Not everything on the internet is true?

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After I saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – which wasn’t horrible, and had some decent moments (especially for a comic book fan like myself) – I was going to write a post about just how scientifically accurate Spider-Man is. Namely, could such a creature exist?

After the obvious answer of “NO,” I came upon a video from the makers of Animation Domination entitled: Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man.

WARNING, there is some graphic language and images, so you may need to sign in to view it.

However, I had a few questions after watching the video. While I am no entomologist, I do know more than your average person about insects and some of these “scientifically accurate facts” the video kept flailing about did not seem right to me. And by the might of Google, I found a post written about how inaccurate that very video is, written by a friend of mine from the science communication world – Gwen Pearson AKA Bug Girl.

Her post details what is right, wrong and plain weird about the lyrics in the song, and it is a brilliant read. You can find it here: http://membracid.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/scientifically-accurate-spider-man-is-not-accurate/

Gwen raises an interesting point, as when she initially wrote about Spider-Man, she admits she cut some corners to make it more interesting to non-entomologists. But by doing so, you lose some of the science-ness. Jargon is a great thing in certain circles, but if you aren’t in on it, then readers will rapidly lose interest and then you have failed as a science communicator.

It is tough to walk the fine line between established fact and preventing it from being bogged down with the nitty-gritty of science. Personally, I love the nitty-gritty science, but that’s me. And I primarily don’t write for me. I write for a farmer in Saskatchewan, a waitress in Tulsa, a receptionist in Darwin and everyone in-between. I write to communicate science, animals, the weird and wonderful, and the general oddity of everyday life so that anyone can read it and hopefully learn something, or go “huh, I didn’t know that.”

Whenever someone says they learned something or thought it was interesting, I’m right as rain.

But the Internet is a fountain of knowledge, but also a dangerous pit of misinformation, and requires every reader be knowledgeable that anyone can publish anything online and that doesn’t mean it is right.

But that said, these cartoon are really entertaining, do contain some real information and I am talking about them on my blog. So, I guess that counts as a win.

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