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Archive for the ‘Junk Science’ Category

I have a slightly different take on this

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Via Gunfreezone: Underpants Gnomes Statistics & Research.

Methods. We conducted a negative binomial regression analysis of panel data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting Systems database on gun ownership and firearm homicide rates across all 50 states during 1981 to 2010. We determined fixed effects for year, accounted for clustering within states with generalized estimating equations, and controlled for potential state-level confounders.

Taken literally, this would indicate that the CDC Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) had data on gun ownership. I examined both the Fatal Injury Data system there and National Violent Death Reporting System and no data is provided on gun ownership at all.

Now, if we assume that Miguel is correct, and they examining the databases of registered firearms possessed by the individual states (those that actually exist) then all they actually demonstrated is a correlation between “firearm homicide rates” and registration of firearms.

However, they mention that they also use a proxy for levels of household firearm ownership: the percentage of suicides committed with a firearm.  The problem here is that an assumption is made that the percent of gun owners who commit suicide is a constant no mater what state they are in despite it being known that suicide rates between the states vary wildly (Alaska’s is double Ohio’s for example).  They also don’t say if they assume that percentage of suicides is the exact percentage of households with guns or modify it somehow to make it useful to compare to data “measured directly”.  The proxy is of dubious value.

This study isn’t in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health so I will have to wait until it actually sees print to find out what they actually did.

There is also the usual issue that they were only concerned with “the firearm homicide rate” and not “the homicide rate”.  Being 1% less likely to die by gun but 1% more likely to die overall (for example) is not a good trade.  Gun control advocates not only try to ignore externalities, they try to hide them from everyone else so they don’t realize they are making a fool’s bargain.

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Written by BornLib

September 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Resources

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Watts Up With That?: Great moments in failed predictions

It is quite amazing how there are people like Paul R. Ehrlich out there, who have never been right about anything, who are still treated like serious scientists.

Written by BornLib

February 20, 2013 at 8:33 am

Posted in Junk Science

[T]hose who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

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Slate: The Deadly Opposition to Genetically Modified Food

Most ironic is the self-fulfilling critique that many activists now use. Greenpeace calls golden rice a “failure,” because it “has been in development for almost 20 years and has still not made any impact on the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency.” But, as Ingo Potrykus, the scientist who developed golden rice, has made clear, that failure is due almost entirely to relentless opposition to GM foods—often by rich, well-meaning Westerners far removed from the risks of actual vitamin A deficiency.

Millions have died needlessly thanks to these Luddite do-gooders.

Borepatch calls them “Objectively racist environmentalists” and I can’t disagree with the assessment.

The full C.S. Lewis quote, which applies frightening well to this situation, is as follows:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

From God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

Written by BornLib

February 20, 2013 at 7:51 am

Posted in Junk Science, Video

S.134

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A bill to arrange for the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact of violent video games and violent video programming on children.

Bipartisan stupidity.  David Kopel wrote about this a while back.  Both the “weapon effect” and “exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children” are based on the exact same junk science.

The sponsor and half the co-sponsors are Democrats and yet the stereotype of the prudish Republicans lives on in the minds of young gamers.  Wayne LaPierre is not helping in this respect.

Written by BornLib

January 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

It’s pretty much just that simple

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For anyone reading this who was not yet aware: Anthropocentric Global Warming Theory is junk science.

Chiefio: Temperature vs CO2 non-correlate

Written by BornLib

January 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Junk Science

Tattoo the skeptics

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Saw this gem linked in the headlines at HotAir.  And no, this isn’t satire or sarcasm.

Surely it’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.

Not necessarily on the forehead; I’m a reasonable man.

Reasonable. Yeah, sure. Let’s give everyone who favors empirical evidence the Mark of Cain.  What’s unreasonable about that?

Just something along their arm or across their chest so their grandchildren could say, ”Really? You were one of the ones who tried to stop the world doing something? And why exactly was that, granddad?”

On second thoughts, maybe the tattooing along the arm is a bit Nazi-creepy.

A bit?  Really? You think?

So how about they are forced to buy property on low-lying islands, the sort of property that will become worthless with a few more centimetres of ocean rise, so they are bankrupted by their own bloody-mindedness?

To quote Tuning Spork, “I don’t think a “centimetre” is what you think it is.”

Or what about their signed agreement to stand, in the year 2040, lashed to a pole at a certain point in the shallows off Manly? If they are right and the world is cooling – ”climate change stopped in the year 1998” is one of their more boneheaded beliefs – their mouths will be above water. If not …

OK, maybe the desire to see the painful, thrashing death of one’s opponents is not ideal.

Not ideal, but apparently it’s on the table.

You just know that in 20 years’ time, when the costs of our inaction are clear, the climate deniers will become climate-denial-deniers.

20 years? Who, besides Al “Sex Poodle” Gore is claiming anything is going to happen within twenty years?

The right tended to be sceptical about climate change from the start and for exactly the same reasons. It’s the sort of problem that requires global, communal action, with governments setting rules. It is a problem that requires tools they instinctively dislike using.

Tools like tattoo machines and poles in the ocean?  What’s not to like?

The tool we’ll use is a carbon tax that seeks to subtly redirect some of our choices.

Oh look, another useless environmental boondoggle.  What a surprise.  As a bonus, he’s picked one that actually increases CO2 production rather than decreases it.  In a global marketplace, carbon taxes are worse than useless.  We know this thanks to those poor saps in places like the UK who already have sabotaged their economies with carbon taxes.  All it has done is shift production from their country to places like China.  More net CO2 is produced not only because of less efficient means of production, but also because of the need to transport the goods from great distances.  All carbon taxes ‘accomplish’ is the redistribution of wealth, which is why socialists are so enthusiastic about them.

The title of this article by Richard Glover is “The dangers of bone-headed beliefs.”  First “Splattergate” and now this?  Even if the science was on their side (which it isn’t) there is no way we could trust these people with any amount of power.

I am reminded of another article, from a few months back: German Physicist Slams Climate Science, Says “Climate Politics Is Grand Déjà Vu Of Communist East Germany”

What is happening with regards to the climate hypothesis today is that profound and far-reaching conclusions are being based on pure suspicions. That’s religion, and not science. There are also many other well-founded hypotheses on climate dynamics that allow completely other conclusions to be drawn. But strangely, they are being massively suppressed – simply because they don’t accommodate the political concept of rescuing the planet. That’s propaganda, manipulation, suppression of the freedom of expression and demagoguery. As ‘an educated citizen of former communist East Germany’, I’m experiencing grand déjà-vu.

I can imagine how he got that impression.

Written by BornLib

June 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm