Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Aquatic Dinosaurs - Fact

Well no actually and that’s got your attention which is what this very well publicised radio interview has done in the palaeoworld today. It has also featured in this newspaper article and between them has drawn almost universal condemnation on the social networks, mailing lists and blogs.

This is the biggest furore of its kind since the infamous kraken paper was announced at the Geological Society of America meeting during October last year and is, therefore, worthy of the same denouncement as a result. There is some debate whether this is actually some kind of April fool’s joke that’s got out of control or whether, indeed, this is actually some form of extremely misinformed speculation. The latest suggestion is that Brian Ford is actually a pseudonym of creationist Bryan J. Fischer with the aim of causing the palaeoworld mass embarrassment.
Of course it is almost certainly a publicity stunt but the damage is done and, as usual, it’s down to everyone in the palaeoworld to put things right and I’m pleased to say that most of us are rallying to the call. It’s regrettable that, yet again, the blame for this doesn’t lie with the perpetrator of this drivel, but with the media. What the BBC and the Today programme were thinking of is unclear – don’t these guys do any investigation before transmitting or, as in the case of the newspapers, publishing? 
Well we all know the answer there and this is one of those things that I have perpetually moaned about since I’ve written this blog. The media have to realise that this form of reporting is irresponsible and, ultimately, unacceptable presenting the “facts” as they do without any substantiation or quantification.
For more, look everywhere!


AbrashTX said...

Hi, I'm afraid that I'm to blame for any rumors that Ford = Fischer. After I read Ford's piece, I was convinced that it was an April Fool's spoof because the piece referenced a creationist website, both men have the same initials, and the thumbnail photo of Ford bears a passing resemblance to Fischer. Ford is a clueless self-promoter, but I have no reason to believe he has any connection to American creationist nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering which one is to blame - the bad journalism or the awful science. Most likely both.

Mark Wildman said...

@ AbrashTX Heh - no worries but you weren't the only one.....

@Henrique - you're probably right.

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