grug try to not yell about bads in science news too much because why make same yells over and over?
and grug have no new learns, just feel people maybe sometimes not use old learns
and grug family often plead to someday have conversation about alternate topic
but rare for one news to make all bads at once so grug think maybe useful to apply old learns together in one place
originally try to write in english but very boring so eventually manifest grug mode
grug organize big yell into four sub-yells
1. Some fact paper not mention
in introduction see words:
words basically true! or at least grug not want to argue
but grug feel weird to not mention:
that most protein in food have some phenylalanine and aspartic acid
and that eat one day normal food give 100x more phenylalanine and aspartic acid than drink one diet coke
and that if somehow not eat any phenylalanine, then die
and that cell walls of all fruits and vegetables have pectin which human guts convert into methanol
and that eat one day normal food give 10-100x more methanol than drink one diet coke
2. Big statistics learn
so grug try to read paper try hard many words
in case you not read, grug try to summarize actual paper activities
find 235 autism human born after 1983 when aspartame approved
also find 121 neurotypical human
ask mom of each human “While you were pregnant or breastfeeding your child, how often did you drink diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners?”
(mom drink diet soda during pregnant)and
(find human on internet or local media)and
(mom learning level)and
(family make ≥ $100k per year)and sometimes
(sex)and do regression on output of
(human has autism)
regression coefficient for first variable is positive, noooooo!
grug confused why paper make “survey plus regression” so complicated but never mind
on internet, many big brain see paper and make fancy yells about multiple hypothesis correction or confidence interval size or no preregister analysis or reverse effect in girls or no control for autism of parent or drink or smoke
grug not really disagree and feel internet big brain heart good but still not really support fancy yells
because grug do thought experiment
what if survey have 356,000 human instead of 356 and tiny confidence interval and p=.0000013 would grug believe paper prove diet soda make autism?
so grug feel these yells not reach core issue:
apex predator of science is correlation
grug sure mega brains already give you big learn about correlation and causation, and if you only have one statistics learn you have this one
so why not use big learn?
if researchers take moms and ask half drink more diet coke and those mom have more autism child then grug very worried even if confidence interval big
if confidence interval small and study replicated, grug immediately retract all aspartame yells and probably reconsider whole life
until then grug say: correlation very easy even if aspartame no make autism for example if autism human drink more diet coke then data make big correlation just because autism have large genetic component
if do similiar study and ask if mom drink chai, grug sure child skin color correlated because more south asian mom enjoy chai
FDA have many mega brains
if ask FDA to approve drug because correlation FDA laugh at you many humiliation
if ask FDA to recall drug because correlation FDA also laugh very hard
grug sometimes yell about FDA but FDA better than 95% of news because FDA always use most important learn
3. Claim cascades
grug notice something else
paper not want rejected so careful words:
While our findings do not establish a causal relationship between daily early-life exposure to diet sodas/aspartame and autism risk in males, they nonetheless raise concerns that justify further research, especially given the current widespread use of diet products among pregnant women.
but for press release, no annoying reviewers!
“Maternal consumption of these products during periods of heightened offspring vulnerability represents a modifiable potential risk factor, the elimination of which might help to protect susceptible offspring in the next generation.”
and news company need readers for make more shiney rocks! so news company say:
‘Major warning flag’ raised about chemical that moms consume when pregnant or breastfeeding
and then internet human scared by scary science news, so internet human say:
aspartame in diet soda apparently triples the risk of having an autistic son.
grug not want beat up internet friend, reaction understandable because news have extra bads everyone think in paper even though not
sometimes big brains yell “always read paper!”
grug not make this yell
because understand few read paper, instead spend time feed little human or look for partner for make little human or make shiney rock or stare at favorite glowing rectangles
grug also understand paper always have many big word even when not needed, punish human reader
so grug say OK, no read paper! but remember not trust news too much
4. Secret bads
why so many bads in news?
grug think like this
every day many big brain write many science but few become news, how chosen?
answer is journalist need Big Science for make everyone stare at glowing rectangles and get shiney rocks
but much easier to make Big Science with bads than by find new big learns
and journalist job not to read science or find bads but mostly to quote big brains
but call big brains take time, decrease shiney rock intake, so often just pretend to call big brains using quotes from press release
and if do call big brain and learn science bad, journalist often not make news at all
and grug tell you secret
big brains not like to tell journalist about bads
grug observe big brains in same micro-niche do read paper and do see bads and gleefully talk about bads at lunch but when write or talk to journalist very gentle unless old and famous and not care anymore
because high cost for point out bads: bad maker remember and maybe later reject paper or not cite paper or refuse to give shiney rocks or say bads in tenure letter or just have big awkward at conference
each big brain micro-niche is tiny gossipy village, unbelievable
so grug advise to look look hard for quotes from other big brains, if say bads then probably many other big brain agree and bads even worse than stated
for diet soda autism news grug find quote
Dr Deirdre Tobias, a nutritionist at Harvard University who was not involved in the research, told DailyMail.com it was ‘shocking that the authors would feel confident enough in this design to draw those conclusions.’
Dr Tobias added that the three artificial sweeteners they examined are ’completely different compounds, metabolized very differently in humans, and have been extensively evaluated for their safety.
‘Thus, the fact that the signal for aspartame was essentially the same as the other chemicals further points to the bias in this study, perhaps due to errors in the mothers’ recall or other factors related to women who chose diet sodas.
‘It is extremely unlikely that any association they are observing has anything to do with the chemical aspartame itself.’
grug salute brave big brain
maybe some people think mean
but grug say not mean: purpose of big brain is find new learns for normal human, if bads not corrected then mean to normal human!
grug not blame anyone too much
blame authors some for bads but grug also make many bads many times so expect there will always be bads somewhere
and not blame journalist too much because news economics brutal and journalist starving
and not blame human for interest in Big Science
so grug sad system promote bads but each agent understandable so system persist long time
but recently some big brains make big math “community notes” feature to show bads for news and already work better than grug think possible
so grug optimistic that system evolve and bads not promoted so much in future
maybe this work so well that grug successfully contained henceforth, but probably not