EppsNet Archive: Science

They Submitted Fake Papers to Peer-Reviewed Journals — Here’s What Happened Next

Three writers produced 20 intentionally outlandish academic papers and submitted them to the best peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as “cultural studies” or “identity studies” (for example, gender studies) or “critical theory.” Seven of the papers were accepted for publication and seven more were still under review when the authors elected to end the experiment. Their point would seem to be that scholarship in these fields is based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances. Just about anything can be published, so long as it falls within the moral orthodoxy and demonstrates an understanding of the existing literature. The authors summarize their methodology as follows. (I’ve inserted the material in brackets from elsewhere in the article, which you should look at in its entirety because there’s too much good stuff to summarize.) What if we write a paper saying we should train… Read more →

Does Global Warming Cause Hurricanes?

Anyone who thinks global warming causes hurricanes should be required to explain in detail: the cause and effect mechanism they believe to be in operation; and what used to cause hurricanes before global warming. Read more →

Happy Birthday, Pope Urban VIII

Pope Urban VIII, the most recent pope to use the pontifical name of Urban, was born on this date, April 5, 1568. He is probably best remembered for his demon-killing exorcisms used to chase from the head of Galileo Galilei the devilish notion that the earth revolved around the sun . . . Read more →

Quantum Teleportation Breakthrough by DARPA-Funded Physicists

Two separate teams of scientists funded by the Pentagon’s research arm have revealed significant breakthroughs in the field of quantum teleportation which could have a major impact on cybersecurity and encryption. — RT America Forget security and encryption I want to disappear one place and appear someplace else. What’s the holdup on that?! Read more →

Stigler’s Law of Eponymy

Stigler’s law of eponymy is a process proposed by University of Chicago statistics professor Stephen Stigler in his 1980 publication “Stigler’s law of eponymy.” It states that no scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer. Stigler named the sociologist Robert K. Merton as the discoverer of “Stigler’s law,” so as to avoid this law about laws disobeying its very own decree. — Wikipedia Read more →

If Math Was Taught Like Science

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Big Fishes in Small Ponds

A colleague and I are discussing an article about too many kids quitting science because they don’t think they’re smart, in which Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford, says, among other things: Being a good parent has become synonymous with giving out ability praise. Parents still think this is the greatest gift they can give to their children, and as a child gets more and more insecure, they give more and more of it. And, by the way, a lot of employers and coaches have said, “My employees cannot get through the day without accolades and validation.” Even professional coaches have said they cannot give feedback without these people feeling that they’ve crushed them. We’ve created several generations now of very fragile individuals because they’ve been praised and hyped. And feel that anything but praise is devastating. My colleague mentions Malcolm Gladwell‘s book David and Goliath, in which Gladwell claims… Read more →

When is Diversity Not a Dilemma?

I just read yet another brief — Solving the Diversity Dilemma — regarding lack of diversity in the STEM workforce. If members of Group X are underrepresented in some professions, they must be overrepresented in others. For example, I used to work with a nursing organization . . . women far outnumber men in nursing but for the five years I worked there I never heard anyone talk about the shortage of men in nursing being a dilemma, crisis, etc., or suggesting that anything be done to change it. I work in a STEM field. It’s a good job for me but not for everyone. My son (age 21) for example, never showed any interest in it and I don’t think he’ll be any less happy in life because he’s not working in STEM. There are pluses and minuses like any other profession. Simple but possibly valid explanation for STEM… Read more →

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The notion that we have limited access to the workings of our minds is difficult to accept because, naturally, it is alien to our experience but it is true: You know far less about yourself than you feel you do.   A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.   It is the consistency of information that matters for a good story, not its completeness. Indeed, you will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern.   The exaggerated faith in small samples is only one example of a more general illusion — we pay more attention to the content of messages than to information about their reliability, and as a result end up with a view of the world around us that is simpler and more coherent than… Read more →

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Elite Daily: Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With

Income Inequality Explained

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It Would Be Important to Get There and There is Probably a Way

