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HuckleB

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 35,773

Journal Archives

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from climate change to vaccinations—faces furious opposition.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/science-doubters/achenbach-text

"...

We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts. There are so many of these controversies these days, you’d think a diabolical agency had put something in the water to make people argumentative. And there’s so much talk about the trend these days—in books, articles, and academic conferences—that science doubt itself has become a pop-culture meme. In the recent movie Interstellar, set in a futuristic, downtrodden America where NASA has been forced into hiding, school textbooks say the Apollo moon landings were faked.

In a sense all this is not surprising. Our lives are permeated by science and technology as never before. For many of us this new world is wondrous, comfortable, and rich in rewards—but also more complicated and sometimes unnerving. We now face risks we can’t easily analyze.

We’re asked to accept, for example, that it’s safe to eat food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because, the experts point out, there’s no evidence that it isn’t and no reason to believe that altering genes precisely in a lab is more dangerous than altering them wholesale through traditional breeding. But to some people the very idea of transferring genes between species conjures up mad scientists running amok—and so, two centuries after Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, they talk about Frankenfood.

The world crackles with real and imaginary hazards, and distinguishing the former from the latter isn’t easy. Should we be afraid that the Ebola virus, which is spread only by direct contact with bodily fluids, will mutate into an airborne superplague? The scientific consensus says that’s extremely unlikely: No virus has ever been observed to completely change its mode of transmission in humans, and there’s zero evidence that the latest strain of Ebola is any different. But type “airborne Ebola” into an Internet search engine, and you’ll enter a dystopia where this virus has almost supernatural powers, including the power to kill us all.

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A good read, which is absolutely fair.

Scientists highlight path to restoring world's fisheries

A study published Monday by a team of scientists and economists reveals a way for fishermen to catch more fish and make more money all while restoring fish stocks
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0329/Scientists-highlight-path-to-restoring-world-s-fisheries

"Restoring the world’s fisheries is a no-brainer, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A team of scientists from the University of California - Santa Barbara, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the University of Washington compiled a database of over 4,500 fisheries around the world, and after using various bioeconomic models, the authors found that health and productivity are not mutually exclusive when it comes to the world’s fisheries.

“It is not a tradeoff between the needs of fishermen and the needs of fish,” Douglas Rader, chief oceans scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund and one of the lead authors of the study, tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview Monday. “To have our fish and eat them too – it’s remarkable.”

“Applying sound management reforms to global fisheries in our dataset could generate annual increases exceeding 16 million metric tons (MMT) in catch, $53 billion in profit, and 619 MMT in biomass relative to business as usual,” the authors explain in their study. “We also find that, with appropriate reforms, recovery can happen quickly, with the median fishery taking under 10 [years] to reach recovery targets. Our results show that commonsense reforms to fishery management would dramatically improve overall fish abundance while increasing food security and profits.”

..."



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Well, it's good to have a plan.

Food Babe is a con artist.

The Food Babe and other nonsense
http://ianchadwick.com/blog/the-food-babe-and-other-nonsense/

The Food Babe Took Down Her Goofy Microwave Oven Post - Science Win
http://www.science20.com/cool-links/the_food_babe_took_down_her_goofy_microwave_oven_post_science_win-140892

The Food Babe Ban List
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/the-food-babe-ban-list/

Universal flu vaccine comes closer to reality

Source: DNA India

Scientists have developed a vaccine that protects against multiple strains of both seasonal and pandemic H1N1 influenza in mouse models, an advance that may lead to a universal flu vaccine.

"One of the problems with current influenza vaccines is that we have to make predictions about which virus strains will be most prevalent every year and build our vaccines around those predictions," said Ted Ross, from University of Georgia in US.

"What we have developed is a vaccine that protects against multiple different strains of H1N1 virus at once, so we might be able to one day replace the current standard of care with this more broadly cross-protective vaccine," Ross said.

...

Using a technique called Computationally Optimised Broadly Reactive Antigen (COBRA), researchers created nine prototype synthetic compound vaccines constructed using genetic sequences from multiple influenza virus strains.

Read more: http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-universal-flu-vaccine-comes-closer-to-reality-2195875



Step by step!!!

So why do the anti-GMO hubs like March Against Monsanto support those things?

