View Full Version : Why Most Published Research Findings Are False


Kunga Dorji
10-29-15, 05:01 AM
Read this, and weep:

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

We imagine that "science" is a solid and objective lens, through which we can inspect reality in great detail.
Nothing could be further from the truth :(

Abi
10-29-15, 10:06 AM
I need to revise my stats but the arguments here look like they may actually have some validity :eek:

Abi
10-29-15, 10:18 AM
I'm actually going to make a deeper study of this paper when I have the time, and post my conclusions. I like the author's methodology.

Hathor
10-29-15, 05:06 PM
I need to revise my stats but the arguments here look like they may actually have some validity :eek:

haha, a lot of what is passed off as science these days is acutally statistics with [key] missing variables.

Kunga Dorji
10-30-15, 06:43 AM
More in the same vein:

http://www.doctoringdata.co.uk/

It gets much worse.
Virtually all preventive medicine (cholesterol, moderate hypertension, overweight [as opposed to obesity] Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts and Coronary stenting, to name the less controversial examples) is based on really incompetent (read "deliberately corrupted") interpretations of the scientific database.

Reading this book has confirmed my worst suspicions about the way my profession does business.

BellaVita
10-30-15, 07:17 AM
Wow, this is interesting.

I wish Amtram were here, I'd like to hear what she would say.

Kunga Dorji
10-31-15, 09:18 PM
A quote that is now a couple of years old:
" It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. "
Dr Marcia Angell

Kunga Dorji
10-31-15, 09:32 PM
MkKendrick's blog is well worthwhile- and covers most of what is in the book.
Here is an example on cholesterol lowering via statins.

While this is not relevant directly to ADHD, it does give a very good idea of how statistics can be massaged by those who have an interest in doing so-- and gives a great idea of what we have to be thinking about when we are told certain "facts" about
the sffectiveness of medications or other interventions:
http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/10/27/how-much-longer-will-you-live-if-you-take-a-statin/


What we have instead is the repeated use of relative risk. Which is often framed in the following type of way: ‘Atorvastatin/Lipitor will reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack by 36%’… and suchlike. Whilst that figure is true, or at least it was true in one study funded and run by Pfizer… who sell atorvastatin, I knew that a figure like that was horribly misleading. It gave the impression of a gigantic reduction in risk.


Reanalysis of the raw data from the 4S and the HPS trials (both key trials quoted b those in favour of using statins gave this result:
Framing this slightly differently, what this meant was that taking a statin for one year, in the highest risk group possible, would increase your life expectancy by around three days. He then analyses this data a little further:

The main take away message I believe, is the following. Statins do not prevent fatal heart attacks and strokes. They can only delay them. They delay them by about one or two days per year of treatment. For those who have read my books you will know that I have regularly suggested we get rid of the concept of ‘preventative medicine’. We need to replace it with the concept of ‘delayative medicine’.


You cannot stop people dying. You can only make them live longer. How much longer is the key question. With statins this question has been answered. You can, to be generous, add a maximum of two days per year to life expectancy.


Which means that if you were to take a statin for thirty years you could expect to live about two months longer. (Possibly three, more likely one). Assuming, and this is a big assumption, that none of the trials done have been in any way biased towards statins. Even though every single one was funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Further assuming that any benefits seen in the trials will continue for the next twenty-five years.


So much for a drug that has now generated more than $125 billion in sales.

On second thoughts - this is relevant to ADHD- as memory loss and brain fog are reasonably common side effects of the drugs- and many ADHD individuals have addictive eating patterns that lead to them being put on statins in the first place.

Kunga Dorji
10-31-15, 10:02 PM
All this reminds me of a book i read decades ago:
To deliver good medical care is to do as much nothing as possible” ~
Samuel Shem, The House of God

Amtram
11-01-15, 08:25 AM
Actually, this is nothing new. Note that Ioannides wrote this more than 10 years ago. Most published research is exploratory or preliminary, or an attempt to test a hypothesis. In addition to the research that comes to an incorrect conclusion because of sample size or methodology, there are thousands that reach negative results that are never published.

The scientific community is well aware of this, which is why such an overwhelming number of these studies are never cited nor attempted to be replicated. Scientists who have access to the full text and expertise in the subject area will see the flaws and dismiss the findings. There are also several platforms they use to discuss research among themselves and debate its merit or call for its retraction. There's a huge amount of science being done that the public never sees.

What the public does see is often chosen by non-scientists who look at press releases and publish stories about "ground-breaking" discoveries. There are almost no "ground-breaking" studies, because they all build upon accumulated knowledge, and change comes in much smaller increments because of the nature of scientific exploration.

