Bad science

Pharyngula

Category archives for Bad science

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.…

Science doesn’t say that!

Have you ever noticed how the religious regard ‘scientism’ and ‘reductionism’ and demands for concrete evidence as barely a notch above obscenities? That is, until they need to reduce complex issues to simplistic claims and don the mantle of Science to support their beliefs. Then they become Holy Writ. You can really see this behavior…

Methinks it is like a sauropsid

Eugene McCarthy, the author of that crackpot stabilization theory, has discovered my review and is now making a noise on twitter. He’s gone from thanking me profusely for mentioning him, to whining that I stole his figures, to complaining that I don’t understand his theory at all, all in the last 24 hours. But here’s…

It’s all Matt Dillahunty’s fault. He tells me he’s carrying on a correspondence with some guy who claims to have an alternative theory of evolution, and asks me to help him wade through the gobbledygook…so I did. I just didn’t realize how much gobbledygook there was. The guy is named Eugene McCarthy, and he calls…