[FoRK] The Lancet publishes Johns Hopkins' research on Iraq - 100, 000 excess deaths, or more

Luis Villa luis.villa at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 06:09:51 PST 2004

Given that confidence level, they should be embarassed as scientists
to be going around saying that 'conservative assumptions' place them
at 100K. And the Lancet should be embarassed to publish it.

It looks like an interesting methodology, and some interesting (and
not terribly invalid) assumptions made. But if that's the best results
you can come up with... shameful.


On Sat, 30 Oct 2004 21:08:38 -0600, daniel grisinger <daniel at netgods.net> wrote:
> Justin Mason wrote:
> > Robert Harley writes:
> >
> >>Joe fuck-wit probably doesn't even know what the Lancet or Johns Hopkins are.
> >>Denying this report would require extraordinary proof to the contrary.
> >>Real reality outweighs BushCo's fantasy version.
> >
> >
> > Nah.   It'll be denied -- the Lancet will be renamed something like "The
> > Lancet of Weasel", and the wahhabists can carry on with their remodeling
> > of the US into a faith-based state.   Proof not required, when faith
> > will do...
> well, i have no doubt that a substantial number of iraqis have died who
> would not have otherwise died, but i don't know that one can refer to
> the 100k figure as "reliable" in any strong sense.  here's the study
> itself, http://image.thelancet.com/extras/04art10342web.pdf .  and here
> is the most relevant single statement in the study:
>    We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000)
>    during the post-war period.
> ok, fair enough.  there are a lot of hurdles to clear in trying to
> come up with useful data in iraq and all statistical analyses have
> some margin of error in which they operate.  but give me a freakin'
> break, this can't be used as evidence that 100,000 *extra* deaths
> have occurred.  the margin is just way too wide in comparison to
> the actual numerical values to be useful.
> i see that slate has noticed the same thing:
>     http://www.slate.com/Default.aspx?id=2108887&
> best quote from that piece is this:
>    Imagine reading a poll reporting that George W. Bush will win
>    somewhere between 4 percent and 96 percent of the votes in this
>    Tuesday's election.
> i've no doubt that the hopkins work is as good as they could do
> given the question they were trying to answer, the environment
> they were working in, and the data they had available, but i don't buy
> that it provides reasonable confidence that 100k people have died
> who otherwise would not have.
> daniel,  apparently an atheist for a faith-based-state.  :-(
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