This is the worst Ranger since Turbo

Update! In my haste to get away from the bastion of woo that is NaturalNews.com, I missed the link which said that the craziness continues if you register. I’ve added the new commentary between the horizontal rules down below, and many thanks to commenter blf in PZ’s comments for notifying everyone else of the unabridged version.


Which one is the Health Ranger?So, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, doesn’t like skeptics. He doesn’t like them so much that he decided to write a scathing article about “what ‘skeptics’ really believe” without actually bothering to find out what skeptics really believe. Apparently he has his knickers in a twist because of the Twitter-based Shorty Awards, where he was winning until it was discovered that a bunch of his votes were coming from dubious Twitter accounts, and supporters of actual medicine voted an actual doctor into the top spot. So, after accusing science-based medicine advocates of lying about the fraudulent votes propping him up, Adams decided that the best course of action would be to do some lying himself, in the form of an article that boasts more strawmen than a Wizard of Oz convention. It’s easy pickings, and I’m sure Orac and Steve Novella will be all over it soon enough, but I figured it’d give me a chance to exercise some atrophied snark muscles.

(NaturalNews) In the world of medicine, “skeptics” claim to be the sole protectors of intellectual truth.

Citation please.

Everyone who disagrees with them is just a quack, they insist.

No, not everyone, just the ones claiming to provide medical services without the backing of evidence. We don’t call Creationists quacks, for instance, we call them wackaloons. There’s a detailed taxonomy, remind me to send you the poster.

Briefly stated, “skeptics” are in favor of vaccines, mammograms, pharmaceuticals and chemotherapy.

You could have said “skeptics are in favor of real medicine” and saved yourself some typing.

They are opponents of nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, chiropractic care, massage therapy, energy medicine, homeopathy, prayer and therapeutic touch.

And again, “they are opponents of things which haven’t been shown to work, or have been shown not to work.” Sure, it’s only one word shorter, but it’s far more accurate.

But there’s much more that you need to know about “skeptics.” As you’ll see below, they themselves admit they have no consciousness and that there is no such thing as a soul, a spirit or a higher power.

I don’t think “consciousness” means what you think it means. But again, “they don’t believe things for which there is no evidence” would be more economic.

There is no life after death. In fact, there’s not much life in life when you’re a skeptic.


Actually, there’s a lot of life in life when you’re a skeptic. In fact, thanks to modern science-based medicine, there’s a lot more life in life than there used to be. I get to live a lot longer than my ancestors did, and thanks to all those treatments you dismiss–vaccines, mammograms, chemotherapy, etc.–I get to live through things that would either shorten (cancer, influenza, meningitis) or negatively impact (polio, shingles) my life. There was a time when prayer, herbal remedies, and such were the standard medical practice. Around the same time, 2/3 of Europe died of the plague. Perhaps there’s a connection.

What skeptics really believe

Note: this is not what skeptics really believe.

I thought it would be interesting to find out exactly what “skeptics” actually believe, so I did a little research and pulled this information from various “skeptic” websites.

“I also neglected to provide actual quotes or links to said sites, so you’ll just have to take my word that all this is totally representative, I swear.”

What I found will make you crack up laughing so hard that your abs will be sore for a week. Take a look…

I have a feeling that you’re right, but not for the reasons you think.

• Skeptics believe that ALL vaccines are safe and effective (even if they’ve never been tested),

Really? Show me a vaccine available for public consumption that has never been tested. Then, show me a homeopathic remedy that has been tested and found both safe and effective. I’ll even give you a tip: don’t start with Zicam.

that ALL people should be vaccinated, even against their will,

That’s getting to murky legal and ethical waters. Obviously people shouldn’t have medical procedures inflicted on them without their consent. On the other hand, people who have taken reasonable measures to protect themselves from preventable diseases shouldn’t have their lives endangered because anti-science quacks have convinced people that vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases they prevent. And the children of antivax kooks and suckers shouldn’t be endangered because their parents couldn’t sort out science from nonsense.

and that there is NO LIMIT to the number of vaccines a person can be safely given. So injecting all children with, for example, 900 vaccines all at the same time is believed to be perfectly safe and “good for your health.”

I’d like to know who you’re quoting there, Mike. Sure, there’s a limit to the number of vaccines a person can be safely given. I mean, at some point you’re going to be diluting the blood to a dangerous degree. And I’m sure there are dosages of any chemical in vaccines which would be dangerous–after all, anything is deadly in large enough amounts. This is why we have guidelines and tests and studies to determine what the safe limits are, and why we keep any dosages well below those limits. You’re almost right in one respect, though, and that’s that skeptics understand that the human body’s capacity for dealing with pathogens is many orders of magnitude greater than what’s present in vaccines. I mean, the immune system is dealing with countless attacks from all fronts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Adding a few weakened or dead viruses into the mix–or even more benign, some bits of viral coat or surface proteins–barely even registers. It’s just enough for the body to take notice, build up defenses, and continue dealing with the real threats.

