Articles about Science



This is what physics taught me about gender

Quantum mechanics really can change how you see the world.

Capitalism and opabinia

Whenever I think about capitalism, I imagine myself with five eyes.

Social Constructs 101: what the term means, and what it doesn’t mean

You should know what you’re talking about.

Why is racism bad?

Recently a young man on Twitter ask me: Why is racism bad? It might seem like a troll question, but he went on to explain what he meant. He wasn’t talking about hating people or restricting rights based on race. He wasn’t talking about using racial slurs or promoting racial segregation. He was using “racist” in that dry, emotionless statistical way that people do when they are making a case for profiling…

Give up on privacy. This is what you should worry about instead

Privacy is an illusion. It simply doesn’t exist. You probably don’t believe me. Until recently, it was easy for us to have the illusion of privacy. Now, with accelerating increases in computational power and storage, and the incredible sophistication of data mining and machine learning, that fake veil of “privacy” is about to be torn down–and it will be shown to have been nothing more than a mirage in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you should freak out. It also doesn’t mean that we should just ignore the legal concerns that people associate with “privacy” in our society today. All it means is that we need to re-frame these problems in a different way.

Robot sex, gay nanobots, and synthetic lust: gender and sexuality in a transhumanist future

I am a transhumanist: I really believe that eventually our technology will advance to the point where we are able to replace the biological parts of our brains and bodies with mechanical or artificial replicas, or will be able to “upload” our minds into machine bodies. But if humanity transitions to synthetic, non-biological bodies… what will that mean for sex and gender? What will it mean for sexual orientation? Do terms like “homosexual” and “heterosexual” even have meaning when our bodies are made of nanobots or plastic and wires?

Does science explain the origin of the universe?
The universe

I. Foititus: Which does a better job of explaining the origin of the universe, religion or science? Didaskalus: Neither. Foititus: You surprise me, Didaskalus! Knowing you as I do, I was certain that you would choose science! Didaskalus: Hmm… maybe I misunderstood your question. What sort of explanation do you think that science has for […]

Sex and alcohol make you happier than kids and religion, study finds

The headline of this article, copied from the headline of a news article at MSN.COM, is a lie. It is 100% false, and MSN.COM should be sued. It’s an attention-getting lie, and it’s typical of the way media reports scientific findings. It is intended to generate page views on their “news” website. However, I find […]

Where is the scientific data on the effects of child beauty pageants?

Are child beauty pageants damaging to children? Tons of people think so, because it seems to “make sense”. However, I have been strangely unable to find real scientific data back up the crusade some people seem to have against them. Now, I will be the first to admit: I’m not an expert in this field […]

sex and chromosomes : some stuff you didn’t know

1 in 60,000 women have one X and one Y chromosome.  They are still women. The ratio of women who have an X and a Y chromosome is much higher among actresses and fashion models than in the general population. If you are a heterosexual man, there’s a good chance you’ve lusted after a woman […]

Talking with a climate-change denier.

A complete transcript of my Twitter DM conversation with a climate change denier, and my attempt to get him to explain what evidence would convince him (if it were found) that man-caused climate change was actually happening. My attempt did not succeed.   GregStevens Mar 12, 2:42pm I’d actually love to have a real discussion […]

The problem with studying Republican brains

Mother Jones has yet another article about the differences between Democratic and Republican brains. This research is both interesting and completely useless. First, let me sum up the gist of the findings in the most accurate and least sensational way that I possibly can.  For details, the Mother Jones article has references and links, and […]

Copernicus: scientist or magician?

Atheists and scientists love to cite Copernicus as a hero of science, who used logic and math to triumph over religious superstition. But it’s also possible he was just a sun-worshiping mystic. Now, let me be absolutely clear: the calculations of Copernicus were meticulous. His hypothesis that the planets moved around a stationary sun, rather […]

What does musclebound mean?
Technical definition of musclebound

The term “musclebound” means more than just “overly muscular”. It has a technical meaning, too: a meaning that is based on gymnastics and geometry. This is one of my favorite little pieces of trivia, because it involves both fitness and mathematics. I remember hearing it a long time ago from a gymnast friend of mine […]

The supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy will not affect you

Some people think that the end of the Mayan calendar might “mean something” because our solar system will be “aligned” with the galactic center. That’s a load of bullshit, and I’ll tell you why. Let’s set aside the very questionable idea of what it means for our solar system to be “aligned” with anything else […]

Magical thinking is easy and scientific thinking is hard.

Scientific thinking is hard is because our brains are not wired for it. Instead, our minds are wired for magical thinking. Magical thinking is a part of all aspects of our lives, and exists at the core of neural functioning. What is scientific thinking? Scientific thinking is a process of testing ideas with evidence. It […]

Evolution Q&A: Why did only humans become intelligent?

Ahmad Fares has asked me a second question about evolution. Because he was very polite and sincere in our last discussion, I will try once again to give a thoughtful and complete answer this time as well. Just as with the last time we talked, Ahmad, I’d like to start by talking a little bit […]

Evolution Q&A: Will humans one day fly?

A nice man named Ahmad Fares asked me a question about evolution. I will take this as a sincere request for information, and so will take the time to give a thorough answer. Before I give my complete answer, however, I would like to address you directly, Ahmad, about the bigger picture of your goals […]

People who don’t trust statistics are stupid and wrong

I’m sick of the meme in our politics and culture that statistics “can’t be trusted”. You hear it from both the right and the left. It’s not only factually incorrect, it contributes to a culture of stupidity. “Poll results don’t tell you that much, because you can manipulate a poll to give you pretty much […]

Living and knowing mean the same thing

The act of living, the act of experiencing the world, and the act of having knowledge are all the same thing. It sounds very abstract and philosophical, but it’s not philosophy: it’s basic biochemistry. Think about the basic unit of life: the cell. A cell has a structure, and a set of chemical processes that […]

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