Posted inScience

Cancer research in the news, for better and for worse

Reading Time: 7 minutes Last year, I wrote about the crisis in Alzheimer’s research: a cruel affair involving a research direction and course of treatment built in part on papers with doctored data, and the heated venture-capitalist backstory that complicated the virtuosity of whistle-blowers. More recently, authors attempted to defend the original data, but the defenses were often just […]

Posted inSpace

NASA’s quest for scientific literacy around so-called UFOs

Reading Time: 6 minutes In a four-hour public meeting on Wednesday, May 31, NASA gathered a team of scientific experts to discuss the role of the US civilian space agency in monitoring and analyzing Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs). Associate Deputy Associate Administrator for Research Daniel Evans chaired this conversation, which he described as the “first deliberative actions” for a […]

Posted inSpace

Early black holes simplify the question of ‘dark energy’

Reading Time: 7 minutes The physics of our universe can be splendidly straightforward at times, even if it takes physicists a while to get there. That’s the current major takeaway from a paper published in Astrophysical Journal Letters on February 15, authored by 17 astronomers in collaboration across nine countries, led by the University of Hawai’i. You’re going to […]

Posted inEvolution

Surprise! The Nobel goes to evolutionary sciences, not COVID research

Reading Time: 4 minutes Swedish geneticist Svante Pääbo joined a rare group this morning: not just of Nobel Prize winners, but of “family Nobels”. His father, Karl Sune Detlof Bergström, shared the 1982 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Bengt I. Samuelsson and John R. Vane, for work related to local-tissue hormones, or “prostaglandins”. Forty years later, that award went solely […]

Posted inNews

Alzheimer’s, artificial sweeteners, and depression meds: A heavy month for health science literacy

Reading Time: 2 minutes Three major reports this month highlight the fragility of ongoing health sciences research, and challenges for broader scientific literacy. Earlier in July, the World Health Organization recommended against the use of non-sugar sweeteners, in a blow to many conventional weight-loss strategies. On July 20, Joanna Moncrieff and Mark Horowitz shared a research review that undermines […]

Posted inReligion

Evil, Nasty Scientism in ‘Atheist Overreach’

Reading Time: 8 minutes Hi and welcome back! Of late, we’ve been checking out Christian Smith’s 2019 book Atheist Overreach. One of the ways he feels atheists ‘overreach’ involves what he refers to as ‘vulgar imperialistic scientism.’ Oh my, what oh what can scientism possibly be? Today, we’ll find out — and then we’ll see why our author likes this accusation […]

Posted inScience

Avoiding the Burden of Proof in ‘Atheist Overreach’

Reading Time: 11 minutes Hi and welcome back! Lately, we’ve been reviewing Christian Smith’s 2019 book Atheist Overreach. In it, he seeks to persuade his audience of two things: first, atheists need to quit talking about religion, and second, that everyone actually needs religion to continue to be a dominant force in the world. One section of the book deals […]

Posted inScience

News About Mars: How Science Progresses

Reading Time: 2 minutes Hi and welcome back! It’s miserably hot in my house today and I can’t get anything done while I’m this hot, so this won’t be a long post. I just saw this story recently and loved it. Today, let me show you some science news about Mars, and what it says about the progress of […]

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