Eppur si muove

Things I Think About, by Peter Bowditch

November, 2012

Confirmation bias, denialism and Morton’s Demon.

Anyone who has ever done research will be familiar with the problem of confirmation bias – hearing what you want to hear. Anybody doing research in the social sciences has to be constantly aware of the possibility of confirmation bias, of selecting results and readings that fit the hypothesis and either ignoring or eliminating things […]

The anti-vaccination lobby

This article was published as the Naked Skeptic column in the October 2009 edition of Australasian Science. It has not lost an iota of relevance. For many years the anti-vaccination lobby had the respect of the media. Any story on a television current affairs program about a disease where anyone had suggested vaccination would include […]

Genetic modification

You know how GM is a plot by Monsanto to create sterile seed so farmers can’t keep back part of their crop for planting next season and have to buy new seed? Twenty-five years ago I worked for a distributor of agricultural products and we had a man whose full-time job was seed sales because […]

MindBodySpirit Festival 2012

To save everyone else the pain I went to the Sydney MindBodySpirit Festival on Friday, November 9. I’ve been going to these things for some years and they are always great fun as long as you stay away from the medical quackery. That seems to be reducing over time and most of the ones still […]

I try not to know what just ain’t so

Everyone must be familiar with the quote “It ain’t so much the things we know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so”. I once used it in something I was writing and being a pedant I went looking for the original author of the saying. Something in my […]