Fake Science Websites
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23-11-2016, 06:01 AM
Fake Science Websites
We've all been reading of late that fake news websites are a serious problem. They typically publish hoaxes and fraudulent misinformation to drive web traffic inflamed by social media sharing. They are an attempt to play on gullible people who do not check sources and will just pass the news on as if it were really true.

It is recognised that fraudulent news sites are likely to have swayed the results of the 2016 U.S. election.

In a similar vein, in the months and years prior to the Brexit vote in the UK a number of "respectable" news organisations published material that was at best, disingenuous and at worst blatant lies in order to influence public opinion to take an anti-EU stance.

We also see this in relation to science, particularly where that science is seen as a threat by theists and conspiracy theorists. They appear to be the go-to sites for every creationist and/or fundamentalist nut-job out there but are also frequently quoted by the more gullible, naive or home-schooled individual out there.

So these are some of the worst fake science sites I've come across:
  • naturalnews.org - conspiracy articles and anti-science based medicine articles
  • answersingenesis.org - plain and unabashed promotion of scientific misinformation
  • conservapedia.com - an encyclopedia that gives a Young Earth version of every article instead of the correct version
  • creationwiki.org - another version of YEC idiocy
  • forbiddenhistory.com - dinosaurs and man co-existed (cos it says so in the bible)
  • nwcreation.net - more creationist nonsense
  • omniology.com - holds that all origins theories are "metaphysical and religious in nature"
  • commonsensescience.org - nothing common sense at all, rather a fundamentalist xtian science denial site
  • creation.com - the estranged, but equally scientifically fraudulent cousin of Answers in Genesis.
  • discovery.org - infamous for its attempts to get intelligent design creationism taught in American schools
  • icr.org - anti-evolution, anti-science, pro-YEC

The trouble is these sites seem to be proliferating and if you're a kid (or an adult) researching some aspect of science the simple act of using a search engine like Google will produce loads of these sites alongside genuine science sites. It must be difficult for many to filter the garbage out, particularly if you're of a mindset that thinks if it's on the internet it must be true.

What's to be done? Because I find this profoundly depressing.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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23-11-2016, 06:27 AM
RE: Fake Science Websites
Best I can do is call out bullshit when I see it and always check multiple sources.

And to teach my kids how to try and detect bullshit, (I used to tell my kids big lies that were obviously not true to see if they would believe it just because I had said it.) but shit still seems to leak in.

I remember my son coming home maybe about a year ago telling me that he wanted to go to MacDonald's right away because he had read that they were discontinuing the Big Mac.

I was just reading an article in the newspaper this morning about how there are companies that are buying up formerly legit peer reviewed science journals and allowing pretty much anyone to publish anything they want for money. That is very scary.

It's only gonna get worse, people these days only seem to have a "140 character" attention span.

A friend in the hole

"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard
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23-11-2016, 04:34 PM
RE: Fake Science Websites
"Friends of Science" A climate change denialist website funded largely by petrochemical companies.

Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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23-11-2016, 05:33 PM
RE: Fake Science Websites

The best fake science site

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