December 21, 2014

12:26 AM | Special pleading by Phillipe Grandjean on fluoride
Scientists are as human as anyone else. They aren’t immune to jumping on bandwagons, getting bees in their bonnets, special pleading or selectively interpreting their data to support a pet hypothesis or an obsession. The scientific peer review process restrains … Continue reading →

December 18, 2014

9:39 PM | Why are unfalsifiable beliefs so attractive?
Recently, Dr. John Wentworth, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that regardless of future advances, science will likely never discover whether the supernatural exists. He said,”almost always, our research raises more questions than it answers, therefore the question of God’s existence just isn’t scientifically testable.” If you are religious, how does [Read More...]
3:30 PM | Forensische Phylogenetik – Woher kam das Virus?
Erinnert sich noch jemand an die vor einigen Jahren umgehende Angst vor HIV-verseuchten Nadeln, die angeblich jemand in Kinosesseln deponiert hatte? Das ganze war glücklicherweise nur ein Hoax, doch hier in der Rechtsmedizin sind Infektionskrankheiten als Waffe durchaus nicht unbekannt. Immer einmal wieder kommt es vor, daß zum Beispiel Heroinabhängige, die untereinander in Streit geraten…
11:17 AM | Resistance from Activist Daʿwa Networks in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany
In our IMES Series Report ‘Islands in a sea of unbelief’ – The resistance of activist daʿwa networks in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, the sort of activism employed in networks like Sharia4Belgium and...
1:30 AM | Ciencia pirata
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 17 de diciembre  de 2014La imagen de la ciencia que nos venden en la televisión y otros medios de comunicación, así como en la escuela, es de una simplicidad engañosa. Parecería que todo lo que se necesita para hacer ciencia es tener curiosidad, cierta inteligencia, plantearse algún problema y aplicar un […]
12:50 AM | The inverted ethics of doxxing?
Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying … Continue reading →

December 17, 2014

1:28 PM | Egnor babbles some more
Michael Egnor has replied to my dismissal of his claims that memories can’t be stored in the brain with a curiously titled post, Understanding Memories: Lovely Metaphors Belong in Songs, Not Science. I was a bit confused, at first…I don’t recall using any song lyrics or poetic metaphors in my post on the subject, but…

December 16, 2014

4:18 PM | “Een eiland in een zee van ongeloof”: het activistische verzet van moslims in Nederland, België en Duitsland
In het rapport Eilanden in een zee van ongeloof – Het verzet van de activistische daʿwa in België, Nederland en Duitsland, laten de onderzoekers zien hoe netwerken zich verzetten tegen wat zij zien als de onderdrukking, onderwerping en vernedering door de ongelovigen.
9:00 AM | OMT 2
Liebe BeOMTe, da der Original-OMT inzwischen recht viele Kommentare mit Links und Videos angesammelt hat (was natürlich gut ist), ist das Laden und Scrollen in diesem Behemoth von einem Thread inzwischen recht schwerfällig geworden. Deshalb würde ich bitten, daß alle BeOMTe hierhin übersiedeln und sich ansonten im Musikgeplauder nicht stören lassen Danke.

December 15, 2014

10:36 PM | Fascinating and painless chemistry lessons
I had to select this video on the element rutherfordium because of the  New Zealand link of the scientist the element is named after. It’s an interesting short lesson on rutherfordium and there is more where it came from – … Continue reading →
3:00 PM | blooD’N'Acid ist nominiert
Liebe LeserInnen, ich habe gerade erfahren, daß blooD’N'Acid nominiert ist für die Wahl zum besten Wissenschafts-Blog des Jahres. Das freut mich sehr und danke schon einmal für die Nominierung  Noch mehr freuen würde ich mich natürlich, wenn Ihr für mein Blog abstimmen würdet. Hier geht es zur Abstimmung. Danke!
12:53 PM | Ready to lose a few brain cells? You won’t need them, apparently
Michael Egnor, neurosurgeon, has made a bizarre post in which he reveals that he knows nothing about how the brains he cuts up work. Egnor claims that it is impossible for the brain to store memories. Yes, he knows that neural damage can cause loss of memory, that certain delicate areas of the brain, if…

December 13, 2014

11:10 PM | Did the Royal Society get it wrong about fluoridation?
Did the Royal Society of NZ and the Office of the NZ Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor make a big mistake in their report Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence)? Did they misrepresent a scientific paper which … Continue reading →
2:26 PM | Jamila Lyiscott: What Does It Mean To Be ‘Articulate’?
Jamila Lyiscott unpacks what it means to be articulate in relation to her friends, family, and colleagues.
12:14 AM | Friday Cephalopod: Googly
And here’s a whole series of weird-eyed deep sea organisms:

