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Thread: Mythbusters

  1. #1 Mythbusters 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Do you think the show mythbusters might help teach people the scientific method?

    One problem is that gives a distorted version, just experimentation (as opposed to predictions and findings like fossils).


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  3. #2  
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    Well, at least they are showing the principles of scientific inquire. The simple fact of using control groups has a massive and very positive educational impact, I belive. In several shows they also use double blind methods, which is amazing in educating the general public too.

    The point of the show is to test myths, so they end up concentrating in experimentation mostly. Other shows could cover different aspects of science, though.


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  4. #3  
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    Double blind methods is an important part of the scientific method, used to prevent research outcomes from being 'influenced' by the placebo effect or observer bias. Blinded research is an important tool in many fields of research, from medicine, to psychology and the social sciences, to forensics. Blinding is a basic tool to prevent conscious and unconscious bias in research..
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  5. #4 Re: Mythbusters 
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Do you think the show mythbusters might help teach people the scientific method?

    One problem is that gives a distorted version, just experimentation (as opposed to predictions and findings like fossils).
    There are some obvious flaws in much of what they do, and they sometimes take short-cuts and/or fail to test alternatives... However, as a general rule, the show is great at teaching people not to just take stuff at face value, and to put their assumptions to the test. Not to mention that it's really entertaining, and they blow stuff up all the time.

    So, it's not as rigorous as most scientific studies should be, but they do a fantastic job at making science fun for all viewers and getting people to scrutinize things a bit more and realizing that not everything they hear or read is true. It's a tough balance to find... If they were extremely rigorous and focused on really close detail, practically nobody would tune in to watch.

    Not perfect, but much better than most. That's my take.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    They generally do a pretty good job, but sometimes, I note how many possibilities they miss, or flaws they have. They don't have a real solid background in the sciences, but I think they usually do a real good job.

    I love how they are now popular enough to go places like NASA to test things.
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  7. #6  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    They generally do a pretty good job, but sometimes, I note how many possibilities they miss, or flaws they have.
    The cool thing, though, is that they will often go back and do follow-up episodes where they address other possibilities and/or flaws which were raised by viewers. They call it "Myth Evolution." In fact, just this last week they had an episode doing exactly that when they aired "Myth: Evolution 2."
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