In recent years, the peer-reviewed medical journals (known in recent years for publishing articles then retracting them) have veered away from health and medicine and into politics, but then maybe they have the same low level of competency in one as in the other.
Most Americans are impressed with peer-reviewed journals, although scientists in many fields and informed non-scientists are aware that the bloom is off the rose, and such journals are struggling for legitimacy. They have taken many body blows to their credibility, reputation, and subscription lists in recent years.
In 2011, the pharmaceutical company Bayer looked at 67 blockbuster drug discovery research findings published in prestigious journals and found that three-fourths of them were wrong!
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) ran research past other experts in the field and discovered that most of the reviewers failed to notice eight errors that had been deliberately inserted into articles. That is shocking, but it was even worse. The reviewers were told they were being tested. No scientist spotted more than five errors out of the 221 reviewers who responded. The average reviewer found two mistakes.
That’s two errors out of eight!
No wonder every health care system is collapsing with so many incompetents wearing white coats and dangling stethoscopes.
Peer-reviewed published articles in the once venerable Lancet asserted President Trump “provoked” the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 and his “turbulent” legacy “imperils the health of Americans and the world.” Well, they did use the word health in the medical article.
Considering the political, economic, educational, and social travesty in the United Kingdom, it might be better to use print space to solve that nation’s problems. Maybe the JAMA and the NEJM can solve America’s troubles.
Lancet published a “dehumanizing” and “sexist” article describing females as “bodies with vaginas” to appease the fanatics of the trans lobby. Critics called it “insulting and abusive” and a “misguided pursuit of woke points.” A few months earlier, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust told its staff to use terms like “birthing parents” and “human milk” rather than referring to “mothers” and “breast milk.”
Lancet, founded in 1823, is the most respected medical journal in the world but has recently become “woke” and politically correct. Maybe, it would be more in keeping with their purpose if they were honest, correct, and balanced—and dealt with health.
The Daily Mail of September 11, 2021, reported that Lancet, in their March 7, 2020 edition, published a letter to discredit the “conspiracy theory” that COVID was accidentally (or purposefully) leaked from the Wuhan Lab in China. Whether Covid-19 had man-made origins or leaked from the lab in Wuhan was effectively shut down by the letter. Twenty-seven authors signed the letter ridiculing man-made origins, and their prestige carried the day, calming the concerns of most people.
The Lancet’s assurance from the highly respected scientists “effectively ended all debate” about the origins of the global coronavirus pandemic. It was no more an issue. The Red Chinese were not guilty. While the COVID roots were not discovered, its origin was not in China, and it was for sure not a bioweapon. The Lancet letter made that sure.
Well, not really.
The Daily Mail reported another London paper, the Daily Telegraph, revealed that 26 of the 27 scientists who signed the Lancet letter had a conflict of interest (COI) in making that case. All but one of the alleged unbiased authors “have links to its Chinese researchers, their colleagues or its benefactors, a new investigation has revealed.”
Say what! Peer-review is supposed to be honest, forthright, scholarly, unbiased, fair, truthful, balanced, etc.
The Lancet scientists were not unbiased since those 26 scientist-authors had a dog in that fight. The highly esteemed scientists convinced almost everyone that COVID did not leak (or was not leaked) from the Chinese lab, so don’t worry about COVID’s roots. Everyone can go back to watching politicized sports.
Now we know many Lancet authors cannot be trusted. They hid their Chinese connection that would indicate they had conflicts of interest when making conclusions. In my opinion, they are all disgraced scientists who can be bought by the Communist Chinese.
That’s not supposed to happen, not with real scientists.
So, the Lancet’s perceived respectability in the scientific community was enough to convince the non-thinkers that the Chinese are good guys who would not release a deadly virus upon the world to thin the population to a level that would satisfy the environmental fanatics. Nor was the leak accidental.
The impetus behind the infamous Lancet letter was Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, which channeled $600,000 of American tax dollars into controversial research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That was a grant from NIH and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Yes, that Fauci. Daszak declared no conflict of interest in the original letter but confessed in an addendum in a later issue of the journal. Since the scandal erupted, Daszak is no longer on the commission looking for the origins of COVID-19.
Daszak received more than $410,000 in annual compensation from EcoHealth and “related organizations” during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. However, his non-profit (EcoHealth) reportedly “received $39 million from the Pentagon and $123 million overall from different government agencies until last year.”
This seems to authenticate the I Timothy 6:10 warning that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” That was the “love” of money, not money itself. If we follow the money, we will find the source of the evil.
I’m not convinced the virus was released as a bioweapon, although I wrote about that possibility here. And it could be accurate, but what is definite is the virus was engineered in Red China. Maybe honest scientific investigators could determine whether it was accidental or purposeful, although the Communists are not cooperating with the investigation.
