Popular culture and scientific ideas often are not in line. Illustrative is the meeting of Napoleon and Pierre Simon Laplace. In the beginning of the 19th century Laplace computed the  positions of planets and comets on the basis of empirical observations. Napoleon is supposed to have said: "I find no mention of God in your treatise, M. Laplace," Laplace replied: "I had no need for that hypothesis."

Sources of bias are analogous in survey research and register studies. Noncoverage bias, for example, can arise by excluding patients in specific settings, just like in population studies specific subgroups, for instance people who are detained, can be under-sampled. These methodological limitations are sometimes ignored.

Anonymous refereeing is supposed to help fairness by elimanating the risk that openly stated criticism might boomerang on the referee's research and carreer opportunities. In practice, however, this publication policy alows referees to hide behind anonymity and turn in sloppy reviews and make nasty comments. Authors should not quietly suffer from such insults.