Posts Tagged the only cure for bad science is more science
I am still not 100% healthy and snark-ready, but since I am alert enough to troll Facebook, I will make a little addition to this post here, from way back.
Via Facebook, Defund the Komen Foundation gives us this tidbit, from a retired cancer researcher:
“Recently at a conference I spoke with the person who discovered BRCA1, and she laughed and said that it [the abortion/breast cancer link] was indeed bullshit, because he hadn’t corrected for age. In the study that the guy cited, the women who had abortions had the procedures done when they were young but then had children later in their lives. The comparison population was women who had children when they were young, and there is a degree of protection against breast cancer afforded from having children at a young age (believed due to hormonal changes that accompany lactation). When one corrects for the age of childbirth in the guys data, the difference disappears. So abortion had no effect on breast cancer at all; it was the effect of when the women had children.”
Yet that initial, incorrect story persists, because it fits the meme.”
Yeah, the meme is that being in control of your fertility is associated with a somewhat higher lifetime risk of certain cancers. And yet, women continue to use birth control, as if we have priorities in life aside from placating the Booby Spirits. Those fickle demons are unreliable, and their rewards are no substitute for having ownership over our lives.
When we talk about lying, we usually assume we’re talking about outright fabrication: making a statement of fact which directly contradicts reality, but actually there are several different ways to lie. One might exaggerate or distort, or lie by omission. One might distract from the issue by weaseling around the question. All of these are effective ways to coerce people to behave in certain ways, which is the purpose of deception. It wouldn’t occur to anyone to lie if it made no difference in the way other people respond.
But then there is the good old-fashioned, straight up lie, in which you simply make shit up because the truth gets in the way.
What do you call it when people in positions of authority get together and create an outright falsehood for the purpose of pursuing a lucrative lawsuit over a problem that doesn’t exist? What do you call it when they turn that falsehood into hysteria that leaves thousands of people—especially small children—vulnerable to otherwise preventable disease, which inevitably kills some of them? What do you call it when they make a career out of lying to parents of young children about the health risks facing their kids, out of demonizing the big bad corporations that make products which actually keep people healthy?
What do you call it when you promulgate a lie that spreads disease that used to be vaccinated to near-nonexistence, without making the slightest dent in autism rates?
Because that’s what I call evil.
Race relations AND online dating? TNC is making me absurdly excited today.
After sharing OKCupid’s report on racial preferences among its users, he lends us some perspective:
Look, I deeply suspect that, on a national level, there are an unfortunate number of people who think black women are less attractive then women of other races. The remnants of white supremacy are not just economic, they are cultural. I also think that’s less true today then it was twenty years ago.
But that said, I think that people passing this data around need to be really careful about using this study to draw inferences about the dating world of black women. One significant problem is that, as any black person will tell you, when black folks date online they don’t go to OKcupid. They go to blacksingles. They go to soulsingles. Or if they’re truly high post, they go to EliteNoire. (Dig the sensuous piano riffs and candelabra.)