I often say, “Well, it’s just over on the other side of that canyon. So all we have to do is go.” It is always surprising to me that other people would expect me to tell them how we’re going to get there directly. That it is not enough to say, “Well, it would be important to get there and there is probably a way. Let’s go.” — Doug Engelbart Read more →

Kids Should Study Math and Science, Say Adults Who Never Studied Math or Science

The New York Times has been editorializing recently on the nation’s need to enlarge our pool of science and math students, with a particular focus on girls and minorities, and to encourage them to pursue careers that will keep the country competitive. Here’s a list of the members of the NYT editorial board, including academic major(s), which I obtained from their online bios. See if you notice anything unusual. Andrew Rosenthal, Editor (American History) Terry Tang, Deputy Editorial Page Editor (Economics, Law) Robert B. Semple Jr., Associate Editor (History) David Firestone, Projects Editor, National Politics, the White House and Congress (Journalism) Vikas Bajaj, Business, International Economics (Journalism) Philip M. Boffey, Science (History) Francis X. Clines, National Politics, Congress, Campaign Finance (none listed) Lawrence Downes, Immigration, Veterans Issues (English, Journalism) Carol Giacomo, Foreign Affairs (English Literature) Mira Kamdar, International Affairs (French Literature) Verlyn Klinkenborg, Agriculture, Environment, Culture (English Literature) Juliet Lapidos,… Read more →

We’re Still Smarter Than You Are

Teens from Asian nations dominated a global exam given to 15-year-olds, while U.S. students showed little improvement and failed to reach the top 20 in math, science or reading, according to test results released Tuesday. — Why Asian teens do better on tests than US teens – CSMonitor.com Why am I not shocked by that? Because Americans on the whole are dumb and lazy. We have lots of dumb, lazy parents raising dumb, lazy kids. The average American kid doesn’t compare well academically to the average kid in an Asian country where academics and hard work are valued, or to the average kid from a small, homogenous European country where it’s easier to get everyone pulling in the same educational direction. The U.S. is a big, diverse country and the average academic results are pulled down by a lot of dummkopfs. But still, the smartest people in the world are… Read more →

Waving Bibles at Scientists

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a public school district was legally justified in firing science instructor James Freshwater, who waved a Bible at his students, distributed religious pamphlets and talked about creationism in evolution lessons. Personally, I’d fire him just based on the look of smug, benevolent certainty on his face. He doesn’t look like a man who struggles with doubt, which is the essence of science. Read more →

See You in Hell, Game of Thrones Fans

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles had a telescope pointed at Saturn this week. Anyone who wanted to could stop by and have a look. “It looks like I thought it would look,” one observer remarked. HA! He wasn’t impressed AT ALL by the fact that better men than himself built a device that lets him see things a BILLION miles away. This same idiot later pronounced himself “blown away” by the deaths of several make-believe characters on a TV show called Game of Thrones. If your Facebook and Twitter feeds look anything like mine this morning, you know that unfortunately this is just one idiot out of many. One of the reasons America is circling the drain is people’s inability to distinguish fantasy from reality until reality hits them like a pitchfork in the guts.… Read more →

But THIS Guy, He Might Be For Real

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High Dropout Rates for STEM Majors is NOT a Problem

The University of Colorado has a $4.3 million grant to research the “problem” of 40 to 60 percent attrition rate among STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors. Someone is missing an obvious point here, which is that there should be a large dropout rate for STEM majors. Incompetent technologists and engineers create disasters. The music department, the English department, the philosophy department, etc., etc., can graduate their incompetent students without worrying that they’re going to build a collapsing bridge, blow up a space shuttle, disintegrate a Mars orbiter — you get the idea . . . Read more →

Why is There No Progress in Exercise Science?

Why can’t someone invent a workout you can do, say, once a year and still see excellent results? There is no progress in exercise science. We can put a man on the moon, a rover on Mars, but we can’t develop a once-a-year, high intensity workout? Very disappointing. Read more →

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Richard Feynman: Cargo Cult Science — a commencement speech from 1974 in which Feynman explains in a clear, entertaining way what real science is all about.

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