What's more effective when it comes to debunking science? Turns out that ad hominem attacks work as well as disproving the "facts" of a given argument.
Other Science News
If you're a consumer of science news, or just a curious person looking for information on nutrition or medicine, you have to learn how to spot junk science. Especially from sources that are typically reliable. Here are a few guidelines that can help separate sound research from sneaky misinformation.
Four sips from the firehose that is Internet content: Spicy and bitter are ways plants tried to dissuade you from eating them; CRISPR, in service of animal welfare, hits a snag; a podcast contrasts Nathan's Hot-Dog Eating Contest to chemotherapy, and good news science is alive and beautifully well.
The use of self-reported behavior has been an Achilles heel of sorts, regarding the certainty of research outcomes. A new study shows not only that "self-reports" may be incorrect, but the degree of uncertainty introduced by them varies with the self-reporter's age, education and nationality.
The anti-nuclear crowd uses an assortment of scare tactics to turn public opinion against the use of nuclear power. One of them is highlighting the risk of a serious accident, that might occur when spent nuclear fuel is transported to a disposal site. Is there any validity to this? A visit to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, NM tells us there is not. (It's actually very safe.)
The leaves are turning beautiful colors, the air is crisp and pumpkin spice lattes are back. Simply put, moving from September into October could perhaps be the best time of the year. But no matter how much fun we're having on the side, we never lose our focus on defending good science. Here's where we appeared in recent weeks.
As we grow more and more dependent on electronic devices to minimize even the smallest amount of physical effort, it cannot be terribly surprising that pampered Americans are turning to Alexa-controlled devices. Why? So they can become even lazier. And now Alexa has invaded the bathroom. There are even smart toilets and they listen. What could possibly go wrong?
With the calendar turning to September, football fans across America rejoice as NFL and college football teams once again take the field. In between watching our favorites, we have continued to fight the good fight for science and health. Here's where ACSH appeared over the past couple of weeks.
Here's what we have this time: Is evolution a "struggle" or "snuggle" for survival? ... Any profound loss, in this case of a father, ripples across our lives like a pebble on a lake. ... Physicians are often asked for advice. But do people want instructions or coaching? ... Finally, "mindful" consideration of one of the true vital signs: the breath.
Elvis is still alive. Osama bin Laden is still alive. Paul McCartney is dead. These are just a handful of the conspiracy theories involving the alive/dead status of various famous people. Now, we can add Steve Jobs to the list.
It's astounding how quickly the summer has flown by. For many of you, it was because you spent some of the season on vacation. But not for us at ACSH. Oh no. We were busy keeping the world safe from junk science.
Why is everyone always above average? Hint-we are poor judges of our ability. Chemophobia is challenging to discuss, but it does drive 100% natural marketing. Are hospital administrators and their salaries growing at such a high rate that they are the cause of high prices? The graph says yes, the truth is a bit more nuanced. Finally, with all the concern about a replication crisis and the integrity of science, you would think that writing a paper debunking other research would be easy; you would be wrong.