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You can fool some of the people ...

How easy is it to conduct a study that pulls the wool over just about everyone’s eyes?

A friend recently sent me a write-up about a junior high school student who won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair.

For his project, he asked people to sign a petition demanding stern regulation and possibly even a ban of a chemical called dihydrogen monoxide.

The Eagle Rock Junior High student listed seven reasons why the chemical needed strict controls ...

1) It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting

2) It is a major component in acid rain

3) It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state

4) Accidental inhalation can kill you

5) It contributes to erosion

6) It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes

7) It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

Out of 50 people, 43 signed the petition. Six were undecided.

And one said no. Apparently he had paid attention in chemistry class, so he knew that dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water.

It’s that easy.

DAVID CLEARMAN

Albany

EDITOR’S NOTE: According to snopes.com, student Nathan Zohlner, who was 14 when he won the science fair in 1997, titled his project, “How Gullible Are We?”