50 debunked Science misconceptions

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50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby kennyc » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:04 pm

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:03 am

kennyc wrote:http://gizmodo.com/50-debunked-science-misconceptions-will-make-you-less-d-733918141


He says, for debunk 28#, that the Coriolis Effect, concerning water going down a drain, is insignificant and water goes down the same way in both North and Southern hemispheres. I found a website called "Bad Coriolis" that say this is correct.

http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/Bad/BadCoriolis.html

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby octopus1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:50 am

:shock:

I didn't know Brontosaurus wasn't real :lol:

Also, the 5 sense thing? Mhm, fell for that :(

Nos. 39 & 40 - I was actually taught that at school and became very angry when the teacher persisted in such a folly :twisted:

No. 47 - Even our esteemed presenter forgot to include Rosalind Franklin in the calculation of DNA, alongside Watson and Crick. Guess he was running out of time ;)

Ah well. Two myths busted for me out of 50. Not too bad!

(RIP Brontosaurus. You will be missed. Unless they make another mistake, and claim you exist again :P )
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Gord » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:45 am

I didn't know #36.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Daedalus » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:38 pm

octopus1 wrote::shock:

I didn't know Brontosaurus wasn't real :lol:

Also, the 5 sense thing? Mhm, fell for that :(

Nos. 39 & 40 - I was actually taught that at school and became very angry when the teacher persisted in such a folly :twisted:

No. 47 - Even our esteemed presenter forgot to include Rosalind Franklin in the calculation of DNA, alongside Watson and Crick. Guess he was running out of time ;)

Ah well. Two myths busted for me out of 50. Not too bad!

(RIP Brontosaurus. You will be missed. Unless they make another mistake, and claim you exist again :P )


Coolest senses?

Sense of the need to urinate, defecate, and sense of CO2 levels in blood.
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby fromthehills » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:01 pm

I remember arguing with a teacher about the taste bud thing when I was a kid. I even explained that if you take salt or sugar and put it anywhere on the tongue, you can taste whether it was sweet or salty. She just said, "Well it's true whether you believe it or not."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby nmblum88 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:18 pm

fromthehills wrote:I remember arguing with a teacher about the taste bud thing when I was a kid. I even explained that if you take salt or sugar and put it anywhere on the tongue, you can taste whether it was sweet or salty. She just said, "Well it's true whether you believe it or not."



That's a little too cryptic for me.
Could you expand on what you mean, please?
Are your saying that your teacher was offering you a snide pedagogic version of "clap if you believe in fairies?"
Or "it's true if I say its true?' Evidence, empiricism being irrelevant?
Or that theories of science (in this case physiology) are NOT t decided by personal preference or opinions?

But only on the bases of previously having been established to be the case based on the standards of scientific methodologies?


NMB
Skepticism:
" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby kennyc » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:20 pm

fromthehills wrote:I remember arguing with a teacher about the taste bud thing when I was a kid. I even explained that if you take salt or sugar and put it anywhere on the tongue, you can taste whether it was sweet or salty. She just said, "Well it's true whether you believe it or not."



That was no teacher, that was a bureaucrat.....
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby nmblum88 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:22 pm

kennyc wrote:
fromthehills wrote:I remember arguing with a teacher about the taste bud thing when I was a kid. I even explained that if you take salt or sugar and put it anywhere on the tongue, you can taste whether it was sweet or salty. She just said, "Well it's true whether you believe it or not."



That was no teacher, that was a bureaucrat.....


Okay... that certainly explains it.
Whatever it was doesn't really matter.

NMB
Skepticism:
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Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby nmblum88 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:31 pm

octopus1 wrote::shock:



No. 47 - Even our esteemed presenter forgot to include Rosalind Franklin in the calculation of DNA, alongside Watson and Crick. Guess he was running out of time ;)

)


Yes. Rosalind was robbed.... one of the great injustices in the history of modern science.. and a blot on the professional careers and personal integrity of Crick, Watson and everyone else involved, including members of the Nobel committee. that awarded the two men a prize that would have been inconceivable without her work in x-ray detection.

BUT, BUT, BUT, that doesn't negate either the science OR the incredible scientific import of DNA, or any of the ensuing discoveries that emerged from the breakthrough.

