Category Archives: Causation

“This is a sad day for the children of the U.S.”

Howard Mielke is a toxicologist at the Medical School of Tulane University in New Orleans. He described March 21, 2017 as “a sad day for the children of the U.S.” in response to news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Ethics, Medicine, Science and politics | Leave a comment

Monarch butterflies, milkweed, and migration: The law of unintended consequences

I described the magic of migration by monarch butterflies in Chapter 1 of Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology. These tiny animals fly from breeding areas in the northern US and Canada to overwintering sites in high-elevation forests in central … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Citizen Science, Conservation, Ecology, Migration, Observations | Leave a comment

Medical use of marijuana revisited

I described two experimental studies of the use of marijuana to reduce pain in Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology and discussed two technical reviews of the medical value of marijuana in a subsequent blog posting. The gist of these … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Correlation & Causation, Evaluating evidence, Experimentation, Medicine | Leave a comment

Careful readers are a writer’s best friends

Writing for publication entails many drafts and many reviews of these drafts by friends, colleagues, copyeditors, and critics. The credibility of science depends on peer review, as explained by Frederick Grinnell in The Everyday Practice of Science and by me … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Correlation & Causation, Ecology, Ethics, Evaluating evidence, Evolution, General material, Probability & Statistics, Twins | Leave a comment

Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job

I discuss several examples of the complexity of causation in Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology, ranging from interactive effects of genes and environments on humans and other organisms to webs of relationships connecting predators and prey such as killer … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Science and politics | 1 Comment