The elephant in the internet

Ok it’s time to address the elephant in the room or in this case the internet, especially social media. Let me start by telling you that the whole reason I started ‘Into the Void Science’ was to educate and inspire people, especially kids, on how wonderful science is and all the benefits science brings our society and culture. One of my motivating factors (Apart from an unhealthy obsession with science & knowledge J ) is the amount of misinformation that exists on the internet and that people actually believe and modify their lives around.

Let’s analyse this example here – Have you heard that ‘Science Confirms Turmeric is as effective as 14 drugs!’ Firstly let me just say I am a big believer that eating healthy (The old food pyramid) is good for you and there are a lot of scientific studies that back this up.

Not quite a Pyramid but you get the idea
Not quite a Pyramid but you get the idea

Note: you don’t have to be scientists to understand a scientific paper, just read the conclusion in the abstract to get the general result but feel free to read away if you have the time or inclination.

Lies Lies Lies!

So after a little research I found the above statement about Turmeric on a website with a little bit more of an in-depth article than just a picture with some words and they claim that ‘turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today.  Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies’.

If you follow the link to the 5600 peer-reviewed scientific papers you can see it is just a search result in a medical database for curcumin. Now again I am not here to bash turmeric as I love cooking with this spice and I add it, along with paprika when I cook most meats but that is purely for flavour and not some god like herbal power. I am also not here to say that turmeric has no health benefits at all, in fact some studies of mice have shown some positive result, see below

What I am trying to get at here is that you need to do the research yourself as nothing in any of the articles I have researched and read has said ‘Science Confirms Turmeric is as effective as 14 drugs!’ and there is one glaring reason for this. There has been no peer reviews scientific studies that use a control group and actually test turmeric’s effectiveness vs the 14 different drugs in question. One website we found actually went half way to doing their homework and cited scientific papers and there results but again skewed them to their point of view by saying things like turmeric is more effective than Prozac as an antidepressant then linking to scientific articles about prostatitis and dyspepsia patients!

Noodles do not cause cancer!!!
Noodles do not cause cancer!!!

So in closing science has confirmed some benefits to Turmeric consumption but not the ones that these idiots are trying to convince you of, so if someone sends you a link or a pic proclaiming a new weight loss pill, how this food or that food is good / bad for you, a miracle cure for cancer, just remember one thing. If you can’t find a peer reviewed scientific paper on it that states the exact fact they are claiming, dismiss it a B/S.

If you want a quick an easy way to see if something has been confirmed by science learn how to read a peer reviewed scientific article and you can find most of them right here –

Stay Curious – C.Costigan



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