May. 25th, 2007 07:59 am
ailsa_chan: (Default)
Can I just explain, to all the people who have been writing into newspapers recently, why homeopathy doesn't have any side effects?

Because it doesn't have any active ones! There is not chemical benefit from it.

Now STFU. Thankyou.


Jan. 9th, 2007 05:50 pm
ailsa_chan: (sephy)
The following is an article published in today's Guardian and mentioned by at least one on my flist.


Anyone who knows me will tell you that this is something I think strongly about, and indeed more than one has had fun winding my up with the banana line. (Don't ask, and you will be less likely to discover that the banana fits perfectly into other parts of the human anatomy.) It's not just ID / creationism that winds me up, any pseudo-science tends to make me grumpy, it's just there's a log more creationism bollocks floating around at the moment.

Anyway, lets take a look at this.

They author states fairly early on that "But despite the brilliance of Darwin's work, it is overoptimistic to claim that his theory explains the origin of all living things." This is because it doesn't. At all. Darwin's work was "The Origin of the Species." The theory of evolution required an imperfect replicating system to begin with. In other words, it makes no attempt to explain the origins of life, only the patterns of divergence that come from that life.

It's common to find creationist who think that evolution is flawed because the can't understand the concept of the big bang. You come to expect it of some red-neck texan 14 year old who thinks he's smarter than 200 years of combined scientific study because his pastor told him he's not a proper Christian if he doesn't take the bible literally. However, if this guy is sitting on a panel called "Truth in Science", I'd expect him to have a bit of a better idea what he's talking about.

The article is full of unsupported claims, and loaded language. "...coded information", "tiny machines" etc all point the body being like a well put together machine. But how closely does this actually resemble reality and how many laymen are going to spot this. If the human body was designed, then the designer was certainly not intelligent. He was sloppy and lazy. There are plenty of design flaws that make no sense from an engineering point of view, such as blind spots in our eyes; the fact that we breath and take food through the same orifice running the risk of choking and so on.

The author finishes by exploring the idea of ID as a science. "But, whatever the limitations of Darwinism, isn't the intelligent design alternative an "intellectual dead end"? No. If true, ID is a profound insight into the natural world and a motivator to scientific inquiry." How? Setting aside how you would test for such a concept, how does knowing nature is designed help you to understand it? As far as I can see the only thing it would do would be give you somewhere to go to demand your money back for this shoddy product called the human body.

"ID is not a science because "there is no evidence that could in principle disprove ID". Remind me, what is claimed of Darwinism? If, as an explanation for organised complexity, Darwinism had a more convincing evidential basis, then many of us would give up on ID." For a start, there is no such thing as Darwinism. Darwin was a long time ago, and his ideas have been tested and changed as more evidence came out. The theory of evoution, (which the author shows he's not very clear on above) is based of evidnence and study over a much longer period that Darwin was around for, and using tools the man never dreamed off. Darwin got things wrong, and didn't have any evidence of other things. Leave him alone.

If ID proponents would put the effort into studing the evidence of evolution, rather than trying to change the definition of science, then they would give up. IP can never be science, because science ignores the the metaphysical. If it can't be tested it can't be commented on. And ID cannot give predictions, cannot produce testable models. What it is is an excuise of people to try and squeeze God into a gap in their knowledge becase that is easier than looking for the real answer.

Rant time

Oct. 22nd, 2006 12:42 pm
ailsa_chan: (journal)
Let me start by saying I dislike what the Muslim full veil represents. I dislike the idea that women should be forced to cover up like that. I also agree with the decision that the teaching assistant should not be covered up when doing her job, as it is preventing her doing it properly and I do not think it is wrong to ask a woman to remove her veil when having serious and important conversation with, say, her MP, provided you respect her answer. This is because we put a lot of emphisis on body language, and in a sat down face to face conversation, the expresion of a person is going to show most of this.

However, to the Express: FUCK OFF.

Let me explain. Yesterday's headline was Ban It, with a picture of a woman in full veil walking down the road. I didn't read much of the artical, but it was largely along the lines of "how long will us poor english have to put up with these filthy foreigners and their filthy foreign ways, waily waily waily.

If you feel uncomfortable seeing a woman dressed like this walking down the street then it is you that has the problem, not her. The response that when abroad, the British will respect other cultures by covering up does not hold becase: a) many people don't and b) there is nothing in our culture that says you cannot dress like this.

Should we start banning anything people feel uncomfortable with? What about women in skimpy clothing? What about dogs? I know lots of people who feel unconfortable with dogs around them? Or children? (Child-free is a rant for another day).

This says nothing of the fact that this is not news. This is opion. There is so little news and so much bias in pretty much every paper these days.

One final thing while I'm ranting. Everyone remembers the MMR - autism link that was widely reported a few years ago, right? The last shed of possible evidence was refuted recently, but you'd never realise looking at most of the press. See link below for more details.
Bad Science
ailsa_chan: (Default)
Reading the Sun at lunchtime (must campaign for some better papers in the breakroom) and the bulk of the letters were about how Britain must ban burkas.

Now, I don't particularly like the idea of forcing women to cover themselves up completely lest they tempt some poor sod with too much testosterone, but last time I checked this was a relatively free country. We certainly didn't have a list of what you could and couldn't where.

One of the letters was from a woman complaining about some Muslim women who had the audacity to be buying petrol when she was there with her son. She said their apparence scared her little boy. Maybe if the cow had bothered to bring her son up with the idea that there are people who are different to them, he might have had a clue.

Other people were saying how dare these people come to our country and dress differently. Why didn't they intergrate and stop sticking out? Because everyone who wears these things has obviously just smuggled themselves into the country right?

Here's an idea: maybe there is no such thing as dressing Britishly.


ailsa_chan: (Default)

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