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Good Science/Bad Science

How can you tell when a scientific claim is bad? Look at the results.  Compare the results from the models with what happened in real life. An August 2010 study published in Science claimed that drought induced a decline in global plant productivity during the past decade, posing a threat to global food security.  Zhao […]

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Thinking like a scientist

Nearly every day, newspapers report on new scientific breakthroughs.  Scientists provide measures of their uncertainty in the results, expressed as a p-value. The p-value is a statistical measure of the randomness of the results; a lower p-value indicates that the reported result is not likely due to chance.  In scientific studies, a p-value of 0.05 […]

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Certainty

From xkcd: http://xkcd.com/263/ Question: How can we trust ourselves (or scientists) to know the truth about anything? Answer: We look at the evidence. Scientists back up their claims with evidence.  If the evidence doesn’t fit the claim, then the claim is rejected and revised.  New evidence can result in changes to long-held understandings about how the […]

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