Author Archives: Eric Hall

About Eric Hall

My day job is teaching physics at the University of Minnesota, Rochester. I write about physics, other sciences, politics, education, and whatever else interests or concerns me. I am always working to be rational and reasonable, and I am always willing to improve my knowledge and change my mind when presented with new evidence.

Do Anecdotes Have A Place In Science?

What’s covered in this blog: Anecdotes are not evidence. Anecdotes are valuable to the scientific process, but they are not conclusions. The number of anecdotes does not matter. They can, at most, serve as a basis for forming a hypothesis … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Pseudoscience, Science | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

It’s Quantum Mechanics… Or Something

Scientists get things wrong very often. I, for one, am thankful they do. Being wrong is an opportunity to learn new and interesting things about the world. Or it might simply mean we need to do more work in order to see … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Education, Energy, Science | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

A Quick Example of the Effect of Climate Change

[Writer's note: Both me and my math checker missed a decimal error - my fear when I wrote this! Thanks to a comment I had to check my calculation again. I will fix the error of inland inundation below.] Because … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Energy, Nature, Science | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Grounding 2: They Are Still Trying To Fool You

[Author’s note: I made a couple of edits to clarify a couple of the science points. I want to acknowledge the changes, but I am removing or changing a couple of phrases. I would normally just use strike-through text, but it looks … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Health, Pseudoscience, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Is Big Pharma Ignoring Marijuana?

Last year I wrote a post about an argument I had with a family member over the use of marijuana. My position has a few different facets. I feel our government has it wrong on making it illegal. Some reasonable … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Science | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Use Caution When Reading Anything About Guns

I had reservations about writing this post. I have considered writing it a few times, only to put it away because it is a difficult subject to tackle in a single post. The subject matter is also highly politicized and … Continue reading

Posted in Science, TV & Media | Tagged , | 102 Comments

Using Bad Physics To Explain Video Game Physics

As a little departure from serious debunking, I felt it necessary to correct this egregious error in an explanation of video game physics. While watching a video sent by a friend, the video posted below came up as a suggestion. … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Education, Science | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

I’m Getting a Vasectomy in Spite of These Anecdotes

The world will now have a piece of very personal information about me: last week, I had a vasectomy. Though I was confident in the statistics and my doctor, I had a certain visceral fear approaching the surgery. I had to … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Water, Autism, Owie Spray, Eating Clay, and Imitation Butter

I wanted to clear up a few items from my list that don’t fit into full posts, but I thought were important to address. One is my post from two weeks ago. Another is a “control anecdote” to counter some … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Health, New Age, Pseudoscience, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Is Water Causing Autism?

As a step-parent of an autistic child, I have taken a long personal interest in all things about autism. I needed to do my own research regarding the raising of my younger children to ensure I did whatever I could … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Conspiracy Theories, Health, Pseudoscience | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments