Inside science news

Oh Dear

At ... oh dear, the patrollers of the mainstream view of all things have cast a disparaging eye on an article published in the online journal PLoS ONE by three Chinese scientists. It seems they referred to 'creator' - possibly a mistranslation for 'nature' - but the holier than thou, self righteousness reeking from their pores, have jumped loudly on the publishers and the article has been retracted. In another age these same people would have been bible thumpers - funny how things change.


Seems like some academics have discovered atheism might have been prevalent in the ancient world - particularly during the Greek and Roman classical era. Atheism is not a modern phenomenon we are told - see for example .. so what is new?

funerals and science

There is an old saying that science only goes forward one funeral at a time. Senior scientists in a position of power over upstart theories are prone to shift ideas they do not like out to grass. Often they are rehabilitated following the retirement or funeral of the senior fellow. Its a nice theory and it seems some people have tried to test out the hypothesis - or the folklore (take your pick). The link was sent in by Brian Sherwood Jones and makes an interesting read - go to

understanding the past 1

Recommended web site of an SIS member -

dairy good

Over at ... Pierre Gosselin is on one of has favourite grouses, having a pop at dietary guru Ancel Keys (now long dead). He was apparently responsible (one of many) for demonising dairy products such as milk, eggs, butter and cheese etc. His views took the medical world by storm, as they say, and traditional breakfasts rich in animal fat went out of the window.


Blackbirds will stop other blackbirds from getting at a food source and they will expend a lot of energy doing this in order to prioritise their partner and offspring. Pigeons will often squabble at a bird table and infighting among all species is a common attribute - which humans indulge in all the time. At 9th August, 2014, we have a post on exactly this kind of behaviour - between scientists promoting impact sites. Are they shooting themselves in the feet.

deft fingers

At ... many living things can signal to electric fields, either moving or using them to detect prey or enemies. Weak electric fields may be important to growth and development and in wound healing.

At ... satellites capture the birth of two volcanic islands.

At ... the subject is potato blight, the scourge of farmers and gardeners. Wet and humid summer weather can bring about the blight - and attempts are being made to find resistance against the disease.

science hype

At ... is an interesting short piece on how science is too often venerated when it should be taken with a pinch of salt - on occasion. It is derived from a much longer article at ... but as the Bishop says, I don't suppose it is meant to apply to climate science. The leading comment includes.

models and climate

If you thought C14 was useless for dating purposes, as some revisionists declare, you may take onboard that it is now being incorporated into climate models. The increasing complexity of climate models is mind boggling. They are guzzling all kinds of data from different sources, from aerosols to feedback mechanisms, from tree rings to thermometers to satellite measurements, and yet all they have to show for it all - is noise. Noise as in a statistical gully situated between the positive and the negative.

experiments on experiments in science

At .... I stumbled across this article as it was quoted on the Internet in a comments section. It is very illuminating. How science seems to work - all too often. It is the underlying human dimension. Not a purposeful slew of the data but a human failing, a small but significant factor when replicating experiments. Experiments may produce unusual results - even freak results. People can get very excited - but why do some experiments produce such outliers?