January 19, 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.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"