Science FAQs (Discussion)

should we have them ?

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else below.

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Re: Science FAQs

#21  Postby Darkchilde » Dec 30, 2010 2:20 pm

twistor59 wrote:
Darkchilde wrote:
Should we make this one the commentary thread then?


I reckon so. Maybe a Modski could change the title to something like "Science FAQs (Discussion)" and stickify it ?


Done :smile:
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Re: Science FAQs

#22  Postby twistor59 » Dec 30, 2010 2:27 pm

Darkchilde wrote:
twistor59 wrote:
Darkchilde wrote:
Should we make this one the commentary thread then?


I reckon so. Maybe a Modski could change the title to something like "Science FAQs (Discussion)" and stickify it ?


Done :smile:


Jolly good :cheers:

How do people thinK we should proceed ? Should individuals volunteer to take particular questions and post their drafts here, for everyone to comment/nitpick/contribute to. Then, when a FAQ draft nears stability we can post it on the soon-to-be-created FAQ thread. The proposal is that the FAQ thread should be locked, so only a mod can post the completed FAQ. This way it'll be kept clear of spurious comments. We could keep the spurious stuff here.
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#23  Postby natselrox » Jan 01, 2011 5:26 am

I compiled a few for the Bio-section.

Evolution

1. All the canards, as debunked by Cali.
2. Evo- only a theory? By Durro
3. Evolution: random or non-random (with inputs from mjpam, susu etc.)

Medicine

1. What are actual risks of using the mobile phone?
2. How verified are the claims of Homeopathy/Alternative Medicine in general?
3. A gene for homelessness - how true is that?
4. Do vaccines really pose a threat? (MMR - Autism)
5. Germ theory- what is it? How true is it?
6. What is cancer? Why are we not able to treat it?
7. What is HIV? Why are we not able to counter it?
8. Stem cell research - pros and cons?
9. What is common cold?

Psychology and Neuroscience

1. Do we really use 10% of our brain?
2. fMRI studies - a brief review
3. Evopsych - myth or science?
4. Gender differences - extent and limits
5. Nature-Nurture: What is the debate?
6. How do we remember things?
7. What is consciousness?
8. What is optogenetics?
9. Races: Do they exist?
10. What is love?
11. Morality: What is it?
12. Why do we get drunk?
13. Increased psychodiagnosis: good or bad?

Other

1. What is the genome? How does it carry info?
2. What is epigenetics?
3. How safe are GM foods?

etc.
When in perplexity, read on.

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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#24  Postby iamthereforeithink » Jan 01, 2011 5:50 am

Brilliant idea :cheers:

Hey, any questions on Dislocation theory, fracture, fatigue, tensile strength, phase transformation, grain structure, stress, strain etc. direct them to me. :mrgreen:
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#25  Postby GenesForLife » Jan 01, 2011 8:01 am

I want to work on the Cancer and HIV/AIDS ones.
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#26  Postby twistor59 » Jan 01, 2011 9:53 am

Thanks Nats - good list there (neuroscience #12 inspired by any recent activity perhaps ?).

In terms of actually generating them, my suggestion would be that we first declare our interest in a particular topic here in this thread and then work on the first draft (as GenesForLife has done). The idea is that would save duplication of effort ("shit I've just spent hours writing a FAQ, and bastardx has just posted a first draft on precisely that one"). Once the first draft is there, anyone can chip in with ammendments and suggestions.
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#27  Postby natselrox » Jan 01, 2011 10:35 am

twistor59 wrote:Thanks Nats - good list there (neuroscience #12 inspired by any recent activity perhaps ?).


:nod:

Alcohol does indeed affect behaviour in a complex way.

In terms of actually generating them, my suggestion would be that we first declare our interest in a particular topic here in this thread and then work on the first draft (as GenesForLife has done). The idea is that would save duplication of effort ("shit I've just spent hours writing a FAQ, and bastardx has just posted a first draft on precisely that one"). Once the first draft is there, anyone can chip in with ammendments and suggestions.


