March 25, 2019

The Biggest Junk Science of 2018

“Science is essentially the search for and recognition of reality. Each year, there are those who ignore this endeavor entirely, preferring fictitious narratives to concrete truths. There are also those who willfully deny fact for their own gain. Both groups of people can do real harm by flouting the truth, and so, at the closing of the year, we highlight their most egregious missteps over the preceding twelve months. In highlighting these junk science stories, it is our hope that they won’t be replicated.

10. Doctor Oz Endorses Astrology. Celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz is a quack doctor, plain and simple. Once a respected surgeon, he left behind his legitimacy long ago by touting questionable health advice, bogus cures, and weight loss “miracles” on his popular daytime television show. This summer, he fell even further down the rabbit hole by tweeting an endorsement of astrology. Astrology, not to be confused with astronomy, suggests that the positions of celestial objects affect the fortunes of people and outcome of events here on Earth. Though patently ridiculous, the pseudoscience has still been tested and – unsurprisingly – been found to be completely bogus. But bogus is good enough for Doctor Oz, it seems.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"China’s Hydrogen economy Is coming: The world’s electric-vehicle king is seeking leadership in fuel cells, too. Investors are probably right to be excited."

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"Netanyahu has brazenly allied himself with Trump’s Administration and his family (including the cryptic peace negotiator, Jared Kushner, whose family he has known for years), as well as with the Republican Party and Republican funders..."

"Us is stranger than Get Out, with deeper philosophical undercurrents flowing through it. The rabbit that greets you at the movie’s start is an invitation. Will you follow, like Alice in her Wonderland?"

"Democrats and Republicans seem to have irreconcilable views on economics, but on one point they agree: Small business is better than big."

"Sanctuary, a digital astrology start-up backed by $1.5 million in venture capital, made the considered decision to launch its service on Wednesday — the dawn of the new astrological year, when Pisces gives way to Aries in the astral cycle."

"It is a Vessel for the depths of architectural cynicism, of form without ideology and without substance: an architectural practice that puts the commodifiable image above all else, including the social good..."

"Apartment Therapy posted a photo to Instagram of a bookshelf with the spines facing inward, and the dramatic response — dozens of users denouncing the trend as anti-intellectual, even comparing it to book-burning ..."

"Perhaps it is time to add parenting to the growing list of “replacement religions” competing for our attention and currency these days, a list that already includes workism and politics."

"Only a fraction of the world’s yeast species have been discovered. The ones still out there could revolutionize health care, green energy, and beer."

"We’ve recently fixated on expunging “fake news” but the medical world also has its charlatans. The snake-oil salespeople, masquerading as health professionals, are naturopaths."

"...should we continue to teach thinkers like Kant, Voltaire and Hume without mention of the harmful prejudices they helped legitimize?"