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Would you believe? Science ghostwriting factories in China

Epoch Times: A reporter from Xinhua Viewpoint, a column of official media Xinhua, posing as a cardiovascular and cerebrovascular physician contacted numerous paper factories and was told that all levels of dissertation could be written and published for him as long as the delivery time was not too short, according to Xinhua in a Jan. 11 report. Read More ›

Are pandas no longer endangered?

National Geographic: In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature had already downlisted the giant panda from endangered to vulnerable, citing a steadily increasing population and expanded habitat. But some Chinese scientists and officials rejected that assessment, saying it was premature and could undermine panda protection efforts. Read More ›

Nature attempts to paper over a genuine and reasonable lack of trust in China over COVID-19

This matters to us because it bears on the fate of science in general, as China becomes a global superpower. Nature Editorial: "Such trends are likely to continue if geopolitical tensions with the United States worsen. That would be regrettable." No, it wouldn’t be “regrettable.” Not so long as China cannot be trusted. Read More ›

Why trust in “science” is becoming unwise

In case you wondered: "China is also spending lavishly around the world to win supremacy in science — which includes becoming the biggest national sponsor of open access journals published by both Springer Nature and Elsevier, owner of The Lancet." Read More ›

China lands Rover on Mars to look for water, life

National Geographic: Utopia Planitia, thought to be the site of an ancient sea, has sedimentary layers that could contain evidence of past water. Even more exciting, these layers of rock could contain traces of any past life on Mars, says James Head III, a planetary scientist at Brown University. Read More ›

Green plants discovered in China dated at a billion years ago

It’s not “land” vs. “sea” that’s really significant here. It’s how much time was available for the development of photosynthesis. If the claim is that photosynthesis developed via natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism), then it must have somehow randomly happened in that billion years. Was there enough time? becomes an unavoidable question. Read More ›

Test: If naturalists are right, totalitarian states should be just as creative as free ones

A Chinese university is dumping intellectual freedom from their charters yet China hopes to be the world’s top AI power. Is there a contradiction here? Read More ›

Research fraud in China: The weak spot of totalitarianism?

The central weakness of totalitarianism is that it exalts the powerful lie over the fact. But nature doesn’t reward that behavior. It may take a long or short time for the system to collapse (and other systems can collapse for other reasons). But the insistence that 2+2=5 if the Party says so is a lethal flaw. Read More ›

Re Jeffrey Epstein: Let’s not complicate the issues

Epstein wasn’t even a scientist. It wasn’t like trying to figure out how to deal with a Nazi who has a cure for cancer. Don’t let the people who are implicated invoke high and difficult questions to cloud over plain old wrongdoing. Read More ›

Thousands of Cambrian fossils discovered in China, new to science

These animal groups lived in the ocean over half a billion years ago but were buried by a subterranean mudflow: Paleontologists found thousands of fossils in rocks on the bank of the Danshui river in Hubei province in southern China, where primitive forms of jellyfish, sponges, algae, anemones, worms and arthropods with thin whip-like feelers were entombed in an ancient underwater mudslide. The creatures are so well preserved in the fossils that the soft tissues of their bodies, including the muscles, guts, eyes, gills, mouths and other openings are all still visible. The 4,351 separate fossils excavated so far represent 101 species, 53 of them new.Ian Sample, “‘Mindblowing’ haul of fossils over 500m years old unearthed in China” at The Read More ›

Chinese researchers who stray could face “social penalties”

That might include not being able to get a loan, run a company, or apply for a job: The policy, announced last month, is an extension of the country’s controversial ‘social credit system’, where failure to comply with the rules of one government agency can mean facing restrictions or penalties from other agencies. The punishment overhaul is the government’s latest measure to crack down on misconduct. But the nature and extent of the policy has surprised many researchers. “I have never seen such a comprehensive list of penalties for research misconduct elsewhere in the world,” says Chien Chou, a scientific integrity education researcher at Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. … As of April, the number of times people were denied Read More ›