Reddit Reddit reviews Bad Science

We found 24 Reddit comments about Bad Science. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Bad Science
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24 Reddit comments about Bad Science:

u/Receuvium · 17 pointsr/collapse

I'm going to piss everyone off by saying this, but the Myers-Briggs personality test is meaningless pop psychology. Pick up a copy of the excellent book Bad Science to learn more.

EDIT: or, if you're broke, just read the Wiki article.–Briggs_Type_Indicator#Criticism

u/Antares42 · 17 pointsr/askscience

Similar tricks are involved in detox footbaths (where the brown stain in the water comes from an electrolytic reaction in the basin, whether your feet are in it or not) and Hopi ear candling (where the orange gunk that supposedly is -depending on the story- toxin residue or sucked-out ear wax actually comes from the candle itself).

(Shamelessly stolen from Ben Goldacre's awesome book "Bad Science")

u/Malamodon · 6 pointsr/CrazyIdeas

If you want some context for his case series and the variety of issues with it and him here is a section from Chapter 16 of Bad Science by Ben Goldacre (good book well worth reading) that covers it.

>Some fairly worrying questions have been raised since then. We won’t cover them in detail, because I don’t find ad hominem stories very interesting to write about, and because I don’t want that aspect of the story—rather than the research evidence—to be the reason why you come to your own conclusion about the risks of MMR and autism. There are things which came out in 2004, however, which cannot fairly be ignored, including allegations of multiple conflicts of interest, undeclared sources of bias in the recruitment of subjects for the paper, undisclosed negative findings, and problems with the ethical clearance for the tests. These were largely uncovered by a tenacious investigative journalist from the Sunday Times called Brian Deer, and they now form part of the allegations being investigated by the GMC.

>For example, it is investigating whether Wakefield failed to disclose to the editor of the Lancet his involvement in a patent relating to a new vaccine; more worrying are the concerns about where the twelve children in the 1998 Royal Free study came from. While in the paper it is stated that they were sequential referrals to a clinic, in fact Wakefield was already being paid £50,000 of legal aid money by a firm of solicitors to investigate children whose parents were preparing a case against MMR, and the GMC is further investigating where the patients in the study came from, because it seems that many of Wakefield’s referrals had come to him specifically as someone who could show a link between MMR and autism, whether formally or informally, and was working on a legal case. This is the beacon problem once more, and under these circumstances, the fact that only eight of the twelve children’s parents or physicians believed the problems were caused by MMR would be unimpressive, if anything.

>Of the twelve children in the paper, eleven sued drug companies (the one that didn’t was American), and ten of them already had legal aid to sue over MMR before the 1998 paper was published. Wakefield himself eventually received £435,643 plus expenses from the legal aid fund for his role in the case against MMR.

>Various intrusive clinical investigations—such as lumbar punctures and colonoscopies—were carried out on the children, and these required ethics committee clearance. The Ethics Committee had been assured that they were all clinically indicated, which is to say, in the interests of the children’s own clinical care: the GMC is now examining whether they were contrary to the clinical interests of the children, and performed simply for research.

>Lumbar puncture involves putting a needle into the centre of the spine to tap off some spinal fluid, and colonoscopy involves putting a flexible camera and light through the anus, up the rectum and into the bowel on a long lube. Neither is without risk, and indeed one of the children being investigated as part of an extension of the MMR research project was seriously harmed during colonoscopy, and was rushed to intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital after his bowel was punctured in twelve places. He suffered multiple organ failure, including kidney and liver problems, and neurological injuries, and received £482,300 in compensation. These things happen, nobody is to blame, and I am merely illustrating the reasons to be cautious about doing investigations.

