In our eagerness to focus on the supply side of pseudoscience - the dismal outpourings of flaky humanities graduates in the media and the bogus pseudoscience of people with products to sell - we've neglected an important area of study: the impact on the end market. Take this from reader Richard Neville, last weekend, who was simply trying to get a drink: "I was at the bar buying a round," he begins. "'Grapefruit and soda please.' I said. The barman adopted a pained expression. 'I should point out to you, sir, that this juice is 100% pure organic and, therefore, I don't like to add chemicals - you see, I don't know what's in soda water.' 'Well,' I said, 'I think it's mostly water - which, of course, is a chemical plus a little bicarbonate of soda and added carbon dioxide.' He didn't look happy, while I just looked thirsty and persisted: 'Well,' he warned, 'if you'll take full responsibility ...'"

Guardian Unlimited | Life | Guardian life bad science


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