Research? Or Luck?

After reading Chapter 6 of Rigor Mortis “Jumping to Conclusions”, I learned about how the experiments scientists were testing had lots of defects such as the small things like microarray chip differences, or air temperature and humidity when a mass spectrometer is running. They discussed how this evidently causes a major effect on the results. As Baggerly said in page 129 “Every single essay we looked at, we could find examples where this problem was not only large but it could lead to clinically incorrect findings,” which Mr.Harris said means the patient’s health could often be on the line if the scientists rely on these kinds of findings. If I myself were doing these sorts of research I would do as Baggerly and routinely check the dates when data is collected as well as the time of cases and controls. This type of research and experiment causes for everything to be checked! People’s lives could potentially be at risk because of the research that is being done, I wouldn’t want to be the reason that our findings are incorrect just because I was too lazy to do the routinely check. Although, I started to do a bit of outside research on this situation and came across an issue that I never kept in mind… “Many of the scientific studies can’t be replicated”, as stated by Mr.Achenbach “The problem is that, by random chance, some experiments will produce results that appear significant but are merely anomalies – spikes in the data that might mean nothing.”

Test-Tubes-Fake-Science
http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/04/21/6-reasons-why-most-scientific-research-is-fake/
download
https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/demystifying-the-p-value/

This statement made by Mr.Achenbach is certainly true, some experiments might be a “one shot” type of experiment which should make the scientists care more about what it is they are dealing with throughout their procedure, that is a problem…
Further along the chapter, I then came to find out; “If an experiment’s p-value is less than or equal to .05 (that’s five hundredths or 5 percent), scientists will declare success, and many a journal will happily publish that result.” (Pg 134) Mr.Harris then gave an example on the following page (135) on how important that 5% is, it can make an experiment’s results be completely unknown, guessed, or straight up luck. As Mr.Harris said, “A result with a p-value less than 0.05 is not in fact as least 95 percent likely to be true. And in reality, it sets the bar very low.” (Pg 134) I completely agree before I read about the importance of “The p-value” I had no idea what the results could lead to, especially not in science. Now I can’t help but wonder… Is most research a lie?

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3 thoughts on “Research? Or Luck?

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  1. Brenda,
    I really enjoyed reading your post on this chapter, “Jumping to Conclusions”.I understand more of why every little thing can change the outcome or result of something big like a test or experiment. The findings can affect us hugely and i agree with you when you say , “People’s lives could potentially be at risk because of the research that is being done, I wouldn’t want to be the reason that our findings are incorrect just because I was too lazy to do the routinely check.”Your thoughts on the chapter stood out and i could see your point.You did a really nice job laying out the whole content of the chapter and it’s written in a very nice and organized format.I honestly think our whole life is research, everything we have is thanks to research, some things are true and some aren’t….so come to think about it… is our whole life a lie?
    – Esmeralda R.

  2. I want to start off by saying that your post was very well written. It surprised me that such small defects could completely throw off an experiment and endanger patients lives. You had a really good hook and it made me want to read even more. You also had interesting, mind blowing facts. I never knew that if an experiments p-value was less than or 5%, it would be declared a success. I enjoyed reading your post. Good job!!!!

  3. I want to start off by saying that your post was very well written. It surprised me that such small defects could completely throw off an experiment and endanger patients lives. You had a really good hook and it made me want to read even more. You also had interesting, mind blowing facts. I never knew that if an experiments p-value was less than or 5%, it would be declared a success. I enjoyed reading your post. Good job!!!! – Ariana D.

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