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#27 Mar 11 2013 at 12:54 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Scientists concur that if the Sweating Point* rises above 35 C, any human being who steps out of doors will simply drop dead.

*as determined by a damp cloth wrapped around a mercury thermometer.


Like a relative humidity/dew point calculation? Seems like those temperature/humidity levels have been reached before in certain places.

I find it hard to believe they'll "drop dead"... maybe they'll be uncomfortable, eventually succumbing to heat stroke without proper care. But you make it sound as if you'll just pass out as you exit onto your front porch.

We'll need to learn to pant.
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#28 Mar 11 2013 at 12:56 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Scientists concur that if the Sweating Point* rises above 35 C, any human being who steps out of doors will simply drop dead.

*as determined by a damp cloth wrapped around a mercury thermometer.


Like a relative humidity/dew point calculation? Seems like those temperature/humidity levels have been reached before in certain places.

I find it hard to believe they'll "drop dead"... maybe they'll be uncomfortable, eventually succumbing to heat stroke without proper care. But you make it sound as if you'll just pass out as you exit onto your front porch.

No. If the air reaches a Sweating Point above 35 C, the human body will not be able to maintain it's Core body temperature of 37.0 °C (98.6 °F). You'll take a couple of steps past your front porch, pass out, and then rapidly die of heat trauma to the brain.
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#29 Mar 11 2013 at 1:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Humans could survive massive changes to ecosystems and see marginal changes to quality of life in aggregate.


That's not what Bee Movie taught me. Smiley: frown
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#30 Mar 11 2013 at 1:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
But the scientists collating the next IPCC were so alarmed about us already exceeding all the worst case scenarios since the last IPCC, that they brought the Sweating Point up as a case for real concern.

You got a cite for this? Google isn't giving me much. I found some stuff on heat-stroke and related stuff, but that's all.
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#31 Mar 11 2013 at 6:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Yeah, not close to an accurate representation of the current state of science. Not even vaguely close. Where are you getting your climate change reporting from?


NASA, NOAA, Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change, Journal of Vegitation sciences, I dunno, a few dozen others. It's a hobby. I don't claim to have a PHD level understanding of it, but I know enough to know difinitily that NONE of the methods out there (such as marine life deposition and fossil records, gas specrum analysis from glacial cores, chemecal spectral analysis on geological strata, carbon sync modeling based on known reserves and assumed accumulations, coral reef fossile variations due to climate change over historical epochs, soil acidification over time, CO2 levels in disolved diposeted limestone over time, etc) on the entire damned planet are capable of accuratly showing an average temperature between 1.4+/- degrees for 10,000 years ago that cannot be attributed theoretically to at least a handful of other causes. Period. There are papers out there that claim to do exactly that, but when you read them they are invariably full of prevarications and "well, assuming x y and z then we get these results" which is my entire point.

You seem to think otherwise though, so why don't you enlighten us as to how you think this current state of climate science is able to vaguely do this?
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#32 Mar 11 2013 at 9:25 PM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Yeah, not close to an accurate representation of the current state of science. Not even vaguely close. Where are you getting your climate change reporting from?


NASA, NOAA, Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change, Journal of Vegitation sciences, I dunno, a few dozen others. It's a hobby. I don't claim to have a PHD level understanding of it, but I know enough to know difinitily that NONE of the methods out there (such as marine life deposition and fossil records, gas specrum analysis from glacial cores, chemecal spectral analysis on geological strata, carbon sync modeling based on known reserves and assumed accumulations, coral reef fossile variations due to climate change over historical epochs, soil acidification over time, CO2 levels in disolved diposeted limestone over time, etc) on the entire damned planet are capable of accuratly showing an average temperature between 1.4+/- degrees for 10,000 years ago that cannot be attributed theoretically to at least a handful of other causes. Period. There are papers out there that claim to do exactly that, but when you read them they are invariably full of prevarications and "well, assuming x y and z then we get these results" which is my entire point.

You seem to think otherwise though, so why don't you enlighten us as to how you think this current state of climate science is able to vaguely do this?

