PC463 : Old Oct 2008 Science Notes Opinions Blog
Old Notes
- These old notes were crowding the Science page so i moved them here

Rationalists being Irrational about Climate

- Imoved this from the science page October 2008 - Criticise everything which is not proven, but you shouldn't criticise climate change catastrophe theory
- The presenter of Little Atoms tried to get Randi to say "Climate Skeptics since they are clearly wrong give skepticism a bad name". Despite the fact that Randi had been highlighting the difference between science and pseudoscience, by explaining science deals in certainties "you are either pregnant or you not pregnant, you can't be a little bit pregnant", Randi chose to play it softly saying yes the vast majority of scientists believe global warming is caused by man sending out CO2.",
- He failed to follow that up with the necessary caution warning : "but, we have a duty to be skeptical about all things which are not proven facts, so we should be skeptical of extrapolations to catastrophe like increased CO2 will cause ice to melt and sea to rise by 20m and we are all going to die." The bottom line being there should be no sacred cows, we should be skeptical of all things which are not provable facts.

- If skeptics are trying to disassociate themselves from Climate Skeptics they will end up damaging skeptism as alll they are doing is copying religion by introducing a special form of unchallegable dogma, "yes criticise everything which is not proven, but you shouldn't criticise climate change catastrophe theory"

Great Class Idea ABC :
- one scientist recalled a school science lesson : Black box science lesson -- students are given a box and told to devize experiments to work out what is in box

ABC Science debate : Marijuana
- Another note from last year

- alcohol and tobacco account for 40% of deaths.
- Marijuana seems to trigger something in people who have genes predesposed to schizophrenia, it accounts for 5% of cases. ..

The Skeptic 26/3 Spring 2006/7 ..good Australian Skeptics magazine
AA doesn't work, Kelp fertilizer isn't very effective , irradiation doesn't cause radiation ...

The Skeptic 26/2 Winter 2006
1. Anti CC consensus is just anti-Greenie - how ridiculous
2. Ridiculous UFO conference they want to believe everything
3. Thinking technique - Humbug by Jef Clark
4. Experiments show prayer doesn't work
5. Pliny the Elder 700BC Encyclopedia mix of good & bad science
6. Little Book of Scientific principles - by Surendra Verma - worth a look
7. Andrew Mayne - Randi's helper.
8. Anti Naturopath article - just cos a practice is old it doesn't mean it works.
9. Water Fluoridisation - There's a real argument authorities believe - I think it's not proved to be effective, but not proved to be dangerous.

ABC Spirit of things - Supernatural

The interviewing was very very soft so at the beginning it seemed it would be a walkover for believers, but in the end believers would find themselves more skeptical.

Presenter started by saying science in string theory etc is moving closer to paranormal

Guest 1 - Will Storr - He believes, but he saw staff on TV's Most Haunted fake things in front of him. And described most ghosthunters as weird, but criticized skeptics

Guest 2 - Simon Turnbull - psychic who has won a stockmarket prediction competition 2 years running - pity the interviewer wasn't more challenging.

Guest 3 - Francesca Collins (Monash) - revealed in sťance simulations the table moved etc even though experimenters had actually made up the fictitious character. Concluded there is no evidence to to believe in the paranormal.

A universal ethical code for scientists As heard on ABC

Rigour, honesty and integrity
- Act with skill and care in all scientific work. Maintain up to date skills and assist their development in others.
- Take steps to prevent corrupt practices and professional misconduct. Declare conflicts of interest.
- Be alert to the ways in which research derives from and affects the work of other people, and respect the rights and reputations of others.

Respect for life, the law and the public good
- Ensure that your work is lawful and justified.
- Minimise and justify any adverse effect your work may have on people, animals and the natural environment.

Responsible communication: listening and informing
- Seek to discuss the issues that science raises for society. Listen to the aspirations and concerns of others.
- Do not knowingly mislead, or allow others to be misled, about scientific matters. Present and review scientific evidence, theory or interpretation honestly and accurately.

I say - what about rules/regulations on reporting science

  1. anecdotal evidence should be statically quantified
  2. using phrases like upto should be regulated
  3. loaded or emotional wording
  4. reporting record low ice at North Pole but not record high ice at South pole which was on the same day.
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