Friday, February 16, 2007

Oh the irony of it all...

How is it that AdWords can miss the point so thoroughly? I've put AdWords on my blog, and I'm damn near ready to take it down. This blog is my attempt to write about science and society. Science has had some of the largest effects on how 21st century society operates, and yet most Americans have no idea how science and scientists work. So I put AdWords on my blog, cause all the cool kids are doing it, and all the ads that are coming up are for homeopathic pseudoscientific bunk. Apparently my earlier post about the new HPV vaccine has pegged by AdWords for various flaky HPV cures. That's the danger of the web. All kinds of information out there. Most of it is crap.

My quick google search of HPV reveals that around 2/3 (it changes each time) of the sponsored search results are for quackish "cures" for the virus. Let's all be clear, here. There are no cures for viruses. For most viruses, there are no effective treatments (though HIV has a few due to the huge amount of research done in this area).

Many people think that science is about lab coats and words that end in "ology". Science is first and foremost proof. If someone says they have a cure for something, demand proof. Demand publication in peer-reviewed journals (that is, that they've convinced their scientific peers that they are correct). There are no "alternative" treatments. There are treatments that work and pseudoscientific bunk.


1 comment:

Skeptico said...

I have the same problem on my blog. I justify it by reasoning that if anyone clicks the link, the pseudo-scientific peddler in the ad has to pay me some money. Of course, I don’t encourage skeptics to click the links on my blog to make them pay more because that would be wrong. Really, it would.

Plus, I have posted a disclaimer – that I don’t endorse the ads.