Fortunately, since much of the problem, as Ioannides points out, is statistical manipulation, it's often not difficult for other scientists to detect the error. Even a layperson, with some knowledge of statistics and scientific methodology, can pick out some of the more egregious mistakes. This basic knowledge is a good thing to have if you find yourself exposed to lots of claims that seem too good to be true - say, a recent article made popular on facebook that says scientists have discovered a cure for Alzheimer's, for example. If you understand that 75% of a sample size of 50 is in no way conclusive, and that animal studies are used primarily to test potential, and that information is in the abstract, you know that you can dismiss this article as hyperbolic.

meadd823
11-02-15, 02:56 AM
The main take away message I believe, is the following. Statins do not prevent fatal heart attacks and strokes. They can only delay them. They delay them by about one or two days per year of treatment. For those who have read my books you will know that I have regularly suggested we get rid of the concept of ‘preventative medicine’. We need to replace it with the concept of ‘delayative medicine’.


You cannot stop people dying. You can only make them live longer. How much longer is the key question. With statins this question has been answered. You can, to be generous, add a maximum of two days per year to life expectancy.


Which means that if you were to take a statin for thirty years you could expect to live about two months longer. (Possibly three, more likely one). Assuming, and this is a big assumption, that none of the trials done have been in any way biased towards statins. Even though every single one was funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Further assuming that any benefits seen in the trials will continue for the next twenty-five years.


I read the one on statins as well. I conclude they won't increase one's life expectancy if one is hit by a bus ...life expectancy is a tricky thing in that elevated cholesterol is not the only thing that can kill you ..... If statins make you feel like crap then living an extra day or two is probably not worth it but if they don't cause one any side effects than taking them is not necessarily a problem. Cholesterol is only on risk factor in a life time of possible causes of death.

I work daily with specialist and have never heard a single doctor prescribe drugs over life style changes. All of them encourage healthy life styles first and foremost. I see this pill popping mentality mostly in patients who would rather swallow a pill every day than give up their fatty foods or start an exercise program. Consumers who would rather take a pills don't care about the stats as most people do not understand stats and don't care that they don't. They go for what they think will be their easiest way out so I would not point the "figures" solely at drug companies for giving people what they want to hear

The annoyance is presenting this as a doctor/drug company driven problem when my experience it is a consumer/ patient driven problem. People would rather take statins than diet and exercise period .....

Kunga Dorji
11-02-15, 08:27 PM
I read the one on statins as well. I conclude they won't increase one's life expectancy if one is hit by a bus ...life expectancy is a tricky thing in that elevated cholesterol is not the only thing that can kill you ..... If statins make you feel like crap then living an extra day or two is probably not worth it but if they don't cause one any side effects than taking them is not necessarily a problem. Cholesterol is only on risk factor in a life time of possible causes of death.

I work daily with specialist and have never heard a single doctor prescribe drugs over life style changes. All of them encourage healthy life styles first and foremost. I see this pill popping mentality mostly in patients who would rather swallow a pill every day than give up their fatty foods or start an exercise program. Consumers who would rather take a pills don't care about the stats as most people do not understand stats and don't care that they don't. They go for what they think will be their easiest way out so I would not point the "figures" solely at drug companies for giving people what they want to hear

The annoyance is presenting this as a doctor/drug company driven problem when my experience it is a consumer/ patient driven problem. People would rather take statins than diet and exercise period .....


It is a little more complex than that.

My experience in general practice was of these drugs being systematically misrepresented to us by the drug reps who spend so much time visiting doctor's offices, and then a series of effectively legally binding practice protocols coming out which were based on that misinformation.

In fact McKendrick is stating that there is NO evidence that cholesterol is, in the broader community, a significant cardiac risk. In fact he is arguing that given the limited improvements with medication, the cholesterol/ heart disease issue may well be a correlation rather than a causative relationship. A and B are both caused by X. A being heart disease, and B being cholesterol, x- being the unknown third factor-- which is probably chronic autonomic nervous system dysregulation.

Secondly he states rightly that the bulk of the side effects of statins are of insidious onset--so many of these side effects are only very gradually progressive. They are subtle and not easy to attribute to the medications.
We should also add cost of medication to the side effect list- as this can be considerable.


The other side of the problem is is that while doctors advise lifestyle change-- we are not very good at helping our patients achieve that.
The social pressures that lead to a poor diet and lack of exercise are complex and are not easily countered, and most of them are poorly understood by doctors who come from a highly specific part of society- high achieving, organised, high income, strong work ethic, with an interesting and ethically pleasing job to do ( and more often from not from families that have held these positions and work ethics for generations)-- that does not equip us to understand the pressures that drive poor diet and exercise choices.

So it is all very well telling a patient in an impossible position (60 hour work week low income, no time to spend on face to face child rearing, and kids going off the rails) to just change their diet, but without helping them to figure out how to do it we are not really helping all that much---

--but we can then "blame the victim" when they fail to follow doctors orders.

Kunga Dorji
11-02-15, 08:56 PM
Actually, this is nothing new. Note that Ioannides wrote this more than 10 years ago. Most published research is exploratory or preliminary, or an attempt to test a hypothesis. In addition to the research that comes to an incorrect conclusion because of sample size or methodology, there are thousands that reach negative results that are never published.

