We take the first week of April as an opportunity to clarify the various misconceptions about health and science that are circulating throughout the year. Some of them are from the confusion that reporters in the Science section of the New York Times have repeatedly encountered. Others come directly from our readers who submitted the most misunderstandings to us on our science page on Facebook.
Misconception: The universe begins somewhere.
“Where did the Big Bang happen?” This is a problem often encountered by Dennis Overbye, a journalist for the New York Times.
Fact: The big bang did not happen at one location; it was happening at a time.
Read this article at your location in the center of the universe. (You will find that this is not a joke on April Fool's Day.)
Misconception: In the lifetime of many of us, the power of computers will exceed that of humans.
Fact: Reporter John Markoff writes that most researchers say that you won't be eliminated for a long time, and may never be.
Misconception: Moderate exercise can strengthen bones.
Many public health organizations and health websites are promoting this exercise prescription and promise it to avoid osteoporosis. Sounds too good to be true. Gina Kolata, a New York Times medical journalist, wrote that it really shouldn't be believed.
Fact: Moderate exercise has little effect on bone strength.
Misconception: This is nothing more than a theory.
When everyone has their own theories, real scientific theories like evolution will be hit. Theory is neither intuition nor speculation. They are the jewels of the science crown, writes by journalist Carl Zimmer.
Misconception: Because there is snow in my yard, climate change is not true.
Fact: Justin Gillis, a journalist, wrote that the people who said this confused the climate and the weather.
Related misconceptions: Global warming “suspended” means that climate change is nonsense.
Reporter John Schwartz writes whether global warming will be suspended for more than a decade, regardless of the scientific rationality behind climate change.
This is like saying that a temporary decline in the stock market means that the best long-term investment strategy is to hide cash under the mattress.
Misconception: In the asteroid belt, the spacecraft must avoid a series of rocks on the way.
Atari's Asteroids is one of the most exciting early arcade video games. You can manipulate and rotate a small triangular spacecraft to blow up the space rock into pieces, until it is inevitably hit by asteroids into linear fragments. Similarly, many movies rely on the action of avoiding asteroids to create highly dramatic scenes.
Reporter Kenneth Chang explores how much space rock is encountered in the asteroid belt. It turns out that very few, Han Solo is safe even if you take a nap.
记者肯尼斯·张(Kenneth Chang)探究了在小行星带中到底会遇到多少太空岩石。事实证明——非常少，韩·索罗(Han Solo)就算打个盹也是安全的。
Misconception: The deciduous teeth are not important.
What's the big deal for a child to have a tooth decay? Anyway, those teeth will fall. The New York Times health journalist Catherine Saint Louis heard a lot of these words.
“小孩子得蛀牙有什么大不了的？反正那些牙也会掉下来。”《纽约时报》的健康记者凯瑟琳·圣路易斯(Catherine Saint Louis)听到过很多这样的话。
Fact: Neglecting deciduous teeth can make children suffer from dental problems throughout their lives.
Misconception: Indiscriminately must be a mentally ill person.
Fact: Indiscriminate killers are usually outside the current category of mental illness, and there is often little evidence that early treatment can help prevent their attacks. In this gloomy but thought-provoking article, Benedict Carey writes that terrorists are less likely to have mental disorders.
Misconception: oral sex does not lead to sexually transmitted diseases
Most people - about 71% - think that oral sex is also "sex." But many people, especially young people, don't seem to realize that it is possible to get a sexually transmitted disease in this way.
Reporter Jan Hoffman analyzed data on oral sex and sexually transmitted diseases in detail.