• Skeptics believe that fluoride chemicals derived from the scrubbers of coal-fired power plants are really good for human health.

What does the source of a chemical have to do with how healthy it is? A fluoride molecule from a coal-fired power plant is exactly the same as a fluoride molecule from anywhere else–including from the natural fluoridated water sources that first tipped people off to the idea of fluoridating water. Moreover, you do realize that coal comes from plants, right? Don’t you like plants?

They’re so good, in fact, that they should be dumped into the water supply so that everyone is forced to drink those chemicals, regardless of their current level of exposure to fluoride from other sources.

Who’s forcing anyone to drink tap water? You don’t like it? Buy bottled, get a filter that traps fluoride, move overseas. If you can’t accept the basic chemistry and biology behind water fluoridation–not to mention the clinical evidence supporting its safety and effectiveness–then you have plenty of options available to you.

• Skeptics believe that many six-month-old infants need antidepressant drugs.

Citation please.

In fact, they believe that people of all ages can be safely given an unlimited number of drugs all at the same time: Antidepressants, cholesterol drugs, blood pressure drugs, diabetes drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, sleeping drugs and more — simultaneously!

Do you know how science-based medical practitioners can make those claims? Because we’ve done the legwork to find out how different medications affect the body, and how they might interact with one another. See, when you rely on science and evidence to guide your medical practices, you’re able to make specific diagnoses, specific prescriptions, and specific warnings and predictions about how different drugs will interact. Tell me, Mike, what kind of interactions can I expect if I see both a chiropractor and an acupuncturist? Is there a chance that by fixing a subluxation I might end up blocking a chi meridian? If I’m taking an herbal sleep remedy and a homeopathic sleeping pill, am I at risk for overdose? What happens if I pray during all this? Does God consider any of these things to be witchcraft or magic or otherwise verboten?

When your “medicine” is based on fairy tales and fantasies, it really doesn’t matter how they combine, does it? Just go ahead and pay your naturopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist, Ayurvedic healer, reflexologist, TT practitioner, and homeopath simultaneously; there’s no danger of harmful interactions except between their hands and your wallet.

• Skeptics believe that the human body has no ability to defend itself against invading microorganism and that the only things that can save people from viral infections are vaccines.

This is absolutely hilarious, because it really goes to show just how little the Health Ranger knows about basic, grade-school science. The reason vaccines work is because of the immune system. When the immune system is exposed to new pathogens, it develops weapons to fight them, so it’s already prepared the next time there’s an encounter. What vaccines do is make the initial encounter harmless. Instead of encountering the pathogen in the wild and hoping your body survives long enough to develop the virus-specific weaponry, you encounter the virus–or parts of the virus–in a controlled situation. Your body is made aware of the threat and prepares accordingly, so that when you do encounter the wild pathogen, you’re already ready.

It’s the difference between trying to fashion wooden stakes and crosses in the middle of a full-on surprise vampire invasion, and finding a weakened vampire crawling into town so you can stockpile stakes and garlic before the dangerous ones show up. I know which situation I’d rather be in: forewarned is forearmed.

• Skeptics believe that pregnancy is a disease and childbirth is a medical crisis. (They are opponents of natural childbirth.)

Define “natural childbirth.” I mean, I may be radical in thinking that pain is generally a bad thing, and if we can lessen or avoid it, we should. I also think that pregnancy is a medical condition, which necessarily requires medical care and supervision if the child is to be born as safely and healthily as possible. Or are you opposed to folic acid supplements too? Childbirth is dangerous for both mother and child, and so it should be supervised by people who know what to do if a baby is born strangled by its umbilical cord, not people who think that the best environment for a newborn is a lukewarm bathtub contaminated with feces and afterbirth. And if we can make the process go down without all the natural pain that derives from a series of evolutionary compromises, so much the better.

• Skeptics do not believe in hypnosis. This is especially hilarious since they are all prime examples of people who are easily hypnotized by mainstream influences.

Wow, an equivocation on the term hypnosis. And used in such a witty way! Yes, buck that mainstream, Mike! Screw germ theory and sanitation and the scientific method, what we really need are some health rebels!

• Skeptics believe that there is no such thing as human consciousness.

I beg to differ.

They do not believe in the mind; only in the physical brain.

This is simply asinine. It’s equivalent to saying “they do not believe in sight, only in the physical eye.” The mind is what the brain does. It’s an emergent property of the physical brain. This doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as consciousness, it just means that consciousness isn’t some supernatural mystery.

In fact, skeptics believe that they themselves are mindless automatons who have no free will, no soul and no consciousness whatsoever.

The matters of free will and the existence of the soul are ones that skeptics debate freely and frequently; the former depends largely on how we define “free will,” the latter depends on various factors including the religious convictions of the skeptic. In any case, since my soul has never had a broken bone or a headcold, I don’t see how this is relevant to medicine.