The scientific community is well aware of this, which is why such an overwhelming number of these studies are never cited nor attempted to be replicated. Scientists who have access to the full text and expertise in the subject area will see the flaws and dismiss the findings. There are also several platforms they use to discuss research among themselves and debate its merit or call for its retraction. There's a huge amount of science being done that the public never sees.

Quite correct- research into basic physics, or commercial applications is of little interest to most.

What the public does see is often chosen by non-scientists who look at press releases and publish stories about "ground-breaking" discoveries. There are almost no "ground-breaking" studies, because they all build upon accumulated knowledge, and change comes in much smaller increments because of the nature of scientific exploration.

Fortunately, since much of the problem, as Ioannides points out, is statistical manipulation, it's often not difficult for other scientists to detect the error. [/quote]

However, very often the target is not other scientists- it is health professionals, who simply do not have the time to go back to the core data, or the financial security to risk going up against skewed data that has become ossified into clinical practice protocols.

Given the nature of the medicolegal world, going against these is actually very dangerous professionally, and can easily find one answering a complaint to one's medical board (even though many of these practice protocols are later thrown out)

The worst cases of these are intra profession vendettas now being called "sham peer reviews" These commonly happen among closed professional trade groups and are usually directed against high profile and highly skilled professionals who will do surgery or procedures that the majority of doctors would not contemplate. We have had a couple of spectacular cases of this come to light in Australia in the past few months- they have forced several skilled and valuable practitioners out of work, and out of the country.

So lets look more closely at scientific research in the medical community.
I reference McKendrick again:

http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/06/18/conflict-of-interest-not-just-about-money/


Here is what Richard Horton (Editor of the Lancet), has to say on the matter: ‘The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.’



So that is the state f play vis a vis science within medicine.

Drkatzjr
05-22-16, 04:40 PM
For any research that you find that suggests a certain theory to be true,
I can promise you that you can find research opposing that research..

SB_UK
05-23-16, 01:01 AM
Witout thinking too deeply about it - science carries an obvious flaw in that it formulates models based on what is known.
If the problem domain is not sufficiently well understood then wholly false conclusions are arrived at - regardless of highly statistically significant findings being reported back.

High heritability index has been used to indicate high 'geneticness' of a condition.

All of this before epigenetics (the research is ongoing) jumped into the fray to shatter that over-simplistic view of common disease.

The new Cambridge study initially discovered how the DNA methylation marks are erased in PGCs, a question that has been under intense investigation over the past ten years. The methylation marks are converted to hydroxymethylation which is then progressively diluted out as the cells divide. This process turns out to be remarkably efficient and seems to reset the genes for each new generation. Understanding the mechanism of epigenetic resetting could be exploited to deal with adult diseases linked with an accumulation of aberrant epigenetic marks, such as cancers, or in ‘rejuvenating’ aged cells.
However, the researchers, who were funded by the Wellcome Trust, also found that some rare methylation can ‘escape’ the reprogramming process and can thus be passed on to offspring – revealing how epigenetic inheritance could occur. This is important because aberrant methylation could accumulate at genes during a lifetime in response to environmental factors, such as chemical exposure or nutrition, and can cause abnormal use of genes, leading to disease. If these marks are then inherited by offspring, their genes could also be affected.
- See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/scientists-discover-how-epigenetic-information-could-be-inherited#sthash.KJ2Pmh3O.dpuf

SB_UK
05-23-16, 01:11 AM
a lot of what is passed off as science these days is acutally statistics with [key] missing variables.


That's it - an oversimplistic model is a model with key missing variables - often with focus with stringing unimportant variables into explanatory models of disease.

The longitude, favourite colour of trousers and pet preference into a model for human longevity.

Deliberately 'silly' - science (for the most part with ref to the less fundamental sciences) - often demonstrate a similar pattern.

Things become more complex with studies upon ever higher abstraction layers - the soft science (sociology) isn't - it's just that the number of variables on human happiness include contributors from many levels.

Stephen Hawking took the physics and not the medicine route because of the more satisfying prospect of a pure (simple) scientific model being possible in a field where the number of variables are limited.

We're lucky in that there's a lesson from physics (ToE) ie the rules of structure formation on any given abstraction level ie
3 polar - EM,strong, weak force
and
1 non-polar relationship (gravity) - social cohesive impulse

which provide a framework for social structure formation.

ie the generalization goes GUT+ gravity
-> ToE
+ generalization
-> The mechanism of social structure formation on each evolutionary level.

A social species is the end-point of evolution on any given abstraction layer.

mildadhd
05-23-16, 01:46 AM
For any research that you find that suggests a certain theory to be true,
I can promise you that you can find research opposing that research..

Can you find research that shows mammals do not have bottom up primary emotions?



m

SB_UK
05-24-16, 01:54 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/22/eat-fat-to-get-thin-30-years-of-flawed-dietary-advice-is-disastr/

The report says the low-fat and low-cholesterol message, which has been official policy in the UK since 1983, was based on “flawed science” and had resulted in an increased consumption of junk food and carbohydrates.
The document also accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, said the misplaced focus meant Britain was failing to address an obesity crisis (http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/fat-Britain-obesity/) which is costing the NHS £6 billion a year.


