Category Archives: Misinformation, Scams, Hoaxes, and Pseudo-Science

Examples of Misinformation, Scams, Hoaxes, and Pseudo-science.

Chiropractors can treat ADHD

New claims going around New Zealand are stating that upwards to around half of chiropractors in NZ are claiming to be able to treat “ailments such as allergies, ADHD, asthma, digestive problems, autism spectrum disorders, bed wetting, colic and ear infections.”

Read more: http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/health/chiropractors-treatment-claims-misleading—report-2016040110#ixzz44bNeu8AT

https://detectcrap.wordpress.com/

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Dihygrogen Monoxide is Dangerous

Dihygrogen Monoxide

But seriously, Donald Simanek, who authored the website that the above image originates, is actually pointing out the ridiculousness of pseudoscience and surrounding some of the hoaxes out there, even backed with scientific evidence.

According to Snopes.com, the beginnings of the Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax started when two Florida DJs did a prank for April Fools Day, 2013. City officials all the way in California were concerned. Word spread, people panicked, and the DJs were in trouble.

Dihydrogen Monoxide is H20 – water.

The Nigerian Prince Needs Your Money

Nigerian-Presidential-Seal2

Problem: Nigeria has a federal republic, with an elected president. There is no Nigerian Prince. The scam of a Nigerian Prince needing money is a lie and don’t fall for the classic email scam.

Why Nigeria? Where did this all begin? PC World has some background. These types of scams – Advance Fee Scams – are easily avoidable if you remain a skeptic to anyone asking for money.

Bill Gates takes FBI’s side against Apple

Steve_Jobs_and_Bill_Gates_(522695099)

This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case,” Gates told the Financial Times, with the headline “Gates breaks ranks over FBI Apple request,” and technology companies should be “forced to co-operate with law enforcement in terrorism investigations.”

But that was not the whole story. Bill Gates on Bloomberg later said he was disappointed” with headlines stating he sided with the FBI, “because it doesn’t state my view on this.” “It is a challenge to update the policies,” such as when the government has a right to know. He goes on to state that it is not an easy subject and there needs to be safeguards. The New York Times, USA Today, and Time clarify Gates’ opinions that this clash between Apple and the FBI opens discussion about what information the government should have access to and how much further it should go.

NC Town Rejects Solar Farm for fears of causing cancer

Shelby_Farms_Solar_Farm_Memphis_TN_2013-02-02_010The original at: http://www.snopes.com/north-carolina-town-rejects-solar-panels/ which references the original Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

During comments at a Woodland, North Carolina Town Council meeting a woman, Jane Mann, a former science teacher, made comments questioning the unusually high number of cancer deaths in the area near solar panels, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer.

Larger reaching sites reported on it using the sensationalized headlines. The Independent said  “US town rejects solar panels amid fears they ‘suck energy from the sun’, cause cancer – and will harm house prices.” Huffington Post’s article said it was rejected “Amid Fears It Will ‘Suck Up The Sun’s Energy.’

Other comments were made by towns people, and in general the town did not want another solar farm, but Jane Mann and her husband’s comments made headlines. Jane and her husband’s comments overshadowed the rest of the Town Council meeting, turning it into a tabloid with New York Daily News reporting it. Tech Times had to point out that “No, That North Carolina Town Didn’t Ban Solar Panels for Sucking Up Sun.

As Justin Alford from IFL Science! points out solar panels do not “suck up” the sun’s rays. Simply because no one can tell you something does not does not mean it does. Correlation is not causation. Simply noticing the high amount of cancer deaths in the area does not mean they were caused by the solar farm and not being able to tell her they didn’t cause cancer does not mean it does.

Understanding how photovoltaics works is the first step in figuring out why Jane Mann is wrong.