Bad science

Pharyngula

Category archives for Bad science

Back around the 11th of July, I saw a few comments by a guy named Myles Power, a science youtuber, who was quite irate that Rebecca Watson criticized evolutionary psychology five years ago. There were the usual vaguely horrified reactions implying how annoying it was that some mere communications major would criticize an established, credible,…

It takes a fool to deny the obvious

Neil Shubin reports that Bible tracts have begun appearing in copies of his book, Your Inner Fish, in bookstores. He even has photographic evidence. This is remarkable news. We now know how bible tracts are made: they are degenerate forms descended from more complex and sophisticated texts, and they appear spontaneously when two pages, who…

The delusion of immortality

Imagine all the poor transhumanists who were born in the 19th century. They would have been fantasizing about all the rapid transformations in their society, and blithely extrapolating forward. Why, in a few years, we’ll all have steam boilers surgically implanted in our bellies, and our diet will include a daily lump of coal! Canals…

This morning, I read a pile of bullshit about Tyson written by an anti-intellectual reverse-snob — he thinks he should be proud of being so blatantly pro-mystery and anti-science. Neil deGrasse Tyson is, supposedly, an educator and a populariser of science; it’s his job to excite people about the mysteries of the universe, communicate information,…

The story should begin with the victim. This is Kim Suozzi, 23 years old, and diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer that was going to kill her within a few months. She’s doomed and she knows it, so she has gone to Alcor, signed over her life insurance money, and asked to have her head…

That paper that cited the Creator for designing the hand has been retracted. The authors say it was a translation error — that they assumed that “Creator” was synonymous with “nature” in English, and apparently, they weren’t aware of the potential for willful misinterpretation of the word “design” in the creationist community. I can sort…

Those troublesome, shaky X chromosomes!

It’s easy to find lists of dumb things creationists say, and I’m familiar with that lot, but here’s a fun new time-waster: Things Anti-Vaxxers Say. Here’s a beautiful example of something I’ve rarely seen so clearly stated: they get the facts totally wrong, actually the reverse of the actual situation, but nope, that doesn’t stop…

Last week, Simon Davis wrote to me with questions about this cryonic brain preservation technique, which has now been published as How to Freeze Your Brain and Live Forever (Maybe). Unfortunately, my comments did not make it into the story, because, Simon politely explained, there are length restrictions and perhaps, I assume, also because my…

In a recent quack conference, Deepak Chopra did his usual thing: taking new science that he understands poorly and stuffing it full of magic bogosity. According to Chopra, that pesky inflamed microbiome is sentient. The genome, microbiome and epigenome, which the author collectively calls the “super gene,” are referenced throughout the interview. His book, Super…

That’s not a thesis, it’s a junkheap

Well, cool. You can download Judy Wilyman’s anti-vaccination thesis from the University of Wollongong and read it yourself. So click, click, wait a second, and… YAAAARGH! My eyes! I thought the social sciences side of the academic world would possibly have higher standards for writing than the science side, but no…it’s awful. This should have…