Wednesday, June 16, 2004


It has long been known that the once-reliable science journal "Nature" has capitulated to Greenie righteousness and is now very selective about the "facts" it reports. See e.g. here. And articles appearing in the "British Medical Journal" have an enormous bias towards political correctness. See here. The extent of the resultant corruption of fact-reporting in the journals concerned has now been revealed, and it is great -- once again showing that you cannot trust anything with a Green/Left political taint:

"SCIENTIFIC and medical journals, with their august panels of peer reviewers and fact checkers, are not the sort of places many mistakes are to be expected. Yet Emili Garcia-Berthou and Carles Alcaraz, two researchers at the University of Girona in Spain, have found that 38% of a sample of papers in Nature, and a quarter of those sampled in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)-two of the world's most respected journals-contained one or more statistical errors. Not all of these errors led to erroneous conclusions, but the authors of the study, which has just been published in BMC Medical Research Methodology, another journal, reckon that 4% of the errors may have caused non-significant findings to be misrepresented as being significant.

Dr Garcia-Berthou and Dr Alcaraz investigated 32 papers from editions of Nature published in 2001, and 12 from the BMJ in the same year. They examined the numbers within each, to see whether the data presented actually led to the statistical conclusion the authors drew, and also whether there was anything fishy about the numbers themselves. Appropriately, they used a statistical technique to do their checking. If a set of data are "unedited", the last digits in the numbers recorded will tend to have the values 0-9 at random, since these digits represent small values, and are thus the ones that are hardest to measure. If those numbers are rounded carelessly, however, 4s and 9s (which tend to get rounded up to the nearest half or whole number) will be rarer than they should be. The two researchers duly discovered that 4s and 9s were, indeed, rarer than chance would predict in many of the papers under scrutiny.

False data, false results....."

More here.

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