December 03, 2014

1:30 AM | The farce of a “sciency” anti-fluoride report
Click for a larger image I came up with the image above after a quick glance at a “report” currently being promoted by the local Fluoride Free groups and Paul Connett’s Fluoride Alert organisation. (Scientific and Critical Analysis of the … Continue reading →

December 02, 2014

1:38 PM | Jerry Coyne is trying to defend evolutionary psychology again
Why, oh why, do EP’s defenders rely on throwing up armies of straw men to slaughter? It’s silly. Here’s how he starts: There are some science-friendly folk (including atheists) who simply dismiss the entire field of evolutionary psychology in humans, saying that its theoretical foundations are weak or nonexistent. I’ve always replied that that claim…

December 01, 2014

6:01 PM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: We’re all just apes here
No summary available for this post.
1:44 AM | Locusts
Everyone I know is raving about this short, speculative video about the future of space exploration. Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo. I’m not so enthused; I even find the words of Carl Sagan troubling. It’s lovely and all, but… There’s nothing in those exotic landscapes as lovely…

November 30, 2014

10:40 PM | November ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Image Credit: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAGEVIEWS & VISITOR PLEASE NOTE: Sitemeter is still playing up but far fewer blogs are effected. It was still impossible to get the stats for a the blogs that I list below. Maybe more bloggers will shift to StatCounter … Continue reading →

November 29, 2014

2:15 PM | The Lancet done screwed up
Chelsea Polis and Kathryn Curtis wrote a paper that asked whether hormonal contraceptives affected your likelihood of being infected with HIV, Use of hormonal contraceptives and HIV acquisition in women: a systematic review of the epidemiological evidence. Here’s the abstract: Whether or not the use of hormonal contraception affects risk of HIV acquisition is an…

November 28, 2014

12:36 PM | Friday Cephalopod: Your mother sacrificed so much for you…
Have you called her lately? Look at this mother octopus, clinging to a deep-sea cliff, hanging over the abyss, guarding her clutch of eggs. She stayed there, never leaving, for four years. The MBARI submersible would regularly visit the spot and check on her, and there she was, getting weaker and weaker, but still defending…

November 27, 2014

4:00 PM | Polio ausrotten – so nahe dran!
Poliomyelitis, auch bekannt als Kinderlähmung, ist eine schlimme, durch Viren ausgelöste Krankheit, die v.a. unter schlechten hygienischen Bedingungen durch fäkal-orale Schmierinfektionen übertragen wird. In Deutschland kommt sie seit 1992 praktisch überhaupt nicht mehr vor, dafür aber in anderen Weltregionen, z.B. einigen afrikanischen Ländern, Indien, Pakistan und Afghanistan, obwohl das vermeidbar wäre und trotz der enormen…

November 26, 2014

10:36 PM | Creationist ‘audits’ science museum
Imagine you are 10 years old and your crazy aunt is taking you out for a treat. A crazy aunt can be fun. Problem is this aunt is also a creationist and she is taking you to the local natural history museum. … Continue reading →
9:37 PM | When you think about spirits, do you see ghosts?
Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you hear a rustling, or see a branch move, you’re instantly on the alert in case it is another person (this effect is has a name: ‘hyperactive agency detection’). You can see why evolution would have favoured that. Better safe than [Read More...]

van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., van der Pligt, J. & van Harreveld, F. (2014). Priming of supernatural agent concepts and agency detection, Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1-30. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2014.933444

5:26 PM | Necedades
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 26 de noviembre  de 2014Quienes confiamos en el pensamiento racional como base fundamental de nuestras decisiones y acciones (después de todo, es eso precisamente lo que nos distingue de nuestros demás primos animales y nos permite trascender nuestros instintos y emociones para ir muchas veces en contra de ellas, cuando así lo […]

November 25, 2014

10:29 PM | “Real” experts’ on climate change? Really?
The Heartland Institute has produced a new propaganda poster on climate change. Here it is: And this is what they say about it: This poster presents clear and undeniable evidence that the debate is not over. Looking out from this poster … Continue reading →
3:30 PM | Homöopathie taugt nicht mal als Ausrede
Daß es sich bei Homöopathie um bestenfalls nutzlose, schlimmstenfalls gefährliche Esoterik handelt, wurde u.v.a. auch hier immer wieder diskutiert und vorgeführt und darf getrost als Fakt betrachtet werden. In der Forensik hingegen hat man es recht selten mit Homöopathie zu tun: gegen den Tod hat die Homöopathie noch kein Mittel gefunden, Vergiftungen mit reinem Wasser…

November 23, 2014

9:02 PM | Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of … Continue reading →

November 22, 2014

1:50 PM | The two faces of JE Brandenburg
Brandenburg is a physicist who submitted a paper to the 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference a few years ago. It’s way outside my area of expertise, but it postulated an interesting scenario from the ratios of rare isotopes in the atmosphere of Mars: that there was evidence of a natural nuclear reactor, like Oklo…

November 21, 2014

1:08 PM | Friday Cephalopod: They are diminished from ancient days
May they rise to glory again!

November 20, 2014

3:30 PM | 12 + 3 Tips, um schlechte(n) Wissenschaft(sjournalismus) zu erkennen
Bei Compound Interest habe ich eine Liste von Tips gefunden, die helfen können, schlecht gemachte oder berichtete Wissenschaft und Forschung zu erkennen. Sie hat mir so gut gefallen, daß ich sie gestohlen und übersetzt habe und nun hier präsentiere. Die Liste ist nicht erschöpfend und nicht jeder erfüllte Punkt macht eine Studie oder einen Artikel…
3:22 AM | Proving anecdotes are reliable
Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  

November 19, 2014

8:43 PM | Religious and paranormal believers are high in empathy – but confused about how the world works
There’s a strand of thought that says that belief in the supernatural is founded upon a misunderstanding of how the world works (see: You either believe in it all, or you don’t). On the other hand, there’s another perspective that says the cognitive problem is with the atheists. Belief in gods, according to this school [Read More...]
3:55 PM | Memoria y dolor
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 19 de noviembre  de 2014Estructura química del midazolamHace poco, viendo un video en YouTube, me encontré con algo que me dejó muy asombrado e intrigado. Se trataba de una fractura doble de tobillo (confieso ser aficionado a los videos morbosos; me encanta ver cómo se exprimen barros y espinillas, se extraen tapones de […]
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