The latest (2011) results of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which asses reading, and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which tests mathematics and science, are in, and they aren’t pretty, particularly for the U.S., Canada and Australia.
In the 4th grade PIRLS reading tests, the United States ranked . . . → Read More: Alarm bells sound over latest international test scores
With movements such as young-earth creationism, we certainly have seen examples of religion being shanghaied into the service of anti-science. But some recent rhetoric in opposition to environmentalism and climate change science takes the cake.
For example, E. Calvin Beisner, leader of the Cornwall Alliance (a consortium of evangelical clergy) has declared that environmental movement . . . → Read More: Is believing in climate change “an insult to God”?
Curiosity Rover: Nominee for Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2012. Image courtesy NASA.
In an announcement today, NASA poured cold water on rumors that its Curiosity rover had found life on Mars. Curiosity found evidence that it had landed on an ancient riverbed, and it identified some interesting chemical species involving chlorine, sulfur, water . . . → Read More: Life on Mars!? Maybe we are all Martians
In a previous Math Drudge blog, on the growth in scientific fraud, we described the case of Netherlands social psychologist Diederik Stapel, who, based on an initial investigation, had been accused of serious and serial fraud in his work in the field of social psychology.
Now a more detailed report has been released on the . . . → Read More: Study released on Dutch researcher’s “culture of fraud”
Creationist and intelligent design writers insist that their writings constitute full-fledged scientific research. Creationists, for instance, hold that their notion that the earth and its living things (or even the entire universe) were created out of nothing a few thousand years ago is a scientific theory, every bit as much as evolution is a . . . → Read More: Do creationism and intelligent design qualify as peer-reviewed science?
In an interview with GQ, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has been mentioned as a rising star and potential U.S. presidential candidate in 2016, was asked “How old do you think the Earth is?” He responded:
At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was . . . → Read More: What on earth do they think? Politicians on the age of the planet
Some creationist and intelligent design writers claim that scientists have conspired to keep from the public eye some important evidence undermining evolution (or other theories in the science-religion arena). Others have asserted that scientists have been “brainwashed” by some sort of “group-think.”
As a single example, the 2008 movie “Expelled” claimed that creationist . . . → Read More: Is there a conspiracy among scientists?
A new book has just been published on evolution: Daniel Fairbanks’ Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters. Fairbanks is a noted DNA biologist at Utah Valley University, and also the author of the 2007 book Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA.
In this book, Fairbanks presents a fairly . . . → Read More: New book on evolution: “Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters”
Many of us were disappointed not to see any serious mention of scientific issues in the recent U.S. presidential debates. Global warming, for example, was never discussed at all, even in the last debate on foreign policy, where it would have naturally fit.
After all, even the U.S. military has now recognized the reality of . . . → Read More: Antiscience beliefs and U.S. politics
One central issue in the debate over Darwinian evolution is the question of evolutionary novelty — can evolution produce truly novel features? Creationist and intelligent design writers have insisted that whereas minor changes may occur within an established “kind,” nothing fundamentally new can come through “random” or “undirected” evolution [Dembski2002].
Specific examples of evolutionary . . . → Read More: Can evolution generate truly novel features?