28 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 How Scammers Distort Science

So why should you care? People who are desperate for reliable information face a bewildering array of diet guidance—salt is bad, salt is good, protein is good, protein is bad, fat is bad, fat is good—that changes like the weather. But science will figure it out, right? Now that we’re calling obesity an epidemic, funding will flow to the best scientists and all of this noise will die down, leaving us with clear answers to the causes and treatments. Or maybe not. Even the well-funded...
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A case study where a scientist fooled the media, muddying the waters of nutritional information.

24 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 MMO Players Use the Scientific Process

In MMOs, individuals collaborate to solve complex problems within the virtual world, such as figuring out what combination of individual skills, proficiencies, and equipment are necessary to conquer an in-game boss dragon in the example above. As part of developing efficient and effective solutions, players are customarily expected to research various game strategies and tactics by consulting on- and offline manuals, databases, and discussions, as well as by using such knowledge as the basis ...
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They hypothesize, collaborate, experiment and test their ideas in the virtual worlds to learn how they work.

30 JUL 2013 by ideonexus

 Scientists Read the Book of Nature

IN IMAGINATION there exists the perfect mystery story. Such a story presents all the essential clues, and com- pels us to form our own theory of the case. If we follow the plot carefully, we arrive at the complete solution for ourselves just before the author's disclosure at the end of the book. The solution itself, contrary to those of inferior mysteries, does not disappoint us; more- over, it appears at the very moment we expect it. Can we liken the reader of such a book to the sci...
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But unlike a detective novel, they can't flip to the last page and they may not even find an answer.

17 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Baloney Detection Kit

In science we may start with experimental results, data, observations, measurements, 'facts'. We invent, if we can, a rich array of possible explanations and systematically confront each explanation with the facts. In the course of their training, scientists are equipped with a baloney detection kit. The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, ...
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Bullet points for the baloney detection kit according to Carl Sagan.

19 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Science is the Knot Tying it all together

The creation was a concept—a connected set of concepts. There was the concept of a universal gravitation-reaching beyond the tree tops and the air to the ends of space. There was the concept of other universal forces in space, which ti to pull the moon away as a whirling stone pulls away fro: its string. And there was the concept which put an end to the four elements of Aristotle: the concept of mass, alike in t apple and the earth and the moon, in all earthly and heavenly bodies.** All t...
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Throughout the centuries, scientists postulate hypotheses, and later scientists connect them to others to form stronger, more universal theories.