>Meanwhile, in 1997 a young PhD student called Nick Chad-wick was starting his research career in Andrew Wakefield’s lab, using PCR technology (used as part of DNA fingerprinting) to look for traces of measles strain genetic material in the bowels of these twelve children, because this was a central feature of Wakefield’s theory. In 2004 Chadwick gave an interview to Channel 4’s Dispatches, and in 2007 he gave evidence at a US case on vaccines, stating that there was no measles RNA to be found in these samples. But this important finding, which conflicted with his charismatic supervisor’s theory, was not published.

u/BetAle · 6 pointsr/GenderCritical

>I guess this is my kinda of my issue. How do you explain transwomen who date and marry ciswomen? If what you were saying is true all transwomen would be dating cismen and exclusively cismen. Right?

They’re heterosexual males with a sexual fetish.

Anne Lawrence


No. I said that they tell homosexual children (a small subset of trans) that they are the wrong sex and then sterilise them using cross-sex hormones after puberty suppression.

Then, we have transwomen telling lesbians (homosexuals) that they are bigoted for not liking penis or wanting to have sex with people that maintain or have previously maintained those organs.

There is a big hint in the word homoSEXual that would lead you to understand that sexual orientation for heteroSEXuals and homoSEXuals is based around the SEX of the person.

Telling lesbians (or gay men) that they must like people of the opposite SEX based on their “GENDER identity” is creepy and disgusting.

People are not obligated to re-evaluate their attractions because of someone else’s “identity”.

Years ago, psychologists and psychiatrists used to try and force homosexuals into liking people of the opposite sex. This is no different.


>I think gender is a set of ideas on how someone acts and looks that is typically based on sex. That is to say that usually female people act and look in a certain way as a woman.

What.the.fuck? Act and look as a woman based on sex? That right there, straight up fucking misogyny.

What does a woman “act” like? You realise that is the antithesis of feminism. That women “act” and “look” a certain

How does sex, one’s reproductive capability, have anything to do with how someone acts?

>I don't know if gender roles are innate, I really don't think they are.

Good. Because they aren’t.

>I don't know if its more real or less real. I think sex is pretty complicated in general and can't be decided by one characteristic but by using multiple different criteria simply because theres no real one defining characteristic that says you're either male or female. for this kind of stuff I typically look to places like the Olympics

Production of gametes. Bam. Simple.

Failing that? Structures for the production of gametes.

Failing that? Genetics.

Failing that? Organs.

Reproduction is real. Human biology is real.

How do you propose we classify people then? How is gender real? How does the way a person "acts" affect anything about their physiology? Things like rape shelters, bathrooms, prisons are all based around people's physiological needs.

Women can get pregnant to males, menstruate and pee sitting down. We have different cancers and different levels of medication tolerance (and alcohol tolerance) because of our physiology.

Men can impregnate and pee standing up. They do not need access to abortions or gynaecological medicine. They may need access to medicine based on their prostates and testicles. They have difference levels of tolerance to medicine and alcohol based on their physiology.

Why would you look to the Olympics? Why not ask a biologist?

>I think this would fall under gender roles again. I don't think a woman is really any one thing. Gender isn't based in your body and how it looks but rather in how you act.

Wrong. A woman is an adult female human.

How is gender then more important than a biological reality again? How is the way someone “acts” overriding this?

Am I no longer a woman because I don’t “act” like one?

The fuck?

Who governs these rules for how someone should act?

Why can't people act however they want? Just because you have certain bits doesn't mean you act any particular way.

Your physiology is just a fact of nature and your ability to produce offspring through the exchange of genetic material.

>If you mean a woman again I don't know if that's a biological reality meaning that you can definitely say that you identify with and are more comfortable with that set of gender roles.

And what of the millions (billions?) of women who aren’t happy with the gender roles place upon us? What if we’re not happy with ANY gender roles for anyone?

What is a gender role and why is it even important?

>If you mean female, I think that's more of a thing that happens as you transition rather than something you just become.

Nope. Males cannot become females. We are not gastropods or fish.

How does a male born become female? That makes absolutely no sense.