For any research that you find that suggests a certain theory to be true,
I can promise you that you can find research opposing that research..

However, scientists from a range of fields have criticised the report and questioned its evidential basis.


-*-

Human beings just plain eat too much first - and then of unnatural foods.
Comfort eating from living in a world where everybody's an expert and nobody actually knows anything.

Every single one of our MANY Emperors is naked.

Fuzzy12
05-24-16, 02:51 AM
For any research that you find that suggests a certain theory to be true,
I can promise you that you can find research opposing that research..

Yes, but I think that's the beauty of science (and I don't doubt that there are a lot of rubbish papers out there making false claims). Science never claims to hold the absolute truth or to be irrefutable. As it grows it corrects itself again and again and hopefully slowly we will inch closer towards the truth. If research couldn't be refuted it wouldn't be scientific.

Impromptu_DTour
05-24-16, 03:06 PM
For any research that you find that suggests a certain theory to be true,
I can promise you that you can find research opposing that research..

Well.. ya. This is the beauty of the science. It's not supposed to be bullet proof. Science cannot exist without opposition. Thats not the point. If it was, then science would be claiming to replace religion, which it's not. The true nature of science doesnt want to have anything to do with "the last say". That would comPLETELY defeat the purpose of Science and the "pursuit of knowledge".

That said, anybody can do terrible research and call it research.. but the sad thing is, good research is often overlooked, and bad research is always easy to do, and easier mask if you know how to use adjectives and literal fallacies. Science is not about convincing people, or conning people to see things one way (im pretty sure thats like.. lobbying or something..). That would make science biased, which is also in direct opposition to the fundamental principles of science. The only motive in any truly science based research, is to find the best explanation to a question, and ultimately to find more questions to ask. It's unbiased.

Anybody who is truly open to "science", should willingly subject their ideas and positions to being challenged.. often.. because science was never - EVER, meant to be the be all and end all of ideas and discussion.

And, honestly? a unchallengeable answer is as exciting to explore as a brick wall. THAT's no fun.

Science is not about being correct. Science is about exploration.

mildadhd
05-24-16, 08:27 PM
I wonder what it is called when research is not considered. (Not refuted or opposed just simply ignored)







m

Little Missy
05-24-16, 08:34 PM
I wonder what it is called when research is not considered. (Not refuted or opposed just simply ignored)







m

a theory, perhaps?

mildadhd
05-24-16, 09:30 PM
a theory, perhaps?

I wonder what it is called when research is considered?



m

Impromptu_DTour
05-25-16, 01:04 AM
I wonder what it is called when research is not considered. (Not refuted or opposed just simply ignored)







m

if the research is present and available, and has still been blatantly ignored, i think that falls under the category of "wasting everybody's time". I would not say "hypothesis" because that would infer that there is an intention of future (and well thought out and planned) action to investigate the hypothesis further to verify its validity. without that, id have to fall back to saying it would be an "opinion".

Opinion: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Hypothesis: a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

If research is not available, i guess it would have to be elevated to a preliminary hypothesis.. and more research and testing is necessary to flesh it out to the point where it's a working scientific theory. ("hypothesis" does not mean the same thing as "theory" in science, all theories start out as a hypothesis before rigorous testing and examination to elevate them to a working "theory")

Theory: A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world.

I wonder what it is called when research is considered?



m

If research was considered, and an opposing viewpoint still presented, then well.. its an opposing viewpoint which still requires more research.. would be nothing more than a hypothesis (that is currently heavily outweighed by current research), that needs to be further investigated and rigorously tested and needs to be found to have substantial support through the scientific method. If such support is found to exist, and is acceptable.. than all current definitions of that observation are updated to your currently updated model, and you win a prize.

However if there is no intention of furthering any research to support an opposing viewpoint that contradicts current research, then that falls back to being worth nothing more than an opinion that again, is a waste of everyones time.

But to try and state something as fact, without any research, or in direct opposition to current research, without any supporting research or data.. You can't just say "ya thats false.. thats not how it works" and then not have anything to back up your claim. Thats not how it works.

Thats what dumb people sound like. "Opinions" are one of the smallest known measurements of Value in Science.

Impromptu_DTour
05-25-16, 01:39 AM
Thats what dumb people sound like. "Opinions" are one of the smallest known measurements of Value in Science.

well.. im rather moody, eh? i should rectify this to express that it would make entertaining conversation, providing you are entertaining to converse with.. lol

good for theoretical discussions and stretching ideas.. for play.

when presented and thought out well, i guess Opinions could be the foreplay of Science.

SB_UK
05-25-16, 01:52 AM
well.. im rather moody, eh? i should rectify this to express that it would make entertaining conversation, providing you are entertaining to converse with.. lol

good for theoretical discussions and stretching ideas.. for play.

when presented and thought out well, i guess Opinions could be the foreplay of Science.


