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Some Tips On Spotting Misinformation

Scientific Misinformation

By Ferrari KingPublished 5 months ago 4 min read

Sadly scientific misinformation is all around us and remember when the media tells you that scientists are baffled, surprised or any such headlines they are almost always lying or misleading you. Many times when you read the article these people are referencing you will find out the articles says the complete opposite or nothing they claim. This happens with all news outlets and this is why you get conflicting claims. These hack journalist only want the story and do not care about getting the facts correct or the harm they do to people's trust of science. This reminds me of the TV, The Incredible Hulk, were the reporter Mr. McGee relentlessly tracks the Hulk not even thinking about the damage he is doing to David Banner, who becomes the Hulk. David could have cured himself many times if it wasn't for Mr. McGee and it was Mr. McGee that killed David's partner. In the pilot Mr. McGee is hiding in the flammable closet with flammable chemicals when David and his colleague show up and Mr. Gee knocks over a compound that eventually reacts with other compounds causing the huge explosion. Mr. McGee believes the Hulk did it when if he brought it to trial it would not be hard to determine with forensics and David's testimony that Mr. McGee was indeed guilty. You may ask want was the point of all this and I will tell you. The media reads or hears about a study without knowing all the facts or interviews a scientist and then just publishes their article or get on TV without the facts. They will also misrepresent per-reviewed articles which you see a lot with creationists and Covid conspiracy people.

If you are reading any article or watching a video or news segment you need to ask yourself the following questions.

First, who says so? Is this person and expert in the field? Does he/she have an agenda? Creationist, especially like to bring people who are not experts in evolutionary biology such as physicist or NASA scientist and let them give some testimony on why evolution is not true. I have never heard of an evolutionary biologist convert to some religion and then denounce evolution. Many times these people just have an agenda such as selling creationism, notice that creations rarely if ever give proof of creationism since they only attack evolution. The media have an agenda and that is to make money, nothing wrong with making money but just be honest.

If the person talking about nutrition is not a nutritionist than I would be skeptical of any of their claims, even if they are medical doctors. Most doctors do not take nutrition classes. If the expert is not talking about something in their field I would be skeptical. They should provide links to peer-reviewed articles.

Secondly, how does she/he know? Is she/he quoting a reputable source? Does he revel his source? Usually in the comment section in videos or articles people will make claims and then tell others to look it up or, "I can't do the work for you," which means they are usually lying. Where this person got their information is extremely important. Wikipedia, YouTube and news sites do not count. There are good creators on YouTube and TikTok but unless they give links for you to verify I would be skeptical. The problems is a lot of times you have to pay for those articles but you can simply message the scientist that wrote the article and most will gladly send it to you for free since they do not make money off the article. When people get paid for their articles it gives them a reason to lie which is why we have peer-review. A scientist is very unlikely to risk their job and reputation for financial gain. If they refuse to reveal their source which is what happens in a lot of articles and videos then be wary.

Thirdly, If they do cite their source, how did they discover this? Seriously how did they find it. Many times a person may claim they got something from a peer-reviewed source but refuse to tell you how they found it. If they want you to learn or change your mind then they should gladly tell you how they found their information.

Fourthly, was any study's results statistically significant? If I roll and six-sided die ten times and it rolls a four six of those times, it does not mean there is a 60% chance the die will roll "4." Never forget the randomness factor.

Finally, put the results into the larger picture of the subject and you can hopefully see whether the information is valid or not.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Also, if they claim that scientist get their information from books or claim that odds are great against for evolution that would show you they do not know much of what they are talking about. I have actually heard people say that experts and scientists just get their information from books. I wish I knew were these books were that contained all the scientific information.

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About the Creator

Ferrari King

I am Ferrari King and I enjoy writing short stories and playing games, BS in Molecular Biology. My other hobbies are working out, MMA and reading. Here is my wonderful LinkTree you should check for all links: https://linktr.ee/ferrariking

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    Ferrari KingWritten by Ferrari King

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