John Oliver Tackles the Media’s Scientific Gullibility on Last Week Tonight

As powerful as science is, those who understand it know how problematic one-off experiments can be — maybe the sample size is too small or the p-value isn’t significant at all. More importantly, without replication, it’s foolish to think one published paper tells the entire truth. But the media loves a good headline, and a single result that makes for morning news show fodder may have no actual support from the greater scientific community.

That was the point of John Oliver‘s latest lengthy segment on Last Week Tonight:

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Custom Wristband CEO Donates Proceeds from Massive “Debunk Evolution” Order to Pro-Science Group

RapidWristbands is one of those companies that makes custom wristbands for anyone who wants them. And that means anyone.

Recently, CEO Fiyyaz Pirani got an order from a Creationist ministry that wanted the message “Debunk Evolution” on a whopping 100,000 wristbands. (Who knows where they were going to hand those out.)

Pirani had no legal right to say no to them; it’s not like this was hate speech. But, as someone who understands science, he was conflicted.

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So he decided the company wouldn’t keep the profits:

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Creationist Ken Ham: The Earth Was Created Before the Sun, and the Bible Backs Me Up

On Twitter yesterday, Creationist Ken Ham explained that the Earth was created before the sun… because the Bible says so:

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Jimmy Kimmel: Sarah Palin’s Denial of Climate Change is “Offensive and Dangerous”

As we wrote about on the site last month, Sarah Palin was part of a panel recently discussing the anti-science “documentary” Climate Hustle after the film’s premiere. (Bill Nye was also rumored to be on the panel, but he quickly denied any participation.) Palin later said, dismissively, “Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am.”

Last night, Jimmy Kimmel took the former Republican vice presidential candidate to task for her irresponsible, anti-science buffoonery:

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Kentucky Has a Science Problem

With the opening of the Noah’s Ark theme park just over two months away, buttressed by up to $18 million in tax breaks from taxpayers, people are starting to reflect on what it means for the state of science in Kentucky.

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The editorial team at the Lexington Herald-Leader wonders, for example, how Governor Matt Bevin could visit Germany to attend a major industrial fair called Hanover Messe while the Tourism Development Finance Authority gave the multi-million dollar tax break without opposition from him:

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