Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Thu Apr 24 2008 - 00:03:35 EDT

One may also note the number of plausible-seeming operations that have
been used and at least generally discontinued.
prefrontal lobotomy
sterilization of the "unfit"
wrapping the heart with muscle detached from the chest wall
medicated stents

I recall talking to a psychologist some years back. It had been assumed
that anyone with the proper training was equally able to treat any
patient. He noted that they no longer believed that. Of course, that
notion fit in with the belief from which I benefited, that anyone who
learned the proper methods could teach anything.
Dave (ASA)

On Wed, 23 Apr 2008 22:06:38 -0400 "Jack" <drsyme@cablespeed.com> writes:
Do you really believe this? I cant believe you would say something like
this. The data is still the data? Are you saying that short of outright
fraud, all scientific data is completely objective? That seems so naive
that it is literally incredible. Yes you introduce bias into the results,
why do you think that the standard of medical trials is double blinded
studies? The scientists have to be blinded too so they dont introduce
their bias. I doubt that even in "hard science" things are as simple
as the "facts are still the facts", but it is far from the case in
medicine.

Are you familiar with the ENHANCE trial? This was a trial sponsored by
Schering-Plough the makers of Vytorin. Vytorin is a combination of
ezetimibe/simvastatin. Ezetimibe alone is Zetia. Vytorin is supposed to
lower cholesterol, specifically LDL cholesterol through two different
mechanisms of action (you have probably seen the commercials," two
sources of cholesterol, fettucine alfredo, and your Uncle Alfredo").
The ENHANCE trial was a study to prove that the combination of
ezetimibe/simvastatin was better than simvastatin alone in lowering
cholesterol levels, and in slowing progression of athersclerotic lesions.
 But there was no significant difference between the two groups in
lowering cholesterol, and in fact the progression of atherosclerotic
lesions was greater in the group treated with the combination compared to
simvastatin alone but not significantly.

The facts are still the facts right? Not only was the data from the
study withheld from publication for a couple of years, (obviously
Schering-Plough had nothing to gain by publishing it), but there is
substantial controversy about what the results actually mean. To find
out who says what, all you need to do is follow the money. Bias is
inevitable in science just like anything else, scientists are not above
this kind of thing.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Venema
To: David Opderbeck
Cc: D. F. Siemens, Jr. ; georgecooper@sbcglobal.net ; asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

Hmm. I still don’t see your point. Yes, funding, etc can direct research
– for example, I do work on diabetes / insulin signaling because I am
funded to do so – but does that mean you think that I introduce a bias
into my results because of my funding source? Yes, funding can direct the
types of experiments that are done, but the data is still the data if it
can be reproduced – the quality of the experiments should not be
affected. In cases where things were skewed/faked for an agenda the
deception comes to light when someone tries to repeat the experiments.

dennis

On 4/23/08 5:16 PM, "David Opderbeck" <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:

At the risk of sounding anti-science, which I don't think I am, I don't
see how you can gainsay that institutional science is skewed by agendas
and viewpoints that aren't always objectively scientific. Institutional
science is driven by funding. Funding is allocated by a relatively
small, relatively non-diverse segment of both the general public and the
scientific community, and the mechanisms and procedures of funding are
truly accessible only to an equally small and non-diverse population.
 
Moreover, in some areas, particularly public health and pharmaceuticals,
funding mechanisms are heavily influenced by intellectual property
rights, markets, and multinational corporate interests. The data is the
data, but the question of which data gets developed -- which research
programs get funded -- is heavily influenced by social, cultural and
economic factors that may have little to do with scientific merit or the
broader pursuit of truth.
 
(I am not here suggesting that claims of peer review bias against ID
advocates have merit. That in particular isn't my bailiwick, but I do
believe that peer review is not as objective as it is often made out to
be).

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Received on Thu Apr 24 00:07:12 2008

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