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(American Magazine)   The telephone-like process of transforming scientific paper on prebiotic Earth into popular science article "Do Intelligent Dinosaurs Really Rule Alien Worlds?" which makes Palin-Americans laugh at science   (american.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, scientific papers  
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1444 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 May 2012 at 11:27 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-28 01:53:33 AM  
Wow. Nice find subby. The thing I found most fascinating is how intelligent dinosaurs rule alien worlds. The other stuff was sorta boring so I skipped it.
 
2012-05-28 02:15:12 AM  
See?

This is what I whining about in that stupid "Dry Earth" link.

The science is interesting in context to a very select kind of person. Trying to take it out of context CAN broaden the appeal, but the farther out it goes the less science is left. Eventually what you get is crap that's neither interesting nor science.
 
2012-05-28 09:38:52 AM  
www.slightlywarped.com
 
2012-05-28 11:35:16 AM  

TsarTom: Wow. Nice find subby. The thing I found most fascinating is how intelligent dinosaurs rule alien worlds. The other stuff was sorta boring so I skipped it.


I agree, a truly captivating revelation.

Cheers, subby.
 
2012-05-28 11:53:52 AM  
It would be informative to find out whether this PR/journalism process has any similarities to the way Bill-Maher-Americans and Jenny-Mcarthy-Americans doubt vaccines, fear wireless devices, and panic over wind turbines.
 
2012-05-28 11:55:56 AM  
The concept of dinosaurs ruling alien planets is just hogwash. And don't even get me started on that purple monkey dishwasher!
 
2012-05-28 12:17:06 PM  

GilRuiz1: It would be informative to find out whether this PR/journalism process has any similarities to the way Bill-Maher-Americans and Jenny-Mcarthy-Americans doubt vaccines, fear wireless devices, and panic over wind turbines.


I thought you must be mistaken about Bill Maher, but then..

"What I've read about what they think I'm saying is not what I've said. I'm not a germ theory denier. I believe vaccinations can work. Polio is a good example. Do I think in certain situations that inoculating Third World children against malaria or diphtheria, or whatever, is right? Of course. In a situation like that, the benefits outweigh costs.

"But to me living in Los Angeles? To get a flu shot? No."

So, it sounds to me like he's not an anti-vaxxer, like Jenny McCarthy, but more of a vax-doubter. He believes we over-medicate ourselves generally, and that's driven by a profit motive, that healthy people don't need nearly as much medicine as they're offered, and that people can be heathier just by making smarter lifestyle choices.
 
2012-05-28 12:31:50 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: GilRuiz1: It would be informative to find out whether this PR/journalism process has any similarities to the way Bill-Maher-Americans and Jenny-Mcarthy-Americans doubt vaccines, fear wireless devices, and panic over wind turbines.

I thought you must be mistaken about Bill Maher, but then..

"What I've read about what they think I'm saying is not what I've said. I'm not a germ theory denier. I believe vaccinations can work. Polio is a good example. Do I think in certain situations that inoculating Third World children against malaria or diphtheria, or whatever, is right? Of course. In a situation like that, the benefits outweigh costs.

"But to me living in Los Angeles? To get a flu shot? No."

So, it sounds to me like he's not an anti-vaxxer, like Jenny McCarthy, but more of a vax-doubter. He believes we over-medicate ourselves generally, and that's driven by a profit motive, that healthy people don't need nearly as much medicine as they're offered, and that people can be heathier just by making smarter lifestyle choices.


Lots of people don't get flu shots, myself included. Mostly because I never really get the flu and I'm too lazy to see my doctor about broken bones let alone a vaccine for an illness I haven't experienced since I was 8.

There is recent research that seems to indicate that a single moderate to severe case of influenza can lead to long term health problems though in which case maybe the flue shot is a good idea.
 
2012-05-28 12:35:20 PM  

GilRuiz1: It would be informative to find out whether this PR/journalism process has any similarities to the way Bill-Maher-Americans and Jenny-Mcarthy-Americans doubt vaccines, fear wireless devices, and panic over wind turbines.


Also, I'm not finding anything about Maher speaking against wireless or wind turbines. I really do think you've got the wrong guy here, and that one quote of his was misunderstood by most people. He can be a prick, for sure, but he's not anti-science, and supposedly considers himself an environmentalist.
 
2012-05-28 12:45:54 PM  
ALL HAIL OUR ALIEN DINOSAUR OVERLORDS!!!!!!
 
