Some science released to the news or promoted by government is not true science at all, but consists of poor results released too soon, or results generated to please someone, rather than present the truth. Here is a list of some of the ulterior motives and other effects behind the bad science:
Here are some useful tricks for recognizing bad science
Here are the principles needed for spotting bad reasoning
A. CYCLAMATES - The ban on this artificial sweetener was entirely precipitated by falsified research done by a student working to get a degree on time after his lab animals were accidentally killed. The government pounced quickly, without getting any verification from a duplicate study.
Now cyclamates are legal again, but no manufacturer will touch them. Their liability policies forbid use of cyclamates. To detect and prevent such errors in the future, verification should be obtained from at least three independent groups, with no occurrences of failure to verify, before generally publishing ANY results.
The press should also be prohibited from releasing preliminary results to the public.
B. SALT - There is evidence that reducing salt intake will prevent a heart attack in patients who already have restricted arteries. It does this by thinning the blood, reducing the workload on the heart. But there is absolutely NO evidence of any beneficial effect of reducing salt intake if one does NOT have heart or artery disease. Instead, there are studies that show that reducing salt intake is harmful, if not outweighed by the reduced chance of heart attack in those WITH restricted arteries.
The idea that salt reduction will prevent heart disease is a belief (and nothing more) that if it is good in one case, it is good in all cases. This is like believing that if one aspirin helps, twenty would do more good. There is more science showing the existence of God than there is to support reducing salt intake.
Yet, there is a government agency dedicated to reducing the salt intake of all Americans. This seems to be a way to have a cushy job doing nothing at government expense. Of course, that agency has statistics ready to show the "disaster" that would occur if they are shut down -- all based on the belief that the theory is proven fact.
C. ACCELERATED TESTING - This works fine on metals and other simple inorganic systems. But with organic systems and living beings, it brings about inaccurate results. There is no evidence that the accelerated methods give accurate results concerning the effects of much lower exposures. As one scientist said, "I could feed a rat that much water and it would cause harmful effects!"
The practice of inbreeding laboratory animals to produce nearly identical test subjects also adds to the problem. It multiplies any defective genes and spreads them through the entire experimental population, increasing their susceptibility to substances. Why is government allowed to regulate based on such unproven outcomes?
D. MASS TRANSIT - Many environmentalists cite mass transit as the only way to solve traffic and pollution problems. Yet, when it is tried, not nearly enough people use it to justify its existence. The only time mass transit works well is when there is no place to leave a vehicle at one end of the run, and there are plenty of places at the other end.
Here are the main reasons mass transit fails:
The question to ask is: Is riding the transit (instead of driving) worth the waiting, the noise, the risk, the longer travel time, and the fare? The answer, in most cases, is no. Instead, the politicians should be concentrating on designs for roads that move traffic instead of stopping it. Most of the bottlenecks that cause traffic jams are the result of inadequate roads, caused by politics, preservationists, and environmentalists.
Good roads that carry more traffic and pollute less can be built. They are not built, because politicians are afraid of the unscientific nuts and special interests that inundate them every day.
The latest versions of this bad science use "light rail" instead of buses.
E. COLD FUSION - Many people still believe that this works, and that the government is covering it up. The fact is that there were impurities in the palladium that react chemically with water when heated. This reaction was documented in a safety manual the page author had years before the cold fusion announcement was made. It is listed as a sudden unexpected reaction.
The researchers involved published without verification. No other research facility has been able to duplicate the effects claimed by the original study, nor have they been reproduced at the original facility in the presence of witnesses.
F. LAETRILE, VITAMIN C MEGADOSING, AND ANTIOXIDANTS - Again, beliefs of special benefits with no hard proof. This is that faulty idea that "natural" substances are better than artificial ones, and have "curative powers." If this is so, what about poison ivy, asbestos, gravel, aspirin, and asphalt? Those are natural substances.
G. GLOBAL WARMING - Here is another case where government is acting on someone's belief, unsupported by fact. It is true that average temperatures seem to be creeping up over the centuries that man has measured temperature. It is also true that the difference is less than the accuracy of the crude early thermometers, and that we have not had an accurate standard until this century.
There is absolutely no causal connection, especially since volcanoes have contributed much more to the Earth's carbon dioxide than man has. In addition, since most temperature measurements are taken at airports, the sun shining on the paved runways affects the readings. But there are also claims being made that are quite false.
We now have evidence the sun is getting hotter. Global warming is being observed on Venus, Mars, Europa, and Titan.
See: Bad global warming science.
H. SPEED LIMIT - The gas saving of the 55 mi/hr speed limit is largely a myth. What really caused the saving in gas was the high price and lack of availability of gasoline. If the 55 limit saved gas, then why is the highway mileage rating much greater than the city rating for the same car? Those supporting the 55 limit used the following equation:
Power = Force x Velocity.