NMB
Skepticism:
" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby fromthehills » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:41 pm

nmblum wrote:
fromthehills wrote:I remember arguing with a teacher about the taste bud thing when I was a kid. I even explained that if you take salt or sugar and put it anywhere on the tongue, you can taste whether it was sweet or salty. She just said, "Well it's true whether you believe it or not."



That's a little too cryptic for me.
Could you expand on what you mean, please?
Are your saying that your teacher was offering you a snide pedagogic version of "clap if you believe in fairies?"
Or "it's true if I say its true?' Evidence, empiricism being irrelevant?
Or that theories of science (in this case physiology) are NOT t decided by personal preference or opinions?

But only on the bases of previously having been established to be the case based on the standards of scientific methodologies?


NMB



She was defending the notion that the tongue was divided into four sections, 1 each for salty, sweet, bitter, sour. It was in the book, after all. I argued that the book was wrong, and was admonished. She was a {!#%@} teacher. All my teachers were {!#%@}, thinking about it, except for one English teacher.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Daedalus » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:12 pm

fromthehills wrote:
nmblum wrote:
fromthehills wrote:I remember arguing with a teacher about the taste bud thing when I was a kid. I even explained that if you take salt or sugar and put it anywhere on the tongue, you can taste whether it was sweet or salty. She just said, "Well it's true whether you believe it or not."



That's a little too cryptic for me.
Could you expand on what you mean, please?
Are your saying that your teacher was offering you a snide pedagogic version of "clap if you believe in fairies?"
Or "it's true if I say its true?' Evidence, empiricism being irrelevant?
Or that theories of science (in this case physiology) are NOT t decided by personal preference or opinions?

But only on the bases of previously having been established to be the case based on the standards of scientific methodologies?


NMB



She was defending the notion that the tongue was divided into four sections, 1 each for salty, sweet, bitter, sour. It was in the book, after all. I argued that the book was wrong, and was admonished. She was a {!#%@} teacher. All my teachers were {!#%@}, thinking about it, except for one English teacher.


I got into a shouting argument with a chemistry teacher about the "electrons in neat orbits" model of the atom. I pointed out that it was a useful tool for chemistry, but not an accurate model of the atom. He begged to disagree, and it got... heated.

I won the argument, but lost the war so to speak since he made that class unpleasant from then on.
"Propaganda is a monologue which seeks not a response, but an echo." (W.H. Auden)
"Given time and plenty of paper, philosophers can prove anything." (Robert Heinlein)
"The map is not the territory." (Alfred Korzybski)
“You’re in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you’re not helping — why is that?" (Bladerunner)

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby nmblum88 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:21 pm

fromthehills wrote:
nmblum wrote:
fromthehills wrote:I remember arguing with a teacher about the taste bud thing when I was a kid. I even explained that if you take salt or sugar and put it anywhere on the tongue, you can taste whether it was sweet or salty. She just said, "Well it's true whether you believe it or not."



That's a little too cryptic for me.
Could you expand on what you mean, please?
Are your saying that your teacher was offering you a snide pedagogic version of "clap if you believe in fairies?"
Or "it's true if I say its true?' Evidence, empiricism being irrelevant?
Or that theories of science (in this case physiology) are NOT t decided by personal preference or opinions?

But only on the bases of previously having been established to be the case based on the standards of scientific methodologies?


NMB



She was defending the notion that the tongue was divided into four sections, 1 each for salty, sweet, bitter, sour. It was in the book, after all. I argued that the book was wrong, and was admonished. She was a {!#%@} teacher. All my teachers were {!#%@}, thinking about it, except for one English teacher.


Okay... got it...thanks...
And yeah, children are victimized by the intransigent and ill-informed adults in their lives, the authority figures imposed upon them...
The only possible revenge is to have children on one's own and teach them to question everything, including what you tell them.
(And believe me... although the results are good, it is VERY tiring to have kids that don't let you get away with anything ... even unto this day.)
However, tragic as it is that we don't insist on better trained and educated teachers for our young, and as within the general population, not ALL teachers are {!#%@} or shits...and if you have even one good one, he or she might have been the seed of your salvation...
So some small credit must be given.
Richard Feynman, everyone's favorite scientist and inspiration for what we like to imagine we basically are, was, btw, the product of rather ordinary, conventional, non-rebellious parents, AND the New York City public school system...
And he not only thrived in its imperfect atmosphere, he looked back upon it fondly...
(Of course he did not live in the inner city, and he WAS White.)
Perhaps.... I don't know the answer, but I'll just throw this out to you... it's an argument FOR federal standards for teaching credentials AND for school curricula, rather than State or local oversight.
So that kids in Alabama (or the Kentucky/West Virginia with which I am more familiar), can have a shot at the same education available to the best New York, or Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, for example, Public schools.
I don't know the answer, only that the questions have to continue to be asked, even angrily
Because the pain of the persistent ignorance, especially when it is overlaid by arrogance as in some of these really embarrassing threads here , is both palpable and crushing.

