Sunday, June 6 2004

“Look, everybody, I found Atlantis!”

“See, see, here it is!”

“No, we haven’t done any digging there, or carbon-dated any remains. Actually, we’ve never been there at all; it’s inside of a national park, you know. But if you interpret these satellite photos just right, it matches Plato’s description exactly!”

“Okay, we have to assume that Plato either deliberately understated the size of the city or that everyone has misinterpreted his era’s units of measurement by 20% or so, and that those goofy translators wrote ‘island’ where Plato meant ‘coastline,’ but these are trivial issues.”

“Well, trivial compared to the chance for me to get major publicity and a chance at serious funding, anyway.”

Your homework today is to decide how many of the seven warning signs of junk science this article demonstrates.