1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Hyperparathyroidism: An Often Overlooked Differential Diagnosis to ME/CFS
Andrew Gladman puts hyperparathyroidism under the microscope, exploring what the disease is, how it can mimic ME/CFS in presentation and how it is treated.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Mikowitz accused of manipulating XMRV paper

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Valentijn, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,019
    Likes:
    10,800
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I agree SOC. A simple change in context can change the meaning of something. Let me give an example that every patient who has been on these forums for a while should be well aware of.

    If someone like Klimas or Komaroff were to say CFS, would that have the same meaning as White or Sharp saying CFS? I don't think so. The research and historical context of the different sources gives a different meaning. To put this further into context, it is often claimed that ME and CFS are the same thing. If Hyde were to say ME, who would be silly enough to think he means the same thing as when Wessely says CFS? I don't think many of us would think its the same idea at all, and while Wessely might claim its the same thing (or he might acknowledge a viewpoint difference) I am sure Byron Hyde would not agree its the same thing at all.

    Bye
    Alex
    Wildcat and Enid like this.
  2. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes:
    720
    We do need to consider the source but we also need to stand back and look beyond this. To give ERV due credit, she has been following the science, backing up her claims with evidence and knows when she needs to have someone else look at what is discovered without getting her ego bruised, even if that means the conclusions turn out differently. That is how science works and one reason she is being taken seriously by the scientific community.

    I ask why is ERV's scientific knowledge and experience being scrutinized, yet some in the ME/CFS community with less scientific knowledge and experience are beyond questioning?

    Why is it people can be extremely rude not only in what they are saying but also implying and yet criticize others for rudeness simply because they may have a different opinion?

    It's easy to judge things by surface appearances and see the world in black and white. It takes hard work and critical thinking to see the whole picture.

    I don't like ERV;s language but that's beside the point. I am judging her with the same set of standards I would use on others. I might criticize the way she words things but I can also see that what she has saying may have merit.

    Many of the criticisms of ERV I see here are simply strawman (ad hominem) logic fails.
    Firestormm, Valentijn and Kina like this.
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

    Messages:
    6,061
    Likes:
    8,439
    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    I suppose the implication is that n00bs with an opinion contrary to yours must be a troll or other subversive. In some cases, you're probably right.

    However, in many cases you would also be wrong. And Barb's point was valid: attacking an argument on the basis of who makes it is a logical fallacy. The argument should be attacked directly, on its own. The source of that argument never factors in, except for providing context and understanding. That context may be useful in providing direction in evaluating the argument, but at the end of the day the argument stands or falls alone.

    I'd greatly appreciate information regarding the validity (or lack thereof) of accusations in the article, but going no further than "ERV BAD MIKOVITS GOOD" is simplistic, juvenile, and completely irrelevant. It's impossible to take such statements seriously, even as an ME/CFS sufferer that has no doubt that ME-deniers are a bunch of morons and/or douchebags.

    PS - Sorry for spelling her name wrong in the thread title. PEM + Dutch language learning scrambling my brains in novel ways. My spelling of it was phonetically correct in Dutch :p
  4. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,338
    Likes:
    1,773
    London
    Barb, if ERV is so good and on top of the science she would have covered the Silverman contamination retraction in the same way she has attacked Mikovits. That's the more important story with far larger repercussions.

    She also would have looked at the XMRV negative papers with the same gusto. She would have picked up sooner on how the VP62 clone was a problem. Patients did that - ERV didn't.

    It's the poor grasp of the science that lets her down.

    It's like watching a pack of animals rip someone to pieces. Hypocrisy and double standards.
    Enid likes this.
  5. currer

    currer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes:
    773
    Actually Valentijn I deleted the post you have quoted. You must have got your post in within seconds.
    I agree with you that some of the prceeding points are valid, so that was why I did it.

    However I am disturbed by the systematic and massive bias shown in the response to the science of XMRV.

    For examlple, I was present when Dr Bieger gave his preliminary results of 40% positive for HGRVs at the Invest in ME conference, once Judy Mikovits had given him guidance on how to modify his procedures. (He initially got negatives)
    This paper has never been published. I do not suppose it ever will be now.

    To nitpick about one slide whilst ignoring massive bias is unbelievable to me.

    I have followed all the research and politics for over a year. No-one can persuade me we have seen a fair examination of the scientific debate. (however many new members appear.) The negative publicity has been massive and destructive of the integrity of the researchers who are trying to investigate these findings.

