background preloader

Year 9 Critical Thinking

Facebook Twitter

Vaccines and autism. There has been some confusion caused by Helen Petousis-Harris's seeming misunderstanding of my comments on Radio Rhema last night.

Vaccines and autism

Yes, I believe that vaccines can cause autism. Read Vaccines and Neonatal Immune Development, then How a baby fights infection and develops the immune system, Cannabis cannot harm the brain. Every major investigation held about cannabis has found that the harms presented by cannabis use have been exaggerated, and that prohibition creates more harm than it prevents.

Cannabis cannot harm the brain

The claim that the medical and psychological effects of Cannabis are so “dangerous and harmful” that we must not change the cannabis laws, has increasingly been seen to be unsupportable, particularly in light of the known effects of tobacco and alcohol. As the 1979 Sackville Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in South Australia found: Apricot kernel cancer cure. Apricot kernels have been promoted as a natural alternative therapy for cancer.

Apricot kernel cancer cure

However, there’s no reliable scientific evidence they work as a cure. The hydrocyanic acid in the kernels can cause cyanide poisoning. The 1080 debate. What is all the fuss about?

The 1080 debate

The use of the poison 1080 has been under the microscope because of widespread concerns about the toll it is taking on wildlife and the environment. The Department of Conservation says it is the most suitable poison for aerial drops to kill possums which are destroying native bush. The New Zealand possum population is estimated at more than 70 million and chomps its way through seven million tonnes of vegetation a year. Destroying possums limits the spread of tuberculosis from the pests to livestock on farms. Left unchecked, it is estimated TB could could cost the deer, beef and dairy industries industries up to $5 billion over 10 years.

Moon Man - Ken Ring. Last updated 13:23 05/10/2011 Controversial speaker Ken (Moon Man) Ring predicts Wellington can expect a magnitude 7 earthquake between 2013 and 2016.

Moon Man - Ken Ring

Mr Ring gained widespread attention after he claimed there would be another large Christchurch earthquake in March and TV3's John Campbell apologised after yelling at him during an interview. He visited Upper Hutt Library on Monday to speak about his weather prediction techniques and says we are due for another earthquake. "I do expect earthquake activity exceeding 7 on the Richter to come about every 11 to 13 years, as they have done in Wellington in February 1893, August 1904, August 1917, July 1929, August 1942, May 1968 and May 1992. Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence. Many AI researchers roll their eyes when seeing this headline: “Stephen Hawking warns that rise of robots may be disastrous for mankind.”

Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence

And as many have lost count of how many similar articles they’ve seen. Typically, these articles are accompanied by an evil-looking robot carrying a weapon, and they suggest we should worry about robots rising up and killing us because they’ve become conscious and/or evil. On a lighter note, such articles are actually rather impressive, because they succinctly summarize the scenario that AI researchers don’t worry about. That scenario combines as many as three separate misconceptions: concern about consciousness, evil, and robots. How clean are our waterways? Our waterways are in dire straits Recent statistics about our waterways are not good news. 44% of all monitored lakes are polluted beyond the point of eutrophication, and 62% of our lowland rivers have more pathogens than are safe to swim in.

How clean are our waterways?

The stats are even worse for lowland lakes in farmland – a whopping 84% are so polluted they become eutrophic. In fact many of our waterways are so bad that even our native fish have disappeared. It’s not the clean green image we associate with New Zealand is it? New exoplanets discovered. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed a new exoplanet discovery: the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star.

New exoplanets discovered

Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water–key to life as we know it–under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.