Science

A solution to the information paradox? We need the information first.

Black Hole From Wikimedia Commons

News blip: Physicist Stephen Hawking made a splash this week when he announced that he had solved a vexing conundrum that had puzzled generations of leading physicists — including the 73-year-old scientific superstar himself — for the better part of a half-century. During an eight-minute speech at a scientific meeting in Sweden, Hawking said that…

Everyone loves oarfish

Photo: Annie MacAulay

Every time one washes ashore, it makes the news. A dead oarfish with a belly full of krill washed up on Santa Catalina Island this week, marking a rare sighting of the deep-sea creature and the largest to appear on the island in years, experts say. Source: Biggest oarfish seen at Catalina Island in years…

September asteroid impact lie results in NASA statement

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Many media sites as well as mystery mongering rubbish sites are hyping the prediction that an asteroid will hit earth in September prompting NASA to issue a statement. What good will that do? None. Crap news reigns on the internet. NASA has denied viral internet claims that an asteroid will strike Earth next month wreaking…

NJ is booming and shaking

Dette er utslaget jordskjelvet gjorde på målestasjonen på Blussuvoll i Trondheim. FOTO: UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN

Did you hear booming noises this AM in central New Jersey? There was a small, shallow earthquake about 3km north of Bernardsville. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the small earthquake in Bernardsville rattled homes and businesses around 3:41 a.m. The Morris County Communications/911 center received calls from residents in Morristown, Morris Township, Randolph, Mendham Township,…

Vatican astronomer talks about extraterrestrial life, does not say UFOs are real

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The Vatican’s official astronomer talks about life in the universe and drifts into intelligent life, like us. Headline writers went nuts. The remarks come after the finding of Kepler 452b, an earth-like planet that may be hospitable to life. Source: Vatican chief astronomer believes in UFOs and aliens – IrishCentral.com The Pope’s chief astronomer Father Jose Funes…

Hawaiians protest telescope at meeting of International Astronomical Union

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The story of the protests over construction of a telescope in Hawaii continues. The demonstration occurred at the meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu. Demonstration over Thirty Meter Telescope comes after arrests near Mauna Kea construction site. Demonstrators carrying Hawaiian flags — some upside-down, as a sign of distress — held a press conference outside…

Parapsychology at the Fringe fest

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News morsel: Caroline Watt is a real parapsychologist, and from all sources, a good one. Dr Watt insists she’s yet to come across any concrete evidence for the supernatural.“The Koestler Parapsychology Unit is trying to examine whether or not people have psychic ability – and also look at the normal explanations for paranormal experiences,” she says.…

Propellantless thruster claimant presents paper at a conference. Hype ensues.

Newton Not Impressed

News headlines are buzzing with headlines such as “Scientists Confirm ‘Impossible’ EM Drive Propulsion” (Hacked) and “‘Impossible’ propellantless engine appears to work” (Sydney Morning Herald). Doubtful News readers may have followed this story from August 2014, as well as renewed claims of results earlier this May. At a July Propulsion and Energy Forum held by…

Bad science Writing Example A: Linking plesiosaurs to the Loch Ness Monster

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An obviously inexperienced science journalist latches on to the mistaken and downright nonsensical idea that plesiosaurs = Loch Ness Monster. Then, media outlets propagate the silliness. The fossil remains of a giant marine reptile have just been discovered by a team of researchers from the University Of Alaska Museum Of The North. The remains were…

Pluto “Truthers” and Spacefaring Denialists Present Teachable Moment

Pluto. New Horizons Mission. Courtesy NASA/JPL.

NASA conspiracy theories are generally nothing new, especially as we celebrate the anniversary of our first steps on Earth’s moon (20 July 1969). But with NASA’s New Horizons Pluto flyby imagery released last week, some tired Moon Hoax conspiracy myths and misconceptions were recycled in the headlines. Inside the Pluto ‘Truther’ Movement, Which Claims Flyby Was…

‘Little ice age’ headlines are misleading

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At the National Astronomy Meeting, one study regarding a new model of the Sun’s interior is producing predictions that are suspected to have some serious consequences for Earth. Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University presented her results of the Sun’s interior dynamo at the recent event. Media outlets took it and twisted it just enough to…

New study from tainted author with conflicting interests on GMOs

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Back in September of 2012, French scientists led by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen and colleagues said that they did a study that showed rats fed on a diet containing a Roundup-resistant maize variety or given water with Roundup at levels permitted in the United States, died earlier than those on a standard diet. The study…

Soft tissue preservation in dinos is fodder for Creationists

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As usual, Bible literalists think a few anomalies can overturn our entire established knowledge about the earth. Ain’t gonna happen, guys. Researchers have discovered what appear to be the remnants of red blood cells and connective tissue in 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils. Source: ‘Blood cells’ found in dino fossils – BBC News The work could shine…

Sykes’ reputation and his Yeti project get slammed

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As we updated yesterday, Bryan Sykes’ claim of mystery DNA is being hyped by the media apparently ahead of his new book about his Yeti/Bigfoot project (the results of the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project which had a goal of collecting organic material for so called “cryptids”, including that which people believe may be from Bigfoot, and…

Moldy ghosts?

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Another hypothetical idea about “ghosts”. This one also sounds scientific on the surface, but so far, does not have the chops to explain hauntings. Ghost sightings in haunted houses linked to toxic mould. Researchers studying ghostly apparitions said that hauntings are usually reported in old buildings which often have poor air quality from pollutants. Previous…

A hundred times NO – the moon does not cause a crazy night at the hospital

If the moon ever REALLY looks like this, we're DOOMED.

Yet another analysis has come out to kill the idea that hospital admissions and human birth rates are greater during the full moon than at other times. More than one analysis of such data shows conclusively that the moon has no correlation with these conditions. But, it’s such a widespread belief, I’m not sure another study…

Evidence of huge impact event found in Australia: What did it mean for life on earth?

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Australian scientists announced they have discovered a twin asteroid impact crater in the Central Australia that may be the largest ever found. The question is, does it correspond to a major extinction event. Maybe, but it’s not clear yet as the age is questionable. World’s largest asteroid impacts found in central Australia | ANU. A…

New paper taking another look at “Yeti” data finds no evidence of new bear in the Himalayas

Artists version of the "yeti" as a hybrid polar bear

More news in the Sykes Himalayan yeti saga. If you recall, Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes published a paper in a prestigious scientific journal in July 2014. The results were a disappointment for Yeti supporters, establishing that the mystery samples of DNA were not primate, but normal animals and human. The Sykes (et al.) study did, however,…