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Citation Needed

The internet is rife with information. It is a medium where anyone can post anything and no one is accountable to anyone; Want to post a blog entry about the world still being flat – nothing is stopping you. Want to write that telekinesis isn’t possible – go right ahead.

An opinion piece about the environment, or health, or nutrition, or science, or any host of subjects can easily reference articles that provide the basis for your opinion, although it is rarely done. Most bloggers and writers today will simply link to someone else’s blog or writings, and not scientific reference.

Fact of the matter is, not everyone uses fact to form an opinion. Case in point – that last sentence. While it’s one thing to have beliefs and reasons for thinking certain ways – referencing material to back up claims should always be provided when possible. And if you’re reading someone’s writings, you’re just as guilty if you don’t question the references. Don’t believe everything you read, feel free to question things – especially opinion pieces disguised as scientific fact1. ┬áJust a thought.

1^ Ravetz p. 181 et. seq. (Chapter Six: “Facts and their evolution”)