As you say, captain! :thumbup:
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#28  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jan 01, 2011 10:39 am

I would like to do a FAQ on evo-devo and Hox genes and gene regulatory networks, if a real expert like Genes for Life or susu.exp can backstop me or act as editors, that would be grand.
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#29  Postby GenesForLife » Jan 01, 2011 11:05 am

Darwinsbulldog wrote:I would like to do a FAQ on evo-devo and Hox genes and gene regulatory networks, if a real expert like Genes for Life or susu.exp can backstop me or act as editors, that would be grand.


I am not an expert lol.

PS- When are the first drafts of any FAQ to be expected?
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#30  Postby twistor59 » Jan 01, 2011 12:52 pm

GenesForLife wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:I would like to do a FAQ on evo-devo and Hox genes and gene regulatory networks, if a real expert like Genes for Life or susu.exp can backstop me or act as editors, that would be grand.


I am not an expert lol.

PS- When are the first drafts of any FAQ to be expected?


I guess it's entirely up to you - there are no deadlines for this as far as I'm aware. I would see it as a long term project - no hurry, so a good opportunity to develop high quality material. Although having said that I wouldn't hold back on slapping in the first draft because it's not perfect ! :cheers:
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#31  Postby MedGen » Jan 01, 2011 3:17 pm

I wouldn't mind having a stab at the genomics and genetics areas.
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#32  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jan 01, 2011 3:29 pm

GenesForLife wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:I would like to do a FAQ on evo-devo and Hox genes and gene regulatory networks, if a real expert like Genes for Life or susu.exp can backstop me or act as editors, that would be grand.


I am not an expert lol.

PS- When are the first drafts of any FAQ to be expected?

Well, I am testing bits here and there in various threads....if no one squeals I will assume that my understanding is in the ballpark. A good treatment will require some time to research and write. :)
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#33  Postby Delvo » Jan 01, 2011 3:42 pm

natselrox wrote:I compiled a few for the Bio-section...
Some of which I must say should NOT be done, or only with caution and/or not the way you said.

natselrox wrote:Evolution

1. All the canards, as debunked by Cali.
An FAQ entry is supposed to be a quick introduction or summary, not a small book.

natselrox wrote:Evolution

3. Evolution: random or non-random (with inputs from mjpam, susu etc.)
I've seen threads that go on about this for pages, but not read much of them. Do they go on like that because of Creationists barging in, or because of people with serious scientific perspectives merely having a semantic dispute over real-world application of the word "random" in different scientific contexts? If the latter, then an FAQ entry should avoid delving into such a conflict and stick to debunking the Creationist claims that it has nothing to do with.

natselrox wrote:Medicine

1. What are actual risks of using the mobile phone?
3. A gene for homelessness - how true is that?
6. What is cancer? Why are we not able to treat it?
7. What is HIV? Why are we not able to counter it?
9. What is common cold?

Psychology and Neuroscience

8. What is optogenetics?
Do those Q really seem to you to be FA? (And by people who come here to ask?) A trap that "FAQ" authors tend to fall into but should be avoided is answering questions that aren't actually frequently asked, but are just on the answerers' minds.

natselrox wrote:Psychology and Neuroscience

9. Races: Do they exist?
This one isn't even really a question, so I'll have to presume that, by putting it under the heading "psychology and neuroscience", you really meant for the question to be "Races: Are there psychological or neurological differences?". But even then, either an FAQ entry about it will only be an excuse for the author to preach the standard politically correct line in one way or another, or, if the author doesn't do that, it will become a target for a bunch of others to act all enraged and offended over because the author didn't do it, so the screaming buries the science.

natselrox wrote:Psychology and Neuroscience

13. Increased psychodiagnosis: good or bad?
Bound to turn into a mere opinion piece, a blog entry
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#34  Postby natselrox » Jan 01, 2011 3:47 pm

Delvo wrote:
natselrox wrote:I compiled a few for the Bio-section...
Some of which I must say should NOT be done, or only with caution and/or not the way you said.

natselrox wrote:Evolution

1. All the canards, as debunked by Cali.
An FAQ entry is supposed to be a quick introduction or summary, not a small book.

natselrox wrote:Evolution

3. Evolution: random or non-random (with inputs from mjpam, susu etc.)
I've seen threads that go on about this for pages, but not read much of them. Do they go on like that because of Creationists barging in, or because of people with serious scientific perspectives merely having a semantic dispute over real-world application of the word "random" in different scientific contexts? If the latter, then an FAQ entry should avoid delving into such a conflict and stick to debunking the Creationist claims that it has nothing to do with.

natselrox wrote:Medicine

1. What are actual risks of using the mobile phone?
3. A gene for homelessness - how true is that?
6. What is cancer? Why are we not able to treat it?
7. What is HIV? Why are we not able to counter it?
9. What is common cold?

