Afternoon Inquisition

AI: When Science Breaks Your Heart

Last week, at Mad Art Lab, I wrote about my utterly disappointing (to put it mildly) experience with so-called miracle fruit. It was supposed to be the perfect solution for those of us who can’t eat dessert things but want to eat dessert things. Turns out, my friends and scientists are liars and for that, I hate them. The long story is at MAL, the short story is: dry heaves.

photo (18)Miracle fruit is supposed to work to make everything bitter and sour taste sweet in the same way toothpaste makes OJ taste like you want to chop your tongue off.

Except it doesn’t work. It only makes things I love taste terrible and things I don’t like that much taste normal.

Science let me down. I may never trust it again. Unless you can convince me to love again.

Has science ever let you down? Will I ever be able to trust it? How do you cope with science lying to your face? How can I cope? Is there a homeopathic remedy for science betrayal?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.

Featured image by me, used without permission.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

Related Articles


  1. Like cures like, so for science betrayal take 1 article of faith, dilute to 1 part per quadrazillion (this is a scientific homeopathic dilution, DO NOT QUESTION MY NUMBERS), dissolve on a sugar cube, realize you can’t eat sugar cubes, throw out in disgust.

  2. Of course not. Science and I are soulmates, it could never let me down. And I doubt it let you down. Have you read any actual scientific papers on the effects of miracle berries? Or have you, as I suspect you have, been seduced by science’s sexier fraternal twin sibling Science brand Popular culture? And then let down. SbPC is the kind of character that will tell you half truths and tell you friend of a friend anecdotes, and you think that because you have so many mutual sciencey friends the anecdotes and neat images with quotes on them are backed by solid evidence, while in reality you are all as likely to forward without thinking as the faithiest of faithy faithers. And after you’ve been burned you blame Science. Shame on you.

    1. Science has a name for Science brand Popular culture, sciency. All of the great science taste, none of the science fact. I wish I could take credit for the term but that goes to @blurky.

  3. I tried the miracle berries once and very much enjoyed the experience. I nearly made myself sick snacking on limes and cranberries, and a dark beer tasted like a chocolatey beverage. But one person in our party was unaffected by the berries and very disappointed, which I hear is not uncommon. I’m sorry science broke your heart.

  4. Sad that it was a bad experience…I was mostly impressed with its effects on lemons and limes, but I don’t think I’d trust it to make things taste good enough for long enough to substitute for a full dessert. I wonder if there’s some genetic component to how it works in individuals. My current *urgh science* is with ‘not quite science but pretending really well to be science’ in terms of biases/fraud in drug studies/academic papers. Good science is exacting and frustrating and costly and often boring. Hearing so many anecdotes of bad science can be frustrating. (Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Pharma”, the New York Times article on Diederik Stapel as a couple of examples). I try to soothe myself with the hope that the weight of good evidence will eventually prevail, though I might not be getting all the info at any one time.

  5. Elyse, all your friends hate you. You need new friends. You can find new fiends by joining my cult group that is searching for new truths and new experiences in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere by employing the latest in string theories,

    * Become long and skinny (like a string bean)
    * Explore the universe visiting virtual black holes (experience spaghettification)
    * Network with new friends (nets are made from strings)
    * Free* Life affirming workshops (no strings attached.)

    Quantum Physics is so Twentieth Century! Join the new cult Science of String Theory for the new Millennium!

    Contact our membership coordinator for full details

    [*] small convenience fee might apply

  6. I don’t know if science has ever let me down. But food certainly has, and is currently doing so at this moment. Red wine and dark chocolate are supposed to be mood improvers, but while tasting delicious, aren’t really making me happy. I feel manipulated and/or lied to. I’m okay with blaming science for it.

  7. Here it is, almost 2015, and we can’t get a hoverboard that works on water. Pfft. Unless you got POWER! Who can afford that? Stupid science.

    1. Oh no! Have you tried Moving Comfort, Skirt Sports or Enell? I am less busty than I once was, but I heart my Skirt Sports’ bra so much. Comfortable. No bounce. Cute. And interchangeable straps!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button