>It gets a little worrisome because this kind of thinking can lead to transwomen being excluded from places that most other females are allowed to be. Bathrooms, locker rooms, etc and I'm not sure if that's ok to do, although I'm a proponent of non-segregated bathrooms and changing rooms, I think its a little silly that we separate by sex.


NO! Males cannot become female.

You DO NOT produce oocytes, have menses or gestate and birth young. (Yes, I am aware that not all females can either)

Males disproportionately attack females for violence and sexual assault.

Look at the FBI or WHO statistics if you don’t believe me.

And “transwomen” maintain MALE levels of criminality which makes them just as likely as any other male person to cause us harm.

Males and females are separated because SEX is the only thing that is different between us. We can get pregnant and get “gender” bullshit because of that. We are somehow "weaker" and "less capable". We're also vulnerable because of our ability to get pregnant.

Males and females have different physiology, different medical needs.

You propose what? We separate on “gender”?

How is gender real?

IT FUCKING ISN’T. It was created by society. Biology wasn’t.

Here’s some links to transwomen violence:




(This is a person who gained access to a women’s rape shelter by claiming to be a woman and then SEXUALLY assaulted women)

And I have more.

> would that teenagers are typically below the age of consent, IE below 16 and thus can't legally make a decision to have sex no matter what age the other person is.

But teenagers and children are able to consent to hormones and puberty blockers?

And yes, the brain develops as it gets older. Atrophy and damage can halt and stop the development.

So, how is "brain-age" less real than "brain-sex"? How is it any different to "negro-brains" or "jugglers-brains"?

If I scanned my brain and it had the same volume in certain parts as a medical professional does that make me a medical doctor?

>I think the only difference is the fact that there is some actual research done on the brains of transwomen vs ciswomen which shows some of the same structures not present in cismen.

Yes. We’ve all seen those.

First off, NONE of those studies have been reproduced which makes for bad science.

NONE of those studies identify why they are able to determine what a “woman’s brain looks like”

Actually, here’s a really succinct link that breaks it down

And I’m more than happy to refer you to read Sheila Jefferies new book Gender Hurts, Cordelia Fine’s Delusion of Gender and Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen

>I tend to defer to medical organizations for things like this and typically take them at their word if they say that the cause of transgenderism is due to different brain structures.

Medical organisations used to advocate for lobotomies of the mentally ill, the castration of gay men, and the “hysteria” of women.

You also can see examples of bad pharmaceutical practice in Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science

I’m not saying I agree 100% with any of the above texts. It pays to be well informed and to complete your own research.

Do not “take them at their word” about things like “brain” sex when the methodology for their premise is so unbelievable flawed.

>Does that make sense?

It didn’t make any sense, even a little.

I mean seriously? Fucking gender roles in 2014? We’ve come a long way baby from Suzie-Homemaker and Captain America.

u/sanbikinoraion · 5 pointsr/Health

I am no expert myself - and clearly the full text of the study has not been provided online anyway. I recommend Bad Science by Ben Goldacre for a really interesting look at how studies can be manipulated, amongst a bunch of other fun stuff. It's a really good read.

What rings alarm bells for me in this study is:

  • Small sample size: 200 is generally thought large enough to give a reasonably reliable outcome.

  • No reason given for the 5 dropouts - people may be more likely to drop out of studies like this because they become mentally ill, I don't know if this is true or not, but I would like some reason identified.

  • Selection criteria: patients were selected for the study because they were identified as "at-risk" candidates by the very same medical centre doing the study. There must surely be a range on unconscious biases that this brings in.

  • Going against the grain: most evidence for the efficacy of fatty acids relating to psychological problems is that they are ineffective. If every study reports with 95% confidence, every 20th study will give you a false positive. You could test bread as an anti-psychotic and in a set of 95% accurate studies, you'd expect some of them to demonstrate bread was an effective treatment!

