Saturday, November 21, 2009

Junk Science

At the risk of sounding really conceited, I'm a really intelligent girl. There's quite a bit going on my common sense 99% of the time, but that's a whole other ball of wax.

As an intelligent girl, it never ceases to amaze just how uneducated (or just plain stupid) other people can be. There's so much information available in the world, it seems a waste to not take advantage of it. But, that's not the worst of it, really. The worst thing (as far as I'm concerned, anyway) is that some people will believe anything they read or see or hear someone else say. The idea of finding legitimate sources, or cross-checking facts simply doesn't occur to them. They read it on the internet or in some new-age dimestore novel and so, of course, it must be true.

This sort of thing, the "I saw it on the internet, so it must be true" ridiculousness is my single largest pet peeve. When I run into it, it makes my head explode. Okay, not really...but it does set me off on a three hour lecture about fact checking and peer reviews and reliable sources, and no, goddammit, Wikipedia is NOT a fucking reliable source.

The Archaeogoddess runs into this far more often than I do, what with her being a an archaeologist and all. I once listened as this utter moron I know talked about The DaVinci Code conspiracy crap with the Archaeogoddess as though it was fact and not ridiculous fiction. The Archaeogoddess kept a polite smile on her face the entire time, and then politely changed the subject. If it had been me, I'd have berated the woman up one side and down the other...but that's just part of my charm.

Here's a hint, folks...if it's been "kept hidden" or if it's a "secret they don't want you to know" move on. It's likely utter nonsense.

And just because there was a "new study" that showed that the cure for cancer is rubbing bacon grease in your butt crack, that doesn't mean every cancer patient should be slathering on the lard. A study is just that...a single study. It could have been an anomaly, a chance occurrence, a mistake made by the researchers. In order for something to be true, you must be able to prove it. You must show me proof. I want to see first sources, and repeatable results. Your cousin's friend who drank pomegranate juice and suddenly cured her fibromyalgia isn't going to impress me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But then I wouldn't have anything to talk about! Not to mention sounding smart.