Perhaps one would need to probe the 'Opinions' in order to discover what lies beneath.

To understand the basis (no matter how vague) for an opinion.
Perhaps more important - to assess the mental state (not in reference to disorder) - of the person to see whether their general understanding of the problem domain and elsewhere might grant them special privileges to intuition -

- looking (for the most part) - here - at the idea of creative leaps being grounded in an individual's pre-existing state of mental development.

Single most important idea though is to assess personal bias.

If a researcher into the genetics of condition X - then vested interest in showing data which identifies an overwhelming genetic contribution.
If a researcher into the environmental basis of condition X - then vested in interest in showing data which identifies an overwhelming environmental contribution.

What about latent bias ?
A worry also.

How can one adopt an objective stance ?
That is perhaps (the ability to shift one's perspective away from subjectively appealing to objectively correct) - what the mind (its development to completion) is all about.

mildadhd
05-25-16, 09:50 PM
Theory: A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world.





Exciting!


m

SB_UK
05-26-16, 06:22 AM
There's a predisposition in the world around to state that science is the right way, that science is not the right way -

but what about morality which COMPLETELY trumps science - in the sense that evidence is used by morality to define where the line lies - that is - that morality employs BOTH empirical science and logical de/in-duction to arrive at the optimal model.

Presumably when de/in-duction are compatible we're a complete (though potentially sparse (or maybe not (or maybe in parts))) model of understanding of reality.

And that - I believe was one of my first comments here from 12 years ago.

julialouise
06-10-16, 04:36 PM
A published research article discussing the falsity of published research...... witty (;

SB_UK
06-16-16, 01:06 AM
Most published research findings are false

because researchers want their research to have a defined conclusion

[1] The scientist with an interest in xyz wants to show xyz is important in abc - doesn't want to show it's neither here nor there - as grant rejection
[2] The scientist needs to show a highly statistical and hopefully reproducible result unless they're competing with another scientist who has published an opposing paper (which invalidates your research) - in which case you want a highly reproducible absence in significance to their opposing viewpoint.
[3] The scientist is on temp contracts in academia - the biggest emphasis is on getting publications to grants or you're dead in the water
[4] Life/Med Science has become VERY expensive - so it's impossible (current med science) to work without a grant
and so it continues

Most published research is false because scientists aren't paid to tell the truth.

Just money.

Are scientists deliberately misleading ?
Depends on how conflicting their own data comes to their own livelihood.

But why not just change emphasis ?
Because a 50 year old scientist is more expensive than a 20 year old.

SB_UK
06-16-16, 02:12 AM
why most published research is false ?

Because no scientist with a speciality wants to solve a problem.

If you solve a problem that you're a specialist in - then you make yourself redundant.

SB_UK
06-16-16, 02:19 AM
What is the solution to all of our problems ?

To develop a mode of education which teaches individuals to nurture a reward system which allows the individual to feel rewarded/happy when they do something positive for some aspect of the world (be it animal, vegetable or mineral) around.

-*-

That's all - and represents a definition of love - within context of phrase - 'love conquers all' ... ...

-*-

Is that what love is ?
No - love represents a dissemination of resonant synchrony with fundamental substance into polar forces holding together phenomenological world constructs.

More simply - love is a 'force' which gains traction from fundamental substance (unknowable) and then 'ports' itself it via 3 polar interactions to maintain structural rigidity of phenomenological world constructs ie real things.

It's a social cohesive force from the bottom (1st event post-Big Bang) upwards.

OK - so how does the definition you've offered in 'love conquers all' match the overarching definition you've supplied of lOve ?
Simple - it's a specific instantiation ie 'love' rediscovers itself on each evolutionary abstraction layer.

mildadhd
06-22-16, 09:46 PM
Love and Friendship.




m

Kunga Dorji
12-07-16, 06:30 AM
Yes, but I think that's the beauty of science (and I don't doubt that there are a lot of rubbish papers out there making false claims). Science never claims to hold the absolute truth or to be irrefutable. As it grows it corrects itself again and again and hopefully slowly we will inch closer towards the truth. If research couldn't be refuted it wouldn't be scientific.

As a preliminary, Fuzzy, let me say that I am not singling you out in making my response. Your comment is only an example of a very serious syntactic error that is made by the proponents of "science"

Now the problem with this comment is that there is actually no such entity as "science" that can make claims or not make claims, and we are all at risk of anthropomorphising "science" and making yet another false god.

The whole point of my comments in opening this thread was to say that there are a hell of a lot of papers published every year that claim to be "scientific" (ie they claim to adhere to the scientific method) but that a very large proportion of these papers really are rubbish.

We see this play out many times on ADDF where a paper is referenced in the "scientific" section and the assumption is often that if it is a published paper it must be science and it must be true.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
This concern about the validity of published "science" is far worse in the biomedical area than in any other area of science.

The reason for that is very simple-- that the purveyors of pharmaceutical remedies make a fortune from their trade and they sponsor most of the published science in this area.

