- Published on Friday, 14 October 2011 06:53
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 1125
Not all science is good. Just because scientific methods, testing and analysis have been used, does not mean that we can believe the results - or at least the results that we are told come from the science. Of course, many with little or no science training or knowledge are suspicious of results they are told come from science. Creationists are a very obvious example. They deny the results of thousands of scientific studies and point to the fact there is some bad science around. Similarly, the disagreement on anthropogenic climate change suffers from the same problem. Not all science is bad - most is not. But what exactly is bad science? It could be bad reporting by journalists or badly conducted tests or even good tests badly reported to show a preconceived result.
Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre was recently on a TED talk where he discussed this subject as it relates to what keeps us healthy and tests that are done on drugs to convince the public that we should buy them by the millions. Like most TED talks, well worth watching.
Certainly food for thought.
Ben touched on one item that is very often ignored: quoting Authority proves nothing. If someone says that an expert said something was true, without the reasons why, without the evidence, it means nothing. Quoting authority is one of the worst forms of arguing. Makes me think of the Bible - supposedly backed by the word of God. Unless there is evidence to back what is said, it means nothing.