Communications expert explains how science should respond to fake news

February 18, 2017 by Kelly April Tyrrell
Credit: George Hodan/Public Domain

The rise of fake news has dominated the world of politics since the last U.S. election cycle. But fake news is not at all new in the world of science, notes University of Wisconsin-Madison Life Sciences Communication Professor Dominique Brossard.

"Fake news about science has always existed," she says. "What has changed now is social media and the potential to disseminate this kind of news much faster among social networks."

Addressing scientists today (Feb. 18, 2017) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Brossard discussed the fake news phenomenon in the context of science and like Facebook and Twitter. She joined moderator Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press and speakers Julie Coiro of the University of Rhode Island and Dan Kahan of Yale Law School.

Fake news, Brossard says, is produced using false information, with the goal of sharing it as real news to influence people. However, "in the context of science, I think this is much murkier and unclear."

She recalled an unpublished study she conducted while a graduate student at Cornell University in which she examined science coverage of the supermarket tabloid Weekly World News. The black and white magazine reported on "strange news," like 30-pound newborns, giant insects and alien abductions. Most of it was made up. But some stories, Brossard says, were based on odd-but-true science. It was a way of enticing readers who were not always certain what was real and what was not.

"We've always had things that can be called inaccurate," she says. "The problem in the science realm is deciding where is the line between bad science reporting and fake news."

For instance, is a news story that says caffeine might cure cancer, based on a study of just 10 people, fake news or is the study just poorly reported?

Unlike other kinds of fake news, inaccurate often spreads through social networks because it sometimes offers hope, Brossard says. People will share stories that fit what they want to believe, like a new treatment might cure a loved one's Alzheimer's disease.

"Journalists are not all well-trained to assess the validity of a study," she says. "They are trying to find the human interest and the hope—a headline like: 'New study brings hope to families with Alzheimer's.'"

Efforts like those of Facebook, which added an option to report fake news, are not going to solve the problem for science, Brossard says. "It may not be a fake story but just bad reporting. Maybe it's not a great scientific study, although I bet if you read the study they mention the limitations."

So, what is the answer?

Brossard offers three paths toward better science communication and less inaccuracy in science news.

"As scientists, we need to actually know what we're doing with respect to communicating science and break the echo chambers as much as we can," she says, explaining that shows simply offering "more facts" to people will not change minds. In fact, it can cause people to double down on their beliefs. Rather, she says, scientists need to find common ground with others, including nonscientists.

As part of this, she suggests scientists need to take responsibility for communicating science by being willing to talk to and work with journalists, to help explain and contextualize their work.

"We need to train scientists themselves to talk about their results and scientists need to be out there," she says. "If we don't, the reporter is going to call someone else. It's our responsibility to make sure fake news or bad reporting is not disseminating."

Second, agencies and institutions must do a better job of what Brossard calls "quality or brand control." She uses Coca-Cola as an example. The company monitors news around the world and flags any media in which it is mentioned, looks at related conversations taking place on and launches damage control whenever necessary. Institutions and agencies should be doing this with their science and act when studies are misinterpreted, she says, though there is currently no systematic way to do this.

Third, Google and other search engines should remove retracted studies from search results, Brossard says. For instance, Andrew Wakefield's falsified and discredited study in 1998 fraudulently linking autism and vaccines is still available, though online it is marked as retracted. This does not always matter to the mother or father concerned about the health of their child.

"If I tell you that 87 percent of scientists believe there is no link because the evidence shows that, but then there is this one study, many parents will say: 'I'm not going to take the risk. I'm going to believe that one,'" Brossard says. "It's not that people don't trust science, it's that they are going to use science that fits their beliefs."

While efforts like medical writer and journalism instructor Ivan Oransky's blog Retraction Watch—which roots out retractions and cases of fraud among scientific publications—have been instrumental in bringing attention to inaccurate or false studies, Brossard says bad studies might still resurface and Retraction Watch can't catch everything, although they now report between 500 and 600 retractions a year.

"Social media has played a big role," Brossard says. "It's a way for people that share a set of beliefs to be assured they're not alone."

Which is why, she says, it's important to get science news right from the start.

"There is not a clear dichotomy between and real news," she says. "Scientists should engage in communicating their work and realize it's not 'us versus them, the public.' They need to be aware of the consequences of what they say and take into account what we know about communication. They shouldn't shy away."