Regardless of this, it is just not possible to regard "science" as some sort of quasi living being that is possessed of all truth.

Really all we can do is respect scientific method as a reasonably reliable means of answering various narrow and precisely formulated questions relating to very specific questions about tiny slivers of reality.


Let me pose here a question that is amenable to scientific analysis:

Given individuals shown to be suffering with bacterial sinusitis, is the recovery rate better in adults treated with amoxycillin, cephalexin, or simple supportive measures (decongestants and 2 days off work).

Now "science" ( or, more realistically "scientific method") can handle that sort of equation rather well, but it is not possible to make bold or broad sweeping comments about what "science" claims it can or cannot do.

In the end, the individuals who claim to be the mouthpieces of science, all have a very major issue with undeclared interest.

The important thrust of my initial post though, was to emphasise that very many supposedly "scientific" published papers have serious methodological flaws, and that we should not accept their content without very close scrutiny and cross referencing--- over a number of years.

Kunga Dorji
12-07-16, 09:17 PM
Let me pose here a question that is amenable to scientific analysis:

Given individuals shown to be suffering with bacterial sinusitis, is the recovery rate better in adults treated with amoxycillin, cephalexin, or simple supportive measures (decongestants and 2 days off work).

Now "science" ( or, more realistically "scientific method") can handle that sort of equation rather well, but it is not possible to make bold or broad sweeping comments about what "science" claims it can or cannot do.

In the end, the individuals who claim to be the mouthpieces of science, all have a very major issue with undeclared interest.

The important thrust of my initial post though, was to emphasise that very many supposedly "scientific" published papers have serious methodological flaws, and that we should not accept their content without very close scrutiny and cross referencing--- over a number of years.


What I should have said to finish this one off is that scientific method is good at answering very narrow and specific questions, but that some vaguely defined entity called "science" is very much weaker at answering broad questions.

wonderboy
08-11-17, 11:11 PM
For every hypothesis in a scholarly research journal article, I guarantee you ycan find a thesis that states the exact opposite, and quite cogently

wonderboy
08-11-17, 11:12 PM
For every hypothesis in a scholarly research journal article, I guarantee that another exists stating the exact opposite, and quite cogently

Sorry for the repost. I do not know how to edit the last post

sarahsweets
08-12-17, 05:19 AM
But that doesnt mean that the research isnt relevant.

Fuzzy12
08-12-17, 06:38 AM
As a preliminary, Fuzzy, let me say that I am not singling you out in making my response. Your comment is only an example of a very serious syntactic error that is made by the proponents of "science"

Now the problem with this comment is that there is actually no such entity as "science" that can make claims or not make claims, and we are all at risk of anthropomorphising "science" and making yet another false god.

The whole point of my comments in opening this thread was to say that there are a hell of a lot of papers published every year that claim to be "scientific" (ie they claim to adhere to the scientific method) but that a very large proportion of these papers really are rubbish.

We see this play out many times on ADDF where a paper is referenced in the "scientific" section and the assumption is often that if it is a published paper it must be science and it must be true.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
This concern about the validity of published "science" is far worse in the biomedical area than in any other area of science.

The reason for that is very simple-- that the purveyors of pharmaceutical remedies make a fortune from their trade and they sponsor most of the published science in this area.

Regardless of this, it is just not possible to regard "science" as some sort of quasi living being that is possessed of all truth.

Really all we can do is respect scientific method as a reasonably reliable means of answering various narrow and precisely formulated questions relating to very specific questions about tiny slivers of reality.


Let me pose here a question that is amenable to scientific analysis:

Given individuals shown to be suffering with bacterial sinusitis, is the recovery rate better in adults treated with amoxycillin, cephalexin, or simple supportive measures (decongestants and 2 days off work).

Now "science" ( or, more realistically "scientific method") can handle that sort of equation rather well, but it is not possible to make bold or broad sweeping comments about what "science" claims it can or cannot do.

In the end, the individuals who claim to be the mouthpieces of science, all have a very major issue with undeclared interest.

The important thrust of my initial post though, was to emphasise that very many supposedly "scientific" published papers have serious methodological flaws, and that we should not accept their content without very close scrutiny and cross referencing--- over a number of years.
If you think there is any conflict between what you and I have said then you have misunderstood my post. My whole point about science is that it's not an entity. It's not an authority. It's not a container of the absolute truth. It's a method. A good method. Or like you said a reasonably reliable method.

mctavish23
08-12-17, 04:38 PM
I know this is old, but I respectfully disagree with regards to ADHD.

Nothing is ever "perfect," research included. Fuzzy is correct in pointing out that the

Scientific Method is exactly that; a method. However, in my 30+ years of studying the

research behind the disorder, I believe that those data meeting the "gold standard" of

longitudinal validity & reliability remain as such; valid & reliable.

