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A worm’s eye view

Andrew Brown has a very acute assessment of science coverage in the Daily Mail:

The Daily Mail subscribes to a radically simplified version of the atomic theory and everyone else tries to follow. According to this theory everything in the world is made from two kinds of basic substance: those that cure cancer, and those that cause it. The job of a scientist is to go through the world classifying everything into one category or the other. Every time something is identified as made of one sort of atom or the other, we have a story, preferably a scandal.

Last week’s scandal was the discovery that some faintly carcinogenic food dye had been used to colour chilli powder, which had gone into Worcester sauce, which goes into everything in Britain. Pages and pages of delicious outrage followed. The most delicious thing about cancer is that it isn’t horribly frightening. I know that sounds brutal, but it’s true. Most people don’t really expect to get cancer; and more people will in fact die of heart disease.

I have no further comment right now on a newspaper whose website’s top story is that Terry Wogan doesn’t like reality TV shows.

The Daily Star’s lead story (as reported in The Wrap) made me smile today:

The Daily Star comes up with the strangest twist to the trial. It claims in an exclusive that the “pop weirdo” plans to call his pet chimp Bubbles as his star defence witness. According to the Star, Jackson plans to “communicate” with the chimp in the same way as one of his fictional heroes, Doctor Dolittle, and has enlisted the services of a gorilla called Koko to help as an interpreter.

Only in the tabloids.

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

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