Monday, June 29, 2015

No need to finish antibiotic pills

When asked for practical consequences of biological evolution, mainstream educators nearly always point to advice to take all your pills to avoid evolving bacterial resistance. For example, PBS TV:
Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

This silent animation created for Evolution: "The Evolutionary Arms Race" follows the progression of antibiotic resistance. When a sick person takes antibiotics, the drugs begin to kill off the bacteria. But if treatment stops prematurely, it leaves some microbes alive -- the ones with mutations that make them resistant to the drugs. As these survivors multiply, they pass along their protective mutations to all their descendants. In this way, the bacteria evolves into a new drug-resistant strain. ...

It means taking all the pills that are prescribed, even if you're feeling better.
And U. California Berkeley:
Applying our knowledge of evolution
Evolutionary theory predicted that bacterial resistance would happen. Given time, heredity, and variation, any living organisms (including bacteria) will evolve when a selective pressure (like an antibiotic) is introduced. But evolutionary theory also gives doctors and patients some specific strategies for delaying even more widespread evolution of antibiotic resistance. These strategies include: ...

3. When treating a bacterial infection with antibiotics, take all your pills.
But there are medical experts who say precisely the opposite, such as Discover Magazine:
Conventional wisdom: Antibiotic regimens should be taken in full, even after the patient feels healthy again.

Contrarian view: Shorter courses are often just as effective and do a better job at preventing antibiotic resistance. ...

“The science is clear,” says infectious disease specialist Brad Spellberg of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. “Every study that has been done comparing longer versus shorter antibiotic therapy has found shorter therapy just as effective.” A few days of taking antibiotics, it seems, should usually be enough to knock infections on their heels, allowing the patient’s immune system to come in and mop up.

Taking the full course of antibiotics unnecessarily wastes medicine, and more drugs translates to increased evolutionary pressure on the harmless bacteria in our bodies. These “good” bugs can develop drug-resistant genes, which can then transfer to bad bugs.
And the London Guardian reports:
You have been taking antibiotics for a sore throat, but after two days you feel better – except that the tablets make you feel sick. So must you keep taking them? Traditional wisdom is that failing to finish the course allows some bacteria to survive. These will be the hardier ones that can resist the same antibiotic should they meet it again. So for your own good, and that of antibiotic resistance worldwide, you should keep taking the tablets.

But last week, in an article in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Gwendolyn Gilbert of the University of Sydney wrote: “There is a common misconception that resistance will emerge if a prescribed antibiotic course is not completed.” She argued that there was minimal risk in stopping antibiotics if the signs and symptoms of a mild infection had resolved.

Professor Chris Del Mar, professor of public health at Bond University in Queensland, agreed, saying that, for most acute chest and urine infections, GPs should tell patients to stop taking the tablets once they feel better. Only for some conditions,
Millions of people also use anti-bacterial soap, but I never heard of anyone getting sick from bacteria that evolved to be resistant to the soap. It is true that some bacteria are resistant to some drugs, but those bacteria have also been found in nature where they never would have been exposed to the drugs.

Speaking of evolution-related myths, a recent poll reported:
YouGov's latest research shows that 41% of Americans think that dinosaurs and humans either 'definitely' (14%) or 'probably' (27%) once lived on the planet at the same time. 43% think that this is either 'definitely' (25%) or 'probably' (18%) not true while 16% aren't sure. In reality the earliest ancestors of humans have only been on the planet for 6 million years, while the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.
There are many knowledgeable scientists who adamantly argue that birds are dinosaurs, and that humans and dinosaurs (birds) coexist today.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fear of DNA

Here is a crazy employee lawsuit that won a big award. The employer asked a couple of employees to take a DNA test solely to proved their innocence of some minor vandalism. No one was harmed. But Congress passed a stupid law on the subject, and it became a lawsuit. An ambulance-chasing-type lawyer brags:
Yesterday, in what U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg dubbed “the case of devious defecators,” jurors awarded $2.25 million dollars to Jack Lowe and Dennis Reynolds for the harm they suffered from having their DNA unlawfully obtained by their employers, Atlas Logistics Retail Services (Atlanta), LLC.

In this case of first impression, Judge Totenberg previously ruled that Atlas had unlawfully taken cheek swabs from the two employees under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000ff-1(b), which makes it “an unlawful employment practice for an employer to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to an employee.” ...

The jury awarded Dennis Reynolds $225,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in compensatory damages to Jack Lowe. They also awarded a whopping $1,750,000 in punitive damages, to stop Atlas from requesting its employees’ DNA in the future, and to send a crystal clear message that they value the privacy of their DNA.
I never agreed with that law. People have a lot of irrational ideas about DNA.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hot hand fallacy disproved

Statisticians frequently point to the Hot-hand fallacy, and argue that random events are uncorrelated. That is normally true for events like coin tosses and roulette wheels, but is often applied also in sports where a correlation would be expected.

