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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    This is totally lame. "Doesn't pass the laugh test"? Obviously you don't know how the scientific process works: A group of scientists does research, ... snip
    ....
    ....In the present case, the reviewers obviously recommended publicaion.
    I think the followup link addresses your observation...

    More from Chicago Boyz

    clulup, instead of denigrating the source, could you address the contents of the Boyz remarks, and tell us why their analysis of the numbers is wrong. I am not trying to challenge you, but really would like to hear the argument that supports the Lancet numbers. I am not a statistician, but the boyz, biased or not, seem to make a pretty good argument as to why the numbers are bogus. Why are the Boyz wrong? Do you have any links that refutes their analysis?
  2.    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicagoboyz
    More from Chicago Boyz

    This raises the obvious question: How did such a seriously flawed study get published in a prestigious (Lancet is the British equivalent of the New England Journal of Medicine) medical journal? The only possible explanation is political bias of the authors, the peer reviewers and the publisher.

    Evidence for this comes in the observation of poster AMac who noted that:

    "As an author of papers published in peer-reviewed journals, I was struck by the extraordinarily compressed time-line of this publication. Readers outside the biomedical fields might consider what the peer-review process involved:

    1. Data were collected in September 2004, and the authors had completed compilation, statistical analysis, drafting of text, artwork, and proofreading in order to submit their work in the form of a for-publication draft manuscript (MS) to the Lancet Editor.

    2. The Editor read the MS, chose peer-reviewers, had the reviewers comment on the MS, evaluated these comments, passed his/her favorable judgement on the MS to the authors, with any suggestions for necessary or advisable revisions.

    3. The authors revised the MS and resubmitted it.

    4. The Editor and perhaps the peer-reviewers reviewed and approved the revised text and figures. The MS files were sent to the Lancet's copy editors for proofreading and digital typesetting. Author queries were generated and sent to the lead author, and the responses incorporated into the typeset version. Finally, the complete manuscript, ready for printing, was published on the Lancet's website.

    Four to eight weeks is an unusually short time for a high-impact journal such as the Lancet to bring such an article into print. I would doubt that Lancet, JAMA, Nature, BMJ, Science, or similar high-prestige journals have ever compressed their review and publication schedule in such a drastic manner."

    I'm not sure that the article is in the current or upcoming hardcopy version of Lancet but even so, publishing a study completed well under 60 days ago smacks of a rush job.

    What we have here is the scientific equivalent of medical malpractice. We have a group of researchers who claim to have followed standard research practices, only they didn't. They claim to have found statistically valid results, only they didn't. Then we have a scientific journal that claims to have followed standard practices of peer review before publication, only it is very clear they did not. I think that the funders of the study would have grounds to sue were this any other profession.
    This argument shows how desparate the right is to dispell the disturbing news about Iraq civilian casualties.

    The vast majority of the top medical and science journals, using online submission and distrubution methods, have evolved procedures which allow for rapid peer review in far less than 60 days, try less than 4 weeks! If you don't believe me, check the New England journal of med and Lancet's information for authors links:

    http://authors.nejm.org/Misc/RapRev.asp
    http://www.thelancet.com/info/info.i...&n2=Fast+track
  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    This argument shows how desparate the right is to dispell the disturbing news about Iraq civilian casualties.
    You see desperation, I see a desire to make sure published information is not in fact misinformation. The difference in our perceptions is to be expected, but in no way disputes the validity of the challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    The vast majority of the top medical and science journals, using online submission and distrubution methods, have evolved procedures which allow for rapid peer review in far less than 60 days, try less than 4 weeks! If you don't believe me, check the New England journal of med and Lancet's information for authors links:

    http://authors.nejm.org/Misc/RapRev.asp
    http://www.thelancet.com/info/info.i...&n2=Fast+track
    Thanks cllmatrix, that helps to understand the process. It seems to me, however, that such a report would not fit the criteria The Lancet requires for fast tracking if not for the election.

    I know nothing about The Lancet. Do they have a horse in the presidential race. Is so, is it at all possible they may have been less than diligent in vetting the article?

    Or, are they beyond reproach? Unless you or someone else can debunk the Boyz analysis, then I can only think not.
  4.    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbdh
    You see desperation, I see a desire to make sure published information is not in fact misinformation.
    Desperation is hoping that people will not take the time to verify false claims about the speed of peer review.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbdh
    Thanks cllmatrix, that helps to understand the process.
    you are welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbdh
    It seems to me, however, that such a report would not fit the criteria The Lancet requires for fast tracking if not for the election.

    I know nothing about The Lancet.
    You know nothing about the Lancet, but apparently you are quite comfortable second guessing their publication criteria?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbdh
    Unless you or someone else can debunk the Boyz analysis, then I can only think not.
    I just debunked their analysis in my previous post.

