For last week’s article: Wednesday Woo: Quantum Woo, click here.
“We’re human beings and the sun is the sun—how can it be bad for you? I don’t think anything that’s natural can be bad for you.” – Gwyneth Paltrow
If you’ve spent any time on social media, I’m sure you’ve run into memes or videos exclaiming the various scary sounding rhetoric regarding chemicals, alongside their more “natural” cures and remedies at typically expensive prices. This anti-science campaign is a very strong one, offering so many different products and medical treatments that it’s difficult to debunk them before they can be spread to millions of people. In the New Age community this phenomenon is even more wide -spread, since the skeptical way of thinking is completely abandoned for a more science-y sounding appeal to nature they seem to crave. After all, the woo-world is all about connecting to a more purified sense of being. “Feeling depressed? That’s a choice,” they will say. “Go for a walk in the woods, and throw away your antidepressants!” Or eat more chocolate, which in all honesty, I wish were better for me, but alas! It’s just more wishful thinking woo.
David Wolfe: Chocolate is an octave of sun energy:
“An octave of the sun,” eh? Well what does that mean? Do you have evidence for this claim, David? To be honest, I don’t even know how to research such a claim, since it’s rhetorical nonsense and “energy-speak” is not even a real statement; merely GMO and gluten-free word salad with a side of magical thinking dressing.
Coincidentally, Mr. Guacamole also claims that Himalayan salt is just the bees-knees, containing “80 natural (as opposed to unnatural?) minerals.”
Wonder if the claims made by those hyping up the benefits of salt lamps are true.
At this point, the question may be asked, “what harm does me buying a salt lamp do me? It’s my choice how I deal with me and my family’s medical problems.” Other than spending money, nothing, that is, unless you opt for buying the salt lamp as opposed to getting on high blood pressure medication. Or, if you tend to fall for natural cures often, you may find yourself in the anti-vaxxer crowd, which puts everyone in danger, especially children and elderly with immune system issues. Thanks for the public safety risks, Andrew Wakefield.
Those who attempted to replicate Andrew Wakefield’s study could not, and he is no longer licensed to practice medicine because of the fraud he spread world-wide.
There are even unfounded claims that too many vaccines at once bombard immune system of children. While this idea that we are giving our children many more vaccines than we used to may sound slightly reasonable, once you research the issue with a skeptical eye, you can see there is no foundation for worry. Of course, tell that to Jenny McCarthy…
Now for more “toxin” nonsense. Apparently, we are all metal-heads, whether we listen to Metallica or not:
Whatever you say, William Douglass.
So if aluminum is so terrible, what’s the alternative? Of course there’s loads of “natural” products that are very expensive. Funny that from those who claim “big pharma” is only out to make money are the same ones hyping up the danger of chemicals in an effort to sell something. Hmm…
But what does the evidence say?
There’s metals in our cereal!
How much do you need? Are these fortified cereals safe?
I’ve seen a lot of videos shared on Facebook where the iron-cereal scare is demonstrated using an experiment many of us did as children. Iron is something we require as a part of our diet, and is not a scary product.
Another cereal scare.
But the amounts of BHT in these foods are concluded as safe for consumption. Some scary sounding products are used in trace amounts in many different things. It’s the levels that are toxic. Water can even be labeled to sound toxic, and yes in large amounts, it can kill you.
Conspiracy theorists like Alex jones and his fake doctor claim a fungus that has “over 100 symptoms” is causing mayhem across the world. Of course, then they offer you the cure, right? Wonder what Alex Jone’s net worth is…
Remember the Gwyneth quote about the sun being natural? Here’s her alternative sunscreen.
How about her net worth? No doubt she’s worth quite a bit when offering sunscreen at $16 for 0.6 oz. She even has people steaming their vaginas.
The examples I could offer of these trendy, outrageous natural cures and claims are endless. Why is there such a tidal wave of pseudoscience spread on social media? Simply put, because it’s easier to hit “share” without doing the research. Many folks of course, say they have researched issues, but typically their sources fail the sniff test.
So how can we be sure that the stuff shared on social media is legitimate or not?
1) The claim has to have evidence.
2) Must have undergone peer review.
3) Sources must not have bias.
4) Must use definitions properly.
5) Cannot be logically fallacious. (Example: an appeal to nature fallacy.)
Be mindful of the signs of pseudoscience.