Celebrities Vs Science

Do you see yourself as a worthless cockroach contributing to the collapse of human civilization? Probably not, but Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich thinks precisely that about you.

Fifty years ago, he published arguably the worst book ever written, The Population Bomb, which declared that human overpopulation would cause mass starvation. Instead, the Green Revolution (led in part by ACSH co-founder Norman Borlaug) caused global food production to explode, and the world population more than doubled from 3.5 billion in 1968 to 7.6 billion today.

The reason The Population Bomb was so terrible is not because its predictions were wrong; most scientists make incorrect predictions. No, the book is terrible because of how it made people in the developed world...

Actress Zooey Deschanel has a new startup — The Farm Project. In her latest video episode she urges consumers to stop buying produce from the grocery store — unless it's organic.

PSA: Despite what Goop advises, please don't shoot coffee up your rectum. 

 

Orrin Hatch, a Republican Senator from Utah, has announced his retirement. When he leaves, the Senate will lose its most ardent supporter of alternative medicine.

Previously, that title was held indisputably by Tom Harkin, a Democratic Senator from Iowa. He is largely to blame for the abomination known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), an organization so worthless that it had to change its name so biomedical scientists would stop mocking it.

If Ted Kennedy was the Lion of the Senate, Sen. Harkin was the Snake Oil Salesman of the Senate. Given that his pet project wasted billions investigating pure...

Very smart people sometimes fall prey to very bad ideas.

One of those bad ideas is the notion that the Earth as we know it is about to come to a cataclysmic end. Our sins have finally caught up with us, and humans will be subjected to unbearable wrath. To some religious devotees, the wrath comes from God; to some environmentalists, it comes from Earth. In the end, we're all flambé; the only question is who gets the honor of lighting the kitchen torch.

A somewhat recent convert to the secular version of such doomsday prophesying is famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Dr. Hawking has made the news twice this week for comments he made at two different conferences. At one, he said that, due to...

Despite the mounting data about the benefits of electronic cigarette use, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo must not be getting the memos.  In a move that can only be explained as pro-cancer, Governor Cuomo has decided to ban indoor vaping in restaurants, bars and places of employment - effectively treating such devices in the same fashion as combustible cigarettes.

If it is passive inhalation of toxins we are worried about, I have a suggestion for Governor Cuomo - perhaps he should move to a ranch in Wyoming.  Simply step out on any NYC sidewalk on any given day and you will find yourself immediately assaulted with a plethora of respiratory insults - from the rank smells of garbage, vehicle...

I get it. Actress Jessica Chastain hates guns. But, Ms. Chastain, please don’t use your platform to spread untruths about the medical profession to make a political point. When you have nearly 600,000 twitter followers, the damage is done even if you inevitably delete your tweet. Which you did.

Clearly, after the tragic events this week in Las Vegas, emotions are high and discussions around gun violence are going to happen. That's fine. However, making inaccurate statements about medical testing does not advance any gun control argument and serves to do potential harm.

After much online criticism today, Ms. Chastain deleted the following tweet without explanation - fellow actor James Woods had re-tweeted it:

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Kurt Eichenwald is an interesting guy -- in the same way that a 47-car pileup on the freeway is interesting. He is, according to his Twitter bio, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a New York Times bestselling author. He also has written for Newsweek, where he penned one of the best essays I have ever read about conspiracy theories.

You would think that a man with such enormous influence would wield it with great responsibility. But you would be wrong. Last year, he tweeted -- without any evidence whatsoever -- that he believed Donald Trump...

It's not an exaggeration to say that the American public hates the media.

A poll conducted by Gallup last year showed that merely 32% of Americans had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust in the mass media. A Harvard poll, reported by The Hill, concluded that 65% of Americans think the media publishes fake news.

Who can we thank for Americans' disgust with the media? Journalists like Brian Williams.

You remember Brian Williams. He's the former anchor of NBC Nightly News who was replaced for...

When Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, shook down Pacific Gas & Electric for $333 million for allegedly poisoning a community with hexavalent chromium and causing cancer and all sorts of other health problems, Julia Roberts portrayed the protagonist in a sensationalized blockbuster movie. It is unlikely, however, that Hollywood will be filming a sequel.

Why? Because not only was Ms. Brockovich wrong, but the State of California has now partially repudiated what she fought for.

Erin Brockovich, Junk Scientist

We've known for a long time that Ms. Brockovich used junk science to score a jackpot settlement. She used a common rhetorical trick, known as the Texas...