global warming? Don't you think we may have a huge responsability in it and thus should lead clearly the search for truth. I don't know if it's happening so.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to start an argument..... Twisted Evil

But is it not possible that the global warming state might be part of the environment cycle of the planet?
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually it's fairly certain that it is a trend of the planet, because we are too puny to put something this large into motion.

As for western countries taking it seriously, it's a sneaky thing. The US, for instance, has the lowest pollution output and highest air quality it's had since the industrial revolution. Right now the "devil" is cars, but they're responsible for right around 20% of the emissions we're convinced are evil. So why are they the only thing you hear about? Money of course!

Lets not forget that the US has cleaned it's air by exporting business elsewhere and exploiting emerging economies that are willing to rape their environment for a quick buck. Of course, it doesn't help that GWB sold our economy and infrastructure on eBay. The US has the worst data and communications infrastructure of any industrialized nation, falling from 3rd to 12th place, and I heard it's fallen even further over the last 2 years. In the mean time, most of our production industries have left. All we have now is over priced under trained service providers, and people wonder why those jobs are moving to India where an engineer with MORE training and certifications than their American counterpart will do the same job for $8/hr.

At any rate, it's like I said in my environmental sciences course a few semesters ago. Everything we humans have done amounts to just a scratch in the paint-job that is this planet. While it may take nature awhile to buff it out, there is no doubt that all traces of our existence can be removed/fixed in time. Environmentalists aren't trying to save the planet, they're trying to save the parts of the planet that are beneficial to us humans. Not such a noble cause when you spell it out.
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to keep the fight going and to dispute you a little there JerWa...

You can't blame GWB for everything. As much as that might be the popular thing to do now, it is not correct.

Jobs have been exported to the "emerging" nations for longer then he has been inoffice. If you want me to prove it....fine....my sister in law has been going to India for the last 10 years to oversee her part of the back office operations for the company she works for and has been since they started doing it. She started doing it under Clinton, can't blame Bush for that. Don't worry though. India is quickly starting to set themselves to be right out of that market. The people there are starting to demand more money to do the work and they will find themselves outsourced before too long too.

As for the communications infrastructure. That is a private industry. It also was (I believe - but could be wrong about this part) the first one done in the world.

Having worked in the communications industry, I know from experience that the feds are forcing them to upgrade - just not making them do it too quickly. If the private companies were not forced, they would not do it. Think about it. The existing infrastructure is completely paid for. Anything new would cost money and hurt the bottom line - hurting their profits adn making less for the CEOs of the companies. They are more than willing to let the next guy worry about it, because by then they will have taken their money and ran.

Communism fell because there was no money in it and Capitalism is all about money. It al lcomes down to the almight dollar (or pound, or euro or whatever currency you happen to be using).
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerwa, I hate to argue with you but Humans are not "too puny to effect change" on a planet wide scale and we have not been for a very long time. There is hard evidence that Australia was a lush rain forest about 50 K years ago until humans arrived. Also have you not wondered why they call greenland that when it is mostly Ice, the Vikings wiped out the old growth forests in about 2 generations and could no longer survive there. We have 7 billion people and counting fast, we in the U.S. use 18490 thousand barrels daily. A barrel is 55 gallons I believe. Additionally the U.S. uses 617 billion cubic meters a day of natural gas and another 543.3 million tonnes oil equivalent of coal. Each and every day. These figures are for 1999. The carbon emitted from this usage took millions of years to be sequestered by nature and we are putting it back into the environment within a few lifetimes. Petro chemicals have fantastic properties and uses that we are only scratching the surface of with polymers and medical uses. Future generations will look back at us and say "What wery They thinking, Burning it???" To say that we can't effect change on a global scale is just not rational.

Btw: Since the U.S. uses 25% of the oil and gas and 26% of the coal you can confidently triple those numbers for world wide output.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argument? I charge $5 a minute for that ... Wink

The evidence that human activities are at least in part responsible for global warming is pretty good, and generally accepted (I'll see if I can dig up a reference when I have more time). It's certainly true that the entire mechanism of warming and likely effects aren't fully understood, but if we wait too long to respond, then we will learn the consequences the hard way.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here go my 5 dollars..

Sir Hamster, I agree with you.

I really fear that we aren't taking this seriuosly. I don't blame humankind or nature, although it's vital to know who is responsible. But, right in this moment, I see crucial to find a solution beter than a culprit. And The question is: Is humankind really looking for a solution?

A sad NNNNNNNNNNI. Sad
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

belenus wrote:
Here go my 5 dollars..

... Is humankind really looking for a solution?


No. It isn't. Wink


For the other $4.50 I'll add the following: My original intent was to point out that we should not believe every "NEW" scientific finding, and that the scientific process takes time to sort "these things" out. Of course, we immediately got off to a fine example of one of "these things" that is being sorted out, namely Global Warming.