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55 comments

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ab3a
4.3 / 5 (3) Feb 18, 2017
The problem with any news validation effort is that it can be abused. Controversial subjects with political implications can get squelched.

I would rather make up my own mind over what sources or memes of science are valid than have someone do it for me. The speed of social media excuse is not new. They said that about newspapers, radio, and television, each with a shorter and shorter attention span. I'm not buying the excuse that we should do this because social media exists.
PhysicsMatter
4.5 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2017
I was surprised that the idea of fake news was not elaborated more as scientific inquiry would have required.

"Fake news, Brossard says, is produced using false information, ... However, "in the context of science, I think this is much murkier and unclear." Of course.

What is the false information? If two different studies result in conflicting conclusion it just may mean that the theory that was applied to devise and interpret experiment produced inconsistent results. It just may mean that we need more studies to validate or reject one vs. another or it may be even be that we are dealing with two different approaches to the same problem like wave particle dualism produces results with conflicting interpretations.

So calling one study fake and another real especially by a journalists is just a killer of the scientific inquiry and not eradication of con-science and fake news produced by it.

https://contraria...science/
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Feb 18, 2017
I learned long ago to never trust the person who tells you what you want to believe.

We must do the same with information in science.
Bart_A
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 18, 2017
Science would be better respected if there was less politicization.

And for example, the continual false claim tha that "98% of all scientists believe in global warming" is like crying wolf. Pretty soon people with their right minds will realize that there is another hidden agenda.

http://www.forbes...5381690d

Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 19, 2017
For instance, is a news story that says caffeine might cure cancer, based on a study of just 10 people, fake news or is the study just poorly reported?
actually, wouldn't that example be considered really bad science?

a medical study on only ten people? what about the control group? are they in the 10, or is that an additional 10?

is this something to test or make note of data for a possible future study? that example is not a very good one, IMHO

that is also something that isn't taught in school to the general public - what constitutes a valid study

i mean... this changes depending on the field anyway

it's bad enough the human biology and medicine is so complex ... it's why so many people fall for pseudoscience or quackery in medicine
antialias_physorg
3.8 / 5 (13) Feb 19, 2017
Science would be better respected if there was less politicization

You should then disrespect those who do the politicizing...and if you hadn't noticed: it ain't the scientists who did the politicizing but the right wing politicians.

And for example, the continual false claim tha that "98% of all scientists believe in global warming" is like crying wolf.

Ya know: THIS statement is exactly the kind of opinion based nonsense you are crying about in your first sentence.
Because - hold on to your hats - it isn't a false statement. It's based on actual survey DATA (i.e. it's science)

So you managed to contradict yourself in the space of two sentences - as well as further comitting the crime you are espousing as the main problem

Bravo.

*slow clap*

Eikka
4.5 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2017
You should then disrespect those who do the politicizing...and if you hadn't noticed: it ain't the scientists who did the politicizing but the right wing politicians.


And the left wing politicians, and the centrists, and pretty much anybody who tries to claim support for their ideology in science.

For example, when a left wing politician proposes that cities should discourage private ownership of vehicles in favor of public transportation, or shared autonomous vehicles etc. they know people won't do it voluntarily because people like having the control and freedom of their own transportation - so they appeal to things like air pollution, road congestion, climate change, to support the re-shaping of the social infrastructure to be more in line with the collectivism they want.

So then they appeal to scientific studies to say "You have a problem, and here's what it is, and this is why it makes sense for you to voluntarily give up this freedom."
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2017
Because - hold on to your hats - it isn't a false statement. It's based on actual survey DATA (i.e. it's science)


It's still disingenuous, because the scientists in question aren't in agreement over what climate change means.

I've said it before and I say it again: the "consensus" includes even those researchers who are doing bunk science, yet agree that man is causing climate change. The consesus argument drafts even all the wrong theories and discredited research to count its support, which is patently crank science.

It is like a bunch of theists banding together saying "We have consensus: God exists. We just haven't decided which god it is." - well, knowing which one it is is WAY more important because that's what actually determines whether you're going to hell.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2017
If anything really describes fake news, it's the climate consensus.

Suppose we ask antialias_physorg whether he thinks it's wrong to cross the street when the red light is on. Most people would agree, yes, it is wrong - for various reasons. And so what?

