The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

"Breaking an Addiction To False Certainty Is as Hard as Breaking Any Other Addiction"

"But the first step is admitting you have a problem."


A nice line, I think, from a post at Astral Codex Ten; the rest of the post ("The Phrase 'No Evidence' Is A Red Flag For Bad Science Communication") strikes me as very good, too. An excerpt, though the article offers far more detail than that:

Science communicators are using the same term—"no evidence"—to mean:

  1. This thing is super plausible, and honestly very likely true, but we haven't checked yet, so we can't be sure.
  2. We have hard-and-fast evidence that this is false, stop repeating this easily debunked lie.

This is utterly corrosive to anybody trusting science journalism.

Thanks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) for the pointer.