How Gullible Are We?

This was the title of a prize- winning science project by a freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High School. The student won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair last year for attempting to show how people have become conditioned to environmental alarmism and the fear it causes.

His project was an experiment that involved persuading people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide." Too make his case, he cited the following:

  1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting.
  2. It is a major component of acid rain.
  3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state.
  4. Accidental inhalation can kill you.
  5. It contributes to erosion.
  6. It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  7. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients.

The student asked 50 people if they would support a ban on the chemical, based on the above data. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that the chemical is water. How gullible are we’? The conclusion is obvious.