Well the important bit comes when we appeal to all the people saying so to support the argument that everyone crossing the street on red light should be hanged. "99% of people agree: jaywalking is wrong. Jaywalking kills babies! Death to babykillers!". Well if you went back to A-A now, he would say "No! That's not what I agreed with!" - but it's too late - that's not the question anymore.

That's how populist propaganda works. It takes a common opinion and spins it to support a "truth" that the people never agreed with. The idea is that people will over time start to accept the new idea as it gets repeated to them.
xponen
2 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2017
I predict the future of science communication as being full of noises... of constant yelling and argument between scientist and non-scientist in social media, like it is now with mainstream media versus the white house calling each other out in non-stop battle for 30 days straight.

I wish a better future and stop this nightmare. Also, please prevent this nightmare for science communication. I get it, right now scientist is old school & had no time, but the future is the young and energetic scientist with tendency toward social engagement.

We need a solution now.
Bart_A
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2017
Anti, you are spreading more fake news by claiming that all politicizing happens by right wing politicians. Nothing could be further from the truth. And yet you make a statement that you can't prove. It is the epitome of fake news.

Why even bother with responding to the rest of your opinion?

TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2017
Like most anything else, youve got to take humans out of the mix. If you want true objectivity you have to create machines to do it.

"... scientists need to take responsibility for communicating science "

-Nonsense. Scientists are trained to communicate with other scientists, not with people who have no idea what tgeyrr talking about to begin with.

We now have the internet which has given us wiki. Wiki or something similar can be used to corroberate. But humans are incapable of corroberating objectively. We will need an AI to do this for us.
I learned long ago to never trust the person who tells you what you want to believe
-says the psychopath. THIS is the enemy. THIS is why we need protection as never before, from recreational liars and people who use the internet to make up their own facts for fun and profit.

Because of game theory, they have the advantage over honest people. Only instant cross-referencing and fact-checking can eradicate them.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2017
"they act based solely on a sort of Game Theory evaluation of a situation: what will they get out of it, and what will it cost? And these "costs" have nothing to do with being humiliated, causing pain, sabotaging the future, or any of the other possibilities that normal people consider when making a choice. In short, it is almost impossible for normal people to even imagine the inner life of the psychopath."

"this is why they are so good at using Game Theory. And unless we learn the rules of how they think, they will continue to use it on us with devastating results."

-Many of us have experienced it here, have gone to great lengths to disprove a lie and confront the liar with it in the mistaken belief that their exposure will somehow compel them to change.

But the process itself is what motivates the psychopath. When he provokes us and causes us to waste our time, HE wins.

HR depts were created to weed these people out of corporations. Society deserves the same.
richdiggins
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2017
On the topic of "fake news" ... I noticed an interesting trend when I typed fake news into google ngram.
https://books.goo...end=2000

There seems to be periodic use of the phrase "fake news" throughout modern history. Now, I won't go as far as to claim correlation = causation. ... however there does seem to be grouping around the major historical war dates.

On the topic of Game Theory;
I have read a bit of evolutionary psychology, the common thread being that we have evolved from our ancestors with certain traits strengthened over time.

The manipulation and deception of another human is just such a trait that has been perfected over the millennia.

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2017
Communications expert explains how science should respond to fake news

Science has responded by creating it's own fake news for decades now. Just as the vaccinators claim that it's the vaccines which are responsible for the eradication of many diseases. The facts are clear on this, nearly all of the evidence points to the fact that the reduction of disease rates for the major vaccination diseases decreased BEFORE the release of many of the relevant vaccines and that the release of those vaccines have then "stabilized" and/or increased the rates of related diseases. This would indicate that sanitation/dietary/modernization methods are more important to the eradication of these diseases rather than vaccination. This is not what the fake science news would tell you with their systematic methods of revisionist history.
gkam
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2017
No, cantdrive, scientists do not have your ethics. They live in a much more structured and ordered world, with the need for proof, not just blabber.
tblakely1357
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2017
I find it ironic that the main purveyors of 'fake' news are the ones making the most noise about it. The last election cycle was one long exercise in 'fake' news by much of the mainstream newsies to get their preferred candidate elected. It failed spectacularly so now they're using the 'Squirrel!' defense to deflect attention from their own failings.
gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2017
Our Republicans, the ones responsible for the Bush Wars and the Great Republican Economic Meltdown, have been exposed as Stooges of Putin.

Where is Senator Joe McCarthy now that we need him?

Where is the FBI???
richdiggins
3 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2017
Senator Joe McCarthy would have had a field day with all of the socialists protesting in the us after the elections.

