Bad science

Pharyngula

Category archives for Bad science

I think BAHFest — the festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses — has been made entirely redundant. It’s an event to mock the absurdly adaptationist hypotheses put forward by some scientists, and it’s intended to be extravagantly ridiculous. But then, you look at some ideas that are inexplicably popular among scientists, and you realize…it’s a…

Graaarh, physicists BIOLOGISTS

Graaarh, physicists I thought physics was the most hubristic scientific discipline of them all, but I may have to revise that assessment. Last week I was sent another of those papers published in archiv, the physics repository, making grand pronouncements about evolution, and I made the mistake of simply dismissing it on twitter — it…

The Ice Age in the Bible

Every time I despair at the dreadful nonsense from the Discovery Institute, I can reliably turn to Answers in Genesis and despair harder. They’ve just announced that “after two centuries of research”, they’ve finally determined the dates of the Ice Age. They’ve even announced that they’re going to have a chat on their facebook page…

The New York Times has an article on the rise of predatory, fake science journals — these are journals put out by commercial interests with titles that sound vaguely like the real thing, but are not legitimate in any sense of the word. They exist only for the resource that open access publishing also uses,…

Oh, boy. The Intelligent Design creationists are all excited about a new paper that purports to have identified an intelligent signal in the genetic code. Here’s a new paper that can be added to the growing stack of intelligent-design articles in peer-reviewed journals. Even though the authors do not use the phrase “intelligent design,” their…

We are the WEIRD

Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic, that is. One of the common complaints about evolutionary psychology is that it claims to be addressing evolved human universals, but when you look at the data sets, they are almost always drawn from the same tiny pool of outliers, Western undergraduate students enrolled in psychology programs, and excessively…

ENCODE gets a public reaming

I rarely laugh out loud when reading science papers, but sometimes one comes along that triggers the response automatically. Although, in this case, it wasn’t so much a belly laugh as an evil chortle, and an occasional grim snicker. Dan Graur and his colleagues have written a rebuttal to the claims of the ENCODE research…

Scientific morality: an example

Every once in a while, I hear these stirrings from scientists that there can be an objective morality, and that by following reason and evidence we can achieve great advances in ethics and reduce human suffering. I agree, in part. I think reason and science are the only ways we can implement our goals effectively,…

Sasquatch is ill-served

Melba Ketchum issued a press release announcing that she had sequenced Sasquatch DNA. That was back in November. It stalled out at that point. It turns out the paper couldn’t get past peer review, and no one was going to publish it. We’re all heartbroken, I know. But now she has overcome all the obstacles,…

New vistas in digital quackery

Apparently, computer-based diagnostic algorithms provided cheaply via a smartphone aren’t reliable. Who would have guessed? There’s a slew of new apps available that allow you to take a picture of your weird mole or mysterious skin lesion, and they’ll then scan it and tell you whether you’ve got melanoma or not. You should be wary.…