Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Flappy Birds and Adorable Rodents on the evolutionary scale

I have signed up to be part of the TTLB Ecosystem several month ago, and I have found my way up to be a Flappy Bird.

Then a few days ago I moved up the evolutionary scale, and for one glorious day I became an Adorable Rodent. Again I became a Flappy Bird, but I would rather be an adorable rodent, -maybe because they are more soft than birds. I wonder how the Ecosystem finds out whether I'm a Flappy Bird or something else?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Homeopathic trickery

People fall for all sorts of trickery no matter how absurd it is.

Some of it is homeopathy.

BBC News has this article about how homeopathic benefits were questioned - referring to the study published in today's edition of the respected Lancet medical journal. The study casts doubt on homeopathic cures and the finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homeopathy are placebo effects.

Is this the end for homeopathy?

I think not.

Homeopathy is still growing in popularity and advocates of homeopathy will maintain the therapy, using the principle of treating like with like even it doesn't work.

Promoting homeopathy has nothing to do with studies, homeopathic effects are all in the mind and simply a matter of personal taste. No matter how many peer-reviewed scientific papers published demonstrating that homeopathy is superior to placebo in placebo-controlled trials - people won’t accept facts and certainly not if they were fooled.

If some people are feeling better, - not the same as actually being better - after having homeopathy it's caused by the whole experience of the therapy and attention on the individual. The true believer needs something to be true and they will ignore all evidence to maintain the illusion.

They don't need evidence. They just need the "Prince of Quacks" to say it works.

Fresh links:

Study: Homeopathy Drugs Don't Work
Homeopathy no better than placebo-analysis
Homeopathy no better than dummy drugs, says study
Docs told to be bold on practice
Study Casts Doubt on Homeopathic Cures
Homoeopathy's clinical effects are placebo effects, The Lancet
Homeopathic medicines don't work
Lancet study says homeopathic medicines don't work
Homeopathy no better than placebo, study
Do homeopathic remedies work?
Homeopathy "no better than placebo"
Effects of homeopathy 'are all in the mind'
Fresh doubts raised over homeopathy
Homeopathy does not work: UK study

Autism Treatment may have caused the death of a 5-year-old boy

Really awful news about the death of a 5 year old boy:

A five-year-old boy with autism has died in America after flying from Britain for a controversial medical treatment for the neurological and developmental disorder.
Stephen Barrett, a retired psychiatrist and founder of the Quackwatch website, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Many doctors who treat children for autism claim they are suffering from mercury or lead toxicity. There is not sufficient evidence that autism is caused by mercury or lead toxicity." (Source: Autism boy dies after alternative therapy
Chelation therapy is an intravenous treatment designed to remove heavy metals from the body.

Orac comments on chelation death and there's a great article here and here too. Over at ABC news you can watch this video.

Psychics on TV are misleading the public

Ghost world
by Robert Dominguez (published in Daily News Front Page)

Spirited TV programmers are finding that their message is the medium

Psychic James Van Praagh has always made a nice living by claiming to see dead people.

But he has made a killing with his ability to foresee how television audiences would be entranced by programming about psychic phenomena, haunted houses and other otherworldly encounters.

He's channeling a trend that has ghost-themed shows materializing on several, well, channels.

On TV these days, paranormal is the new normal.

Van Praagh, a best-selling author of several books on communicating with spirits, is now the executive producer of "Ghost Whisperer," an upcoming CBS series that stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as a newlywed who talks to the dead.

Following in the otherworldly footsteps of NBC's similarly themed drama, "Medium," "Ghost Whisperer" is based on an actual psychic, and is just one of a slew of new shows about the paranormal — all featuring real-life ghost hunters, crime-solving mediums or supposedly haunted places.

"I predicted this would happen five years ago on 'Larry King,' right after 'The Sixth Sense' came out," says Van Praagh, referring to the 1999 hit film about a boy who sees dead people.

"But what's so amazing," he adds, "is how it's become much more acceptable in the mainstream, where you're now seeing more and more of these types of shows."

The TV landscape has become a veritable ghost town in recent months, led in great part by the success of "Ghost Hunters," which began its second season in July.

Shown weekly on the Sci-Fi Channel, the reality series features a team of paranormal investigators from Rhode Island who travel to supposedly haunted sites across the U.S. and attempt to gather evidence of ghostly activity, using such high-tech equipment as infrared cameras and digital recorders.