Russia is not communist. China is communist though.

Speaking of the Bush(s), To see that the 'left' wanted to continue the dynastic control of political power was disgusting. To think that your poster child for sociopolitical success was a bat-shit crazy former first lady is just hilarious.

gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2017
"WMD! was fake news, wasn't it?

Who fell for it? Not me, having already been in one war.

Next time, you go.
richdiggins
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2017
Of course, the government has lied to us since its inception.

Humans have been using manipulation and deception since the dawn of the walking ape.

It takes little imagination to suppose that some humanoid manipulated food, shelter, perhaps other resources, from another humanoid on the plains of the serengeti at the human epoch. The concept of fake news and fake information is therefor as old as our timeline.

Unfortunately, It does seem to be a far fetched notion to suppose that somehow humans could all evolve past the use of manipulation and deception into a new golden era of knowledge and resources. That would be something noteworthy, a human accomplishment.
cantdrive85
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2017
"WMD! was fake news, wasn't it?

Who fell for it? Not me, having already been in one war.

Next time, you go.

The Russians hacked us!
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2017
Humans... manipulation and deception... walking ape
Tribalism was the norm on the serengeti. Humans formed tribes for protection and to secure resources. The tribes with better internal cohesion and trust in conjunction with external animosity would win out over others.

So we were selected for the tribal dynamic, ie internal amity in conjunction with external animosity.

'All of war is deception' sun tsu

Crimes that are punished severely within the tribe are encouraged and rewarded against outsiders. They are often used as a right of passage.

The psychopath in contrast acts as a tribe of one. Cold, heartless tribal actions against outsiders resembles that of the psychopath. But while they are normal healthy individuals, the psychopath is a mental defective who was born without feelings and without conscience.

Fake news is created by both of them. The tribal perception can be replaced with the universal tribe; but there is no treatment that will fix a psychopath.
richdiggins
5 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2017
The 48 Laws of power ...
Law #3 , "Conceal your intentions"
Law #7, "Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit"
Law #12, "Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim"
Law #17, "Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability"
And the list goes on.

In our advanced society, How is there not a square meter on this earth where a human can live in peace without other humans with weapons, manipulation, and deception posed to usher those that dare be free.
richdiggins
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2017
With regards to Tribalism;

Is not the sole benefactor of the tribes success truly the ruling class?

To know that we kill and enslave the members of the other tribe, for the benefit of the ruling class and to know that this has been going on since tribalism was created ... Makes me question the point to human civilization.

The native americans had fairly large populations in some areas, and it was documented that they were great stewards of the land.

Perhaps humans have lost sight of the true path in our pursuit of greatness.

Now, having lost that knowledge. We turn on, tune in,an drop out.

Is our fate ... our great accomplishment, to infect the heavens with our insanity?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2017
Is not the sole benefactor of the tribes success truly the ruling class?
No its the tribe itself. Weak tribes have been consistently destroyed, their males killed, their females incorporated. This is called group selection.

You perceive the 'ruling class' as a separate tribe, which they are. Hence your irrational animosity. Its genetic.

Trust among members and trust in leadership is why they survive.
To know that we kill and enslave the members of the other tribe
-because if we didnt they would kill and enslave us.
The native americans had fairly large populations in some areas, and it was documented that they were great stewards of the land
This is fake news (propaganda). Amerinds regularly fought. They did have ways of limiting growth such as infanticide which reduced violence and ecological burden. Today we do this prenatally.

They also burned vast swaths of land for crops and buffalo. The mississippians built pyramids. Etc.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2017
Is our fate ... our great accomplishment, to infect the heavens with our insanity?
Our technology gave us chronic overpopulation. Overpopulation gave us tribalism. The exegencies of the tribe made our brains grow, made us human.

The tribe also domesticated us. Domesticated animals can be considered in some ways functionally insane because they surrender natural behaviors like repro rights and freedom in order to conform.

With humanity this insanity was exacerbated by religions which enhanced the tribal dynamic for the purposes of outgrowing and overrunning. Religions selected for martyrdom and for the ability to forego reason and believe in nonsense; nonconformists were systematically culled.

This increased both our insanity and our dependability.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (9) Feb 19, 2017
And yet you make a statement that you can't prove. It is the epitome of fake news.

Nope. No fake news.
http://www.pnas.o...abstract
I tend to make sure I can back up my statements with facts. How 'bout you?

