From John Ray's shorter notes

July 27, 2007

Latest on the Lancet agitprop about Iraqi deaths

What fun! Courtesy of Michelle Malkin, there is a scholarly paper here by a statistical mathematician which finds that the "600,000 Iraqi deaths" paper published in 2004 in Lancet is internally inconsistent. Using the paper's own figures, the statistician shows that the authors cannot conclude anything from their "research".

The original paper was so out of line with normal survey methodology that those of us who are experienced in survey research pointed that out long ago but it is interesting to see the same point absolutely demonstrated. It is another example of Lancet prostituting their medical reputation to make political points. They obviously did not do a proper peer review on the paper before they accepted it and that may well be because they were so out of their field that they did not know how to do a proper review of a survey research paper. They should stick to medicine.

It may be noted that the authors of the paper refuse to release their raw data -- a most unusual thing for scientists to do. It suggests that the "research" was a fraud from beginning to end -- rather like the Mann "hockeystick" finding in climate science -- a finding that the IPCC no longer mentions!

Something Michelle seems to have overlooked, however, is that there seems to have been an attempt by Lancet to redact what they originally published. The paper Michelle cites is a version that says only 100,000 Iraqis died. Whereas the original paper said that 654,965 Iraqis died. Is this an admission? Does even Lancet now concede that they goofed? The plot thickens!

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