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Real Phenomena?

They’ve been playing an Ad. for their Science Show all week on on ABC RN in which this phrase appears:

..but that doesn’t mean anything about whether it’s a real phenomenon...

So what’s a real phenomenon? – as opposed to an unreal one?

My dictionary defines a phenomenon as:

any state or process known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning

So, given what we know about the psychology of phenomena, is the Science Show promoting a realist philosophy of science, or do such matters just get swept under the carpet in the name of journalism? I’d put my bet on ignorance.

And while we’re at it, Danielle Clode’s piece on megafauna has this gem:

The giant horned tortoises of Queensland may have trundled about like armoured tanks with spiked tails, but they were probably peaceful herbivores, the last survivors of a family that once spread across the Pacific.

Well, I can understand how she can deduce it was a herbivore, but peaceful? I wonder how she worked that out. Poetic license or bad science? I mean, its not as if all herbivores are peaceful. Hippos, elephants, zebras... for eg.

The last item Songbirds arose in Australian region made up for it though. Excellent!

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