• Skeptics believe that DEAD foods have exactly the same nutritional properties as LIVING foods (hilarious!).

This is hilarious, for lots of reasons. First, it’s patently untrue. Skeptics (and everyone else) recognize that living foods and dead foods have very different nutritional properties. For instance, living foods have lots of bacteria and parasites and other things living on and in them, which is why we tend to cook chickens instead of just biting their heads off. Second, aside from carnival geeks and Ozzy Osbourne, who eats “living foods”? I suppose we could quibble about when exactly a lettuce leaf or apple is no longer living, but as soon as it’s plucked and plated, it certainly isn’t going to be carrying out its life functions much longer. By the time any foods, living or otherwise, get to any part of the digestive tract where nutritional properties matter at all, I think we can safely call them dead. Finally, what is the big nutritional difference between a dead food and a living food? There are certainly different chemical processes that take place in different stages, and cooking obviously changes various properties (denaturing proteins and all that), but the lettuce leaf example really underscores the problem: when is a food “dead”? At what point does the nutritional value change? Living things are made of the same cells and chemicals as dead things, and living things necessarily become dead things on the way toward the intestines, so what is the general nutritional difference between the two?

Maybe you’re just not eating its soul. That must be it.

• Skeptics believe that pesticides on the crops are safe,

Safer than the pests. Pests don’t rinse off.

genetically modified foods are safe,

All foods have been genetically modified. Most of it was done crudely, haphazardly, and in a totally undirected fashion by natural selection over millions of years. Eventually, humans came on the scene and invented agriculture and animal husbandry, and we’ve been genetically modifying food ever since. Nowadays, we can just do it a whole lot better, quicker, and safer than we could before, since we’re working on genotypes instead of phenotypes. So yes, skeptics think genetically modified foods are safe, and if you’ve ever eaten a banana or an ear of corn, you do too.

and that any chemical food additive approved by the FDA is also safe.

Well, more or less. Certainly safer than dietary supplements and herbal remedies not approved by the FDA.

There is no advantage to buying organic food, they claim.

We don’t claim that, the evidence does.

• Skeptics believe that water has no role in human health other than basic hydration. Water is inert, they say, and the water your toilet is identical to water from a natural spring (assuming the chemical composition is the same, anyway).

That’s right, skeptics hold the shocking belief that chemistry is true and water isn’t magic!

Quacks, on the other hand, believe that if you shook the water from your toilet just right, it might make a great cure for diarrhea1.

• Skeptics believe that all the phytochemicals and nutrients found in ALL plants are inert, having absolutely no benefit whatsoever for human health. (The ignorance of this intellectual position is breathtaking…)

No, skeptics understand that many of the chemicals in plants certainly do have effects. Some of those effects may have great therapeutic value–say, salicylic acid from willow bark–and some of those effects may be extremely dangerous–say, the neurotoxin coniine from hemlock. What we need to do is subject plants with possible therapeutic effects to careful systematic tests to find out exactly what the effective chemicals are, exactly what effects they have, and exactly what dosages are safe and useful. Then, we isolate the effective chemical, purify it, and put it into specific dosages. That way, we can ensure that people are getting those phytochemicals in safe, effective dosages for specific ailments, not getting unregulated, potentially contaminated samples with unknown effects for general symptoms in unknown dosages, as they would with herbal supplements.

As to the nutrients, I like salad just as much as anyone else. I doubt that you’ll find a skeptic who doesn’t believe in the value of a balanced diet.


Edit

• Skeptics believe that the moon has no influence over life on Earth.

This is just ridiculous. Of course the moon has effects on living things–gravitational effects show up as tides, animals like moths use its light for direction, etc. These effects, however, are physical and validated by scientific observation.

Farming in sync with moon cycles is just superstition, they say. (So why are the cycles of life for insects, animals and humans tied to the moon, then?)

This, on the other hand, isn’t. The Skeptic’s Dictionary has a good article on lunar effects, what they are and aren’t. The life cycles of humans, insects, and animals aren’t tied to the moon (what you’ve heard about menstruation is myth and coincidence. The moon’s effects on living things are nearly all due to the light it gives off, not some magical, metaphysical connections.

• Skeptics believe that the SUN has no role in human health other than to cause skin cancer. They completely deny any healing abilities of light.

That’s right, skeptics disbelieve in photosynthesis and the production of vitamin D. The strawmen are getting more desperate.

• Skeptics believe that Mother Nature is incapable of synthesizing medicines.

Not incapable, just not very good at it. Evolution isn’t in the business of manufacturing pure pharmeceuticals in discrete doses for specific ailments. Evolution is in the business of manufacturing organisms which reproduce themselves. Any natural medicines are byproducts, which is why we need to isolate the effective chemicals, purify them, and…well, I mentioned all that above. I assure you, no skeptic disbelieves in aspirin.