"This kind of show is popular because almost everyone has had a paranormal experience or knows of someone who has," says Grant Wilson, one of the lead investigators on "Ghost Hunters."

Now viewers will have plenty of chances to be creeped out, as several new shows have been patterned after "Ghost Hunters."

In June, Biography Channel launched "Dead Famous: Ghostly Encounters," a reality show that pairs a female skeptic with a male psychic — think Mulder and Scully of "The X Files" — chasing after the spirits of such deceased famous folk as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Jim Morrison.

The Travel Channel, which regularly produces such spooky specials as "America's Most Haunted Places" and "Haunted Hotels," premiered "Most Haunted" last month. The Friday-night show features a team of paranormal investigators that goes to sites in Europe.

Recently returning for a third season on Court TV is "Psychic Detectives," a series that recounts real-life cases on which cops and psychics worked together.
Based on its popularity, in November Court TV is debuting "Haunting Evidence," which has yet another investigative team — a psychic, a medium and a forensics expert — visiting "haunted" crime scenes.

Not everyone views these shows as harmless entertainment. Joe Nickell, a columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine who regularly debunks psychics, mediums and other paranomal phenomena, calls the current trend "shameful."
"You have ignorant people on these shows misleading the public," says Nickell. "The two most egregious ones are 'Psychic Detectives' and these hapless guys on 'Ghost Hunters' with their Radio Shack equipment 'detecting' ghostly phenomena. It's nonsense, because they're not scientists.

"There's no end to these stories being out there, because they sell," adds Nickell. "That's the bottom line." Meanwhile, Van Praagh has turned his self-professed "gift" for communicating with the spirit world into a cottage industry.

Besides his books, two years ago he hosted "Beyond," a syndicated daytime talk show where he professed to contact the spirits of his guests' loved ones. And his life has been the subject of two TV movies — in which he has been portrayed by such heavyweights as Tom Selleck and Ted Danson.

Van Praagh sees even more opportunities to capitalize on the public's increasing interest in otherworldly topics. This fall, in addition to "Ghost Whisperer," he's producing two shows that will merge the paranormal with two of the hotter trends in reality programming.

"Possessed Possessions," a special for The Learning Channel, will have psychics reading the energy from people's belongings. "It's like a creepy 'Antiques Roadshow,'" says Van Praagh.

The other show, for A&E, will have people receiving "psychic intuitive makeovers," he says.

"This all wasn't as accepted as it is now," says Van Praagh. "More people than ever are believing in life after death. They're looking for other belief systems and for other ways to deal with the world around them, and people want to find out what this is all about."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Prince in a secret mission

The Prince of Wales is an eager advocate of alternative medicine.

Now he's supporting a secret health study.

The report was attacked by Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary and alternative medicine at the University of Exeter:

He said: "It is highly selective in its use of evidence and it looks like the conclusions have been written before everything else. The Prince of Wales also seems to have over-stepped his constitutional role." (Source: News.scotsman.com)
The Prince obviously tried to influence conclusions in the report, so it had to be secret.....

Fresh links:

Why Charles just can't quit the snake oil
Catherine Bennett, Thursday August 25, 2005-The Guardian
In 1982 the Prince of Wales was elected president of the BMA, and promptly used this platform to lecture doctors on the attractions of healing.

Charles seeks public alternatives
Brisbane Courier Mail, Australia - 24 Aug 2005
PRINCE Charles has commissioned a report to establish how the British Government can save money by using alternative medicine in the public healthcare system ...

Row over alternative care report
BBC News, UK - 24 Aug 2005
A report commissioned by the Prince of Wales into the cost of complementary medicines has sparked controversy. Prince Charles, an ...

Prince Charles probes alternative healthcare
Reuters.uk, UK - 24 Aug 2005
LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Charles has commissioned a report into how the government could save money by using alternative medicine in the public healthcare ...

Charles commissions medicine study
Daily Mail - UK, UK - 24 Aug 2005
The Prince of Wales has commissioned a report into the benefits of complementary therapies, Clarence House said. The report is being ...

Prince orders cost study of alternative medicine
The Observer, UK - 23 Aug 2005
The Prince of Wales has asked a leading independent economist to examine whether the use of complementary therapies could save the NHS money, Clarence House ...

Prince plots alternative treatments for the NHS
Times Online, UK - 23 Aug 2005
By Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent and Andrew Pierce. THE Prince of Wales has secretly commissioned a report into the benefits ...

