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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aquanut415 View Post
just cause something isn't proven scientifically doesn't mean it can be discredited entirely.
PLEASE DO NOT interperet this as me saying i believe in any of the "wonky water" stuff.. penac, or ionizing wristbands...

but what about things like...
selenium supplements and childhood/early adult acne.?

or chiropractics and backpain?

how about laughter and overall health??
That's right.
But when they ask for $, you do become suspicious.
Some baloney detection is always a good idea.

And you could add this to a marketing advertisment as support, "there's so much that science does not yet know........"

I've heard that one 1001 times.

Scientists do not have the time to test and validate every crack pot that comes along. When it comes to things like agriculture, most of these ideas, crazy as you want them to be, have been studied.We have been growing plants that way for well over 10,000 years. They spend a lot of $ on this one.
It drives everything we do in the world at some basic level.

What are the odds that ADA, or Penac found this out and places like UC Davis's plant Science's dept got left in the dark?
Just based on likelyhood alone...........pretty high odds to beat.

If it does do as some of the claims, increasing growth by 50% for some species, that's a lot of corn, rice, tomatoes etc.

If it was a real increase, you'd think getting 50% more would spur the scientific community, dramatically change the way we do agriculture and make some farmers and heck of a lot of money. You'd get the nobel prize for something like that.

But I think aqua schister's are the one's making the money here.
ADA and many aquarium companies are just as gullable as a hobbyists may be. They just got sold and now market the stuff.
To the best of their knowledge, they believe it works.

Now if I claim moon beams grow better aquatic plants, just because science has not studied it, does this imply there is any truth or any merit?

If you look at junk science and marketing scams, that's one of the their favorite ploys.

"Wishful thinking

We want to believe the claims made by the promoters of these products. We let wishful thinking interfere with the ability to think critically. We're too willing to trust those with an economic interest in their claims and too lazy or proud to seek out the proper experts to help us evaluate the claims and the products. But wishful thinking is only part of the story.

Scientific ignorance

The pitch for such products is couched in scientific jargon.

Such jargon sounds good to one who is ignorant of physics, geology and lacking in basic scientific competence. What is absolutely zero in probability is that these companies discovered how to do this without anyone in the scientific community being aware of it until they marketed their product. This application of science, if it were true, would be an achievement recognized and applauded the world over.

Such devices and products get taken seriously because they are peddled to non-scientists as a device on the cutting edge of modern science and technology. Their target consumers and investors, in other words, are not usually competent to evaluate the scientific claims made by the promoters. Human pride may play a role here in duping some people; they are too embarrassed to admit that they don't understand what the seller is talking about. The potential buyer or investor who is not competent to evaluate such claims should seek out experts who are. One must be careful to choose the right experts, however.

Using the wrong experts

Purchasing agents or investors who seek out scientists from the company doing the selling, or non-scientists who peddle such merchandise, are more likely to be duped into buying and investing in useless devices than those who seek the opinion of independent scientific sources. Anyone with an economic interest in selling the product should be viewed skeptically. One has to balance keeping an open mind with a healthy dose of skepticism when considering Aamazing" new technologies.

Self-deception and selective thinking

Numerous studies have demonstrated that people generally give an excessive amount of value to confirmatory information, i.e., data which is positive or which supports a position. We easily deceive ourselves when we want something to be true. If we have invested a good deal of time, money, etc., in a project or activity, we do not want it to fail. We cling to any little bit of data that seems to support our efforts. We do not seek out contrary data and we vigorously attack those supplying such data. We easily fool ourselves and others into thinking we have a product that works, but until we put our ideas to the test by devising rigorous controlled studies, we cannot be sure we are not deceiving ourselves.
Reliance on testimonials instead of scientific studies

Testimonials and anecdotes are generally unreliable measures of new technologies. Double-blind and/or control group studies are necessary to rule out self-deception and a host of other psychological and logical hindrances to critical thinking.

Mass Media Manipulation

Reliance on testimonials instead of scientific tests should be red flags to journalists doing articles on new technologies. A minimal understanding of the proper way to test causal hypotheses should be required of journalists who review "amazing" technological products and of purchasing agents who might consider spending someone else's money on a potentially useless product. The mass media often give such devices credibility by doing promotional pieces under the guise of investigative journalism. Those who market questionable high-tech devices spend much more money on marketing than on scientific research. A good part of marketing involves getting the story out by manipulating the news media.

Reliance on lawyers instead of scientific evidence and arguments

Like I have not dealt with this one before
He gave up BTW.

A scientist should respond to legitimate criticism of his or her scientific claims by refuting criticism with scientific evidence and arguments. When a company responds to a scientific test of their product by suing or threatening to sue scientific investigators for making defamatory statements, it is likely the company is more interested in selling their product than in telling the truth.
Evidence from independent scientific investigation is almost always more reliable than testimony from a lawyer defending his or her high-tech client against charges of fraud.

Failure to consider the obvious, such as lack of guarantees, a company's track record, or the actual value of the product

One might expect the guarantee or warranty of an extraordinary product to be as grand as the product itself, but many such products are marketed using a number of weasel words. Some have no guarantee at all.


There certainly are many high-tech inventions that live up to their manufacturer's claims. Distinguishing them from devices more likely to disappoint than satisfy is not beyond the ability of the average non-expert. We must guard against the tendency to believe in something just because we want to believe. We must not let pride or laziness prevent us from making inquiries and demanding support from disinterested, qualified experts. We must take with a grain of salt the testimonials provided by those with an economic stake in a product. We must not forget that there is a natural tendency to be selective in our thinking and it is easy to deceive ourselves about products that seem to work but have not been adequately tested. We must remember that interested parties often manipulate journalists into promoting their products under the guise of an investigative report. We must remember that an emphasis on marketing and legal troubles, and charges of conspiracies, often indicates that there is some serious problem with the science or technology. Finally, there are some obvious tip-offs to high-tech promises that are too-good-to-be-true, such as astounding promises backed by no guarantee, or claims that a single discovery or invention can solve numerous unrelated problems, or the fact that even if the amazing product works as advertised it would still not give good value."

Tom Barr

Tom Barr
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