PATH: BS | Dubious Research

More Thoughtful Debate on Theory of Evolution

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[Dubious Research]
A creative online user has posted an interesting letter to the Kansas School Board, regarding their decision to teach evolution as one of many possible "theories" on creation of the species.

Our pundit finds himself with a very plausible argument on other possible theories that are worth consideration. This is a good read.

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BSA Publishes Fantasy Figures on Software Piracy

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[Dubious Research]
The Business Software Alliance, a group dedicated towards controlling software piracy, has come under fire for releasing a report claiming that 35% of software installed on computers is pirated and costs companies more than $33 Billion a year in lost revenue.

The Economist and others have blown the lid off the BSA's research methodology, which is apparently based on the illogical premise that any program someone would pirate, they would otherwise pay for.

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Abstinence Makes The Salary Grow Larger?

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[Dubious Research]
[Sex]
A new study from the Christian group Focus on the Family claims that kids who stay virgins longer are apt to stay in school longer, make 20% more money and have a lower divorce rate.

READ MORE | 6 comments since 2005-10-07 01:54:23 | Comment on this Article

Moonie's Paper Claims Oil Is Endless Resource

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[Dubious Research]
Reverend Sun Young Moon, owner of the Washington times and self-proclaimed reincarnation of Christ has published an interesting editorial in his paper that speculates that oil does not come from organic matter, but deep inside the earth and is a virtually unlimited resource.

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Microsoft Funds Research Claiming It's More Secure Than Linux

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[Dubious Research]
Two researchers surprised the audience at a computer-security convention last month with their finding that a version of Microsoft Windows was more secure than a competing Linux operating system. This week, the researchers released their finished report, and it included another surprise: Microsoft was funding the project all along.

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CNN Publishes Misleading Poll Results

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[News Media]
[Polls]
As usual, the editors at CNN seem to think that the American people are idiots. Maybe they are -- as reflected in this latest attempt to demonize democrats.

In presenting the results of a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, CNN.com used a visually distorted graph that falsely conveys the impression that Democrats far outnumber Republicans and Independents in thinking the Florida state court was right to order Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed. In fact, a majority of all three groups agrees with the court's decision, and the gap between Democrats on one hand and Republicans and Independents on the other is within the poll's margin of error.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2005-03-24 11:27:56 | Comment on this Article

Anti-Vegan Professor Likes to Take It From Cattlemen

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[Dubious Research]
Strike One: UC Davis professor Lindsay Allen found herself amid international press coverage and the target of wrath from vegans around the globe for comments she made at a scientific conference that vegan diets for children are "unethical."

Strike Two: The basis for her "research" was on already malnurished children in Kenya according to other scientists.

Strike Three: Her efforts were funded by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and its publication supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization, Land O'Lakes, and Heifer International.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-08-29 14:11:07 | Comment on this Article

How Aggressive Are You? Talk to the Hand!

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[Dubious Research]
[Mean People]
According to Canadian scientists, the length of a man's finger in proportion to other fingers is an indicator of his aggressive tendency. Personally, I think the extent to which a certain finger is prominently displayed may also indicate this. Now where's MY grant? I'll be happy to demonstrate my research.

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Smart People More Prone To Choke Under Pressure

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[Dubious Research]
[Sociology]
A group at the University of Michigan has released the results of a study that claims smart people are more likely to choke under pressure. Apparently undergrad students in Michigan are the perfect control group to represent smart people and their limitations.

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Associated Press Falls for GI-Joe Hostage in Iraq

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[News Media]
[Dubious Research]
The Associated Press's Fact-Checking-Monkeys apparently let this one slip through: Iraqi militants claimed in a Web statement Tuesday to have taken an American soldier hostage and threatened to behead him in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners.

It's a good thing we can get our news from reliable sources like the AP. We don't want our GI-Joes to be abused.

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Students say media should get Government approval for stories

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[Polls]
[Newspapers]
A Connecticut organization polled thousands of high school students and found that 36% believe newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing; 13% have no opinion, and 32% feel the media has "too much freedom."

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Online University That Gave Cat Diploma Sued For Fraud

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[Edumakashun]
[Dubious Research]
An online university that supposedly granted a graduate degree in business to a pet cat was sued Monday for consumer fraud by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office. Rumor has it the cat immediately got a job with Arthur Anderson.

Obviously, the tip-off was a cat with an MBA. They should have limited their student body to dogs and hamsters and nobody would have been the wiser.

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"Biodegradable" cell phone which turns into a flower?

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[Dubious Research]
Researchers at the University of Warwick have prounounced with pride that they have created a "biodegradable" cell phone that can be planted and grows flowers. Of course, they're quite liberally assuming that if the plastic cover of the phone is biodegradable, then that gives them the hubris to claim the entire phone is environmentally sound.

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Internet porn worse than crack?

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[Dubious Research]
Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine, leading to addiction, misogyny, pedophilia, boob jobs and erectile dysfunction, according to clinicians and researchers testifying before a Senate committee Thursday.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2004-11-24 04:02:21 | Comment on this Article

How journalists kill science

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[Dubious Research]
[News Media]
The Columbia Journalism Review has an insightful story on how the mainstream media, in their effort to pander to certain profitable demographic groups have shown an increasing tendency to ignore facts and overwhelming scientific evidence when deciding which stories to run and what to say.

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To the victor goes the spoilage

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[Polls]
Some in the media are claiming Kerry won the election. The exit polls are accurate. Pollsters ask, "Who did you vote for?" Unfortunately, they don't ask the crucial, question, "Was your vote counted?"

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Rent-an-expert... any flavor you want

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[Dubious Research]
[Media]
New York Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent has critiqued the practice by his newspaper and others of relying on information from "expert analysts" without informing readers that many of the experts represent the interests of their financial sponsors. "Bad reporters find experts by calling up university press relations officials or brokerage research departments and saying, in effect, 'Gimme an expert,'" he writes. "Really bad reporters, paradoxically, work a little harder: knowing the conclusions they want to arrive at, they seek out experts who just happen to agree with them.

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Are YOU a "Likely Voter" ??

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[Polls]
If you pay attention, you'll see in almost all polls shown in the media today, in fine print or on television it will say something like "in a poll of likely voters". This is an interesting statistical "gimmick" used by the polling companies that allows them to fudge the stats. Depending upon which polling organization the definition of "likely voters" varies dramatically. Read on for more details.

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ABC "news" claims Republicans have better sex lives

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[Dubious Research]

ABC news is reporting a story that Republicans have better sex than Democrats based on some telephone poll they conducted. Does this really prove Republicans have better sex or are they just better at lying? Regardless, do we really care which partisian group has generally better sex lives? What kind of a poll was this? Good afternoon sir, are you a Democrat or a Republican, and can you tell me are you happy with your sex life?

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2004-10-18 15:24:35 | Comment on this Article

Polls show US-International relations getting worse

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[Sociology]
[Polls]
Newsday has an article comprising the results of polls taken in Canada, France, Britain, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Israel and Russia.

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