Why People Love Bad Science

I am truly amazed as to how easily people are suckered in by really bad science.

Recently, there has been a torrent of garbage on Facebook. Among the worst was a video I shall not name, but which is beautifully debunked HERE.

I highly recommend you watch this.

Another series of garbage was the fact that masks cannot filter out viruses, because they are too small.

That's correct. That is not why you wear a mask.

You wear a mask so that when you cough, sneeze or just breathe, if you have the virus, it won't travel as far than without the mask (i.e., 6 feet)

At the exact same time, people are saying how masks are causing you to not get enough oxygen.

This is where I really lose it.

LISTEN YOU MORONS: AN OXYGEN MOLECULE IS THOUSANDS OF TIMES SMALLER THAN A VIRUS. WHY WOULD YOU THINK IT DOESN'T GET THROUGH?

ALSO: ARE YOU WEARING A DAMNED PLASTIC BAG OVER YOUR HEAD? CAN'T YOU READ THE WARNING: THIS IS NOT A TOY OR A GAME?

I must confess, I wish some of these people would put plastic bags over their heads sometimes.

So, how does this happen?

Simply put, most people are woefully ignorant of the most basic scientific concepts. However, that's not all of it.

Most people, and here I will include even my medical and scientific colleagues, don't know how to analyze information to see if it makes sense.

Part of the reason for that is it takes time and effort, which most people don't want to expend.

Another reason is that most people were never really taught how.

This is a failure of the educational system all the way up the chain. In fact, I am certain most professors don't know how to do it either.

There is also one other thing that leads people to believe bad science, but for this, permit me to digress a moment.

(Actually, it's my blog, I'll digress whether you want me to or not.)

Remember the old sci-fi movies where someone asks the evil genius why they are planning to destroy the world?

They would often respond, "Because they laughed at me at the university, said I was mad. I'll show them!"

Now, to be honest, science and medicine has been guilty of laughing at people who were correct.

Like poor Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, who simply proposed that doctors wash their hands between patients, since they may be spreading disease.

He died alone in an insane asylum.

Of course, about 20 years later, he was proven correct, and medicine now honors his memory.

A fat lot of good that did him, but at least we admit we royally screwed the pooch on that one.

Most bad doctors and scientists would like to portray themselves in that light (if they even know who he was).

They claim to be the martyrs fighting against the pharma-industrial complex, that is seeking to silence them, so they can churn out their poisonous anti-cancer drugs, when really all that is needed is the extract of apricot pit (laetrile, if you didn't know).

The conspiracy du jour is, of course, development of a vaccine for Covid-19.

These individuals, with their army of scientifically illiterate individuals, put forth conspiracy theories claiming Covid-19 is a hoax, it's a government control effort, it's big pharma making us get another vaccine, etc.

They are wrong. Completely wrong and need to be ignored.

They really need to be silenced, but that's the price of free speech.

Better yet, let us use them as a means of educating yourself and your children on how these charlatans operate and how they lure the gullible into believing nonsense.

Then you and your family will be better prepared to figure out the next hoax.

I hate what has happened as much as you. I hate not seeing our friends, going out to dinner, seeing our workmates (well, some of them, anyway).

But this disease is real. This disease is NOVEL, so we really are struggling with what to do.

We will inevitably make mistakes, and please stop blaming whoever you don't like. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT'S RIGHT.

The variation in countries and states reopening is actually a good thing, however, because it will be a natural experiment to see whether we truly need these draconian measures, or if we can loosen them, and how much.

However, we will not know the results for weeks, maybe months.

And whoever turns out to be right, it's because they made a lucky guess, not because anyone really knew for certain what needed to be done.

And if someone tries to tell you different-STAY SKEPTICAL!

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