How to Create a Myth
Our society is pervaded with unsubtantiated beliefs, slogans and myths. These myths are most annoying in areas that can easily avail themselves of reliable evidence to. Areas such as nutrition, alternative therapies, pharmaceuticals, and science articles in the media are too often innacurately reported or misleadingly represented at a great cost to us the layperson.
Modern medicine was one of the first disciplines to embrace empirically determined evidence as a basis for practice. Slowly evidence-based practice is entering into other domains such as psychology, psychiatry, and business administration. However it takes great effort to overcome the prejudice of what appears to be intuitively correct.
I have recently discovered Ben Goldacre's blog - Bad Science . Ben writes a column by the same name in the Guardian newspaper. You can see his qualifications on google. He has written a book with the same title that I heartily recommend. It focuses on the UK, but most of the topics covered describe the pitfalls of irrationality in a society innundated with a discourse that pretends to rational science, especially in the media. You may consider reading his book as a first vaccination against bad science wherever you may encouner it. I subscribe to the evidence-based approach in empirically testable domains like the ones I mentioned above.
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