Idiots are just an excuse to talk about real science

Potholer54 has announced the first nominees for his annual Golden Crocoduck award.

I don’t think any of them deserve any kind of recognition or award — maybe oblivion would be better. But he uses their stupidity as an excuse to explain how science actually works, which no creationist understands at all, so maybe it’s all worthwhile.


  1. larpar says

    The quality of nominees has really gone down hill. In the past, it took years of sustained nuttery to get nominated. Now all it takes is one lousy Youtube video.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Pothole54 has a much earlier video about COVID that is worth revisiting.

    My reason for bringing this up is, even scientists who act in good faith can have problems digging out reliable data.
    At the time, it was believed African countries had not been hit as hard as the rest of the world.
    After the pandemic, analysis of biopsies of dead revealed the COVID death rate was just as high. The low death rate was an artefact of poor diagnosis- ultimately, of poverty.

    -At 12 minutes 20 seconds the video is adressing Sweden. As he mentions, Sweden did enact significant measures, even if many were voluntary.
    There were also reasons not mentioned in the video ; It was understood that draconian measures could not be enforced in the long run (something the Chinese leaders learned too late).
    And disrupting the school for children would have serious long-term effects for population health.

    Finally, after the pandemic, measuring the “excess mortality” of the Scandinavian countries showed Sweden had lower excess mortality than other Scandinavian countries during the pandemic- contradicting previous statistics!
    I can not explain this mismatch, but excess mortality seems a more reliable proxy for direct and indirect effects of the pandemic.

  3. wzrd1 says

    Straying into deep water is OK, if one knows how to swim. Alas, Sabine seems to be a poor swimmer.
    My deficit in explaining is, I tend to over-Goober things down at times.
    Or switch to full tech mode and well, incomprehensible to those not within that narrow field.
    Given my usual knowledge curve explosion and experience, I figure I’ll get it entirely right around 30 years after I’m quite dead. :/
    I also don’t try to explain anything that I’ve not fairly well fully explored, which is far within her cycle of releases, as well as many other explainers. The shorter the releases, the less preparation and learning being possible.
    So, given a few hours, I can prepare a proper class in discussing modern encryption techniques, avoiding agonizingly painful mathematics that I have trouble with at times.
    And it being far easier to explain how a fission-fusion device works, again, avoiding slightly less painful math.
    But, she jumps in, with both feet, blindly, into social issues, with obviously, no, painfully obviously poor preparation. And has gone for broke in other fields, turning everything into Dunning-Kruger.

  4. wzrd1 says

    Interestingly, both @8 and @9 are related quite closely.
    Utilizing different approaches, as @9 doesn’t review what causes differentiation, only mapping it.
    It all comes down, just as in cooking, to chemical diffusion rates and levels and times, as well as environment.
    The environment in a fetus being precisely controlled, leaving diffusion of chemical signals to largely work as needed, triggering proper differentiation.
    Cooking requires stirring, which a circulatory system also provides. ;)

    That all said, I’m not fond of bourbon, I far prefer a top shelf Irish whiskey. Black Bush being my preferred favorite.
    And annoyingly, well, modestly, a neighbor who’s put in an unrequested order for pasta sauce, after enjoying a sample of leftovers. Upside is, she’s providing ingredients, downside being the labor. Oh well, gotta make some more soon anyway, down to two quarts.
    The sauce taking at least 6 hours to properly cook.
    Diffusion and reaction time, ya know.
    Find a way to do that quickly, it’d probably end up tasting like paint.