Category: Science

  • City Mileage

    I’ve known forever that city mileage for cars is worse than highway mileage, but I never knew why. But it’s a bit like riding a bike. When you ride a bike, you have to put in a lot of work at the beginning, getting up to speed. And after that, you can mostly coast. Assuming […]

  • FTC Removes Exception for Homeopathic Drugs

    Well, here’s a bit of good news for a change: the Federal Trade Commission has just decided that the same standards apply to homeopathic drugs as to any other medical product. The National Law Review highlights the following passage: No convincing reasons have been advanced either in the comments or the workshop as to why […]

  • It’s Too Soon to Ask for Evidence, and What Is Evidence, Anyway?

    Let’s take a peek over at Eve Keneinan’s post Keeping Track, which recounts a Twitter discussion between her, @MrOzAtheist, and Mark Houlsby, about Houlsby’s assertion that There is no evidence for God. Therefore God does not exist. Here’s a representative excerpt from Keneinan’s recap/rebuttal: But evidence is an epistemological concept, pertaining to knowledge, to how […]

  • A Mother’s Day Sermon

    I ran across “Mother and Grandmother”, a Mother’s Day sermon by one Edwin Whitney Bishop from May 14, 1911, about a hundred years ago, and was curious to see what it might say. The first surprise came in the first sentence: A VERY decided attempt is being made in many quarters to have this second Sunday in […]

  • “Looks like I was wrong for 30 years”

    Yesterday, thanks to @Monahan_PJ (via the incomparable @edyong209), I ran across this paper in Science: No buts about it, the butthole is one of the finest innovations in the past 
540 million years of animal evolution. The first animals that arose seem to have literally had potty mouths: Their modern-day descendants, such as sea sponges, […]

  • Young Americans Are Finally Figuring out Evolution

    According to Slate, a Pew Research poll has found that a bare majority of millennials accept evolution as described by scientists. This is in contrast to findings from the last few decades, that a significant number of Americans favor a magic-based or -friendly explanation of where human beings came from. Oddly enough, this seems to […]

  • Is ISIS’s popularity low? Hard to Tell

    The Washington Post reported on a Pew survey of countries with a significant Muslim population, asking whether people there have a positive or negative view of ISIS: As the graph shows, in every country, ISIS is unpopular, by huge margins (and I find it interesting that according to the same survey, attitudes vary more from country to country and between […]

  • How Do You Spell “Booze”? C-V-S

    (Update: Thanks to alert reader Fez for pointing out that 20% alcohol by volume is 40 proof, not 80. Oops. This somewhat mitigates, but doesn’t invalidate the rest of my points.) We all know, of course, that the whole point of homeopathic remedies is that there’s no active ingredient in the bottle. So you might […]

  • FDA Homeopathy Circus, Day 2

    Yesterday was day two of homeopathy hearings at the FDA. There were some audio and connectivity problems, and again, I was distracted, but I tried to pay some attention. One or two presenters tried to explain why you can’t perform randomized double-blind clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of homeopathic remedies. Apparently it boils down […]

  • “Cosmos” Misrepresents Why Man Was Set on Fire, Claims Inquisition Apologist

    Every Who down in Whoville liked Cosmos a lot… But the BillDo, who lived just north of who-cares, did NOT! The tireless defender of all things Catholic (unless it’s things like 99% of Catholics practicing birth control, or being okay with not stoning teh gays) has spoken out against Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s and Seth McFarlane’s […]