Assorted Links

  • Matt Ridley reviews The Hockey Stick Illusion. “One of the best science books in years. It exposes in delicious detail . . . how a great scientific mistake of immense political weight was perpetrated, defended and camouflaged by a scientific establishment that should now be red with shame.” Of the response to Stephen McIntyre’s damning critique: “I find the reaction of the scientific establishment more shocking than anything. . . . Shut-eyed denial.”
  • Answer to medical mystery is food allergies. If doctors can’t recognize food allergies, they are even further from understanding their cause.
  • Der Spiegel looks skeptically at man-made global warming. Will Elizabeth Kolbert (the New Yorker writer) ever realize she’s been credulous?
  • Low cholesterol bad? “Cholesterol levels in men with dementia and, in particular, those with Alzheimer disease had declined at least 15 years before the diagnosis and remained lower than cholesterol levels in men without dementia throughout that period.” Body weight also declines before the diagnosis.

Thanks to Peter Spero.

13 Replies to “Assorted Links”

  1. Of course low cholesterol can be bad. Many studies show that. In fact, after age 50 or so, low cholesterol is associated with higher mortality risk.

    Lowering your cholesterol for the sake of lowering it is simply a bad idea. There are a lot of other health markers you need to look at and deal with that will affect your health in more positive and wholistic ways. Cholesterol count is just the simplest way to generate profits from pharmaceuticals.

  2. It’s interesting that the author of the allergy essay is a professor of applied behavioral science. That seems like a very relevant area of expertise when navigating the medical system.

  3. “One of the best science books in years”.

    I love this. There is 36 reviews on Amazon and all of then give five stars. What is the probability of that?. Just look at a very popular book
    and make your own statistical analysis.

    I guess that is probably saying something more interesting about the book than any review. 🙂

  4. well, Pedro, I’m inclined to think it is one of the best science books in years — and I haven’t seen it yet. The story of how one person put a big dent in a view held by “thousands of scientists at hundreds of universities in dozens of countries” as Elizabeth Kolbert puts it (, sounds pretty great right away.

  5. Seth, can you think of any sort of evidence that could possibly change your mind about this global conspiracy of unscrupulous climate scientists, bent on depriving Exxon of its just profits? Or does every conceivable bit of evidence lead you to the same conclusion?

  6. Nathan, you mention Exxon and “its just profits”, and most AGW believers often mention Big Oil and the money it throws around. Yet climate scientists and hangers on get millions, maybe billions if you count NGOs, in grants etc. Their very livelihoods depend on adhering to the consensus and keeping the money flowing. And there wouldn’t be any money for saying everything’s normal, go home and take a nap.

    Not evidence of anything, but it calls their objectivity into question.

    “It’s difficult for a man to believe something when his livelihood depends on him not believing it.”

  7. Dennis Mangan: Do you have any idea what an order of magnitude is? Do you think a million and a trillion are about the same, more or less?

    Climate scientists get paid the same whether species go extinct en masse or not — until civilization collapses from loss of whole ecosystems, famine, and consequent global war. They, like I, and like anybody not entirely blinkered, have an interest in that not happening. The cockroaches will survive regardless. Some humans, too,probably, but certainly not you.

  8. “Their very livelihoods depend on adhering to the consensus and keeping the money flowing”

    That is true in any scientific discipline. In almost any sense, being in the mainstream science is incentived, but that does not mean mainstream science is necessary wrong (in fact, it is mainstream science because it reached some threshold where an important part of the community of experts thought there was strong evidence to support it). To judge a theory just look the peer reviewed literature… Yes, I know your next comment will be about peer review process. So to save a few words from you, everybody knows it is far from perfect. Maybe 50 per cent papers are wrong, but one thing you can be sure of is that outside the peer-review literature the wrong claims are 100-epsilon percent.

  9. Dennis: Do you have any idea what ad hominem means? It’s easy to look up. Hint: it’s not just a magic spell to recite when you don’t want to address substance.

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