Only drug companies can synthesize medicines, they claim. (So why do they copy molecules from nature, then?)

Good question; maybe it’s because your claim of what skeptics claim is entirely baseless. Yes, we copy chemicals from nature. We test them, isolate them, and improve on them. We figure out what effects they have on the body and find other chemicals that produce the same effects more efficiently. What we don’t do is grind up random leaves, put them in unregulated capsules, and call them “treatment” or “medicine.”

• Skeptics do not believe in intuition. They believe that mothers cannot “feel” the emotions of their infants at a distance. They write off all such “psychic” events as mere coincidence.

Skeptics don’t disbelieve in intuition. We just recognize it for what it is: “a bridge between subconsciously processed information and the action of conscious thought.” Hunches are not entirely unreliable–nor are they magical sources of perfect knowledge. They also aren’t psychic phenomena, which for some reason always turn out to be indistinguishable from coincidence, trickery, or fallacious thinking when tested. We withhold belief in “psychic” events because there is no plausible mechanism behind them and because they always fall apart under careful investigation. If someone presented some good evidence of psychic phenomena, we’d change our minds–and give them a million dollars.

As to mothers feeling the emotions of their children at a distance, I have a question: why do baby monitors exist? If this intuitive ability were reliable or consistent, then why would any mother need a device that allows you to listen in on a baby in another room?

• Skeptics believe that all healing happens from the outside, from doctors and technical interventions. They do not believe that patients have any ability to heal themselves.

Dude, you’re repeating yourself. Get a damn editor.

Thus, they do not ascribe any responsibility for health to patients. Rather, they believe that doctors and technicians are responsible for your health. Anyone who dismisses doctors and takes charge of their own health is therefore acting “irresponsibly,” they claim.

Yes, skeptics think that the people best equipped to diagnose and treat disease are the people who have been specifically trained in how to diagnose and treat disease, and who do so with the backing of scientific evidence. We also think that the people best equipped to design buildings are the architects who have been specifically trained to draft structures with careful consideration of the materials involved and the potential complications of the building site, and who do so with the backing of scientific evidence. Just as it’s irresponsible to build your own house with no training in architecture, design, or engineering, it’s irresponsible to “take charge of [your] own health” with no training in medicine, anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc. Is it really so radical, so surprising, to suggest that tasks which require expertise are best done by experts?

• Skeptics believe that cell phone radiation poses absolutely no danger to human health. A person can be exposed to unlimited cell phone radiation without any damage whatsoever.

Shorter: Skeptics understand how the electromagnetic spectrum works. If low-energy, nonionizing, low-intensity microwaves that aren’t even enough to cause heating had detectable physiological effects, then we’d experience it from natural sources–which are far more intense–as well. Furthermore, if low-energy microwaves could have terrible physiological effects on human health, then the far more intense visible radiation should be orders of magnitude more dangerous. And yet, you claim that light has healing effects. Strange how that is.

• Skeptics believe that aspartame and artificial chemical sweeteners can be consumed in unlimited quantities with no ill effects.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Dude, aspartame? Really? Sigh, okay, here goes: No, no scientifically-minded person thinks that anything can be consumed in unlimited quantities with no ill effects. Even your vaunted spring water is deadly in high doses (and depending on what’s in it, possibly low doses as well). Scientists understand that toxicity is all a matter of dosage, not so much of substance (or the absurd dualist notions that you seem to employ). The Acceptable Daily Intake of aspartame, as determined through actual scientific investigation is 50 mg per kg of body weight. A can of diet soda contains 180 mg. For a 75 kg (a little over 150 lbs) person to exceed the ADI for aspartame, they’d have to consume 3750 mg of Aspartame, or about 21 cans of diet soda. I don’t know anyone who drinks that much pop in a day on a regular basis, do you?

See, again, when science is the basis for your recommendations, you can actually make informed statements about the safety of various substances, rather than assuming that all natural things are okay and all artificial things are dangerous in any amount. If you’re looking for more info on aspartame, here’s a good place to start.

• Skeptics believe that human beings were born deficient in synthetic chemicals and that the role of pharmaceutical companies is to “restore” those deficiencies in humans by convincing them to swallow patented pills.

Citation please.

• Skeptics believe that you can take unlimited pharmaceuticals, be injected with an unlimited number of vaccines, expose yourself to unlimited medical imaging radiation, consume an unlimited quantity of chemicals in processed foods and expose yourself to an unlimited quantity of environmental chemical toxins with absolutely no health effects whatsoever!

First, you’re repeating yourself again. Get a damn editor.

Second, all those things you mention have known safe dosages. No one believes that you can, for instance, be exposed to unlimited X-rays with no ill effect. That’s why they give you a lead apron, that’s why radiologists and technicians stand behind the shielding when they give you an X-ray, you boob. Every treatment carries with it some degree of danger, and thanks to science-based medicine, that degree is quantified before you ever lay down on the X-ray table.