    I do not think scientists themselves will stand for this systematic corruption of the scientific process.
    A society that proceeds down this path dies from the inside.

    It is of a piece with vested interests blocking attempts to stop global climate change. What more can we expect from our present governments?
    Enid likes this.
  6. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

    Messages:
    650
    Likes:
    238
    Sorry I don't find using the C-word and the F-word liberally as any kind of credibility booster. If somebody used language like that here I would move along just as quickly.

    ERV (Truman College, University of Oklahoma)
    SOC and ukxmrv like this.
  7. citybug

    citybug Senior Member

    Messages:
    522
    Likes:
    36
    NY
    In the original Science article there were many experiments. Smaller groups were looked at in different ways so that many tests could be done and looked at from as many angels as possible since they were in the process of discovery. There would be a control on each small group. It is worth re-reading.
    ukxmrv and Francelle like this.
  8. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    I'd like to contrast the hyperbole and self-righteous outrage about Judy Mikovits' mistake in presenting data with another case of researchers who presented discrepantly, in a published paper.

    See how no researchers were harmed. See how easy the ride they got:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/320/7233/515.2.full

    Now - it is not MY logic that follows that Professors Wessely and Chalder should be accused of scientific misconduct and fraud (not at all! In fact, I'm actually only using this example because it's from the field of research I've been conducting), but it IS the logic of various posters on this forum, Abbie Smith, and all her supporters. And at the very least, Science and Nature should have been busy reporting this possibly 'egregious' discrepancy, BY THEIR OWN PUBLISHING LOGIC.

    But see how easy and relaxed it all was. Chalder and Wessley got to blame 'gremlins' and the peer reviewers at the BMJ, say they couldn't sort it out now anyway, and the most combative thing Bland said was it should re-presented correctly because otherwise other scientists will be citing something incorrect. Even THAT reasonable request was just not met.

    I'm NOT claiming Chalder and Wessely be accused of scientific misconduct or fraud or 'egregious error' for this, NOT claiming people should be attacking their motives on blogs, calling them obscenities, trying to ruin their careers. NOT claiming this needs to be reported before an investigation could even be begun.

    BUT NEITHER SHOULD THESE BE DONE TO JUDY MIKOVITS.

    The PACE trial, of course, needs a full investigation and for complaints to be taken seriously, though not a witch-hunt/kangaroo court to be perpetrated. I note how the outraged Mikovit detractors on this forum (and elsewhere) have stayed quiet on that. They are happy for a witch-hunt /kangaroo court on Mikovits (this campaign has qualities of both) - but they don't even care for legitimate investigation of multiple and potentially extremely serious discrepancies in PACE.
  9. Sam Carter

    Sam Carter Guest

    Messages:
    296
    Likes:
    184
    Are you arguing, Angela, that before any person can draw attention to problems in the Lombardi paper they must first denounce the PACE Trial / psychogenic explanations of ME? These are orthogonal issues and should be treated as such.

    The concept of the Specific Issue Antagonist -- unknown to me until your gentle introduction yesterday ;-) -- seems to be a convenient rhetorical device to dismiss the voice of those who have specialist knowledge / academic training in a particular field but *you do not happen like what they are saying*.

    It does not seem at all problematic to me to hear *virologists* (who may have nothing to contribute to the discussion about PACE/FINE) discuss potential flaws in the XMRV/P-MLV theory. If you believe their understanding of the science is incorrect you should challenge them on that before declaring bad-faith on their part.
    Valentijn likes this.
  10. asleep

    asleep Senior Member

    Messages:
    173
    Likes:
    212
    But Sam, this is not an issue of specialization. Most of the detractors here are not *virologists*. They are self-claimed "skeptics" who profess "anger" over "bad science." I don't think Angela is trying to insist upon an orthogonal litmus test for the purposes of dismissal. Instead, she is pointing out the hypocrisy of those who only show up to ride on the anti-HGRV, anti-Mikovits bandwagon. This hypocrisy does matter because it is indicative of irrational bias and conflict of interest.

    If you don't like "Specific Issue Antagonists", might I suggest "One Hate Wonders."
    dsdmom, Bob, Wildcat and 2 others like this.
  11. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    Thank you asleep. Yes - you are spot on.
  12. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills

    Messages:
    281
    Likes:
    191
    New Zealand
    Another point to reiterate is that this is an ME forum. Not a virology forum or a Bad Science forum.

