Tag: The Daily Show

You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true

By Phil Plait | November 1, 2011 7:00 am

Here at BA Central, I have my hands full trying to battle the Forces of Darkness: those who would spin, fold, and mutilate reality for their own gain. They may be motivated by greed, or power, or ignorance, or ideology, but the thing they all have in common is, they’re wrong. They come in many flavors: homeopaths, psychics, creationists, antivaxxers… and yes, sadly, far too many politicians.

And I can rail against them time and again, my arsenal filled with the facts from an entire Universe at my disposal, yet make hardly a dent in their armor.

Sometimes, though, a small dose of satire penetrates right through that shielding and pierces the very heart of antiscience. Thank you, The Daily Show, for fighting this good fight:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Weathering Fights – Science: What’s It Up To?
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

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Hit or missile

By Phil Plait | November 12, 2010 10:53 am

So I got a bazillion emails and tweets about the so-called "missile launch" off of LA the other day. I was on travel and couldn’t really write about this, and by the time I could it was already being shown to be a plane contrail. And I wouldn’t even write about it now, but I have to link to this clip from The Daily Show where they pretty much nail it:

<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'Missile: Impossible
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

The part about the helicopter pilot is magnifique! That’s a perfect example of skeptical thinking. And Occam’s Razor slices pretty well here; what’s more common in LA, an airplane or a missile launch? It shows the relevance once again of the old skeptical adage: If you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.

Unless you live in the African grassland. Or near a zoo. Whatever.

And I’ll add that a guy appears to have figured out not only that it was a plane, but what flight it was, which I note simply because I know the comments to this post will soon be filled with conspiracy theorists who will claim this is a coverup for a transdimensional porthole like the one over Norway or Australia that were certainly not rocket boosters even though all the evidence points that way because they just know it and use words that sound sciencey but are actually the blog-comment equivalent of an Ogden Nash poem.


Tip o’ the tin foil beanie to reddit for that last bit about the plane spotter.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: DeathfromtheSkies!, Humor, Skepticism
MORE ABOUT: missile, The Daily Show

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