Sind Sie Optimist?

ZEIT Wissen (: Andreas Labert, Christian Schwägerl). Frage an Martin Nowak: Sind Sie Optimist?

Ja, es kommt bei mir ein ganz tiefer Optimismus zustande. Ein Glaube an den Logos, an eine fundamentale Wahrheit, die uns aber nur teilweise zugänglich ist. Man kann natürlich behaupten, es gibt diese Wahrheit nicht, aber was ist die Alternative dazu? Es bliebe eigentlich nur der Nihilismus, die Ansicht, dass nichts einen Sinn ergibt – das würde dann aber die Wissenschaft mit einschließen.

Updating to PHP 7.0

“Deprecated means deprecated” this is what I learned today. In practice, PHP finally kicked out some functions breaking now my web serve. Errors may be expected
* when a variable is used but not declared before.
* split is deprecated, use explode instead and take care that there is always something to explode

list($a,$b) = explode("/","$word/");

* eregi is deprecated, use

preg_match('/hello/', $string);

* end($array) is not working, use


The true/false shortcuts 1>1 ? T : F isn’t anymore acceptable

1>1 ? true : false

Unfortunately owncloud calendar sync stopped working – took me quite some time to find out why

Array to string conversion at /owncloud/3rdparty/sabre/dav/lib/CalDAV/CalendarQueryValidator.php#62

As hotfixes did not work, I finally switched back to 5.6

You get what you pay for

Finally, the Copenhagen and Boston clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy have been published in JAMA today. There is no protection against asthma or wheezing when comparing  4400 IU or 2800 IU vitamin D vs 400 IU vitamin D.
From basic pharmacology and immunology, this is an expected result: the only interesting point would have been to compare vitamin vs placebo. Even the editorial missed the most important point – what happens to the newborn immune system when being supplemented with vitamin D?

Forget about multiple regression analysis

When starting in epidemiologyI had  only high school math skills. Nevertheless, I could usually find all major associations by rather simple tables and plots. Then I learned about multiple regression analysis and used in numerous research papers. Nevertheless I soon discovered that

The results are often somewhere between meaningless and quite damaging.

Continue reading Forget about multiple regression analysis