Archive for the ‘Bad Science’ Category

Bad Environmental Science

March 23, 2014
The Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Possibly not what Lewisham Council intended

Like many local authority housing blocks we have a recycling bin. We used to have three but two were taken away, with the result that the remaining one is permanently overflowing. I contacted Lewisham Council’s waste disposal team to point out the problem.

I was told that the other two bins were removed because wrong stuff, such as food scraps, was being put in them. I concede that this is a problem but still left me in the position that I have nowhere to put my recycling so it winds up in the general waste which I presume is not what they want. I therefore suggested that they issue me with my own recycling box, which I could put out on collection day.

I was told “we no longer issue those.”

Fucking marvelous.

Did an Earthquake Create the Turin Shroud?

February 18, 2014

Last week I read a claim that the Turin Shroud could in fact date from the time of Christ and is not a medieval forgery.

The reason for believing it to be a forgery is the fact that three independent tests have “concluded with 95% confidence that the shroud material dated to 1260–1390 AD”. So what does the Telegraph’s Science Correspondent have that might necessitate a rethink? (more…)

The Not So Clear Cut Link Between Mouthwashing and Heart Attacks

January 27, 2014

According to the Mail on Sunday, mouthwashes are a major health hazard. I’m not convinced. (more…)

DNA-Tailored Diets? I Don’t Think So!

January 8, 2014

It’s January so once again the dubious diet aids are being wheeeled out. The latest is a diet and exercise regime tailored to your DNA. This story has appeared in the Daily Mail and Metro as well as the Manchester press though currently the Daily Mail link is broken (I have emailed them about it) and it does not appear on the Metro’s website. (more…)

Strange Attempt to Link Bad Science to a Suicide

January 7, 2014

A blogger appears to be blaming the Bad Science forum for a suicide. (more…)

A Sixth Year of Steam

December 31, 2013

This will be a somewhat shorter than usual post as I’ve not blogged since May so there’s not so much on which to report.

(more…)

Homeopathic PANDAS Trial

May 14, 2013

The homeopath Alan Freestone is proposing a trial to develop a homeopathic treatment for PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Diagnosis Associated with Streptococcal Infections). Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my opinion of homeopathy but we might all learn something from a properly conducted trial. Properly conducted. Aye, there’s the rub. (more…)

Is It a Bomb Detector? No, It’s a Diagnostic Tool!

February 26, 2013

The Guardian has once again demonstrated that science and technology should be reported by specialist journalists, not whoever just happens to be around. Patrick Kingsley, thier Egypt correspondant has reported on an Egyptian device that supposedly remotely detects hepatitis C. (more…)

Another Letter That Should Be Sent

January 26, 2013

Somebody over on the Bad Science forum posted this. I really hope he does send it.

Oxford University PPE Course Convenors

Dear Sirs,

There are many famous and successful alumni of the Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree – indeed, a truly disproportionate number of the higher echelons of government and parliament hold PPE degrees. This is a credit to the success of the first P – you have obviously taught them politics very well.

However, given the country’s performance, maybe the Economics syllabus could be improved. I realize that it is not a precise discipline, but it is possible that you could revise parts of the syllabus to correct the obvious errors in belief held by your former students.

But, and this is the biggest “but” of all – I think your teaching of Philosophy requires a major overhaul. The current crop of PPE graduates in parliament on all sides of the House clearly do not know how to think things through properly, how to make decisions and how to consider what probable outcomes of those decisions will be. They have not been taught to think critically and analytically at all. C-, must try harder.

Yours faithfully, etc.

Magic Drinking Water Bottle

January 10, 2013

It seems that the alkali diet fad has generated a Far-Eastern spin-off – a plastic bottle that allegedly ‘alkalises’ whatever is put in it and retails for £19.75. Twenty quid might seem a bit steep for a plastic bottle but according to its sellers, this bottle works miracles. (more…)


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