Science Errors & Conflicts
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Insurance companies and casinos are among the richest industries in the world. Televised sporting events typically capture the largest audiences and are the most lucrative programing. What is common to each of these highly profitable industries is uncertainty. We insure against rare but unpredictable events, we gamble for the thrill of coming out on top against the odds, and who would watch or attend a sporting event when the outcome was already known (think of all those “spoil alerts” during the Olympics).
Science Errors & Conflicts
By John Naish PUBLISHED: 23:58 GMT, 9 July 2012 | UPDATED: 23:58 GMT, 9 July 2012 The situation sounds like a sick practical joke: you are admitted to hospital for an important operation, and the staff give you an anaesthetic and wheel you into surgery. But unknown to you, the surgeon merely makes a few tiny cuts on your skin. They do this on the part of your body where you are supposed to have been opened up — then send you back to the ward and tell you the op was a success.
Soon Bem was led to a soundproof room, where he sat in a reclining chair with Ping-Pong ball halves covering his eyes and headphones delivering white noise. For the next half hour, as a sender in another room watched a one-minute clip on a TV monitor several times, he described the images that went through his mind. Later, shown four clips, including the one that the sender had watched, Bem ranked them in order of how closely they coincided with his own mental images. Because he gave the second-highest rating to the clip the sender had watched, the trial didn’t result in a “hit.”
ad by Google From Abracadabra to Zombies Recommendations The Spark of Life : Electricity in the Human Body by Frances Ashcroft (2012) Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks (2012) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (2011)
Apr 30, 2012 Scientist Emily Willingham blogs about science at Double X Science . BoingBoing just alerted me to the existence of her site and the fact that she has come up with a handy, six-step guide for reading and interpreting science news stories (it applies equally well to press releases). The six rules are useful for lifting the veil on the science being touted or reported and should serve as a lesson for press release authors hoping to avoid hyperbole and journalists wishing to remain neutral in their reporting and avoid sensationalising a mundane research paper. Willingham explains why each of her rules is important and gives a demo of how to apply them with a sample news story about exposure to “chemicals” and autism.
Nicoli Nattrass March, 2012 Cloth , 240 pages, 8 line drawings, 3 tables ISBN: 978-0-231-14912-9 $35.00 / £24.00 Since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, many bizarre and dangerous hypotheses have been advanced to explain the origins of the disease. In this compelling book, Nicoli Nattrass explores the social and political factors prolonging the erroneous belief that the American government manufactured the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to be used as a biological weapon, as well as the myth's consequences for behavior, especially within African American and black South African communities. Contemporary AIDS denialism, the belief that HIV is harmless and that antiretroviral drugs are the true cause of AIDS, is a more insidious AIDS conspiracy theory.
Pro-reason bloggers are doing a better job than scientists at challenging alternative medicine. Long may it continue ALTERNATIVE medicine has never enjoyed such popularity and respect.
We frequently criticize the media for gullible reporting of pseudoscience and inaccurate reporting of real science. But sometimes they exceed our fondest hopes and get it spectacularly right. On December 25, 2008, the Wall Street Journal gave us all a Christmas present: they printed an article by Steve Salerno that was a refreshing blast of skepticism and critical thinking about alternative medicine. Salerno points out that 38% of Americans use "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM) and it is being increasingly accepted in hospitals and medical schools. He says this should be a laughing matter but isn't because of the huge amounts of money being spent on ineffective treatments.