The top 6 to 8 climate laboratories in the world can and are doing it. They have access to all the world-wide data on the matter, and the present day best super-computers and specialist programs to run backwards scenarios to confirm their calculations conform with past data. When they run forward calculations, the 6-8 labs world-wide output extremely similar outputs over time, when fed in the present level of CO2 and other climactic modifiers in the world. Also extremely similar outputs when fed in various hypothetical CO2 rises beyond the present, which are deemed worthy to chew up that amount of computing power, because of the various likelihoods of future CO2 rises in the atmosphere from human activity.
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#33 Mar 11 2013 at 10:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sure to a degree, but not anywhere near a 1.4 degree +/- margin of error for 10,000 years ago, and not without making some assumptions along the way that are still in scientific dispute. you might be able to measure CO2 concentrations back 10,000 years if you make some assumptions about various limestones, formation layers, amount of offgassing fromm decomposing marine critters over time, and assume no redeposition or accelerated carbon leaching due to microorganizms for a given location, but you can't know what the atmospheric density and composition for that far back was difinitivly. We know what we "think" it probably was based of various different compiled measurements and how much dino salad there was floating around in the oceans producing gas, etc, and we can certinly estimate the effects iof volcanoes based on their ash falls and plant life trapped in the same gegraphic layers, the problem is those estimates are continually being readjusted, and even amongst major climate scientists there is a lack of concensus about how some of those very key measures are interpereted. Then there are big unknown factors. Was the earth's axial tilt ever adjusted by a near miss we don't know aobout during those 10,000 years? we don't know. Does it possibly affect temperature? certanly. We don't know what the sun was doing during those times. we assume it was following the same cycle, but we don't really know. The last 30 years here the sun has done some really odd things that our known good historical observations have never seen, including multiple double minimum cycles. Was it doing that 10,000 years ago? who knows. We know that during continental movements there are massive underwater melt points that release gasses as the plates interact. We know their rates currently, but in some areas, particularily along the atlantic plates, the evidence of the previous eruptions was melted 9,000 years ago, etc. we can guess, we can make models that seem to makie sense for some observable features from that era, but we can also make completely different models make sense for that era.
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#34 Mar 11 2013 at 10:09 PM Rating: Good
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If an individual measurement has a 2 degree margin of error, but you take thousands of measurements (assuming the measurements are randomized, not all from the same location and therefore suffering from the same error polarity), then you are still going to end up with an accurate mean.

I state this as a general property of statistics and without any knowledge of the details of your guys' arguments.
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#35 Mar 11 2013 at 10:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
You seem to think otherwise though, so why don't you enlighten us as to how you think this current state of climate science is able to vaguely do this?


I'm no PhD on the matter myself, but the simple fact that hundreds (thousands?) of actual PhDs working on the subject come to similar conclusions on the issue negates your ability to convince me otherwise. I always find it amusing pathetic when a single citizen believes they have the knowledge or experience to invalidate hundreds of more qualified persons on any given subject.
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#36 Mar 11 2013 at 11:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
Sure to a degree, but not anywhere near a 1.4 degree +/- margin of error for 10,000 years ago, and not without making some assumptions along the way that are still in scientific dispute.

Story time!

My first lead-author paper got heavily cited by another paper that came out probably 3 years later. They were doing an analysis where they used some of the my data to put together a new method for quantitatively measuring protein abundance in complex mixtures; you know error bars and the like, etc.

The funny thing is they never bothered to contact me before using my data. If they had, I would have warned them we had thought of doing the same thing initially, but after looking over the data decided it was too inconsistent to be used quantitatively. In short if you want to average results from many analyses it helps if you do the experiment the same way every time... Smiley: rolleyes. It was no skin off our backs at the time. We were just trying to put out a dataset for testing software, and a quantitative analysis was thought up halfway through. It was too late to really mess with the idea without starting over at that point, so we ditched the idea.

So here I am reading a paper that uses this data in a way it was never meant to be used. Worse yet, it's in a Nature journal, so not exactly some backwater publication nobody really reads, where it could simply get passed over or ignored. They didn't do anything to correct for some of the errors that were there, and there were inconsistencies they flat-out ignored that made the data do funny things (which they, of course, didn't bother to explain). Not to mention there were other problems, but they're not of the nature I can probably explain here, basically misusing parameters and what not. In short it was a ************

I think it was somewhere around that time I lost my blind faith in anyone outside of a mathematical field doing math right, not to mention the peer-review process in general. In retrospect I partly wish I had just done the analysis with that data, it was obviously good enough to get into a nice journal and I would have at least known what errors were in the data when I reported it... At the same time I'm glad my name isn't anymore associated with that debacle than it is already. Smiley: lol

Averaging data from different analyses isn't something that can really be done lightly. I mean you can't just do 3 different tests and take a mean or something. Error propagation is a homely little *******, and of course there's no way to combine some data (not that that stops anyone...), and those pesky systematic errors get glossed over when someone starts bragging about some p-value with an exponent large enough to make a mistake impossible within the lifespan of the universe. No one bothers to say "this measurement is perfectly accurate assuming the following conditions..."