All the beliefs listed above were compiled from “skeptics” websites. (I’m not going to list those websites here because they don’t deserve the search engine rankings, but you can find them yourself through Google, if you wish.)

Ah, “I’m not going to document my sources, because I don’t want them to feel special.” One more difference between you and scientists. See, real medicine requires people to be explicit about their research and experiments, documenting every source of information. Imagine the uproar among alt-med proponents if a medication were released with documentation this sloppy. The truth is that you don’t want to link to your sources because your readers might actually check them and find out that your statements are either ridiculous exaggerations of what skeptics say, or outright fabrications.

But you can prove me wrong, Mike: post your list of sources. Shut all the skeptics up by demonstrating that every one of your points is drawn from actual quotes from actual skeptic websites. I won’t hold my breath.

Skeptics aren’t consistently skeptical

Pot, meet kettle.

If you really look closely at the beliefs of “skeptics,” you discover their skepticism is selective. They’re really skeptical about some things — like vitamins — but complete pushovers on others such as the scientific credibility of drug company studies.

No, we’re equally skeptical about both, requiring rigorous scientific evidence for either. When the rigorous scientific evidence validates a drug’s effectiveness, we accept it (tentatively). When the rigorous scientific evidence shows vitamins to be largely unnecessary, we accept that too (tentatively). Where’s the inconsistency?

Here are some of the many things that “skeptics” should be skeptical about, but aren’t:

I’m sure this will be enlightening.

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the corruption and dishonesty in the pharmaceutical industry. They believe whatever the drug companies say, without asking a single intelligent question.

Citation please. Drug companies are businesses like any other, and they have the bottom line as their main goal. Drug advertisements, despite the regulations, are just as prone to being misleading and slanted as ads for anything else. This is why we don’t really care about drug companies so much as the scientific research behind the drugs. See, the research isn’t conducted by just one company or just one scientist or just one group. It’s conducted by a variety of people and validated by independent research. Drug trials have to be evaluated by a host of independent scientists and agencies who aren’t concerned with Astra-Zeneca or Pfizer’s bottom line, but who are concerned with safe and effective treatments validated by rigorous scientific evidence.

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about medical journals. They believe whatever they read in those journals, even when much of it turns out to be complete science fraud.

Hey, you know who exposes science fraud? Skeptical scientists. Skeptics tentatively accept medical research that makes it to reputable journals, because most of us aren’t trained medical researchers and don’t have the resources to repeat every experiment that comes down the pipe. We trust the experts provisionally, just as we’d trust what the mechanic says when he examines our cars. And if something is hinky, we trust the scientific process to eventually expose it–to give us a second opinion on our car troubles, as it were. But even despite a lack of expert training on the part of most skeptics, we’re still able to pick out the hallmarks of bad studies–low sample sizes, unstated conflicts of interest, subjective measurements, uncontrolled confounders, conclusions that don’t match the data, poor blinding, etc.–which show up in a number of medical studies–especially in certain journals (*cough*alt-med journals*cough*). Skeptics–and especially skeptical scientists–are just as likely to pick these studies apart as any other.

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the profit motive of the pharmaceutical industry. They believe that drug companies are motivated by goodwill, not by profits.

Right, and what motivates alt-med practitioners? What motivated Andrew Wakefield or the Geiers? Rainbows and butterflies? We’re under no delusions about the desires of the pharmaceutical companies; can your devotees say the same about purveyors of “natural” remedies?

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the motivations and loyalties of the FDA. They will swallow, inject or use any product that’s FDA approved, without a single reasonable thought about the actual safety of those products.

The FDA is a gatekeeper, really becoming important only after all the drug testing legwork has already been done by independent scientists. It’s a stamp of approval on work that has already been done. And yet, it’s a step further than alt-med and herbal proponents are willing to take. Tell me, Mike, which is better: an imperfect regulatory agency, like the one for drugs, or a nonexistent regulatory agency, like the one for alternative medicine?

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the safety of synthetic chemicals used in the food supply. They just swallow whatever poisons the food companies dump into the foods.

Yawn, more repetitive dualism.

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the enormous dangers of ionizing radiation from mammograms and CT scans. They have somehow convinced themselves that “early detection saves live” when, in reality, “early radiation causes cancer.”

Again, the danger is in the dose, not the substance. Small amounts of X-ray radiation carry a known risk, and that risk is weighed against the benefits of early detection of dangerous diseases. People are exposed to ionizing radiation every time they walk outside (what was that above about the sun’s healing properties?), and the amount of exposure to ionizing radiation during a mammogram is about what you’d get from living in the United Kingdom for a year. I don’t see Brits dropping left and right from radiation poisoning or abnormal cancer rates, do you?

