Monday, February 19, 2007

Fools By Heavenly Compulsion

An article entitled U.S. Beliefs in Pseudoscience Worry Experts advises me that experts are worried by U.S. beliefs in pseudoscience. Faith in astrology, for instance, appears to be on the rise.

Why is this happening? Carol Susan Losh, an associate professor at Florida State University, explains:

One problem, she said, is that pseudoscience can speak to the meaning of life in ways that science does not. For example, for many women having a good life still depends on whom they marry, she said.

"What does astrology speak to? Love relationships," Losh said, noting that belief in horoscopes is much higher among women than men.
See how much clearer things are when you look at them scientifically?

In other news, it seems that an artificial reef made of old tires has turned out to be an environmental catastrophe. The project was spearheaded by Ray McAllister, a professor of ocean engineering at Florida Atlantic University. His goal was to form new habitat for sea life, while getting tires out of landfills and into the ocean, where they belong:
McAllister helped found Broward Artificial Reef Inc., which got tires from Goodyear and organized hundreds of volunteers with boats and barges. A Goodyear blimp even dropped a gold-painted tire into the ocean at the site to commemorate the start. It's unclear how much it cost to build the reef, but McAllister said his group raised several thousand dollars. The county also chipped in, and Goodyear donated equipment to bind and compress the tires....

"The really good idea was to provide habitat for marine critters so we could double or triple marine life in the area," McAllister said. "It just didn't work that way. I look back now and see it was a bad idea."
No word as yet on whether or not Professor McAllister believes in astrology.


roger said...

any indication that they will remove the artificial reef? too bad the ocean critters are so unappreciative.

Phila said...


They've removed some already. They're starting in earnest later this year, I think. My understanding is that there are two million tires still down there, so the job's expected to take about three years. Or maybe a little less, if they consult an astrologer as to the most auspicious time to start.

Cervantes said...

In case you thought there was a limit to the realm of pseudo-science, this letter from The General will expand your horizons.

Anonymous said...

Of course the tire reef got fucked up. Mercury is in retrograde. I mean, duh.

juniper pearl said...

people have been cleaning up bits of these artificial reefs that have broken free and washed up on beaches for years and years now. i'm surprised that it's taken as long as it has for those behind them to admit they were a failed effort, however good their intentions were. who would have known that tires didn't belong in the ocean? i mean, if goodyear couldn't figure it out . . .

Anonymous said...

Cool post – here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote a while ago that kind of completes the info you provided:

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