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It's hard to point your finger at any one thing and say, "This is why people have such weird ideas about astronomy." However, your TV set is a pretty good place to start.

Despite the valiant efforts of The Discovery Channel and PBS, television by and large carries a pretty big load of Bad Astronomy. Sitcoms, commercials, the news media and now the tabloid news shows are all contributing to America's misunderstanding of basic astronomy and the scientific method. On this page I will try to air out some of these shows. When possible I will have direct quotes pertaining to their Bad Astronomy, and a clear, simple explanation of the actual situation. Many times I will not have quotes because I have only seen the show once and could only take quick notes. Please forgive me in those circumstances; but I will try my best to openly and fairly treat the show if possible.

If you have seen something on TV that has contributed to Bad Astronomy, please feel free to email me and let me know. I cannot promise to use every contribution: I prefer ones I can either confirm myself, get clear quotes from, or ones that have confirmation from some other Bad Reader. I want to be as fair as possible here!

Incidentally, I used to include the Learning Channel along with PBS and the Discovery Channel at the top of this page, but recently TLC has taken a huge backward slide. They have broadcast all sorts of nonsense about UFOs, ESP, prophecies and pseudoscience. We still have a long way to go it seems.

The TV List

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