Posts

April 20, 2015

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2:58 PM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Shhhh. I’m in disguise.
This leafhopper is a myrmecomorph – it has sprouted lumpy dark extensions of its carapace that resemble an ant. It spends its whole life living in a costume!

April 19, 2015

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2:24 AM | Commercial and ideological support of anti-fluoride activity
Fluoride Free NZ (FFNZ) promotes a list of “NZ Health Professionals who are calling for an end to fluoridation.” I am generally cynical about such endorsement lists, but the details in this list do give a picture of the commercial … Continue reading →

April 17, 2015

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1:01 PM | Beautiful and terrible
This is one of the loveliest fossils I’ve ever seen. They are the bones of a Neanderthal, found in a cave in southern Italy, and although they’ve been calcified by mineral-rich water trickling through the cave where they were found, it’s an almost complete skeleton, with the bones all intact. That’s the grisly part of…

April 16, 2015

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4:00 PM | Kurz notiert: Gleichzeitiger Schutz vor Alkoholsucht und –schäden?
Es wird ja schon sehr lange diskutiert und untersucht, ob die Aufnahme moderater Mengen an Alkohol, genauer: Ethanol nun leichte Gesundheitsvorteile birgt oder nicht; eine aktuelle Studie schränkt diese eventuellen Vorteile zudem auf Personen mit einer speziellen genetischen Disposition ein [1]. Unstrittig ist hingegen, daß chronischer Alkoholabusus sehr verbreitet und überaus schädlich ist, da er…
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2:02 AM | Why is Vladimir Putin so popular in the USA?
Photo credit: REUTERS Most readers are aware that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a very high popularity rating in his own country – a rating that most politicians  would die for. But it turns out he is also popular in … Continue reading →

April 15, 2015

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3:42 PM | El dinero para la ciencia
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario,  15 de abril de 2015El pasado lunes 13 de abril el presidente Peña Nieto entregó, en Palacio Nacional, los Premios de Investigación de la Academia Mexicana de Ciencias correspondientes a 2012, 2013 y 2014.Durante la entrega, Peña Nieto destacó que los recursos públicos destinados por el gobierno federal […]

April 14, 2015

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8:54 PM | Countries free of religion are the most socially advanced, data show
  Yesterday the international polling organisation WIN/Gallup released the results of a massive new survey into religion worldwide (here’s their press release). You’ve probably seen the news reports, mostly talking about which countries have the most (or fewest) religious people, and speculating what that might mean. Some other important data come out just last week [Read More...]
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8:54 PM | Countries free of religion are the most socially advanced, data show
  Yesterday the international polling organisation WIN/Gallup released the results of a massive new survey into religion worldwide (here’s their press release). You’ve probably seen the news reports, mostly talking about which countries have the most (or fewest) religious people, and speculating what that might mean. Some other important data come out just last week [Read More...]

April 12, 2015

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9:12 PM | Is comfirmation bias esential to anti-fluoride “research?”
Anti-fluoride propagandists like Declan Waugh and Paul Connett avidly scan the scientific literature looking for anything they can present as evidence for harmful effects of community water fluoridation (CWF). Sometimes they will even do their own “research”  using published and … Continue reading →

April 11, 2015

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1:54 PM | What did leopard seals eat before the Fall?
Ken Ham is such a disappointment. He has this regular series of short radio-style bits of apologetics, and they are dreary and boring. I had hopes for this one, about “Carnivores Before the Fall (Leopard Seals)” — I expected some juicy stories about what these big, large-fanged predators ate before the Fall. This, for example,…

April 10, 2015

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4:22 PM | Friday Cephalopod: The squee factor is over the top here
No summary available for this post.

April 09, 2015

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3:26 AM | The will to find out
  Something for all of us to keep in mind.

