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Idle Science

Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the type-A-negative-personality dept.
trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."

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Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:55PM (#30291122) Journal
    The thin edge of the wedge with this sort of thing is its popularity with the public at large. I'm sure the logic at CBS HQ was (unless the staff are themselves woo peddlers) "Well, yeah, it's pop-nonsense; but if it will draw attention, we'll get more blood donors, and we really need all of those we can get." That can be a compelling argument, and the compromise can seem so harmless at the time.

    You also see this sort of thing happen when otherwise respectable medical schools will get endowed institutes in nonsenseology because some big donor has $200 million; but also believes that squirting coffee up his ass cures cancer.
  • Why is this news? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:20PM (#30291436)
    This seems like a fairly harmless "just for fun" type thing. This is like ripping on someone for reading a fortune cookie.
  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:20PM (#30291442)
    After looking through the site, it's pretty clearly just a marketing ploy to engage with people who believe it to be true.

    It's not even that. It's a way to break the ice with people who would be bored to tears with "facts" about blood. It's meant for fun, not education, other than educating people that giving blood is a good thing.

    It's not the Canadian Blood Service's job to teach every person on the planet every fact about blood nor are they required to UNteach every superstition.

    As for the "skeptics", they need to get a life or borrow a sense of humor. And get some honesty . The disclaimer they say you'll miss if you blink was quite visible to this reader, even while blinking.

    It's a shame that organizations who claim to have such high purposes waste their time and image by ranting about such stupid meaningless things.

  • by Rary (566291) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:46PM (#30292796)

    Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. It clearly states that "The What's Your Type? program is a recruitment program with information provided for the participants' enjoyment" (emphasis added). It's just a silly recruitment program, and it blatantly says so. They're not claiming that there is any science behind it. This is not the science-oriented people in CBS backing this, it's the PR-oriented people.

    There is no conspiracy here to to drive a wedge of Japanese pseudoscience into an otherwise scientific organization. This is a bit of silliness to get people interested in donating blood.

    Seriously people. Relax. Loosen your tinfoil hats. "They" are not conspiring to take your precious science away.

  • Birth Sign (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Roger W Moore (538166) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:07PM (#30292950) Journal
    When I'm asked what sign I was born under I usually respond that I'm not sure but it probably said something like "Maternity Ward". Depending on the response you can then easily tell whether it is worth continuing a conversation....
  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @03:36PM (#30301886)
    (As opposed to wasting time ranting about people who rant?)

    I posted a comment in a discussion group. If you call that "ranting", and equate that to producing a website denouncing what I commented about, well, that's your issue to deal with. Most people would recognize a difference.

    What sort of Ottawa-based issues do you think that the Ottawa Skeptics should be spending time on instead, OOI?

    I really don't care what they rant about, I'm just pointing out the stupidity and waste of time demonstrated by their active opposition to something so meaningless in the long run. If they want to look stupid by using a shotgun approach to a mosquito, well, that's fine with me. They can make all the mountains out of molehills they want, as long as they accept the resulting impression they leave on bystanders.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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