Day By Day

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dreams Die

Remember all that hoo-ha over stem cell research and how the Bush administration was "anti-science" for raising questions about it? Of course you do! Remember the extravagant claims for the amazing cures resulting from stem-cell research? Remember Michael J. Fox's testimony?

Well, as Emily Littella used to say, "never mind".

The Scotsman reports:

STEM cell research, we have long been told, should pave the way for revolutionary new treatments to help millions of patients around the world.
Yet despite the years of study and debate about the potential, therapies have been slow to materialise.

Even the head of the UK National Stem Cell Network has now conceded that stem cell research may never deliver new treatments.

Given the ethical controversy about the research – particularly the use of animal-human hybrid embryos – some have questioned whether it is worth pursuing the research any further without proof that it will actually benefit human health.
Read the whole thing here.

Of course, as the article notes, recipients of major grants for stem-cell research are still predicting the improbable. Could it be that their major concern is to keep the money pouring in?

No, of course not, they're "scientists" and above that sort of thing [snicker].

And over on the global warming front:

The Spectator reports:

There is now unequivocal evidence that the temperature of the planet is dropping like a stone. As the DailyTech site reports:

All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASAGISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously. A compiled list of all the sources can be seen...The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years.
Here’s some other data you may not have seen. The troposphere hasn’t warmed for the past five years. And the oceans haven’t warmed for five years either....

And here is Ross McKittrick (who exposed the fundamental flaw in the research underpinning the whole of MMGW theory, the hockey-stick curve whose upward warming trend was achieved by omitting several hundred years of global climate history) revealing that there is an error in groundstation measurements such that past warming as measured by near-surface air has been over-estimated by 100% for over 20 years to 2002 (since when there has been cooling). While at Climate Audit, John Goetz says that the temperature record for 2005-2007 has actually been falsified to produce an upward trend.
Read it here.

Hmmm. Misinterpreting and ignoring contrary data, falsifying results, sounds like business as usual in the scientific community.

Medical and environmental science are the hot areas where money is flowing and political interest is concentrated, and that is why those fields are so susceptible to corruption. Science, as I keep reminding people, is a human enterprise and as such subject to all human foibles.

There is no such thing as a disinterested authority.