Archive for the ‘Non-science’ Category
I’ve just found out via Nik Lowe the Filthy Engineer that part of the constitutional stipulates that congressmen for the Brazilian congress have to be literate. Sounds pretty sensible I thought.
But then I got to thinking about it a bit more. Could it be a disability?
Those with disabilities can get help to cope with getting through the day. If you are physically disabled you can get carers to get you of bed and feed you. If you are mentally disabled you can get help to cope with the demands of modern life. If you are visually disabled you can get a dog to guide you around.
So if being illiterate is a disability you could in theory get a helper to do the reading and writing for you. In the case of the Brazilian he would be able to get an assistant to do his reading and writing for him.
In these days of everyone coming up with new disabilities (or overemphasizing existing disabilities such as dyslexia) so that they can get extra attention, campaigning for illiteracy as a disability should be the next in thing.
So Anthony Watts at WUWT has spotted that members of 10:10 have guilty pleasures. Guilty pleasures that mean a lot of CO2 is used to provide them with their pleasure. Shortly after publicising these seemingly innocent facts, the link to the team member’s bio pages disappeared from the main page. The bios are are still available via deep linking (typing in the full URL) rather than navigating from the home page. This has all the hall marks of someone who is embarrassed about these facts because it shows them up for being hypocritical when their whole campaign is built around being eco to the extreme. Extreme as in extremist. Extremist as in terrorists who blow up people who don’t believe in the same aims as themselves.
Anyway, they missed a bit. The details are still available via the global 10:10 site. Select a country like the US, then find the About link, the click on The Team. Or click here.
For your pleasure, here is a selection of their guilty pleasures besides Franny Armstrong liking out of season Blueberries.
Lizzie Gillett – Out of season strawberries or blueberries.
Ben Margolis – Heating in the winter.
Julika Niehaus – Long hot showers.
Tony Lowes – High powered cars.
Daniel Nemet – I love to travel and therefore I fly often.
More available at the different country’s pages. If they are still available when you read this.
A quicky stream of consciousness post here.
Homeopathy is the practise of using a diluted upon diluted upon diluted upon diluted chemical with the expectation that even though it has been diluted to the point of nothingness the original chemical has transferred its molecular properties to the water. The scientific principles behind it are pretty much non-existent. Well, not pretty much. None at all. Especially when you take into account placebo effects.
Therefore the people who think that homeopathy works must have some faith in the medicine that they are using.
Now faith is a belief that is not based on proof. Exactly what religion is. Therefore you can deduce that is a religion and should be treated as such. Shops such as Holland&Barrett are therefore their temples and should be excluded from business rates and other commercial considerations. They can also use laws against religious hatred to protect them from the ridicule that they get from scientific people.
But then this leads on to other thoughts.
Faith explains why Christians and Muslims and Jews (other religions do exist) believe in their god(s). They have a faith that is based on nothing much more than something which makes them feel good. Some religions use moral superiority as the feel good factor, others use peace and goodwill, whilst others use to explain away all the random acts that nature instills on the world. And because their faith is based on nothingness (just like homeopathy’s nothingness) there is no way you can argue with them to tell them that their belief is stupid and illogical. Nor can you tell them that their faith is wrong and some other faith is the one and true faith.
All that you can do is accept that they have these weird faiths. They should be protected from persecution since physical harm is not to be condoned in any form. Maybe they should be protected from ridicule too, but I don’t think so. If their belief in their faith is strong it will naturally resist all attempts of abuse. Therefore any religious person who demands legal protection by such forms like religious hatred laws is a person who is unsure of their faith. Such people should be helped by their group to better understand their faith. They should not force their religion on others who don’t belive in it. Because asking a person of another faith (or non-faith) to stop the ridicule is basically telling the other person that they have to recognise the faith as something tangible – when it isn’t – it’s based on nothingness. It also requires the other person to acknowledge that the faith of the first person which is pretty much forcing the religion on the other person.
Free speech allows people to speak their mind, which also means people can have weird beliefs. It does not allow people to force their beliefs on others (who might not have any faith or an opposing faith). They can argue and debate, but as part of this give and take, they have to accept that ridicule is part of the debating process.
Ridicule can take on many forms. It can be as simple as jokes. It can also be as complex as the destroying the faith’s principle articles of faith in various manners. So destroying pastilles of Rescue Remedy because you can prove that they don’t actually contain anything other than sugar is just as valid as destroying a book because you can prove that it doesn’t contain any facts. A person who believes in homeopathy shouldn’t care that their precious pills have been shown to contain nothing as that is what they believe in. A person who believes in a god shouldn’t care that a copy of their precious book has been shown to contain nothing of fact as that is what they believe in – non facts.
The world is such a complex place with all manners and forms of faiths being mixed up and forgotten about and created that it is impossible to allow faiths to have any form of protection. It’s not like the past where groups could keep to themselves because there weren’t any forms of easy transportation or communication. Not allowing demonstrations of non faith also means that it could be denying one religion their form of belief. When you have Christians believing that Jesus is the messiah and Jews believing that the messiah hasn’t arrived yet and Muslims believing that Jesus is just a normal person you can see that conflict with religious hatred laws will arise straight off the bat. A Muslim laughing and joking about Jesus not being special could be locked up for religious hatred. A Christian taking the piss out of a Muslim for thinking that Mohammed is special when it should be Jesus could be locked up for religious hatred. A scientist laughing and joking about the Jews belief in the Old Testament could be locked up for religious hatred. In return a scientist should expect to be made a laughing-stock by religious people for thinking that the universe created itself and is made up of strings.
This is what free speech means. The right to be made fun of, to be ridiculed.
So it what longer than a quicky post, but it was a stream of consciousness going from homeopathy to faith to religion to religious hatred to free speech.
The latest health scare news is out today. Its that you can catch legionnaire’s disease from the windscreen wash in cars. The explanation being that the windscreen wash water is a nice warm temperature next to the engine and that it is stagnant. However when you look into the figures it’s another scare which has no foundations.
The scare says that if you catch legionnaire it is 20% likely to have come from a windscreen wash bottle and that 10% of such infected people die. This sounds like a extremely high risk and gives the impression that everyone MUST start adding windscreen cleaner with extra anti-bacterial products to the water in their wash bottles otherwise people will start dropping like flies on the motorways.
In fact the chance of catching legionnaire’s disease is miniscule. There were 345 cases last year in the UK. Out of a population of say 60m, thats a 0.0000575% chance of getting it. Out of the 345 cases, about 30 died. So an even smaller chance of dying. Those with medical problems are more likely to die than healthy people who’s symptoms are spotted early. Out of the 345 cases about 70 probably caught the disease through driving.
And even then its only a theory. They haven’t actually tested washer bottles for legionnaire’s disease. They are only theorising that it is the cause because a number of people who caught the disease are drivers. They says these drivers are professionals, such as bus drivers and truck drivers. But many people drive. Salesman drive. Are they profressional drivers too? People commute to work, are they classified as professional drivers. Sometimes they drive more than bus drivers.
A classic case of lets make a news story out of nothing to get some publicity for our organisation. If it makes people more scared of the world, then all the better because we can then sell them more pills.
Finally, just to make sure you understand basic scientific principles…..
Correlation does not imply causation
It seems that the figures in the study are only for the South West of England and not for the whole of England and Wales. The figures from the study are 164 cases in 2009, where 22 where from outbreaks which leaves 142 where the disease was aquired in the commuity of which 28 might have been prevented.