They did not understand what it meant. It is significant only while accelerating the car to the cruising velocity. The force exerted while keeping the car running at that speed is low, since the engine has to do nothing but overcome friction. The main value of this equation is to show that a small engine needs more time to accelerate a car to a given speed.
Here is a quiz for you: Which traffic feature wastes the most gas through one passage of a given vehicle through the feature?
Did you say the stop sign? You are right! They are listed in order of least wasteful to most wasteful. Here are the reasons why the order is the way it is:
Also, any speed limit below 45 mph causes many vehicles to use more fuel, because the automatic transmission is in a lower gear below 45 mph.
Note that the success of the hybrid vehicle is its ability to recover the braking energy wasted at stop signs and traffic signals.
To reduce fuel consumption and pollution, reduce the number of times a vehicle must slow down or stop. More interstate highways, fewer stop signs, fewer isolated traffic lights, and a reduction of two-way two-lane roads would greatly increase fuel economy, reduce pollution, and cut traffic deaths. Drivers should be educated too. I see some drivers use so much fuel trying to turn around (after they missed a destination) that they would have been better off going around the block. The drivers forced to wait while the turning vehicle blocked them would also be better off.
I. HOMOSEXUALITY IS CAUSED BY GENETICS - These were the most flawed studies that ever were documented. It is surprising that they had the gall (or the ignorance) to publish such bad work. Information on this can be found here:
Homosexuality is not hereditary
These are obviously studies designed to reach a predetermined conclusion regardless of the actual facts. They have absolutely no scientific value. It doesn't matter how "politically correct" the answer is, bad science is just bad science. "Studies" of this kind are meant to secure funds or promote a political dogma, not to scientifically prove anything.
And after the original studies were refuted, they committed the same bad science again, as though repetition of the same bad work somehow validated it.
J. UFOs MUST BE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, BECAUSE THEY CAN'T BE ANYTHING ELSE - In reality, they just can't be anything that the "investigator" thought of, so they "have" to be extraterrestrial by the "process of elimination." Actually, they could be any of a myriad of things the investigator did NOT think of, as well as a few of the things he DID think of that were seen under somewhat unusual circumstances. Elimination cannot be used where unknown phenomena are involved.
K. A "STAR-TREK" TRANSPORTER IS POSSIBLE - In order for a transporter to disassemble something by atoms and reassemble it somewhere else, it must know the position and velocity of each particle. According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, any attempt to measure a subatomic particle's position destroys its velocity, and any attempt to measure its velocity destroys its position. There would be no way to reassemble something correctly.
L. ALAR - See the Cyclamates entry above. This is another case where false results were quoted as fact by the press, and a big scare ensued. The fact that a TV and film celebrity can be mistaken for an authority on toxicology by the general public indicates that maybe television should be studied for harmful effects by the same bozos.
M. GLOBAL WARMING AND SCIENCE FUNDING - The Obama Administration's science funding system refuses to fund any scientist who does not believe that global warming is real and is caused by the activities of man.
N. VACCINE SAFETY - The Obama Administration says that science has "debunked the belief" that vaccines have caused autism and other bad effects. The problem with this announcement is that science can't possibly prove that something such as this did not happen.
O. THE 9-11 ATTACKS WERE STAGED - Activists have claimed that the building collapses in the 9/11/2001 attacks could not have been caused by burning jet fuel. They say the temperature would have been too low to melt steel. But it was not too low to take the hardening out of steel, changing it to soft iron. The iron was too weak to hold up the buildings.
Yet, these people actually believe that the federal government somehow staged the 09/11/2001 attacks that killed people in New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville PA. They believe that the buildings were intentionally demolished by government.
Not only is their science bad, but to believe that any US politician would kill that many people to win a political point is preposterous.
P. STUPIDITY IS REFLEXIVE, SYMMETRIC, TRANSITIVE, AND INDESTRUCTIBLE - This one can be proved quite easily. Once someone believes in the above bad science, they hold onto it with great emotion (reflexive), reinforce each other in it (symmetric), and spread it to others (transitive). Once one of these false "facts" becomes "truth" to some people, it is extremely hard to get rid of it. They form support groups, lobby, pass out fliers, and drum their "truth" into everybody (indestructible).
All of these (except the last) are examples of bad science being taken as truth. Unscientific people are overwhelmed by the technobabble spouted by the quacks, and don't bother to check out the truth before spreading the lies. The worst of all is when the government doesn't check for bad science, believes the lies, and regulates us to death to prevent imaginary disasters.
Here are some more examples:
More people need to understand real science, instead of believing in the bad science pushed by the media.