NMB
Skepticism:
" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby fromthehills » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:48 pm

The schools I went to still paddled kids. I was paddled plenty of times for "talking back". I went to school in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. One History teacher, while we were learning about the American Civil War proudly declared that the South would rise again.

I did graduate from an inner city school in El Paso. I say I have an eighth grade education, because my classes in eighth grade( which was in a white part of Texas) were more advanced than the classes I graduated with. My highest math was pre-algebra, and one of my English classes was basically an ESL class. Science and History were taught by the football coaches, and I skipped about 40-50 days a semester to work or just drink beer. I'd generally just show up for test days, get a 100%, which would bring my average up to a D-. I also went to a separate tech school for high school credits. I took Building Trades half days for 2 years. Then I took Mechanics for a year. I'd often skip the rest of the day to stay in mechanics class to work on my truck. I always aced the trades classes.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby octopus1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:51 pm

nmblum wrote:
octopus1 wrote::shock:



No. 47 - Even our esteemed presenter forgot to include Rosalind Franklin in the calculation of DNA, alongside Watson and Crick. Guess he was running out of time ;)

)


Yes. Rosalind was robbed.... one of the great injustices in the history of modern science.. and a blot on the professional careers and personal integrity of Crick, Watson and everyone else involved, including members of the Nobel committee. that awarded the two men a prize that would have been inconceivable without her work in x-ray detection.

BUT, BUT, BUT, that doesn't negate either the science OR the incredible scientific import of DNA, or any of the ensuing discoveries that emerged from the breakthrough.

NMB


You're quite right. DNA is important regardless of its discoverers and quantifiers.

But, Franklin isn't the only one to have lost out in modern science. Henrietta Levitt? Jocelyn Bell-Burnell?

Men have also been demoted to second fiddle for their discoveries.

It all, again, boils down to profits.

"Who discovered [X]?"
"I don't care, can we attribute it to someone famous?"
"Well, I guess - But they didn't really figure it out..."
"...Do it!"
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby octopus1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:00 pm

fromthehills wrote:The schools I went to still paddled kids. I was paddled plenty of times for "talking back". I went to school in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. One History teacher, while we were learning about the American Civil War proudly declared that the South would rise again.

I did graduate from an inner city school in El Paso. I say I have an eighth grade education, because my classes in eighth grade( which was in a white part of Texas) were more advanced than the classes I graduated with. My highest math was pre-algebra, and one of my English classes was basically an ESL class. Science and History were taught by the football coaches, and I skipped about 40-50 days a semester to work or just drink beer. I'd generally just show up for test days, get a 100%, which would bring my average up to a D-. I also went to a separate tech school for high school credits. I took Building Trades half days for 2 years. Then I took Mechanics for a year. I'd often skip the rest of the day to stay in mechanics class to work on my truck. I always aced the trades classes.


My history teacher, when I was about 12, made us draw pictures of the "evil" Muslims burning the "righteous" Christians during the Crusades :lol:

It's quite scary, the effect that that could have had.
"On the fence".... Without a cushion....

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby fromthehills » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:03 pm

octopus1 wrote:
"Who discovered [X]?"
"I don't care, can we attribute it to someone famous?"
"Well, I guess - But they didn't really figure it out..."
"...Do it!"



Or probably something similar to what I have seen. Me, other carpenters, a stone mason, laborers, etc. working on a $3million home everyday for two years. Never saw the architect. Architect walks in has a look around, doesn't say a word, scowls a bit. Homeowners show up, and he walks up to them with a big smile and says with a flourish, " Look what I have created for you."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby fromthehills » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:05 pm

octopus1 wrote:
My history teacher, when I was about 12, made us draw pictures of the "evil" Muslims burning the "righteous" Christians during the Crusades :lol:

It's quite scary, the effect that that could have had.