    Still I admire your chutzpah, defending a webblog with an unidentifiable, unaccountable author, no review process and an obvious conflict of interest against one of the most reputable and respected medical journals in the world.
    Last edited by cellmatrix; 10/30/2004 at 10:25 PM.
  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    You know nothing about the Lancet, but apparently you are quite comfortable second guessing their publication criteria?
    Cellmatrix, please reread my last post. I didn't second guess the Lancet. I was asking for someone to present an argument against the Boyz analysis of the Lancet article so that I could make an educated decision on which numbers to believe. Even if I was intimately familiar with the Lancet, presented with such divergent casualty estimates, I cannot take at face value one claim or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    I just debunked their analysis in my previous post.
    No, I'm sorry, but you gave a good explanation of how the article was able to be published by The Lancet in so short a period of time. That was good.

    You did not debunk the analysis itself. I want to know why the methodology used to arrive at the 100,000 estimate is not flawed as explained by the Boyz analysis. There has to be a reason for an 80,000 discrepancy between The Lancet article estimates and the others. Perhaps the other estimates are flawed. I just want to know which one to believe. At the moment the Boyz analysis tells me that I should believe the lower figures. Please convince me otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    Still I admire your chutzpah, defending a webblog with an unidentifiable, unaccountable author, no review process and an obvious conflict of interest against one of the most reputable and respected medical journals in the world.
    I am not defending the weblog. If the analysis contained in the Boyz analysis is valid, it would still be valid even if it were written on a bathroom wall. If the Boyz just said the Lancet numbers are wrong it's really 20,000, and nothing more, you would have a valid point. I would not have questioned the 100,000 if I had not read what I thought to be a well reasoned challenge that explained the 80,000 discrepancy I never would have questioned your post.

    Try not to be so defensive of your beloved journal and help me to understand the numbers. I refuse to take anything at face value anymore. Just because it's written in "the most reputable and respected medical journal" in the world does not make it fact. How many times has an article appeared in The Lancet only to be challenged or outright disproved by another contributer months or years later. If this doesn't happen in The Lancet then it is the only professional publication of it's kind.
  6. #26  
    Even if we accept the methodlolgy, the estimate is essentially useless because the margin of error is huge. Fred Kaplan from Slate:

    from the study: "We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period."

    Kaplan: Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I'll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)


    http://www.slate.com/id/2108887/
    Laissez Faire
  7.    #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by prubin
    Even if we accept the methodlolgy, the estimate is essentially useless because the margin of error is huge. Fred Kaplan from Slate:

    from the study: "We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period."

    Kaplan: Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I'll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)


    http://www.slate.com/id/2108887/
    How many people in this forum have actually read the article?

    About the range cited above, confidence would decrease proportionally as you move farther away from the median - it is a bell shaped curve. So this study does show that it is far more likely that there were 98,000 deaths than 30,000 deaths. In addition they excluded information about deaths in Falujah which would have made the death rate higher.
  8. #28  
    I could care less about Iraqi deaths..its the "one" American I care about. They aren't worth the blood of one "American"
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    How many people in this forum have actually read the article?

    About the range cited above, confidence would decrease proportionally as you move farther away from the median - it is a bell shaped curve. So this study does show that it is far more likely that there were 98,000 deaths than 30,000 deaths. In addition they excluded information about deaths in Falujah which would have made the death rate higher.
    A thought.

    Since you are a liberal and will likely agree with any left leaning position that supports your beliefs as a liberal, is it not safe to say that any left leaning points of view that support your belief as a liberal will be believed and supported by you as they strengthen you belief and pov? ( I am purposely being ridiculous here)

    What I am getting at is that you will naturally support any article that strengthens your point of view, no matter how thin the logic or the facts. If an article suddenly showed up on some site that had a range of (95% 1000-980,000) would you suddenly say that 500,00 iraqis had been killed because of the bell curve? Using math theorems to support fuzzy data is pretty weak. If there is no way to prove how many people have been killed in the war, it is all really a moot point, and should have no validity in any kind of rational argument. We can all agree that people have been killed, and this is unfortunate, but stop acting like we are over there shooting anything that moves.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  10. #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    In addition they excluded information about deaths in Falujah which would have made the death rate higher.
    Yes, this confused me in that Mr. Kaplan actually used this as part of his argument against the Lancet numbers.

    Be that as it may, this discussion makes it clear to me that one cannot hang their hat on either count. Well at least I will not hang my hat on either number. As Mr. Kaplan alludes, however, even 20,000 is an accounting of tragic proportions.

    Even though this describes a tragedy which we as Americans must accept responsibility, I believe that the invasion of Iraq was in fact the right war at the right time. I believe if not then it would have eventually happened and the later it happened the higher the casualties would have been.

    As for the tragic loss of life that has occurred as a result of our taking action against Saddam in defense of our way of life we can only take solace in the fact that...

    1. The loss of life on both sides has been far less than many predicted would occur during the invasion alone.

    2. Most of the loss of life after the war can be attributed directly to violence by the insurgents against the Iraqis and not at the hand of the allied forces.

