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Peer review: Of 53 landmark publications, 47 could not be replicated

In “Science sucks”at ID-friendly blog Telic Thoughts, chunkdz tells us (and unfortunately, this is not an April Fool’s joke),

Not science as a method, but science as an enterprise. Everybody who’s ever given money to cancer research should really be pissed about this. [HT Mike Gene]

Scientists are no different from most people. Dangle big wads of cash or prestige in front of them and they’ll do just about anything to get it. Here’s some key quotes:

During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 “landmark” publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.

Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated.

Note this is not a random sampling. It represents what the head of Amgen research thought was “the best of the best” in cancer research. More.

Chalk one up for peer review.

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4 Responses to Peer review: Of 53 landmark publications, 47 could not be replicated

  1. Yes, I’ve been trying to say this here for years. It’s not that the scientists doing these studies are intentionally dishonest. It’s that they believe what they believe. Human nature is real.

    The computer modeling “studies” used to confirm AGW as well as Darwinism are not in any real sense blinded. And even in double-blinded drug studies, the investigators seem to have a way of figuring out who’s on the active drug.

    The paradigm determines the experimental results–or at least the ones that get reported. The god of science, that white-coated paragon of objectivity and truth, is dead.

  2. from http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....ntPage=all


    …The situation is even worse when a subject is fashionable. In recent years, for instance, there have been hundreds of studies on the various genes that control the differences in disease risk between men and women. These findings have included everything from the mutations responsible for the increased risk of schizophrenia to the genes underlying hypertension. Ioannidis and his colleagues looked at four hundred and thirty-two of these claims. They quickly discovered that the vast majority had serious flaws. But the most troubling fact emerged when he looked at the test of replication: out of four hundred and thirty-two claims, only a single one was consistently replicable.

  3. “Scientists” are no different from the rest of unredeemed humanity. If they think they can get away with an undetected lie, and it means big bucks in government funding and high-fives from their peers, they’ll do it.

    That’s why I like the science of engineering. Engineering is the highest of all sciences, in my opinion, because empirical verification — real-world justification — is the ultimate arbitrator of truth concerning how stuff actually works.

    If it works in the real world you got it right. If it doesn’t, you got it wrong.

    Obviously, based on my comments above, Darwinian speculation represents the antithesis of legitimate science.

  4. Sorry, I guess this is a hobbyhorse of mine.

    I remember when the SSRIs came. Wonder drugs, supposedly. Cure for depression. Mike Wallace even allowed himself to be interviewed on his own show to hype them. Millions and millions of prescriptions handed out like candy. Now we find out they’re no better than placebo in mild-to-moderate depression.

    Then it was the Cox-2 inhibitors. Again, wonder drugs, according to the hype. There was a notorious article in the New Yorker saying basically that they cure OA with no side effects and may even cure cancer! But if you look at the studies carefully, they’re no more effective than ibuprofen and only marginally safer for GI and considerably worse if you want to avoid an MI.

    Now it’s the blasted statins. Again, they’re passing these things out like candy. First of all, they don’t help you unless you already have CVD. There is no clinical evidence that they do–none. Second, they intentionally deplete a substance that the body needs in order to function properly. Articles starting to appear on this right now. A lot of misery for a lot of people and little or no benefit.

    All of these drugs were brought to our attention through research articles published in the very toniest medical journals. Science is not always objective, not when a human subject is doing it.

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