Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Finally Fighting for Science

I think we are in some truly history making times. How we get through them as a society, or even a species seems to be uncertain. Go ahead and call me a pessimist! Getting through them at all seems uncertain. One thing to realize is that “science” won’t tell us what to do to get through these times. Freedom really has nothing to do with “science” either. ‘There’s science, medical science, and statistical analysis and epidemiology, and public safety too. And then there’s freedom, which should have nothing to do with science at all, but now does. Choose one, not the others. Choose to believe in science, or more precisely, to believe the science, that certain things can be proved to be so, beyond all reasonable doubt.’

It seems important to determine what the science says before we can put it to use. Sadly it seems almost impossible to get educated reasonable people to agree on who or what to believe outside of their own circle of friends, associates, peers, or communities. I think that there are models that we can use to reach out to those that disagree in serious and important ways. They all rely on trust and respect from all of those in the conversation. Yelling and calling someone an idiot will not help. Here are two articles that, I think, apply to much more of science than the subjects of them are… Twelve Essential Tips for Researching Quality Health Information Online and Debunking a persistent COVID-19 lie. Yes, the Virus has been Isolated. Here’s a good resource as well, The Corona Virus Facts Alliance

‘Many people are exposed to this disinformation passively. What I mean by that is someone brings it up in conversation or they see it mentioned in the comments section on a post. Or they are even at a school board hearing on masks and it is mentioned by some maskhole. And here’s the issue, being exposed to incorrect information even once can be enough to sew seeds of doubt. So knowing it is wrong and why upfront is a bit like vaccinating yourself against these lies.’

Guys, the Vajenda isn’t just for gals! (I’m not sure if you know of Dr. Jen Gunter but you should.) Also take note of The misguided history of female anatomy and the wandering womb

Just in case you are looking for more to ponder… The future of humanity: can we avert disaster?

OK enough Hope, doom and gloom. Let’s see what looks interesting this week.

– Peering into the body – with less risk – Livestream is happening Wed @ 5:30
The Periodic Table: How the Basic Elements of Life are Advancing Research – Livestream Thu @ noon
Every Bird has a Story – Livestream is Sat @ 1:30

Of special note is the multi-day Buoy Days Thu and Fri at the explOratorium. There’s a special Member event Thu @ 9:15 AM which, if you are not a member, might inspire you to join! There are also two more to consider there or on line at 6:00 After Dark: Beneath the Bay and Collecting Kelp – Hybrid Event @ 7:30!

It’s the beginning of another school year, and citizen science is a great way to get back into the swing of learning for curious people of all ages. There are hundreds of projects with classroom materials to choose from on SciStarter, and a free Foundations of Citizen Science training is available to introduce citizen science to your learners. Check out your favorite museum for lots of on-line suggestions for learning and getting ready to return to school. Here’s something to think about now that the kids are getting out a lot more and hopefully will continue to. Kids set free to roam on their own feel more confident navigating in adulthood

“It’s hard to argue with the famously authoritative Oxford English Dictionary, but”

Are you a registered voter in California? I hope that you take the time to vote before September 14th. You should have received a ballot by now. You only have to make 1 or 2 X’s and there is very little research to be done if any. Take it out now and vote if you haven’t already. Be sure you understand what “No” and “Yes” mean. Be sure to vote on the real ballot and not the sample ballot and fill out the entire back of the envelope before returning it to be counted. It is recommended that you reregister to vote every few years as our signature changes as we get less young. Comparing signatures is becoming more important and automated as well. Why am I going in to such detail? See above… “Many people are exposed to this disinformation passively.” Thank your poll workers for what they do and how well they do it.

Think calming Perseid thoughts.

Have a great week learning new and cool stuff.
herb masters

“We live in an era of unprecedented scientific breakthroughs and expertise. But we’re also stymied by the forces of misinformation that undermine the true knowledge that is out there.”
Dr. Laolu Fayanju

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