Junk Science 2013

It’s that time of year when the lists are made: news-makers, influential people, science stories, etc, etc.

Here’s a list from Real Clear Science to really make your blood run cold: The Biggest Junk Science Stories of 2013.

10. Vaccines Make You Gay
In March of this year, Gian Paolo Vanoli, a 70-year-old Italian scientist, ludicrously claimed that vaccines are causing homosexuality

9. Time Magazine Cures Cancer
Time Magazine’s cover on April 1st blared the hopeful headline like a lighthouse’s shimmering beacon: “HOW TO CURE CANCER.” And their method was simple: treat the disease like it’s a Hollywood big-budget blockbuster.

8. PETA Claims Chicken Wings Shrink Baby’s Penis
“The latest scientific evidence shows that the sons of pregnant women who consume chicken are more likely to have smaller penises because of a chemical found in the birds’ flesh.”

7. Chiropractor Breaks Baby’s Neck
Last year, two Australian parents took their four-month-old infant to a chiropractor to treat the baby’s torticollis, a condition characterized by an abnormal head or neck position. Instead of a remedy, the baby received a hangman’s fracture to the upper spine.

6. Scientist Uses Math to Prove Gay Marriage Is Wrong
This year, Chibuihem Amalaha used magnets to “prove” that gay marriage is wrong. His logic goes a little something like this: north and south poles of magnets are attracted to each other, but the same poles repel. Therefore, this obviously “means that man cannot attract another man because they are the same, and a woman should not attract a woman because they are the same.

5. Portland Rejects Water Fluoridation
The waning hours of Tuesday, May 21st saw many blue-clad Portlanders gleefully clapping and smiling. Why? Because they had just successfully voted to reject one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century: water fluoridation.

4. Anti-Vaxxer Jenny McCarthy Joins The View
In July, ABC announced that Jenny McCarthy, an actress and television personality noted for her anti-vaccination views, would be joining the daytime program The View.

3. Bigfoot DNA Sequenced
In the past, all Bigfoot believers had were blurry videos and long-distance photos. But that all changed this past February when forensic scientists in Texas claimed that they had sequenced Sasquatch’s DNA!

2. The Return of Cold Fusion
“If this were an undergraduate science experiment, I’d give the kids an F, and have them see me. There’s no valid information contained here, just the assumption of success, the reliance on supplied data, and ballpark estimates that appear to be supplied “from the manufacturer.”

1. Terrible Nature ‘Documentaries’
This year, the #1 junk science story of 2013 is a shared honor, and it belongs to Animal Planet and Discovery Channel for producing perhaps the worst — and definitely the most misleading — nature “documentaries” in recent memory.

There are always lots of Junk Science stories to choose from, and these are the opinion of one author. Junk?  Definitely. Science? Definitely not. The worst of the year? Maybe.

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