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Peer Review and the Scientific Process

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Renegade:
Some very uncomfortable damnation for "peer review" and "science"...

FAIR WARNING: This will upset some people. There are many stories in the MSM revolving around this broader issue at the moment.

Fraud at Merck.

Link to source document (PDF).

40hz:
@Ren - just out of curiosity, what grounds or expertise do you fall back on when it comes to accepting the truth and accuracy of these things you cite? Not being a chemist or a biologist or geneticist myself, I could be duped fairly easily by either side since I don't have enough background or education to evaluate and have an informed "scientific" opinion about most of what is being said here.

When it comes to people like me (i.e. fairly bright and well-read but NOT possessing any real expertise - and having, at best, a cursory knowledge of subject matter itself) I could easily be bamboozled by a cherry-picked yet utterly bogus dissenting opinion. Nor would I know enough to be able to determine the validity of the experiment design used in the study in question. Nor do I have access to the raw data. So despite being pretty damn good when it comes to statistics, I can't even check the validity of any statistically-based conclusion(s) being drawn.

Googling the web and reading isolated studies and opinions isn't the same thing as "getting educated" or becoming knowledgeable about the subject matter in question. That's why people go to school and study the broader base of knowledge needed. So they may someday be able to confidently hold a truly informed opinion.

While I don't automatically dismiss a lot of what you're saying or arguing for out of hand, I'm still less confident than you are about the validity of a lot of the 'evidence' being presented. And I think I may be just a little more aware of the possibility that what I personally wish to be true may seriously affect my ability (and willingness) to see what actually is true - if I'm not extremely careful.
 :)

Renegade:
@40 - I said exactly nothing towards one side of the debate on the topic. I merely pointed out that a researcher at Merck has pointed out that they were involved in scientific fraud. I think that I'm educated enough to point out that a scientific researcher has blown the whistle on fraud. This isn't really an issue of qualifications. ;)

Given that this researcher was directly involved in "revising" the data, I kinda think he might have a thing or two to say on the issue/fraud.

But, y'know... Like I said... It's going to upset some people. ;)

While I don't automatically dismiss a lot of what you're saying or arguing for out of hand, I'm still less confident than you are about the validity of a lot of the 'evidence' being presented.
-40hz (February 05, 2015, 09:27 AM)
--- End quote ---

Are you high? I post drunk sometimes, and I do go off the rails every now and then, but this is pretty clear cut -- a researcher at Merck has blown the whistle that they published fraudulent information about one of their products. That's all. It's a simple matter of fact. Are you trying to say that Stephen A Krahling doesn't actually exist, or that he didn't blow the whistle? ;)

Or, are you trying to say that one of the researchers involved in the product that has blown the whistle isn't qualified to talk about what he was researching? ;)

In case you missed it, here's the document for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania where the action took place:

Merck-False-Claims-Act.pdf (944.86 kB - downloaded 119 times.)

I suppose that someone could look it up here:

https://www.paed.uscourts.gov

But... from here: https://www.paed.uscourts.gov/us01001.asp

What You Need

* Personal computer
* Compatible Web browser (CM/ECF has been tested and works correctly with Netscape 4.7x and 7.0x. and Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6.0)
* Internet access[/size]
--- End quote ---

I'm not that confident that they're very competent. ;)

I told you it would be uncomfortable. :D

40hz:
Are you high? I post drunk sometimes, and I do go off the rails every now and then, but this is pretty clear cut
-Renegade (February 05, 2015, 11:25 AM)
--- End quote ---

Thanks for that. Although I've noted you do (by your own admission) post in a less than ideal state of mind sometimes, I'd never think to call you drunk in a discussion.

I also think I see where some confusion enters into the picture. I wasn't responding to your post immediately above mine. It was a more general question - as in I don't know much about a lot of this, so do you have some good in-depth sources (like an online university level course or two) you'd care to share that puts you in a better position than me to say what's real when it comes to this stuff?

I probably should have been more explicit. I wasn't calling BS on you. I was just looking for some direction or suggestions since you're far more into science controversies than I am. And I am very aware of how easy it is to fool ourselves - so it's a very big concern of mine that I don't do that to myself..

Apologies if I wasn't clear and you felt offended. (Re-reading my post lets me see it could easily have be taken the way you did.) Chalk it up to somebody who had to go out on icy roads in 6 degree F weather last night, drive 28 miles to replace a failed RAID element on a client's server, sit there until about 6am to make sure everything was back to normal - then drive home with a major headache.

I probably should have taken a nap or drank more coffee before I came here and posted. Oh well. At least I took some aspirin. :)

tomos:
@40, this does not seems to me to be about sides. If the scientists were working with vaccines, they are presumably pro-vaccine. As Ren says, this is whistle blowing.

And let's face it, who can be genuinely surprised about *any* corporation fixing the books where they are given the chance to do so? That's what is most disturbing - that they are given that chance:
it sounds like the company is testing the efficacy of its own product for the FDA. And that the product got approval based on those tests. And if the reports are correct, that the test guidelines were not adhered to, and that the FDA didnt check that - in spite of irregularities being reported.

[this not directed at any of the posts above] The danger of taking 'sides' re vaccines, is that one can get defensive and lose objectivity. Which can contribute to allowing stuff like this to happen. (FWIW I'm broadly pro-vaccine myself, but dubious about the methods used to force it on the populace, and dubious about relations between the FDA and the corporations developing the vaccines.)

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