An Open Letter to 567 Cape Talk & Rod Suskin

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cr1t (January 31, 2014, 09:24:48 AM):
This open was posted on News 24

I'm asking if you agree send an email to Tessa van Staden Programming Operations Manager at Cape talk and tell her so

Faerie (January 31, 2014, 09:42:11 AM):
Done!!! :)
Tweefo (January 31, 2014, 09:51:20 AM):
Did it as well.
Mefiante (January 31, 2014, 10:17:09 AM):

Thanks cr1t, I was going to raise this one here but you did it first.

Rigil Kent (January 31, 2014, 10:56:06 AM):
Done. I'm posting my letter here too, as I'm especially proud of the word "modulates".

Dear Tessa,

I too agree with the statements in the open letter to Cape Talk Radio, recently posted over here:

A pseudo scientific claim typically tries to cloak its unfounded or even patently silly assumptions in technical jargon, or by conflation with real scientific facts. For example, an astrologer might say that the moon moves from constellation-to-constellation. No problem there: the moon revolves around the earth and from our point of view, its movement through the zodiac is easily explained astronomically. But then the astrologer goes on to state that the motion of the moon through the zodiac modulates - of all things - our future! But he proposes no sound mechanism or evidence to explain how or why this interesting claim should work or be true. See how the science promptly deteriorates into non-science?

The sad thing is that even today many people (probably a minority, but still) have difficulty differentiating real science form pseudoscience. Someone with little scientific training or casual interest will almost certainly have difficulty noticing the point where a practitioner makes the cunning leap from real science to the pseudo scientific nonsense. As such, the credulous listener could be vulnerable to poor (but dressed up) advice, and I worry that it could lead to disastrous consequences in extreme cases. At the very least, presenting pseudo scientific claims as fact does the public's understanding of science very little good. Effectively, it de-educates.

A responsible broadcaster should be sensitive to this fact, and aim to inform, not confuse.

Best regards,


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