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Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Related:  ideas & concepts

The Future of Moral Machines The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless. A robot walks into a bar and says, “I’ll have a screwdriver.” A bad joke, indeed. An Uncertain Truth This is the second installment of a three-part series on radical skepticism and the rise of conspiratorial thinking about science. In 1969, a series of historic memorandums began to circulate at a tobacco company in Kentucky. The documents addressed growing public concern over the health risks associated with smoking and outlined a brazen response: The cigarette manufacturers would "establish—once and for all—that no scientific evidence has ever been produced, presented or submitted to prove conclusively that cigarette smoking causes cancer." To support this ludicrous assertion (which the tobacco executives knew to be false) would require a spin campaign of monumental proportions. That campaign's inaugural words have now become a slogan for corporate connivery: "Doubt is our product," read one infamous memo, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public." What makes this mode of thinking so effective—and so prevalent?

Richard Feynman: Physics is fun to imagine Loading … Comment on this Talk 138 total comments Are jobs obsolete? Douglas Rushkoff: U.S. Postal Service new example of human work replaced by technologyHe says technology affecting jobs market; not enough workers needed to run the technologyHe says we have to alter our ideas: It's not about jobs, it's about productivityRushkoff: Technology lets us bypass corporations, make our own work -- a new model Editor's note: Douglas Rushkoff is a media theorist and the author of "Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age" and "Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World and How We Can Take it Back." (CNN) -- The U.S. Postal Service appears to be the latest casualty in digital technology's slow but steady replacement of working humans.

Oral HPV Infection is Three Times More Common in Men than Women, Study Shows First author and study leader Dr. Maura Gillison, medical oncologist and head and neck cancer specialist at the OSUCCC – James, describes the findings of her paper, “Prevalence of Oral HPV Infection in the United States, 2009-2010" published online Jan. 26, 2012, by Journal of the American Medical Association. ​COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research shows that men are three times more likely to have an oral human papilloma virus (HPV) infection than women. The findings help explain why HPV-related oral cancers are three times more common in men than women. Dr.

The myth of closure When people talk about overcoming tragedy and loss these days, it’s hard to avoid the word “closure.” Whether it’s the death of a loved one, a national catastrophe, or just an argument with a friend, closure is supposed to be what we need to heal and get on with our lives. It’s easy to see the appeal of the idea that we can put a definitive end to our suffering or grief and start a new chapter of life without sorrow, guilt, or anger.

Collide-a-Scape Of the all the famous names associated with climate change, there are two I would love to see headlined in a debate–against each other. Both of these individuals believe global warming presents an existential threat, both believe Big Green is part of the problem, and both offer a radically different path to decarbonization of the global economy. Yes, the debate between Naomi Klein and James Hansen would be fascinating. Klein, as you probably have heard, is the author of a new and much discussed book titled, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate.” Her publisher describes it as a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.

Richard Dawkins on vivisection: "But can they suffer?" The great moral philosopher Jeremy Bentham, founder of utilitarianism, famously said,'The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?" Most people get the point, but they treat human pain as especially worrying because they vaguely think it sort of obvious that a species' ability to suffer must be positively correlated with its intellectual capacity. Plants cannot think, and you'd have to be pretty eccentric to believe they can suffer.

Vitamin A Cassava Dissemination Officially Launched in Nigeria Washington D.C.-The dissemination of vitamin A cassava reached an important milestone in Nigeria on July 30 with a formal national launch under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. Agriculture Minister Dr. Akin Adesina, alongside representatives from the Ministry of Health, officiated at the event in Akwa-Ibom state attended by over 2,000 farmers and other agriculture, nutrition and development stakeholders. Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS21 - Joshua Knobe on Experimental Philosophy Release date: November 7, 2010 Our guest, Joshua Knobe, is a philosopher interested in cognitive science, so interested, in fact, that he has contributed to establishing a whole new branch of inquiry known as experimental philosophy — and he plausibly claims that the name is not actually an oxymoron! The idea is summarized in this way on one of the major web sites devoted to the enterprise: "Experimental philosophy, called x-phi for short, is a new philosophical movement that supplements the traditional tools of analytic philosophy with the scientific methods of cognitive science. So experimental philosophers actually go out and run systematic experiments aimed at understanding how people ordinarily think about the issues at the foundation of the philosophical discussion.” Joshua Knobe is an assistant professor at Yale University, affiliated both with the Program in Cognitive Science and the Department of Philosophy. Comment on the episode teaser.

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