Review: S3 – Science, Statistics and Skepticism by Fourat Janabi

Fourat Janabi’s passionate and entertaining look at the 3 pressing S’s of this universe: Science, Statistics and Skepticism, is,  as the subtitle to this work testifies, an art of differentiation.

In this age of memes and virals on Facebook – which always seem to me to be the blind leading the blind – telling us how bad GMO crops, vaccines and theories of evolution are, Janabi once again pulls up a chair and takes a really hard look at something most people “liking” memes on Facebook don’t do – facts from qualified and independent scientists on the subjects that lately have come up as dinner party discussions lately in the modern hemisphere. He even explains why Newton has been proven wrong – and why NASA still uses these wrong equations to send rockets into Space.

Since his last book, which I thoroughly recommend also, Janabi has indeed done it again. Drawing the reader in with his ” Bad Science” chapter, using great examples of how data can be changed to look like anything (he shows a chart of how consumption of organic food is related to autism rising over the last five years – an untrue and random comparison showing exactly how false correlation can be) according to the purpose of the study, he explains exactly why the herd mentality of going with he who shouts loudest is not the best way of differentiating fact from myth. When he moves into “Good Science” it is absolutely impossible to fault empirical measures and really shows how the trend towards organic foods and being anti-vaccine, and the idea of creationism, are non-substantiated – not by scientists working for the “corporations” (another word bandied around mainly by those who have never worked in one) but by independent and universal laws of science, such as biological reaction, statistics that work (studies are thrown by not setting their conditions properly) and genes as nature’s helpers rather than the devil’s work. As usual, the quotes used are spot on, such as this on why it is wrong to oppose GMO crop use,

“If our society will not be able to “de-demonize” transgenic technology soon, history will hold it responsible for [the] death and suffering of millions: people in the poor world, not in overfed and privileged Europe, the home of the anti – GMO hysteria” Ingo Potrykus (Plant Scientist)

The most amusing chapter is about homeopathy. Another unfashionable subject to baulk at, but Janabi’s  in the grain explanations are hilariously accurate and quite stunning. Did you know that a bottle of so-called homeopathic remedy has nothing of the substance in it, because it would have to contain more water than is present on Earth in the bottle to contain one atom of substance?

Fourat Janabi, I am sure, will soon be noticed as a challenging and talented Humanist speaker on Truth – the trouble is, of course, that it’s not fashionable to be in the possession of the scientific truth when it comes to these touchy subjects. But I for one wish him all the luck with this fascinating and must-read book.


Fourat Janabi-S3