pseudoscience

A lot of alternative medicine sounds reasonable enough.

It is easy to see why so many people believe in traditional herbal remedies, for instance. Because they have been used for hundreds or thousands of years, people assume the traditions must be rooted in some sort of truth. Besides, scientists have isolated a lot of therapeutically useful compounds from nature, like caffeine and quinine, so it's not far-fetched to believe that all herbs have some sort of medicinal use (even if most don't).

Homeopathy, on the other hand, is just plain nuts. It completely defies logic how anyone with a halfway functional brain could buy into this. This type of alternative medicine is predicated upon three completely insane ideas.

Homeopathy's Three Insane Principles...

ACSH followers are clear about the problems associated with fake science — from the promotion of supposed obesity "cures" by Dr. Oz to the nonsense of hydrogen-infused water, we've covered a myriad of pseudoscience. Some, such as supplements containing aristolochic acid, cause life-threatening effects, while others simply cause users to waste their money and avoid more effective treatments. One effect we've not really paid enough attention to, though, is the effect on fauna and flora all over the world. A recent article on Real Clear Science points to several...

Junk science

Junk science is everywhere. Just today, it was reported that President-Elect Donald Trump had a meeting with the anti-vaccine fraud Andrew Wakefield, who claimed that Mr Trump is "open-minded" about the issue. 

This is why our mission is so important. People in power often have a poor grasp of science. If journalists and advocates don't speak up for good science, cranks and quacks will take over. 

As part of our ongoing effort to eradicate pseudoscience, here is a list of the top 16 junk science stories we debunked in 2016.

#16. Olympic athletes should not be cupping. Remember seeing those...

John Podesta, campaign manager and a close advisor to Hillary Clinton, believes the government has not divulged everything it knows about UFOs and Area 51. Given his predilection for conspiratorial beliefs, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that he has a fear of biotechnology.

WikiLeaks has made public thousands of Mrs. Clinton's emails. Normally, a politician's campaign machinations would not be of interest to ACSH. However, Stephan Neidenbach, purveyor of the website We Love GMOs and Vaccines, combed through the emails and discovered that certain influential members of the Clinton campaign hold pseudoscientific beliefs about GMOs. The campaign also...

We are terrible corporate shills. (Credit: Shutterstock) We are terrible corporate shills. (Credit: Shutterstock)

The most frustrating part of being a scientist or science journalist is trying to convince people who have already made up their minds that they have come to the wrong conclusion. Even when presented with data that definitively demonstrates the error in their logic, most people double down, while very few appear willing to...