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Humans can’t tell legitimate science from junk science (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

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“I’m old enough to remember when the polio vaccine was still new. Also, it hadn’t been that long since most people who caught pneumonia died from it. These medical breakthroughs were practically miracles.” -Pat Cadigan

When it comes to health, safety, and how we interact with the world around us, pretty much everyone recognizes the importance of making our decisions based on sound science. Yet even when presented with the same evidence, many people will draw different conclusions. Why? Because once we’ve made up our minds that something is either good or bad for us, we cherry-pick the remaining data to support our previously-held positions. Humans are notoriously bad at distinguishing legitimate science from junk science.

Signs and protesters from the 2013 March Against Monsanto in Vancouver, BC. While there may be legitimate complaints over our modern agricultural system, GMOs are not the evil technology that people make them out to be. Image credit: Rosalee Yagihara of Wikimedia Commons.

In a new mini-book from the American Council on Science and Health, author Alex Berezow runs us through hundreds of arenas, personalities, and health claims where junk science is prevalent. No matter where you are on the political or scientific spectrum, there are sure to be some entries in there that cause you to bristle, and that’s a good thing. If you can challenge your assumptions and preconceptions, you just might wind up doing the most important thing one can do in this world: learning something new.

Front cover of the hard copy of the Little Black Book of Junk Science. Image credit: American Council on Science and Health.

I fell victim to some of those things myself, and am not ashamed to admit it. Take a look inside, and see if you can tell junk science from actual science today!


Source: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2017/08/10/humans-cant-tell-legitimate-science-from-junk-science-synopsis/


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