Psychology and Neuroscience

8. What is optogenetics?
Do those Q really seem to you to be FA? (And by people who come here to ask?) A trap that "FAQ" authors tend to fall into but should be avoided is answering questions that aren't actually frequently asked, but are just on the answerers' minds.

natselrox wrote:Psychology and Neuroscience

9. Races: Do they exist?
This one isn't even really a question, so I'll have to presume that, by putting it under the heading "psychology and neuroscience", you really meant for the question to be "Races: Are there psychological or neurological differences?". But even then, either an FAQ entry about it will only be an excuse for the author to preach the standard politically correct line in one way or another, or, if the author doesn't do that, it will become a target for a bunch of others to act all enraged and offended over because the author didn't do it, so the screaming buries the science.

natselrox wrote:Psychology and Neuroscience

13. Increased psychodiagnosis: good or bad?
Bound to turn into a mere opinion piece, a blog entry


:cheers:

Scrap them then.
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#35  Postby Paul G » Jan 27, 2011 11:18 am

Any prog?
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#36  Postby twistor59 » Jan 27, 2011 4:33 pm

Paul G wrote:Any prog?


I was going to slap one together about the universe/big bang, but haven't had time yet - I got distracted on the twistor string stuff. I hadn't forgotten about it - will get round to it eventually....
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#37  Postby Ewald » Feb 17, 2011 10:54 pm

Would it be too bold to suggest maybe some sort of (editing restricted, controlled and moderated) RatSkep wiki be created? Or would that draw too much attention, traffic and/or discussion away from the boards? :ask:
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#38  Postby lucaspa » Sep 26, 2011 6:24 pm

twistor59 wrote:I was just thinking - sometimes questions keep coming up repeatedly, for example:

"How come we can observe galaxies receding from us faster than light?"
"What is the evidence that our universe is (or is not) fine tuned for life ?"

I keep my own FAQ files. Answers to these 2 questions are in it.

For the first, the answer is in the following article:
8. Lineweaver CH and Davis TM Misconceptions about the Big Bang, Scientific American 36-45 March 2005. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID ... 414B7F0147

For the second:

"According to the Anthropic Principle, we are entitled to infer facts about the universe and its laws from the undisputed fact that we (we anthropoi, human beings) are here to do the inferring and observing. The Anthropic Principle comes in several flavors.
In the "weak form" it is a sound, harmless, and on occasion useful application of elementary logic: if x is a necessary condition for the existence of y, and y exists, then x exists. If consciousness depends on complex physical structures, and complex physical structures depend on large molecules composed of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, then, since we are conscious, the world must contain such elements.
"But notice that there is a loose cannon on the deck in the previous sentence: the wandering "must". I have followed the common practice in English of couching a claim of necessity in a technically incorrect way. As any student in logic class soon learns, what I really should have written is: It must be the case that: if consciousness depends ... then, since we are conscious, the world contains such elements.

The conclusion that can be validly drawn is only that the world does contain such elements, not that it had to contain such elements. It has to contain such elements for us to exist, we may grant, but it might not have contained such elements, and if that had been the case, we wouldn't be here to be dismayed. It's as simple as that.
Take a simpler example. Suppose John is a bachelor. Then he must be single, right? (That's a truth of logic.) Poor John -- he can never get married! The fallacy is obvious in this example, and it is worth keeping it in the back of your mind as a template to compare other arguments with."
Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Ideas, pp. 165-166.
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#39  Postby indy » May 28, 2012 4:54 pm

With regards to the global warming questions. There is a fantastic app for Android with just about every climate skeptic question with huge comprehensive answers and responses with links to a ton of factual references and papers. A good place to start methinks..
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Re: Science FAQs (Discussion)

#40  Postby THWOTH » Jun 08, 2012 2:44 pm

If this is the discussion thread where's the actual FAQ thread?
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