Category Archive: Science

Jun 22 2014

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


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


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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Jun 16 2014

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: The keys to a successful date are garish butt decorations


Jun 16 2014

Deconstructing metaphors

Oh, that’s right — that’s what philosophers are good for. They’re really good at questioning models. John Wilkins has been busily dismantling the cheap and easy metaphors we use to describe molecular biological concepts in a series of posts, taking on genes as language, other popular gene myths and metaphors, and explaining why genes aren’t …

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Jun 16 2014

This is a test


It’s true — I’ve heard a lot more about student protests of commencement speakers this year. At the Twin Cities branch campus of my university, for instance, there was an eruption of student activism over inviting war criminal Condoleeza Rice to give the commencement address — although part of the protest may have been over …

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