Jesus. That's messed up.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby octopus1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:14 pm

fromthehills wrote:
octopus1 wrote:
My history teacher, when I was about 12, made us draw pictures of the "evil" Muslims burning the "righteous" Christians during the Crusades :lol:

It's quite scary, the effect that that could have had.



Jesus. That's messed up.


Meh. She was a high-pitched, short woman. What you might call a "terrier". Loud, persistent - But of little long term interest.

I still enjoy history. But I prefer to make my own mind up about what really happened :lol:
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby nmblum88 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:30 pm

octopus1 wrote:
fromthehills wrote:The schools I went to still paddled kids. I was paddled plenty of times for "talking back". I went to school in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. One History teacher, while we were learning about the American Civil War proudly declared that the South would rise again.

I did graduate from an inner city school in El Paso. I say I have an eighth grade education, because my classes in eighth grade( which was in a white part of Texas) were more advanced than the classes I graduated with. My highest math was pre-algebra, and one of my English classes was basically an ESL class. Science and History were taught by the football coaches, and I skipped about 40-50 days a semester to work or just drink beer. I'd generally just show up for test days, get a 100%, which would bring my average up to a D-. I also went to a separate tech school for high school credits. I took Building Trades half days for 2 years. Then I took Mechanics for a year. I'd often skip the rest of the day to stay in mechanics class to work on my truck. I always aced the trades classes.


My history teacher, when I was about 12, made us draw pictures of the "evil" Muslims burning the "righteous" Christians during the Crusades :lol:

It's quite scary, the effect that that could have had.


LOL... Yes, that COULD have been disastrous ...
Contrasted to the truths with which we live with today....
Funny... selling righteous Christians versus savage Muslims put George W.Bush into history as a two term President, gave us a 12 year long pair or Crusade- intentioned wars in the Middle East and filled quite a bit of space in these very threads...
Even the most skeptical of skeptics seem to have taken the lesson to heart....
I have held on to some lovely private messages and e-mails that have referred to me as an Allah, Koran... and/or "rag head " lover .
As. if.... lol.... that were a bad thing..

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Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Daedalus » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:20 pm

fromthehills wrote:The schools I went to still paddled kids. I was paddled plenty of times for "talking back". I went to school in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. One History teacher, while we were learning about the American Civil War proudly declared that the South would rise again.

I did graduate from an inner city school in El Paso. I say I have an eighth grade education, because my classes in eighth grade( which was in a white part of Texas) were more advanced than the classes I graduated with. My highest math was pre-algebra, and one of my English classes was basically an ESL class. Science and History were taught by the football coaches, and I skipped about 40-50 days a semester to work or just drink beer. I'd generally just show up for test days, get a 100%, which would bring my average up to a D-. I also went to a separate tech school for high school credits. I took Building Trades half days for 2 years. Then I took Mechanics for a year. I'd often skip the rest of the day to stay in mechanics class to work on my truck. I always aced the trades classes.


Hmmm, I had a teacher who smiled while a friend of mine was almost drowned by a kid who was later expelled for having a rifle at school. Later, she grabbed another friend so hard by the face that his teeth cut his cheeks.

Finally she tried to throw a punch at me, and I broke her wrist blocking it. That's what it took to bring the issue of her being out of her {!#%@} mind to the attention of the school (and later authorities for related, but separate reasons).

Teachers have enough power without having carte blanche to paddle, spank, hit or otherwise attack children. It's a better world that holds people like her criminally aberrant for striking 8 and 9 year olds.
"Propaganda is a monologue which seeks not a response, but an echo." (W.H. Auden)
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby nmblum88 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:39 pm

Fromthehills:
The schools I went to still paddled kids. I was paddled plenty of times for "talking back". I went to school in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. One History teacher, while we were learning about the American Civil War proudly declared that the South would rise again.


Yeah.... cruel, intransigent and authoritarian adults have abused children since the dawn of time, created clones of themselves as they rampaged through the history of human development.
And obviously the area you grew up in is still more impacted by the primitive biblical influences of "spare the rod....."
(Sadder and even truer is that so many of us grow up to become the very thing we mocked and hated: we punish our children physically and we stunt their emotional growth, often deliberately and with malice aforethought.)
Although some sentiment for returning to those "good old days.."we have seen signs of revival all over the country as kids are more and more aware that they are being short changed as to genuine education... and simply being warehoused in their schools.

