Wrongness, Rightness, and The Academics who never believed the Earth was flat.

Why should you read this:
This post is going to be a little different. I am going to write this one a bit more casually, and that may mean there will be some pg-13 language involved. If you are offended by that type of thing, I apologize in advance. Disclaimer aside, this article is going to cover a pretty broad range. It is not addressing a single small topic, but instead addresses a common argument I run into while discussing science with the public. I will go through that argument bit by bit and talk about some of the flaws, and provide some insights into the scientific method. Prepare yourself for some verbal adventure, and dive right in!
The Story:
We start this story with you. Not the real you, but the hypothetical You. Got that? Just imagine yourself, but a story version of yourself. A You that is compelled to do what the plot says you are going to do. If ninjas attack the story You, it doesn't matter what you would do in real life, because the hypothetical You in the story is compelled to do whatever the story says. I think you have it now, so please don't be offended that I'm going to make story You sound like a total jerk!


The World is Big and Stupid

A few weeks ago I stumbled onto this NPR article which made me smile. In it, the author points out a quoted piece of text written by Charles Darwin in a letter to one of his friends.

The quote reads, "I am very poorly today, and very stupid and hate everything and everyone."

This is Charles Darwin on a bad day a few years after publishing his great work, On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection. Just a brilliant scientist having a really bad day, and being so very human about it.

I loved the quote so much that I made a few wallpapers for my desktop to remind myself that my frustrations should not stop me from doing great things. So here for you are a few iterations to liven up your desktop on a depressing day, and to remind you that even world changing scientists have very bad days.



A Man With a Gun - A Man With a Sneeze

Why should I read this:
The recent measles outbreak has been in the news a lot the last few weeks. Just about every single news outlet and blog in the country has written on the topic. My degree is specifically "human biology", so I have strong opinions about how public health and disease should be treated. Whether I am preaching to the choir, or you are still certain that you should have personal choice in the matter,  read along and we will go over some of the talking points.

The Story:

Imagine a man with a gun. Not a soldier or an action hero, just imagine a normal man with a gun.

Imagine that man walking through a crowded public space. Imagine him walking casually, calm and unassuming. Imagine him harboring no I'll will against his fellow man.

Imagine that man casually drawing his gun as he walks, and firing. He fires with no particular target in mind, he doesn't even seem to realize what he's doing.