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Is this fact?

Today, while sitting in my two and half hour lecture, a blog on my Google Reader caught my eye. It is titled Explosions in Argentina following a “ball of fire from the sky.” It discusses how last night in Argentina, there was a deadly explosion and fire that caused a large amount of damage in a concentrated area. The post discusses how there is no known cause for this explosion. One theory is that it could have been a small plane crash, yet the author doesn’t think there is any plane remnants. Other people suggest it could be a meteorite, but there is no impact crater which probably would have formed considering the amount of damage. The author then says that he believes it was something terrestrial.

This blog post got me thinking about things not completely related to the post content itself. First, I realized that every blog post you read, you must take with a grain of salt. All posts, as well as anything on the internet, have authors, but we don’t necessarily know what the author’s background is. Especially important in the scientific world of blogging and sources, we don’t know what the credentials for a certain writer are that allow the readers to take what they say as fact. After reading the article, I thought the author seemed to making assumptions with minimal information. For example, he commented that he did not believe the fire was caused by a plane crash but he based this off of a YouTube video that is blurry and difficult to see individual things. Therefore after reading the article I search the author’s name and found out that he is actually the creator of the BadScience blog site and a scientist. Knowing this made me feel better about the content of the article, but this is not true for all blogs. I am pretty sure there is probably a blog site out there that comes off as fact but in reality may not be true.

So knowing that we all are following different blogs, I  just wanted to throw this idea out there, as we are all readers that could fall into a trap of believing sketchy information. Any thoughts?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 28, 2011 at 1:13 am

    I think it is important to look into the validity of the writer of blogs. This goes back to another post on our blog, showing the changes in science throughout history. Scientists in the past would get together to look over a theory and determine if it was true. Now scientists will publish without another opinion, and it has even gotten to the point where people without any background knowledge are posting and it is assumed that they are an expert in that field. We need to pay attention to who is writing these blogs, because it could be other people like us that want to know more about a topic but should not be seen as experts, or maybe it is someone who has no idea what they are talking about.

  2. September 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I agree with ^^Imorella. It does go back to the validity of the writer of this blog in particular since he has definitely swayed your view of this event. In class we’ve discussed this very issue and it has been a subject well used in the posts on this very blog. We can’t believe everything scientists release to the public because most likely they’re not reviewed by other scientists. Science used to be considered the most concrete source of knowledge because it was the only think that could technically be proved but now theres barely proof of anything scientific. All we really have to go off of this guys view is a blurry video and an blog that he wrote himself. Can or should we really base our opinions off of that? I think not.

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