Tag Archives: evaluating evidence

Vaccines and autism: A thorough review of the evidence (2019 update)

One of the most common concerns that people have about vaccines is that they might cause (or exacerbate) autism. This idea is perpetuated by celebrities and innumerable websites, and it has become one of the cornerstone arguments of the anti-vaccine … Continue reading

Posted in Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Acupuncture is just a placebo

Acupuncture is an extremely popular form of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) that has even worked its way into many “integrative” hospitals. It is also fiercely defended by its believers. Unfortunately, it is not well defended by actual evidence, so I … Continue reading

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Is it likely that alternative medicine works? The importance of prior probability

Prior probability is basically just the plausibility of a result, given everything else we know about the universe. In other words, when evaluating a hypothesis or a study, you should weight your confidence in the result not only on the … Continue reading

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If anecdotes are evidence, why aren’t you drinking paint thinner?

I want to begin this post by doing something atypical for me. I want to tell you about an amazing cure-all that I that was recently introduced to: turpentine (aka paint thinner). According to the vast wealth of knowledge available … Continue reading

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Facts aren’t political (or religious)

On this blog/Facebook page, I try very hard to stick to scientific facts and avoid discussing politics. Nevertheless, I am frequently accused of being political, even when I am simply reporting a fact. For example, I often post facts about … Continue reading

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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