View RSS Feed

Memories of the 28th Century

Fake Science

Rate this Entry
I have followed science news for decades, but I have become progressively less impressed with it, because of the lower quality of the reporting. Part of the reason might be that I am more knowledgeable now than I was a few decades ago, but I do think that the writers of science articles are not as familiar with the material they are writing about as was typical in the past. Some articles give me the impression that the writer had no prior knowledge of the subject at hand.

One recent example has been with articles on early man. Any high school biology course defines such basic concepts as what a species is. The essence of that is that they are individuals that are similar enough to successfully reproduce and have fertile offspring. But many articles call Neanderthals and other early races of humans as separate species, even though the article mentions their DNA being found in present day humans, and that couldnít have happened unless they had successfully reproduced with so-called modern humans.

Another example of ignorant science writers is with respect to atmospheric ozone. That became an issue in the 1990ís, and it looked horrible, but it also led to people doing more research. There was a sort of race between the research and the regulation. The regulations were set up, and that was a tragedy, because the details told a different story. It turned out that the thinning of the ozone in the Antarctic region was seasonal effect from the lack of UV radiation, bur Freon had been outlawed by hen. To make it more interesting, several years later, researchers from the Max Planck Institute discovered that hydroxyl radicals are injected into the atmosphere in the Central Pacific area. The hydroxyl radicals react with most long chain molecules in the atmosphere and break them into short chain molecules, and that prevented any Freon from getting to the altitude where the ozone layer is. Since then there has been less discussion of the ozone hole.

The examples above are just uses of a limited number of logical fallacies that involve false information. Science writers do not limit themselves to that. The also appeal to false authority (climate change mechanism), mistake correlation for causation (in regard to cholesterol and animal fats), and make many experimental errors. But the worst and funniest errors involve mistaking marketing fluff for science, as is common in the hydration myth.

These and other fallacies of science writers mean that readers have to look out for themselves, not just critics but insiders. It often seems that people in scientific positions are less likely than others to use their critical judgement on other scientists. That is, they are less critical of scientists. Even when dealing with terms that seem familiar, itís a good idea to check to see if the definition one usually uses is used in a different field; not checking can lead to error. That appears to be what happened with respect to DNA and ancient races of humans. A simple check of a standard reference on biology would have caught the error.

Checking a standard manual would have cleared up a lot of problems with climate change also, because whether a gas is a greenhouse gas is determined by its dipole moment, and carbon dioxide has no dipole moment, so it is not a greenhouse gas (see links below).

Another thing that climate alarmists have avoided is the melting of tundra and muskeg, in which a great deal of CO2 was sequestered before it warmed. Those sources of CO2 have put out more CO2 over the last hundred years, but the increase in CO2 followed the warming, so CO2 was not causing the warming; it increased as a result of the warming.

It appears!
that the CO2 connection to climate change was dreamed up by marketing writers. The facts clearly belie it, but the question is why it was made up. Most of the big lies in the past led to someone gaining wealth and/or power, but there hasnít been much money in the climate change industry; although it is increasing, and even that unfortunate Greta Thunberg doesnít seem to have made money from the climate change marketing stories. It might be that the climate change alarmists are hoping to gain power, but that hasnít happened, yet.

This sort of demonization of a harmless substance is not confined to CO2. The way that Cholesterol and animal fats were described as dangerous in the 1960ís and 1970ís was similar, but that was retracted in the late Ď80ís and early Ď90ís. even though the older, incorrect, information is frequently used in marketing copy, and many people never read the journal articles, so they donít know, and that included physicians.

There are many other examples of bad science, and some are listed in some of the linked pages, but it isnít enough to simply know that there are papers, experiments, and articles that were wrong. One must use critical judgement when reading anything. There are examples of bad science in advertising, but they arenít generally noticed. The hydration myth was developed as a marketing campaign in the 1990ís, and it was so slick that many people took it as science, which it is not.
This article is almost funny. Some people were taken in by the ads, and some are new to me. Remember that advertising is just another term for fooling people.

Notes & Links: These links and notes include plenty of useful information for those who want to know more.

Greenhouse gases:
Introduction to dipole moment with a list of some molecules and their dipole moments.
Molecular Vibrations Polar Bonds and the Dipole Moment

Many serious and deadly diseases can be, or have been, defeated through the use of vaccines. Even today there are people who are refusing the Covid 19 vaccine, because they believe a story that is going around about it. In addition to rumors that there are nasty things in the vaccine, there are people who believe that vaccines cause autism.

I may have missed it at the time, but people were not opposed to the vaccine against polio or the one that defeated smallpox. There may have been a few people who refused them of could not tolerate them, but it was not an issue, but getting rid of those diseases was important. Now smallpox is extinct in the wild, and polio only exists in a few places where communications are poor, but it has been eliminated in places with modern communications.

While covid is not as serious as either of those. There is no reason to save it. It isnít a threatened species, but it does kill people.


How to spot


Science must be falsifiable