Gluten-free. Low carbs. Vitamin supplements. While some of these habits have demonstrable benefits, some seem a little…weird. For instance, what would you say if I told you eating fifty-one bananas a day was the key to healthy living? Many people swear by obscure diets and practices without researching what they actually do. Let’s examine a common one: vitamin C’s ability to cure the common cold.
In 1970 famed chemist Linus Pauling published Vitamin C and the Common Cold, the culmination of his studies on vitamin C. Pauling advocated high intake of the vitamin to prevent the common cold, and in the following years championed oral and intravenous doses to increase the longevity of terminally ill cancer patients. According to his trials, vitamin C intake extended the patients’ survival as much as four times.
Pauling’s claims have been widely rebuked by the medical community.
Posted in Misconceptions, Nature & Biology
- Tagged Alternative, Cold, culture, Cures, Diet, Flu, health, Medicine, Misconceptions, Myths, Perspective, Science, Sickness
In the 1980, famed astronomer Carl Sagan popularized science with his show Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. His show not only brought science to the masses but fostered a passion for discovery in viewers. Thirty-four years later, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is trying to resume Sagan’s mission with his new show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.
First things first: in case you don’t know Neil deGrasse Tyson (and you should), he is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space as well as a research associate in astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the former host of PBS’s educational science program NOVA: Science Now. Known for his intelligence and his wit, Tyson is a regular on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. If anyone can capture Sagan’s spark, it’s Tyson.
Posted in Reviews, Stars & Galaxies
- Tagged Cosmos, culture, Entertainment, Nature, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Opinion, Perspective, Religion, Review, Science, TV, Universe
In 1900, mathematician and physicist Lord William Thomson Kelvin proclaimed, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Kelvin was wrong, of course. In fact, he could not have been more incorrect—the next few decades alone saw the discovery of general relativity, other galaxies, radioactivity, and quantum mechanics, to name a few fields.
Posted in Psychology, Secrets
- Tagged culture, History, Illusions, Knowledge, Mistakes, Opinion, Outer Space, Perspective, Physics, Progress, Science, Secrets
Since this blog’s inception, I’ve tried to keep it as non-partisan as possible. Regular readers can probably deduce my leanings, but I have purposely strayed from any controversial subjects. Today that ends. With the near year this blog is going to address some of the most controversial topics in science and shed some much-needed light on important issues. First up: the relation between faith and science.
Before diving in, let me clarify the question. I am not asking whether science and religion can coexist. Many scientists are religious and have been for centuries. This is a fact. Rather, I want to explore whether science and religion make sense together, if they are compatible systems of discovery. Let’s stir the water.
Posted in Science
- Tagged Belief, Compatibility, Controversy, culture, Discovery, Faith, God, Learning, Opinion, Perspective, Philosophy, Religion, Science
Happy holidays, everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying family, friends, and time to catch up on what really matters. We all have a lot of things to do, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet: if you want to see many more holiday seasons, throw out your daily multivitamins.
According to new research, multivitamin supplements produce no health benefits and might even be harmful. Three major studies examined multivitamins’ effectiveness in preventing chronic disease, cancer, and cognitive decline. While researchers across the board found no benefits associated with the supplements, one study recommended against taking vitamin E or beta-carotene to prevent heart disease or cancer, finding they may put already at-risk individuals in increased danger.
New studies confirm that multivitamins, like most unregulated supplements, contain no health benefits. In other news, the above is not a complete breakfast. (Shutterstock)
Posted in Misconceptions, Nature & Biology, Science
- Tagged Alternative Medicine, culture, Diet, Drugs, Medicine, Multivitamins, News, Pills, Science, Supplements, Vitamins