Category science

Proof of heaven? Methinks not.

A week or so ago, there was an article form Newsweek about Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who is hawking a book claiming proof of heaven in his near death experience. Today, a similar story showed up on ABC news, as they are promoting an interview with him on Nightline. There are so many fallacies in […]

I will choose…free will???

I just finished reading Free Will by Sam Harris. (quickest. read. ever.) In it, Harris makes the argument that free will is an illusion. Despite my best efforts, I can’t help but agree with him. Free will must be an illusion. Thinking about whether we have free will is a bit like thinking about time […]

Going organic

I was a bit surprised to read this article on CNN about the supposed pluses and minuses of buying organic produce. I quote: Jen Matlack’s husband teases her about buying organic. It’s not worth the extra money, he says, but she insists. A new study promises to add fuel to their marital quarrel. Published Monday […]

Bill Nye gets it right

Bill Nye (aka the Science Guy) has a short video where he stresses how counterproductive resistance to evolution is in raising a scientifically literate population. It’s a nice little bit that fairly succinctly summarizes the central problem with evolution denial: you can believe whatever you want, but the world doesn’t make any sense when evolution, […]

Willful ignorance about the biology of rape

This is an extremely concise and well-written article that says absolutely everything that needs to be said about Todd Akin’s boneheaded comments over the weekend. Some key portions: “The problem, of course, is that such pregnancies do occur. More than 31,000 of them happen in America every year. Pretending they don’t by listening to a […]

Scientific reproducibility

We were having a moderated discussion today among faculty and graduate students at my institution, devoted to issues of authorship, data manipulation and falsification, and other matters pertaining to scientific publication. Of course, those who fabricate or falsify or plagiarize should be run out of science on a rail, because their actions undermine all that […]

Whom to blame for droughts?

House speaker John Boehner issued a statement saying that President Obama “continues to blame anyone and everyone for the drought but himself.” The statement was later amended to read “continues to blame anyone and everyone for failing to respond to the drought but himself.” We can assume that this was in fact a simple typographical […]