BioBlog

Agenda 21 and crank magnetism

Alison Campbell Oct 08, 2018

What with WAVES, and anti-1080 groups, and Rethink Fluoride (which, like FFNZ, opposes water fluoridation), there’s quite a lot of ‘alternative’ activity online these days. It’s actually quite interesting to look at the similarities that you can see in attitudes & opinions expressed on those sites. I mean, Agenda 21, anyone? Back when Making Sense of Fluoride was … Read More

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Anti-vaxxers’ dangerous misinformation

Alison Campbell Oct 03, 2018

That image is a visual counter to a now-removed billboard put up on an Auckland motorway by the NZ group WAVES (Warnings Against Vaccine Expectations). If you haven’t seen the offending item, this was it: That’s not a warning, that’s a scare tactic, and will surely have led to complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. After … Read More

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Using images to misinform

Alison Campbell Oct 02, 2018

The internet, while it can be a godsend if you need to find something out (gotta love google maps for directions), can also be a wretched hive of wrongness and misinformation. That misinformation can take many forms, but when it comes to 1080 it’s clear that those opposed to NZ’s use of this chemical firmly believe that a picture … Read More

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Science & 1080

Alison Campbell Sep 18, 2018

This one is cross-posted from The Daily Blog. As Hayden Donnell said yesterday morning in The Spinoff, anti-1080 activism has become both noisy, and ugly. And, as is probably apparent to anyone with an internet connection and a social media account, that activism has taken to hijacking unrelated issues to attempt to spread its message. On The … Read More

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Wordle & Schol Bio

Alison Campbell Sep 16, 2018

One of the things I do at Schol Bio workshops is work with students to identify the key themes that run through the exam questions from year to year. On the macro scale, there are three: human evolution, genetics, and animal & plant behaviour/responses to the environment (with an occasional admixture of biotechnology). At yesterday’s workshop in Tauranga, my friend … Read More

Cave bears and brown bears and admixture, oh my!

Alison Campbell Aug 28, 2018

Last week the story of a hybrid hominin was in the news: the discovery that remains found in Denisova Cave were those of a 13-year-old girl whose parents were a female Neandertal and a Denisovan male. This was exciting stuff: we already know, from genomic analysis, that interspecies matings involving Neanderthals, Denisovans, and H.sapiens happened – but to actually find the remains of someone … Read More

Slick propaganda has no place in science classroom

Alison Campbell Aug 01, 2018

Except, perhaps, if it’s used to develop critical thinking skills. But I don’t think that’s what happened on the occasion reported under the headline Creationism taught in science class at Villa Education Trust school: [A student who’d studied at] Mt Hobson Middle School said Darwinism was taught as an unproven theory and students were shown a video purporting to … Read More