2012-05-28 12:46:12 PM  

Egoy3k: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: GilRuiz1: It would be informative to find out whether this PR/journalism process has any similarities to the way Bill-Maher-Americans and Jenny-Mcarthy-Americans doubt vaccines, fear wireless devices, and panic over wind turbines.

I thought you must be mistaken about Bill Maher, but then..

"What I've read about what they think I'm saying is not what I've said. I'm not a germ theory denier. I believe vaccinations can work. Polio is a good example. Do I think in certain situations that inoculating Third World children against malaria or diphtheria, or whatever, is right? Of course. In a situation like that, the benefits outweigh costs.

"But to me living in Los Angeles? To get a flu shot? No."

So, it sounds to me like he's not an anti-vaxxer, like Jenny McCarthy, but more of a vax-doubter. He believes we over-medicate ourselves generally, and that's driven by a profit motive, that healthy people don't need nearly as much medicine as they're offered, and that people can be heathier just by making smarter lifestyle choices.

Lots of people don't get flu shots, myself included. Mostly because I never really get the flu and I'm too lazy to see my doctor about broken bones let alone a vaccine for an illness I haven't experienced since I was 8.

There is recent research that seems to indicate that a single moderate to severe case of influenza can lead to long term health problems though in which case maybe the flue shot is a good idea.


IANAD, so my knowledgebase here is as good as the next ignorant stranger's, but my personal -- again, totally unscientific -- suspicion is that certain flu symptoms, in the extreme, can cause lasting damage. A number of people I've known with various neurological issues believe they can trace it back to a severe fever, for example, and we know that very high fever can cause neurological injury.

For myself, I usually do whatever my doctors ask, as best as I can. (I freely admit I could be better about diet and exercise.) If they suggest a vax, I take it. Maher might be right that it's overhyped and reasonably healthy people like me don't need it for ourselves, but I think he overlooks the fact that people who are vaccinated are also not carriers who can pass it on to less healthy people. Yes, those people can be vaccinated, too, but it will help them a lot if the rest of us aren't threatening to deliver a viral load to their systems. (Again, IANAD, so if I'm wrong about this then I'm just wrong.)
 
2012-05-28 12:51:39 PM  

GilRuiz1: It would be informative to find out whether this PR/journalism process has any similarities to the way Bill-Maher-Americans and Jenny-Mcarthy-Americans doubt vaccines, fear wireless devices, and panic over wind turbines.


It's a similar process. It starts with people knowing just enough to be dangerous but not enough to fully understand the idea. It's like that fwd:fwd:fwd: that went around a while back that drinking ice water with your meal will slow down your metabolism and make you fat. Somebody probably read a study on the effects of temperature to metabolism, maybe in relation to hibernation research. They connected it with some common knowledge like "I'm fat because I have a slow metabolism" and then jumped to the conclusion that anything that lowers your temperature will lower your metabolism and will contribute to making you fat. But they have no understanding of the intricacies of the human metabolism and no knowledge of just how much ice water you would have to consume to sufficiently drop your core body temperature. All they see are the superficial general ideas that serve as no basis to form a solid conclusion any more than if you were to walk outside, note the sky is blue and then make the claim that clearly the sky must be an upside down ocean.

The problem arises when these people have a forum and can spread their misinformation to the similarly ill-informed. It becomes a widely believed "fact" and the believers can become suspicious when you question or try correct them. You then either have to leave it be or it becomes a battle to make then understand why they were wrong. That can turn it into a point of pride and then your chances are even less.
 
2012-05-28 01:10:21 PM  
Obligatory:

blogs.discovermagazine.com
 
2012-05-28 01:14:33 PM  
To be fair, this isn't really a big problem, as the people that are truly dismissive of science in general don't really contribute to society in any meaningful way so we don't have to care, and everyone else realizes that generally something was lost in translation on the way to becoming pop science (and, to be fair, some studies are actually pretty useless themselves, so sometimes that's a charitable interpretation).

Still, obligatory:

www.phdcomics.com
 
2012-05-28 01:15:30 PM  
Aw, dammit. *shakes tiny fist*
 
2012-05-28 02:25:15 PM  

StrangeQ: The problem arises when these people have a forum and can spread their misinformation to the similarly ill-informed. It becomes a widely believed "fact" and the believers can become suspicious when you question or try correct them. You then either have to leave it be or it becomes a battle to make then understand why they were wrong. That can turn it into a point of pride and then your chances are even less.


As so much of the time, the problem, then, is people in general.

I like to use the example of the nutbag yelling at a bus stop. We've all seen him. And most people, even not very smart people, just ignore him. He's crazy, but harmless. My point, though, is that they don't take his ravings seriously.