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the mass-drugging agenda of the psychiatric industry which wants to diagnose everyone with some sort of “mental” disorder. The skeptics just go right along with it without asking a single commonsense question about whether the human brain really needs to be “treated” with a barrage of mind-altering chemicals.

Right, there are no skeptical evaluations of psychiatry. None at all.

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about mercury fillings. What harm could mercury possibly do anyway? If the ADA says they’re safe, they must be!

And no skeptic has ever expressed concern over mercury fillings, even if the studies show no significant risk.

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the demolition-style collapse of the World Trade Center 7 building on September 11, 2001 — a building that was never hit by airplanes. This beautifully-orchestrated collapse of a hardened structure could only have been accomplished with precision explosives. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwSc…) Astonishingly, “skeptics” have little understanding of the laws of physics. Concrete-and-steel buildings don’t magically collapse in a perfect vertical demolition just because of a fire on one floor…

Oh Jesus, you’re a Truther, too.

• Skeptics aren’t skeptical about the safety of non-stick cookware, or the dangers of cleaning chemicals in the home, or the contamination of indoor air with chemical fumes from carpets, paints and particle board furniture. To the skeptics, the more chemicals, the better!

Hey, dipshit, guess what: everything is made of chemicals. Paints, teflon, carpets, drugs, the sun, pets, people, even water and herbs. About the only thing mentioned here that hasn’t been made of chemicals is electromagnetic radiation, which is instead produced by chemicals.

Nature is bad, chemicals are good

*Facepalm*.

Summing up the position of the “skeptics” is quite simple: Nature is bad, chemicals are good!

Okay, you’ve made it clear that you don’t have an editor, so I’ll offer my services for free, just this once:

Summing up the position of the “skeptics” is quite simple: Nature is bad, chemicals are good!

If we only had more chemicals injected into more babies, the world would be a better place, they say. If we could only ban all plants, herbs, vitamins and supplements, we’d all be so much healthier because then we’d take more pharmaceuticals!

If only we could crack more spines, put more dirty needles into children’s skin, expose more people to preventable diseases, and fill people full of unregulated herbs and supplements, we wouldn’t have to worry about overpopulation anymore! But who’s going to bury all the bodies?

Let’s turn it around, Mike: are there any good chemicals? Is there anything natural which isn’t beneficial? I’ve explained my skeptical position throughout this post, including the points that some natural remedies are effective and some chemicals are harmful. Are your beliefs so nuanced?

Seriously. This is what they believe.

Note: this is not seriously what anyone believes.

They openly admit this is their position.

Note: no one has ever claimed this as a reasonable position ever.

And all you people drinking green smoothies, and growing your own food, and getting natural sunlight, and taking care of your own health, and drinking herbal tea… well you’re all just fools, say the skeptics.

Note:…okay, that one’s pretty much right.

You’re all just too stupid to understand “real” science. Because if you understood real science, you’d give up all those useless herbs and superfoods and healing vegetables and you’d be taking twenty different prescription medications instead.

Sigh, nice false dichotomy. No, the saddest part of all this is that real science isn’t that hard to understand. Anyone can understand the basic principles of basing your claims on evidence and validating them through careful observation. The concepts behind actual medicine are quite easy to grasp, even if the specific biochemistry is more complicated. Perhaps it uses more syllables than “qi” or “soul” or “magic,” but it has the benefit of being real.

Then you’d be really smart, see. Because all those chemicals make you healthy and smart. A few extra vaccine injections will make you even smarter. Then you can join the skeptics because you’re smart enough at that point to understand that chemicals are the answer to all of life’s problems: Depression, anxiety, digestion, sexual performance, sleep, even test-taking abilities… there’s a chemical “solution” to every problem you might experience.

As opposed to alt-med and woo, which offer solutions even for made-up problems like chiropractic subluxations, qi blockages, sick auras, sin, and spiritual illnesses.

What skeptics really are

Mike, you wouldn’t know what a skeptic is if one kicked you in the natural ass.

I hope it’s fairly obvious to you by now that skeptics are the most misinformed people on the planet.

That sound you heard, that faint shaking beneath your feet, was the detonation of my latest irony meter.

They are the easiest people to fool. They’re the easiest to hypnotize, too, because they lack independent thinking skills. Rather than thinking for themselves, they have joined a “club of skeptics” where they can be told what to think and then label themselves “intelligent” for following others in the group.

“Subscribe to NaturalNews insider e-mail alerts!”

These are the people who line up to be injected with useless H1N1 vaccines. (The joke is on them, of course. Those vaccines were a complete fraud…)

And what’s your evidence for that claim?

These are the people who stand in line at the pharmacy to buy a dozen different prescriptions (costing sometimes thousands of dollars) that their doctors told them to take.

As opposed to the people who stand in line at the Whole Foods store to buy a dozen different supplements (costing sometimes hundreds of dollars) that their naturopaths told them to take.

