Articles to 2013-12-14

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

The widespread antibiotics abuse already claims 23 000 casualties every year in America – real casualties with names and documented causes of death, not phantoms from statistical fraud like passive smoking and similar chimeras. And still no halt of the flood of abuse, that Kennedy has already been fighting in 1977, is in sight.

Lavoie et al. is an archetypal non-result, they looked for a connection and found none. Of course as ever that’s not how they put it. But they go one step further. Although they name temperature as the main connection between latitude and their effect, their tiny pseudo-result as it is only comes out by not reversing the slope at the equator, i.e. their predicted values not only sink from the north pole towards the equator but continue sinking from it towards the south pole. So much for the supposed value of peer review.

Although making an important point in these times, when exponentially rising publications are drowning results in noise, Linton too misses the obvious. Errors will and do happen but most papers have half a dozen authors or more. If my name was on a paper I’d critically read the penultimate draft in full, but I know from personal communications that many published authors don’t. Why ever not? And if they miss obvious mistakes, why aren’t they picked up by any of the referees?

Personally I was rather disappointed when the Ruddiman-hypothesis seemed to be summarily disproved by Singarayer and Wolff (list of 2011-02-11). After McGlone, Rule, Bayon, and Dupont (list of 2012-04-16) a new study by Mitchell et al. too offers proof that Ruddiman seems to have been right after all.

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