But bring that guy in off the street, clean him and dress him nice, give him just enough meds to appear sane most of the time -- but no therapy to explore his weird ideas -- and then put him on TV. Now he's some kind of authority, and people listen to what he says. Boy, they're stupid, aren't they?

ts3.mm.bing.net



Except they're not. At least, Glenn Becks' fans aren't objectively dumber than those people at the bus stop. (Most of whom, despite stereotypes, do have jobs and are pretty competent generally.) And they're not dumber while watching TV than they are at the bus stop, either. (To the extent that any regular TV viewer can be said to be intelligent.)

I'm no expert, but it seems clear to me that what's behind this is some kind of observation bias. That guy at the bus stop? Obviously off his rocker. That guy on TV? Well, he's on TV, right? I mean, *I'm* not on TV, and *you're* not on TV, so that says something, right? And he's very popular, too. (I've already made my point about Budweiser being the most popular beer, but this should be obvious enough.) And they like what he's saying, too: It's not hard to get people to like you when you suggest their taxes are too high, and it's for very bad reasons. (Even if they're not, and it's not.)

The guy didn't change. The people didn't change. Only the context, presentation, and exposure did. Conclusion: People aren't very smart to begin with, generally speaking. They're smart enough to avoid the guy at the bus stop -- that's the tribal sense we evolved with. But not enough to know when the clean-shaven guy on TV is just as wrong: That's a much more recent social phenomenon that our instincts aren't evolved to deal with, and we have to use some real brain power instead. Which apparently very large numbers of people are, um, disinclined to engage. (I won't say they can't, because I can't prove that. But it's clear that they don't. Let others speculate on why.)

It annoys me when people say The Government blah blah or The Media blah blah blah, something bad and wrong. Even, if you want to Godwin it, true horrors like the notorious dictators of history. They weren't superhuman, or superintelligent. They were just men -- weak, breakable, mortal, and, from all accounts, of merely average intelligence. It's often said that Hitler killed so many Jews, or Romani, or Poles, or such. He did nothing of the sort, and couldn't have: he hadn't the strength or stamina, nor time and resources, nor any special powers to alleviate those severe limitations. It's in fact doubtful he ever killed anyone. He *had* many people killed, no question: but that was *other* people's doing, on *his* say so. He only did this in the sense that others listened to his insane ideas. The only difference between these creeps and you or me is that no one's really listening to you or me. I don't know exactly why, but I won't suggest it's because those monsters are better people than we are -- smarter, more moral, anything.

All I'm saying is that whenever we go and blame these illusory external daemons, we're misdirecting it. WE are the problem, not them. We'll never rid the world of people with bad ideas. But that shouldn't matter, because we should be wise enough to know a bad idea from a good one no matter who's saying it, and where or when or through what medium. Some homeless bums really are pretty wise people; and many people on TV are senseless fools. The question is, which are we?
 
2012-05-28 02:56:25 PM  
Sylvia, I think you're making the wrong argument. Public education rarely emphasizes critical thinking, partly because it tends to undermine public education. To a large extent, students need to accept what teachers say without arguing about it. Otherwise, you'd never get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time.

Personally, I'd say offer more critical instruction. But, yes, the result of not teaching people how to think is that most people ARE functionally pretty stupid. It's not a lack of intelligence, per se, but a lack of analytical muscle and a trained capacity for apathy.

Most people are dumb. They could be a lot smarter if they tried. They don't see the point, they don't want to make the effort, and for the most part I don't blame them.


As for Sarah Palin and intelligent dinosaurs . . . IF there were any scientific evidence for Intelligent Design, no supernatural designer would be a scientific hypothesis. Intelligent dinosaurs, lost prehistorical human civilizations, and aliens would all be much more reasonable scientific hypotheses.
 
2012-05-28 03:14:48 PM  
Dr. McNinja did it.

/it's the new Simpsons Did It
 
2012-05-28 08:18:35 PM  
Most journals papers say as little as necessary, so the PI can stretch the research into as many publications as possible. The final conclusion is always that many new questions have arisen, so the grant can be renewed.
 
2012-05-28 10:12:13 PM  
Subby?
Is that the best you can in the 'biting insult' department?

Drop the name of woman who holds no office, runs no company and is not affilitated with any non-profit organization?

Wow. Stop being so knee-jerk with your use of cliches and next time try a little harder.

Wanker.
 
2012-05-29 05:41:11 AM  
Also obligatory...
www.smbc-comics.com
 
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