These are the people who eat processed, dead junk food laced with chemicals that make them sick — and then they wonder why they’re sick.

I’ll spare you the details of what’s in the natural fertilizers and pesticides that get used on “organic” crops.

These are the people who sit at home watching television and think to themselves how smart they are because they follow the medical advice they learned in drug company advertisements.

Because no homeopathic remedies or herbal supplements are ever advertised on TV. I’ve certainly never seen a commercial for HeadOn or Zicam or Airborne.

These are the real “skeptics.” They are so incredibly isolated from reality that they don’t even believe in their body’s own ability to heal itself.

These are the real “medical practitioners.” They are so incredibly isolated from reality that they don’t understand that water from a toilet is chemically identical to water from a natural spring.

Skeptics don’t believe in a higher power of any kind: No God, no spirit, no angels, no guides, no creative force in the universe… nada.

Yeah, this is the real proof that you did absolutely no research for your article, because the schism between skeptical atheists, skeptical theists, and skeptics who think everyone should just leave religion alone has been a hot-button skeptical topic for months.

They think the universe is a cold, empty, lonely, stupid place full of soulless, mindless, zombie biological bodies who have no free will and no consciousness.

And people like you, Mike, really don’t help to dispel that belief.

Gee, no wonder these skeptics are so misguided. They have the most pessimistic view possible. No wonder they seek to destroy themselves with chemicals — they don’t even think they’re alive to begin with!

When facepalm just isn't enough.

Skeptics are bent on self destruction. And they believe that when you die, the lights just go out and you cease to exist. Nothing happens after that. You’re just a mindless biological robot whose life has no meaning, no purpose, no higher self.

This is exactly what the skeptics believe. They’ll even tell you so themselves!

I…I just give up. How do you argue with someone so arrogantly ignorant?

Never argue with drones

Oh, okay. Thanks, Mike!

Realizing this, it makes it so much easier to debate with skeptics on any topic. Whatever they say, you just answer, “WHO is saying that? Are YOU, a conscious, free-thinking person with a mind and soul saying that, or are those words simply being automatically and robotically uttered from the mouth of a bag of bones and skin that has no mind and no soul?”

I like how you’re giving your followers a script to follow in response to what you perceive as robotic, hive-mind behavior. Truly you have no sense of irony.

If they answer you honestly, they will have to admit that they believe they are nothing more than a robotic bag of bones and skin that is mindlessly uttering whatever nonsense happens to escape their mechanical lips. At that point, you’ve already won the debate because YOU have a soul, and THEY don’t. You’re arguing with a mindless robot.

I’m laughing on the outside, but I’m weeping on the inside.

Seriously. Think about this deeply.

That’s the first good advice you’ve given. Unfortunately, I doubt that even you will follow it.

If you believe what the skeptics want you to believe (because they are always right, of course), then you must accept the fact that THEY have no consciousness. They are not really “alive.” They are just robotic biological machines. They are drones, in other words. And drones are not equal to a being of energy with a consciousness and a soul, inhabiting a human body with purpose and awareness.

I know what all those words mean individually, but I’ll be damned if I can make any sense out of them in that configuration. Seriously Mike, hire an editor.

Never argue with drones. You only waste your time and annoy the drone.

Okay, two good pieces of advice.

Skeptics… zombies… drones… different words for the same thing. Soulless, mindless, lacking consciousness and free will, having no awareness of the value of life… these are the skeptics arguing for vaccines, mammograms and chemotherapy today. They are agents of death who can only find solace in an industry of death — the industry of modern medicine.

Yes, we are the agents of death. We, who advocate methods which have resulted in the eradication of smallpox and the near-eradication of measles and polio; we, who advocate methods that have drastically reduced infant mortality rates worldwide; we, who advocate the science that has uncovered the roots of once-deadly diseases and found ways to extend the lives of patients who even ten years ago would have been lost causes. We’re the agents of death, not the people peddling treatments that were outdated and unsupported in the Dark Ages, who deny basic biology and chemistry, and who have been directly responsible for the resurgence of preventable illnesses in first-world nations.

You’re a ghoul, Mike, you’re apparently totally disconnected from reality, and your refusal to link or quote your opponents suggests that you’re consciously aware of that. You’re a coward, Mike, afraid to let your followers see what skeptics actually have to say, and so you invent ridiculous positions and lie about them. I can only hope that you don’t drag too many people down with you, and that at least some of your readers are able to recognize your strawmen and ad hominem attacks for the substanceless jabs that they are.


