Facts, not Fantasy

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Today in the News (10 Jul 09)

I'm BACK! I had a nice retirement ceremony, a nice bit of vacation, and spent a few days sending out 125 resumes, so now back to work on things that I also have obligations to. At least this is a project that I enjoy and have a lot of interest in. I would like to thank my compatriot IVAN3MAN for entertaining you all while I was gone. He has such a British sense of humour, and I know that I particularly enjoy that!

While I was gone on vacation, Radio Freethinker aired their interview with me. Click on the link and have a listen (assuming I did the link correctly). Okay, on with the normal blogging:

Vaccines:
So, in a department that should make the nutters happy (but I'm sure they will find a way to complain still), there is research (ACTUAL RESEARCH) showing that a reduced dose schedule may still be effective! Never mind the fact that currently our vaccine schedule, while immunizing against twice as many diseases, use only a tenth of the antigens used back in the 1980s!

Now that I am a retired military person, it always makes me smile a bit when I see things happening that the military can still help in. Tracking the H1N1 is one of the things that the military is actually set up to do qwuite well. A lot of this comes from military research and even prevention of biological weapons. Nice spin-off!

Autism:
A little late on this particular article, but again and again, there are links showing genetic relationships to autism. The anti-vax pro-disease crowd just doesn't seem to get that. Much like a single gene can be traced to other neurological disorders. Not only neurological dissorders, but things that are traditional considered behavioural disorders even! Again, this is what good science does!

To go along with the article I posted a while back about the need for modified education for autistic children, I also found this new article about the way autistic children learn. While to some this may seem an esoteric thing, I assure you that knowing the way of things is essential to good science.

Evolution:
I just file this one under: The American public has been dumbed down too much, and now we're doomed to be overtaken by the Chinese, Indians, and pretty much all of Europe. I found the last part of the article particularly disheartening:

According to the study, 58 percent of the general public favors government funding for stem cell research, while 93 percent of scientists favor federal backing. The majority of Americans, 69 percent, believe parents should vaccinate their children, compared to 82 percent of the scientific community.

The AAAS members did not see eye to eye with the public on other matters also, including evolution. Research found that only 32 percent of the public believes humans and other living creatures evolved naturally, compared with 87 percent of scientists.

Global warming was also a differing issue with 84 percent of scientists saying the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, while only 32 percent of the public agreed.

And these were just "general" scientists, not ones who would be on average be qualified to speak to a specific subject. I guess that all this article shows is that most of the general public shouldn't be allowed outside without supervision (or at least a helmet and a note pinned to their chest explaining their stupidity).

A popular denier's strawman is to talk about the Cambrian Explosion. While the average denier doesn't even know what the Cambrian Period really was, or what the explosion really entailed, SCIENTISTS are hot on the trail of more information and clues as to the how and why of it all.

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