Now a Vox article says:
Most sports fans and athletes believe in hot streaks. A basketball player who has hit several shots in a row, the thinking goes, has a greater chance of hitting the next one, due to a "hot hand." Think of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who recently hit 77 straight three-pointers in practice.

Yet for a long time, scientists were skeptical. In 1985, a hugely influential study by a trio of psychologists argued that the hot hand was a myth. Among the NBA and college players they studied, hitting one shot made no difference in their odds of hitting the next shot. Like coin tosses, players were subject to the laws of probability, with the same baseline percentage chance of hitting every shot. Ever since that study, psychologists have held up fans' belief in the hot hand as an example of human irrationality: our tendency to see patterns in randomness.

Now, however, it's starting to look like the hot hand might be real after all.

"Psychologists thought it was just our tendency to see patterns in randomness"

A handful of studies published over the past few years have suggested that basketball players, pro bowlers, and volleyball players can indeed heat up, boosting their normal accuracy rates by several percentage points for longer stretches of play than you'd expect from chance.

And last week, a new study found one of the strongest pieces of evidence for the hot hand yet. The researchers looked at 29 years' worth of data from the NBA three-point shooting contest and found that players who hit three or more shots in a row had a 6.3 percent higher chance of hitting the next one, compared with their baseline rate.
This hot hand fallacy is frequently given as proof of a cognitive bias.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fact-checking David Brooks

NY Times columnist David Brooks is often praised for being an intelligent conservative, and for being good at explaining social science to the masses.

But apparently much of what he says is wrong. See Language Log and Gelman.

He is not really a conservative either. He just seems that way compared to other NY Times columnists. He wrote many columns with fanboi support for Barack Obama, the most anti-conservative President in many years.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Colleges teach white hatred

Ivy League professor Ali Michael writes:
I Sometimes Don't Want to Be White Either ...

There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors... and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn't have biological children because I didn't want to propagate my privilege biologically.

If I was going to pass on my privilege, I wanted to pass it on to someone who doesn't have racial privilege; so I planned to adopt. I disliked my Whiteness, but I disliked the Whiteness of other White people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make other White people feel guilty for it too. ...

When we recognize and own our Whiteness, we can account for our own portion, our one 1/billionth of responsibility for what White people have done throughout history. We can work with other White people to begin to challenge bias, ignorance and colorblindness. We can use our privilege to confront the sources of that unfair favoring.
This is a mental illness, and it is being taught to college students.

She needs to learn about positive contributions to society from white people, such as by reading Today In White History.

One of her complaints is that whites have no culture. The Dylann Roof manifesto addressed this:
Many White people feel as though they dont have a unique culture. The reason for this is that White culture is world culture. I dont mean that our culture is made up of other cultures, I mean that our culture has been adopted by everyone in the world. This makes us feel as though our culture isnt special or unique. Say for example that every business man in the world wore a kimono, that every skyscraper was in the shape of a pagoda, that every door was a sliding one, and that everyone ate every meal with chopsticks. This would probably make a Japanese man feel as though he had no unique traditional culture.
That is from the rant of a killer who ought to be executed, after a trial. Here is his explanation:
The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?

From this point I researched deeper and found out what was happening in Europe. I saw that the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries. Again I found myself in disbelief. As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there. From here I found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware.
There is something seriously wrong when Pres. Obama, prosecutors, NY Times columnists, and so many others argued that Trayvon Martin did nothing wrong.

By killing blacks in a church he has finally given Obama an example of a racist white attack on innocent blacks. In the previously examples, like Ferguson, the narrative collapsed when the facts were revealed.

On another matter, San Jose congressman Mike Honda brags about having an 8-year-old transgender granddaughter (or maybe grandson, I don't know).

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Philosophers have lame arguments for funding

There is a philosophy site called Scientia Salon that appears to be pro-science, but actually anti-science and anti-scientist.

A current article argues:
So let’s be honest: the reason to give money to basic science is the same that should be used to give money to the humanities and the arts: because we are a rich country that can afford to spend a fraction of its wealth on things that are not practical, on continuing the human quest for knowledge, understanding and beauty.
A couple of comments suggested that the case for basic science was stronger than for the humanities, but that was upsetting:
Unnecessary remarks by Jake Zielsdorf and francisrlb dismissive of the humanities, soured this thread for me. Really, if they aren’t willing to respect interests of mine, why should I support theirs?
The moderator admitted that he considered censoring the pro-science comments:
We actually discussed whether to let those comments through
My reply was:
Really? Did I stumble upon some sort of support group for emotionally fragile people?
The moderator blocked this for being too "uncivil".