I guess in the end I still trust the experts though, just not as blindly as before. If nothing else it made me want to learn more about doing some of these calculations correctly, and what that meant. I do have a lot less blind faith in numbers people report, but sometimes I wish I knew more about how to double-check them. Eventually these kinds of things fall apart if they're done wrong, just gotta give time for the cream to rise to the top and what not I guess. Always takes longer than we want it to. Smiley: frown

TL:DR = Scientists are people too apparently.
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#37 Mar 12 2013 at 12:24 AM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
TL:DR = Scientists are people too apparently.


Isn't that the whole point of peer review journals - to allow other qualified persons to validate (or invalidate, as it were) the experiment and resulting conclusion?
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#38 Mar 12 2013 at 1:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
You seem to think otherwise though, so why don't you enlighten us as to how you think this current state of climate science is able to vaguely do this?


I'm no PhD on the matter myself, but the simple fact that hundreds (thousands?) of actual PhDs working on the subject come to similar conclusions on the issue negates your ability to convince me otherwise. I always find it amusing pathetic when a single citizen believes they have the knowledge or experience to invalidate hundreds of more qualified persons on any given subject.


I can dig up a hundred papers by PhD's who share my viewpoint if you really wanted. I'm not going to, but there are dissenting viewpoints out there on the scope and accuracy of super early climatological modeling regarding accuracy and assumed variables within epoch level timeframes. I always find it amusing when other people assume a single citizen doesn't have enough knowledge to seek experts on the subject and know what they are talking about on a given subject.
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#39 Mar 12 2013 at 5:11 AM Rating: Decent
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I always find it amusing when other people assume a single citizen doesn't have enough knowledge to seek experts on the subject and know what they are talking about on a given subject.

You misspelled "accurate" there. The idea that "I don't understand this, so...no one can" isn't really a strong argument.

I can dig up a hundred papers by PhD's who share my viewpoint if you really wanted.

PhDs in *climate science*? Because I have a PhD, but I wouldn't consider my work on temperature estimating methods to be worth more than an 8th graders because it has nothing to do with my field of study. It's not a high school diploma, you know, it's kind of a specifically targeted thing.
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#40 Mar 12 2013 at 7:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
TL:DR = Scientists are people too apparently.
Isn't that the whole point of peer review journals - to allow other qualified persons to validate (or invalidate, as it were) the experiment and resulting conclusion?

It's also the point of examining the studies in aggregate; seeing what multiple bodies are determining using different studies, different data sets, etc. A bit like polling in a sense -- maybe we need to unskew the temperatures.
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#41 Mar 12 2013 at 8:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:

You misspelled "accurate" there. The idea that "I don't understand this, so...no one can" isn't really a strong argument.

Yeah, it's really not. When you decide to demonstrate that you do understand the argument and wish to present a counterpoint citing examples other than "no, you're wrong" please feel free to do so.

Smasharoo wrote:

PhDs in *climate science*? Because I have a PhD, but I wouldn't consider my work on temperature estimating methods to be worth more than an 8th graders because it has nothing to do with my field of study. It's not a high school diploma, you know, it's kind of a specifically targeted thing.

Well, PhD's in Climate sciences are usually the ones who write papers on such things. I suppose you might find the occasional forensic archeologist or biologist prodicing relevant material too, not to mention solar scientists and the occasional geologist or two.

Jophiel wrote:

It's also the point of examining the studies in aggregate; seeing what multiple bodies are determining using different studies, different data sets, etc. A bit like polling in a sense -- maybe we need to unskew the temperatures.

Hey if Nate Silvers wants to go and try to statistically model the name of the guy who was elected "secretary of animal skin inventory and basic agrairian stuff" 10,000 years ago based on modern cave painting records, go for it.
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#42 Mar 12 2013 at 9:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
TL:DR = Scientists are people too apparently.


Isn't that the whole point of peer review journals - to allow other qualified persons to validate (or invalidate, as it were) the experiment and resulting conclusion?

That's how it is supposed to work, yes. Of course it still works that way in practice to some degree. But there's problems with the system that are undermining the peer-review process. Really it's buggy at best right now.

First, there's just a lot of science out there right now. We're victims of our own success in a sense. Reading and understanding papers is hardly easy, even for someone familiar with the field. You could read several relevant papers a day and still not cover enough many times. There's a general ignorance among scientists to some extent, and in many ways it's not really our fault. There's just too much out there to keep up with.