Why even bother with responding to the rest of your opinion?

Lemme guess: Because you have nothing to back up any respose with? And are afraid of making yourself look more of a fool than ever?

Let's see you present hard data. Go on. We're all waiting. This should be fun to watch
(I predict a weasel-maneouver or a cop-out)
RealityCheck
4 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2017
Hi cantdrive. :)
...reduction of disease rates for the major vaccination diseases decreased BEFORE the release of many of the relevant vaccines and that the release of those vaccines have then "stabilized" and/or increased the rates of related diseases. This would indicate that sanitation/dietary/modernization methods are more important to the eradication of these diseases rather than vaccination.
You seem to have conflated 'Vitamin Deficiency' related diseases with 'Insect/Parasitic-Vector' transmitted diseases. Also, the mass vaccinations against Influenza, Polio, etc etc were life-saving to millions/generations.

Naturally, better sanitation/diet helped resistance/recovery in 'marginal' cases, but vast majority infected would have died if they hadn't been vaccinated.

Choose your 'battles' more carefully, mate; and 'lose' that obvious politico-religious propaganda 'fake news' spiel; it rings hollow against actual history/efficacy of mass vaccinations. Good luck. s
baudrunner
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2017
In our advanced society, How is there not a square meter on this earth where a human can live in peace without other humans with weapons, manipulation, and deception posed to usher those that dare be free.


Sentience is that which recognizes that it is different from other thats. That which begat the universe is also that which begat sentience, ergo: there is no possibility of a state of purity wherein there is no difference.

Can't we all just get along? Probably not ever.
Benni
1 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2017
How many of those claiming to be ones who expose FAKE NEWS are in fact promoting FAKE NEWS?

Fake News is becoming mainstream journalism in many cycles of world news that extends beyond political discourse. It has infected SCIENCE so deeply that there exists claims of SETTLED SCIENCE so outlandish that even cause members of the Flat Earth Society to blush.

At least the Flat Earth Society knows their claims are falsifiable, but many who promote fake science don't even care how easily falsifiable their SETTLED SCIENCE is, they get paid by some block grant to push it & don't stop until the money dries up.
Bart_A
1 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2017
Nope. No fake news.


Anti, so funny. You didn't even address the issue I brought up
So much for you presenting hard data!

You are a weasel yourself. :)

richdiggins
1 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2017
The tribe also domesticated us. Domesticated animals can be considered in some ways functionally insane because they surrender natural behaviors like repro rights and freedom in order to conform.

With humanity this insanity was exacerbated by religions which enhanced the tribal dynamic for the purposes of outgrowing and overrunning. Religions selected for martyrdom and for the ability to forego reason and believe in nonsense; nonconformists were systematically culled.

This increased both our insanity and our dependability.

I have never given this angle much thought. A very interesting point.

Sentience is that which recognizes that it is different from other thats. That which begat the universe is also that which begat sentience, ergo: there is no possibility of a state of purity wherein there is no difference.


And thus the human condition, our destiny to be at odds with ourselves and everything around us.
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2017
Is our fate ... our great accomplishment, to infect the heavens with our insanity?
Our technology gave us chronic overpopulation. Overpopulation gave us tribalism. The exegencies of the tribe made our brains grow, made us human.

The tribe also domesticated us. Domesticated animals can be considered in some ways functionally insane because they surrender natural behaviors like repro rights and freedom in order to conform.

With humanity this insanity was exacerbated by religions which enhanced the tribal dynamic for the purposes of outgrowing and overrunning. Religions selected for martyrdom and for the ability to forego reason and believe in nonsense; nonconformists were systematically culled.

This increased both our insanity and our dependability.

You just explained how evolution functions...:-)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2017
You just explained how evolution functions...:-)
No, i just explained how husbandry works. :P

Oop forgot the little nose :-P

Humans stopped evolving long before dogs stopped evolving.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 20, 2017
Anti, so funny. You didn't even address the issue I brought up

What are you babbeling about? I gave a link that addressed the exact issue you mentioned.

If you want a link as to party affiliation and science/climate denial: here you go:
http://www.pewres...tanding/

If you have trouble reading the graphs I'm sure we can help.

So..are you gonna stop ducking and weaving, or are you gonna caugh up with a substantiated statement?
Benni
1 / 5 (3) Feb 20, 2017
Nope. No fake news.
http://www.pnas.o...abstract
I tend to make sure I can back up my statements with facts. How 'bout you?


