Science Policy Under Trump: Vaccine Policy . . . or maybe not.

Since the election, while I have paid attention to the developments of the Trump administration, I have withheld on commenting about any of the news so far because nothing has actually happened. On the science front, the most salient decisions related to science policy that Mr. Trump has made so far have been the nomination… Continue reading Science Policy Under Trump: Vaccine Policy . . . or maybe not.

Bad at two things – intelligent designers on dark matter

It’s been a while since I felt it necessary to comment on the people who profess that things like “intelligent design” are science. However, tonight on Twitter the Discovery Institute mixed their usual nonsense – their fundamental distortion of biological science – with physics. Since they took it upon themselves to blend their area of… Continue reading Bad at two things – intelligent designers on dark matter

The science, not ethics, of unverified Ebola drugs

I haven’t posted in a while. The current global Ebola panic, spread mostly by social media and the media and not so much by the actual global threat of Ebola, has spurred me from complacency. Specifically, a WHO ethics panel today unanimously authorized the use of unproven, untested, experimental Ebola drugs in the field. But… Continue reading The science, not ethics, of unverified Ebola drugs

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… Continue reading SciFi: Bad reporting on the “acupuncture and breast cancer patients” study

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… Continue reading A good example of a bad argument

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… Continue reading The Princesses of Pseudoscience

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… Continue reading New study finds that mice agree with humans – rice cakes taste like shit

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… Continue reading Claim assessment: the Daily Mail’s “Global Cooling” nonsense

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… Continue reading Texas Science Textbook Adoption: A Glimpse into Anti-Science Forces in Texas

Bad Science Watch: acupuncture and lung cancer pain

I saw this headline in my Google News feed this morning: “Acupuncture Reduces Pain in Lung Cancer Patients – New Findings” [1]. The article was posted on a credulous site that promotes acupuncture, a practice that has never been proven to yield any benefit over the placebo effect. So I thumbed through the news article.… Continue reading Bad Science Watch: acupuncture and lung cancer pain