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Subject: Fox News and their excellent science journalism rss

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http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/01/07/cataclysm-killed-d...

Coal from China's Xuan Wei County, widely used for cooking and heating, may contribute to unusually high rates of lung cancer among women in the region.

The tremendous volcanic eruption thought to be responsible for Earth's largest mass extinction which killed more than 70 percent of plants and dinosaurs walking the planet 250 million years ago is still taking lives today.

Scientists investigating the high incidence of lung cancer in China's Xuan Wei County in Yunnan Province conclude that the problem lies with the coal residents use to heat their homes. That coal was formed by the same 250-million-year-old giant volcanic eruption termed a supervolcano that was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. The high silica content of that coal is interacting with volatile organic matter in the soil to cause the unusually high rates of lung cancer.


Wow, dinosaurs were around 250 million years ago, and volcanos erupt coal?
 
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Eldon Nichol
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Wasn't it suppose to be a meteor that caused the extinction?
 
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You got your Permian in my Cretaceous-Tertiary! You got your Cretaceous-Tertiary in my Permian!
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Zaphod wrote:


Why are you assuming that story was written by foxnews?
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Scott Russell
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What cracks me up is that only the liberals here ever seem to know what Fox News and Rush are saying on their programs/websites.
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Anye Freer
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nichol wrote:
Wasn't it suppose to be a meteor that caused the extinction?


(puts on geologist hat)
There is a prevailing theory that the extinction was not caused by a single event but by several events over several thousands of years (which is a small standard deviation and hard to measure precisely from 65 million years later). One said event was the meteor, another was massive volcanism - there is evidence of both phenomena at "roughly" 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period.

The end-Permian extinction (the one about 250 million years ago) was actually much larger in scope (IIRC 95% of known species or so) and attributed to a large extent to the formation of Pangea and the corresponding destruction of many ecosystems.

(/takes off geologist hat and tries to smooth down hat hair all to no avail)
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And I thought that the dinosaurs had died because they had signed up for a government-run health care plan that was so bad they died for lack of freedom.

Lung cancer caused by coal-spewing volcanoes? I learned something new every day.
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.When a network spends more time proselytizing Tiger Woods then fact checking what you expect. cool
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dietevil wrote:
nichol wrote:
Wasn't it suppose to be a meteor that caused the extinction?


(puts on geologist hat)
There is a prevailing theory that the extinction was not caused by a single event but by several events over several thousands of years (which is a small standard deviation and hard to measure precisely from 65 million years later). One said event was the meteor, another was massive volcanism - there is evidence of both phenomena at "roughly" 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period.

The end-Permian extinction (the one about 250 million years ago) was actually much larger in scope (IIRC 95% of known species or so) and attributed to a large extent to the formation of Pangea and the corresponding destruction of many ecosystems.

(/takes off geologist hat and tries to smooth down hat hair all to no avail)


So is the article right or wrong?
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bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch.

The overall point is correct (replace dinosaurs with animals) -- just a horrid bit of adapting a press release. Here is a better write-up

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/nasty-coal/

Here is the abstract from the article it is all based on

Quote:
Parts of Xuan Wei County, Yunnan Province, China have the highest known lung cancer mortality in nonsmoking women. This high mortality displays a clear spatial relationship to the mines producing coal from the uppermost Permian. Geochemical, petrographic, and grainsize analyses were undertaken on a set of coal samples from Xuan Wei. Results demonstrate that the single geochemical property that makes this coal unusual is its high concentration of quartz (13.5 wt %) of which 35−55% occurs as less than 10 μm grains. We propose the potential for silica−volatile interaction (PSVI) as a new method for assessing the combined influence of silica and volatile organic matter and use this as a basis for re-evaluating existing ecological data. Published lung cancer mortality values are more strongly correlated with PSVI values for Xuan Wei coal than with volatiles or silica alone and the PSVI values measured are distinct from those of other coals. Finally we propose that the localization of this epidemic to Xuan Wei results from enhanced weathering of the local Emeishan basalts as a consequence of geochemical perturbations at the Permo-Triassic Boundary.

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rcbevco wrote:
.When a network spends more time proselytizing Tiger Woods then fact checking what you expect. cool


Yeah. They went and accepted stuff wholesale from that right-wing, neocon organization, the American Chemical Society. Just part of the Republican machine.

What tools.
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So is the article right or wrong?


Wrong.

The eruption did not form the coal, it merely seeded the peat with volcanic ash. The peat formed coal at a later date.

Additionally, the article states that the volcanism dates to 250 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. This is nonsense. The dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, some 65 million years ago.


Poor journalism.
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hibikir wrote:
And I thought that the dinosaurs had died because they had signed up for a government-run health care plan that was so bad they died for lack of freedom.


The lesson to be learned here is that if dinosaurs were strict constitutionalists, they'd still be the sole superpower.
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But I thought the world was only 11,000 years old give or take a few cubits.
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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
Quote:
So is the article right or wrong?


Wrong.

The eruption did not form the coal, it merely seeded the peat with volcanic ash. The peat formed coal at a later date.

