It’s one thing to believe in Santa when you are young. It’s quite another to grow into a sound adult who shares serious “Santa spotted in Brazil” posts on Facebook based on some asinine source. Day in and day out, I am simply astounded by the sheer amount of bull manure that is shared on social media and defended as fact. Unfortunately, not only has news reporting become sullied by sensationalism and outright deceit, but science is having her day in the pit as well thanks to those who perpetuate false claims.
At school, we were taught the difference between fact and fiction. But more important now is the difference between fact and opinion. The world has become inundated with self-proclaimed experts that spew out garbage with throngs of drones just accepting whatever shit comes their way. Just because you’ve experienced something doesn’t give you the right to suddenly claim to be an expert and start spreading your ignorance around. If that were the case, I would attach ‘tequila connoisseur’ to my name on all official documents, and roam the earth sucking up agave liquor from all the finest venues. Yet just because I consume industrial amounts doesn’t mean I get to be interviewed about the atomic differences between brands.
Study has become a greatly abused word today. Reporters and people hide behind the title to make outrageous claims that are too absurd for words. How is it possible that there are still people that don’t know the difference between satire, blogs and science reports? For a very succinct and hilarious explanation of the problem, please watch this awesome video by one of my heroes; John Oliver (Here). Essentially, it boils down to the fact that research studies sometimes have misleading or catchy headlines that get completely blown out of proportion by traditional media.
And it’s not like science isn’t sexy enough on its own. Ever watched ‘How the Universe works’ or Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole? That shit is literally so cool it hurts to understand. The world around us is astounding, the way nature works on our planet and off it are simply beyond wonder. Do we really need to latch on to stupid claims about how smelling farts cures cancer? Or how the vibrational energy in my heart will soothe your throbbing hemorrhoids?
It’s one thing to want to believe, but it’s another to not only buy the lies but spread them as well. Sure, I would love to live in a world where instead of chemo all I had to do was sniff some butts to heal, but that’s not the way it works. If you are going to start defending a claim, please make sure it comes from a recognized scientific source, not a blog. When I was studying history in university, I remember one teacher constantly hammering us with “check your sources, check your sources, check your sources” over and over. This person needs to start a religion because there are bucket loads of morons that believe just about anything today.
If it seems like I’m coming off kinda mean, I’m not. There is a study that has actually honed down our Bullshit Receptivity Scale and how it relates to our intelligence. If you are in doubt that you may yourself be a victim of this, simply apply the scientific method to whatever you are in doubt of and you will be on your way. For example, let’s say my friend Jerome tells Cinderella “hey Cinderella, did you know that licking cows makes you lose weight?” Cinderella is excited, because who the fuck enjoys actual dieting? Cinderella goes to a farm, weighs herself, and then licks some cows. After a few of these sessions, she notices no change in her weight, however she has developed a fever. What does Cinderella conclude? That Jerome is an asshole.
Enough ignorance. Ignorance is at the root of all evil in our world today and we begin to change the universe by changing ourselves, and I don’t mean what you’re wearing, I mean from within. If you can search for porn on the internet, then you are capable of deciphering what’s fact from what’s drivel. Part of our definition as humans is that we have the intellectual capacity for critical thinking. If you don’t apply it, you might as well walk around with a bell around your neck, and a ‘beef’ stamp on your ass.