Oct 11, 2010

Pet Peeve - Pseudoscience

The word "pseudo" means fake, and the surest way to spot a fake is to know as much as possible about the real thing, in this case science itself. When we speak of knowing science we do not mean simply knowing scientific facts (e.g., the distance from earth to sun; the age of the earth; the distinction between mammal and reptile, etc.) We mean that one must know about the nature of science itself—the criteria of evidence, the design of meaningful experiments, the weighing of possibilities, the testing of hypotheses, the establishment of theories, the many aspects of the methods of science which make it possible to draw accurate, reliable, meaningful conclusions about the phenomena of the physical universe.

However, the media provide a continuous bombardment of sheer nonsense, misinformation, fantasy and confusion—all proclaimed to be "true facts." Sifting sense from nonsense is an almost overwhelming job.

I have to admit my frustration at listening to mainstream news, they certainly are not constrained by facts, and eliminate relevant information for a sound bite.  Sounds very reminiscent of modern day politics, especially the Tea Party Express.

We must be skeptical of information and make an evaluation based on facts and research, not just listen to the loudest talking head.

One of my favorites in renewable energy is that "hydrogen is easy to produce, available everywhere, and nonpolluting when burned."  It takes significant energy to break apart hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and if it was so easy, it would already be in production. 

Can you think of other examples?


  1. Yeah like the dude from Oregon, "global warming has not been proven" or Aids is been promoted with the homosexual agenda. He sounds like he be just find with the inquisition if you ask me.

  2. Creationists who claim the Earth is 6,000 years old make me insane.

  3. Of course, there is the ever popular "Evolution is just a theory" claim. The misconception that many hold is that theory means it is "unproven", which of course is wrong. What they mean is hypothesis, which is unproven, but still has some supporting facts to make it an educated guess, rather than a simple (uneducated) guess. Theories have substantial proof, or they wouldn't be called theories. But not according to the news media, or course. It's a shame how little we value science, or those who understand it, especially since the majority of our people don't understand it at all.
    It does infuriate me!

  4. Ken, I see my husband already gave you his two cents.:)

    This subject bothers us greatly. We are both men of reason and science, so seeing it intentionally mangled by media for ratings, incites us and disheartens us at the same time.


Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)