Additionally, the article states that the volcanism dates to 250 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. This is nonsense. The dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, some 65 million years ago.


Poor journalism.


The article goes on to say

Quote:
The scientists also found that this high-silica coal was formed 250 million years ago, at a time in history called the Permo-Triassic Boundary (PTB). This geological boundary coincides with the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, when massive volcanic eruptions worked to deposit silica in the peat that formed Xuan Wei's coal.


so the prior wording is just "clumsy" at best -- definitely less than stellar journalsim. Replace dinosaurs with "animals" or "species" and is appropriate, as the largest extinction in history occurred about 250 million years ago.

The point of the article "The high content of silica in Xuan Wei's coal leads to higher incidence of lung cancer" is correct.
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The point of the article "The high content of silica in Xuan Wei's coal leads to higher incidence of lung cancer" is correct.


It's about the only part of the article that is correct.
Whoever wrote the article certainly doesn't understand the science.
 
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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
Quote:
The point of the article "The high content of silica in Xuan Wei's coal leads to higher incidence of lung cancer" is correct.


It's about the only part of the article that is correct.
Whoever wrote the article certainly doesn't understand the science.


That's good, since that is what the article is ABOUT. The other things are facts, that while incorrect, have no bearing on the veracity of the overall theme.

So, we can all make fun of Fox News for awhile because they used the word "dinosaur" instead "species" -- oh the travesty. The pettiness of the "blog cycle" is just ridiculous.


EDIT: And if you look at the mammalian-reptiles that died at the end of the Permian, it is easy to see how a non-scientist would mistake them for a dinosaur. Why? Because, they look like dinosaurs. Such as

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That's good, since that is what the article is ABOUT. The other things are facts, that while incorrect, have no bearing on the veracity of the overall theme.


Yet they impact upon the context within which the main theme is taken.

Journalists have a responsability to get their facts right. Their job is to correctly explain things to a lay reader.
The concepts involved are not difficult - its just lazy journalism.

The same problems occur in the reporting of other areas of science that the lay person requires to be properly informed of (vaccination, global warmimng, the anit-evolution debate)


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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
Quote:
That's good, since that is what the article is ABOUT. The other things are facts, that while incorrect, have no bearing on the veracity of the overall theme.


Yet they impact upon the context within which the main theme is taken.

Journalists have a responsability to get their facts right. Their job is to correctly explain things to a lay reader.
The concepts involved are not difficult - its just lazy journalism.

The same problems occur in the reporting of other areas of science that the lay person requires to be properly informed of (vaccination, global warmimng, the anit-evolution debate)





How about this sentence,

Lung cancer incidences in northern China are higher due to a higher concentration of silica in their coal, which came into being from the largest extinction in the planet's history some 250 million years ago.

Inserting the word "dinosaur" into that sentence changes nothing about the conclusion or the relevant news that the article is trying to communicate. For instance,

Lung cancer incidences in northern China are higher due to a higher concentration of silica in their coal, which came into being from the largest extinction, which killed the dinosaus, in the planet's history some 250 million years ago.

A mistake, but not a foundation shaking error. NBFD.
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Jorge Montero
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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
Quote:
That's good, since that is what the article is ABOUT. The other things are facts, that while incorrect, have no bearing on the veracity of the overall theme.


Yet they impact upon the context within which the main theme is taken.

Journalists have a responsability to get their facts right. Their job is to correctly explain things to a lay reader.
The concepts involved are not difficult - its just lazy journalism.

The same problems occur in the reporting of other areas of science that the lay person requires to be properly informed of (vaccination, global warmimng, the anit-evolution debate)




Is it? Their job is to explain things to a lay reader in an entertaining way, correctness doesn't really come into play, albeit outright fabrications are frowned upon in some publications.

It is rare for a journalist to actually 'get' what he is talking about.
 
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Is it? Their job is to explain things to a lay reader in an entertaining way, correctness doesn't really come into play, albeit outright fabrications are frowned upon in some publications.


If true,then it is rather sad.

It has been said by British journalists that America is poorly served by its media.
 
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SpaceGhost wrote:
bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch.

The overall point is correct (replace dinosaurs with animals) -- just a horrid bit of adapting a press release. Here is a better write-up



I'm not exactly sure why you're defending the article, the original press release was correct, and the moron journalist mis-interpreted and made it more "interesting" (look Dinosaurs!). How would you feel if this was your research being distorted to hell? I'm a reminded of a paleontologist recently who did a Discovery channel show, and later had to defend himself because the editing job completely took most of his statements out of context. They edited his words (and their context) to make the Dinosaurs he was talking about more exciting to a general audience. Apparently real science isn't interesting enough, we need to lie, make two sides to stories without two sides, and over dramatize everything.

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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
Additionally, the article states that the volcanism dates to 250 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. This is nonsense. The dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous during the Flood, some 65 million 5,000 years ago.


Fixed that for you. ninja
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Quote:
Fixed that for you.


Hey, where I come from that's fighting talk.
 
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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
Quote:
Fixed that for you.


Hey, where I come from that's fighting talk.


That's why I used Ninja skills to do it.
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