Emails show Daszak and another scientist conspired (oops, can leftists conspire?) to conceal they were in bed with the Wuhan institute to “avoid looking self-serving.” The Mail reports Daszak told the scientist he would publish the letter in such a way that it doesn’t “link it back to our collaboration, so we maximise an independent voice.”
So much for their independent voice.
Some of the world’s top virologists had raised concerns earlier that the emerging SARS-CoV-2 virus had features that “(potentially) look engineered,” which is what many others have declared. However, Drs. Koopmans and Drosten were participants in a secretive teleconference held in February 2020 with White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, Daszak, and others involved in efforts to discredit the lab-leak theory.
Note they were not looking for the truth of what happened but conspiring to discredit one possibility that would reflect badly on China.
Wow, it only takes two to make a conspiracy! Is there a conspiracy consisting of corrupt federal health officials and corrupt politicians who will not permit the truth to be known about the origin of the Chinese coronavirus? Peer-reviewed articles can’t keep flawed studies out of major papers, but they can be deadly efficient at silencing heretical, i.e., unpopular, unapproved, and unprofitable views.
Conspiracy is one thing; competency is another. Another possibility is confirmation bias, a potential problem for everyone. Every person must be careful when seeking truth since everyone is susceptible to a confirmation bias, “the tendency to look for and see only evidence that confirms what they already believe.” One tends to see what he wants to see. He sees what he is looking for. He accepts error because it confirms his erroneous ideas.
Some of the 27 scientists “have since changed their stance with some calling for a full inquiry into the origins of Covid-19.” Just a little late. These guys are not the sharpest knives in the drawer because after Lancet published Daszak’s tardy COI, the other 26 did not reveal theirs. Lancet even asked if they would like to confess any conflict. No one did. However, some of them have backed away from the letter and are now calling for further investigation.
No, not the brightest guys or the most honorable guys in the room.
There are many examples in once-respected medical journals of failure to disclose and arrogantly acting as cheerleaders for the radical left on issues far from medicine or health.
The American Medical Association declared anyone who opposes transgender mutilation of children is “dangerous”; Fauci called U.S. gun violence a “public health issue”; The Lancet wrote, “Climate Response Must Break ‘Stranglehold of Fossil Fuels’”; New England Journal of Medicine recommended removing assignment of gender on birth certificates; the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association argued whiteness itself is a mental condition that leads white people to “hate” and “terrorize.”
Obviously, once-respected medical personnel and journals are lost in deep weeds.
I mentioned the above to support my contention that medical journals are only a little more reliable than National Enquirer or The Sun. But those papers, like all publications, must make a legitimate profit; however, the motive of a medical journal is not profit but public health. One must always consider the credentials of a writer since his motive may be bucks rather than facts.
Robbie Fox, the respected 20th-century editor of the Lancet who was no admirer of peer-review, wondered whether anybody would notice if he were to swap the piles marked “publish” and “reject.” Richard Smith, a former editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, expressed his opinion of peer-review in his 2006 article, “Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals.”
Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), made the case that the problems with scientific research, especially concerning the pharmaceutical industry, go much deeper than peer review issues. In May 2000, she wrote an editorial in the NEJM that asked, “Is Academic Medicine for Sale?” She was concerned “about the increasingly blurry lines between academic institutions (and their research) and the pharmaceutical companies that pay the bills.”
In 2005, Angell wrote The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, a book that Janet Maslin of The New York Times described as “a scorching indictment of drug companies and their research and business practices . . . tough, persuasive and troubling.”
Scientists, like those above willing to break with their peers, are more likely to be truth-tellers since few want to be considered odd, strange, or peculiar. In our day, it is obsolete to be absolute because skeptics refuse any authority and refuse to be held to a standard of behavior. The only absolute standard is the Bible, and every issue should be filtered through its many principles, thereby arriving at the truth. Yes, even in science.
I am suspicious, skeptical, and sickened of peer-reviewed journals and federal health officials who have long records of being truth deficient and are often flawed, false, fanatical, and fraudulent! I tend to believe the independent critics who are risking everything for what they know to be the truth.
It doesn’t take much intellectual candlepower to recognize these federal health officials and politicians as unhinged, unconcerned, and unaccountable dictators who scream in their loudest, authoritarian voice, “Take the shot. Put on a mask. Close your business. This is for your own good and for the nation.”
Similar commands still faintly echo from Tempelhofer Field in Berlin, where a little man with a small mustache and a bad haircut spoke to over a million mesmerized people.
Today, a little man named Fauci spouts silly medical bromides with neither a blush nor a snicker as he swaggers through Washington, like the jerk in Berlin.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives who ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Boys authored 20 books, the most recent, Reflections of a Lifetime Fundamentalist: No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets! The eBook is available at Amazon.com for $4.99. Other titles at www.cstnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at Don Boys, Ph.D., and visit his blog. Send a request to DBoysphd@aol.com for a free subscription to his articles and click here to support his work with a donation.)
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.