Great piece, Joe.
Carol Black

This is a HUGELY important extension of the discussion, Carol Black. Thank you for bringing it up. I have explored these issues to a greater extent in the past while writing about agnotology (the social science that studies how ignorance is created at societal scales) and the various harms of marketing and propaganda that are out there.

Generally speaking, I see real and authentic scientific practices as antidotes to all these things. Where it becomes confusing is when “fake science” is generated to confuse people about what real science is… thus making this a precarious topic to explore in blogs and comment threads. It really needs careful and thoughtful facilitation to be handled well — as there are so many ways to confuse the discussion with miscommunications (and the internet is famous for its inadequacies here!). ;-)

One more thing on this topic, the role of the scientific method for addressing and correcting for faulty beliefs and biased interpretations goes all the way back to a foundational essay by Francis Bacon.