The Science Channel and Animal Planet have some excellent science and nature programming that I enjoy watching with my son. It makes me happy to see his interest piqued by Big Cat Diaries or How It’s Made or The Wonders of the Universe.
But it troubles me that sometimes these shows will end and immediately something about Bigfoot’s Ghost comes on. The positive effect of quality program rapidly erodes when juxtaposed against pseudo-science hogwash and I’m not sure how to handle it other than to constantly talk to him about what good science looks like compared to a well choreographed hoax or wild goose chase. ‘Does the Loch Ness Monster really control the US Stock Market?’
‘We may never know….’
‘But wait!’ you say.’Isn’t there some merit to asking the question? I mean, we don’t know for sure do we?’
Of course. The robot overlords may actually be the ones who keep making us forget where we left our car keys. But is it really the most likely answer? Maybe you weren’t paying attention when you put them down because you also had groceries, your iPhone and a couple of old coffee cups in your hands when you came home.
Do we have no way of sorting out probable causes from improbable ones?
Discovery Communications, owners of The Science Channel, The Discovery Channel, TLC and other media outlets offers this mission statement:
Hey, Ghostbusters was entertaining and engaging. But was it enlightening?