Category Archives: Nature of Science

How not to science: Lessons from flat earthers and climate change deniers

Science is an amazingly powerful tool for disentangling fact and fiction. When done correctly, it is a systematic, objective, unbiased, and self-correcting method for understanding our universe. Unfortunately, many people don’t appreciate the objectivity that science requires, and instead view … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, GMO, Nature of Science, Science of Evolution, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Courts don’t determine scientific facts

Most people have probably seen the recent news that Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289 million following the ruling by a California jury that Monsanto’s glyphosate (a.k.a. Roundup) is dangerous and likely contributed to Dewayne Johnson’s cancer. I could … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science, Rules of Logic | Tagged , , , | 54 Comments

Methodolatry: An over-reliance on placebo-controlled trials

Randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) are often referred to as the “gold standard” for clinical research, and they certainly are useful and powerful tools. They aren’t, however, the only reliable tools, nor are they always the best tools. Indeed, there are … Continue reading

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Training to be a scientist: It’s not an indoctrination and it’s more than just reading

Many people seem to have some rather strange preconceptions about how higher education in science works. I often encounter people who insist that graduate school “indoctrinates” students, robs them of creativity, and “brainwashes” them to “blindly accept scientific dogma.” Further, … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science | 13 Comments

When can correlation equal causation?

“Correlation does not equal causation.” It is a phrase that everyone has probably heard, but many people seem to ignore or misunderstand it. Indeed, although useful, the phrase itself can be misleading because it often leads to the misconception that … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science, Rules of Logic | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

I imagine that quite a few people were upset by the title for this post, so let me explain what I mean, and please hear me out before you sharpen your pitchforks. The arguments used by all three of these … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, GMO, Nature of Science, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 82 Comments

Another terrible anti-vaccine study bites the dust

Lately, anti-vaccers have been touting a “new” vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study that purportedly shows that vaccines are associated with all manner of detrimental health conditions. I put the word “new” in quotes, because this study was actually accepted for publication … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments