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Pathological Science, Part 2


In part two of his series on pathological science, Gary Taubes estimates the extent to which self-deceit has infiltrated scientific research and further investigates whether entire disciplines have become pathological. His inquiries lead to meditations on the necessary characteristics of rigorous scientific study. One indication that health-related research has become pathological, he suggests, is its experts’ tendency to view “placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized-controlled trials as the ‘gold standard’ of scientific evidence.” This view, he argues, represents “a lack of understanding of the scientific endeavor,” because “these trials are simply what’s necessary to establish reliable knowledge.”

Read MorePathological Science, Part 2

Open Workout 20.4 Analysis

CrossFit Open Workout 20.4 featured box jumps, clean and jerks of increasing weight, and single-leg squats. The workout had a 20-minute time cap, which gave most athletes a chance to get as far as their strength on the clean and jerks would allow. CrossFit Beyond the Whiteboard takes a look at participation and performance by country, division, and workout type.

Read MoreOpen Workout 20.4 Analysis

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November 13th, 2019 at 11:25 am
Commented on: Pathological Science, Part 2

Nearly 2 years into my PhD and I can count on one hand the number of decisions about experimental design actually based on scientific considerations. The reality is most things are based on everything but science...such as:

"this will be a good follow on to our last paper"

"this will get us in this or that journal"

"this is easier to do"

"I can't, I'm away on vacation that week"

"this is novel"

The pathology extends not just to the methodology but also to the culture permeating the institutes

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Christian Simpson
November 10th, 2019 at 12:58 am
Commented on: 191109

I do mascot push-ups with the games that I watch. LSU/Alabama...I threw in kettlebell swings too. Keeps it fun!

As they score...with scores combined up to 50 reps of KB swings and push-ups


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Keith Wittenstein
November 9th, 2019 at 4:56 pm
Commented on: Pathological Science, Part 2

This is article scratches the surface of what Richard Harris, et al. Elucidates in his book “Rigor Mortis.” The depth of pathological goes beyond the failure of scientists to use rigor with respect to do double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. “Rigor Mortis” really goes to lengths to uncover how there is a lack or rigor across the scientific community with respect to every level of science.

Even scientists that are taking every precaution to eliminate bias, through double blind placebo controlled studies are subject to a host of problems associated with the very things they are studying. For example, the problem of using mice that are genetically engineered to be homogeneous, extrapolating mice trials to humans, or experimenting on cells that are later shown to be different than what they were purported to be (verifiable cell lines). Mix that with questionable incentives to publish or perish and a drug industry that is eager to develop the newest latest drug to increase their profits and we have a system that is almost designed to perpetuate this pathological science.

It is important for all of us to look behind the curtain and become more aware of the likelihood that the science we are hearing about is potentially wrong for a variety of reasons. And furthermore to understand there is a direct cost to us because throwing more money at bad science is a terrible use of our resources.

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Diego A Castro
November 9th, 2019 at 2:39 am
Commented on: 191109

done jajajjaja

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