Monday, April 5, 2010

When Antiscience Kills

In this week's show, Phil Plait discusses the story of the ADE 651, a purported bomb detecting device used by Iraqi security forces and deemed useless by the U.S. military. It is a small hand-held wand with an antenna and is used at hundreds of security checkpoints in Iraq. “I don’t believe there’s a magic wand that can detect explosives,” said Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe Jr., who oversees Iraqi police training for the American military. “If there was, we would all be using it. I have no confidence that these work.” Iraq has purchased more than 1500 of the devices for tens of thousands of dollars each.

Read Phil Plait's article at Bad Astronomy
Read the New York Times article

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