Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jack Dini vs. the world of junk science (and the rest of the world)

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Talk about a big job. Writing for the Canadian Press, Jack Dini’s new piece, “Chemicals—Don’t Trouble Oneself With the Facts,” goes way past the title.

Dini, who wrote a book entitled “Challenging Environmental Myths” (Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2003) comes out with guns blazing, and covers far more than chemicals. He writes about the inability of facts to change people’s minds, how and why they cling to their beliefs despite evidence to the contrary, and how the unparalleled amount of information that we are now exposed to contributes to this: “In other words, it’s never been easier for people to be wrong, and at the same time feel more certain that they’re right.”
Dini also examines GMOs, as well as the psychology behind the fear of them: “…the human mind is highly susceptible to the negative and often emotional representations put out by certain environmental groups and other opponents of GMOs.”

If this sounds like something that might come out of ACSH, in a way it is. Recently, we have featured two of his articles on chemophobia, and the way that naturally occurring poisons are overlooked, while “synthetic” chemicals are generally considered to be toxic.
Regarding “charismatic charlatans and quacks,” he quotes ACSH’s Dr. Gil Ross: “Unfortunately, all too often the snake-oil pitchmen do not appear as they did when P. T. Barnum was running the show. These days, they come all dressed up, often in scrubs and a stethoscope and do their pitching to a mass audience on popular TV shows.”.....To Read More......

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