My own opinion is that we should be doing much more about it, but I must confess that *I* haven't done anything about it, and so I don't feel justified to throw stones (or cows, sheep, chickens, etc.). The pessimist in me says that Humanity will probably start doing something about it when coastal cities start going under water.

Here is something more optimistic from the Brookings Institute: http://www.brook.edu/views/papers/easterbrook/20060517.htm

Dan (Safe @ 600 ft. above sea-level)
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think humanity will start just before the cities get wet. What will really help the movement is somehow forcing businesses to do something. Until then they will do what they want and push the products that don't help.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is important to realize that corporations are by law entities the same as people. And since there primary goal is to make money for themselves and their stockholders they cannot engage in behavior that is detrimental to this goal BY LAW... This makes a corporation the human equivalent of a sociopath. For instance if a CEO of a major corporation were to decide to do the right thing regarding the environment and it cost more money than the current way allowable by law then the CEO would be violating his fiducuary responsibilities and could/would be held liable financially as well as legally. In other words he would be Sued by the stockholders and very likely go to jail. Failure to lobby for favorable laws to save/increase profits could/would fall into this category as well. So don't believe every thing Exxon-Mobile says.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for us having an impact, I'm not denying that. I'm saying that we didn't INITIATE anything, and we think too much of ourselves if we think we've managed to grind a 6 billion year old system to a halt in 100,000 years. There is documented proof that the atmosphere has been hundreds of times "worse" than it is now, and yet the planet didn't implode. Would it have been fatal for humanity? Probably. Was it for the planet? Not in the least, it makes plants HAPPY after all. That's why I think all this hype about what's good for the environment is sadly amusing. We don't care about the environment, we care about what keeps our species alive. Frankly I haven't seen anything we as a species have done that merits being saved. We spend most of our time blowing each other up or letting everyone starve while arguing about the potential side effects of genetically engineered food.

As for taking action, that's the problem, what action do you take? Almost everything I hear from the main stream sources says it's air pollution but we don't have proof of that. We know less than a third of the equation, and you're advocating we start changing variables to see what happens? I think the only reasonable response at this point is to work on moderation, rather than look for some specific "fix". After all, we don't know what, if anything, is even broken yet. So far, there IS no perfect answer, because they are all compromises.

For example, everyone should reduce emissions! Ok, how do we do that? Cars is the first answer, but now you're talking about replacing or retrofitting hundreds of millions of machines, an entire industry and related infrastructure, etc, to "fix" 20% of the problem that may or may not be the problem at all. Don't forget that we still don't have a 100% effective fix for cars, either.

Maybe industry should be forced to clean up their act! Great idea, but who's going to pay for it? And how are we going to cover the drop in productivity? I know I'm a heartless bastard, but it's one thing to talk about fixing something, and quite another to tell me flat out I'm going to be bankrolling (taxes) a project based on weak science with a totally unknown outcome (i.e. could make it worse) that may or may not make the end result cost more as well (paying for it twice).

So what do I do? I use compact florescent lights. That's it really. And, true to what I said above, even they aren't a "free" fix.

http://www.junkscience.com/
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well chalk me up as a heartless bastard as well because my answer to the problem is to reduce the human population by about 1/2 or more. ( of course not me or anyone I know ) It is defiantly someone else who should go.

Btw: I also use compact fluorescents, but it is worth noting that they contain mercury (about 1/10 th of a gram each ) and there is no recycling program for those. Multiply that by the # of bulbs and you come up with a very substantial amount of a highly toxic chemical going...?Where????
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion light bulbs are not the problem. I work for TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority), which if you dont know is a power producer for Tennessee, Mississippi and select parts of a few other states in the US. Electrical energy is one of the cheapest and cleanest forms of power. TVA gets roughly <5% of the power from wind, roughly 20% from hydro, and the rest from Coal, Gas, and Nuclear plants. Of those Coal plants are the worse, however TVA has spent millions cleaning up those plants to produce less "green house gasses". They are some of the cleanest in the country. So in my opinion using a different light bulb isnt going to do anything.

If there is ever going to be any progress...Dennis there is some lovely filth down here ...err umm..sorry, i drifted off track there for a second. If you believe in the global warming theory (not proven by science yet) then really Cars are the problem, not industry. The US has regulations that all manufacturing plants must adhere to. These include water, air, and waste pollution. While they may still produce more total "green house gasses" than cars, they are much more tightly controlled. Plus there are fewer and fewer of them each year (outsourcing, NAFTA, etc...). So that will be a problem, in the US anyway, that will eventually solve itself.