  • No specific causal link made: no-one proposes how omega 3 might help prevent psychological problems.
u/rablenkov · 4 pointsr/science

Many homeopaths like to quote a meta-analysis published in 1997 by Linde, Clausius, Ramirez, Melchart, Eitel, Hedges and Jonas. This, they state, backs up their claim of homeopathy's efficacy despite the fact that it clearly says "we found insufficient evidence from these studies that homoeopathy is clearly efficacious for any single clinical condition"

Additionally, in 1999 Linde clarified further in an article for the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, "The evidence of bias weakens the findings of our original meta-analysis. Since we completed our literature search in 1995, a considerable number of new homeopathy trials have been published. The fact that a number of the new high-quality trials have negative results, and a recent update of our review for the most “original” subtype of homeopathy (classical or individualized homeopathy), seem to confirm the finding that more rigorous trials have less-promising results. It seems, therefore, likely that our meta-analysis at least overestimated the effects of homeopathic treatments"

Homeopathy has been tested many, many times.

I thoroughly recommend reading either Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre, or 'Trick or Treatment' by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst. Both of these books will give you an excellent factual representation of why homeopathy doesn't work and how it's been tested.

u/mancunian · 3 pointsr/worldnews

1st one: fruits and vegetables are mass produced and ripened off the branch, this makes them cheaper but they contain fewer vitamins. The pharmaceutical industry has fuck all to do with the fruit industry. Also, how robust is the evidence that B vitamins are 'anti-cancer' any way?

Obesogens? Do you mean cheap sweeteners and flavouring agents etc? These are in food because they're cheap and people like the taste. The food industry doesn't give a shit if you're obese or not. They just want you to buy their food, which they make as cheaply as possible to maximise profits. Again, this has fuck all to do with big pharma.

Rather than rigging all other industries as you seem to think they do, the pharmaceutical companies just invent new diseases or medicalise existing problems.

They come up with very few new drug types nowadays so they just try and increase the range of the prescribing license for what they already have. Or they add an OH group somewhere and call it a breakthrough. For further reading I strongly recommend Bad Science by Ben Goldacre.

u/aSemy · 3 pointsr/malegrooming

Here's a quote by Ben Goldacre from his book Bad Science.

> [I]t’s important to understand how cosmetics—and specifically moisturising creams—actually work, because there should be no mystery here. Firstly, you want your expensive cream to hydrate your skin. They all do that, and Vaseline does the job very well: in fact, much of the important early cosmetics research was about preserving the moisturising properties of Vaseline, while avoiding its greasiness, and this technical mountain was scaled several decades ago. Hydrobase, at around £10 for a half-litre tub from your chemist, will do the job excellently.

There is more, but in essence, moisturising is a solved problem. The expensive gimmicks are simply expensive gimmicks, so go for the cheap stuff and save yourself some money. I personally use E45 from Boots.

u/Maddjonesy · 3 pointsr/askscience

UPvote for mentioning Ben Goldacre. His book is quality as well. Well worth a read.

u/CallMeDonk · 2 pointsr/pics

I would imagine you'd like the book "Bad Science" by Dr Ben Goldacre. Now with added Neutrogena.

u/lechatmort · 2 pointsr/xkcd

I can highly recommend Bad Science by Ben Goldacre if you want to understand why your sons might have shown apparent improvement, without the Omega-3 supplements being the cause. It's a wonderful book which helps you understand the world around you in ways you never thought possible.

u/Amonaroso · 2 pointsr/programming

Bad Science book , book and blog
numberwatch on the data dredge

Fun and game books Duelling Idiots and Cabinet ... there are many books on this subject but I haven't read most of them.

serious probability writing Jeffreys and Yudkowsky

u/quincebolis · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Seriously. It's not just about dumb alt medicine, it's about teaching people how to recognise pseudoscience and especially to think rationally about how scientific knowledge is represented in the media. They should teach kids this stuff in schools :(
It's also a very good read, very funny. His blog is also awesome.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/selfimprovement

This is wonderful thank you!

