On Which Topics Are Scientists and Science Journalists Trustworthy?

I’ve been thinking about the many examples of flawed science we’ve been taught. Examples include:

– The impending disaster of anthropogenic global warming.

– The entire field of clinical psychiatry.

– Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor.

– Nutrition advice has been horribly misguided for 60+ years, including:

• Eggs are bad for you.

• Dietary fat (and especially saturated fat) is bad for you.

• Everybody should eat a lot of grain.

• Dietary carbohydrates are essential.

• Everybody should reduce their sodium intake below 2.3 g/day. 1.5 is better.

• Dietary cholesterol will harm your heart.

• High blood cholesterol totals cause heart disease (they aren’t even correlated).

I believe these are well-intentioned people telling us these things – they believe what they are saying is true, but it’s based on flawed science.

What do these topics all have in common? They all inform human behavior. By contrast, the science we’re taught that is not so informative on human behavior (physics, chemistry, molecular biology, space flight, etc..) seems to be of much higher quality.


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