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A critical analysis of archeology leads to rejection of astrology, conspiracies, etc.
The world as a whole has become increasingly reliant on science to provide its technology and inform its policy. But rampant conspiracy theories, fake news, and pseudoscience like homeopathy show that the world could use a bit more of the organized skepticism that provides the foundation of science. For that reason, it has often been suggested that an expanded science education program would help cut down on the acceptance of nonsense.
But a study done with undergrads at North Carolina State University suggests that a class on scientific research methods doesn’t do much good. Instead, a class dedicated to critical analysis of nonsense in archeology was far more effective at getting students to reject a variety of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. And it worked even better when the students got their own debunking project.
The study, done by Anne Collins McLaughlin and Alicia McGill, lumps together things like belief in astrology, conspiracy theories, and ancient aliens, calling them “epistemically unwarranted.” Surveys show they’re widely popular; nearly half the US population thinks astrology is either somewhat or very scientific, and the number has gone up over time.
You might think that education, especially in the sciences, could help reverse this trend, but McLaughlin and McGill have some depressing news for you. Rejection of epistemically unwarranted ideas doesn’t correlate with scientific knowledge, and college students tend to have as much trouble coming to grips with reality as anyone else.
Teaches Kids Aliens Are Behind Everything
By Jason Colavito via jasoncolavito.com
I don’t always get outraged by the terrible choices that cable TV makes. Cable channels have always done terrible things in the name of profit, but yesterday I learned of a horrible new product that flew under the radar when it was released a few months ago. Just seeing it made my blood boil, and I hope you’ll agree that it symbolizes pretty much everything wrong with American education and popular history in the twenty-first century.
That product? The Young Investigator’s Guide to Ancient Aliens: Based on the Hit Television Series, a book tie-in to the Ancient Aliens TV series, which carries the History Channel’s official endorsement and authorship and was released by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Macmillan, one of America’s largest book publishers. The volume is aimed at readers aged 8 to 12, though after skimming the book I’d think it’s perhaps a bit too ambitious for an 8 year old. (I wonder if grades 8-12 was what was meant instead.)
Although the book was released in July, it received no reviews on Amazon as of this writing and no mainstream media coverage that I could find. That is perhaps a good thing because the book itself is more horrifying than you’d imagine. As the book description explains:
Spanning history, from the earliest of human civilizations to the modern period, this book exposes evidence of the presence of extraterrestrials in some of our most triumphant and devastating moments.
And lest you think the existence of this book is an idle danger: According to the Toronto Public Library’s website, they purchased an astonishing 31 copies of the book to ensure that 23 branches of the library had one or more copies on hand. WorldCat reports that 97 libraries currently stock the book in their children’s sections. Indeed, the Youth Services Book Review blog, run by librarians in Massachusetts, gave the book a five star review and recommended it for all libraries serving children and teenagers. I would like to posit this question: If the History Channel promoted a book of “Creationism for Kids” or “Why Vaccines Will Kill You,” would anyone consider it a trusted resource or stock it alongside serious nonfiction for educating kids?
By Elizabeth Palermo via LiveScience.com
People who believe in ghosts may be more afraid of actual, real-world dangers — things like violent crimes or nuclear war — than are people who don’t hold paranormal beliefs, a new survey finds.
The Survey of American Fear asked people in the United States to divulge the terrors that keep them up at night. For the survey, nearly 1,500 participants responded to questions about 88 different fears and anxieties, ranging from commonplace phobias (like fear of heights) to less tangible concerns (like fear of government corruption). The survey also asked participants about their beliefs concerning paranormal and mythical things, like ghosts, Bigfoot and ancient aliens.
“The reason we ask [about paranormal things] on the survey is that we’re interested in finding out what kind of clusters of beliefs tend to be associated with fear,” Christopher Bader, a professor of sociology at Chapman University in California and leader of the second annual Fear Survey, told Live Science.
Last year in the survey, researchers asked questions that gauged the respondents’ scientific reasoning. This was done to find out how the individuals’ knowledge of scientific ideas (how electricity works, why the sun sets in the west, etc.) related to those respondents’ fears. But this year, the focus was on supernatural beliefs, not scientific ones.
Bader and his colleagues found that quite a few Americans hold paranormal beliefs. The most common of these is the belief that spirits can haunt particular places; 41.4 percent of the demographically representative group of participants said they held this belief. A lot of Americans (26.5 percent) also think that the living and the dead can communicate with each other in some way, the survey found.
