FX uses the scientific method better then JAMA?

U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu
Fri Dec 15 13:34:38 EST 1995

"Brian W. Tague" <taguebw at wfu.edu> wrote:

>>Well... this certainly doesn't tell us anything at all at the
>>various credibility/believability of all the different papers
>>involved (how many of those in Medline were even peer-reviewed in
>>the first place?).

>First: you've been telling us that peer-review doesn't mean
>anything anyway. So why are you concerned about it now.

No... that's not exactly what I said.

What I said was that if you have two sides to an issue (ie. a
debatable 'fact')... just because one side presents data in a peer-
reviewed manner doesn't make that the winning side of the debate.

Due to the may flaws and or/politics involved with peer-review and
science of the 90's in general... a peer-reviewed stamp of approval
doesn't necessarily mean it's *more* accurate than this
presentation made by FX.

And just because this peer-reviewed article was published in
JAMA... that doesn't mean it is beyond reproach and can be (should
be) questioned as if it was published by any other journal... or
even questioned by a breakfast talk show?

>Second: if you really wanted to refute the findings why don't you
>actually get the article and look up the more than a dozen studies
>that they analyzed. I am sure that would tell you how many were
>peer reviewed.

Because it doesn't really matter... this publication was nothing
more than a review article.  Nobody involved in this study directly
observed behavior or set-up parameters, etc.  This is not really
good use of the scientific method either.  Yes, you can sit and
say... 'well, we'll only pick papers which followed a certain
criteria and presented statistics which was computable'... but
these studies were not all done at the same time, there are no
assurances all had equal parameters, or are even comparable with
each other?

Sort've like that book 'Rethinking AIDS'... in one example he shows
all the contradicting epidemiologic data collected from the spread
of HIV through sperm banks... where some contracted the disease and
others didn't through HIV+ sperm donors.  And because of this
contradicting data... the HIV=AIDS model may not be true.

But what he fails to consider is... did all these sperm banks
throughout the world use the exact same freezing methods of the
sperm.  For he only compared HIV+ donors... and NOT the sperm
itself.  Was it rna HIV or pro-viral dna HIV?  rna HIV is very
fragile, could the various freezing techniques eliminate it or
lower it's conc.?  None of these factors were considered in his
presentation in the book.  ie., were the studies even comparable in
the first place?

Thus, no direct observations were involved in this sugar study...
how do we know these studies were even comparable in the first
place?  ...except because they told us they are?

>Third: you're willing to believe a non-experiment on TV because it
>agrees with your observations? And dismiss a number of studies
>because you haven't seen them?

Certainly... people have wanted to add my name on their paper's
just because I gave them some advice or important information on
the matter... But I said no... because I did not personally observe
the work they did nor look over their calculations.  I don't want
my name on a paper in which I was not able to see how credible the
work was actually done in the first place?

In this case... I've seen personal observations as well as this FX
presentation - I'll believe that over work I was not personally
involved with... even though it was published work.

And I'll still say there is something to this... it's very obvious.
And of course it doesn't account for all behavior problems... but
there is certainly something to this.

>>All this really tells me is that this is obviously a mainstream
>>position of the field...

>But it probably wasn't at first: as the authors state, it is the
>expectation of most people  that sugar DOES cause hyperactivity.
>If "sugar does NOT cause hyperactivity" is now the mainstream
>position of the field, it is probably because the studies indicate
>that that is the case.

??? If you say so...

>>Oh... but you must always include a back door for your self...
>>just in case of that off chance you may be wrong.

>You are contradicting yourself. You say look "how forcefully they
>state this" like they are trying to push this thesis even though
>they qualify themselves in the next statement. And then you jump
>on them for qualifying themselves.

Because they qualify themselves at the very end of it... after tons
of 'forceful statements'.  But that's just the language of science.
That's what I was making fun of.

>>How I love Science in the 90's!  The blind just blindly follows
>>the blind.

>How can you call some 16 studies giving the same conclusion the
>blind leading the blind?

The same way I call an entire field of tissue/cell culture the
blind leading the blind.  People do not do species specificity
testing and do not assure themselves the cell lines they are
working on are truly the cell lines they 'think' they have.
This combined with my personal observations that about 80% of the
people who do cell culture do not properly use the UV lamp in their
hoods... yet, one person publishes data on a contaminated cell
line, then someone else asks to use that cell line to do their own
work on it and produces even more data on that same contaminated
cell line... etc. etc. etc.  In the end, you could have 16
published papers on a contaminated cell line saying all pretty much
the same thing (see the book 'A Conspiracy of Cells by Michael

For example... did you know that all of the volumes and volumes of
work published in the 70's on the effect of radiation on normal
cells were actually done on a HeLa (cancer cell) line?  Remember a
few years ago how they suddenly changed the criteria for low-level
radiation exposure?  People believed one thing for a while... found
out they were wrong and now believe something else.

>So it's simply organized science that you hate so much?

No... it's *disorganized* science I hate so much.

>>And where am I today?  A cashier in a bakery.

>Now I'm beginning to understand....

That I doubt.

But hey, don't knock how I'm making a living these days... for at
least it is honest work.  And certainly more honest work than labs
I have previously worked in!  ...and probably more honest work then
you've done if you are so easily gullible to believe everything you
read in scientific journals as 'FACT'!


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