The Climate Change Deniers are Done

tree with climate knowledge

Climate change deniers have clearly set back human progress and delayed us in reducing emissions, obviously that’s no good. What is good is that they barely exist anymore. The science has always been done properly around climate change and people are living the chaos that climate change has caused; it’s as impossible to deny as a round Earth. Conversations are no longer hijacked by people who deny climate reality, and that’s a good thing.

How do we know this? Some researchers set out to determine how present climate change denialism was online only to find it declining. A really need potential spinoff from this research is how to look into other aspects of people denying science and how to engage them to better understand reality.

In a study out this week in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers found that outright denying the science is going out of fashion. Today, only about 10 percent of arguments from conservative think tanks in North America challenge the scientific consensus around global warming or question models and data. (For the record, 99.9 percent of scientists agree that human activity is heating up the planet.) Instead, the most common arguments are that scientists and climate advocates simply can’t be trusted, and that proposed solutions won’t work.

It took Cook and his team about five years to create a machine learning model that was able to reliably detect real-life climate misinformation claims. “Misinformation is messy and doing content analysis is messy, because the real world is always a bit blurry,” Cook said. First, they developed a taxonomy to sort arguments into broad categories — say, “climate change isn’t bad” — narrower claims (“carbon dioxide is not a pollutant”) and even more specific points (“CO2 is food for plants!”). Then they fed common climate myths into the machine until it was able to recognize each one consistently out in the wild.

Read more.

Studies Reveal Vegetarians Are Intelligent And Empathetic

Good news for vegetarians! If you’re a vegetarian then you’re probably smarter than the average person according to some research. It turns out that people who opt for a meat free diet tend to be better able to confront the reality of the modern diet (which is that we don’t need to kill animals to live a healthy human life). We have seen studies like this for years that say vegetarians are smart, that they are happier, and that they live longer.

There’s no better time than now to eat more veggies and less meat.

Another scientific theory, Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, supports the correlation between a vegetarian diet and higher intelligence. Satoshi Kanzawa, an evolutionary psychologist, suggests the ability to change personal habits in reply to challenges in the world is strongest in people with higher empathy and intelligence levels. There is a strict link between a person’s ability to easily adapt their habits to “evolutionary novels” and higher IQ.

Intelligent people cope more easily with situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment (such as modern dietary options). While our ancestors had to face constant food scarcity, we often face the opposite problem: abundance. Intelligent people are more likely to make wiser choices about what they eat, considering both their own health and animal welfare issues.

Read more.

Being Intellectually Stimulated Can Delay Dementia

More and more studies seem to be coming out that all conclude that keeping your mind active can be helpful to all sorts of health issues. Speaking more than one language and certainly help and so can just keeping your mind intellectually stimulated through various tasks:

Examples of activities the researchers considered cognitively stimulating (if performed at least three times per week) included reading books and magazines, playing games and music, and participating in arts and crafts.

All participants then underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests designed to measure a variety of cognitive skills, including executive functioning, language, and memory.

“Higher levels of educational, occupational, and cognitive activity are independently associated with a lower risk of dementia,” they report. Among people with the APOE4 variant, who are at relatively high risk for dementia, the difference is huge: The onset of cognitive impairment was delayed, on average, by more than eight and one-half years for people who ranked in the top 25 percent in terms of lifetime intellectual enrichment, compared to those in the bottom 25 percent.

Read more here.

It’s Possible to Increase Your IQ

Yes, we’ve seen that you can increase your IQ before but isn’t it always a nice reminder that it’s possible? I think so!

Yet another study has been released that has demonstrable ways that anybody can increase their IQ. I think it’s also worth noting that IQ has a measurement is not the best way for people to compare their true smarts.

The take-home points from this research? This study is relevant because they discovered:

1. Fluid intelligence is trainable.

2. The training and subsequent gains are dose-dependent—meaning, the more you train, the more you gain.

3. Anyone can increase their cognitive ability, no matter what your starting point is.

4. The effect can be gained by training on tasks that don’t resemble the test questions.

Read more at Scientific American.

You Can Improve Your IQ

Just in case you’re wondering, yes you can improve your intelligence!

It used to be believed that people had a level of general intelligence with which they were born that was unaffected by environment and stayed the same, more or less, throughout life. But now it’s known that environmental influences are large enough to have considerable effects on intelligence, perhaps even during your own lifetime.

A key contribution to this subject comes from James Flynn, a moral philosopher who has turned to social science and statistical analysis to explore his ideas about humane ideals. Flynn’s work usually pops up in the news in the context of race issues, especially public debates about the causes of racial differences in performance on intelligence tests. We won’t spend time on the topic of race, but the psychologist Dick Nisbett has written an excellent article on the subject.

Flynn first noted that standardized intelligence quotient (I.Q.) scores were rising by three points per decade in many countries, and even faster in some countries like the Netherlands and Israel. For instance, in verbal and performance I.Q., an average Dutch 14-year-old in 1982 scored 20 points higher than the average person of the same age in his parents’ generation in 1952. These I.Q. increases over a single generation suggest that the environmental conditions for developing brains have become more favorable in some way.

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