A Kickstarter for a Webcomic About Science and Pseudoscience

As is the way of things these days, a talented individual has turned to Kickstarter to fund his project.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kyle Sanders at TAM 2013, where he told me about Carbon Dating, a webcomic that he’d been working on for about six months at the time. It’s all about science, pseudoscience, and geeky relationships — and it’s delightful.

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Deepak Chopra: I’ll Give Atheists $1,000,000 if They Can Prove How Consciousness Works

Deepak Chopra, whose ability to vomit up big words and put them in a nonsensical order has convinced gullible people to give him tons of money, is issuing a million dollar challenge of his own:

If James Randi or Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett or any of the “militant New Atheists” can explain how thoughts form — how consciousness works — he’ll write you a check:

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Scientists Confirm That Supposed Bigfoot DNA Isn’t Actually Bigfoot’s DNA

You’ll be happy to know that the first peer-reviewed study of Bigfoot has been conducted! (I know you were waiting a long time for this.)

Since 2012, researchers — including Professor Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics University of Oxford — have been accepting DNA samples from unknown sources and (if the DNA was approved) matching it up against known creatures. If there was DNA that didn’t match something already in the database, it might have lent some credibility to those who believe in a Bigfoot or Yeti…

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Save Your Money: There Are No Lost Souls or Dark Energies in Your Home

There should be some standards regarding what gets published in a newspaper, right? Not when your newspaper’s parent company is owned by the same guy who owns Fox News Channel. But let’s make this clear:

It’s a problem to publish an article with the headline “Releasing lost souls or dark energies from your home.”

It’s a problem that the writer’s top qualification is that she was voted “Australian Psychic of The Year” in 2010. (Did she lose her powers since then? Who voted? Who ran the contest? So many questions!)

It’s a problem that this was listed in the “Experts” section:

So let’s see what Elisabeth Jensen advises us to do to save our homes from the evil invisible spirits:

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Examples of Pseudoscience You May Have Forgotten to Be Angry About

Some woo just needs to die. Esther Inglis-Arkell at io9 rounds up ten particular examples of nonsense and pseudoscientific beliefs that have overstayed their welcome.

A few of them will be some of the greatest hits you’d expect, like vaccines and autism, homeopathy, and the Chopra-esque quantum-this, quantum-that.

Others were useful reminders that elicited an “oh yeah, that is a bunch of bullshit” from me, such as “baby genius” programs that purport to spark a kids’ mushy brains at infancy into superintelligence by way of Mozart in the womb and whatnot, or the idea that we can have memories of places and events etched into our DNA. (“We’re not salmon,” she reminds us.)… [Read more...]