Twin Studies are a very useful method for finding out what component of a certain trait is made up from a person’s genes and how much from their environment. They’re a deceptively simple way of finding out something that would otherwise seem like an uncrackable problem, the downside is that you generally need a lot… Read More Schizophrenia Linked To Immunity Gene
I’m back! And very pleased to be so, I must say, I’ve missed writing about science. It’s not going to be easy coming back though, the reason being that it’s going to be nigh on impossible deciding which story to go with. In the week I’ve been away we’ve discovered the largest ever creature to… Read More Planet 9: Can We Get Excited?
Hello, my sceptical friends. Today marks the beginning of my masters degree in Genomic Medicine. The first lectures are today and the timetable looks, shall we say, formidable. I’m going to play it safe to begin with till I get a handle on it so that means I won’t be posting every day. My initial… Read More See You Next Week
Way back in November of 2014 the Little Lander That Could captured our hearts. The lander in question was Philae and the comet it landed on was 67P, or Churyumov–Gerasimenko to its friends. Orbiting above was the Rosetta spacecraft acting as relayer of messages and photographer for this historic mission. Who could forget the dramatic landing… Read More Philae: The Little Lander That Could
I came across an interesting paper in the BiorXiv yesterday. It was written by a group from the University of Wisconsin and concerns using DNA alignments between species as evidence for common ancestry between us and, indeed, every other organism to have ever lived. The reason this caught my eye is that this is one of… Read More New Test Backs Up Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
I don’t like to be wrong, not many people do, yet I frequently am and so I need to be corrected. I welcome this, I really do, I’d hate to be responsible for spreading a misconception or something that is flat out wrong. Occasionally, though, it can be annoying. For example, I am very much… Read More Say Goodbye To Another Misconception
The search for extra terrestrial life (SETI) is not solely the preserve of crackpots who watched a few too many episodes of the X-Files, it has been a legitimate area of research by proper scientists for some decades now. Although it may seem like the odds of success are immeasurably short people still do it… Read More Have We Been Looking In The Wrong Place For Extra-Terrestrial Life?
If you have ever allowed you eyes to stray towards the nether regions of the periodic table of elements (it won’t mind) then you may have come across some elements with such exciting names as ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium. Now, everyone knows chemists are boring but these names really take the biscuit when it… Read More Elemental Disovery
Well this has flown by. It’s already the final day of this series of 12 posts on logical fallacies. I’m pleased to report that they have been well received and people have engaged with them. Hopefully we’ve exterminated some poor reasoning. By a huge margin the most popular post was the one about Deepak Chopra… Read More 12 Days of Scepticism: Day 12 – The Fallacy Fallacy
A false dichotomy, sometimes called a false dilemma, is where someone presents only two, usually extreme, results to an argument when in reality there is probably at least one other option or perhaps even a full spectrum of possibilities. It will commonly take the form: x cannot be both A and B B is false… Read More 12 Days of Scepticism: Day 11 – False Dichotomy