Year: 2013

  • SciFi: Bad reporting on the “acupuncture and breast cancer patients” study

    I keep a special feed on Google News called “Nonsenseville” [1]. It’s an rss stream that results from a search for keywords that typically appear in pseudoscience articles. Normally, I scan the headlines to get a sense of how credulous is the science reporting on a topic. Today, I saw this headline from the Canadian […]

  • They are dangerous

    “[The creationists and the Discovery Institute]  are not interested in science, and they are not interested in education. They are interested in political power. They are dangerous.” (Vincent Cassone, chair of the University of Kentucky Biology Department). [1] In an interesting interview with Vincent Cassone, chair of the University of Kentuck Biology Department, we learn […]

  • A good example of a bad argument

    Recently, a two new studies of multivitamins and their efficacy for purposes other than vitamin deficiency were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine [1][2]. One study looks at using multivitamins to improve outcomes after myocardial infarction, and finds no evidence of a benefit. The second study looks at measurable outcomes of cognitive function in […]

  • Wedge Salad

    In their famous policy paper, “The Wedge,” [1] the founders of the modern Intelligent Design Creationism movement stated their political and social action plan for the United States: In Phase 1, entitled “Research, Writing, and Publication,” the authors state that “… [they] are supporting vital writing and research at the sites most likely to crack […]

  • The Princesses of Pseudoscience

    Author’s Update (12/19/13): I re-wrote the paragraph on GMO foods, their availability, and health benefits based on a reader comment to make the paragraph more accurate to the possible benefits vs. the actual availability of such foods in the market. NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday ran a story this morning about a new breed of children’s […]

  • Ice Force 1

    Well, this is going to suck: However, I learned something that is either funny, adorable, concerning, or all of the above: Dallas has something called “Ice Force 1,” which is a preparedness state that means they send lots of sanding trucks (did I say “lots”? I meant “30”) out to known trouble spots. BRACE FOR […]

  • Thoughts on “The Economist” article on reforming science

    I have a subscription to “The Economist,” but I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve neglected the last few issues. So it was with great interest that I found from an acquaintance of mine that they recently printed an article entitled “How Science Goes Wrong: Scientific Research Has Changed the World. Now it needs to […]

  • New study finds that mice agree with humans – rice cakes taste like shit

    Author’s Notes: I’ve updated the original post to list the news agencies that reported on this as if their audiences should accept it as fact. I only selected from news agencies with a national reach or an ostensibly scientific mission – those that have the resources to know better and be more critical in reporting […]

  • Claim assessment: the Daily Mail’s “Global Cooling” nonsense

    The Daily Mail claims in their science section that the 60% increase in arctic ice extent comparing August of 2012 to August of 2013 means “global cooling” is happening. But is this bad science reporting? Yes. This claim cherry-picks data, comparing only August of 2012 to August of 2013. The article ignores absolute numbers over […]

  • Texas Science Textbook Adoption: A Glimpse into Anti-Science Forces in Texas

      What is science and why should I care about it? Science is a reliable, reproducible, and verifiable process by which facts, and explanations of those facts, are established. The outcome of the scientific method is a useful and universally applicable framework of knowledge about the natural world. Knowledge gleaned from the scientific method has […]