October 2011 Archives

Extraordinary Internet Products

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Anyone who has spent time on the Internet knows it is full of ridiculous products making ridiculous claims: Lose 10 pounds in a week! Grow back a full head of hair! Erase all your wrinkles! Being of a curious nature, I decided to check out one of these products and analyze it like the novice scientist/critical thinker I am.

The website I decided to check out was http://www.stopagingnow.com/. Even the URL by itself was an extraordinary claim; to stop the process of cellular aging immediately would be quite a feat indeed, and therefore would require extraordinary evidence to support this claim.

Not unsurprisingly, I didn't find much supporting evidence further in the website. Quite a few personal testimonies were exhibited which is a hallmark of pseudoscience. Jim D. from Holland, Michigan, was quoted as saying "very happy with the high quality..." which really isn't saying much about these products. Bob C. from Tampa, Florida, is quoted as saying "Red Yeast Rice has helped lower my cholesterol." However, anyone reading this testimonial doesn't know what else Bob has been doing that could have influenced his cholesterol: there are too many confounds to contribute Bob's drop in cholesterol to Red Yeast Rice.

While I personally find products such as this comical and a waste of money, not everyone on the Internet is as prone to scrutinizing the information they're handed. This in turn can lead to real issues. I don't know anyone personally, but I would guess that not a few people have been scammed into buying products that are useless or even potentially harmful. It makes me wish that the general populace of our country were better versed in critical thinking.

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