Gullible masses: stop confusing “studied & disproved" with “unproved”

Century-old snake oil won’t be vindicated next year, I swear.

There are countless examples of this problem, but this particular post was inspired by a quote from a Globe & Mail article interviewing a silly book author on the topic of common cold cures: “I wanted to take the secrets I learned from other people that were verifiable scientifically or medically today, but I didn’t want to make fun of the ones that weren’t.”

Not even the dozens of really stupid ones? Seems like a bit of a missed opportunity for some chuckles! Of course, I’m sure it would cut into sales if he teased 95% of his potential buyers.

Naturally, in service of this pointless point, he emphasized science — brace yourself — has been wrong. And you never know what science could be wrong about next! Maybe homeopathy!

Think about it: does it make any sense that there is some high-potential but unproven cold remedy lurking on the shelves of your friendly neighbourhood “natural” pharmacy? Just waiting for pharmaceutical companies to realize how many billions of dollars they could make from it, if only they would test it properly? If only they would follow the money!