Highly recommended from my own bookshelves, in no particular order

u/panyedelnik · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

I'll accept your point about condoms failing sometimes. But the rest of what you are saying shows that you have an extremely poor grasp of how to read and interpret scientific literature.

>Based on this study, we've learned that woman do store male dna from sexual intercourse with partners. All the other sources of male microchimerism involve a sibling or fetus, with only sexual intercourse being the single reason for dna not from a relative or fetus.

This is the exact same study that I quoted to you. The exact same one. And I pre-emptively quoted it because I know that it's the go-to citation on the issue and it's popularly misinterpreted, so I decided to deal with it straight away.

I'm now going to repeat myself.

The authors found that male microchimerisms existed in women without sons and gave a list of possibilities for this. ONE of the hypotheses is that it might be from previous male sexual partners along with a list of other possibilities including an undetected miscarriage of a male foetus and a vanished male twin. The study does not PROVE that male microchimerisms in women without sons must come from previous sexual partners nor is this what the authors are setting out to prove. The authors conclude themselves that:

>Further studies are needed to determine specific origins of male microchimerism in women.

You are taking ONE LINE OF SPECULATION in a paper and holding it up as proof when even the authors of the paper are saying that they have no concrete proof of what causes this. You are absolutely, wantonly and completely misrepresenting the scientific literature, drawing your own overblown conclusions and implying that this paper is proof of what you want to belief when it provides no such evidence, nor does it seek to. The paper found that male microchimerisms exist in women without living sons. They did not find any proof that the microchimerisms came from previous sexual partners. It might be true and it might not be. Nobody knows. That is not my OPINION that is there in black and white in the paper and you are pretending it doesn't exist.

You are presenting this hypothesis (which is one of many) as a scientifically proven fact and you are citing one line of speculation as proof and ignoring the fact that the authors have transparently stated that there is no proof for this, it is merely an untested hypothesis. By doing so, you are behaving in a completely unethical way.

>Considering we know, that this male dna from previous partners is still circulating within the woman, in her bone marrow, and part of her brain, when this fetus is forming, this fetus also uses the very same blood that courses through the mothers body. This is a fact. Which means this foreign male dna is also coursing through the veins of this unborn fetus.
>In addition, there is nothing preventing this dna from binding or forming neurons in this unborn child, just as with the mother. Also, what prevents this dna from influencing the characteristics of this child, considering this foreign dna is able to bind with existing neurons? Nothing as they are now starting to realize.

Ok, now I'm fairly sure you're confused on the difference between foreign cells in someone's body and their actual genome. Microchimerisms don't alter the fundamental human genome. Yes, there might be foetal-maternal transfer of male microchimerisms - the only proven source of male microchimerisms is from a woman having borne a male foetus and it's most likely that the foetus is recieving microchimerisms which originated from its sibling, not its mother's ex boyfriend - but even if that were the case, those microchimerisms are not going to alter the individual's genome. Even microchimerisms fusing with human cells is just going to happen on a localised level, it's not going to alter the person's fundamental genetic code.

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt again and we'll talk about epigenetics. You're putting forward a hypothetical possibility that male microchimerisms might come from previous sexual partners (unproven) and that there might be maternal to foetal transfer of these microchimerisms (unproven) and then that these tranfered microchimerisms might somehow take root in the foetus' brain (unproven) and cause certain epigenetic changes which would affect brain development and cause the foetus to take on characteristics of the mother's previous partners (wildly unproven).

Now maybe there will be a future study which proves what you are saying is right. If there is, then that's great, it's another step in understanding human biology. I don't personally see the moral relevance of the issue either way. But you clearly have a strong emotional attachment to the idea.

I'm approaching this as a scientist and the possibility of this hypothesis being right isn't what's making me angry, it's the way you're acting as if it's already been proven and the way you're misrepresenting the literature on the subject. That is hugely unethical. It's the reason why we have nonsense like the anti-vaccination movement because essentially people who don't understand the literature will cherry pick and misquote and misinterpret studies in order to find things which back up their emotional point of view. It's an extremely destructive thing to do and twisting the truth is no better than outright lying in ethical terms.

