If I can't pronounce it, it must cause cancer.
The prime minister and his wife, Tony and Cherie Blair
, were asked by journalists if their son Leo had been vaccinated. The Blairs refused to say, thereby giving up an opportunity to set the record straight for the general public about the safety and necessity of childhood vaccinations. Their silence was not golden... Then there was the fact that Cherie Blair wore crystals to keep evil rays from harming her. Her best friend's mother, Sylvia Caplin, was "a spiritual guru who was viciously anti-MMR ("for a tiny child, the MMR is a ridiculous thing to do. It has definitely caused autism,"
she told the Mail
)". The Blairs were also associated with new age healer Jack Temple, "who offered crystal dowsing, homeopathy, neolithic-circle healing in his suburban back garden, and some special breastfeeding technique
which he reckoned made vaccines unnecessary."
Pretty much every angry wingnut’s arguments against scientific consensus boil down to this. “Real knowledge” is inerrant and occurs once so that they can learn it as children and never have to think again.
Anything else can be dismissed. Which makes their figuring out enough about the internet to vomit their refuse on to it absolutely fascinating to study in its dissonance.
It should be noted that a lot of Nina's personal beliefs are, quite frankly, horseshit. Her new age babblings about a cosmic goodness are overbearingly trite and she's also one of these nutbags who thinks AIDS is an innately benign condition and that it's actually AIDS medication that is killing everyone
(Her and Dave Grohl
Instead of having public and private research dollars aimed at solving long-term problems posed by something like Ebola, we have a pharmaceutical research complex that literally spends more on coming up with solutions to erectile dysfunction and male-pattern baldness
than Ebola containment and eradication...Rather than our society heeding the wise counsel of scientific and technical experts, we now deride, distrust and defund them because they are perceived as threatening, know-it-all elites
who offer opinions little better than that of the often misinformed common man.
You would think Oprah
learned her lesson after Dr. Phil
. That maybe she would be more particular about the kinds of medical professionals she hoisted onto a pedestal. And at first, Dr. Oz
seemed to be fairly legit...But if history has taught us anything, it's that to be a part of Oprah's Board of Medicine Hearsay and Misinformation
you have to believe much more in anti-science and faith-healing than actual science-based medicine. And Mehmet Oz was apparently born for a position on that prestigious council of bullshit.
It took many hundreds of years, which stretched into thousands of years, before it was fully accepted that medicine should be based on science. Indeed, arguably, it wasn’t until 103 years ago, with the advent of the Flexner Report, that medicine, in the U.S. at least, was placed on a firmly scientific basis, and what we now know as randomized controlled clinical trials did not see their debut, much less become the basis of determining which treatments worked and which did not, until the 1940s. Although physicians have been trying to base their craft on science for hundreds of years, it’s really only been in the last century or so that they’ve succeeded. Yet still some would like to go back to the way it was. They yearn for the days when doctors were “healers” and shamans, the way medicine was for hundreds and hundreds of years before science intruded.
Unfortunately, one of those physicians happens to be "America’s doctor"...I also question Oz’s romantic view of these “healers.” It sounds all too much like the “noble savage
” myth, a case of Oz falling for romantic primitivism, which he seems to want to fuse with modern medicine.
In many ways, this is a new golden age of human sacrifice....The child who dies in agony because his parents believe dialysis is 'against God's will' is no less dead than a child burned at the altar of Molech. In fact, his death was infinitely more cruel and unnecessary (and often even more agonizing), since children were usually only sacrificed in pagan times during periods of grave social crisis, such as droughts or plagues. The ancients didn't know any better—people today have no excuse.
Climate change denialist John Ray of the blog Greeniewatch
deserves special mention for his claim, apparently made with a straight face, that: “The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?
” Yes, that’s how you make a career in science. Stick to uniformity; don’t disagree. The reward is that you can later cruise past the poor struggling denialists at your local denialist think tank in your new Mercedes.
Ignorance is bliss. Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Personally, I think bliss is overrated.
— Collection of aesops
Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study hard. Be evil.
Science leads you to killing people.
— Ben Stein
Are you interested in medical journals and that sort of thing? Bill Maher:
Not Western medicine, I think we’re being poisoned.
—Late Night with David Letterman, 2008 interview
It's scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly; but the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, flies anyways.
—Mike Huckabee, 2008 U.S. Presidential nominee
Unbelievers in religion who think science can save the world are possessed by a fantasy that’s far more childish than any myth. The idea that humans will rise from the dead may be incredible, but no more so than the notion that 'humanity' can use science to remake the world...Myths can’t be verified or falsified in the way theories can be. But they can be more or less truthful to human experience, and I’ve no doubt that some of the ancient myths we inherit from religion are far more truthful than the stories the modern world tells about itself.
—John Gray, philosopher