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Worst Week Ever!: May 14-20

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Gender roles are weird. Men are supposed to love going to Hooters because the restaurant is named after tits and their servers do the best job they can at patting backs and flirting with customers while acting as minimally repulsed as possible.  
by German Lopez 02.04.2014
Posted In: News, Science at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)
 
 
nye vs ham

Four Things the Anti-Science Crowd Denies

Bill Nye the Science Guy to “debate” Creation Museum founder Ken Ham

Bill Nye the Science Guy and Creation Museum founder Ken Ham will engage in a so-called “debate” tonight over evolution and biblical creationism, even though the scientific evidence rules out any possibility of Nye losing on the facts of evolution. Although the scientific evidence is clear, evolution remains a contentious conflict in the United States as religious fundamentalists struggle to reconcile their literal interpretations of religious texts with scientific facts. The conflict between science and religion is nothing new. In the late 19th century, John William Draper, an American scientist and historian, brought the conflict to the mainstream with his book, History of the Conflict between Religion and Science. Since then, the conflict has actually expanded to include anti-science pushback from political and business interests over a wide range of issues. Here are four leading examples of today’s conflicts as they pit science against everyone else: Evolution Evolution is essentially the foundation of modern biology. It’s overwhelmingly supported by modern scientists. Evidence ranges from centuries of scientific observations to similarities in life’s genetic and physiological makeup to fossilized records. “At the heart of evolutionary theory is the basic idea that life has existed for billions of years and has changed over time,” notes UC Berkeley’s evolution explainer. “Overwhelming evidence supports this fact. Scientists continue to argue about details of evolution, but the question of whether life has a long history or not was answered in the affirmative at least two centuries ago.” In the scientific world, it’s silly to dispute the entire concept of evolution. Some, like Nye, question how the world can even make sense to someone without evolution. “Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution,” Nye told Big Think.Expect more arguments along those lines at Tuesday’s “debate,” which will be streamed live here. Global warming Scientists widely agree global warming is occurring and man-made. In the latest report from the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists said they are at least 95 percent certain that human actions contribute to global warming.To understand global warming, it’s crucial to first differentiate weather and climate. Weather forecasts look at short-term trends in specific areas, like the current local temperature and whether stuff is falling out of the sky in Cincinnati. Climate science looks at huge, long-term trends that span the globe, such as global temperature trends over decades.When climate science is viewed through the correct scientific lens, the results become practically impossible to reasonably question: Vaccine safetyThe anti-vaccine movement claims vaccines can lead to extreme complications like autism, asthma or diabetes, but the argument is backed by no notable scientific evidence.In its broad analysis of vaccines and their adverse effects, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found “few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.” Specifically, the study ruled out connections between vaccines and autism, asthma and diabetes.That’s not to say vaccines are without side-effects. In some occasions, IOM found vaccines can cause allergic reactions, seizures and fainting. But the data did not indicate serious, widespread problems.Fortunately, both liberals and conservatives mostly reject the idea that vaccines are dangerous. That’s good news for everyone’s health. If most people doubted the science, the fears could diminish the herd effect that’s so important for preventing and combating epidemics. Safety of genetically modified foods Despite the sweeping scientific consensus that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are safe, detractors continue rallying against any genetic manipulation in foods. Major scientific groups have extensively studied GMOs during the decades the technology has been available. The consensus, from groups including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association and the Royal Society of Medicine, was clear: Genetically modified foods aren’t any more harmful than conventional foods.Even in the extremely anti-GMO Europe, an independent European Commission report found, “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.”An even larger study from Italian scientists reached similar conclusions.In its defense, the anti-GMO movement typically points to a study that initially claimed to find evidence of tumors in rats that consumed genetically modified foods. But the scientific journal that published the study, Food and Chemical Toxicology, actually retracted the findings after deciding they were “inconclusive, and therefore do not reach the threshold of publication.”Given the lack of evidence, it’s easy to understand why scientific organizations around the world seem so aligned against the anti-GMO movement:
 
 
by German Lopez 02.04.2014
Posted In: News, Science, Police, State Legislature at 09:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
city hall

Morning News and Stuff

City to add more cops, evolution “debate” today, Winburn considers State Senate race

