Misinformation and Scientific Literacy

I want to talk a bit about scientific literacy, specifically the importance of citing sources and expecting claims to have supporting evidence. This morning I saw a post shared by a couple birth groups that made the claim that African tribes invented c-sections “hundreds of years before Europeans” (as though it’s a competition and if it is, it looks like the Chinese won). The post extrapolated wildly and didn’t cite sources. Of course, this kind of thing happens every day on social media but it was the response in the comments that concerns me the most.

When commenters asked for sources the responses were “do your own research”, “you’re so rude and so lazy“, “it’s not her job to educate you” and similar. (The first and third phrases are your signs to distance yourself from someone asap; the second one, well, it might be true but not for asking for sources.) Continue reading