Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Beautifully Ugly Facts (Why Shark Week Still Sucks)

Christie Wilcox fires off another round as part of a science blog salvo aimed right at the heart of the crap the Discovery Channel has been flogging as part of their "Shark Week."

Christie goes after another myth: the idea that somehow, sharks don't get cancer. This is demonstrably false, as Christie points out.

But that hasn't stopped the shark cartilage industry from manufacturing pills that, by some special "sympathetic magic" will keep you from getting sick.

Thomas Huxley is quoted as saying:
The great tragedy of Science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

But I would argue ugly facts are one of the most beautiful victories of Science. No matter how lovely your idea, a mere fact can render it useless.

It's a shame the Discovery Channel (and much of basic cable, it seems) is eschewing facts for exciting-but-false hypotheses. And cheers to bloggers like Christie Wilcox for sharing with us some beautifully ugly facts.

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