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hails from New Zealand. An atheist, scientist, and artist, he has written at http://openparachute.wordpress.com/ since 2007. You can follow Ken on Twitter at @openparachute!

Science never claimed to know everything

I have posted this before – but it bears repeating after all the nonsense I have been exposed to this year. Dara O’Briain: Science doesn’t know everything – YouTube.

Scientists are as human as anyone else. They aren’t immune to jumping on bandwagons, getting bees in their bonnets, special pleading or selectively interpreting their data to support a pet hypothesis or an obsession. The scientific peer review process restrains … Continue reading

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Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying … Continue reading

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I had to select this video on the element rutherfordium because of the  New Zealand link of the scientist the element is named after. It’s an interesting short lesson on rutherfordium and there is more where it came from – … Continue reading

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Did the Royal Society of NZ and the Office of the NZ Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor make a big mistake in their report Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence)? Did they misrepresent a scientific paper which … Continue reading

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How many times have I had discussion partners on the internet say to me “Do your own research?” Inevitably they are pushing some pseudoscientific or anti-scientific conspiracy theory – yet claiming science is their friend! Here, one of the members of Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network team ( Carol Kopf, Media Director who uses the Twitter … … Continue reading

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I have followed events in Ukraine for a year now and learned very early on never to be surprised. There have been so many seemingly outrageous things happen. On the one hand this has kept the Ukrainian events in the news. On the other it probably serves as a warning. There is just so much … … Continue reading

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This is the second article in a series critiquing contributions to the Fluoride Free NZ report “Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report.” My first article Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”  discussed Kathleen Theissen’s contribution. (It also discussed a draft contribution by Chris Neurath which does not appear in the final version). I will shortly post … … Continue reading

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If you haven’t watch it yet this video, Wanderers,  is a must. And it is well worth watching full screen. It’s a science-inspired short film imagining human exploration of our solar system. The voice-over is very recognisable – Carl Sagan reading from Pale Blue Dot. This is what Phil Plait said about the film: “This is one … … Continue reading

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Click for a larger image I came up with the image above after a quick glance at a “report” promoted by the local Fluoride Free groups and Paul Connett’s Fluoride Alert organisation. (Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report). It illustrates the incestuous network of authors and “peer reviewers” involved in … … Continue reading

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