Prince commissions alternative medicines report
Politics.co.uk, UK - 24 Aug 2005
Prince Charles has commissioned a report into how complimentary medicine could help the NHS save money. The Prince of Wales asked ...

Prince Charles goes alternative
Finance24, South Africa - 24 Aug 2005
London - Prince Charles has given the go-ahead for a major report into the money-saving benefits of complementary therapies for Britain's free-care-for-all ...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

McCain has surrendered his integrity

Will John McCain endorse Intelligent Design and give up his political principles - if that helps him get elected?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Anne's Anti-Quackery & Science Magazine

(Click on the photo to enlarge it)
It’s my first edition, so please don’t be too hard on the design.....

Look inside and read about:

A real shock if you think chiropractic is safe
Chiropractic and spinal manipulation is considered to be totally safe, but a serious side effect is stroke.

The Chiropractic War on Public Health
About the chiropractic anti-vaccination movement and how chiros are getting more patients by joining the anti-vaccination lecture circuit.

Homeopathic arguments are like diluted water
Homeopaths have come up with quite a few arguments that homeopathic works. Almost all homeopaths have the "I have seen it work" argument as the foundation of their belief in homeopathy.

What is the paranormal in homeopathy
If there is an effect of homeopathy, then it's quite unknown to science.

Prince Charles and Quackery
The Prince's opinion should carry no weight at all and he should have been given the same reception as Tom Cruise received when expressing his views about Psychiatry and Science.

Uncritical piece on Adam Dreamhealer
Most people with a little sense of critical thinking would shake their heads.

Battle between Science and Quackery
Hulda Clark, the number one quack in Canadian Quack Watch and her assistent Tim Bolen fights science with quackery

Smart people believe weird things, they do
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for no smart reasons (said by Michael Shermer).

The 11th Meeting of the Skeptics' Circle
The hottest topics about quackery and especially anti-vaccinationism, creationism, other pseudoscience, religion, history, and a few others to round out the list.

Excellent Scientology information
Clambake.org is fighting against The Church of Scientology

I found this entertaining link to the magazine cover generator over at Radagast’s Home.

He found it over at Boing Boing, -a directory of wonderful things.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Unintelligent Design and the Smithsonian

Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg made a fateful decision a year ago. It was sad too, to learn in the first time that the Smithsonian Institution anyway was showing the film on "Intelligent Design." A govermentsupported institution should remember where the money they get come from. Great many citizens does not subscribe to mythology or Christianity. It is time for rational people to take a stand on all fronts against Intelligent Design instead of letting UnIntelligent Design undermine the science of evolution.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Questions about Science

In this article published in New Scientist: they ask what life would have been if some past event had turned out differently:
What if Newton had carried out his threat to quit science? What if Darwin hadn't sailed on the Beagle? What if Einstein hadn't found a job that allowed him so much time to daydream? The trouble is that until recently, the answer to these questions seemed to be disappointing: science would look much as it does today.
The human understanding of science has changed over the time. In the 1990s there was a science war, and since then it has been acceptable and worth answering questions about Science like the one posed in the New Scientist.

There is more questions to ask about Science:

Why do people accept science when it contradicts what they would normally expect?

If you had a hundred million dollars to spend on scientific research, how would you spend it? Would your answer be different if you had a thousand million dollars?

How does Scientist work and in which way do they "produce" and "construct" scientific knowledge?

Is there a point at which scientists will have to stop asking questions?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ernst Haeckel on Slate

Over at Slate they have a slide-show essay about Ernst Haeckel, 19th-century evolutionary theorist and subject of the new film Proteus.

Haeckel discovered, described and classified thousands of new species of one-celled sea creatures and he contributed with graphic work too.

This is what Science Magazine said about Nature's Beauty and Haeckel's Talents. Science Magazine is a member of AAAS and Evolution is on frontline in their pressroom. AAAS has defended the teaching of evolution in public school science classrooms.

