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[–]sodasplash 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I’ve always loved Terry Pratchett.

I find the way that so many people approach science today is very close minded and anti scientific inquiry.

[–]FormosaOolong 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

So true! It's mostly like a cult of Scientism these days, and/or outright corporate-bought "studies". Even high-profile publications like the Lancet, aa well as peer-review processes are laughable these days.

[–]sodasplash 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I would say corporate studies are the number one issue, certainly. And then the way media reports “findings” spoon fed as fact without communicating a real understanding of underlying findings. Which brings us of course to online shilling.

Since the advent of the internet, it’s become far more popular to be scientific/atheist and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s the same — and as potentially dangerous — as any other religion.

The issue, though, that really gets after me the most is the use of statistical analysis and its conflation with the scientific method. Stats are big these days but they remain a soft correlation and not a even scientifically “proven” causation. They’re great for predicting baseball — and while correlation can be a great guide — it’s not causative science. There’s a reason investment firms have to tell you past performance is not indicative of future results.

It’s much cheaper to do a “study” using broad statistical analysis of many other studies and it’s also easier to manipulate the data — just use studies that already support your conclusion and discount those that don’t.

Famously, studies have shown that lunch meats lead to increased heart disease/cancer/terrible things. This is a finding that has stuck with our collective consciousness very well because it jives with what makes sense to us (and in all likelyhood, it is true that they aren’t the healthiest thing in the world).

Yet, this remains a soft statistical analysis of self-reported data. And even then, the consumption of lunch meats is linked with a barely statistically significant difference. There were no double blind tests. There were no controls for what other food products were part of various lunch meat consumers’ diets. There was no finding on how much or how little might be safe. There was no differentiation between types of lunch meats. Prosciutto makers were especially miffed as the process for making prosciutto differs markedly from say bologna. Just, “consumption of lunch meats linked to increased health risks.”

It was just this type of study that led to the California law in the 1980’s that is the reason why all wine bottles today must say “Contains Sulfites.” To this day, there is still zero actual genuine scientific evidence that says to what degree and amounts sulfites in wine might cause any damage to humans whatsoever.