Creationists Game Google’s Search Results To Claim Dinosaurs ‘Indoctrinate’ Children

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05.27.15 9 Comments
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Let’s just be clear about this: Creationism is not science. It’s not even widely accepted as a religious belief. But creationists have a lot of money, and when you’ve got a lot of money, you can spend a lot on black hat SEO.

As the Mary Sue notes, that seems to have happened recently with the question, “What happened to the dinosaurs?” Until it spread on Twitter, and people reported the error, what popped up was essentially an ad for Ken Ham’s “What Really Happened To The Dinosaurs?” insisting that dinosaurs are a “framework to indoctrinate children.” This might just be that Ham’s book is really popular among a certain subset of people, but one suspects they were gaming the results.

Fortunately, you can report Google search results for inaccuracy, and as of this writing, that result’s been nuked from orbit. But it’s more than a little worrying that, even now, Google can be gamed like this. Many people don’t entirely grasp that Google is still at root little more than a dispassionate data hunter; you give it some keywords, it gives you what its algorithm thinks are the best results for those key words.

Thankfully, the data shows that Americans are less and less inclined to believe this particular strain of pseudoscientific BS, so hopefully we won’t have to see this again. Then maybe we can get to work on how GMOs aren’t bad for you.

(Via the Mary Sue)

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