And as to your history teacher in Ye Olde Dixie, well, the South HAS risen again... have you seen Atlanta, Dallas and Houston lately? Furs, diamonds, guns, ART, concern halls....MONEY......theaters, hugely endowed Uiversities...
And we damn Yankees sometimes seem to have learned more from the vocabularies of States Rights First, than they have learned from us...
Sometimes now, the losers are indistinguishable from the winners.....and Alabama and Missipppi need only the rescinding of the Emancipation Proclamation (even as we celebrate its 150th year) to once again appear to be the as the Glory that was Greece.
When I lived in Washington, I belonged to a Civil War Seminar sponsored a local University and the Library of Congress, filled with (among other interesting members) re-enactors, many of whom really did act as if the next re-enactment, of Antietam, for instance would be the one that would reverse history and end with a South triumphant.
So what? That fantasy, the Rebel yell, AND the romance of rebellion are really all that remain of the bravado that is still unfortunately a regional embarrassment.

It didn't happen and is unlikely to happen again, even if the entire membership of the NRA throws its considerable weight and arsenals of weapons against the might might of the Union.

I did graduate from an inner city school in El Paso. I say I have an eighth grade education, because my classes in eighth grade( which was in a white part of Texas) were more advanced than the classes I graduated with. My highest math was pre-algebra, and one of my English classes was basically an ESL class. Science and History were taught by the football coaches, and I skipped about 40-50 days a semester to work or just drink beer. I'd generally just show up for test days, get a 100%, which would bring my average up to a D-. I also went to a separate tech school for high school credits. I took Building Trades half days for 2 years. Then I took Mechanics for a year. I'd often skip the rest of the day to stay in mechanics class to work on my truck. I always aced the trades classes

Yeah, but at the cost of tedious repetition , YOU can't be used as an example of adversity keeping a smart and talented Genus Homo down...
I'm not sure why... innate intelligence certainly, impressive curiosity, an introspective nature, some independent life experience...

Perhaps because one of the complications in America's fall from successful and admirable industrial giant after an agricultural beginning, is the sad fact of no one knowing how to actually DO anything anymore....
We have gone from a nation of producers and doers, to a culture that not only values pushing paper from one pile to another (and rewards it more lavishly) more than it does actually being able to build a house;... or even change a tire.
WHich is not only unattractive but as we see more and more, societally unproductive..

NMB
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" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby octopus1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:16 pm

nmblum wrote:
octopus1 wrote:
fromthehills wrote:The schools I went to still paddled kids. I was paddled plenty of times for "talking back". I went to school in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. One History teacher, while we were learning about the American Civil War proudly declared that the South would rise again.

I did graduate from an inner city school in El Paso. I say I have an eighth grade education, because my classes in eighth grade( which was in a white part of Texas) were more advanced than the classes I graduated with. My highest math was pre-algebra, and one of my English classes was basically an ESL class. Science and History were taught by the football coaches, and I skipped about 40-50 days a semester to work or just drink beer. I'd generally just show up for test days, get a 100%, which would bring my average up to a D-. I also went to a separate tech school for high school credits. I took Building Trades half days for 2 years. Then I took Mechanics for a year. I'd often skip the rest of the day to stay in mechanics class to work on my truck. I always aced the trades classes.


My history teacher, when I was about 12, made us draw pictures of the "evil" Muslims burning the "righteous" Christians during the Crusades :lol:

It's quite scary, the effect that that could have had.


LOL... Yes, that COULD have been disastrous ...
Contrasted to the truths with which we live with today....
Funny... selling righteous Christians versus savage Muslims put George W.Bush into history as a two term President, gave us a 12 year long pair or Crusade- intentioned wars in the Middle East and filled quite a bit of space in these very threads...
Even the most skeptical of skeptics seem to have taken the lesson to heart....
I have held on to some lovely private messages and e-mails that have referred to me as an Allah, Koran... and/or "rag head " lover .
As. if.... lol.... that were a bad thing..

