With all the bad science, mostly psychological, flying around these days, I figured I'd offer a collection of science stories that can inform, and possibly uplift as well, as knowledge so often can.
Superstitious beliefs linked to clicking pen three times before writing subject name
Dr. Julliet Burns and her team of PhD candidates spent months researching the origins of superstitions. Genetics were expected to play a role, but little was found. Instead, Dr. Burns found that the best predictor of the development of superstitious beliefs was whether she clicked her pen exactly three times before writing down the name of the subject being tested. The report has not yet passed peer review, but panel members did comment that papers submitted on Thursday afternoon usually get through.
Gravity under increasing skepticism
While most students are taught that gravity is a force that pulls objects together, a small but growing group of concerned parents, backed by equally skeptical scientists, have begun after-school programs to teach gravity skepticism. At the heart of the new skepticism are two persistent problems in gravitational theory. The first is a lack of explanation for gravity, with gravitons and other theorized particles remaining out of sight, despite millions of man-hours spent squinting at heavy objects. Second, alternative explanations have emerged, such as Tiny Spring theory which suggests that all objects are connected by very tiny springs, pulling them together.
"Going green" linked to cancer, controversy
Green 45, a popular pigment used in dyes and inks, and most commonly seen in advertisements and labels for "green" products, has been linked to higher incidence of skin and joint cancers. No causal mechanic has yet been suggested. The study has provoked controversy due to being funded by the Citizens Committee for a Greyer Future, a collection of ink manufacturers and coal power plant operators.
And to wrap it up, a few headlines:
Video games linked to behavior being blamed on video games
False studies mistakenly believed
Global warming thaws frozen ice market
Bold text draws attention
Busy for a bit
11 hours ago