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General Science and Technology: Bad Science, Pseudoscience
Bad Science points out well understood phenomena which are persistently presented incorrectly by some teachers and writers. Some of the examples presented here are: rain drops are not teardrop shaped, the difference between the greenhouse effect and global warming, and heat lightning is just ordinary lightning.
This site has links to web sites discussing science and reason. Topics covered include: astronomy & astrology, creationism, health & psychology, religion & science, skepticism, transcendental meditation, UFOs and urban legends.
An educational tool for those seeking clarification and viewpoints on controversial ideas and claims, their library (click on the reading room tab) has links to free online articles on, skepticism, science, science history, pseudoscience, religion, social forces and pseudohistory.
A Discover Magazine blog, Bad Astronomy is devoted to airing out myths and misconceptions in astronomy and related topics. It offers explanations for many mistakes in news stories, movies and television shows.
What should be done with something (Dihydrogen Monoxide) that causes many deaths every year when it is inhaled, and is also a constituent of many known toxic substances, and disease-causing agents? This site teaches that a substance with this intimidating name may or may not actually be a scary substance.
Some commercial enterprises purport to offer for a fee, services where you can buy stars or name stars after other persons. However, such names are fictitious, have no formal or official validity whatsoever, and are not officially recognized. This guide from the International Astronomical Union explains how stars are actually named.
Can we really mine these far away asteroids that are as far away as the planet Pluto? The fastest spacecraft ever launched from earth took 9 years just to reach Pluto.
**While nearly every scientific journal carefully reviews every contribution they receive, very rarely a hoax will make its way through the system and actually get accepted for publication. Below are two well-known examples.**
A program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. Several of these completely nonsensical manuscripts were accepted at conferences. SciDetect, http://scidetect.forge.imag.fr/, an open source software program can detect these computer generated fake papers.
arXiv.org is the official pre-print server for scholarly papers in fields such as physics, mathematics, and computer science. snarXiv pokes gentle fun at arXiv.org by computer generating seemingly intelligently-constructed, but totally fake abstracts. A related website: http://snarxiv.org/vs-arxiv/, presents readers with two paper titles and asks them to identify which one is real.
This article from the highly reputable Nature magazine describes scammers who have published hundreds of sham, nonsensical articles in reputable journals. Fortunately, most have been detected and retracted.
**Books on Bad Science and Pseudoscience**
We also have some books on bad science and pseudoscience in our circulating book collection with call numbers (shelf numbers) Q172.5 and Q173.