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One problem with the current data ecosystem is that often misinformation is free, while hard science (and other reliable sources) are hidden behind paywalls. For example, I can read the abstract, which doesn't seem to conflict with the OP, but if I want to see the full text, I'm SOL.

I even have the Unpaywall extension installed (http://unpaywall.org), precisely to avoid this situation, but unfortunately the extension wasn't able to find a free version of this article.

This is one reason Open Access publishing is so crucially important to the public discourse. "Alternate facts" will win if people can read them for free but must pay to read peer-reviewed science.

Whether or not you think National Geographic has mischaracterized the science in this instance, I hope we can all agree that access to the original source would help everyone get their facts straight.




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