On BioScience and Life and Such

Miss one lose double

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm

There are 5 unlabeled glasses of wine from 5 different wineries in front of you. Your research-task is to do a blind tasting and assign each glass to the correct winery.

You guess wrong on one of the glasses.

If the rules are that all of the glasses must have a winery assigned, the consequence is that you are forced to answer the wrong winery for two of the glasses.

There are three ways you can report this result:

1. 3/5 correct

2. Missed two glasses

3. Missed one glass

Which illustrates how you can choose to publicly report research results depending on the reader response you want to evoke. Headlines you can choose range from “Most people guess right when wine tasting” to “People cannot reliably taste the difference between wineries”.

So most science news headlines are inaccurate one way or the other.

If you gather data from a study-group, you risk reporting headlines like “4/5 wines identified correctly in wine-tasting test”, which is an impossible result given your study set-up (only 5/5, 3/5 and 1/5 are possible outcomes).

So some science news headlines are wrong.

If you in your effort to fix these problems in your study, open up for the possibility that your research participants can report their “lived experience” from the wine tasting, you risk ending up with headlines like “A wine for any occasion – how differences in wine tasting experiences are dependent on gender and social status”. Which is probably stretching how much you can generalize from your data, but nevertheless probably correct given how you decided to do your data-analysis.

So some science headlines are confusing and possibly misleading.

Fact remains though: You guessed wrong on one of the glasses

So, my plea. Be a rational and skeptical reader. Please don’t forget the underlying facts and please ensure open access to the data so that anyone and everybody, can scrutinize if they wish.


Cosmetic surgery is not politically correct, but sex-change operations are. Why ?

In Over the kitchen table discussions with my daughter on December 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

The existence and continuing success, of the cosmetic surgery industry as explained by the politically correct, is driven by body-images presented to us by marketers. Presumably, these body images are designed to make us feel uncomfortable with our physical appearance and push us towards buying products we hope will change our look into something resembling that of some unattainable cultural ideal.

Transsexual persons are uncomfortable with their physical appearance since as explained on wikipedia: “They experience a gender identity that is not culturally associated with their assigned sex”. The sex of the body they present to the world is the opposite of the sex that they feel they belong to.

Why is it ok to change your appearance when the association you disagree with is based on cultural definitions of sex when at the same time it is frowned upon to change your appearance based on other cultural definitions ?

I do see that the personal consequences of deviating cosmetic appearance may be dwarfed by the feeling of being in the wrong sexual category. However, feeling ugly can be devastating and mental problems associated with transgenderism need not result in gender dysphoria and subsequent sex-change. This is not a black/white issue.

Both cosmetic surgery and medical sex change are actions driven by a need to adapt to cultural preferences.

Any argument saying that only one of them should be acceptable is by logic incorrect, political or not.

I am writing this to eliminate disease

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2017 at 10:25 am

I am running this marathon to aid victims of disaster.

I am walking across this continent to correct unjustice.

I am climbing this mountain to support cancer research.

No !

Best case: You have this unreasonable personal thing you want to do and you need an excuse.

Worse case: You are exploiting whatever issue at hand to get funding.


Bilderesultat for everest cancer