Science & Society

Deep ancestry by DNA is not as straight forward as a paternity test.  Simplistic assumptions can lead to grave misunderstandings which are not helped by how DNA test are marketed.  I had my DNA tested by and I am waiting for results from National Geographic’s Genographic Project 2.0.  Using the raw data from and open source tools found at I found some perplexing results for those who are not scientifically trained.   

Trump has had a lot of criticism after the summit, with many saying he conceded too much to Kim. I don’t think he did at all myself. The main thing he gave him was a meeting with him, and a couple of days of his time. And he built trust. He thinks that’s important. Previous presidents didn’t think it was important, they proceeded on a basis of distrust. He is trying something new.

Short summary: This is a first paper in what they hope to be a long term study. It’s an interesting project, but it should not be used to predict what will happen to Earth in the future. Instead we should rely on projections by the scientists who are studying the effects of climate change, our population growth, predicting food security and looking at the intricate details of how our world works. The UN population division says as its middle of range projection that we level off at 11 billion people by 2100 and experts say we can feed everyone too, if we continue on target with the things we are doing to make sure it happens.

Two experts, Carlin, a former analyst for the CIA and the State Department widely regarded as one of the top experts on North Korea in the world, and Hecker, former director of the Los Alamos Laboratory for over a decade, have just released a suggestion for a deal for North Korea with a surprising element - a United Korea civilian space and nuclear program! It was covered by the Associated Press and their release was run in many news outlets including the NY Times. But their release only describes the first steps of their report and doesn't mention this which I think is one of the most interesting parts of their proposal. Other reports expand on that part of their proposal however, e.g.

If you are a scientist who received their PhD/MD within the past 10 years you can apply for the 2018 Sartorius&Science Prize in Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy by October 1, 2018. The Sartorius Group is a pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment provider. The grand prize is $25,000 and a publication of your essay in Science while the Grand Prize essay and three runners-up will be published in Science Online.
In The Neonic Ban: A Scientific Fraud Becomes Enshrined In EU Regulatory Law, I described the many elements of corruption that led to Europe’s recently announced ban on neonic insecticides (“neonics”) which is based on the fallacy that they are responsible for a supposed collapse in bee populations.

Emperor Meiji (明治天皇, the 122nd Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, who reigned 1867 to 1912), presided over a time of rapid change in the Empire of Japan, as the nation quickly changed from an isolationist feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power, characterized by the Japanese industrial revolution.

This is another of those sensationalist doomsday stories in the red top tabloids scaring people. The stories say that we are 100% certain to be hit by an asteroid. Well, yes, for small asteroids, but we are 100% certain to be hit by lightning too, many times a year. Your chance of dying of an asteroid impact is far less than that of dying of a lightning strike, 10,000 times less likely.

While criminals will get guns illegally, and people who use guns to commit suicide may not be deterred by anything, people who are already prone to violence would be deterred from homicide by gun law changes, according to a new article which argues that federal and state laws should include people who abuse their partners regardless of whether they are married to them or not. And findings of abuse should be grounds for not being allowed access to guns. 

These channels specialize in uploading evidence of 'Nibiru', a modern myth, a planet that supposedly is about to hit Earth or fly past, always in the near future. This will seem absurd to you if you have a decent scientific background, but these people do not. They missed out on astronomy or science at school and some are very young. Some teenagers as young as 13, the minimum age for Facebook are in a perpetual panic over these videos, and we hear from their parents of even younger children who got terrified by these videos, sometimes as young as 8 years old.