CSI is Very Bad for America


The approximately 27 different CSI spinoffs are very, very bad for this country. I know, some people find them entertaining. The problem is that they make forensic work look a whole lot more certain and scientific than it often actually is. Many of the techniques used in criminal investigations have no backing from science at all and innocent people are convicted because of them. Conor Friedersdorf's article is a few months old, but worth reading. Forty years ago, Bob Dylan reacted to the … [Read more...]

Huckabee Loves Polio Vaccine, Made With Research He Wants Outlawed

Copyright: https://goo.gl/SvNtjt

I've already made fun of Mike Huckabee for his ingenious policy idea of fixing all our health care problems by just going ahead and curing cancer and diabetes and heart disease. But as Right Wing Watch points out, he specifically pointed to the polio vaccine as an example of what we need to do to eradicate these diseases, but that vaccine was developed with fetal tissue research -- which Huckabee wants to ban. … [Read more...]

Cruz: Climate Change is a Religion


There are few things more amusing and ridiculous than when really hardcore religious people declare everything they disagree with to be a religion, which apparently discredits everything but their religion. Ted Cruz made this statement to Glenn Beck and it may be the single stupidest thing you'll read this week (which is saying a lot -- we just had a Republican presidential debate). … [Read more...]

Michigan Man Pens Staggeringly Stupid Column on the LHC


I grew up not far from Coldwater, Michigan, which is home to a little newspaper called the Daily Reporter. They have a correspondent, whatever that is, named Lonnie Robertson who has written a column so egregiously stupid about the Large Hadron Collider that I urge you to put a towel down on your desk to prevent a concussion when it comes crashing down upon it. He says the LHC is going to destroy the world on Sept. 24th. … [Read more...]

Why the GOP is Going Anti-Science

The Republican party has long had a problem with science, from its preference for creationism to its denial of the harms of pollution, but things have gotten far worse as the party has lurched to the right and become, for all practical purposes, the political wing of the oil and gas industry. Jill Lawrence explains why: … [Read more...]

Lenski’s Amazing E. Coli Experiment Continues

25 years ago, Dr. Richard Lenski of Michigan State University began an ingenious experiment on E. coli bacteria that is still going and giving us a much deeper understanding of how evolution operates. Ars Technica has an article on the latest published findings, but let me first explain how the experiment was set up. … [Read more...]

The Use and Abuse of ‘Faith’

The word "faith" is one of those magical words that can mean everything or nothing simultaneously. It's used by those who accept its validity to mean a number of things that are entirely different, amounting to little more than a rhetorical trick used to shield their beliefs from scrutiny. Jerry Coyne agrees: … [Read more...]

‘Proof’ That Humans are Extra-Terrestrial

There's a new book out by an ecologist that claims that humans were placed here on earth by aliens, perhaps using earth as a penal colony. But he has proof! Hard evidence! What evidence? Oh, you're gonna love this. We get sunburned. And bad backs. And alien origin is the only explanation. … [Read more...]

And the Nobel Prize for Being Precocious and Adorable Goes To…

The highlight of the Neil deGrasse Tyson's talk in Michigan Wednesday night was the last question asked, by the world's smartest and most adorable 9 year old kid named Jacob. He's the son of one of our CFI Michigan members. When was the last time you heard a 9 year old use the phrase "non-Newtonian solid"? Like never? Watch this. … [Read more...]

Barber’s Big Bang Straw Man

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel bravely leaps into the field of science and, unsurprisingly, lands with a resounding thud. Read these two paragraphs, which betray either complete ignorance of the big bang and evolutionary theories or the deliberate construction of an absurd straw man: … [Read more...]

Owls and Larks: The Importance of Sleep Chronotypes

Elizabeth Kolbert reviews a couple of recent books on the science of sleep and hits on something that increasingly fascinates me, which is how different people have very different sleep patterns. One of those books discusses how those distinct patterns can put one quite out of step with normal society. … [Read more...]

The Absurdity of the ‘Rational Science’ Method

I've recently come across this group that refers to themselves as advocating "rational science." There's a Facebook group for it. They are followers of a first class looney tune named Bill Gaede, who is a 9/11 truther and apparently believes that all science after Faraday is wrong. You can find more information here. … [Read more...]