Science

Clueless Scientists?

Featured image Conservatives are said to be “anti-science,” though one ought to pause once and a while and ponder where the opposition to vaccines and genetically modified organisms comes from.  A belief in a literal six-day creation 6,000 years ago harms no one; urging parents not to vaccinate their children, as prominent liberals and celebrities have done, leads to unnecessary death and disease. One problem for the scientific community is that much »

There May Be Plenty More Fish In the Sea

Featured image An interesting item for a Friday evening: a team of Australian researchers has come to the startling conclusion that there are 20 times as many fish in the sea as previously believed: Scientists have vastly underestimated the number of fish in the sea – and say the majority of them have never been fished. Australian researchers found that mesopelagic fish, which live between 100 and 1000m below the surface, constitute »

Most Democrats Need Remedial Science Education

Featured image One of the more amusing aspects of the current political scene is the claim of liberals to be “pro-science”–a claim that is often made in the context of the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory, which is anything but scientific. Science is a method, not a body of dogma, and I am not aware of anyone in public life who is anti-science. Of course, before you can be pro- or anti-anything, »

This Is What A Disruptive Technology Looks Like . . .

Featured image . . . in its first moments.  Hat tip to FB pal and Power Line reader Kate Pitrone for flagging this old video from 1981, showing the earliest experiments with online news gathering and transmission.  I vividly recall seeing the earliest version of FAX technology back in 1981, when my mentor M. Stanton Evans would send his syndicated column to the Los Angeles Times by wrapping each page of the »

Oh What the Heck: A “Killer Party” Blast from the Archives

Featured image The Green Weenie of the Week about the weather and violent crime reminded of the all-time most risible excursion into social science fatuity back in 2002, when a couple of journal articles claimed to discern a correlation between high suicide rates and conservatives parties being in power.  So from the archives from September 2oo2, here’s my short column “Killer Party.”  File this under “Social Science: Is There Anything It Can’t do?” Conservatives »

Video of the Week

Featured image It is not necessary to be a Trekkie (but really, why wouldn’t you be?) to appreciate the intergenerational rivalry of this Audi ad featuring the original Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) versus the “rebooted” younger Spock, Zachary Quinto. And kudos to Nimoy, for being game to spoof the most embarrassing moment of his entire career; and no, I don’t mean that Trek episode where he got the seven-year Vulcan itch.  Rather, »

Climate: Perfect for Whining, as Usual

Featured image Ben Boychuk of City Journal California (and the fine InfiniteMonkeys blog) has been after me for a while to write for its pages now that I’ve been foolish enough to move back to the less-than-golden state, but I’ve been too busy to oblige.  But when he pointed me to the latest nonsense from the climate capos about how California’s wine industry was imperiled, I had to swing into action.  The result »

A Scientist Reproves the Alarmist Flock

Featured image This letter to the editor of a newspaper in Washington State was written by Dr. David Deming in response to an attack on Don Easterbrook by a group of professors at Western Washington University. I thought it was too good not to share; in part, because it isn’t just about global warming alarmism, it is about science. Via Watts Up With That? Note that there are numerous links in the »

Dream or Nightmare?

Featured image So what has become of the new Boeing Dreamliner?  Since its grounding in January owing to its twitchy lithium-ion batteries, there’s been little news.  This is an unusually long grounding for a plane, especially one as technologically advanced as the 787.  I know a little about this kind of thing, which is why I’ve been following this story keenly for a long time.  In the early weeks of the 747 »

What Would We Do Without Social Science?

Featured image Quantitative social science is best when it provides rigorous evidence of counter-intuitive propositions, that is, when it can debunk commonly held perceptions about phenomena.  A good example is Charles Murray’s careful analysis of social survey data in Coming Apart, showing that in fact low-income whites are abandoning religion and marriage much more than high-income whites—the reverse of what is typically perceived.  But much of the time, social science is proving »

The Democratic War on Science (with Update)

Featured image One mark of the pervasive media bias of our time is how easily the risible thesis of Chris Mooney’s book The Republican War on Science gained traction with the mainstream media.  It’s become a “goes-without-saying” axiom of political discourse today.  Jonathan Adler had the most sober takedown of Mooney’s moonbattery at Regulation magazine back in 2007 (updated and downloadable from SSRN).  Here’s Jon’s able summary of the problem of the »

Ron Bailey on Science Fraud (Video)

Featured image The second half of my recent conversation with Reason magazine science and technology writer Ron Bailey concerns the epidemic of fraud and false results in scientific studies.  Scientific fraud, Nature magazine reported recently, has increased tenfold over the last decade.  There’s even a Retraction Watch blog that tracks the problem.  The problem, as Ron explains in this three-minute video with me, is even worse than just chasing after grant money. »

Layers and Layers of Fact-Checkers Score Again

Featured image Screen shot from MSNBC, the network for supposedly “reality-based” liberals–faster than the speed of light, eh?  Did Baumgartner turn into pure energy, like Chris Matthews, or a black hole, like Keith Olberman?  (Reminds me a little of an old Eddie Izzard sketch: “Just how fast is Godspeed, anyway?”  I’m sure MSNBC will be able to tell us.) »

A Few Minutes with Ron Bailey

Featured image Earlier this week I spent some time chatting with Reason magazine’s superb science and technology writer, Ron Bailey, about all kinds of things.  The short video here (2:30 long) talks about the findings of the Yale Cultural Cognition Project, which throw cold water on the “if only people were more informed” argument.  Some types of people get more irrational when they have more information about a subject.  (The typology Bailey »

In Other News. . .

Featured image There are some interesting and important things happening besides the meltdown of Obama’s foreign policy.  The journal Nature reports on a brand new mathematical proof about one of the major lingering issues of number theory—something known as the abc conjecture.  I can’t begin to summarize the short explanation Nature offers (I imagine that among Power Line’s superb readership there is someone more astute in advance mathematics than me who might »

I Told You So!

Featured image Actually, I probably didn’t. I don’t remember when I first heard about “junk DNA,” but I think it was before we had this site. So when I read that 99% of the human genome is irrelevant stuff that has no function, I thought: how stupid! What are the chances that the human body was designed (or evolved, it makes no difference) with 99% of our DNA being “junk”? I thought »

An Omen for November, or Just Karma?

Featured image I think it was the 1984 American Political Science Association (APSA) annual convention (Woodstock for political science geeks, one of whom I am which) where a straw poll found that of the attending academic political scientists, over 90 percent were going to vote for Walter Mondale. Most of the remaining 10 percent were going to vote for someone further left; Reagan was only drawing about 2 percent. This comes to »