Everything you post in this chatroom is FAKE. You're a Perpetual Motion fanatic & it is so obvious anytime you try to engage in discussions with regards to anything in the Physical Sciences.

Your preposterous claim to "back up my statements with facts" is simply parroting Pop-Sci culture news you see in their news releases for that day, week, or month, or for that matter even for decades because it just sounds so damn cool to regurgitate the claims made for what is Settled Science.
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2017
You just explained how evolution functions...:-)
No, i just explained how husbandry works. :P

Oop forgot the little nose :-P

Humans stopped evolving long before dogs stopped evolving.

Evolution doesn't always mean for the better...
thingumbobesquire
2 / 5 (4) Feb 20, 2017
The irony is that the crowning glory of "science" these days is string theory. Itself a hopelessly unprovable theory tantamount to gobbledygook. I.e.: fake.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2017
Evolution doesn't always mean for the better...
And in our case the word doesnt apply. We have been unnaturally selected for our ability to forego our natural instincts in favor of conformance to tribal law. Those who werent able to conform were culled.

We have been bred for our fighting skills and our ability to perform tricks on command.

We are domesticated. Natural selection for humans has moved to the group level.
antialias_physorg
3.9 / 5 (7) Feb 20, 2017
The irony is that the crowning glory of "science" these days is string theory.

Wherever did you get that idea about 'crowning glory' (what does that even mean with regards to science?). It is a theory. Among many others. It may be right, it may turn out to be wrong. That's how science works. You never know until you have something testable.

I.e.: fake.

What does 'fake science' even mean? I swear you make less and less sense each post.

Just because someone has a theory doesn't automatically mean it's correct. String theory seems promising in some regards. That *still* doesn't mean it's correct (it also doesn't mean it's wrong). It just means it's worthwhile to work on it and see if someone can extract a prediction from it that can be tested.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2017
Let's see you present hard data. Go on. We're all waiting. This should be fun to watch
No youre not. Youve consistently ignored data that proves you wrong.

Trump was referring to islamic crime as cultural terrorism which can happen on any particular evening. Sweden has become the rape capital of the world.
https://theconser...capital/
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2017
Evolution doesn't always mean for the better...
And in our case the word doesnt apply. We have been unnaturally selected for our ability to forego our natural instincts in favor of conformance to tribal law. Those who werent able to conform were culled.

We have been bred for our fighting skills and our ability to perform tricks on command.

We are domesticated. Natural selection for humans has moved to the group level.

Still an environment driving it. It's just, "We, the people" now condition the environment...
How do you suppose eukarytes evolved...?
Cooperation of multiple single cells... Those that didn't conform, didn't survive.
richdiggins
4 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2017
You just explained how evolution functions...:-)
No, i just explained how husbandry works. :P

Oop forgot the little nose :-P


You guys crack me up. I saw no explanation, and you seem to have missed my point.

Getting to the root the the problem. Fake news is as old as we are. As I pointed out with google ngrams, even the phrase "fake news" has been around for hundreds of years or longer.

We are living in the misinformation age. There are systems in place older than our combined age, built to deceive us all. And, deception itself most likely predates humanity.

Evolution doesn't always mean for the better...


The notion that humanity will somehow evolve past our faults, the very same faults that define us, is to say we would become something else entirely.

Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 21, 2017
At least the Flat Earth Society knows their claims are falsifiable, but many who promote fake science don't even care how easily falsifiable their SETTLED SCIENCE is, they get paid by some block grant to push it & don't stop until the money dries up.

It's called the "Baffle 'Em with BS" method (of control). Used by those not able to discern what even the term "fake" means, shouting it louder and louder as they themselves become more overwhelmed by their own BS...
Retribution is sweet...
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2017
You guys crack me up. I saw no explanation, and you seem to have missed my point.

Your right - he analogized it. In it's simplest form it is a complex system, which are in turn a collection of other complex systems, that functions like all others, regardless of the constituent parts.
Getting to the root the the problem. Fake news is as old as we are. As I pointed out with google ngrams, even the phrase "fake news" has been around for hundreds of years or longer.

Longer. And it, too, falls under the "complex system" metaphor.
We are living in the misinformation age. ... And, deception itself most likely predates humanity.

You're not just sayin' that, are ya?
The notion that humanity will somehow evolve past our faults, the very same faults that define us, is to say we would become something else entirely.