Haeckel's has beautifull artwork, I think:
Original bits from Ernst Haeckel
Ernst Haeckel: Die Radiolarien (RHIZOPODA RADIARIA) Berlin, 1862
Eine Sammlung historischer und moderner Biologiebücher

Monday, August 15, 2005

Prince of Wales and Quackery

HRH is the president of the Foundation for Integrated Health, an organisation devoted to the use of therapies considered quackery:
The Prince of Wales's foundation for Integrated Health website provides information about the integration of complementary and conventional healthcare, including details of what we do, publications, conferences and seminars. (Source: www.fihealth.org.uk)
The Sunday Times - Britain brings this interesting article about HRH and Quackery:

Charles’s "alternative GP" campaign stirs anger by Jonathon Carr-Brown, Health Correspondent

PRINCE CHARLES has angered medical traditionalists by launching a campaign encouraging GPs to prescribe more "alternative" treatments to NHS patients.
The Prince of Wales’s Foundation for Integrated Health hopes to have signed up 150 GPs to the new and controversial scheme by October. Those who join will become "associates" of the foundation and are expected to offer a wide range of herbal and other alternative treatments to their patients.

Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, said: "There is considerable danger in this initiative".

"The information the foundation puts out is dangerous and misleading. If it enters the realm of general practice it seems to me more like an attempt to brainwash GPs and patients."
Since members of the Royal family are using alternative remedies like herbs "Liz" probably will become "associates" of the foundation. But what about other 100.000 medical docs?

This is not the first time Charles has called for alternative research and supported alternative medicine.

Charles backed a controversial treatment last year which involved taking daily coffee enemas and carrot juice as cancer treatments instead of using drugs.

Michael Baum, emeritus professor of surgery at University College London sent An open letter to the Prince of Wales: with respect, your highness, you've got it wrong (More woodoo). Michael Baum's frank and reasoned answer to the medical advice given by someone not versed in medicine and science and the dozens of comments - are worth reading.

HRH has another engagement for sCAM via The King's Fund, of which he is the president. The organisation dishes out money for alternative treatment. Kings Fund supporting acupunture and I found several external links on complementary medicine.

Many people care about what the Prince's saying, because he is a high profile figure. I hope that intelligent people will be able to recognize the Prince's amateurish statements for what they are. The Prince's opinion should carry no weight at all and he should have been given the same reception as Tom Cruse received when expressing his views about Psychiatry and Science.

Further reading:
Prince Charles > CAM News Items
News Target: Articles on Prince Charles
Prince Charles and "Alternative" Medicine
The Prince's work
Prince Charles slams nanotechnology

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Focus on second-hand smoking

The world known ABC anchorman and senior editor Peter Jennings died of lung cancer at 67. We've also heard that Superman's widow Dana Reeve has lung cancer.

Over at PBS.org they have an online focus on lung cancer and the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers explained very easy to understand by Dr. Mark Clanton from the National Cancer Institute and Dr. Joan Schiller from University of Wisconsin.

If you want to calculate on your risk - this tool developed by American Cancer Society researchers are calculating the lung cancer risk of "heavy smokers". It is based on a study that tracked cancer development in people older than 50 and who smoked at least half a pack a day for at least 25 years. However, the fact that most people will not fit into the conditions, it does not have much value.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

God is in a class by himself

Can one believe in God and the theory of evolution at the same time?

Michael Shermer think you can:
You can believe in God and evolution as long as you keep the two in separate, logic-tight compartments. Belief in God depends on religious faith. Belief in evolution depends on empirical evidence.(source: Why God's in a class by himself)
The bottom line of the article by Michael Shermer is:

Teach science in science classes and religion in religion classes.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Striking parallels between the Adam' Babel Fish and ID

From Peerspectives I have learned about The Hitchhiker's Guide to Intelligent Design and how the parallels between the Adams' Babel Fish and ID theory are striking - The argument goes like this:

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," says Man, "The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED."

"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn’t thought of that," and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo’s kidneys, but that didn’t stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book, "Well That about Wraps It Up for God."

Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
I have never read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but it's an quite amusing way of using a Babel Fish.

Life, the Universe, and Everything, An Interview with Douglas Adams

Skeptic Friends - Book of the Week: Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Neil Gaiman

Skeptic's Dictionary about atheism, agnosticism and argument from design.

"Intelligent Design" belongs to Stone Age

From Skeptico I learned how to Google bomb ID: Write something skeptical about ID and phrase "Intelligent Design" as a hyperlink to the National Center for Science Education website as an attempt to place the NCSE's excellent article on "Intelligent Design" at the top of any Google seach using the phrase "Intelligent Design".

You could also make a hyperlink to another good one on Intelligent Design, it's number three in ranking - (if you phrase "Intelligent+Design+Skeptic" it's in the top).