As for the rest of the published scientific research out there, I can't say without reading

them, one article at a time, which is impossible. I can say though that at least I know

how to make a reasonable judgment of those data, assuming I'm interested.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

mildadhd
08-12-17, 07:33 PM
I think differences of opinions are partly because how the brain works in bottom up and top down loops.

Some Neurological circuits loop up from the midbrain to tertiary neocortex.

Then tertiary thoughts loop down into the limbic middle involved in learning in memory, before looping down back to the midbrain or back up to the neocortex.

Like apple seed to becomes a apple tree, the produces apples, our brain's becomes more and more complex as we mature,

In short perspective, depends on the subjective context of a already circular discussion.

(Layman, simple example to get the drift) (more in depth examples also appreciated)

Also, as long as bottom up primary instinctual raw affective behaviour are not consider in the original loop, half the story or less will ever be known.




M

mildadhd
08-12-17, 07:42 PM
There is always, at least, two factors involved.

There is usually a lot more factors than two.




M

mctavish23
08-13-17, 02:42 PM
The "Gold Standard" for ALL scientific research is Longitudinal Validity and Reliability - Does your research measure what it

claims, and can other (non-affiliated) researchers replicate those same (or similar) findings over time, using the exact same

methods.

Hope that helps.

tc

Robert

mildadhd
08-13-17, 06:45 PM
The "Gold Standard" for ALL scientific research is Longitudinal Validity and Reliability - Does your research measure what it

claims, and can other (non-affiliated) researchers replicate those same (or similar) findings over time, using the exact same

methods.

Hope that helps.

tc

Robert

Is there some AD(H)D research, that I could look up that meets this gold standard?

I've never been able to rule out adoption distresses, in adoption twin studies?






M

mctavish23
08-13-17, 08:11 PM
Check out any of Russ Barkley's books. They're loaded with examples.

tc

Robert

wonderboy
08-13-17, 08:50 PM
Most scholarly research is not necessarily always cogent because of the phenomenon of significant "demand characteristics"
That influences subjects in the research

https://www.verywell.com/what-is-a-demand-characteristic-2795098

mctavish23
08-14-17, 02:43 PM
The research constituting the science behind the disorder (of ADHD), which I've studied continuously over the last 30+

years, absolutely meets the aforementioned "Gold Standard."

As someone who was trained as a scientist/clinician, "demand characteristics" are a common confounding variable that

must be always considered and dealt with; primarily via the research design employed.

It's simply "too easy" of a criticism to employ regarding ALL scientific research. However, in this context, I am strictly

concerned about ADHD research and the implications set forth by the OP, whom I have great personal and professional

respect for.


tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Kunga Dorji
08-15-17, 11:16 PM
Hi Robert,
good to see you.
Broadly I agree with you- and one of the biggest problems that we here have all had to face is skepticism about the nature of ADHD.

However there are distortions in all fields- usually when there is plenty of money to be made.

We are getting quite a push in Australia to offer Vyvanse as a first line drug. Actually the old fashioned short acting methylphenidate and dexamphetamine do suit the majority of people perfectly well, and are much cheaper. However there is a spin on the science that is being presented to us by drug reps.

At a higher level the other challenge is that behaviours always have complex genesis in terms of neural pathways. ADHD is currently described as a behaviour cluster and will therefore always be heterogenous in terms of underlying neurology. A good deal of time has been wasted on the argument that because consistent neurological differences can't be found, therefore "ADHD does not exist". That has had serious consequences in scaring off people who may well have benefitted from treatment of their ADHD.

I think the field is looking very promising now as more professionals are contributing from their own angles. ie the neuropsychologist Leonard Koziol (author of "Subcortical Structures and Cognition"and "ADHD as a model of Brain Behaviour Relationships".
Koziol is especially impressive in that he is loose enough to say, as a clinician who works with ADHD:

www.leonardkoziol.com/publications/Attention_Evolution_Revolution_2015.pdf (http://www.leonardkoziol.com/publications/Attention_Evolution_Revolution_2015.pdf)


Just about every article concluded that traditional constructs of attention are outmoded, although we continue to assess attention from a clinical viewpoint that leads to limited practical applicability.



and


First, ADHD is a behaviorally defined diagnosis as it is characterized in the DSM system. And in this regard, we completely agree with Carmichael and colleagues’ (this issue) bold statement that from a neuropsychological perspective, ADHD does not exist....
However, the fact of the matter is that from the behaviorally defined DSM system, ADHD does exist.

Kunga Dorji
08-15-17, 11:31 PM
Now that analysis has probably turned up further reasons for failure of science-

too often we remain attached to old models that purport to explain the problem without understanding just how fragile the underlying concept is:
IE ADHD as being a "moral deficiency disorder"
or more recently ADHD as being a dopamine deficiency disorder (doesn't explain the therapeutic failure of stimulants in about 20% and doesn't account for the complex brain network models that are being discussed and replacing the neurotransmitter deficiency model- which is on its last legs).

So if you start with an inadequate model and base your research on that model-- it is never going to produce consistent and valuable results.

