A: When (real) scientists claim they've gotten to the bottom of something when they haven't even gotten to second base.
Full Disclosure: Rant ahead.
The offense of both is neither has anything to do with actual science, or more specifically, any real proof that support their claims.
Case in point - a paper that was published recently about the phenomenon of widows and widowers seeing their recently deceased spouse and sometimes even having conversations with them. (Btw, I won't bother ranting about the abomination that is Creationism as it kneecaps itself. Christ on a dinosaur.)
Here's the abstract:
Ratings of grief reactions, post-bereavement hallucinations and illusions and quality of life were made during the first year after the death of a spouse among 14 men and 36 women in their early seventies. In both sexes, the reactions were generally moderate or mild and characterized by loneliness, low mood, fatigue, anxiety and cognitive dysfunctioning. Feeling lonely was the most persistent problem during the year. Post-bereavement hallucinations or illusions were very frequent and considered helpful. Half of the subjects felt the presence of the deceased (illusions); about one third reported seeing, hearing and talking to the deceased (hallucinations). Former marital harmony was found to make a person more prone to loneliness, crying and hallucinations or illusions. The quality of life was significantly lower among the bereaved than among married people and those who never married, but equalled that found among divorcees.
Here's the Slashdot.org post about it. It contains the link to the site that has the paper, but apparently you have to pay to download the paper itself.
My rub is the ASSUMPTION that these are hallucinations these folks are experiencing.
Now, yes, science typically operates under the unstated assumption that there are no supernatural causes or explanations for anything. That's fine. However, I don't feel that you can entirely dismiss events that cannot be entirely explained in cases like this - especially when it's a common occurrence that results from a specific event. That alone to me suggests that we need to leave the door open to what might be the actual cause and not write them off as mere hallucinations.
Listen, both my grandma and a great aunt of mine had this happen. These two ladies were WWII tough cookies who had been hard partiers back in the day (another one of those "greatest generation" things), so they knew a hallucination when they saw one. My grandma didn't tell anyone for years, because she was concerned someone would think she was nuts. When it happened to my aunt, she called my grandma because she knew about her seeing her hubby, too. She asked if she were going nuts because it certainly wasn't a hallucination. Grandma assured her she wasn't. Thank God neither of them asked a scientist.
If you're curious:
1)My grandma's "event": Her deceased husband just came walking down the hall into the dining room, stopped in front of the basement door, announced he was there to get his tools, opened the door, and went to the basement.
2)My aunt's "event": She heard something downstairs in the middle of the night, something like a chair scraping. As she was the only person home - "home" being a remote farmhouse - she figured she'd better check it out. Sitting in his favorite chair at the kitchen table was her deceased husband. When she arrived, he stood, announced that he needed to do some gardening (it was winter), and he went out the front door. The chair remained slid out from the table, so she knew it wasn't a dream or hallucination.
So, here are two level-headed ladies seeing something they shouldn't. Both dead husbands didn't say anything all that grand or enlightening. If it were a hallucination brought about by loneliness and grief, you'd think there'd be a bit more wish-fulfillment and comfort, not these odd statements about toolboxes and gardening. And, one left a door open and the other moved a chair. 'Slain that.
In other science (or more accurately, corporate) news, babies are dying because a company has a patent on the DNA sequence related to the disease, and charges thousands of dollars to test for it. There's a special place in hell, I'm tellin' ya....
Tell you what, people's babies dying because they can't afford an available test is going to create one hell of a monster. You are going to see executives gunned down as they leave work, angry mobs with torches, etc. Mark my words, baby.
And wouldn't it be rich if the superbug the scientists have been predicting for years came from mars?