Also, when a paper gets submitted you're having 2-3 "experts" look it over for accuracy. Expert simply meaning someone who's published with the journal in the past in many cases. These people will likely get drawn from different areas, so you'll end up with a single person spending a couple of hours leafing through the statistics side of your paper. Chances are s/he may have never done the same kind of analysis you're doing, they've simply done the math for a paper published in your field. Even more fun is when you get to suggest people to review your article, it's a popular thing these days as it saves the journal the trouble of trying to track down an expert.

As for duplicating someone else's results? It's not like anyone sits down and repeats an experiment someone else did. If you can use someone else's methods to get published, well that's awesome, but it's not like these things are being rigorously tested. If someone fails to reproduce results, no one will likely hear anything of it. Really aren't you just saying you're a failure at that point if someone else does it successfully? That kind of thing isn't really publishable in-and-of itself anyway. There's no novel aspect to the study, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a journal that would accept it. At that point you're probably collaborating with someone outside your field, and your interesting critique of some computer algorithm gets buried in an article in Neuron or something.

In the end though, a lot of it comes down to time as well. A Ph.D. will spend around 50% of their time writing. Applying for grants is a huge timesink, and you need all the savvy of a Business Entrepreneur to be successful. Can you sell your idea? How much do you have to hype it to get funded? A successful scientist is a successful salesman, first and foremost. Of course, where better to get your ideas than the grant proposals you're helping to review? There's many an instance of papers and grants getting rejected only to see a suspiciously similar thing get accepted not long after. Because of this you learn how to be a little vague on the methods. Enough information to let people know what you did, not enough to let them steal your idea. If absolutely necessary, relevant details can always be stuffed in a table the supplemental section somewhere where no one will ever see it.

Anyway I'm writing too much again. The process still largely works of course, but between a lot of money, a lot of competition, and a just a lot of information it's very difficult to get the system to function the way we'd like it to.

Just one person's opinion of course. Smiley: tinfoilhat


Edited, Mar 12th 2013 8:53am by someproteinguy
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#43 Mar 12 2013 at 9:57 AM Rating: Decent
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When you decide to demonstrate that you do understand the argument and wish to present a counterpoint citing examples other than "no, you're wrong" please feel free to do so.

I'll pass. See, the way science works is that I don't have to demonstrate proof of the existing overwhelming peer reviewed consensus data model. Nor do I have to try to teach a basic statistics course. If you're going to make claims like "no one can know...blank" you have the burden to demonstrate why that's so. Hopefully beyond "that sounds hard".

It should be obvious that while determining that the average global temperature for March 6, 25000 BCE was 24 C is extraordinarily difficult, that determining the average global temperature between 15000 BCE and 5000 BCE is going to be substantially easier. Accuracy v Precision and all that.

Your assertion that it's just too hard reflects a Victorian understanding of analysis at best. Techniques to establish variance and confidence intervals have existed for quite a while now.

Edited, Mar 12th 2013 11:58am by Smasharoo
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#44 Mar 12 2013 at 11:39 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
TL:DR = Scientists are people too apparently.


Isn't that the whole point of peer review journals - to allow other qualified persons to validate (or invalidate, as it were) the experiment and resulting conclusion?

That's how it is supposed to work, yes. Of course it still works that way in practice to some degree. But there's problems with the system that are undermining the peer-review process. Really it's buggy at best right now.

First, there's just a lot of science out there right now. We're victims of our own success in a sense. Reading and understanding papers is hardly easy, even for someone familiar with the field. You could read several relevant papers a day and still not cover enough many times. There's a general ignorance among scientists to some extent, and in many ways it's not really our fault. There's just too much out there to keep up with.

Also, when a paper gets submitted you're having 2-3 "experts" look it over for accuracy. Expert simply meaning someone who's published with the journal in the past in many cases. These people will likely get drawn from different areas, so you'll end up with a single person spending a couple of hours leafing through the statistics side of your paper. Chances are s/he may have never done the same kind of analysis you're doing, they've simply done the math for a paper published in your field. Even more fun is when you get to suggest people to review your article, it's a popular thing these days as it saves the journal the trouble of trying to track down an expert.

As for duplicating someone else's results? It's not like anyone sits down and repeats an experiment someone else did. If you can use someone else's methods to get published, well that's awesome, but it's not like these things are being rigorously tested. If someone fails to reproduce results, no one will likely hear anything of it. Really aren't you just saying you're a failure at that point if someone else does it successfully? That kind of thing isn't really publishable in-and-of itself anyway. There's no novel aspect to the study, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a journal that would accept it. At that point you're probably collaborating with someone outside your field, and your interesting critique of some computer algorithm gets buried in an article in Neuron or something.