December 12, 2014

2:30 PM | WTF Forensik – Eine Leiche, ein Hund und eine Handvoll Kacke
Warnung: in dieser Reihe stelle ich schräge, drastische, extreme oder auf andere Weise merkwürdige Studien und Fallberichte vor, die die Forensischen Wissenschaften in ihrer ganzen Breite und Vielseitigkeit portraitieren sollen, die aber in ihrer Thematik und/oder den beigefügten Abbildungen nicht für alle LeserInnen geeignet sind und obgleich ich mich stets bemühen werde, nicht ins Sensationalistische…

December 11, 2014

12:18 PM | Presentatie onderzoeksrapport over militant islamitisch activisme in België, Nederland en Duitsland
Onderzoekers van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en de Universiteit van Amsterdam hebben in 2012 en 2013 onderzoek gedaan naar de aard van het islamitische activisme in België, Nederland en Duitsland. Dit wordt gepresenteerd op dinsdag 16 december aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
2:43 AM | Botanical Wednesday: Bird poop onna stick
How romantic! I just learned that “the word mistletoe is a compound Old English word combining ‘mistel’ (which means “dung”) and ‘tan’ (which means twig) because it looks a bit like bird poop on a stick”.

December 10, 2014

10:45 PM | “Do your own research!”
How many times have I had discussion partners on the internet say to me “Do your own research?” Inevitably they are pushing some pseudoscientific or anti-scientific conspiracy theory – yet claiming science is their friend! Here, one of the members … Continue reading →
9:42 PM | El secreto de la vida… otra vez
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 10 de diciembre  de 2014¿Qué es explicar? Un querido y admirado amigo, el biólogo, filósofo e historiador de la ciencia (además de poeta) Carlos López Beltrán, dijo una vez que una explicación es “algo que nos deja satisfechos”. (“Epistémicamente satisfechos”, […]

December 09, 2014

10:35 PM | Dirty politics over MH17?
I have followed events in Ukraine for a year now and learned very early on never to be surprised. There have been so many seemingly outrageous things happen. On the one hand this has kept the Ukrainian events in the … Continue reading →
4:06 AM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Would you wear worm spit?
From this worm? Sure you would.

December 08, 2014

9:27 PM | Can religion reduce crime?
Studying links between religious belief and crime is notoriously difficult. On a crude level, people in prisons in the USA are more likely to be religious than the general population. Of course, there are any number of confounding factors that could be at play here. So you need to look over time to have any [Read More...]

December 07, 2014

9:15 PM | H. erectus…doodler
Also, master of molluscan anatomy, and clever tool user. This paper, Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving, by Joordens et al. tells an interesting story from some mundane artifacts made half a million years ago. What the investigators have is a jumble of clam shells, found in the…
9:05 PM | Cherry-picking and misinformation in Stan Litras’s anti-fluoride article
This is the second article in a series critiquing contributions to the Fluoride Free NZ report “Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report.” My first article Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”  discussed Kathleen Theissen’s contribution. (It also discussed a draft … Continue reading →

December 06, 2014

11:25 AM | Blackness in European Folklore – The Dutch Case: Black Pete
Quinsy Gario and Markus Balkenhol about the cultural history and the contestations surrounding the Dutch black-face holiday character Zwarte Piet (Black Pete).

December 05, 2014

8:32 PM | Friday Cephalopod: It’s a montage!
No summary available for this post.
3:00 PM | Sollten manche Forschungsergebnisse tabu sein?
Einer meiner wissenschaftlichen (nicht unbedingt menschlichen) Helden, James D. Watson, der zusammen mit F. Crick, R. Franklin und M. Wilkins die Struktur der DNA entdeckte, damit den Grundstein für die Molekulargenetik legte und dafür 1962 mit dem Nobelpreis ausgezeichnet wurde, verkündete unlängst in den Medien seine Absicht, seine Nobel-Medaille zu versteigern, da „niemand zugibt, daß…
12:49 PM | Aren’t we all more than a little tired of Michael Behe?
He keeps saying the same ol’ debunked crap over and over again, and nowadays when a paper comes out that shows he was completely wrong about something, he spins it into a triumphant vindication for his sycophantic fans, who are all, apparently, abysmally innumerate. The hobby horse he’s been riding for the past few years…
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