Tag Archives: skepticism

Faking History

Romans Invade Ireland

The following is a parable about how history is written on the internet. Let’s imagine you have a web page and you want people to visit it. How could you get the history scoop of 2014? Well you could go and bribe some doctorate students, ask for an interview with a wanw professor, research an area to death and pontificate… What you don’t have time? Then why not just make it all up?!

Thanks, Anti-Vaxxers

You Just Brought Back Measles in NYC

From a pediatrician:

It is because I never want patients in my office to contract vaccine-preventable illnesses … that patients whose parents refuse to vaccinate them are not welcome in my practice. I cannot entirely eliminate the potential for disease exposure between children who come to see me, but I can do my best to mitigate it. I never want to know that a child was sickened or killed because I let the recklessness of a vaccine-refusing parent jeopardize their health.

Americans, Politics, and Science

Monkey business

Most Americans reject young-earth creationism. But the share of Republicans who believe that humans evolved fell from 54% in 2009 to 43% last year. Democrats, do not look so smug: your lot are likelier to believe in UFOs, ghosts and astrology. Also, that the moon landings were faked, that the CIA introduced crack to inner cities and that America’s government conspired in the September 11th attacks. It’s enough to make an ape weep.

Also see Majority of young adults think astrology is a science

The mummy’s curse: It came from an Egyptian tomb…

Well no, actually, it didn’t. But once a myth lurches into life, there’s no stopping it

…the epidemiologist Mark Nelson from the University of Tasmania, Australia, designed a formal trial of the curse based on protocols for testing the effects of drugs. He compared people who were in the tomb at key times with people who were in Egypt but not in the tomb. His report, published in the British Medical Journal in 2002, concluded that being in the tomb did not significantly hasten death. The ‘participants’ in the study lived on average for more than 20 years after the tomb was opened, whether they visited it or not.

…the mummy’s curse as we know it is a product of 19th-century England. Dominic Montserrat, an Egyptologist from the Open University, traced the first mention to a science-fiction book called The Mummy! (1827) by the little-known novelist Jane Webb Loudon, who was inspired after attending a public unwrapping of a mummy near Piccadilly Circus in London. Loudon set her story in the 22nd century and featured an embalmed corpse who threatened to strangle the book’s hero, a young scholar called Edric.