PLOS One's shredded credibility
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08-03-2016, 07:23 AM
PLOS One's shredded credibility
Color me disillusioned (or gullible), but I was appalled to read this story in the Washington Post today:

How a study on hands sparked an uproar about science, God and ethics in publishing

#CreatorGate

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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08-03-2016, 07:49 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
This doesn't "shred" PLoS One's credibility, but it definitely highlights the need for scientists who review papers to do a better job. I went through a couple of papers last week from various journals (including one article from PLoS One) and noticed a number of grammatical errors and some very poor word choice. It is infuriating

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08-03-2016, 07:54 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
(08-03-2016 07:49 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  This doesn't "shred" PLoS One's credibility, but it definitely highlights the need for scientists who review papers to do a better job. ... It is infuriating

What disturbs me is the pretty evident lack of actual review. At least according to the scientists who authored the article, this was a mistranslation. But as such, surely it should have been caught in review.

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08-03-2016, 08:13 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2016 08:22 AM by god has no twitter account.)
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
What really appalls me is that it was even considered for publication in a scientific journal, let alone got into one.

Let's face it, christardology is on the back foot. Fewer and fewer people are religious these days. Even in the USA, atheism is on the rise. I was reading the other day that the average age of a christard in a typical church in the UK is around 60. It doesn't take a genius to figure out where this leads. As a result, christards are becoming more vocal and more aggressive. It's looking more like Custer's Last Stand.

Trying to get articles into scientific publications does not surprise me.

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08-03-2016, 09:39 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
Damn. So disappointed. I thought it was a study about the size of bananas.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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08-03-2016, 10:06 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
Counterpoint: there will always be things getting through the cracks.
(Wakefield. Lancet. Need I say more?)

The real question is and has always been, how often does that happen? And how competent are the procedures for responding when it does?

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08-03-2016, 10:22 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
(08-03-2016 10:06 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Counterpoint: there will always be things getting through the cracks.
(Wakefield. Lancet. Need I say more?)

The real question is and has always been, how often does that happen? And how competent are the procedures for responding when it does?

With respect, Wakefield/Lancet was a totally different situation. Theoretically, it must have been thought possible that MMR could cause Autism.

god being responsible for the design of the human hand?Weeping

However, I do take your point about the competency of the procedures for responding when things go wrong.

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08-03-2016, 10:28 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
(08-03-2016 10:22 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  
(08-03-2016 10:06 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Counterpoint: there will always be things getting through the cracks.
(Wakefield. Lancet. Need I say more?)

The real question is and has always been, how often does that happen? And how competent are the procedures for responding when it does?

With respect, Wakefield/Lancet was a totally different situation. Theoretically, it must have been thought possible that MMR could cause Autism.

That paper was retracted. A paper being retracted is pretty much the signal that it shouldn't have passed review in the first place.

(08-03-2016 10:22 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  god being responsible for the design of the human hand?Weeping

Irrelevant. The dividing line is, "this meets our standards" or "this does not meet our standards". Why doesn't matter; it boils down to simple pass/fail.

I reiterate that such cases (ie, publication of materials which do not hold up) are inevitable - an unavoidable statistical consequence. Which brings us to...

(08-03-2016 10:22 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  However, I do take your point about the competency of the procedures for responding when things go wrong.

Quite. The article in question was also retracted. That is about all, procedurally, the editorial board can do.
(in any case the methodology proper was sound; the problematic language was in the editorialising - as in, the section least likely to be examined by a skimming reviewer)

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08-03-2016, 10:46 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
PLoS One is an open-access, pay-to-publish journal. So they published an article which let the god-twerps slip one by them and then the peer-review process kicked in with a vengeance and ripped them a new asshole.

What's the problem? The system worked.

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08-03-2016, 11:28 AM
RE: PLOS One's shredded credibility
(08-03-2016 10:28 AM)cjlr Wrote:  That paper was retracted. A paper being retracted is pretty much the signal that it shouldn't have passed review in the first place.

Agreed.

(08-03-2016 10:22 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  god being responsible for the design of the human hand?Weeping

(08-03-2016 10:28 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Irrelevant.

Disagree.

god appearing as a causal agent in a supposed scientific paper should indicate that the paper was written by a wacko and ought to have been trashed immediately. This isn't a case of poor scientific methods, no control population etc. This is pure speculation supported by well, nothing really.

This isn't poor peer review. This is a case of no peer review whatsoever - in which case, why not? If this is what happened, then I agree with you.

If we are saying it was peer reviewed, then it certainly does matter and there is a major difference between Wakefield and the "Hand of god".

(08-03-2016 10:28 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The article in question was also retracted[/i]. That is about all, procedurally, the editorial board can do.

True. However, was it retracted because of the public outcry or was it retracted because there had been a genuine mistake where someone hadn't done his job either at all or in a sloppy manner?

In addition, why were so-called scientists putting such papers forward to a scientific journal?

You could ask am I completely mad and why am I questioning things such as this?

The answers are: Yes, probably but, my understanding is that in the United States, creationists and proponents of evolution are engaged in a long-standing battle over the legal status of creation and evolution in the public school science classroom. Here in the UK, there are schools that already teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes. Why the law allows this madness to take place is beyond me. I was shocked that people were even suggesting that creationism be taught in a serious scientific way let alone that it is now actually happening in UK schools. Now, nothing surprises me anymore. It's even rumored that this trend is increasing by stealth although obviously, I cannot confirm this.

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