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It's hardly a secret that large segments of the population choose not to accept scientific data because it conflicts with their predefined beliefs: economic, political, religious, or otherwise. But many studies have indicated that these same people aren't happy with viewing themselves as anti-science, which can create a state of cognitive dissonance. That has left psychologists pondering the methods that these people use to rationalize the conflict.

Ten years on from the revelation that scientists had cracked the human genome, the phenomenal capacity of modern computers is starting to exploit the potential of that discovery for the fight against disease

TO PIN one big evolutionary shift on a particular molecule is ambitious. To pin two on it is truly audacious. Yet doing so was just one of the ideas floating around at “A Celebration of DHA” in London this week. The celebration in question was a scientific meeting, rather than a festival. It was definitely, however, a love-in. It was held on May 26th and 27th at the Royal Society of Medicine to discuss the many virtues of docosahexaenoic acid, the most important of that fashionable class of dietary chemicals, the omega-3 fatty acids.

Missing women police find remains

Like Missing comma, police decide to hire a grammarian, or Missing his mom, Joe called home? No, wait a minute, this isn't about the police missing womanly company — those first two words are not a gerund-participial predicative adjunct. Could missing be a modifier of women police, then? The remains were found in a remote area by some female police officers who had been reported as missing? A bit implausible. What about find? Is that really a tensed verb with plural agreement? Could it be a noun instead (as in a new find), with remains being the main clause verb, as in Paul Simon's line the roots of rhythm remain? No; it's not making any sense at all. You just can't figure out a plausible story.


 

Comments

re Scientific dissonance

Interesting subject. I think perhaps irrespective of how knowledgeable they may or may not be about a given scientific discipline, some people want to trust science and technology. Some want to believe in science and technology. Some view the promises of science and technology (or the promoters of their products) with a high degree of healthy skepticism.

The scientists I know are motivated by unknowns. With every experiment comes some answers and new questions. It's the questions that keep them coming back.

Some Non-scientists who may even have abandoned belief in God, seeking in science a more modern rational alternative, somehow transfer with their beliefs some notion of Scientific Omnipotence. So of course, they are enraged to discover, for instance, that while Science and Technology knows how to drill deep water wells, they haven't a clue about how to plug them up again. They feel betrayed by the state of the art.

At least with God running the show, you always know if it doesn't work out, it's your fault - cuz you were naughty, or sinful, or didn't mind the prophet. If Science and Technology, in their role as handmaidens to profit, screw up big time, who ya gonna blame?

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Your link to "The number crunchers who are saving lives" actually points to the librarian video.

Food related, but perhaps a little off subject.

"Supermarket Secrets", a British documentary on where our food comes from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68hapDEQEj0

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