Evolution is still more popular than Intelligent Design.

Great sources on Intelligent Design and Evolution too: Talk Origins, Talk Origins Links and Frequently Asked Questions

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Standards will not provide any evidence

Herbal medicines and other therapies of questionable value aren't necessarily harmless.This article suggest that alternative medicine should have standards.

Reading this:
Two Canadians, including a Toronto man, have been charged in connection with foreign clinics that milked millions of dollars from desperate cancer patients by promoting an alleged cure based on magnets (from the article).
I can't picture to myself the professional standards considering this, this and this? What is the big idea? Regulation will not provide any evidence.

Friday, August 05, 2005

ID-proponents and public imagination against Science

The theory of evolution has overwhelming scientific support and it's standard and basic of all biological sciences (Palaeontology, Genetics, Zoology, Molecular Biology and other fields). There are no "major gaps" in the theory of evolution and fact is that Darwinism is accepted by every serious biologist in the world.

Opponents of evolution want to make a place for ID by spreading confusion and by creating a widespread impression that the scientific consensus has a doubtful foundation. Paul over at NYT.com did a wonderful job cutting through the confusion and getting into the heart of matter (via via). There's no controversy about the validity of evolutionary theory – it’s all about religion and public imagination.

Scientific truth is determined by peer review, not public opinion and in The Seattle Times there’s an editorial called The philosophy of intelligent design where the difference is explained:

A scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable to fail. The theory of evolution, for example, postulates complex life arising from simple life. If the geological record showed otherwise — that the further one went back, the more complex life was, or that unrelated species repeatedly appeared as if from nowhere — that would falsify the theory.

Intelligent design implies that God did it. That may be true. Certainly, millions of Americans believe so. But intelligent design is not a scientific theory because there is no set of facts that would disprove it. No matter what science says tomorrow, a believer in intelligent design could say, "Yes, that's the way God did it."
If someone wants to change the theory of evolution they need to come up with some hard Science to prove it. They can't because their arguments don't hold up.

Presidential science adviser John H. Marburg III, who told The New York Times that intelligent design "is not a scientific concept," said Bush believes it should be discussed as part of the "social context" in science classes.
Teaching ID theory in classroom will introduce some kind of laissez-faire amongst students and it will undermine real Science. Students will not need any efforts to understand Science, they can just point to ID and say "Well, the Creator did it – I don't need to understand it", when something becomes to complicated.

It's shocking too that ID is already being taught in classroom and accepted as a possible explanation of human existence and some school board has already revised its science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism.

If the White House will spread this to the entire world, then we need not worry about terrorist bombs - we will have "intelligent design" to take us back to Stone Age. And that would be a quite foolish thing to do.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Should intelligent design be teached at school?

ID is a statement of faith that challenges the origins of life, but no research can ever prove or disprove ID and there's no prediction to test. President Bush said
that he believed schools should discuss intelligent design alongside evolution when teaching students about the creation of life. (latimes.com)
Teaching ID at school is a sly way of sneaking religion into science education. It would be like taking Evolution out of Science by ignoring how it supports and is supported by the rest of Science. Real Science teaches you how, - not why like religion and ID does. ID doesn't belong to science.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pair charged over fake cancer clinic

Pair charged over fake cancer clinic - Patients paid centre $12 million - Over 800 people seen in Tijuana

Toronto Star, August 3 by Karen Palmer

Two Canadians — including one Toronto man — have been charged with running a fake cancer clinic that allegedly collected more than $12 million by offering dubious treatments to more than 800 patients.

At least 37 Canadians were treated at the Tijuana, Mexico, clinic.

It promised to reduce the number of cancerous cells in patients' bodies by using "pulsed magnetic fields" to heat up and ultimately kill tumours.
A man from Toronto and another from British Columbia ran CSCT Inc., which used websites, brochures and alternative medicine magazines to offer "cell specific cancer treatment."
The treatment cost $15,000 to $20,000 (U.S.) per person, and patients paid for their flight and accommodations in Mexico.
Continue reading the article.

They promised to cure several kinds of Cancer, - by using Zoetron Therapy.

This crazy therapy use an electromagnetic device called the "Zoetron Machine", and the promoters claimed it would selectively heat and kill cancerous cells, without harming the normal cells.

They claimed: Because cancer cells accumulate iron, the pulsed magnetic field from the Zoetron device will cause the iron to vibrate and produce heat that kills the cancer cells.

