Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tim Caulfield Reminds Us, for 2018: "Be Skeptical. Think Critically."

here, some scientific skepticism via theglobeandmail.com that mentions naturopathy:

 001.  Canada's Tim Caulfield writes, @theglobeandmail.com, in "In 2018 We Need Less Nonsense and More Science" (2018-01-05):

"because, well, quantum physics [...] quantum physics is now used to explain and market a host of ridiculous ideas and products. This is done not because it actually explains anything related to the relevant ideas and products, but because it sounds so darn sciencey [...it] gives pseudoscience the feel of legitimate science [...]";


"health-care providers, including physicians and, most often, alternative providers often turn to sciencey-sounding terminology to paint a veneer of scientific legitimacy over unproven or completely bogus practices [...e.g.] naturopaths, for example, love the word quantum [...and linked to is a New York State nonAANP ND who] offers 'flexoelectric liquid crystal technology' to 'synchronize quantum fluctuations' [...and a] Vancouver naturopath [...who] works 'exclusively with oncology patients' suggests that 'quantum biology' explains how spontaneous remissions may be caused by the patient's 'energy' [...]";

ah, so CLOSE yet so FAR.

"using scientific-sounding language to sell bunk is hardly new [...] a 2012 study found that when media messages include terminology that presents 'the trappings of science,' it can create the illusion of scientific authority, even if the relevant article is about some patently pseudo-scientific topic, such as ghosts or haunted houses [...]";

oh people, so people-y: in terms of their ignorances and their deceits.

"how can we protect ourselves against sciencey nonsense? Being scientifically literate can help [...hone] critical-thinking skills [...and support] a strong regulatory response to the truly misleading sciencey noise [...]";

of course, it all matters, not just one of that list!

"[plus] we need scientists to help the public differentiate between science and the merely sciencey [...by] providing compelling and reasoned counterarguments in the popular press, on social media and in public lectures [...e.g.] we need respected physicists to explain why quantum physics does not support the existence of a life-force energy that can be manipulated by wearing a magical pendant [...e.g.] we need stem-cell researchers to explain that overpriced facial creams do not contain active, skin-regenerating stem cells [...e.g.] we need the entire research community to disempower the questionable publications that help to legitimize questionable science [...]";

great 'big picture' stategic advice.

"[overall advice] be skeptical. Think critically. And look for the real science [...]";

hear, hear.
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