Monday, August 1, 2016

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Says No Animal Feels Pain During Sex, Forgets About Duck Penises

BY CLAIRE LANDSBAUM Pop culture writer.
Tweets @landsbaumshell

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who himself is an expert at debunking flawed theories(sorry, B.o.B.), for once seems to have spoken too soon. Yesterday evening the renowned scientist and coital expert tweeted that if any two members of a species experienced pain during sex, that species probably died out.
Tyson immediately received angry replies from animal scientists pointing out that no, sex is not pleasurable for all animal species. Male cats, for example, have tiny spines on their penises, which is probably a little uncomfortable for the females. And then there are male ducks, which plant their sperm in female ducks by force. And male bedbugs, which literally pierce a female's abdomen to impregnate her, leaving an open wound.
So no, Neil, not all animal sex is pleasurable. Not even all human sex is pleasurable. Consider your tweet debunked.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

FINALLY! Scientific American Writer Exposes the Tribal Cultist Arrogance and Dogmatic Lunacy of Science 'Skeptics'

Today I'm tipping my hat to John Horgan, a blogger who writes for Scientific American, for his extraordinary article entitled Dear "Skeptics," Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More.

In his article, Horgan rightly points out that today's so-called "science skeptics" are little more than dogmatic tribal cultists (my words, not Horgan's) who celebrate "skeptical" thinking concerning their selected philosophical targets while vehemently denying anyone's right to question their own beliefs on things like breast cancer screening, vaccine safety, global warming and genetically engineered foods.

As Horgan eloquently explains in his piece, real skeptics are skeptical of everything, not just selected topics that are targeted by the madness of status quo science crowds (i.e. the "cult of scientism").

Real skepticism means questioning everything... especially the status quo

A real skeptic, in other words, would bring critical thinking to all of our science narratives and cultural beliefs, including those that cover the origin of the universe (cosmology), the origin of the human species, the nature of consciousness, the long history of indigenous botanical medicine, the cancer industry and mammography, homeopathy, antidepressant drugs, water filters, the existence of God and everything else imaginable. But far too many of today's infamous "skeptics" (such as Richard Dawkins) are really just cultists who labor under the false banner of "science." And they're offensive to real critical thinkers, it turns out.

"I don’t hang out with people who self-identify as capital-S Skeptics. Or Atheists. Or Rationalists," explains Horgan. "When people like this get together, they become tribal. They pat each other on the back and tell each other how smart they are compared to those outside the tribe. But belonging to a tribe often makes you dumber."

I've seen this myself, on both ends of the medicine spectrum. I've seen insanely stupid pharmacology experts swear that statin drugs are such miraculous chemicals that they should be dripped into the public water supply. But I've also seen "raw foodies" at festivals swearing that their "water vortexer machines" could levitate water in defiance of the laws of gravity.

In both cases, my critical thinking alarms go haywire, and I shake my head in disbelief that so many people are so gullible, regardless of their level of academic education or technical mastery of certain subjects. A highly trained doctor with an IQ of 200 can be just as functionally stupid as a high school dropout, I've observed. In fact, when it comes to medicine and health, many so-called "experts" are so ignorant of reality that they almost seem cognitively retarded

Another layer to this cake is the strong likelihood that many of the leading 'Skeptics' are active (Government) disinformation propagandists, people like Michael Shermer, who ignore or obfuscate hard scientific evidence when it comes to high level corruption, such as with the September 11 attacks. Other issues related to science also come into play, such as hiding experimental evidence indicating the reality of ESP and the UFO phenomena.

I suspect that the leading proponents are recruited because they have corrupt, or intelligence-linked, backgrounds.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, May 26th, 2016.]

Saturday, April 2, 2016

GMOs Are Totally Safe

Click His Big Head to Make it Even Bigger
This compilation is a sample of the scientific references including over 2000 studies, surveys, and analyses that suggest various adverse impacts and potential adverse impacts of genetically engineered (GE/GMO) crops, foods and related pesticides. This list contains references regarding health impacts, environmental impacts, including impact of non-target organisms (NTOs), resistance of target organisms, pesticide drift, genetic contamination, horizontal gene transfer, unintended effects, as well as references regarding yields, social impact, ethics, economics and regulations. In most cases, links are provided to the abstracts for the references or links to sites where the study can be purchased.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scandalizing the ‘science’ cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a famous scientist. He even has a TV show. And wears a cool astronomical vest.

Only he’s not infallible.

This simple truth has been established, over much resistance, by Sean Davis of the lively new conservative Web site the Federalist.

Davis dug into a handful of just-so stories repeated by Tyson in his public lectures, the point of which is to make himself — and by extension, his audience — feel superior to the dolts who aren’t nearly as scientific as he is.

The controversy centered on an erroneous George W. Bush quote that Tyson made a staple of his public presentations, and has come to settle on this question: Why was it so hard for a scientist committed to evidence and rationality to admit that he got something wrong?

In his speeches, Tyson would say that right after 9/11, Bush asserted the superiority of “we” to “they” (i.e., Muslim fundamentalists) by quoting the Bible for the proposition: “Our God is the God who named the stars.”

Tyson then would highlight the absurdity of this by noting that two-thirds of the named stars have Arabic names.

Get it? The ignoramus Bush wanted to denigrate Muslims for their God not excelling at naming stars, when it was really the English-speaking Christian God who didn’t keep up.

Evidently, no one in Tyson’s audiences yukking it up over this story had any idea of Bush’s posture in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when he famously went out of his way to vouch for Islam and to call for tolerance.

As Sean Davis pointed out in his initial piece on the dubious quote, it really came from a tribute to the astronauts who died in the Columbia disaster in 2003. After quoting from Isaiah, Bush said, “The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today.”

When Davis queried Tyson about the provenance of his suspect material, the impressively factual scientist wrote an evasive, condescending reply on Facebook. He helpfully informed Davis that “the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.”

Really? When it comes to presidential speeches? Just because there’s an absence of evidence that Barack Obama said in a State of the Union Address that he wants to nationalize the oil companies, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t said it?

This is such self-evident nonsense that Tyson was finally forced into apologizing, in a rambling, self-glorifying Facebook post.

His gracelessness has extended down to his acolytes, who have worked to keep any mention of the controversy off his Wikipedia page. Tyson’s most intense fans are less skeptics than worshipers.
The attitude is captured in an episode of the Netflix show “Orange Is the New Black” by the protagonist, Piper Chapman, a sophisticated liberal who happens to land in prison. She avows to a group of obnoxious Christian inmates, “I believe in Nate Silver, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens.”

These are the high priests of rationality and secularism, and to question them is, from the point of view of the believers, heresy.

To be clear, it isn’t Tyson’s science that is the point of contention here. Who doesn’t want to listen to him talk about the Large Magellanic Cloud?

The problem is the belief of his fans — encouraged by him — that science has all the answers; that anyone who believes in physics must adhere to a progressive secularism; that anyone not on board is guilty of rank anti-intellectualism.

Properly understood, science is a tool, an incredibly powerful one, but still just a tool. G.K. Chesterton wrote long ago, “Science must not impose any philosophy, any more than the telephone must tell us what to say.”

The Bush-quote controversy reminds us that the self-styled champions of science are, like anyone else, prone to sloppiness, pomposity and error. Just don’t tell the adherents of the Tyson cult. It’s not polite to scandalize the faithful.