In the end though, a lot of it comes down to time as well. A Ph.D. will spend around 50% of their time writing. Applying for grants is a huge timesink, and you need all the savvy of a Business Entrepreneur to be successful. Can you sell your idea? How much do you have to hype it to get funded? A successful scientist is a successful salesman, first and foremost. Of course, where better to get your ideas than the grant proposals you're helping to review? There's many an instance of papers and grants getting rejected only to see a suspiciously similar thing get accepted not long after. Because of this you learn how to be a little vague on the methods. Enough information to let people know what you did, not enough to let them steal your idea. If absolutely necessary, relevant details can always be stuffed in a table the supplemental section somewhere where no one will ever see it.

Anyway I'm writing too much again. The process still largely works of course, but between a lot of money, a lot of competition, and a just a lot of information it's very difficult to get the system to function the way we'd like it to.

Just one person's opinion of course. Smiley: tinfoilhat


Edited, Mar 12th 2013 8:53am by someproteinguy
To give your rant some sort of proof: Diederik Stapel altered and falsified data for years and years

"Diederik Alexander Stapel (born 19 October 1966 in Oegstgeest, western Netherlands), is a former professor of social psychology at Tilburg University and before that at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.[1] In 2011 Tilburg University suspended Stapel, pending further investigation, for fabricating and manipulating data for his research publications. This scientific misconduct took place over a number of years and affected at least 55 publications.[2]"

"The report concludes that there was "a more general failure of scientific criticism in the peer community and a research culture that was excessively oriented to uncritical confirmation of one’s own ideas and to finding appealing but theoretically superficial ad hoc results". It goes on to suggest that "not infrequently reviews [of social psychology journal articles] were strongly in favour of telling an interesting, elegant, concise and compelling story, possibly at the expense of the necessary scientific diligence."[27]"



Obviously, this is in a different field but that someone has been able to falsify data for years and got through at least 55 peer reviews (including one for Science Magazine) without this being detected before finally being caught by some of his students does point to more than some small issues in the peer reviewing process.

Edited, Mar 12th 2013 7:41pm by Aethien
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#45 Mar 12 2013 at 11:59 AM Rating: Decent
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Obviously, this is in a different field but that someone has been able to falsify data for years and got through at least 55 peer reviews (including one for Science Magazine) without this being detected before finally being caught by some of his students does point to more than some small issues in the peer reviewing process.

Not really. Any more than a cop wanting to lure, kill and eat women points to a cannibalism issue among police. Science isn't perfect, and doesn't claim to be. What it is, though, is self correcting. Social science is a little "squishier" than climate science, so replicating experimental conditions can be more difficult. The idea that fraud that escapes notice condemns the process is a deeply flawed one, however. That's not really the goal of review.
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#46 Mar 12 2013 at 12:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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#47 Mar 12 2013 at 12:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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There was also that South Korean stem cell guy a while back who falsified data for a good while, names escape me.

But you very likely can't catch someone falsifying data in a review of a publication unless they really suck at lying. You'll almost need someone from the lab to come out and admit to it. Science certainly self-corrects over time. That time frame might just be 20-30 years or longer, which is a problem when you need to act now to prevent a problem occurring a couple decades down the road. Precisely where climate science has found itself over the last couple of decades unfortunately. Also much much longer than the average attention span or news cycle.

Edited, Mar 12th 2013 11:45am by someproteinguy
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#48 Mar 12 2013 at 12:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
There was also that South Korean stem cell guy a while back who falsified data for a good while, names escape me.

His hoax lasted for something like 18 months after being published. According to this article, he published in 2004 & 2005 and, by 2006, was stripped of his license by the S. Korean government.

So I suppose for certain definitions of "good while", it's true but not really indicative of your "20-30 years" statement later on.
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#49 Mar 12 2013 at 12:55 PM Rating: Decent
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That time frame might just be 20-30 years or longer

Rarely the case if we're talking about fraud. Probably never, but I'm not an expert on fraud in science, though I imagine I could fake it for a while.
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#50 Mar 12 2013 at 1:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sorry seems my brain shifted gears mid-thought there, self correcting not just in a fraud sense but a general sense too. Where we thought we understood something, but it later turned out we didn't, or we only got it partly right. Not realizing until years later.

Edited, Mar 12th 2013 12:02pm by someproteinguy
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#51 Mar 12 2013 at 1:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
But you very likely can't catch someone falsifying data in a review of a publication unless they really suck at lying. You'll almost need someone from the lab to come out and admit to it.
If I recall correctly, his data was always too perfect to be true. Being exactly as expected each time on top of refusing to let anyone else see any raw data.
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YOU'RE AN ELITIST @#%^ AETHIEN, NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS AND PEOPLE HATE YOU.
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