Carol Lynn Alpert

"Ask for Evidence…

…  and learn the difference between valid and invalid evidence.  If scientific claims are made, have the findings been peer-reviewed and published?  Who financed the research, and what do they stand to gain?  What assumptions were made?  Was there appropriate control of variables? Do the findings have statistical significance? Has the evidence been validated by other researchers?   Were long-term and side-effects monitored?   

Just as in legal proceedings, scientific evidence must meet certain standards to qualify as legitimate.  Data can be “cherry-picked.” Unscrupulous policy advocates and advertisers can choose and frame sets of facts in ways that distort the implications.  They can deploy “scientistic” terminology to intimidate skeptics from asking further questions.  And,  they can prop up other so-called “experts” to project doubt onto otherwise well-validated knowledge.  Also, remember that not everything is regulated, regulations are not always enforced, and loopholes abound.   So, ask for evidence, examine it dispassionately, and proceed with caution."

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