Categories: "Science"

For the attention of TheDailyCreationism

For those who read my blog a couple of years back you no doubt remember a series of posts I did countering the mis-information spread by somebody who went under the handle thedailycreationism and bigbangisamyth, he ran a few different blogs and often moved around between them (I have no idea why). But after a while all the posts dried up, much to my disappointment as he was a good source to use for topics to write about.

Well I was searching for his name the other day and came across a post he had made on somebody else's blog back in 2006 saying he would like to arrange a debate with an atheist. Funnily enough I offered to debate him back in December 2006, but never had a response.

But after seeing his request, I'd like to remind him again that I am willing to debate him. I can make time in August onwards, and I'll debate anywhere that has good rail connections with Yeovil.

On a related note, I've had a couple of requests asking if I could debunk the film 'Expelled the Movie'. Well I can't yet, I haven't seen it, but when I do I'll write up something to address whatever points are made in the film.

Men don't have fewer ribs than women

Let's clear this little thing up, as I heard it again today - somebody claiming men have one less of rib (I assume they mean a pair) than women.

This is false, we both have 12 pairs of ribs.

This myth is probably even more widespread than the 10% of our brain nonsense - the same nonsense that is used to claim the existence of whatever paranormal ability anybody cares to come up with.

Today, unlike people back in the dark ages, we don't just guess at how many legs, teeth or ribs something has. We do some science, and do an experiment - like counting whatever it is we're claiming something to have or not have.

Acupuncture - the BBC nails it

It's very rare I read an article in the mainstream press which makes so much sense, and tackles a scientific topic so well.

Simon Singh +1 point(s), but as he's the co-author of 'Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial' maybe he should get an additional point.

Ever since receiving my first ever acupuncture session last month, I have been repeatedly asked whether or not it was effective.


[W]hy on earth should my personal experience be important, when we have evidence from tens of thousands of patients who have received acupuncture during carefully observed scientific trials?

Excellent, now if only all journalists could learn this skill when dealing with a scientific topic, especially when it concerns something health related. We use science to decide if something works or not, because its the most reliable method we have.

He then goes on to talk about the scientific evidence and how there is no evidence to suggest acupuncture is effective.

Good stuff. I'm fed up with the free-ride alternative crap-based medicine is getting in the press, and I'm furious with how much public money is wasted on junk like homeopathy and the rest. The proponents of this sort of stuff aren't just taking people's money like most pseudo-scientific nonsense, they're screwing with people's health too.

Phoenix lands successfully

One last thing I wanted to leave you with before I head off to Newport to see Catherine. Phoenix landed successfully last night! Here's the first image of the horizon we've got back.

One thing I do have a comment to make quickly about, have you seen what the NASA personnel are wearing? Those silly blue t-shirts that make them look like McWorkers. Honestly NASA, let your people wear a shirt and tie instead of a dumb uniform somebody like Game would come up with, it looks much more professional and it isn't going to get any young people going into engineering or science.

Phoenix Mars Mission

Two days five hours to go until Phoenix lands on Mars, the mission is what NASA have dubbed a quick scout mission, where it'll briefly look into history of water on Mars and any habitability potential in the ice-rich soils near the Martian poles.

Phoenix itself will land on Sunday at 23:53:52 (+/- 46 seconds) UT (Monday 00:53:52 BST), as you can see from the drawing above there will be no penny-pinching inflatable beach ball landing for this mission. I'm hearing it'll be broadcast on NASA TV, which should be interesting as I've recently got NASA TV working on my Xbox 360 Media Center Extender again. It'll be doing some of the work that the lost Mars Polar Lander was supposed to be doing.

Emily Lakdawalla will have more details as they roll in on the Planetary Society blog.

Attempts to lower abortion limit defeated

On Monday the ban on "saviour siblings" was defeated, and research using hybrid embryos can go ahead, today attempts to introduce law requiring a father figure for IVF treatment have been defeated and lastly, the big one which always gets people up in arms, attempts to lower the abortion limit have been defeated. Phew...

I'm pleased to see Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg supporting the current 24 week limit. David Cameron, of course and no doubt like most of the Tories supported cutting the current limit to 22 weeks, and some even lower.

Unsurprisingly people who are indoctrinated into bronze-age mythology led the charge to get the limit cut. Their defeat hopefully will blunt their further attempts to influence public policy going forward.

As I've written before, parliament should be a place for evidence and reason, not a place for mythology.

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