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SMBC Comics Forum • View topic - [2014-05-31] The Pony Thread

[2014-05-31] The Pony Thread

Blame Quintushalls for this.

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[2014-05-31] The Pony Thread

Postby Space Hominid » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:02 am

This strip got me curious about its possible roots. Does anyone know a real-world example of when science gets something wrong and a culture runs with it despite contrary evidence?
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:25 am

Vaccines causing autism.

e: To be fair, that was one crooked doctor and not a group of scientists. But people sure did keep it alive.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby ReasonablyDoubtful » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:28 am

Time to piss off people with logic and facts!
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Kaharz » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:33 pm

I've heard a lot recently about the problem with the anti-fat campaign in the US in the 90s and the resulting problems of replacing that fat mostly with processed carbohydrates. However, I haven't heard the two claims about running and vegetarianism. Do you have sources on those and something to back up what was wrong with studies that found other results? Everything I've seen on vegetarianism finds no significant difference except maybe heart disease at younger ages. That is after controlling for exercise and smoking. As far as the running goes, I doubt you can generalize that much. Most elite runners actually have unhealthily low body fat. But most people that run are no where close to elite runners and exhibit a fairly wide range of body shapes.

Nutritional studies are incredibly problematic because they are almost impossible to control and nutrition is a very complex and still fairly underdeveloped field.
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby ReasonablyDoubtful » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:37 pm

Time to piss off people with logic and facts!
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Kaharz » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:16 pm

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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby alvysinger » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:14 pm

Frontal lobotomies would be a good example. There was originally one case of recovery and then pshciatric practices ran with it based on this evidence. When the first patient who the operation was performed on died they found that the operation had completely failed, and that his prefrontal cortex was still in place. He had recovered through means of normal therapy. By this time hundreds of frontal lobotomies had been performed.

You get dodgy science justifying stuff all the time. In many ways science is the religion of the West in terms of the culture that surrounds it, and the fetish for something that purports to have scientific evidence or a scientific basis.

Not knocking science, just the culture that surrounds it. Really I think few people really understand what science is supposed to be about and the problems it's supposed to address.
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Casey » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:52 pm

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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby smiley_cow » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:56 pm

It's actually currently inconclusive whether antioxidants prevent cancer but I still here it every time I see people selling you on any food with antioxidants in them.

Also the 'glass of wine a day is good for you' study has been debunked and I still hear people cite it every once in a while.
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Nerd » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:20 pm

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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Nerd » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:26 pm

I also forgot to add everyone's favourite pseudoscience: homeopathy. Currently teached on my country's humanity courses alongside with Reiki, marxism and social pedagogy (the same one that preachs that little girls shouldn't be playing with dolls even if they like them, as they would become alienated otherwise). :P
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Apocalyptus » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:04 am

Finally, I was waiting for an expert to weigh in!
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Kaharz » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:55 am

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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:44 pm

I don't know if social sciences are completely legit but I'm under the impression that they can make useful predictions.
Hold on, that means I think they're legit. Yeah, I think social sciences are legit. A lot of people seem to disagree though, and it's very tempting to think of them as wishy-washy and not hard science like physics, or biology.
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Re: [2014-05-31] Noses in Psychology

Postby Nerd » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:21 pm

Being useful or making useful predictions doesn't make it a science. Astrology was full of bullshit but at one time it used to get some things right, things which are no longer part of current astrology but of other science fields. Same with alchemy. The best some of those social "sciences" aspire to become is a form of art, as arts with a lot of discipline have the potential to produce useful predictions and work most of time, while still failing from time to time.

Psychology as a science fails everywhere and has already done as much harm as phrenology; very tiny aspects of psychology could be salvaged into an art. However, it is expected that as real science advances, psychology will become more and more relegated to oblivion and pseudoscience. For example, when it was discovered that ulcers were produced by bacteria, or when female hysteria stopped being recognized as a medical condition.

Sociology, however, is not even an art. It is fiction written by very bad writers that cannot differenciate their writings from random output generated by a computer. The only constant in sociology is the rebuttal of previous studies and previous rebuttals. It's just marxist propaganda trying to disguise itself as science because they've seen that gullible people have blind faith in it and anything that poses as one (following the example of Freud, who is nowadays totally debunked). Sociology keeps preaching myths that have been debunked since the 70s, has yet to produce any useful result, and on the other hand has produced a lot of damage to public education and society. It's truly the worst of the worst pseudosciences, and what saddens me is the corruption implied by the existance of a succint pact between scholars NOT TO expose it due to the ramifications that discrediting it would bring to public universities. (o~o)

Speaking of public education, it still teaches wrongly that taste buds in the tongue are separated in regions (wrong) for each one of the 4 main flavors (also wrong), and also teaches you calligraphy as if you were still using a quill instead of a ballpen. :P
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