NMB


It's funny. People want to "teach" children, when all they need to do is "explain" to them. I know I'm being glib, but when I have kids I want them to be given the information, and form their own views. Those views can of course be corrected slightly when they're little, until they're mature enough to be genuine.

The same applies to pretty much all scholastic disciplines.

(You could also argue that "explaining" and "teaching" are the same thing - Which they are, until you start indoctrinating, which is far more likely when engaging in the latter! ;))
"On the fence".... Without a cushion....

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Gord » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:35 am

octopus1 wrote::shock:

I didn't know Brontosaurus wasn't real :lol:

...

(RIP Brontosaurus. You will be missed. Unless they make another mistake, and claim you exist again :P )

Brontosaurus might be coming back: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brontosaurus

Brontosaurus ... is a genus of gigantic quadruped sauropod dinosaurs. Although the type species, B. excelsus, had long been considered a species of the closely related Apatosaurus, more recent research has proposed that Brontosaurus is a genus separate from Apatosaurus that contains three species: B. excelsus, B. yahnahpin, and B. parvus.

Here's a link to the 2015 paper they reference in the wikipedia article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4393826/
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:37 am

Yeah but. What about octo? :cry:
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Gord » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:42 am

Octopus isn't a dinosaur!
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:48 am

But he seems to have gone exited. :(
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby xouper » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:13 am


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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:08 am

Actually, their number 50 is wrong. If you listen to their corn dog example, you will realise it is wrong. They claim that correlation is not causation in that example, but it is if you use a somewhat wider definition of causation. It is just that summer is the cause. Summer leads to a fair being held (it would not have been held in winter) and that leads to the corn dog consumption.

Causation between two factors, A and B is not just when A causes B. It is also a causation relationship if B causes A, or where a third factor, C, causes both A and B. If there is a strong correlation between A and B, it is mostly because one of those three causation relationships applies. Of course, if the correlation is weak, it could be random chance.

Where the idea that correlation equals causation is wrong, is where either the correlation is weak, or where the causation comes from B causing A, or where C causes both.

If correlation never implied causation, scientists would not spend vast amounts of time, effort and money chasing after correlations. And they do.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:53 am

I agree that #50 is wrong, but for a different reason. Correlation can imply causation. It doesn't guarantee it, though. Since it isn't always correct, it is best not to rely on it. One should always be skeptical of correlation.

Correlation does not prove causation, but it can suggest it even when it is illusory.
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:21 am

Totally agree, Gord.
There is no proof, but the implication is there.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby xouper » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:02 am

The defining authority here is the scientific community. And what do they say about the statement "correlation implies causation"? They say it is false.

I have posted the evidence on this forum repeatedly, citing many scientists and peer reviewed journal papers that say it is false that "correlation implies causation". And no one has ever posted any credible evidence otherwise.

Also, no professional scientist ever argues that correlation is "proof" of causation or "equals" causation, so y'all can stop using that ridiculous straw man. No one on this forum has ever claimed or required "proof".

In formal logic, when considering the truth value of the statement "A implies B", if there are any examples where "A does not imply B", then the statement "A implies B" is considered false and you toss the whole thing and never rely on it, as Gord says.

In previous threads, I gave an example of a correlation between X and Y that has a very high correlation coefficient of 0.95 and Lance has repeated said that that correlation implies there is a causal link. I even posted the raw data so anyone can verify the coefficient.

The problem with my specific example is that X and Y do not have any causal link whatsoever. Nor is there a third confounding variable Z that causes X and Y. It is a completely spurious correlation.

And I can post many more examples just like it if any one wants to see them.

It takes only a single counter-example to disprove the claim that "correlation implies causation". But the problem is worse than that. In the vast universe of all possible correlations, most correlations are spurious and there is no causal link.

In deciding whether to continue investigating a correlation, scientists need more information than merely the correlation. The correlation coefficient by itself says nothing at all about any cause.

That is not just my opinion, nor is it some clever slogan or mantra, but rather it is the consensus of the scientific community.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby xouper » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:08 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Actually, their number 50 is wrong. If you listen to their corn dog example, you will realise it is wrong. They claim that correlation is not causation in that example, but it is if you use a somewhat wider definition of causation. It is just that summer is the cause. Summer leads to a fair being held (it would not have been held in winter) and that leads to the corn dog consumption.

