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  #1  
Old 04 January 2007, 11:03 PM
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Icon84 When celebrities speak on science

Sense About Science has urged stars not to dip their toes into tricky scientific issues without checking their facts first.

Here are some examples put forward by the charity of dubious science uttered by celebrities - together with the views of its experts.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6227581.stm
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  #2  
Old 04 January 2007, 11:13 PM
lazerus the duck
 
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You can't blame celebrities, there are enough supposed scientist spouting the same tosh as the celebs and where there is bullshit you will always find a celeb.
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  #3  
Old 06 January 2007, 05:22 AM
trollface
 
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They missed out Brasseye's Paedophile special.

The most well known is this gem from Dr. Fox:

Quote:
Genetically, paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you and me. Now that is scientific fact. There's no real "evidence" for it but it is scientific fact.
But this is a great load of pseudo-scientific/technological nonsense from various celebrities:

Quote:
BARBARA FOLLET (MP Labour) : Pantou the dog, a child's game on the internet. But look again. An online paedophile has converted that eye to work as a webcam to look at the child player.

[...]

KATE THORNTON (Broadcaster/Journalist) : It's called a HOECS game. A Hidden Online Entrapment Control System.

[...]

BARBARA FOLLET (MP Labour) : In this shot, Pantou the dog has told the boy to press his face onto the soft screen. Online paedophiles use special gloves to feel and palpate the child's face.

PHILIPPA FORRESTER (Presenter) : In fact with gloves like these the manipulator can molest any part of the child's body placed against the screen.

KATE THORNTON (Broadcaster/Journalist) : We even have footage that would be too alarming to show you of a little boy being interfered with by a penis-shaped sound wave generated by an online paedophile.

SYD RAPSON (MP Labour) : We believe that paedophiles are using an area of the internet the size of Ireland and through this they can control keyboards.

RICHARD BLACKWOOD (comedian/musician) : Online paedophiles can actually make your keyboard release toxic vapours that make you suggestible.

[sniffs keyboard]

RICHARD BLACKWOOD (comedian/musician) : You know I must say I actually feel more suggestible and that's just from one sniff.

KATE THORNTON (Broadcaster/Journalist) : HOECS games can cause serious damage. One child was trapped online for a whole night and, according to a psychiatric report, came away with the jaded, listless sexual appetite of a 60-year-old colonel.

RICHARD BLACKWOOD (comedian/musician) : Now here are the warning signs to show that your child might be in trouble. Are they upset? Do they smell odd? Weird question but HOECS games actually make your child smell like hammers.

KATE THORNTON (Broadcaster/Journalist) : So come on experts. Why is no-one telling us about this stuff? There's a kid in Canada who's gone almost completely 2D and no-one's doing anything about it.
And, for those not familiar with Chris Morris, all these celebrities thought that they were making a genuine campaign video for a charity that deals with paedophiles. The point is that for the celebrities it's rare to actually think about what you're saying in these situations. As Dr. Fox said when being laughed at afterwards, "Well, they just give you this stuff, and you read it". It's not that different when they're simply spouting off opinions that they've heard, like the people in the OP.

Not just celebrities, of course. Morris famously got questions asked in the House of Commons about "cake" which was, as the information he provided clearly stated, a "made-up drug".
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  #4  
Old 06 January 2007, 11:56 AM
lazerus the duck
 
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Ah I miss brass eye, one of the most intelligent pieces of TV produced in the last century.
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  #5  
Old 06 January 2007, 05:32 PM
Class Bravo
 
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Anytime I hear a celebrity piping up about something like that it makes me think back to the Logic & Critical Thinking class I had to take in college and how it's usually a perfect example of Argumentum ad Verecundiam.
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  #6  
Old 07 January 2007, 12:21 AM
Gofer
 
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I can't see how these folks in that Brasseye excerpt could fail to catch that this was a satire. I mean, they had to pronounce HOECS, didn't they?

It's quite an amazing bit of writing, but I can't see how anyone could take it seriously.

Gofer
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  #7  
Old 07 January 2007, 12:32 AM
Doug4.7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trollface View Post
They missed out Brasseye's Paedophile special...
You had me falling out of my chair, unable to breathe, it was SO funny.
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  #8  
Old 07 January 2007, 01:16 AM
trollface
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gofer View Post
It's quite an amazing bit of writing, but I can't see how anyone could take it seriously.
That's part of what makes Morris so good, that he gets away with being that blatant (and that silly). The point of it, really, is that if you get someone who knows nothing about the thing that they're speaking to you as an expert in, then they could be saying anything. After all, think of terminology like "blog", "WAP", "wiki", and so on. They're pretty strange words, and if you knew nothing about the internet, you might think that they were made up. If you didn't know it was a real term, wouldn't you be a bit suspicious about someone complaining about spam?

Yes, they should question what they are saying, and it's incredible that they don't, but if you present people with a reality in a convincing enough way, they buy it, especially if they have a vested interest in doing so.

In fact, if you think that what I've typed in is outrageous, then you should see some of the stuff I haven't typed in. Such as the man (I think he's some kind of Lord) they have holding up two digitally-altered pictures of what is obviously himself, describing them as a paedophile in disguise.

Quote:
Doug said:
You had me falling out of my chair, unable to breathe, it was SO funny.
I really recommend getting the DVD. Every episode is an absolute gem. You can find the paedophile special on YouTube. This is the last section*, which is where the second bit I quoted is featured. There's also the bits that I missed out (wait until you see the t-shirts online paedophiles use...).

$14.81 from Amazon.com, and worth every cent.

*If you want it in context, then this is part 1, and this is part 2. But you really should buy the whole series. You won't regret it.
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  #9  
Old 09 January 2007, 05:17 PM
Sweeney_Todd
 
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Didn't Meryl Streep (the noted scientist and award winning actress) testify before congress about the evils of Alar? I may not be a scientist but I played one in a movie.
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  #10  
Old 09 January 2007, 09:32 PM
Redisca
 
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I was blown away during Teresa Kerry's speech when she said that, if elected, her husband would reverse global warming.
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  #11  
Old 10 January 2007, 04:08 PM
Delta-V
 
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I very seldom pay any attention to what celebrities have to say. It must be nice to have influence without responsibility.
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  #12  
Old 10 January 2007, 07:55 PM
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Now I'm stuck pondering this: What do hammers smell like anyway?
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  #13  
Old 10 January 2007, 07:58 PM
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Spam & Cookies-mmm Spam & Cookies-mmm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
Now I'm stuck pondering this: What do hammers smell like anyway?
Kind of metallic and faintly oily.
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