Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #theirrationalape

Most recents (6)

This thread on #COVID19 by an engineer is doing serious numbers. It's projecting millions of #CoronavirusUSA cases, but I'm very concerned it's a naive & uninformed take that will cause more harm than good. Here's why these kind of projections are likely poorly advised (1/n)
This thread, like similar armchair projections, are based on running with an assumption far beyond the domain where it is valid, typically unexamined application of exponential growth. Exponential growth occurs when something swells by a power of itself each step. Let's see:(2/n)
Exponential growth is found in many biological systems. Bacteria growth, for example, is expotential - the number of cells double with time, like that below. And MANY systems are like this; early stage cancer growth (my area of interest), and indeed epidemics too (3/n)
Read 21 tweets
Joseph Mercola runs an empire that hawks snake-oil, denigrates conventional medicine, & has given over $2.9 million dollars to anti-vaccine activism. And he epitomises precisely how vulnerable we are to falsehoods, & the consequences. A thread 1/n washingtonpost.com/investigations…
..for context, Joseph Mercola runs mercola dot com. A vocal proponent of alternative medicine, Mercola pushes medical disinformation at an alarming rate. Among his myriad claims

1. Cancer is a fungus
2. Vaccines cause illness
3. HIV isn't cause of AIDS

and such nonsense. 2/n
..and yet, Mercola controls a media empire. His website is one of the most popular in the world, he's had 2 NYT bestselling books (1st a dodgy diet one) & the other alleging bird flu was a medical industry hoax. He's a frequent guest on Dr Oz. He made $7 million in 2010 alone 3/n
Read 16 tweets
THREAD: Today marks 160 years since Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of the Species" was released, & theory of evolution first unveiled. Evolution is of paramount importance in everything from biology to cancer - but it's often deliberately misrepresented. Here's why.. (1/n)
..In the book, Darwin beautifully laid out his hypothesis, supported by ample data, pointing to a humbling and deep truth about the interconnected of all life on Earth. As I write in #TheIrrationalApe, Darwin shed light on how we are a part of nature, not apart from it (2/n)
..initially at least, this wasn't that controversial. In fact, Darwin's work was a surprise hit. But inevitably the idea we are not alien from nature ultimately began to rankle some sensibilities.. and as Darwin got more popular, he incurred the wrath of a powerful enemy (3/n)
Read 14 tweets
This handsome devil is Vasili Arkhipov. On this day 57 years ago, he saved the world. At the height of Cuban missile crisis, Soviet sub B-59 was being pursued by the USS Randolph. In the panic, it dived too deep to communicate with Moscow (1/n) THREAD
The Americans in pursuit dropped depth charges. Conditions onboard the b-59 were oppressive. And in such hellish conditions, the crew determined war had begun - and prepared to fire a nuke. As I write in #TheIrrationalApe (2/n)
Due to unique circumstance, Vasili had the deciding vote. Facing fellow officers resolutely determined to die fighting, the fate of the world fell on this Russian's broad shoulders. Facing them, he vetoed their request to engage. A passionate row ensued, but be stood firm (3/n).
Read 7 tweets
Really good news - Lenny Pozner won his case against #SandyHook conspiracy theorists who insist his son (the youngest victim of the atrocity) never existed. I write about these ghouls in #TheIrrationalApe, so here's a short thread on why it matters (1/n)

theguardian.com/us-news/2019/o…
..to recap, the 14th of December 2012 turned Sandy Hook into the epicentre of a conspiracy windmill, when 20 children between the ages of 6-7 and 6 staff members of the local elementary school were gunned down in cold blood. As I explain in the book... (2/n)
..the massacre captured the world's attention, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that compassion for the victims and their families would be natural. But alas, no - immediately, a vicious cohort emerged who claimed Sandy Hook was a conspiracy designed to take their guns (3/n)
Read 14 tweets
Greta Thunberg is an excellent campaigner. You may have noticed a sudden spate of commentators condemning her, or trying to discredit her stance. Why would they do this, especially on such an important issue? A little thread on why facts don't overcome ideology (1/9)
The first thing you've probably noticed is that many of Greta's critics are conservative, right-wing, or libertarian. That's not a coincidence - the vast majority of climate change denialism comes from these camps. But why is this, when we share the same planet? (2/n)
Put simply, it's because the reality of climate-change challenges the personal ideology of a significant cohort. When faced with a challenge to our deeply-held ideology, we have two choices - adapt to new information, or deny it outright (3/9)
Read 9 tweets

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