We frequently see a contrast drawn between what is “natural” and what is “chemical.” Sometimes products are described as “chemical-free” even though every physical object is made of chemicals.
As much as this suggests a problem with our science education, it speaks to a missed opportunity for wonder. Nature is not some sort of cosmic mother figure; on the contrary, nature is composed of diverse biological and physical processes, including some pretty amazing examples of chemistry continually taking place.
Many cannot accept that IQ is largely determined by our genes. They do not trust the research. Pointing to such research is an argument from authority. Moreover, the research does not explain the mechanisms in the social realm well, and so the research can anyway only be supporting evidence, but it is alone not convincing and we do have to ask: Can we trust the science?
But it comes worse!
There are multiple food fads trying to catch on per year but as the saying goes in science, if one epidemiology study counted, everything would cause or prevent cancer.
One long-held epidemiology belief is that the more vegetables you eat, the healthier your heart will be. While vegetarians and animal activists tout such claims, the actual evidence is not clear. In recent decades we've been told bacon, butter and red meat all cause heart disease. But the same groups scaremongering food have also claimed that coffee causes breast cancer, that cell phones cause all kinds of cancer, and that BPA can be an endocrine disruptor, even though they are biological and toxicological impossibilities.
You might think that after the November elections, the last group anyone will listen to for guidance on the American public are partisan pundits. But they are still lobbying for an alternative result, now saying that if President Trump wants to honor his commitment to repealing the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) while allowing more coverage, better benefits, and lower costs, the only choice is a Single Payer system; socialized medicine.
They list now-famous pretend money, the same optimistic estimates that led to the Obamacare system being financially viable, savings of $504 billion annually on health care bureaucracy and profits.
Often, we do not understand because we do not see the issue from the other side. For example, the person who believes in some sort of determinism, the "determinist", wonders why those others, people such as those who believe in ‘free will’, the “free-willers”, make a big deal out of that determinism may be used as an excuse. He exclaims: “Look, determinism does not imply that people stop feeling guilty about their misdeeds and start acting irresponsible. People are just as well determined to believe in ‘free will’.” A determinist naturally looks at what the assumed determinism implies, and in this sense, “what determinism may imply” is that.
Zika virus can cross the placenta, intended to protect the developing fetus, and appears to lead to a high percentage of miscarriages and to babies born with thin brain tissue and inflammation in brain cells, at least in mice.
Mice are not little people, of course, or every disease would have been cured by now and every chemical would be toxic, but it's a starting point for understanding the role of zika in birth defects beyond vague epidemiology.
not hard these days to find stories in the popular media about the presence of
various chemical contaminants in our environment. Included in this genre are stories about
trace levels of chemicals in common consumer products, in the air we breathe,
and in the water we drink. Almost
inevitably the stories suggest that even minor exposures are harming our
Today I would like to mention that my book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab"
is now available for purchase as E-Book at its World Scientific site
No-till farming uses cover crops to conserve soil and suppress weeds but many vegetable producers haven't embraced it yet.
The reason is simple; small-seeded vegetable crops struggle to emerge through thick cover crop residues. A recent program sought to see how it might work better with string beans, a common staple of many dinners, and possessing larger seeds. In both Illinois and Washington, USDA-ARS agronomist Rick Boydston and University of Illinois ecologist Marty Williams grew vetch, rye, and a combination of the two cover crops before killing them with a roller-crimper—a machine that evenly flattens and crimps standing plant biomass—or with a combination of the roller-crimper and a burndown herbicide.
I would like to use this space to advertise a couple of blogs you might be interesting to know about. Many of you who erratically read this blog may probably have already bumped into those sites, but I figured that as the readership of a site varies continuously, there is always the need to do some periodic evangelization.