Science and pseudo-science

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Science and pseudo-science

Following up on my query about what it would take for a Young Earth Creationist “to write a doctoral dissertation in geosciences that is both ‘impeccable’ in the scientific case it presents and intellectually honest,” I’m going to say something about the place of belief in the production of scientific knowledge. Indeed, this is an…

By now, you may have heard (via Pharyngula, or Sandwalk, or the New York Times) about Marcus Ross, who was recently granted a Ph.D. in geosciences by the University of Rhode Island. To earn that degree, he wrote a dissertation (which his dissertation advisor described as “impeccable”) about the abundance and spread of marine reptiles…

When academics IM …

… Page 3.14 shares the transcript. Go read what we said when Ben Cohen and I shot the cyberbreeze about Karl Popper and the allure he holds for scientists. I can’t promise it will leave you ROTFLYAO, but it might make you TTFN.

Revere stirs the pot (of chicken soup) to ask why alternative therapies are presumptively regarded as pseudo-science. The reflexive response of the quackbusters has been that alternative therapies fall on the wrong side of some bright line that divides what is scientific from what is not — the line of demarcation that (scientists seem to…

It was another full day at the BCCE, starting with an excellent plenary address by Peter Atkins (who wrote my p-chem text, plus dozens of other books) and David Harpp (of the Office of Science and Society). Each of them spoke about the best ways to talk about science with people who are not scientists,…

One of the things that happens when I lay out a problem (say, the difficulties for scientists in communicating with non-scientists about scientific matters) is that my excellent commenters remind me not to stop there. They press me for a solution. I started, in my earlier post, to gesture toward an answer to the question…

A few days ago I pondered the ethical dimensions of breastfeeding given a recent article trumpeting its astounding benefits for infants and mothers. Those ethical considerations took as given that the claims trumpeting in the article were more or less true. Today, I want to point you to an examination of those very claims by…

Hey, do you remember that oft cited Newsweek article from 1986 that proclaimed that the chances of a 40-year-old single, white, college educated woman getting married were less than her chances of getting killed in an act of terrorism? It turns out it was wrong. From a recent retraction of that article: Twenty years later,…

In response to my first entry on Steve Fuller’s essay on Chris Mooney‘s book, The Republican War on Science, Bill Hooker posted this incisive comment: Fuller seems to be suggesting that there is no good way to determine which scientists in the debate are most credible — it all comes down to deciding who to…

As promised, here are some more thoughts on Steve Fuller’s contribution to the Crooked Timber seminar on Chris Mooney‘s book, The Republican War on Science. My last post on Fuller’s essay took up his picture of the workings of science, where it seemed to me he was gesturing toward the influence of democratic politics as…