It seems bizarre to me that a site would cater to philosophers having discussion, and yet be so unable to handle differing opinions.

Yes, of course basic science is more worthy of taxpayer funding than the humanities. A lot of science has no practical application or obvious taxpayer benefit, but at least it is pursuing facts and truth, and the scientists are held accountable for the validity of what they say.

Much of the humanities is worse than worthless.

A later comment in the same thread says:
The 1980s did bring forth a cultural revolution, the Reagan Revolution, which is properly so-called (although Reagan himself was mentally unbalanced and incompetent at anything other than delivering speeches). ... the re-interpretation of all values into the language of the marketplace: ...
Today's universities are filled with humanities professors who spout this sort of politically driven nonsense. It is worse than worthless because they are teaching the next generation a wrong version of history, as well as distorted idea of what science is all about.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tom Brady was framed

Ted Wells is a black criminal lawyer who was famous for his poor defense of Scooter Libby. The case against Libby was very weak, as I posted several times, but Wells seemed to be throwing the case in order to create a scapegoat for the Bush administration.

Now Wells is better known for a couple of slanted reports for the NFL in order to support some stupid policies. The last one accuses Tom Brady of being 51% likely to have some general knowledge of some minor football inflation irregularities, but now it appears that Wells faked the data in his report.

I guess the NFL wants to show that it is tough on players. Or maybe it is an anti-union thing. Or people like to take down big stars. Or punishment becomes more respectable if you get a black lawyer to do the dirty work. I don't know.

This is another example of over-criminalizing sports, or inappropriate penalties, and of rejecting innocent-until-proven-guilty.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Another skeptic of human evolution

Roosh V. has turned negative on human evolution:
The one aspect of evolution, specifically, that does not hold true for modern humans, especially those living in the West, is that fit humans are reproducing up to the limit of the food supply, as stated by Darwin. In fact, the more resources a person has, the less likely they will reproduce at all, which you can witness at any time in a drive through the poor and rich parts of your city. Darwin’s theory doesn’t explain why this occurs, why the “strongest” and most “fit” are having the least amount of offspring or deliberately choosing not to have any offspring at all, even though natural selection specifically states that only the strongest can pass on their genes while the weak and infirm will not.

Most animals, plants, and bacteria do reproduce up to the limit of the food supply, or at least try to maximally have as many offspring as possible, but human beings have developed a consciousness that enables them to purposefully not reproduce even if they are able, and even develop a phobia to reproduction, and this has been in effect for at least 100 years in all major Western nations that currently suffer a death rate greater than the reproductive rate.

We must therefore conclude, with logic and rationale, that evolution is so flawed at explaining modern human reproductive behavior (and not merely casual sex where reproduction was never the intent), that evolution is not an observable or correct principle for human beings living in Westernized nations. We must discard evolutionary theory as applying to all humans through the mechanism of natural selection and begin a search for a new explanation that explains our current biological behavior.
The usual evolutionist explanation is to redefine fitness to mean whoever reproduces, and has grandkids.

So this is an example of fitness:
OWN network is pulling the plug on a prospective reality series about the father of 34 children by 17 women.

The network says in a statement Friday: “Production has ended and the series will not air.”

It went on to say that the original idea was to follow Atlanta music producer Jay Williams “as he worked to put his life and fractured relationships in order,” the network says, “and to hold him accountable every step of the way.”

Williams had appeared on the OWN reality show “Iyanla: Fix My Life” with life coach Iyanla VanZant before his own spinoff series was announced a few months ago.
I guess this reality show was too hard a reality for the Oprah viewers. But in Darwinian "survival of the fittest" terms, he is the fittest.

Roosh continues:
Say you encounter an article that says the following: “Men who go off to war have more children than men who don’t.” Evolution would describe this by saying that women want to reproduce with men who are most fit and strong and better able to defend the tribe. But let’s flip it and say “Men who don’t go off to war have more children than men who do.” Evolution can describe this too! It can say, “A superior reproductive strategy is to stay with the fertile women and reproduce with them during the time the alpha males are away.” Even the simplest of minds can find an explanation once it already knows the final result it’s aiming for.

If evolution can be used to explain both sides of the coin, which is often does, it’s not a scientific theory but a rationalization theory that justifies any and all human behavior as somehow fitting the theory. In other words, the theory is like playdough that can fit in any situation, and this is even done in the red pill portion of the manopshere to take any behavior a man or woman does and somehow justify it in terms of evolution, even if it’s based on people acting on the willful mission to not reproduce. What’s convenient for evolutionists is that none of their assertions can be proven, meaning that evolution is not more than one step above astrology in terms of describing or predicting human behavior. It’s gibberish.
That's right, many evolutionary stories are just conventient myth-making, with any scientific backing. You could say the same about parts of psychology, economics, and other soft subjects.

