Science

How to Know What's True: Assessing Scientific Research

How to Know What's True: Assessing Scientific Research

This is the transcript and source guide for my (Matt Berkowitz's) lecture, "How to Know What's True: Assessing Scientific Research" -- the video of which is viewable here:

Toxicity Confirmed for Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-resistant GM Maize

Toxicity Confirmed for Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-resistant GM Maize

As we rolled into a new calendar year, most people were probably unaware of a 'storm in a teacup' that was brewing in one corner of the scientific community. In November of 2012 a team from the universities of Caen and Verona reported their findings after a few years of research into what is currently the single most-used pesticide in the world and a species of corn genetically modified to tolerate it, both patented by the Monsanto corporation.

Designing Food Systems

Designing Food Systems

When we think of food production today, most people imagine large fields of monocrops or grassland for grazing. We think of agriculture. Many people believe that agriculture (10,000 years ago) is inextricably tied with the human species. But when considering that modern humans have existed for over 200,000 years, this agricultural preoccupation does not seem so integral to our humanity.

Stream of Consciousness-raising

Stream of Consciousness-raising

vancouverbcThe desert sunshine and 80 degree temperatures may seem like a gift in March, but to residents of Phoenix, they are a portent of the triple digit inferno that is July. So, faced with the opportunity to attend a conference in Vancouver, B.C., I seized winter by the coat-tails and flew with a friend to Portland, Oregon for a road-trip up the northwest coast. Vancouver’s rainy cloud-cover animated its glass and steel skyline.

Questioning Science and Proper Research

Questioning Science and Proper Research

I often have discussions with my fellow Zeitgeist Movement members in which we disagree on the appropriate measure of skepticism to apply to mainstream science. I often agree with mainstream science while my colleagues may not. I am often encouraged to place greater skepticism on mainstream science so as to avoid profit-related bias. I find this argument silly, and in some ways, dishonest and self-defeating.

The 'Free Will' Concept Deconstructed

The 'Free Will' Concept Deconstructed

In this blog post I’ll be analyzing the concept of ‘free will’.
First of all, I want to demonstrate the meaning of this term and why free will is questionable in the first place. If we look at the dictionary definition of free will, it means:

‘The apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined.’

Science for Social Concern: Agricultural Practices

Science for Social Concern: Agricultural Practices

I have written a research paper about this topic. For the sake of simplicity, I'm not going to edit this all this over again on here, but instead share an excerpt and a link to my original full text document.

The Ghost in the Machine

The Ghost in the Machine phrase was invented by philosopher Gilbert Ryle as a way to describe René Descartes' mind-body dualism. In his book The Concept of Mind Ryle ridiculed the belief that the psyche somehow functions independent of the physical body -according to Decartes and all dualists thereafter, the mind is not subject to mechanical laws, it is not even in space, hence the immaterial soul governing the mechanistic body, the Ghost in the Machine.

A Closer Look at Burzynski

Earlier this year, a documentary film was released highlighting the emotional story of cancer patients, adults and children alike, outliving the grim predictions of their medical prophets. Their savior was none other than Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. The documentary was well-made, enticing, and emotional. The first 30 minutes of the film are spent explaining Dr. Burzynski's revolutionary new approach to fighting cancer and showing us interviews with people who had allegedly been cured by it. The remainder of the film details an epic story of Dr.

Hypothesis, Model, Theory and Law

Among the most extremist -and extremely ignorant- of the anti-science crowd you will come across statements such as this: "But evolution is only a theory." Indeed, but scratch the only. In science, the terms Hypothesis, Model, Theory and Law are indeed gradations in a scale but they certainly do not share their colloquial meaning or hierarchy. If you think a scientific theory ever becomes a law or a fact you may need to read the following. Let's go back to the basics.

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