Science Said Y X Years Ago, Therefore…

Science said Y, X years ago, therefore, >>insert non-sequitur here<<. This is becoming an increasingly familiar, and tiring, argument. First, let me use it in a few examples.

GMO foods are bad despite what the science says because science said cigarettes were safe for use 60 years ago.

Organic produce is healthier than conventional produce despite what the preponderance of scientific studies today show because science gave us nazi eugenics 80 years ago.

Got it? Well, it’s a non-sequitur; that is, the conclusion does not follow from the premises. Here’s what it is, a red herring, a debate stopper; what it is not is a logical argument.

There are several points I wish to make against it.

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My Interview at GreenState TV

My recent interview with GreenState TV. I actually had a lot of fun talking with Emily and Rick (though you won’t hear or see them); it was more of a conversation about GMOs than an interview about them. A very fun one! I’d do it again anytime.

Source link: GreenState TV.

What do the Creationist & Anti-GMO Platform Have in Common?

Creationists and the Anti-GMO crowd (hereafter referred to as anti’s) crowd share a foundational base; one amusing to explore, no less. Creationism, or Intelligent Design (ID) as it is known in some circles where they pretend to themselves it is a scientific theory, has been notorious at setting up evolutionary straw men that they can then easily knock them down to the delight of other believers. (A straw man argument is where you intentionally misrepresent an argument so that you can take down the ‘straw man’ argument without taking on the actual argument to the benefit of your ego and ignorance of your audience.)

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The Freebies Hundredth…And The New ‘Lowdown’

1-0-0….This is my 100th post! So to celebrate, I’m giving away Random Rationality: Expanded and S3: Science, Statistics and Skepticism free for the next three days. Get’em while you can

The below links will take you to the Kindle store where you can get them free until the 22nd June:

Get Random Rationality: Expanded for free – [The UK edition is here]

What people thought of it:

Author Catherine Tosko wrote of Random Rationality: “This book is as good as (the oft-quoted by Janabi) Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.”

Writer Ryan Culpeper wrote: “It’s very informative, witty and well written. The author took a risk by committing to such a hefty scope, but he pulls it off quite eloquently.”

Get S3: Science, Statistics and Skepticism for free – [The UK edition is here]

Continue reading “The Freebies Hundredth…And The New ‘Lowdown’”

Pigs, GMOs & Bullshit

Again, the Internet contends with another negative take on GMOs, like Seralini’s rat-cancer study from last year. This “study” by Judy Carman involves following pigs fed GM and non-GM feed over 22.7 weeks and trying to find something, anything, wrong at all with the GM-fed pigs while ignoring everything that showed no effect or a positive effect. I don’t have time enough to go through the study, so I’ll briefly summarize the findings of Mark Lynas’ take on the study, as well as another from Weed Control Freaks to show you the pseudoscience indicators:

1st Warning Sign: The results were published in a journal not indexed by PubMed with a low-impact factor.

What this means: Scientists don’t take the journal seriously, it has no credibility, or both.

Continue reading “Pigs, GMOs & Bullshit”

Not All Scientific Statements Have Equal Weight


The title of this post: “Not all scientific statements have equal weight” was written by Carl Sagan in his brilliant book Broca’s Brain. It is a statement you should write on a post-it to keep by your monitor as you browse, if that is your cup of tea, the online intellectual fight on such nerve touching issues as the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMO), evolution vs. creationism, climate change, and many other topics that are, at the end of the day, empirically verifiable. It should sound in your brain after each and every scientific claim you read on the Internet. (In Carl Sagan’s voice too.)

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S3: Science, Statistics and Skepticism

I have just released my second book, S3: Science, Statistics and Skepticism. It goes for $0.99 on Amazon. Here’s the blurb:

“Does Homeopathy work? Are GMOs dangerous? Is climate change really happening, or is it a hoax as claimed by many? This book will help you navigate the twisted shores of pseudoscientific territory and cut through the nonsense to find the good science.

I’m Fourat, and I think good, peer-reviewed, replicable science should be the pride of humanity. Yet, for some reason it’s not. Join me on this mini-adventure as I help you navigate the confusing, jargon-filled, and treacherous arena of science and the outfits trying to coat themselves in its respectable veneer. By the end of this book, they won’t be able to hide their nonsense from you any longer.

Learn why homeopathy is wrong, climate change is happening, vaccines are safe, western medicine is doing us just fine, why evolution is true, among a few others. Find out what makes good science good, and pseudoscience pseudo. The success of science should be one of humanity’s proudest achievements, but, somehow it isn’t. Explore the bad and the good on this little journey, and have fun while you’re at it.”

The Art of DifferentiationHere’s the link one more time, and if you do buy it, and like it, or not, please consider leaving a review. Either way, it helps. Either by helping me write a better book next time, or helping me sell more books this time. Over the next week or two, I’ll be putting up a guest post from a biochemist and then a Q&A with an evolutionary biologist, both of which complement a few of the subjects I tackle in the book. Stay tuned.

And, lastly, thank you to my subscribers. For the life of me, I don’t know why you all listen to me, but apparently some of you do and that makes me happy. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing. You guys are awesome. Special thanks to John Zande who runs a marvelous blog writing sketches on atheism for his enormous help in proof-reading the first crappy drafts of S3. Many thanks go to Ryan Culpeper, who writes on history and religion with alarming clarity, for providing an early review. Also, Rhys Chellew, who writes on everything under the sun, for fact-checking the science and correcting me in multiple arenas; I don’t think I’ve ever met a mind that works so fast and knows so much. And to the enigmatic physicist David Yerle who, in a sense, peer-reviewed my book and set me straight on a few occasions too. Of course, where would I be without thanking my awesome girlfriend who, at critical moments, boosts my confidence to continue writing on tough days, thanks love! And again, thanks to all my readers. Though I don’t say it enough, I really do appreciate that you’re here.

P.S. If you buy S3, and email me your receipt (which you can find on the contact section of my author website), I’ll give you Random Rationality: Expanded (which actually costs more, but hey, I couldn’t think of a good reason why I shouldn’t).