That's of course not true and Michael Shermer gives the explanation here:
Iron atoms in a magnet are crammed together in a solid state about one atom apart from one another. In your blood only four iron atoms are allocated to each hemoglobin molecule, and they are separated by distances too great to form a magnet. This is easily tested by pricking your finger and placing a drop of your blood next to a magnet.
There's no scientific evidence to believe that magnetic fields will kill any cells or that cancer cells would respond differently than normal cells to a magnetic field because of accumulated iron.

It seems they already in 2003 were charged in cancer therapy scam and in 2004 they were banned from marketing and selling their bogus cancer treatment too. But that obviously didn't keept them from selling more bogus treatments.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Skeptics were right - Atkins and other low-carb diets are pseudo

If you have been attacked by Atkins diet and thought that weight loss could be achieved by following a low-carb diet, - you've been mislead.

In this article from today Globe and Mail written by Catherine McLean and Oliver More it turns out the skeptics were right about the low-carb diets:

Bankruptcy signals end to low-carb diet mania

It turns out the skeptics were right -- low-carb diets were a fad.

The company that spawned the once wildly popular Atkins Diet has filed for bankruptcy protection in a New York courtroom. Atkins Nutritionals Inc. had been losing money hand-over-fist after dieters lost their appetite for its products.

It's a long way from the glory days, when a book by Dr. Robert Atkins spent 400 weeks on the bestseller lists and frustrated dieters everywhere were lured by the promise of losing weight while eating meat, butter and other typically verboten foods.
If you continue reading the article you'll find that high-protein/low-carb diets are not a healthy way to lose weight.

Can anyone tell me how many popular diet fads of the past 20-30 years we have had? There seems to be a diet for everything: The bloodtype diet, The menopause diet, Popcorn diet, South Beach diet, The grapefruit diet, The Chocolate diet - you name it. Which diet will be the next to create a lifestyle?

The problem is that everyone want to diet smart - not harder. The fact is that the total calories eaten versus total calories expended are what govern weight gain or loss. If it looks too good to be true - then it probably is.

Chicago Tribune: Atkins goes belly-up as diet fad thins out

UCI study suggest, that manipulating our memories of food can influence our eating

A new(?) study on the power of suggestion found that people could be manipulated to believe they had once become sick of eating strawberry ice cream as children. That should help people on a diet not to eat the wrong food.

Is this serious? I just don't think it will be possible to talk me into hating ice cream (*LOL*). Or chocolate...

Update: Swallowing a Lie May Aid in Weight Loss, Research Suggests

Monday, August 01, 2005

The most stupid thing said about science....

Ben Goldacre from The Guardian has encouraged anyone to "Answer the question" and so they did:

• Last week I asked: what's the most stupid thing anyone has said to you about science at a party? And it would seem that the great British sport of moron-baiting is more popular than ever. Lots of you encountered philosophers. Guy Davidson was told that "science doesn't tell you about the real world, only an ideal version of it". Yup. Well, light still travels faster than sound no matter how you look at it. Balthazar Florentin-Lee met someone who told him his discussion was flawed because it was "based only on logic" and someone whose email I lost got: "Logic isn't real, you can prove anything you want with logic. It's meaningless." Edwin Whiting was told that "science is how the devil perverts God's will" (bravo!), and the popular idea that "science is a way of life you choose just like religion" (via Yaniv Chen) perhaps explains why party philosophers then moved on to "not everything is scientific" (via Heather Bayley) and "science can't tell us everything" (via Conor McGeown). We never said it could.
When stupid things are said about Science it possibly could be because of ignorance. Different categories of ignorance vary from pure ignorance to someone that shouldn't be ignorant. Pure ignorance could by example be people not believing in evolution because plenty of people have told them that evolution is against their religion. And nobody had ever told them what evolution really is.

This peace was written at the Guardian and it was probably checked by educated people and they shouldn't be ignorant. When educated people don't know that the number of primes is infinite it is annoying. The used software has been limited to a 10m-digit prime, but that doesn't mean the longest prime number has been discovered.

People operating from faith rather than using data, accepted models, logic and reason will come up with stupid things too. They start with a theory and then reject the experimental evidence if it disagrees with their theory.

Ignorance can be repaired and it is no crime, faith has nothing to do with science - it's religion. Continue reading the article...

See who links to your web site.