Climate change Intelligent Design Medicine Peer review

Science writer asks: Why are medical journals full of fashionable nonsense?

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It’s rare for a science writer to be asking that kind of thing but then the writer in this case is Alex Berezow, who would have the good sense to know horsefeathers when he sees them. Much of the nonsense derives from hopping onto a political bandwagon:

The point is that hopping aboard a political bandwagon is good for grabbing attention — and subsequently, funding. We are witnessing a similar phenomenon with respect to climate change. No matter how extraneous a topic, researchers try to tie it to climate change. Job-stealing robots? Climate change. Resurrecting the woolly mammoth? Climate change. Cancer therapy? Climate change. What could climate change possibly have to do with cancer? The latter article provides one example: “[P]eople with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer [a]re more likely to die if their radiation therapy [i]s interrupted by hurricanes.”

It is within this dubious milieu — where any outlandish link to climate change is simply assumed to be scientifically legitimate — that the New England Journal of Medicine recently published a perspective on the importance of “decarbonizing” the healthcare sector. The opening sentence makes a bold claim: “ Nowhere are the effects of climate change manifesting more clearly than in human health.” Really? One might argue that satellite images showing melting ice caps and retreating glaciers are a lot clearer than that — or perhaps the notable increase in the temperature of the planet, or record-breaking heat waves.

While that first statement could be dismissed as poetically hyperbolic, the article’s second sentence cannot be: “Although many people consider climate change a looming threat, health problems stemming from it already kill millions of people per year.” This claim represents a semi-measurable quantity and is either true or false. The authors cited this paper to support their claim, but it appears that none of them comprehended it.

Alex Berezow, “Why are medical journals full of fashionable nonsense?” at Big Think (October 24, 2021)

The paper showed that deaths from cold had declined — a “a net decline in temperature-related deaths” which was the opposite of what the NEJM perspective writers assumed.

Of course, the beauty of science in an age of Woke Correctness is that it doesn’t have to make sense, just be Woke and Correct. And we all just need to Trust the Science more.

11 Replies to “Science writer asks: Why are medical journals full of fashionable nonsense?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    This is really a continuation of a very old practice. 500 years ago scientists were usually paid by an aristocratic patron. Every book started with a long and fulsome dedication to the grace and intelligence and virtue of the Duke or Prince who funded the work.

    Now the Duke is a bureaucracy instead of an individual, but articles still start by flattering the Duke.

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    Darwinian ‘science’:

    “Major Climate Paper Withdrawn By Nature”

    A major scientific paper, which claimed to have found rapid warming in the oceans as a result of manmade global warming, has been withdrawn after an amateur climate scientist found major errors in its statistical methodology.

    ??? an amateur climate scientist found major errors in its statistical methodology. ????

    an amateur ??????

    https://www.netzerowatch.com/major-climate-paper-withdrawn-by-nature/

  3. 3
    zweston says:

    If you have no progress in origin of life, and macroevolution via random selection and genetic mutation is indicating every day it’s nonsense… what else can you do but write fairy tales?

  4. 4
    Fasteddious says:

    Gratuitous references to “evolution” and “climate change” in unrelated articles or papers is just virtue signalling, an attempt to gain the trust of the “right people”, by saying, “I too am cool and with it, so pay attention to what I write”. I’ve often noted that your chance to get published in Sci-Am improves if your draft article makes reference to both evolution and climate change.
    The other reason would be to bump up the number of words to get paid more. After all, meaningless words that are attractive to the “right people” cannot hurt your hopes of being published. What we really need is courageous editors to remove such gratuitous additions. Or maybe it is the editors who add them in?

  5. 5
    johnnyb says:

    This is sad, but it also is an opportunity. I’ve found that us ID folk are now in a perfect position to offer a better way to do science. Don’t go back to the old days, go *forward*, and beyond this nonsense.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    We keep hearing claims that ID offers a better way to do science. If so. then you are welcome to put it on the table so we can all evaluate it.

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    you are welcome to put it on the table so we can all evaluate it.

    On the table!

    What findings by science departments in the universities around the world does ID deny? None. It denies only those conclusions for which these universities have no supporting evidence. Not the findings if legitimate.

    They also consider alternative explanations that science departments have precluded that are more likely than the proffered explanations.

    There is no research that science departments are pursuing that ID recommends be stopped. It will support any legitimate finding from such research.

    A research program that should be greatly expanded is finding how body plans are implemented during gestation. It’s pretty clear it’s not in the genome. If it does happen to be there, how is it implemented?

