When Entertainment and Science Don’t Mix

A (or One) Skeptic

There has been some commentary this week about Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” which is apparently their big ratings bonanza.

Even the Atlantic did a piece on it.

The problem is with the science. Not so good, it turns out.

Like the fictionalized “documentary” about a 100-foot, 80-ton shark they called Megalodon that also happens to be extinct. And has been for more than a million years. But Discovery resurrected Megalodon, with made-up stories of sightings and attacks.

There is a lot of good science on TV, but most of it is on PBS. In series like Nova, Nature, and occasionally even Frontline, there is a lot that an interested student of science can learn. And some of the programming on Discovery isn’t bad.

Of course, shark week feeds into people’s primal and unreasonable fears. The actual chance of getting attacked by a shark is exceedingly remote: there were about

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