At the moment, you have no proof whatsoever for what you are saying except speculation and you are being completely and utterly reprehensible in trying to present this as established scientific fact. You are deliberately misrepresenting another author's work to suit your own ideology and you have very little understanding of the biology behind what you're saying.

All you have given me to back these statements that you're peddling as "scientific fact" are two papers, one which mentions NOTHING about women getting male microchimerisms from sexual partners AT ALL and one which does mention it but only as a totally unproven hypothesis among a list of other hypotheses. And then you further attempt to back up your wild speculation with a tabloid newspaper article which sensationalises a study about fruit flies and has absolutely nothing to do with human beings at all. So more unproven speculation and no actual substance.

>What is a fact, is that these women are tainted.

No, that's not a fact, it's an emotional statement. You have no evidence whatsoever to back your assertion up that women get male DNA from previous partners and no evidence further that these microchimerisms can actually influence foetal development but you've chosen to belief that particular hypothesis (of many) to explain male microchimerisms because it's the one which best fits with your emotionally held belief that women shouldn't be sexually active.

As a helpful aside, I suggest you read this book:

It might help you understand how to interpret scientific papers without drawing wild and sensationalist conclusions. Your main tactic at the moment seems to be confusing speculation with fact and citing papers to "prove" your point which don't prove it at all and then kind of crossing your fingers and hoping nobody who understands them will actually read them and call you out on it.

TL;DR - You have taken one line in one published paper which does not even remotely prove what you're talking about and then you are extrapolating wildly from that with a series of wildly unproven "what ifs" about foetal development in a really bad attempt to try and back up your emotional standpoint with "scientific authority".

u/DeadBirdToABlindKid · 1 pointr/mildlyinfuriating

There's at least a chapter about the misleading nature of headlines in Ben Goldacre's book Bad Science

u/tinyp · 1 pointr/Futurology

If you want to read more about this I recommend 'Bad Science' by Ben Goldacre

u/yankcrime · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Buy him a copy of Dr. Ben Goldacre's "Bad Science".

It's an essential read for everyone.

u/Moratamor · 1 pointr/oculus

That... makes no sense whatsoever. You can't just start science from anywhere and hope to get something out of it.

Can I gently recommend this book as a bit of a primer.

u/inablender · 1 pointr/videos

For those interested... I recommend reading this book.

u/Alex_Rose · 0 pointsr/science

Umm, this study was done in the Czech republic.

"Because their religion doesn't allow them" are not going to be in this sample. Considering it's pushed around that "wine is good for you" because of this fallacy, people "trying to maintain a health lifestyle" often have a glass of wine.

I recommend reading Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre, it goes into great detail on this specific topic.

But even if there were people who didn't drink because of their religion, that just means that some proportion of the sample is unaffected, it doesn't change the fact that a significant proportion of that sample would be teetotal because of some other reason that would be correlated with bad health.

>Studies that show strong correlation or a studies that shows none ?

I'm not saying don't do a study or don't draw a link, I'm saying don't assume a causal relationship from that link, which is exactly what's going on here, and is absolutely terrible scientific practice. Absolutely ridiculous that I'm being downvoted for not assuming causal relationships, this is a great example of why the nutrition industry is such bollocks, that you actually believe this nonsense so vehemently because you're able to draw a link.

Look, I can correlate things too.

u/gmano · -3 pointsr/skeptic

That's a highly influential and solid paper.

Here are some more, if you like:
Some more papers:
1.A test for reporting bias in trial networks: simulation and case studies
2.Peer review for biomedical publications: we can improve the system
3.Common misconceptions about data analysis and statistics

Bad Science Paperback by Ben Goldacre

Articles in other sources:

The Economist
The Atlantic

This is a well-known phenominon that is held up because of the "publish or perish" reality of academia.

Publish or perish—an ailing enterprise?