There are quite a number of reasons that research is often wrong-- but I agree with Ioannides that accepting a 0.05 confidence interval is leaving too much room for chance.

On top of that there are issues with drug companies meddling in results, and the serious problem that few studies are published with access to the database used. There have been many examples of this and they have been well documented leading to substantial payouts over the past few decades.
( I have just looked at one involving a vaccine in which serious results were buried deep in a 1271 page report that was meant to be confidential, but was released when the Italian Judge overseeing the matter deemed it in the public interest.

The truth is that science is not always funded by disinterested parties and we always need to be cautious about what we accept- especially when there is a big price tag attached to the products that come from it.

mctavish23
08-16-17, 09:47 PM
Agreed. One only has to look at Eli Lilly getting warned by the FDA on Strattera.

tc

Robert

mildadhd
08-16-17, 11:00 PM
Now that analysis has probably turned up further reasons for failure of science-

too often we remain attached to old models that purport to explain the problem without understanding just how fragile the underlying concept is:
IE ADHD as being a "moral deficiency disorder"
or more recently ADHD as being a dopamine deficiency disorder (doesn't explain the therapeutic failure of stimulants in about 20% and doesn't account for the complex brain network models that are being discussed and replacing the neurotransmitter deficiency model- which is on its last legs).

So if you start with an inadequate model and base your research on that model-- it is never going to produce consistent and valuable results.

There are quite a number of reasons that research is often wrong-- but I agree with Ioannides that accepting a 0.05 confidence interval is leaving too much room for chance.

On top of that there are issues with drug companies meddling in results, and the serious problem that few studies are published with access to the database used. There have been many examples of this and they have been well documented leading to substantial payouts over the past few decades.
( I have just looked at one involving a vaccine in which serious results were buried deep in a 1271 page report that was meant to be confidential, but was released when the Italian Judge overseeing the matter deemed it in the public interest.

The truth is that science is not always funded by disinterested parties and we always need to be cautious about what we accept- especially when there is a big price tag attached to the products that come from it.

I think dopaminergic pathways are involved.

Other factors involved in the development of the dopaminergic pathways, could be the problem.


M

mctavish23
08-17-17, 01:21 PM
All one has to do is look at the (still) "landmark" NIMH brain scan study by Zametkin et. al., (1990), which

highlighted "diminished metabolic capacity" as a core feature of ADHD, followed by Zametkin et .al., (1993),

which successfully replicated those findings with a sample group of adolescent females, to see that there is

serious science behind the disorder.

As for "moral deficiency," I haven't heard that mentioned since reading about the early History of the disorder.

If one were to (literally) go back to the very beginning of the research on what we now call ADHD, you'd find

Alexander Crichton's "landmark" (1798) study which highlighted "mental restlessness" as a key feature.

Interestingly enough, today, both the adolescent & adult developmental manifestations of "hyperactivity",

are operationally defined by (subjective) "inner restlessness."

Those are (literally) the proverbial "drops in the bucket" when it comes to the multitude of serious research

on ADHD.

One of the best places to look would be to go to Russell Barkley's website and check out the research paper

entitled, International Consensus 2002. It's signed off on by over 80 of the world's leading researchers on

the subject, and goes on to stipulate the (evidence based) "proof" of ADHD being a "real disorder."

Hope that helps some.

tc

Robert

Kunga Dorji
08-26-17, 11:27 PM
All one has to do is look at the (still) "landmark" NIMH brain scan study by Zametkin et. al., (1990), which

highlighted "diminished metabolic capacity" as a core feature of ADHD, followed by Zametkin et .al., (1993),

which successfully replicated those findings with a sample group of adolescent females, to see that there is

serious science behind the disorder.

As for "moral deficiency," I haven't heard that mentioned since reading about the early History of the disorder.

If one were to (literally) go back to the very beginning of the research on what we now call ADHD, you'd find

Alexander Crichton's "landmark" (1798) study which highlighted "mental restlessness" as a key feature.

Interestingly enough, today, both the adolescent & adult developmental manifestations of "hyperactivity",

are operationally defined by (subjective) "inner restlessness."

Those are (literally) the proverbial "drops in the bucket" when it comes to the multitude of serious research

on ADHD.

One of the best places to look would be to go to Russell Barkley's website and check out the research paper

entitled, International Consensus 2002. It's signed off on by over 80 of the world's leading researchers on

the subject, and goes on to stipulate the (evidence based) "proof" of ADHD being a "real disorder."

Hope that helps some.

tc

Robert


Crichton's account was a very good piece of observational medicine.

The main issue with the brain imaging studies is that the condition is very heterogenous (ie there are many causes of the clinical syndrome ADHD), and therefore they are not reliable as diagnostic features. That was actually the same issue that Koziol was getting at with his comments.

mctavish23
08-27-17, 02:25 PM
Excellent points, which is why Daniel Amen has been so (correctly) criticized. Zametkin wasn't trying to diagnose tho, which

is why his work is still considered "landmark."

Thanks & hope all is well.

tc

Robert