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Category archives for Science

Is There Too Much Hypothesis Testing?

About a month ago, we were told that theory is dead. That was the thesis of Chris Anderson’s article in Wired. Rather than testing hypotheses using the scientific method, Anderson argues that scientists are merely generating loads of data and looking for correlations and stuff. The article was a bit muddled, but that’s Anderson’s main…

A Sizzling Hypocrisy

Randy Olson left a career as a marine biologist (Titleist!) to become a film maker. His first feature project was Flock of Dodos, a movie I enjoyed. His second film is Sizzle, a movie reviewed by lots of ScienceBloggers a couple weeks ago. The gist: a lot of ScienceBloggers didn’t like sizzle. Neither did a…

Too Many Cultures

During my first semester of college I took an introductory chemistry class from a poet, playwright, and Nobel laureate — that’s all one guy, not three. His Nobel Prize is in chemistry, which made him more than qualified to teach us about acids, transition metals, and the other basics of chemistry. He also advocated a…

Scientific Controversies

It seems like everything is coming in twos the past couple of days. Yesterday we mentioned two books on the evolution of genomes and two stories involving either Wolbachia or sex determination. Today, we have two stories involving criticisms of scientific papers. One deals with the evolution of the bacterial flagellum, and the other addresses…

Flying in a Confined Space

On yesterday’s episode of Mythbusters they tested the myth that birds in a trailer decrease the weight of the trailer when the birds take flight. The ‘busters put a bunch of birds into a trailer, weighed the trailer + birds, and then allowed the birds to fly in the trailer, measuring the weight every fraction…

Drunk Doggy

Two unemployed stem cell researchers have performed a pilot study indicating that the chief researcher’s dog likes beer (reported here). They noticed that erratic behavior tended to increase with beer consumption, but his tolerance did increase over the course of the experiment. The dog also preferred certain beers over others, although the researchers did not…

Science has published two papers on Tyrannosaurus rex proteins (are we in the golden age of dino molecular biology?). In one paper, the authors report that they extracted proteins from T. rex soft tissue that was preserved for millions of years. In the other paper, some of the same researchers write about how they used…

The Press and Our Educational System Suck

Matt Nisbet and Chris Mooney are arguing that science education is so fucked up and the press are so piss poor that scientists need to go swift boat vets in order win the public debates against anti-science types. According to Nisbet and Mooney, the general public are too stupid to understand the real science, so…

GAME PREVIEW | PRESS CENTER Yesterday’s game between Corporate and Charles Darwin was a battle between free market capitalism and the greatest naturalist of all time. The Corporate team is loaded with the world’s top pharmaceutical and chemical companies. Darwin is the author of important works such as On the Origin of Species and The…

PRESS CENTER | UPDATED BRACKET Early next week, the amorphous, indefinable entity that is Corporate will take on a man named Charles Robert Darwin in the third round of the Science Spring Showdown. That’s right, we’re down to sixteen teams, including the eleven seed Corporate and the seven seed Darwin. This match up of Chair…