Many survey participants said . . .
If you wish to conduct more investigating into this subject matter i highly recommend visiting ART and UFOs? No Thanks, Only Art. The website is written in Italian, but some pages have been translated into English. The Italian pages are translated using MicroSoft Translator:
- Part 1 (English)
- Part 2 (English via MicroSoft Translator)
- Part 3 (English via MicroSoft Translator)
- Part 4 (English via MicroSoft Translator)
- Part 5 (English via MicroSoft Translator)
- Part 6 (English via MicroSoft Translator)
- Part 7 (English via MicroSoft Translator)
- Part 8 (English via MicroSoft Translator)
From Stonehenge to the pyramids, researchers in the modern era are uncovering fascinating information about ancient construction techniques. But is there any ancient structure that still defies explanation?
Recently I forced myself to read an article about certain claims by made by one Dr. Ellis Silver, an ecologist, about how humans came from another planet (read the article here). Now most people would think that any proof that we do not come from this planet would be in our DNA (and I’ll get to that later) but the article doesn’t even mention that. In fact, it claims because of certain aliments that humans tend to have that there is only one logical conclusion as to why we have them: We came from another world.
One of the first claims made by Dr. Silver is that a lot of us have bad backs, and because of this he believes that humans must have evolve in a lower gravity environment then that of Earth’s.
Even if this was true that we did evolve in a lower gravity environment than that of Earth’s it wouldn’t be the cause of our bad backs. Eventually our bodies would adapt over a few generations to Earth’s gravity, and this guy is suggesting that we have been here for tens of thousands of years (actually between 60,000 to 200,000). This is more than enough time for our bodies to have adapted to Earth’s gravity.
Now the real reason for our bad backs isn’t because of the gravity, it’s actually a number of different things. It can be from placing to much stress on our backs (which other species do not do unless we make them) or injury, or sitting in a chair wrong for to long of a period of time, or being overweight, or a lack of exercise, or lifting up heavy objects in an improper manner. I’m not sure if Dr. Silver ignored these facts or not, but the sheer fact that some humans have back issues is not evidence that humans are from another world.
The second claim made for why humans are from another planet is because it can be difficult for women to give birth due to the size of a baby’s head, and that it can result in fatalities for both the mother and infant. He also claims that no other species on this planet has that problem.
This claim is just weird and flawed on several levels. First we are not the only species that has big heads when we are born. Infact many species of primates have big heads when they are born, as do many other species, and do experience complications from childbirth which can result in the deaths of both the mother and child.
Also, if it is true that having a big head when we are born which makes it difficult for a woman to give birth meant that we didn’t come from this planet, then why would we have evolved this trait on another planet also? We shouldn’t have, and therefore we shouldn’t even exist…
Just because we are born with big heads does not mean we did not come from this planet.
The third claim made for the believed reason why humans cannot have come from this planet is because we cannot stay in the sun for long periods of time, unlike lizards.
Well, we’re not lizards, which are cold blooded and actually need the heat from the sun inorder to function. We’re warm blooded, as are all other mammals, and do not require as much exposure to sun as a lizard does. Infact many mammal species are even less tolerant of the sun than we are, and either spend a lot of time in shaded areas, or are nocturnal and live underground, or in trees and bushes until night time.
Dr. Silver is also suggesting that because we can be harmed by the sun (i.e. get sunburned) that we must have come from another planet.
Actually the reason why we get sunburned isn’t because we evolved on another planet, it’s because we have a lot of exposed skin. Most other mammals have thick hair (i.e. fur) that protects their skin from direct exposure from the sunlight. Infact we’re not the only mammals that have a problem with getting sunburn. Pigs for example are very well known for getting sunburned, which is why they tend to roll around in mud. It’s not because they like it, it’s so they don’t get sunburned.
Now the forth claim that is made is that we have a strong dislike of naturally occurring foods, and for this reason we’re probably not from this planet.
This is completely bogus. A lot of people love . . .
- Humans do NOT come from Earth – and sunburn, bad backs and pain during labor prove it, expert claims (illuminutti.com)
- Humans do NOT come from Earth – and sunburn, bad backs and pain during labour prove it, expert claims (sott.net)
- Humans Are NOT From Earth – Dr Claims Our Bodies Are Evidence (humansarefree.com)
- Humans Came From Another Planet, New Book Claims (disinfo.com)