Having seen the response to this article I believe it’s done a mixed-to-poor job at convincing. Thus, I’d rather it not get used in the future for the purpose of advocating this PoV.
As I always have and always will I encourage anyone to get familiar with statistics (at a fundamental level, where they are comfortable implementing the algorithms they see thrown around as code and/or equations). I believe that without this knowledge we will often misinterpret the claims made by studies in many domains.
I also encourage reading studies end-to-end and reading the largest available direct studies in order to see if we agree with their methodology, as opposed to just reading meta-analyses and reviews in the hopes that they account for all methodological concerns…
And once you’re done, heck, read the supplement, get the data, try replicating the findings. It seems like something that many people are doing for you, but in many cases, they aren’t. Even with a famous study used to make policy decisions you (a random nerd sitting at your desk) might be the first person to actually look at the data and try replicating it. It took years until somebody figured out that some pivotal studies in psychology had fabricated data, a matter that would have been obvious with even a summary glance or simple plot of the raw data.
Learning how to interpret numerical findings in any scientific or otherwise quantitative field will be highly rewarding. If I’ve convinced you, consider opening up Google Scholar and looking at the research around kidney donation, look at the methodology and the numbers, try to get the raw data, ask yourself how you’d go about drawing conclusions from it, what models of the world it can be integrated it, what other things would hold true given those conclusions.
It’s actually quite fun 🙂
As for me, publically, I no longer hold any opinion on the original topic of this article,.
This disclaimer shall be left here for a few days or weeks, so that the link isn’t dead, and beyond that, it will be taken down. Happy living!