Nevertheless, people like Williams are spreading their genes to the next generation, and smart successful people like Roosh are not. The future inheritors of the Earth with have the heritable characteristics of those who spread their genes.

There are religious creationist who do not accept human evolution, and there are leftist-atheists who detest the concept. I think that a lot of people do not want to accept that cultural forces are transforming the human race.

We have created a culture that considers a black music producer on reality TV the fittest man.

Justice A. Scalia says:
“Class of 2015, you should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented,” Scalia said, adding that “Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were.”
This upsets leftist-atheist-evolutionists.

This is not rejecting evolution. To me, accepting evolution means accepting that humans evolved from hon-human ancestors, and are still evolving. The use of alphabets and numbers only goes back about 5000 years.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Looking back at the Population Bomb

TheFederalist writes:
The New York Times just published an extraordinary “retro report”—a short video paired with an article—looking back at Paul Ehrlich’s “population bomb” theory, the fear that an uncontrolled human population would outstrip the ability of the Earth to support it.

The Times lays out some of the evidence for the theory’s failure, including the fact that the world’s population was about 3.5 billion when Ehrlich first made his apocalyptic prognostications in 1968. It’s 7 billion now, and we haven’t starved, we haven’t run out of resources, and we’re better off than we’ve ever been.
They make some good points: Ehrlich was wrong, but was a hero to the Left.

And yet as I write this in California, we have water rationing caused almost entirely by population growth (and agricultural development) beyond the available water resources. We also have unemployment that matches immigration rates. We have traffic jams and other population-related problems. We have frequent talk of carbon taxes and other anti-global-warming measures, where population growth and development is the biggest driver of carbon emissions.

So did the increase from 3.5B to 7B people make the world a better or worse place? I say worse.
That’s the basic issue involved: are human beings any good? Is a new person just another mouth to feed — or does he have the potential to become someone who discovers how to feed the world? Do more humans just cause more problems — or do we solve them? Do we only destroy, or do we create? Are human beings good, and if so, shouldn’t we want more of them?
This is just foolishness. The runaway population growth is in Third World countries, and is not producing someone to discover how to feed the world. The humans who are creating technology and solving problems are almost entirely coming from countries with stable native populations. (The USA is growing from immigration, not the native population.)

Some humans cause problems and some solve them.

Poor areas of Africa, India, and China are projected to grow by billions of people, while rich areas like Europe may decline in population. It is foolish to think that some African making $1 a day is going to invent a new technology for feeding the world.

We do have a population problem. It could be address it by freezing immigration and stopping aid to the developing world. Ehrlich is too much of a leftist to propose those things, so he babbles nonsense.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Not noble to censor opinion

David Brooks writes in the NY Times:
These students are driven by noble impulses to do justice and identify oppression. They want to not only crack down on exploitation and discrimination, but also eradicate the cultural environment that tolerates these things. They want to police social norms so that hurtful comments are no longer tolerated and so that real bigotry is given no tacit support. ...

But when you witness how this movement is actually being felt on campus, you can’t help noticing that it sometimes slides into a form of zealotry. ...

But many of today’s activists are forced to rely on a relatively simple social theory. According to this theory, the dividing lines between good and evil are starkly clear. ...

According to this theory, the ultimate source of authority is not some hard-to-understand truth. It is everybody’s personal feelings. A crime occurs when someone feels a hurt triggered, or when someone feels disagreed with or “unsafe.”
No, there is nothing noble about suppressing opinions in college in order to try to avoid hurting some precious snowflake's feelings.

I wonder what the social justice warriors think of this petition:
The idea that white South Africans have the right to return to Europe is based in the concept of indigenous rights and self determination.

The white South African population currently faces ethnic cleansing and persecutions at the hands of the ANC government, the EFF, and various individual anti-white aggressors. Over 4000 white farmers have been brutally murdered, often including torture and rape and mutilation. Many white South Africans today live in poverty and squalor as a consequence of the ANC government's Black Economic Empowerment policy which shuts whites out of the labour pool.

Based on the Israeli government's policy of allowing all Jews the right to return to Israel, we believe it is not only advisable but morally obligatory that Europe should allow all white South Africans the right to return.

As it currently stands, many white South Africans who try to apply for citizenship to European countries such as the Netherlands and UK are rejected. Many of these white South Africans seeking citizenship are direct descendants of the very same European nations that reject them.
So Europe takes black and Moslem refugees, but not white European descendants?