Causation between two factors, A and B is not just when A causes B. It is also a causation relationship if B causes A, or where a third factor, C, causes both A and B. If there is a strong correlation between A and B, it is mostly because one of those three causation relationships applies.


That argument uses an alternate definition that the scientific community does not use.

The original claim "correlation implies causation" only applies to the A and B being correlated. The definition does not include any third variable C as a possible common cause.

Sorry, Lance, but you don't get to redefine what the scientific community means by the phrase "correlation implies causation".

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:50 pm

xouper wrote:The defining authority here is the scientific community. And what do they say about the statement "correlation implies causation"? They say it is false.

To put it more clearly, the word "imply" has more than one meaning. It can mean "suggest, hint" and it can mean "to have as a necessary part, condition, or effect". In everyday life, I always use the former meaning and always avoid the latter, due to the conflict and misunderstanding that can arise.

So while I still say correlation does suggest causation, I also still say correlation does not necessitate causation. Unfortunately you can substitute the word "imply" for both "suggest" and "necessitate", which means I can rephrase my own statements to appear contradictory:

"Correlation implies1 causation, and correlation does not imply2 causation."

1 suggests
2 necessitate

When the scientific community says correlation does not imply causation, they mean it in the second way.

My old dictionary gives an example:

Where a malicious act is proved, a malicious intention is implied. -- Sherlock.

That's not Sherlock Holmes, by the way, it's Bishop Sherlock. It's a quote from a book written about him by Reverend T.S. Hughes: The Works of Bishop Sherlock, Vol. 1: With Some Account of His Life, Summary of Each Discourse, Notes, &C Gad people wrote boring book titles in the 19th century!

A fuller version of the quote would be:

...[W]here a malicious act is proved, a malicious intention is implied, and the criminal is sentenced accordingly. -- Sherlock.

Sherlock did not mean that the intention was merely suggested.
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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:06 pm

That was well put, Gord. I agree.

I have always said correlation does not prove causation , meaning it does not be necessitate causation. But the implication is there regardless of how many times Xouper quotes the slogan.

I am in no doubt that, with a little google research, Xouper could come up with correlations that are not related to causation. I could, however, with a little research come up with even more that are related.

Correlations are a scientific tool and are used widely in the search for causation. Sure, they do not stand on their own as proof of causation and further research is always done. But the correlation provides the clue.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby xouper » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:47 pm

Gord wrote:
xouper wrote:The defining authority here is the scientific community. And what do they say about the statement "correlation implies causation"? They say it is false.

To put it more clearly, the word "imply" has more than one meaning. It can mean "suggest, hint" and it can mean "to have as a necessary part, condition, or effect". In everyday life, I always use the former meaning and always avoid the latter, due to the conflict and misunderstanding that can arise.

So while I still say correlation does suggest causation, I also still say correlation does not necessitate causation. Unfortunately you can substitute the word "imply" for both "suggest" and "necessitate", which means I can rephrase my own statements to appear contradictory:

"Correlation implies1 causation, and correlation does not imply2 causation."

1 suggests
2 necessitate

When the scientific community says correlation does not imply causation, they mean it in the second way.


Correct.

We seem to be on the same page.

Given that the context of this discussion was scientific, I assume it went without saying that the scientific meanings were to be used. Perhaps not always a safe assumption on my part, eh? ;)

Nonetheless, the statement "correlation suggests there is a causation" is also false. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't, but that question cannot be answered by mere knowledge of the correlation.

I refer you again to the real world example I gave in a previous thread, where X and Y are correlated with a coefficient of 0.95 which is very high. Except there is no causation.

The probability of causation in that example is zero. But there is no way to know that from just the correlation. That's why the statement "correlation suggests causation" is also false.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby xouper » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:32 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:I have always said correlation does not prove causation , meaning it does not be necessitate causation.


I have never asked for "proof". You keep bringing up that straw man despite repeated clarifications that no one holds that position.

Secondly, the word "necessitate" does not mean "proof". They are not the same concept.

In formal logic, when we say "A implies B", we mean "A necessitates B", but that is never meant as a "proof", it is merely a statement that is either true or false.

As Gord correctly observed, in scientific jargon the phrase "correlation implies causation" is synonymous with "correlation necessitates causation". (Thank you Gord for saying what I assumed went without saying.)

As long as you agree that "correlation does not necessitate causation", then we are good.