Which is the point, n'est pas?
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2017
@Eikka seems to have given up on pretending to be sitting on the fence.

I figured.
yep
5 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2017
For example, when a left wing politician proposes that cities should discourage private ownership of vehicles in favor of public transportation, or shared autonomous vehicles etc. they know people won't do it voluntarily because people like having the control and freedom of their own transportation - so they appeal to things like air pollution, road congestion, climate change, to support the re-shaping of the social infrastructure to be more in line with the collectivism they want.
So then they appeal to scientific studies to say "You have a problem, and here's what it is, and this is why it makes sense for you to voluntarily give up this freedom."

General Motors, Mack Trucks, Firestone, purchased and dismantled public transit in forty eight major cities in the United States that is why we have shit for public transit ("re-shaping of the social infrastructure") these corporations have sold you on the idea it was because of Freedom!
Left or Right is bread and circus.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2017
Still an environment driving it. It's just, "We, the people" now condition the environment...
No youre reverting to the old natural vs artificial argument. Artificial involves intelligent design.

There is nothing natural about a wienerdog. There is nothing natural about being willing to kill someone youve never met and have no personal grudge against.

There is nothing natural about surrendering your repro rights just because of class status.

There is nothing natural about KNOWING for sure that a non-existent god exists just because you are a product of 500 gens of ancestors who only survived because they were able to believe it.

Breeding is not evolution.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2017
Still an environment driving it. It's just, "We, the people" now condition the environment...
-And what youre referring to is group selection which IS natural.
https://en.wikipe...election

-Humans devised methods of winning at the group level. Religion was a major revelation. It was conceived artificially and improved artificially through lessons learned.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2017
No youre reverting to the old natural vs artificial argument. Artificial involves intelligent design.

So, birds "designed" the flock? Buffalo "designed" the herd? Wolves "designed" the pack?
There is nothing natural about a wienerdog.

Which is why the German's will never win an Iditarod.
There is nothing natural about being willing to kill someone youve never met and have no personal grudge against.

Survival is THE most natural. If threatened by that "someone".
There is nothing natural about surrendering your repro rights just because of class status.

If it's for the survival of the "pack", it is.
Breeding is not evolution.

But, it is. As a group survival mechanism. Which boils down to individual survival via risk reduction.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2017
Survival is THE most natural. If threatened by that "someone"
How was the average GI enlistee threatened personally by the average viet cong?
If it's for the survival of the "pack", it is
Tribes are not packs. Yurts are not beaver dens. Again you need to accept the distinction between natural and artificial. It is an important and necessary one.

The pack leader is not trying to convince his pack that the cathars a few hundred miles away need to be exterminated. Wolves all understand the need to hunt food and defend their territory. Dogs do not need to understand why they need to do backflips on command.

Humans do not need to understand why it is imperative to cut off the heads of infidels or throw heretics in the moat to see if god wants them back or not. Or even to shun the son who refuses to be baptized.

No self-respecting wolf would be involved in those sorts of behaviors.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Feb 22, 2017
There is nothing natural about a wienerdog.

Which is why the German's will never win an Iditarod.

Depending on how far climate change progresses - you never know.
Don't knock german 'engineering'. Maybe it's just a long-term strategy ;)

Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Feb 22, 2017
How was the average GI enlistee threatened ...by ...viet cong?

He was being shot AT...
Why he was there in the 1st place is the artificial part.
If it's for the survival of the "pack", it is
Tribes are not packs.

Okay. Long term resource management. Better?
Again you need to accept the distinction between natural and artificial.

Oh, I know it.
Wolves all understand the need to hunt food and defend their territory.
Dogs do not need to understand why they need to do backflips. Humans do not need to understand why it is imperative to cut off the heads of infidels or throw heretics in the moat to see if god wants them back or not.
No self-respecting wolf would be involved in those sorts of behaviors.

Irony noted.

Shoulda been born a wolf...
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Feb 23, 2017
There is nothing natural about a wienerdog.

Which is why the German's will never win an Iditarod.

Depending on how far climate change progresses - you never know.
Don't knock german 'engineering'. Maybe it's just a long-term strategy ;)

Strategy for what - really low ceilings? Tunnels, maybe?
However, German's are planners. Wife is German, and she plans like crazy. She doesn't sweat the small stuff - that's my job...
Hell, you'd think I was Swiss or somethin'....

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