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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Pseudoscience on Main pages as science news  |  Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:55 pm
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So I was logging into my yahoo account today and decided to see what news they were reporting. I found a headline about "The Riddle of the Sphinx and its Controversial Answer,"Figuring that it was more pseudoscience drivel I clicked on it and was not disappointed. It was about Robert Schoch's views on the Sphinx and how it's way older.
Link to the article:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/923847-the-riddle-of-the-sphinx-and-its-controversial-answer/

I'm putting this in science news not pseudoscience because this actually represents a serious issue about science news. The fact that major websites are distracting people with pseudoscience and fringe theories passing if off as actual science, instead of presenting them with real science.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Pseudoscience on Main pages as science news  |  Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:35 am
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This trend isn't limited to science articles. These sites gain revenue through ads and ads pay more as more people click into the article so they write click bait titles... Be damned with accuracy and educating people about reality. This is about reaching the most people possible through a focus on the lowest common denominator.

This really isn't much different than links with titles like "You'll never believe these bikini fails" or "Which Game of Thrones character are you?"

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Pseudoscience on Main pages as science news  |  Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:18 pm
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iNow wrote:
This trend isn't limited to science articles. These sites gain revenue through ads and ads pay more as more people click into the article so they write click bait titles... Be damned with accuracy and educating people about reality. This is about reaching the most people possible through a focus on the lowest common denominator.


I agree that it is click bait. My main point is that they publish this nonsense alongside articles about actual science. So It's not the usual click bait where everything is rubbish. By putting it next to articles on actual science, it gives the pseudoscience a sort of contact validity. This to me is much more damning than the usual "Bigfoot caught on camera," "Proof of ghosts in the White House," type of click bait that preys on peoples desperate want to believe in these sorts of things. I know that there is no pseudoscience conspiracy or anything, this is just a case of running old debunked "science" news to fill a boring day where there wasn't anything new and exciting.

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"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson
"It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down" - Yagyu Munenori


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Pseudoscience on Main pages as science news  |  Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:32 pm
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It frustrates me, too. What I'm curious about is how much of it is due to a general apathy and lack of interest in science among the populace, and how much of that apathy is inherent versus how much has been trained or ingrained through years of biased coverage choices among editors and publishers. What is the nature and nurture of the general lack of interest?

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Pseudoscience on Main pages as science news  |  Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:08 pm
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Quote:
alconer360 wrote:
I know that there is no pseudoscience conspiracy or anything, this is just a case of running old debunked "science" news to fill a boring day where there wasn't anything new and exciting.


This kind of media coverage, with Science and pseudoscience sharing the same space does, in the minds of the undiscerning, grant pseudoscience an equal status to actual Science.

One thing that I find particularly frustrating is the lack of interest for Science among the general public - there is a kind of 'catch 22' situation going on, because the ability to fully appreciate the beauty and wonder of Nature, requires a certain level of education, but in order to invest time and effort in that education the public understandably ask for a reason/motivation first.

It reminds me of Feynman's comments on appreciating the beauty of a flower - the superficial/immediate beauty is obvious and available to all observers; the beauty that comes with the deeper complexities (evolutionary considerations, the flower in its ecological context, the cellular and molecular workings of the flower) requires a priming of consciousness that most laymen cannot be bothered to invest in, so they only ever get to appreciate one level of beauty.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Pseudoscience on Main pages as science news  |  Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:38 pm
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iNow wrote:
It frustrates me, too. What I'm curious about is how much of it is due to a general apathy and lack of interest in science among the populace, and how much of that apathy is inherent versus how much has been trained or ingrained through years of biased coverage choices among editors and publishers. What is the nature and nurture of the general lack of interest?


That would would be an interesting study to do. I think that the training or ingraining of it over the years is the biggest cause. I think lack of interest would play a smaller part. But that is my opinion. From what I've seen, most people I know are interested in genuine science, they just do not know where to go for reliable science news or cannot find reliable science news wrote in laymen terms.

Rory wrote:
This kind of media coverage, with Science and pseudoscience sharing the same space does, in the minds of the undiscerning, grant pseudoscience an equal status to actual Science.


Exactly! By seeing the two side by side all the time, they think that both are equal. I think that is why some of the crackpot theories (AAH, Flat Earth, Atlantis, etc) still persist so strongly.

Rory wrote:
One thing that I find particularly frustrating is the lack of interest for Science among the general public - there is a kind of 'catch 22' situation going on, because the ability to fully appreciate the beauty and wonder of Nature, requires a certain level of education, but in order to invest time and effort in that education the public understandably ask for a reason/motivation first.


I agree that a lack of education is a major contributor to the lack of interest for science. However, I think if there were more reliable sources of good science news that had everything explained in laymen terms, then I think we would see an increase in interest. In ways this has started to happen, ie: the Facebook page and website I Fucking Love Science has 18 million fans, whether you love or hate this page is besides the point. It provides bite sized bits of mostly scientific news wrote in ways that everyone can comprehend. The rate at which IFLS has grown shows that people are still interested in science, they just want it convenient and easy to read/watch.

Now there is a movement in the US (and other parts of the world but the US is the worst I think) that is very anti-science, led by Christian fundamentalists, otherwise known as Creationists. They not only encourage the lack of interest in science but the condemnation of it. This is the really worrisome group for me, seeing as how they seem to be increasing in numbers.

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"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson
"It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down" - Yagyu Munenori


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vanyoo2011
Post  Post subject: Re: Pseudoscience on Main pages as science news  |  Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:48 am

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And educated and uneducated people choose what news to read, using the same mechanism - they trust the source of the news. The varying degrees of competence leads to a different trust.
My competence directs me to read sites like: 3 LINKS REMOVED BY MOD but for others the same sources would be pseudosnews and for other people - too hard news.
This convention could be reduced by artificial algorithms to determine the credibility of a news. Many specialists working on this problem and I think soon, sites like Google will introduce to users this option.


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