Author Archives: Skip

Wilson: Scientific Regress

[Editor’s note: an excellent review of the state of “science”. Especially appropriate if you are a fan of the myth of global warming.]

Scientific Regress

by William A. Wilson, May 2016. First Things.

The problem with ­science is that so much of it simply isn’t. Last summer, the Open Science Collaboration announced that it had tried to replicate one hundred published psychology experiments sampled from three of the most prestigious journals in the field. Scientific claims rest on the idea that experiments repeated under nearly identical conditions ought to yield approximately the same results, but until very recently, very few had bothered to check in a systematic way whether this was actually the case. The OSC was the biggest attempt yet to check a field’s results, and the most shocking. In many cases, they had used original experimental materials, and sometimes even performed the experiments under the guidance of the original researchers. Of the studies that had originally reported positive results, an astonishing 65 percent failed to show statistical significance on replication, and many of the remainder showed greatly reduced effect sizes.

Their findings made the news, and quickly became a club with which to bash the social sciences. But the problem isn’t just with psychology. There’s an ­unspoken rule in the pharmaceutical industry that half of all academic biomedical research will ultimately prove false, and in 2011 a group of researchers at Bayer decided to test it. Looking at sixty-seven recent drug discovery projects based on preclinical cancer biology research, they found that in more than 75 percent of cases the published data did not match up with their in-house attempts to replicate. These were not studies published in fly-by-night oncology journals, but blockbuster research featured in Science, Nature, Cell, and the like. The Bayer researchers were drowning in bad studies, and it was to this, in part, that they attributed the mysteriously declining yields of drug pipelines. Perhaps so many of these new drugs fail to have an effect because the basic research on which their development was based isn’t valid.

When a study fails to replicate, there are two possible interpretations. The first is that, unbeknownst to the investigators, there was a real difference in experimental setup between the original investigation and the failed replication. These are colloquially referred to as “wallpaper effects,” the joke being that the experiment was affected by the color of the wallpaper in the room. This is the happiest possible explanation for failure to reproduce: It means that both experiments have revealed facts about the universe, and we now have the opportunity to learn what the difference was between them and to incorporate a new and subtler distinction into our theories. […] Continue reading

H/T WUWT

WTF is this: Ontario Political Police?

This is fucking outrageous:

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Missouri votes to give entrepreneurs the legal authority to enshrine religious freedom.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO—Saying the legis­la­tion would restore and protect religious freedoms that had been endan­gered in recent years by govern­ment action, religious liberty activists celebrated the passage Tuesday of a new Missouri law that grants the state’s small business owners … Continue reading

Yup :)

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Twitter’s “Ministry of Truth” suspends another conservative pundit, Robert Stacy McCain

Twitter’s self-aggrandizing SJW SWAT team has been busy lately knocking off conservative Twitter users its SJWs don’t agree with.  Yesterday they suspended Robert Stacy McCain, (#freestacy) a former Washington Times editor, reformed Democrat, and now conservative pundit.  As is its … Continue reading

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Moran: Social media sites getting serious about censoring conservatives

Social media sites getting serious about censoring conservatives By Rick Moran. American Thinker, February 17, 2016 A disturbing report from Breitbart reveals that Twitter has been “shadowbanning” some conservatives sites without telling the owner of the account their tweets are … Continue reading

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Obit: HotAir.com, the conservative anchor blog, surrenders to Facebook, blows away it’s commenter base.

Update: HotAir management went through with its planned (and ill-conceived) revamp of its comment engine with the installation of the Facebook plugin, replacing its older proprietary system. The announced intent to use Facebook, pretty much caused most of the original … Continue reading