Bad science in everyday life

I listen to too much a.m. radio. An infomercial is advertising a ‘colon cleansing’ product- the name is something like Super Colon Cleanser. They claim that just like an old kitchen pipe, your colon is completely crusted with old food residue- as much as 15 pounds of it! Buying this product, they say, will scrape off this old junk adhering to your gut and the proof is the amazingly large poops you will produce with the product. The rather long list of ingredients includes psyllium husk (a bulk forming laxative). Well, duh. Bulk forming laxative… large stool. Do most folks not make the connection? Do they really think they have 15 pounds of old food in their gut?

Next- Larry King is hawking grape juice on a radio commercial. He says that 4 (he might have said 6) ounces of grape juice has more vitimin C than 84 celery stalks. Doh! I think most people, when considering products high in vitamin C, would not have celery high on the list. This is about as relevant as telling me I’d have to eat, say, 3000 radial tires to get as much vitimin c as 4 ounces of grape juice. I’m not dissing celery, mind you. I like the stuff.

Am I being to sesntive about this junk?

No, you are not being two sensitive. Ignorance fighting is what this board is all about. You will find that most people here show the same disdain for pseudo-science that you do. Welcome to the boards. It seems like you will fit in well here.

If you’re looking for some examples of bad science and what the real story is behind such falsehoods, then you’ll probably be interested in checking out the Bad Astronomy page. This site debunks many myths and misconceptions about the solar system and space in general. The man who runs the site is even a fellow Doper here (Bad Astronomer).

A couple of years ago we had a thread or two on the effects of using “Colon Blow”, which sounds like your “Super Colon Cleanser”. Graphic, disgusting, but fascinating in its way. There’s no way you’d get me to take that stuff.

Well, the “Colon Cleanser” product must be for real cough. About an hour ago I received spam, uh, I mean a legitimate message for a similar product that will “clean off the inner walls” of my intestines!!!

Lemme tell ya something: This product must produce some MASSIVE dumps if I can expect 2-3 BOWL movements per day. I better have some wax gaskets on hand in case the toilet wobbles right off the flange.

Oddly enough, I got spam for “Cesspool Cure” soon afterwards. Maybe I should just dump the Ultra Lax down the toilet to clean off the inner walls of my cesspool.

Bad science? How about how everything is a “quantum leap” ahead of the old stuff. Quantum is the tiniest scale.

You want bad science, just listen to the weather people talk about ‘average temperatures’. For example, in Philly today, the high will be 28 degrees. I’m going to quote just about every moron weatherperson now:

“Today’s high will be 28 degrees. Our normal high is 40 degrees, so we’ll be 12 degrees colder than usual”

WHAT!? Are they SERIOUS? The AVERAGE might be 40, but that implies that temps were above and below 40, and all over the thermometer…especially in this region.

If you were to look at feb 12th over the past Century, I would expect wide variations in temeratures, from 50-60 degrees to 5 degrees. 28 is VERY normal. 48 would be very normal too, but they’d say, “…hey we are gonna warm up today, It’ll be 8 degree warmer than it should be…”


Here in south Louisiana, the dismal state of many of the school systems is a common news topic. I was listening to one of our local news/talk radio stations the other day when I heard some local politician (sorry, I didn’t catch who) bemoaning the fact that "HALF of our school children read below AVERAGE reading comprehension!"

.:smack: I realize that “average” isn’t the same as “median,” but still . . . everyone can’t be above average.

I guess that misuse of statistics could be a whole other thread.

I live bad science, every day. I need a vacation.

I always love how every “cleanser” advertised like this acts as if its a huge breakthrough to make you go to the toilet.

Geez, “diuretic” is one of the most common effects listed in herbology, and its one of the side-effects a lot of pharmacologists have to get out of their medications.

Pooping and peeing is a defense reaction to many things in the body. See what happens with food poisoning folks, you don’t explel it by throwing up, that’s for sure.

This totally cracked me up.

You know, I was thinking about bad science just yesterday. I opened up Time, and read, in their “Anxiety Meter” and read this:

Now, I realize this is supposed to be a joke, but is the joke “gee, that’s why the bacon tasted funny” (which would be monumentally stupid) or something else that just looked monumentally stupid if you didn’t get it?

Every time I see an ad for the Q-Ray ionized bracelet, it amazes me anew how stupid can be. apparently, they must be selling a boat-load of this junk to be able to afford the commercial time, which is astounding in of itself.

It reminds me of those ads in the 1890’s for the Electric Hairbrush (guaranteed to cure headaches) and the Electric Corset (much healthier than your average non-electrified corset).

“Lo, quackery will be with you always, even unto the ends of the earth.”

Oh…Q-ray. That’s the benchmark for the bad science of

“Hey, let’s consider something scientifically proven to work if a bunch of people give testimonials”
Testimonials being used for ‘proof’ is at the heart of so much bad science that you’d need a long sheet of paper to list all the crap that gets by on testimonials, from psychic forecasts (oxymoron), to magnets in shoes.

btw…How can we talk about colon cleaning products without mentioning SNL’s parody commercial for a product called 'Colon Blast"? In one part, Phil Hartman sits atop a mountain of something like 400 bowls of cereal, while an annoncer proclaims that to 'get as much fiber from Super Colon Blast cereal, you’d need to eat 400 bowls of X"

Kudos to Skelji, who managed to make reference to both his toilet flange and the wax ring in one sentence about a bad science thread. Cracked me up.

Who saw Penn & Teller’s “Bullshit” on quack medicine? The woman reacting to the aluminum-gutter “magnet” was hilarious.

Colon Blow and Super Colon Blow

And for that, Phil, we salute you.

I dunno, the last time I got a really good case of it I was letting fly from both ends.

There’s a hamburger place around here that should probably quit trying to sell their hamburgers as “tasty” and start working the “have more bowel movements” angle. It’s health food!

Thanks. :wink:

BTW, Colon Blow was 11/11/89.

Mearlchan, we call that “Two Exits, No Waiting” 'round here.

The ones that get me are things like the Sunny Delight orange drinks - they always advertise along the lines of:

Will provide you/your child with X% of the RDA of vitamin C!

and i always sit there and think Buy a frikkin carton of pure orange juice! It costs less and contains more!