Posts Tagged: ‘bad science’

There’s a very important part of good science, that correlation does not prove causation. To give a crude example, if I’m eating an ice cream cone and a chimp passing by on his way back to the circus goes out of his way to cross the street just to punch me in the stomach, while the same chimp just minds his own business and keeps walking if I’m standing in the same spot but without an ice cream cone, then one can say that ice cream and abdominal pain is correlated. But then one is missing the point.

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I know it’s been out for an entire month, so this post is woefully late, but I finally saw “True Grit” this weekend. When the credits rolled, I turned to my friend and movie-watching companion extraordinaire, Jack, and said, “I have a problem with the depiction of rattlesnake behavior in this movie.”

In case you’re wondering, yes, I was the kid who would correct the teacher in elementary school.

Find out what was so wrong after the jump.

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As is my wont from time to time I like to subtly point out the possible shortcomings of the field of psychology. I’ve recently found another opportunity, thanks to a recent post by Greg Downey over at Neuroanthropology about a paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences. A trio of researchers surveyed the literature in the field of behavioral science, the umbrella of psychological studies that also inform other fields like anthropology, philosophy, economics and political science, basically the psychology-led study of what makes us tic.

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There’s a point to publishing negative scientific findings, Ars Technica’s John Timmer pointed out recently. Without them, other researchers’ time and effort may be wasted. Part of the reason for sharing data is not just to shed light on new avenues, but to illuminate dead ends. The scientific community is meant to work as a […]

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Sure, steampunk makes for adorable costumes and some snazzy-looking gadgets, but is it really the stuff of haunted houses? Pittsburgh’s ScareHouse seems to think so, but just when is science terrifying and when does it merely promise us jazzy retro bikes?

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TechStuff blogger Jonathan Strickland has been giving me stuff to blog about all week. So far I’ve managed to cover almost none of it. But since it’s Friday afternoon and time for something fun, here’s one of the things he sent me on Wednesday: a re-cut trailer for the movie “2012,” which is slated to come out in November.

Like many science geeks, I’m torn about “2012.” On the one hand: Chiwetel Ejiofor (of “Serenity” and “Kinky Boots”), John Cusack (of “High Fidelity” and … do I really need to explain?), and gratuitous destruction. On the other hand: Bad science. I know what to expect on that front since I’ve seen director Roland Emmerich’s “The Day After Tomorrow.” Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy has already delved into some of the wrongness in the second “2012” trailer.

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