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/March_Against_Monsanto

Here's another anti-GMO, anti-vaccine. pro-pseudoscience web page, flying its flag proudly.
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/anti-gmo-pro-vaccine

Anti-GMO and anti-vaccination campaigns – two faces of the same movement?
http://www.marklynas.org/2016/03/anti-gmo-anti-vaccination-campaigns-two-faces-movement/

Meanwhile, noting your post above, it appears that you buy into another conspiracy: That anyone who follows the actual science on GMOs must work for Monsanto or another similar company.

Hmm.

Acupuncture for low back pain no longer recommended for NHS patients

New advice represents a u-turn in treatment for back pain, which affects one in 10 people, after evidence review showed acupuncture no better than a placebo
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/24/acupuncture-for-low-back-pain-no-longer-recommended-for-nhs-patients

"Acupuncture is no longer recommended as a treatment for low back pain on the NHS, according to new draft guidelines released today by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

The u-turn comes after a review of scientific evidence found that the practice was no better than a placebo in treating those living with low back pain and sciatica.

The draft guidelines report that there have now been a large number of scientific trials looking into the effectiveness of acupuncture but that, “there was still not compelling and consistent evidence of a treatment-specific effect for acupuncture.”

Low back pain is thought affect one in 10 people, while its cost to the UK economy is estimated to exceed £12 billion a year in lost productivity.

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"New evidence." Of course, there were no good studies showing acupuncture to be anything but a placebo in the first place, but...

http://www.dcscience.net/2013/05/30/acupuncture-is-a-theatrical-placebo-the-end-of-a-myth/

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/acupuncture-doesnt-work/

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/02/17/psychological-correlates-of-the-placebo-that-is-acupuncture/

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/New-Study-Exposes-Acupuncture-As-Pseudoscience-5094637.php

Pre-scientific thinking is pre-scientific thinking, no matter how elaborate.



Engineering A Minimal Genome

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/engineering-a-minimal-genome/

"Craig Venter’s team has crossed another milestone in their quest to engineer artificial life – they have engineered a bacterium that can survive and reproduce with just 473 genes. This is the smallest genome of any free-living thing (so that does not include viruses).

The purpose of this is to create a minimal starting point for later genetic engineering. Venter says this minimal bacterium is like a frame onto which specific modules can be placed. He envisions a future in which you can have made-to-order genetically engineered bacteria in which you plug in specific functions.

The Basic Science

This research program is also interesting from a purely basic science perspective. The bacterium used in Venter’s research is Mycoplasma mycoides. The choice of a Mycoplasma bacterium was obvious, as the species in the wild with the smallest number of genes is the related Mycoplasma genitalium, which has 525 genes. The new bacterium has 52 fewer genes.

The process was mostly one of trial and error – removing a gene and seeing what happens. They discovered a few different classes of genes with this process.

..."


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What Not To Say When Someone Is Sick

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/what-not-to-say-when-someone-is-sick/

"I understand the impulse, but you are well-advised to resist it. When someone you know has a serious illness, maybe even dying, you want to say something to them that is helpful, positive, and hopeful. The hopeful tone takes away some of the sting and the awkwardness of not knowing what to say to someone who just told you they are dying.

The problem with this approach is that you risk making the other person feel worse just so you can make yourself feel temporarily better, to ease the discomfort of that one encounter. It is really easy to rationalize this behavior to yourself; you are just trying to be helpful.

...

By all accounts, one universal experience of those with a serious illness is that people come out of the woodwork to offer them advice about which alternative medicine they should be using to cure themselves. The experience is even worse for those with any fame, for then they have hordes of fans giving them unsolicited advice.

...

What they need is your emotional support. Just be there for them, with all the pain and discomfort that implies. People don’t want platitudes or simplistic advice – that just minimizes their pain and makes them feel as if they are alone.

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A very good piece, IMO. Something every human should read and remember.

Scientists are correct about climate change, GMOs, and the toxicity of glyphosate.

Why do agree with scientists on the first, but not the latter two?

How is it that you don't recognize bad cherry picked claims, while you ignore the mass of evidence to the contrary?

PS:

Why don't ever post about this issue?

12 highly toxic pesticides approved for use in organic farming
https://risk-monger.blogactiv.eu/2015/11/12/the-risk-mongers-dirty-dozen-12-highly-toxic-pesticides-approved-for-use-in-organic-farming/

Mike Adams Now Blames The Nazis!

http://www.naturalnews.com/053449_Tribeca_Film_Festival_Sloan_Foundation_eugenics_and_depopulation.html

This is just funny stuff. It's ugly, ludicrous stuff, but you have to laugh.
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