    ID puts the plus in science – ID is Science +

  8. 8
    martin_r says:

    Seversky

    We keep hearing claims that ID offers a better way to do science

    i am not sure who should offer a better way to do science, but someone definitely should …

    Because and as we can see, Darwinists fail all the time … they cheat, they misinterpret the evidence… and if you look at e.g. evolutionary biology – Darwinists are always wrong …

    (not to mention the origin-of-life research – this turned into a fiasco …)

  9. 9
    Truth Will Set You Free says:

    Martin_r@8: You are exactly right and your following statement is especially worth repeating.

    “Because and as we can see, Darwinists fail all the time … they cheat, they misinterpret the evidence… and if you look at e.g. evolutionary biology – Darwinists are always wrong.”

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 6 states: “We keep hearing claims that ID offers a better way to do science. If so. then you are welcome to put it on the table so we can all evaluate it.

    Evaluate it?

    Okie Dokie.

    Well first off, in evaluating whether Intelligent Design provides a better framework for doing science than Darwinian evolution does, it might be important to note, in regards to Darwinism itself, (and via Imre Lakatos), that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin(ism) can be described as scientific”

    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin(ism) can be described as scientific”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    Needless to say, Darwinism not being ‘scientific’ is NOT a minor problem for Seversky and his claim that Darwinism is a better way to do science than ID is.

    Moreover, Seversky himself holds that ‘methodological naturalism’ is the only proper way to do science. Yet, ‘methodological naturalism’ holds, prior to any scientific investigation mind you, that all phenomena in the universe can be explained by purely naturalistic and or materialistic causes “no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated.”

    “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated.
    Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen. ”
    – Lewontin

    Yet, directly contrary to the Darwinian atheist’s dogmatic assertion that science can only invoke purely naturalistic and/or materialistic causes, “no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated”, the scientific method itself simply cannot be explained by purely naturalistic and/or materialistic causes.

    Specifically, the scientific method itself is based upon the ‘bottom up’ inductive logic that was championed by Francis Bacon. Yet logic itself cannot be reduced to purely naturalistic and/or materialistic causes.

    Inductive reasoning
    Excerpt: Inductive reasoning is distinct from deductive reasoning. While, if the premises are correct, the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.[4]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning

    Deductive vs. Inductive reasoning – top-down vs. bottom-up – graph
    https://i2.wp.com/images.slideplayer.com/28/9351128/slides/slide_2.jpg

    And ‘bottom up’ inductive logic has indeed been very, very, fruitful for man in gaining more accurate knowledge of the universe in that repeated experiments lead to more “exacting, and illuminating”, conclusions than is possible with the quote-unquote, “educated guesses” that follow from Aristotle’s ‘top down’ deductive form of reasoning.

    Francis Bacon, 1561–1626
    Excerpt: Called the father of empiricism, Sir Francis Bacon is credited with establishing and popularizing the “scientific method” of inquiry into natural phenomena. In stark contrast to deductive reasoning, which had dominated science since the days of Aristotle, Bacon introduced inductive methodology—testing and refining hypotheses by observing, measuring, and experimenting. An Aristotelian might logically deduce that water is necessary for life by arguing that its lack causes death. Aren’t deserts arid and lifeless? But that is really an educated guess, limited to the subjective experience of the observer and not based on any objective facts gathered about the observed. A Baconian would want to test the hypothesis by experimenting with water deprivation under different conditions, using various forms of life. The results of those experiments would lead to more exacting, and illuminating, conclusions about life’s dependency on water.
    https://lib-dbserver.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/bacon/bacon.html

    And again, the irresolvable problem for Darwinian atheists who try to force science, via ‘methodological naturalism’, (and prior to any investigation mind you), into providing only naturalistic and/materialistic explanations, (besides the problem of short circuiting the entire scientific method itself), is that logic itself is not reducible to purely naturalistic and/or materialistic explanations.

    As Michael Egnor explains,

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    In short, since the ‘immaterial’ inductive logic behind the scientific method itself cannot be reduced to purely naturalistic and/or materialistic explanations then, of course, it is completely absurd for atheists to try to illegitimately force science itself into providing only naturalistic and/or materialistic explanations prior to any investigation.

    Moreover, contrary to atheists, via methodological naturalism, trying to dictate to the scientific method itself what the scientific method is allowed to say beforehand, the scientific method itself could care less if the answers turn out to be naturalistic in character or intelligent in character.

    And since Intelligent Design, obviously, does not try to rule out intelligent causation prior to investigation, then Intelligent Design obviously provides a much better way to do science in that it does not try to, illegitimately, short circuit the entire scientific method itself prior to any investigation, like methodological naturalism tries to do.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.

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