    As ME patients/carers we are interested in identifying problems with the science relevant to ME patients. But the PACE trial is much more flawed and much more harmful to many (millions) of ME patients as it is causing direct harm now. and it gets no scrutiny apart from ours.

    Like many others I find it offensive that these 'new members' bring their anti-Mikovitz anti-XMRV campaign here and try to shove it down our throats, as though it was some sort of game that they think they are 'winning'.
    OTH
    jace, Angela Kennedy, ukxmrv and 2 others like this.
  13. Sam Carter

    Sam Carter Guest

    Messages:
    296
    Likes:
    184
    You might, but rarely is an argument strengthened by a pun.

    Perhaps I can articulate my own position by posing a question: how do you like your scientists -- warm, approachable and wrong, or hypocritical, profane and *correct*?
  14. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    Depends what you mean by 'scientists', for one thing. Anons on a forum or a blog are not verified scientists, for example.

    I prefer my scientists rigorous, analytical, sensible, and careful, free as much as possible from prejudice and bias, suitably aware of epistemological issues in science, and aware of the irrational appeal to authority and ad hominem to the point they avoid using these. Sadly, the irrational bias and conflict of interest exhibited by some 'scientists' reduces (sometimes eliminates) the likelihood of them being able to do 'correct' and good science practice. There is also a marked lack of epistemological and ontological considerations in a lot of the behaviour of self-proclaimed anon 'scientists' on blogs and forums, but also, scarily, in the behaviour of some actual scientists. That is really frightening.
  15. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    That was a funny pun, asleep!

    I liked it.

    And sometimes puns and jokes work very well at making a suitable point. That's why satire works.
  16. asleep

    asleep Senior Member

    Messages:
    173
    Likes:
    212
    So you call my pun and raise me a false dichotomy?
  17. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    False dichotomy! That's what it's called!

    Thanks for that asleep. That's been on the tip of my tongue for the last hour or two :)
  18. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

    Messages:
    650
    Likes:
    238
    I like scientists to actually make new meaningful discoveries, not sit back fat and happy concluding that existing research needs more study. Thanks for asking!
    ukxmrv and OverTheHills like this.
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,019
    Likes:
    10,800
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi Angela, my wake-up call on this was studying a B.Sc. in biochemistry without having one lecture on the theory of science. My prior degree was in IT, artificial intelligence and systems theory. It was entirely about the processing and analysis of information. I learnt far more about science theory in my IT degree than my science degree. Science degrees have become fact cramming with technical issues. The underlying theoretical foundations of science have become replaced by technical methodologies. Few understand why things are done a certain way, and so lack a capacity to adapt when circumstances change.

    This is not universally true though. I am sure that many places around the world teach the fundamental principles, but its becoming rare. This is more common for medical doctors who move to research.

    Now some of this is balanced by postgraduate courses in scientific methods, frequently undertake to support a Ph.D. or Masters degree. However, I have a strong suspicion that again these are usually all about technical methods.

    Most people I have met do indeed seem to think that high intelligence, a knowledge of scientific facts, and lab experience qualify them to understand the scientific method. Medical researchers have this problem more often in my experience. It is indeed alarming. I do not claim to be an expert on the scientific method but I did spend years looking into it. Many scientists, including medical researchers, do pick up this information. Many who have classical educations also learn this. The rest don't seem to understand it, and frequently display a poor grasp of logic.

    My grasp of logic when my brain is working well (huh, and when is that?) is fairly good I think, but I have my own limitations as I did not study enough statistics. I recognize this limitation in myself. Most scientists in my experience seem to lack an awareness of their weakness.

    As science becomes more technical, research scientists are slowly disappearing and being replaced by highly trained technicians. This is great for anything routine in science but it bodes badly for cutting edge research that is outside the paradigm. I see the same thing happening in medicine. Most medical training is churning out highly trained medical technicians in an effort to cram more and more information into a person in a limited timeframe.

    Bye
    Alex
    leela, Angela Kennedy and SOC like this.
  20. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    Thank you Alex. Yes- what you are saying is exactly right. It doesn't bode well. I've been extremely concerned about it for some years now, since I did my own post grad work on Research Methodology in the Social Sciences, ironically!

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page