There is no sign of automobile usage/quantity being reduced, in fact unless I am wrong there are more and more of them each year on the road. There are things that we as country could do to help:
1) Eliminate as many as possible tractor trailer trucks and use/rebuild the rail system.
2) Use/grow public transportation. Certain cities do this very well (NY comes to mind), however where I live the busses run but they are ALWAYS empty.
3) Build more living quarters around where people work. Do you really need to make a 30+ minute commute to work every day?
4) Purchase 30+ MPG vehicles. Simply do not offer vehicles with less than 20 MPG (except for certain industries like Police, Construction, etc...).
5) you get the point...

Now am I doing any of those? Nope. I use products that were delivered via tractor trailer trucks (probably). I do not use public transportation. I live 35 minutes from work. My new car gets 25 MPG, but my old one got 14.4. Why focus on cars? Well besides what I mentioned above lets think about how much your car actually produces in gases:

Lets say each cylinder in your engine holds 1 liter of air (probably more but i need something easy to work with). If you have a v8 then for each complete cycle of the engine (one RPM) you just polluted 8 liters of air. Your car at idle will run at roughly 800 RPM, meaning in 60 seconds you are polluting 6400 liters of air. At average highway speeds you are between 2200 and 3000 RPM, or 17,600 - 24000 liters of air. Now stop and think about how many 2-liter bottles of coke that would be if they were lined up. Oh and while you are at it remember that this is only for 60 seconds. If you drive, like I do, 35 minutes to work then you are now looking at 840,000 liters of air polluted. Oh and remember you are not the only person driving to work, so take that number and multiply it by how ever many people you wish.

Having said all of that, think about how long cars have been in production and how many millions of them are on the road each day around the world. The air is still breathable yea? I guess I just do not believe that we as a race can have an impact on the environment that is so great that we make the earth uninhabitable (through indirect means like car exhaust). Directly we can cut down all of the trees and reduce the oxygen levels to a point to where we cant breath. Directly we can pollute the waters/oceans to a point that we would not have water to drink. However I do not believe that we can make the earth uninhabitable by accident or by a side effect of something we do. In other words if we were TRYING to make it such that we can not live on Earth, I am sure we could do it; but by accident, I dont think so.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KWSN Im Not Dead wrote:
So in my opinion using a different light bulb isnt going to do anything.


I acn't agree. If you get the same amount of light for less watts, you are making something. Multiply if all of us would do the same.

KWSN Im Not Dead wrote:
I guess I just do not believe that we as a race can have an impact on the environment that is so great that we make the earth uninhabitable


I hope you are right, but we humans have been destroying ecosystems for thousands of years, depleting resources and making species go extinct. we still do it today. The balance may break, and we don't know what to expect. As it's said, Nature is wise. Maybe it finds a way to get rid of us first.

I see we are facing other problem. We western people, (especially eurpoeans, who have destroyed our forests, rivers, coastals bands... for the sake of progress) are demanding poor countries to stop making the same for the sake of nature.... Two things, have we a moral right to do that? and, aren't most of the enterprises operating there ours, and thus, making in far away land what we don't want to see in our backryads?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

belenus wrote:
Two things, have we a moral right to do that? and, aren't most of the enterprises operating there ours, and thus, making in far away land what we don't want to see in our backryads?


I agree with you 100% here. We do not have the right to tell any other country what to do within their borders. The only exception to this that I can think of is if what they are doing would DIRECTLY affect my country. If they, for instance, dammed up a river to produce power but in the process they took away my countries main source of water. And even then an agreement probably can be reached in that situation as long as everyone remained cival about it. (i.e. they pump water to your country via another channel using some of the electrical power generated by the dam).
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#ni-1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Eliminate as many as possible tractor trailer trucks and use/rebuild the rail system


In point of fact, A tractor trailer is FAR more efficient than a passenger vehicle is per pound mile. My truck averages 7 mpg and with it I move 40 tons of vehicle and 45,000 of freight. ( I used to drive a gravel train that averaged 3.6 mpg but I was hauling 51 tons of freight GVW 154,000 ) Trains are only for freight that is nonessential ( they loose entire groups of cars for weeks at a time ) The only thing that is not delivered by truck is babies. besides do you really want to idle your car for 29 - 30 min 15 times a day waiting for a train to pass?

Quote:
Use/grow public transportation.


Good idea but I live in Detroit and if you have to depend on public transportation to get to work, you will get fired.


Quote:
Build more living quarters around where people work.


Again I live in Detroit. Nuff said.

Quote:
If you believe in the global warming theory (not proven by science yet)


I could not disagree more. There is clear and generally accepted evidence that human activity is the prime factor in global warming. The only "Scientists" that are denying this are in the pay of big industry or have some other agenda. Remember when Big Tobacco said that smoking was actually good for you? Just because Bushies and Rush Limbaugh say that there is disagreement does not make it so, there are "Scientists" who say that the world is flat but no rational person believes it.
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