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Ken Ham and a horse’s ass


Actually, this article is about Ken Ham, horses, and the height of a horse.  Close enough.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kenny, he is an evolution denialist whose anti-scientific ideas could be easily disregarded, as he preaches his silly ideas to ignorant, uneducated Americans.  Actually, it would have been best if he had stayed in Australia with his anti-science pal, Meryl Dorey, the vaccine denier who runs the vaccine-hating Australian Vaccine Network.  So, Kenny runs Answers in Genesis (AIG), a creationist faux-science screed, that was originally written to counter the more scientific, and better written, TalkOrigins website, which was constructed over the years to debunk the stupidity of creationism, which is rather easy.  Admittedly, AIG is a prettier website, but Kenny lacks any evidence whatsoever for his claims, so, as we all know, if you don’t have a message, make it look nice.Read More »Ken Ham and a horse’s ass


Checking for pseudoscience in real science news (updated)


One of the larger problems of the internet (OK, there are a lot) is how science is discussed out in the world.  Google any science topic, and you’ll get thousand or millions of hits on any idea in science or medicine. The information is derived from other websites, news reports, rumors, or, to be cynical, from outright fabrication. In the fields of science and medicine, critical thinking is absolutely necessary to understanding it. Because it’s hard work, pseudoscience and anti-science have become quite prevalent lately.  Read More »Checking for pseudoscience in real science news (updated)


Whooping cough outbreak in South Florida


The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting about a whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak in South Florida area.  There have been other outbreaks reported in Wisconsin, Washington state, Illinois, British Columbia, England, and Australia.  This upsurge in whooping cough cases can mostly be blamed on falling vaccination rates and the lack of booster vaccinations in adults.  Importantly, whooping cough can be prevented, with almost no risk, with a DaTP vaccine.Read More »Whooping cough outbreak in South Florida


Consequences of global warming–healthcare


Combining global warming- and evolution-denialism.

When we hear about global warming these days, it’s usually about melting ice in polar regions or rising ocean levels, which has already had some disastrous effects.  The global warming denialists continue to call it a “scientific controversy”, which it isn’t, and resist all efforts to halt or reverse human activities that may contribute to climate change.  

Some scientists have speculated whether it’s too late to reverse global warming, since the earth has a strong positive feedback mechanism where as it gets warmer, things happen to make it even warmer.  For example, ice reflects sunlight, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the earth.  As the ice melts, and is replaced by dark land or water, more heat is absorb, melting more ice, then absorbing more heat.  Once the earth hits some tipping point, it may be impossible to reverse course.  Read More »Consequences of global warming–healthcare


Measles–2011 measles outbreak largest in 15 years


According to a CBS report, the CDC has reported that the number of measles cases in the US in 2011 was the largest since 1996.  In 2000, measles had been eliminated from the US, but that’s changed dramatically in the ensuing decade.  There were 222 cases in the US in 2011, about quadruple the number in an average year.  Read More »Measles–2011 measles outbreak largest in 15 years


Connecticut reduces influenza rates with a simple step–vaccination


            On January 1, 2011, Connecticut mandated that any child between 6 and 59 months old must be vaccinated for influenza if they are to be enrolled in a licensed Connecticut day care center.  So the vaccination rate for kids in… Read More »Connecticut reduces influenza rates with a simple step–vaccination


Pseudoscience and logical fallacies in geology


If you ask any biologist or medical researcher about pseudoscience, they would probably talk about creationism, most of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), homeopathy, sasquatch, and a few other things not so much in the public eye.  In the physical sciences, we hear about the global warming denialists, the Theory of the Big Bang denialists, and, again, a few other things that aren’t really famous.  But in the total world of pseudoscience, it always seemed like medicine gets the bulk of it, but that just may be a matter of perspective rather than reality.Read More »Pseudoscience and logical fallacies in geology


More whooping cough outbreaks, now Wisconsin


This week must be whooping cough news week, which means it’s not a good week.  The Wausau (Wisconsin) Daily Herald reports that a whooping cough outbreak has hit the Wausau area.  According to the report, more than 100 cases have been seen in the area since the beginning of 2012.  And as we have discussed, although the disease is not usually dangerous, it has significant consequences for a number of people including children and those who are immune compromised.Read More »More whooping cough outbreaks, now Wisconsin


Whooping cough outbreak in British Columbia


According to the CBC, the whooping cough outbreak is still growing in Fraser Valley, British Columbia in Canada. Fifty cases have been reported recently, bringing the total to around 250 cases in one small area. And now there are cases in Vancouver, a large city, where the highly contagious whooping cough infection will spread quickly to those who are unvaccinated, or whose immunity from vaccination has worn off.  Read More »Whooping cough outbreak in British Columbia


The Discovery Channel and global warming


If you’re watching the series, Frozen Planet on the Discovery Channel (in the USA), you’d be watching some fascinating and lovely filming (especially in HD).  Particularly amazing were the strange “brinicles” or ice stalactites, which form underneath the sea ice, creating a pipe of super cold water that freezes nearly instantly.  As it reaches the sea floor, it rapidly freezes any organisms crawling around nearby.  It was both wonderful and otherworldly to watch in time-lapse filming.Read More »The Discovery Channel and global warming