Posts Tagged ‘science’

Astrology Disproven… Again

April 24, 2008

Astrology’s central claim is that when you were born contributes to your personality because of influence from the sun, moon, planets and stars. All the studies so far have produced null results, meaning that any predictions made turned out to be no more than guesswork. A new study published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies tracked more than 2000 babies from birth, all born in early March. According to astrology’s predictions, many of their personality traits would be the same. However, the results show that their is no correspondence between the babies.

Researchers looked at more than 100 different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading – all of which astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts.

The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the “time twins”, however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies: “The test conditions could hardly have been more conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative.”

Well there’s another nail in the coffin for this pseudoscience.

(hat tip to PZ Myers at Pharyngula)


Acupuncture and seedpods?

April 10, 2008

So i heard from one of my teachers today that she had just gotten acupuncture and had seedpods in her ears, so that it could help her quit smoking. While i know about acupuncture, i havent heard the one about the seedpods before. So i can only assume that they are part of the same gobbledygook as acupuncture. ( she said that they were on certain pressure points that controlled addiction, sounds pretty similar to the “basis” of acupuncture.) now, while there have been numerous tests on acupuncture, they seem inconclusive, but still seem to show the trait of this type of study; the larger, better controlled the study, the smaller the effect becomes. however, the results are still inconclusive, because there have been no true double-blind clinical studies on the “treatment”.
So, until better evidence appears, id spend my money on a real, medical treatment, not woo.
Also, anyone who can design a true double-blind study gets a gold star.

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Heres a Really, Really Fucking Good Idea: Science Debate 2008

December 19, 2007

Although i am not all that interested in politics (im a moderate). I am very disappointed with the scientific literacy of our politicians. Bush… i dont need to say anything about, and even with someone like al gore, while he knows that science is important, he doesnt really understand it (inconvenient truth anyone?). I think that an event like this would do wonders as far as forcing them to really understand scientific issues. I hope it goes through, but it needs your support. Go sign up and add your support.

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I Hereby Declare October 4th to be Sputnik Day

October 4, 2007

Fifty years ago today, the first man made object was put into orbit by the Soviets. The fact that this had come after our failed Vanguard attempts shocked the United States, and began the space race. We Americans realized that we were slipping from our technological high ground if even the commies could get to space before we could, so we began to radically change our science education system, increase science research funding, and raised the public’s interest in science. Unfortunately, the Space race fizzled out and ended completely in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. What we need now is another space race. The public’s interest in science is waning, and pseudoscience has become as credible as real science to the general populace. Science funding is decreasing, and as a current student, I can attest to the problems with science education. I can only hope that another competition like the space race emerges, be it in computing, particle physics, space explanation- whatever. But unless people perceive an immediate benefit from science, public support will continue to wane.

Objective proof

October 3, 2007

I got into a debate with someone the other day over whether science can ever be objectively proven, and by extension, nothing can be proven. While things can be proven to beyond reasonable doubt, they can never be proven entirely, because of the way science works. while the fact that the universe is billions of years old is the scientific consensus and there is massive amounts of evidence supporting it, it is not proven, because we cannot rule out ideas like last Thursdayism, the belief that the universe and all of its components were created last Thursday afternoon, but given the appearance of being much older. I am personally a believer on  Next Tuesdayism, the day that i will pay you for my hamburger. Anyhow, there are always alternate possibilities, and because there is no evidence for or against, they cannot be ruled out. the only exception to this rule could possibly be mathematical logic, as it is the closest to “pure” reason as we have gotten. This is just another reason creationists are wrong when they say that evolution is just a theory- it hasn’t been proven. It can’t, not really.

Creationism/ Intelligent Design is not science

September 30, 2007

According to my Oxford dictionary, science is defined as: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.  The problems with creationism and Intelligent Design are that they are not naturalistic and that they are not based on observation or experiment. Because they revlve around the supernatural, thare is no positive evidence for the claims. This also makes them unfalsifiable, because there is no way to rule it out. However, evolution has positive evidence and can easily be falsified. For instance, if paleontologists found a foossilized rabbit in cambrian strata, the whole theory would be either scrapped or drastically changed. However, counter examples like this have not yet occurred, but in Creationism and ID, thins like tht occur regularly, but the refuse acknowledge it and never amend their hypotheses. That is both intellectually dishonest and unscientific. That is why they are not science