And if you agree with that, then you automatically concede that any given correlation carries the possibility there is no causation. Which means you cannot tell from the correlation whether there is a causation or not. And since you cannot tell one way or the other, then there is no "hint" to be gotten from it. The hint must come from somewhere else, because it cannot come from the correlation itself.

And if you also agree that "correlation is not necessarily a clue to causation", then we are still good.

Lance Kennedy wrote:But the implication is there regardless of how many times Xouper quotes the slogan.


I am not quoting a "slogan", I am citing the consensus of the scientific community.

Repeatedly making that same false accusation is both disrespectful and unproductive.


Lance Kennedy wrote:I am in no doubt that, with a little google research, Xouper could come up with correlations that are not related to causation. I could, however, with a little research come up with even more that are related.


No you can't.

However many examples you can come up with, I can do more.

In any case, it only takes one counter-example to refute the claim. And I gave one.


Lance Kennedy wrote:Correlations are a scientific tool and are used widely in the search for causation.


I have never disputed that fact.


Lance Kennedy wrote: Sure, they do not stand on their own as proof of causation


I have never asked for "proof".


Lance Kennedy wrote:. . . But the correlation provides the clue.


No it doesn't. You cannot tell from any given correlation whether it is a clue or not.

In the real world example I gave previously of X and Y, the correlation is NOT a clue that there might be a causation.

What scientists do is have some actual reason for suspecting there might be a causation, and then if there is a correlation, it might merit further investigation. But if the only information they have is the correlation, then further investigation is merely a crap shoot.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:42 pm

Sorry.
Accidental double post.
Last edited by Lance Kennedy on Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:45 pm

No, Xouper. Your statement that "correlation suggests causation is false", is not correct.
To say that "correlation suggests causation EVERY TIME" is false. But not to say it suggests correlation. It only has to be correct some of the time for that statement to be true. It is a matter of probability. If variables A and B are strongly correlated, then the probability of a causal relationship is much higher than if they are not correlated. If that were not true, then why do scientists spend so much time, effort and money searching for correlations?

No one. Not me or anyone else is suggesting that the correlation is sufficient on its own. It is a strong hint of a causal relationship, but exactly what, is determined by further work?

The word 'implies ' is something of a point of conflict. I do not believe that there is a scientific definition that means 'necessitates.'. The word 'implies' has essentially the same definition as the word 'hints'. Most of the time, anyway. There is a special meaning in which it is used to refer to an inevitable consequence, such as "great heat implies a fire ". Generally when used this way, it is sarcasm.

But mostly, it means to hint at. The fact that scientists often quote that slogan is simply as a warning to people not to put too much importance on a correlation when that is all they have. But like all slogans, it has a little truth and a lot of falsehood.

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Re: 50 debunked Science misconceptions

Postby Gord » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:19 am

xouper wrote:
Gord wrote:
xouper wrote:The defining authority here is the scientific community. And what do they say about the statement "correlation implies causation"? They say it is false.

To put it more clearly, the word "imply" has more than one meaning. It can mean "suggest, hint" and it can mean "to have as a necessary part, condition, or effect". In everyday life, I always use the former meaning and always avoid the latter, due to the conflict and misunderstanding that can arise.

So while I still say correlation does suggest causation, I also still say correlation does not necessitate causation. Unfortunately you can substitute the word "imply" for both "suggest" and "necessitate", which means I can rephrase my own statements to appear contradictory:

"Correlation implies1 causation, and correlation does not imply2 causation."

1 suggests
2 necessitate

When the scientific community says correlation does not imply causation, they mean it in the second way.


Correct.

We seem to be on the same page.

Now we are. I was wrong earlier, because I had forgotten the other definition(s) of "imply".

Nonetheless, the statement "correlation suggests there is a causation" is also false. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't, but that question cannot be answered by mere knowledge of the correlation.

I refer you again to the real world example I gave in a previous thread, where X and Y are correlated with a coefficient of 0.95 which is very high. Except there is no causation.

The probability of causation in that example is zero. But there is no way to know that from just the correlation. That's why the statement "correlation suggests causation" is also false.

I'm still going to say it suggests causation, even if it doesn't "imply" it. A suggestion isn't about having knowledge, but about having a hint. Further examination can prove the suggestion to be true or false.
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