Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

How Can Bias Be Prevented In The Medical Literature?

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on February 24, 2009

[Originally posted at: Medical News Today]

Contrary to popular belief, the scientific literature is distorted and biased, says a new editorial in this week’s PLoS Medicine. Publication bias (where positive studies are more likely to be published than negative ones), outcomes reporting bias (where certain favorable outcomes are chosen to be included in the scientific paper), and the influence of funders or researchers’ conflicts of interests are just some of the biases that can threaten the validity of the scientific record, says the editorial.

The PLoS Medicine editors say that without resistance from all those involved in the research enterprise, “…journals may increasingly become closer to works of fiction telling the stories dictated by various lobbies rather than works of science.”

The editors propose five ways in which everyone involved in the publication process can help to reestablish the integrity of the published record.

[Read the rest of this post at: Medical News Today]

Cardinals Lose Faith in Pope

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on February 24, 2009

[Originally posted at: The Good Atheist]

I’ve written several times about why Catholics need to abandon their institution, especially with all of the shit that the current Pope keeps pulling. Forget the terribly offensive and ignoble acts of pardoning a Holocaust denier, or quoting a 14th century Byzantine Emperor hate speech. These are small potatoes compared to his edict to cover up child abuse scandals at all cost, and now even his trusted Cardinals have begun to voice their decent at the destruction he is sowing.

In case you didn’t know, coming out publicly and saying that you don’t approve of what your Pope is doing is the career equivalent of having sex with your boss’s 16 year old daughter at the company Christmas party. You just don’t do it, even if she’s been filling out nicely.

[Read the rest of this post at: The Good Atheist]

Why We Immunize

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on February 24, 2009

[Originally posted at: Making Light]

There’s a manual that every Navy gunnery officer was required to read or re-read every year: OP 1014; Ordnance Safety Precautions: Their Origin and Necessity. It’s a collection of stories about, and photographs of, spectacular accidents involving big guns and ammunition. Gun turrets that have fired on other gun turrets on the same ship. Holes in the coral where ammunition ships were formerly anchored. That sort of thing. It’s simultaneously grim and fascinating.

Nowadays there’s some kind of movement afoot for claiming that immunization against common childhood diseases is unnecessary. That they cause disease. That they’re harmful. It is true that rare adverse reactions to immunizations occur. It is also true that adverse reactions to the diseases themselves are not at all rare if you don’t immunize. So let’s call this post Immunizations: Their Origin and Necessity.

[Originally posted at: Making Light]