Unless you have been living under the rock in the past months, you probably have heard about “fake news”. You hear them being thrown around, which is not surprising given the growing number of fake and misleading news you can find on social media nowadays. But one thing worth noting about these words is how they are increasingly being used to refer to just about anything that some people may find disagreeable.
In a classic display of cognitive dissonance, some people try to stick to their beliefs despite being presented with evidence that clearly shows they are wrong. The climate change issue is probably one of the best examples to illustrate how insidious poor understanding of what fake news can be. Just because someone believes climate change is not real does not make all the scientific data and evidence false. But that is exactly what some people are doing.
Why do scientists collect data? Because the point of doing research is to prove a hypothesis and a theory and the best way to do that is to make a thorough study, do tests, gather data, observe evidence, and every painstaking step scientists and researchers do to make sure that they learn more about a problem and perhaps even find solutions for them.
If there is any silver lining in all the negativity that all the misleading and made-up stories you can find online, it would be this: You do not have to be a scientist to develop critical thinking and not get lost in all the bogus news and propaganda.