Mayor John Cranley, Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and other city officials yesterday announced a police plan to put more cops on the streets, focus on “hot spots” of crime, restart the gang unit and reach out to youth. Blackwell acknowledged more cops alone won’t solve or prevent the city’s heightened levels of violent crimes and homicides, but he said changing the level of enforcement through new tactics, such as hot spot policing, could help. A lot of research supports hot spot policing, although the practice can sometimes backfire, as “stop and frisk” did in New York City, if it targets minorities.Bill Nye the Science Guy today will debate Creation Museum owner Ken Ham. The debate will focus on evolution, which is overwhelmingly supported by science, and biblical creationism, which has no scientific evidence to support it. The debate will be streamed live here.Republican Councilman Charlie Winburn is considering a run for the Ohio Senate. Winburn would run in the heavily Democratic 9th Senate District. So far, there are two likely Democratic opponents: former Councilman Cecil Thomas and State Rep. Dale Mallory. The seat is open because State Sen. Eric Kearney, the Democratic incumbent, is term limited.Republican Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel might get two Democratic opponents in this year’s election: Sean Feeney, a North College Hill resident who already filed, and potentially Paul Komerak, a member of the Hamilton County Democratic Party’s executive committee. If both Komerak and Feeney run, they could face off in a Democratic primary.City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee unanimously approved tax credits for Tom + Chee to entice the grilled cheese and tomato soup chain to keep its headquarters downtown as it expands nationally. Councilman Kevin Flynn questioned whether tax breaks should be given so leniently, but other council members argued the tax deals keep jobs in the city.City Council might structurally balance the budget and fix the underfunded pension system to stabilize Cincinnati’s bond rating.The Ohio Senate is still mulling over ways to repeal Ohio’s renewable energy and efficiency standards. CityBeat covered the standards in greater detail here and here.Democratic attorney general candidate David Pepper wants to reform how the state picks outside law firms to avoid appearances of pay-to-play that have mired Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine. A previous Dayton Daily News investigation found firms lobbying for state assignments contributed $1.3 million to DeWine’s campaign.Attorneys for the Ohio inmate next scheduled for execution asked for a stay to avoid a “lingering death” similar to the 26-minute, seemingly painful execution of Dennis McGuire. CityBeat covered McGuire’s execution and the concerns it raised in further detail here.Enrollment in Ohio’s public colleges and universities dropped by 2 percent in the latest fall semester.Ohio gas prices ticked up at the start of the week, but the lowest average was in Cincinnati.Scientists claim space-grown vegetables are safe to eat.Follow CityBeat on Twitter:• Main: @CityBeatCincy • News: @CityBeat_News • Music: @CityBeatMusic • German Lopez: @germanrlopezGot any news tips? Email them to glopez@citybeat.com.
 
 

Worst Week Ever!: Jan. 1-7

4 Comments · Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Bill Nye to debate anti-science creationist, Chris Finney gets kicked out of law firm and more in the worst week ever.  

Worst Week Ever!: Oct. 16-22

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Audit Finds Simon Leis as Unreasonable as He Always Appeared: Former Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis probably saw this day coming when his handpicked successor lost last year’s election to Democrat Jim Neil, who campaigned on pretty much doing things the opposite way Leis had done for 25 years.  

Creation Museum Attendance Drops for Fourth Straight Year

8 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., created quite an uproar in 2007 when it opened with exhibits showing early humans co-existing with dinosaurs. Five years later, the public fascination with that take on paleoanthropology seems to be fading.   

August 10-16: Worst Week Ever!

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Lexington Herald Leader today reported that the state of Kentucky will give a 75-percent property tax break to a sweet biblical theme park that will have a full-sized replica of Noah's Ark. The state has already given $43 million in incentives to the Answers in Genesis folks who brought you The Creation Museum, which you and your friends always planned on getting stoned and visiting but never did.  

Feb. 16-22: Worst Week Ever!

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Those of us who long ago replaced our iPods with the one Apple invented that also has a phone in it don’t have to worry about getting our cars broken into for leaving our 8-gig sitting on the seat (in which case we’d only really care about the broken window and change missing from the console). Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis today broke Rule No. 2 when it comes to leaving electronics in plain sight of thieves: Don’t forget about the charger.  

How the Media Covers the Poor Follows America's Treatment of the Poor

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Was the man who burned to death trying to stay warm in Queensgate, William Floyd, another throwaway Cincinnatian? Had he died in a house fire in a better neighborhood, we probably would have learned about his family, his education, trade or profession, his military service, health/mental problems, possible addictions or alcoholism and funeral/burial plans. We might even have learned what bank was accepting donations for his funeral. [Thanks to Kevin Osborne's Dec. 2 blog post on CityBeat.com, I do know some of that information now about Floyd.]  

Beyond Belief

Atheist community thrives in Cincinnati’s backyard

6 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It's a fresh, warm Friday morning in early August and I'm deep in "God's Country" near Petersburg, Ky. Today, however, "God's Country" has a few strange bedfellows: a congregation of atheists, all gathering at the Creation Museum, the best-known and most controversial monument to Creationist beliefs in the Midwest and perhaps the world. The large turnout at the Creation Museum isn't unusual: Greater Cincinnati has a burgeoning and thriving atheist community and is responsible for large contributions to both the national and global atheist/secular humanist movements.  

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