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Category Archive: Science

Jun 23 2014

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Children of the night. What music they make!

sn-batsong

This one isn’t about the picture; go listen to the singing of the bats.

Jun 23 2014

Not All Physicists

Sean Carroll criticizes those physicists who say silly things about philosophy, answering three common, and erroneous, complaints from the ‘philosophy is dead!’ mob. It’s pretty good, and I was thinking that maybe this would finally sink in, but then I read the comments. Oh, boy. My favorite was the guy who said philosophy is pointless …

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Jun 23 2014

Come for the Oz-kicking, stay for the information

This is an excellent piece on that quack, Dr Oz, by John Oliver. The first 5 minutes is spent mocking the fraud, but then, the last ten minutes are all about the real problem: the evisceration of the FDA’s regulatory power over supplements, thanks to Senators Hatch and Harkin. OK, there is a silly bit …

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Jun 22 2014

Maybe he should have a weatherman take a look at that X-ray

Doonesbury

Jun 21 2014

Boeing employees of Seattle, I hope you choose wisely

When I was growing up in Seattle, my family rode the Boeing roller coaster. Long time residents know what that is: the constant cycle of hirings and layoffs by the company. My father was always trying to get employed there, but it was always temporary as Boeing constantly expanded and contracted its workforce. So one …

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Jun 21 2014

Creationists, climate change denialists, and racists and the credentialism strategy

Credentialism always makes for convenient excuses. We love to construct simple shortcuts in our cognitive models: someone has a Ph.D., they must be smart (I can tell you that one is wrong). Someone is a scientist, they must have all the right facts. And of course, the converse: we can use the absence of a …

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Jun 20 2014

Friday Cephalopod: The most intimidating line in 3-D football

TONMO

What? You only play in two dimensions? You’re doomed, pathetic human.

Jun 19 2014

Greg Laden must be another of those creationists

By the criteria of those HBD kooks, anyway. He’s published a take-down of Nicholas Wade’s book in American Scientist, pointing out the familiar scientific consensus that inflames them so. As soon as it appeared, Wade’s book touched off a firestorm of controversy—as he surely knew it would. It’s the latest in a series of dispatches …

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Jun 18 2014

The difference between skeptical thinking and scientific thinking

Skepticism has a serious problem, and there are a couple of reasons I’ve grown disenchanted with its current incarnation. Belief is a continuum, and I think that skepticism as it stands occupies an untenable part of that continuum. On one side lie the extremely gullible; people who drift with the wind, and believe anything a …

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Jun 17 2014

Sometimes, scientists abuse these terms, too

It’s good to see popular abuse of scientific concepts called out in this article, 10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing, but sometimes I’m more concerned about scientists who perpetuate the abuse. The one on statistical significance, for instance…the whole idea of setting up “p<0.05″ as some kind of Holy Grail for …

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