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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Lancet Study Disproved

El Gringo has a post about the debunking of the 2006 Lancet article that claimed that more than 600,000 people had died in the Iraq War. It's a good read and I suggest you read both his post and the article he links to but to me the article and its description of all the inherent biases and methodological mistakes is moot.

At the time the article came out with its claims, my question regarding its credibility was straight-forward....

Where were all the bodies?

It sounds all cold-blooded and a bit macabre but the death and disposal of an extra 600,000 human beings above and beyond the normal rate is quite an event. Especially within the compressed 3 year time period studied and in the concentrated areas of Iraq where the majority of the violence took place. Despite the tragedy and dislocation from the effects of war and sectarian violence, there wasn't the secondary effects on the scale you would expect from the Lancet findings

However without much discussion as to its accuracy, the media swallowed the Lancet thesis whole.

GIGO... and what we know as modern Western society, the supposed product of the Enlightenment, is all the poorer from it

One of the things I learned early in my grad school career wasn't that people believe what they see, but rather they see what they believe..... and I'm talking about the pointy-head nerds with the PhDs