Category Archive: Bad Science

Nov 29 2013

Belated retraction of Seralini’s bad anti-GMO paper

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Last year, the Elsevier journal Food and Chemical Toxicology by Gilles Seralini and others that purported to show that rats fed genetically modified corn were more prone to get cancer. The cranks loved it; Mike Adams thought it was great, it was touted on the Dr Oz show (I don’t know why they were concerned; …

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Nov 25 2013

Casual reductionism and genetic determinism

Finally, a tiny voice of caution speaks out against the genetic testing hype. The Food and Drug Administration has ordered DNA testing company 23andMe to stop marketing its over-the-counter genetic test, saying it’s being sold illegally to diagnose diseases, and with no proof it actually works. The heavily marketed test includes a kit for sampling …

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Nov 22 2013

A rather remarkable deficiency

There’s a much ballyhooed article from Science going around that promotes the surprising conclusion that dogs were first domesticated in Europe. Dan Graur points out that there is one little problem with the data: The take home message of the Thalmann et al. paper is simple: Dogs were not domesticated in the Middle East or …

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Nov 22 2013

Time for the professional societies to take a stand on Burzynski

The 4th Quadrennial Meeting of the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology is meeting right now in San Francisco, and guess who is presenting there? There are four papers being presented by those criminal frauds of the Burzynski Clinic. A Phase II study of antineoplastons A10 and AS2-1 in adult patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme based on …

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Nov 18 2013

Aww, we missed his birthday

It’s belated, but maybe you can go read this lovely tribute to Prince Charles by Edzard Ernst. The young Prince Charles went on a journey of ‘spiritual discovery’ into the wilderness of northern Kenya. His guru and guide was Laurens van der Post (who was later discovered to be a fraud and compulsive fantasist and to have fathered a …

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Nov 13 2013

Hey, Brits: You know what you can do with your monarchy, right?

The same thing the Yanks ought to do with their vapid celebrities: time to build the ‘B’ Ark. I have an aversion to those horrible little puff pieces about the Royals that come out of the British press, but I get a lot of my news out of the UK, and every once in a …

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Nov 07 2013

Ill-informed science making a case for a liberal arts education

Last month, I wrote about the terrible botch journalists had made of an interesting paper in which tweaking regulatory sequences called enhancers transgenically caused subtle shifts in the facial morphology of mice. The problem in the reporting was that the journalists insisted on calling this a discovery of a function for junk DNA — the …

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Nov 03 2013

Methinks it is like a fox terrier


I’ve had, off and on, a minor obsession with a particular number. That number is 210. Look for it in any review of evolutionary complexity; some number in the 200+ range will get trotted out as the estimated number of cell types in a chordate/vertebrate/mammal/human, and it will typically be touted as the peak number …

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Nov 01 2013

Kraken man is back


He’s persistent, I’ll say that for him. I first encountered Mark McMenamin as an enthusiastic promoter of Stuart Pivar’s inflatable donut model of development. He then sank from sight, along with the pretentious septic tank salesmen, until two years ago, when he presented piles of ichthyosaur vertebrae as evidence that a giant cephalopod, a kraken, …

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Oct 28 2013

Don’t you hate those ninnies who abuse biology to defend their sexism?

Listen to Gavin McInnes rant. He makes up statistics, he raves that having women work goes “against 40,000 years of evolution”. Women are forced to pretend to be men. They’re feigning this toughness. They’re miserable. Study after study has shown that feminism has made women less happy. They’re not happy in the work force, for …

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