I threatened to write this a few posts back, and after I Fucking Don’t Understand Science’s last clusterfuck, I’m going to. So next time a major science story gets reported in the popular press, this is the generic response:
No, despite what you have read, Scientists did not do the Thing that has been widely reported in the media yesterday.
You might have heard that scientists did a Thing. This Thing was pretty world-changing. Certainly, if you were to do the Thing, there would be several Nobel Prizes involved. However, you should note that the Thing is, in fact, so far removed from reality that the universe would probably implode with contradictions if the Thing was indeed true.
What was widely reported as “scientists”, plural, with connections to some big science-y organisation you probably have heard of thanks to a Brian Cox documentary, actually just came from one lone scientist, Scientist. As you can probably tell from a quick Google search of their name, this is not the first time Scientist has done something like this.
In fact, they are prone to talking about doing the Thing quite frequently, which was debunked the last time this blog mentioned Scientist.
Scientist has never so far reported doing the Thing in a peer reviewed, decent journal. In fact, the Thing was originally just a conference poster, presented to five people in Ass-end, Nowhere. They then emailed this to Journalist, who started the ball rolling as every other “journalist” just copy-pasted the press release, word for word, about the Thing. Of course, journalists have no expertise in the Thing, so we can’t quite expect them to know that the Thing overturns almost everything experts in the Thing already know as actual facts.
But spotting a few glaring inconsistencies with Scientist’s insistence that they did the Thing isn’t hard. You will note it was never published in a decent journal. You’ll note that their paper doesn’t even begin to prove that the Thing was done, nor happened, nor even is a thing to start with. Their communication about the Thing is devoid of any experimental details of how they came about the Thing, making replication difficult, and where Scientist did give us information on the Thing, it turned out to be severely lacking.
So, in conclusions, the Thing is not real. Scientists did not do the Thing. Can we please have a bit more fucking skepticism and less clickbait next time, please, is that too much to ask?