    3. The loss attributable to the allied forces, all of it, is the result of trying to stop the killing being done by the insurgents.

    4. All of the civilian casualties caused by the allies is collateral, unlike the insurgents who directly targeted and continue to target civilians.

    Over this last couple of months I have asked myself why am I spending any of my time arguing on this forum with a handful of people I have never met. The answer became clear to me today as I wrote this post. My posts to this forum are actually messages to myself. They help met to put into words what I feel and believe, often bringing clarity to my thoughts.
  11.    #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbdh
    Yes, this confused me in that Mr. Kaplan actually used this as part of his argument against the Lancet numbers.

    Be that as it may, this discussion makes it clear to me that one cannot hang their hat on either count. Well at least I will not hang my hat on either number. As Mr. Kaplan alludes, however, even 20,000 is an accounting of tragic proportions.

    Even though this describes a tragedy which we as Americans must accept responsibility, I believe that the invasion of Iraq was in fact the right war at the right time. I believe if not then it would have eventually happened and the later it happened the higher the casualties would have been.

    As for the tragic loss of life that has occurred as a result of our taking action against Saddam in defense of our way of life we can only take solace in the fact that...

    1. The loss of life on both sides has been far less than many predicted would occur during the invasion alone.

    2. Most of the loss of life after the war can be attributed directly to violence by the insurgents against the Iraqis and not at the hand of the allied forces.

    3. The loss attributable to the allied forces, all of it, is the result of trying to stop the killing being done by the insurgents.

    4. All of the civilian casualties caused by the allies is collateral, unlike the insurgents who directly targeted and continue to target civilians.

    Over this last couple of months I have asked myself why am I spending any of my time arguing on this forum with a handful of people I have never met. The answer became clear to me today as I wrote this post. My posts to this forum are actually messages to myself. They help met to put into words what I feel and believe, often bringing clarity to my thoughts.
    John I appreciate your comments. If I felt that invading Iraq was crucial to our own national interests, I would agree with you, and even be willing to accept at least some of the mismanagement of it, like you. But I don't and that is the key difference here.

    Now that we are committed, obviously we need to finish the job, and make Iraq a peaceful democracy. I think we are all in agreement on that.

    Like you, sometimes I wonder why I am spending my time arguing with all of you, it certainly does not seem to do any good. But I do appreciate a well thought out argument and yes sometimes it causes me to reconsider my views. I think the folks here have interesting things to say, even if I do not agree with them always.
    Last edited by cellmatrix; 10/31/2004 at 06:33 PM.
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by kouma
    I guess you were against the bombing of Japan too. Alot more civilians died there.
    Don't have a history book handy, but I think Japan attacked us though, right?
  13. #33  
    It's funny. They attacked us so it's ok to attack them but yet you lefties go on and on about how Bush should have prevented 9/11. I cant imagine what he could have done that you wouldnt have complained about. Would someone please tell me what acceptable action he could have taken just based on the possibility of a tragedy like that that would have been ok for you? And also explain why that is different than the Iraq situation.

    Hey Joe isnt it about time you called someone a name in this thread?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  14. #34  
    yawn
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    #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    This is totally lame. "Doesn't pass the laugh test"? Obviously you don't know how the scientific process works: A group of scientists does research, writes a paper, and sends it to the editor of a scientific journal. It takes quite a lot of self-confidence to send a paper to The Lancet, since they only publish the best-quality medical research. If the editors think the paper could be worth further examination, they will send the paper to a number of leading scientists in the field. Those will then study the paper, evaluate the methods used, the quality of the results, etc. Then they will either turn it down, ask for further clarification, or recommend publication. In the present case, the reviewers obviously recommended publicaion.

    I suspect Talldog knows close to nothing about the methods used in this research, so I think it takes quite a lot of arrogance to say they don't "pass the laugh test", and to call this study "bogus". I do understand though that he does not like the results and the implications.
    You know what else is totally lame? People who have no clue that activists with agendas (on both sides) rig "studies" like this all the time. As pointed out previously, ChicagoBoyz and others have deconstructed the methodology, and it doesn't hold up.

    Here's Slate Magazine's take on this study:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2108887/

    Both Fred Kaplan and Slate are left of center, and can't be accused of any pro-Bush bias.

    Whatever I may or may not know about statistical analysis Clulup, I suspect you know less.
    Talldog
  16. #36  
    Why is reporting of the most accurate survey to date taken as biased in one direction or the other? The main problem with the Slate magazine take is their championing of the estimating of true figures based on Press reports. As there isn't free access of the press to all of Iraq this is very problematic, as they realise. But when they say 'ok let's guess how many more people than this have died' (to paraphrase) they just take a wild stab in the dark. At least this survey, for all its flaws, is taking genuine data to make a stab in the half-light (to coin a phrase!).
    Animo et Fide
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