Scientific Impotence

You know how people just deny scientific discovery because it conflicts with their personal beliefs?

Well, read on…

 

It’s hardly a secret that large segments of the population choose not to accept scientific data because it conflicts with their predefined beliefs: economic, political, religious, or otherwise. But many studies have indicated that these same people aren’t happy with viewing themselves as anti-science, which can create a state of cognitive dissonance. That has left psychologists pondering the methods that these people use to rationalize the conflict.
 

A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology takes a look at one of these methods, which the authors term "scientific impotence"—the decision that science can’t actually address the issue at hand properly. It finds evidence that not only supports the scientific impotence model, but suggests that it could be contagious. Once a subject has decided that a given topic is off limits to science, they tend to start applying the same logic to other issues.

Apes Are Thinking About Thinking

This is an activity once believed to be exclusive to humanity. But as our understanding of the natural world grows, it demonstrates that things like freewill (if it even exists) occur in species other than homo sapiens sapiens.

Read more about these damn dirty apes.

(Those who wish to refute the science because it challenges their unfounded belief in a bronze age book of local myths please read the entire article before you shut off your mind and start making equivocations.)

World Homeopathy Awareness Week

Hey folks! It’s W.H.A.H.! Time to raise everyone’s awareness about homeopathy!

First, a statement from the Amazing Randi.

Then, the British documentary about the double-blind study (with procedures approved by the homeopaths themselves) that demonstrate homeopathy is hose hockey.

For One Tiny Instant, Physicists May Have Broken a Law of Nature

(Please inform me when someone studying Intelligent Design or Apologetics does anything even resembling something this cool.)

For a brief instant, it appears, scientists at Brook haven National Laboratory on Long Island recently discovered a law of nature had been broken.

Action still resulted in an equal and opposite reaction, gravity kept the Earth circling the Sun, and conservation of energy remained intact. But for the tiniest fraction of a second at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), physicists created a symmetry-breaking bubble of space where parity no longer existed.

Parity was long thought to be a fundamental law of nature. It essentially states that the universe is neither right- nor left-handed — that the laws of physics remain unchanged when expressed in inverted coordinates. In the early 1950s it was found that the so-called weak force, which is responsible for nuclear radioactivity, breaks the parity law. However, the strong force, which holds together subatomic particles, was thought to adhere to the law of parity, at least under normal circumstances.

Now this law appears to have been broken by a team of about a dozen particle physicists, including Jack Sandweiss, Yale’s Donner Professor of Physics. Since 2000, Sandweiss has been smashing the nuclei of gold atoms together as part of the STAR experiment at RHIC, a 2.4-mile-circumference particle accelerator, to study the law of parity under the resulting extreme conditions.

(Read more here.)