A new fMRI study used neural activity in 80 people to accurately predict the virality of 80 New York Times health articles.
Well, it's the New York Times, a top five newspaper in the U.S. so the results are going to be skewed by that, as were the articles selected; the public loves weak observational claims about health and the demographic that reads the New York Times is most inclined to believe claims about miracle vegetables, scary chemicals and diet fads.
I was not supposed to start this piece using the pronoun ‘I’.
Class-action lawsuits were making America Great Again long before it was a thing. Attorneys actively solicit anyone involved (or maybe might be potentially involved) in a particular event, and get them all in one place to file a chunky lawsuit.
This gives a little fuel to the lawsuit for obvious reasons, and is appealing to the “victim(s)” because they do not have to shop out an attorney, and they get to commune with others that were also “victimized”. All they have to do is sit back and collect the check.
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