Blog Profile / NeuroLogica


URL :http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php
Filed Under:Academics / Neuroscience
Posts on Regator:1234
Posts / Week:2.4
Archived Since:March 17, 2008

Blog Post Archive

The Pseudoscience of Masaru Emoto

Masaru Emoto thinks that emotions can affect inanimate objects. If you are nice to water and then freeze it, it will make pretty happy crystals. If you are mean to water and then freeze it, it will make ugly unhappy crystals. He writes: The result was that we always observed beautiful crystals after giving good […]

Renewed Antiscience Legislation

The fight over science in public education continues, and if anything picked up considerably in 2017. Earlier in the year Nature reported on various state laws designed to water down science education or allow for equal time to be given to unscientific views. They report: Florida’s legislature approved a bill on 5 May that would […]

Evolution Observed in Darwin’s Finches

Just two weeks ago I wrote about “Evolution Caught in the Act” – I was writing about fossils that are clearly transitional and occur within a major evolutionary change, like a land animal adapting to aquatic life. Now we have another report that justifies the same title, although this one is in living species. For […]

How Wikipedia Tackles Fringe Nonsense

Wikipedia is an interesting experiment in amateur crowdsourcing of information. I think it is a massively successful experiment, but it faces specific challenges. This page on Wikipedia discusses their approach to what information they allow to remain in their pages. They have a number of policies and practices that are meant to act as a […]

The Moon Landing Hoax – Again

James Randi has often observed that paranormal beliefs are like “unsinkable rubber duckies.” No matter how many times they are knocked down, they just keep popping back up. That’s because they are not based on facts or logic, but motivated reasoning serving some deeper cultural or emotional need. You can counter them with facts, but […]

The Ethics of Head Transplants

Newsweek, who has been following the story of Italian Neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavero, now reports: “Human Head Transplants Are About to Happen in China: But Where Are the Bodies Coming From?” I have already discussed the scientific aspects of this claim. They are highly implausible and I doubt that such a transplant is about to happen at […]

John Oliver Nails Trump

In the season finale of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver reviews Trump’s assault on truth and decency. If you haven’t been watching this show, you should give it a try. Not only is it funny and entertaining, but on each episode Oliver does a deep dive on something in our society that is not right […]

Fact-checking on Facebook

Last year Facebook announced that it was partnering with several outside news agencies, the Associated Press, Snopes, ABC News, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org, to fact-check popular news articles and then provide a warning label for those articles on Facebook. How is that effort working out? According to a recent survey, not so well. Yale researchers Rand […]

Raccoons Are Smart But Not Good Pets

Animal intelligence is fascinating for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it forces researchers to think carefully about what intelligence is. The comparison might also provide a window into what constitutes human intelligence in particular. There is no question that humans have intellectual capabilities that no other species has. However, […]

Glyphosate Not Associated with Cancer

In March of 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), published their assessment on glyphosate, Monsanto’s popular weedkiller, classifying it as 2a – a probable carcinogen. This was like red meat to the anti-GMO crowd, and even sparked class action suits against Monsanto and may lead […]

Evolution Caught in the Act

The hypothesis that life on Earth as it is currently found is the result of biological evolution from a common ancestor over billions of years is supported by such a mountain of evidence that it can be treated as an established scientific fact. Further, it is now a fundamental organizing theory of biology. This, of […]

Science-Based Veterinary Medicine

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is a UK-based professional organization for veterinary surgeons and nurses. They describe their mission as: We aim to enhance society through improved animal health and welfare. We do this...Show More Summary

US Government Report Affirms Climate Change

The U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report was recently published, and its conclusions are crystal clear:  This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities,...Show More Summary

Consistency Bias

“Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.” – George Orwell In Orwell’s classic book, 1984, the totalitarian state controlled information and they used that power to obsessively manage public perception. One perception they insisted upon was that the state was consistent – never changing its mind or […]

The Long Winter That Killed the Dinosaurs

There is still a bit of a debate about what, exactly, was responsible for the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs and 75% of all species on Earth about 65 million years ago (the K-Pg extinction event). There is no question that a large meteor impacted near Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico at precisely that […]

Conspiracy Thinking and Epistemology

Just last week I discussed a study looking at the correlation between belief in conspiracy theories and hyperactive pattern recognition. The quick version is this – belief in false patterns (such as bizarre conspiracy theories) results from a tendency to detect false patterns and a lack of filtering out those detections. The question for psychologists […]

The Mandela Effect

Do you remember when Nelson Mandela was killed in prison in the 1980s? Apparently there are a lot of people who, for some reason, had this memory. Of course, Mandela was not killed in prison, he survived and went on to become president of South Africa. This false memory, however, gave rise to the term, […]

Conspiracy Thinking and Pattern Recognition

Humans are conspiracy theorists. Seeing and believing in conspiracies appears to be a fundamental part of how our minds work. Psychologists are trying to understand rigorous exactly why this is, and what factors predict a tendency to believe in conspiracies. A recent study adds to those that link conspiracy thinking with pattern recognition. The researchers […]

Making Oxygen on Mars

At some point humans will travel to Mars. It seems inevitable, the only question being when that will happen. Optimists like Musk think it will happen before mid-century, but that may not be realistic. There are significant logistical hurdles without clear solutions. Some argue, and I agree with this strategy, that we should focus first […]

More Gravitational Waves

The winner of the Nobel prize for physics was the detection of gravitational waves. These are extremely subtle ripples in spacetime caused by massive cataclysmic events, such as black holes colliding. These ripples were predicted by Einstein, who thought we may never be able to detect them because they would be so unbelievably tiny. How tiny?  LIGO […]

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