Is the Observer now staffed by lunatics?

Yet another great post from Bad Science today about stories appearing in the Observer based on cranky anti-science. In this case, it’s about a story on Madeleine McCann which claims that “forensic tests ‘reveal traces of Madeleine’s body on resort beach’”.

In fact, the “forensic evidence” comes from Danie Krugel, a South African ex-policeman who claims to be able to pinpoint the location of anyone in the world using “‘quantum physics’, a secret energy source which nobody is allowed to know, and a strand of the missing person’s hair”.

In other words, Krugel is a charlatan. That a reputable British newspaper should be taken in by this nonsense is bad enough. That it should splash a story like this in a sensitive case where, it should be remembered, a small child’s life is the central theme is nothing short of a disgrace.

I haven’t bought the Observer since its awful MMR story, the effect of which will be to encourage parents to adopt practices which will cause children to die. I haven’t bought the Independent – in either its Sunday or weekly guises – since joined the tinfoil hat brigade with its stories on the “dangers” of WiFi. Is there a single paper left in Britain which actually has anyone with even the vaguest clue about science left on its staff, or are we doomed to have to read this kind of drivel for the rest of time?

  • http://trannyfattyacid.blogspot.com/ trannyfattyacid

    The German govt would disagree with you about wifi:

    http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=1273&blogid=4

    But I applaud you not buying either the Observer or the Indepedent, both of which suffer from being written by people of the dinner party circuit.

  • Jay

    Well said sir. Thank god for a strand of sanity.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/ianbetteridge/ Ian Betteridge

    The German government is wrong, pure and simple. There is not a single shred of scientific evidence that WiFi is bad for you. In fact, every study ever conducted has shown no connection between WiFi and any kind of disorder. The German government is simply responding to the presence within its ranks of Greens who, frankly, think that any technology is intrinsically bad – and are ideologically committed to “saving” us from it.

  • http://danhon.com/ Dan Hon

    You could always try the Economist, but I expect that even though it protests that it’s a newspaper, hardly anyone would think of it as such. Their Tech Quarterlies are always good, as is their Science and Technology section.