April 08, 2015

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9:36 PM | The science is in, and God is not the answer
The Canadian news and current affairs magazine Maclean’s has just run a glowing article claiming that science says ‘God is the answer’ to teen anxiety and health problems. It’s basically a promotional piece for a new book by Lisa Miller, Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College. To give you a flavour of the article, [Read More...]
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9:36 PM | The science is in, and God is not the answer
The Canadian news and current affairs magazine Maclean’s has just run a glowing article claiming that science says ‘God is the answer’ to teen anxiety and health problems. It’s basically a promotional piece for a new book by Lisa Miller, Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College. To give you a flavour of the article, [Read More...]
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3:42 PM | Dice mi mami que siempre sí
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario,  8 de abril de 2015Todo mundo sabe que exponerse al frío puede causar catarro (sobre todo las madres, que abrigan a sus retoños cuando ellas sienten frío, aunque el chilpayate esté muriendo de calor).Sin embargo, desde hace tiempo la ciencia ha declarado falsa tal creencia: no había evidencia ni mecanismo […]
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10:00 AM | Freispruch durch DNA-Analyse nach 48 Jahren Todeszelle
Die forensische Genetik in den Diensten von Gericht und Ermittlern wird oft als Instrument zur Überführung von Tatverdächtigen und zur Gründung von Verurteilungen auf harte wissenschaftliche Belege gesehen und gezeigt. Genauso wichtig aber ist ihre Funktion und Rolle als Mittel der Entlastung und des Freispruchs, mit dem die Unschuld zu Unrecht Verdächtigter oder, zum Beispiel…

April 07, 2015

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9:48 PM | IQ not influenced by water fluoridation
That is what the US data for average state IQ and percent water fluoridation tells us. I thought I would check out the US IQ and fluoridation data for each state after reading Malin and Till (2015). That paper compared … Continue reading →
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8:57 PM | Paul Nelson Day will be back next year
And every year thereafter. He hasn’t learned a thing. Nelson showed up in the comments to the earlier post on Paul Nelson Day, declaring his intent to publish something to clarify the situation later today. By some miracle, he has already managed to post something today, and not in 2031. Unfortunately, it’s still complete rubbish…
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3:31 AM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: I have no idea why these are named after a signaling molecule
No summary available for this post.

April 06, 2015

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1:45 PM | Zana the Ape-Woman: or, Bryan Sykes the Incompetent
Does the London Times routinely publish crackpot pseudoscience with no fact checking at all? I’ve just read their latest piece on the notorious Bryan Sykes, Bigfoot Hunter, and it’s the kind of gullible tosh I’d expect from a Murdoch tabloid. It’s got one paragraph that mentions that other scientists doubt his findings, but otherwise it’s…
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1:01 PM | Vijf mythen over islamofobie deel 5 – Islamofobie bestaat niet
Een zesdelige serie over de mythen over islamofobie. Ditmaal deel 5: islamofobie bestaat niet.

April 05, 2015

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10:01 PM | Making sense of scientific research
This has been a common theme here as I have campaigned against cherry-picking research papers, relying on confirmation bias and putting blind faith in peer-review as a guarantee of research quality. In short I have pleaded for readers to approach … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Benedict Anderson About Nationalism (In mijn vaders huis, 1994)
In 1994 Dutch TV host Anil Ramdas (1958-2012) interviewed Benedict Anderson who wrote Imagined Communities, perhaps one of the best sold anthropological books ever and still relevant today. The introduction of the interview is in Dutch and after a few minutes it goes in in English with Dutch subtitles.

April 03, 2015

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6:41 PM | Friday Cephalopod: It’s like the prettiest gown in the whole ocean
It’s not a blanket, it’s a train.
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1:00 PM | Tödliche Akupunktur
Statt eines hypothetischen, haploiden Handwerkers, der an einem Kreuz gestorben sein soll, gedenke ich heute lieber eines anonymen Japaners, der an einer Nadel gestorben ist. Genauer an einer Akupunkturnadel, die ihm der freundliche Quacksalber von nebenan in den Vagusnerv gerammt hat (der Bericht dazu findet sich in Legal Medicine [1]) . In Japan ist es…

April 02, 2015

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12:06 AM | The frustrations of modern technology
And after all that there is the problem of remembering the password(s).

April 01, 2015

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5:52 PM | Elogio del ribosoma
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario,  1 de abril de 2015La subunidad grande del ribosomaEl microscopio compuesto se inventó alrededor de 1590. En 1665, el inglés Robert Hooke descubrió las células. En 1676, el holandés Anton Van Leeuwenhoek descubrió los microorganismos. Para 1838, estaba claro que todos los seres vivos […]
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1:13 AM | March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong). … Continue reading →
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