The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.
Why Evolution is True and Why Many People Still Don’t Believe It
Jerry Coyne, professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, reviews the evidence for evolutionary theory and why Americans (in particular) are so resistant to accepting evolution as fact.
Highly recommended watch, even if you consider yourself well-versed on the topic. The pace is brisk and he’s not boring at all, and I found myself learning a new thing or two. The final analysis won’t surprise many of you, but he takes great care in getting there.
In general, an excellent review for the 12% (an embarrassing figure) of Americans that accept evolution as fact, and time well spent for the rest having their convictions challenged.
Rush Limbaugh vs. Neil deGrasse Tyson on global warming…
19-year-old science education advocate figures out how to smack down a conservative economist calling for cuts to scientific research: by telling him “You’re not a scientist.”
(Real Time With Bill Maher via Upworthy)
“150-foot asteroid will buzz Earth next week - on incredibly close approach - but no need to duck.” - AP
Raytheon: How cool is this? Lightning, as seen from space, captured by our VIIRS sensor.
Milk of Human Kindness Also Found in Bonobos
The subjects were all orphaned bonobos at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In one phase of the study, bonobos were given a pile of food, then given the opportunity to release a stranger or a group mate (or both) from other rooms.
The bonobos chose to release strangers and share their food. Not only that, but the just-released bonobo would then release the third.
“This was shocking to us because chimpanzees are so xenophobic,” Mr. Tan said. “They won’t approach a stranger unless they outnumber them.”
Two psychologists recently embarked on a phone and internet survey of the American public’s beliefs about how memory works.
They compared popular beliefs about the intricacies of our memory with the opinions of experts, and found that people hold on to some dangerously wrongheaded ideas about memory, especially as it relates to criminal testimony. Many of these incorrect ideas are the result of memory science being twisted in media and movies (like The Mentalist or The Bourne Identity)
The widely-held misconceptions:
- People with amnesia can’t remember their name or identity (They usually can).
- A single piece of eyewitness testimony is reliable enough to convict someone of a crime (It shouldn’t be, eyewitness testimony is historically unreliable)
- Human memory works like a camera, passively recording our surroundings, and you can recall additional levels of detail later (It doesn’t work like that, memories are subject to our attention spans and mental focus)
- Once you form a memory, it exists on a mental “hard drive”, and you recall it as it happened (Memories are not written in stone, they change each time we recall them in the future and are under the influence of other memories)
- Hypnosis can help witnesses recall more accurate details of crimes (It can’t, it can only help people be more forthcoming in answering, not make them more accurate)
- People usually notice when something unexpected enters their field of view, even when distracted (They don’t, memory is deeply tied to active attention, just ask anyone who has failed the gorilla test)
The splendid lantern shark has three incredibly cool features. First, it’s called “the splendid lantern shark,” which is rad. I am going to start putting “the splendid” in front of my name when I introduce myself to people, too. Second, it can glow in the dark. Third, it can freakin’ turn itself invisible.