Interestingly, both groups are using the same data, and both groups claim that the other is misrepresenting the data for their own purposes. As I will demonstrate, however, it is the anti-vaccers which are ignoring the rules of statistical analysis and manipulating the data to tell an inaccurate story.

One way to visualize what goes on is to turn the network upside down and ask it to enhance an input image in such a way as to elicit a particular interpretation. Say you want to know what sort of image would result in “Banana.” Start with an image full of random noise, then gradually tweak the image towards what the neural net considers a banana (see related work in [1], [2], [3], [4]). By itself, that doesn’t work very well, but it does if we impose a prior constraint that the image should have similar statistics to natural images, such as neighboring pixels needing to be correlated.

What they found was that, when there were two grates in place, the atom passed through it on many paths in a wave form, but, when the second grate was removed, it behaved like a particle and took only one path through.

So, what form it would take after passing through the first grate depended on whether the second grate was put in place afterward. Therefore, whether it continued as a particle or changed into a wave wasn't decided until a future event had already taken place.

Yes, your skin darkens to protect itself from more damage. But developing an initial layer of pigment won’t stop you from getting an extremely severe burn if you lay out without sunscreen all day.

The past 15 years have witnessed an overwhelming amount of research on the bilingual mind, with the majority of the evidence pointing to the tangible advantages of using more than one language. Going back and forth between languages appears to be a kind of brain training, pushing your brain to be flexible.

Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance, according to research by Marty Rossmann, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. In 2002, Dr. Rossmann analyzed data from a longitudinal study that followed 84 children across four periods in their lives—in preschool, around ages 10 and 15, and in their mid-20s. She found that young adults who began chores at ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have good relationships with family and friends, to achieve academic and early career success and to be self-sufficient, as compared with those who didn’t have chores or who started them as teens.

It turns out that if all the stars and all the planets in all the galaxies were before you in a terrifying, brilliant, impossible box, the color would you see (while no doubt experiencing a transcendent feeling of oneness) is the most boring color in the world.

An important part of the scientific process involves recognising human bias and preventing it from affecting results. For that reason, scientists use double-blind studies. When evaluating a drug for clinical trials, neither the doctors nor the patient knows who has been given the experimental drug and who the placebo. It is only after the experiment has been concluded that the scientists are unblinded. That way their wishful thinking can’t influence their findings.

Not so with the legal profession, which accumulates biases every step of the way. Most police, when they show a line-up to a witness, know which face belongs to the suspect. Studies have shown that that simple knowledge can lead an officer to unconsciously influence the witness who, in turn, can pick the favoured suspect, who might not be the perpetrator.

So who's to blame for all these bad stories and the sorry state of health journalism? One new study, published in the British Medical Journal, assigns a large fraction of blame to the press shops at various research universities. The study found that releases from these offices often overhype the findings of their scientists — while journalists play along uncritically, parroting whatever showed up in their inbox that day. Hype, they suggest, was manufactured in the ivory tower, not the newsroom.

The widespread assertion that the world would be better off without religion is a reasonable hypothesis. Yet data suggest that skeptics should attach no more than a modest level of probability to it.

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