So overall, Mike, your examination of “what ‘skeptics’ really believe” has almost nothing to do with what skeptics really believe. Instead, you’ve crafted an army of strawmen to flail against, and even then, you fail. How many of these complaints can be turned back on you, Mike? How many alt-med enthusiasts and religionists claim to have a lock on secret, ancient knowledge superior to anything produced by scientific investigation? How many antivaxxers claim to have intimate knowledge of a secret conspiracy of “Big Pharma”? How many alt-med loons think that all herbs and alternative modalities are safe and effective, even if they’ve never been tested (or have been tested and found to be unsafe or ineffective)? How many think that everyone needs vitamin supplements and herbal remedies and chiropractic treatments and acupuncture to maintain health rather than cure specific ailments? How many think that six-month-old infants need to have their necks and backs adjusted even though their bones haven’t yet ossified? I could go on and on. You exercise so much pseudo-skepticism about science-based medicine, but you fail to apply the same criticism to your own side. And when backed against the wall, scientific medicine can show you the research, the evidence, the double-blind tests, and the rationale underlying every drug, diagnostic, and prescription. What can you show, Mike? What does any newage alt-med proponent have on his side except platitudes, fallacies, and supposed wisdom from before the germ theory?

Physician, heal thyself.


1. A strawman? Yeah, probably. I suppose it’d be more accurate to talk about water’s magical selective memory that makes it somehow forget the piss and shit on the way through filtration systems, but remember stuff that was diluted out of it during homeopathic preparations. That point, however, has been done to death. This one is funnier. But at least I understand that it’s not necessarily an accurate depiction of homeopathy.

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68 Responses to This is the worst Ranger since Turbo

  1. Skeptico says:

    Great post. I hadn’t seen (and probably wouldn’t have seen) Adams’s post but for this. He seems unhinged. Is he always this nuts? It’s hard to know what was my favorite bit, but this has to be one of the best:"Water is inert, they say, and the water your toilet is identical to water from a natural spring (assuming the chemical composition is the same, anyway)."Well yeah, if the chemical composition is the same then, er, that means they are the same. Classic.

  2. Doubting Tom says:

    I know, I think it shows just how out of touch Adams and his devotees are with even basic high school science. Also, I think it shows just how much their premises depend on substance dualism. There must be some magical property of water that allows it to selectively remember what's been in it and makes toilet water substantially different from spring water. In actuality, I'd probably trust the toilet first, since that's gone through various sorts of filtration and gets refreshed every time you flush. But over and over you see the same dualist thinking, without a shred of evidence to back any of it up. Makes me want to read Supersense even more.

  3. "Skeptics believe that Mother Nature is incapable of synthesizing medicines."Technically, if it's natural, it isn't synthesized. Man, this kook can't even think his way out of a full sentence!

  4. Brilliant takedown of that wackaloon. This whole thing has made for a very entertaining weekend.

  5. Skeptico says:

    I'm roasting from the heat of all those straw men burning. That's some fire!

  6. Doubting Tom says:

    Not surprisingly, NaturalNews deletes negative comments. Adams has another smug article up trying to play the "any publicity is good publicity" angle. I might try tearing it apart–it delves into the usual quantum flapdoodle with the standard Feynman quote–but I need some time to recover first.

  7. Mythnam says:

    The sheer awesomeness with which you've demolished Adams amazes me, sir. If I wore a hat, I would remove it in your presence. I can only hope to achieve such masterful snark and eloquent censure as yours.Thank you for a most excellent read.I particularly like the notion that skeptics reject the existence of the immune system. I sort of hope Adams makes a bigger scene out of this than he already has.

  8. Kiwiatheist says:

    Awesome dude, an excellent read. I only wish his followers were able to read it, but i suspect, like the religious, they would see it as coming straight from ol' Beelzebub himself

  9. Mintman says:

    I agree with nearly everything you wrote, although I seem to remember that "only" about one third of Europe died from the plague.Something that I have never understood, however, is why so many people in the other wise heterogeneous skeptical community seem so completely blasé about genetically modified organisms. Probably the idea, also alluded to in your post, is that genes are genes, there is no chemical difference, so GMO food is safe. Yes, so far I agree. But that is not the issue, except perhaps to some fringe superstition-peddlers. There are several other issues, though, and please excuse me enumerating them at some length; this is probably as good a place to shoot off my question as any, and I am genuinely interested in your position and that of others who I seem to remember to have brushed the issue off the table before, like ORAC or Skeptico.1. GMOs are by all likelihood save for your average consumer. What, however, about allergics? There is a bunch of people, my wife among them, who are allergic to plant products from a certain group of organisms, like grasses, the Fabaceae plant family (e.g., peanut butter), cows (usually milk), etc. In most cases, we do not know which substance exactly causes the reaction. Now imagine a future scenario in which transgenic organisms are ubiquitous in the food market. It is possible that an individual Fabaceae allergic will have no problem eating wheat containing a soybean gene because it just did not happen to be the gene responsible for one of the proteins they are allergic against. But can you guarantee that for every allergic on the planet? You could of course argue that they could just look at he label (if GMO skeptics have prevailed to such a degree that the companies are forced to declare the modification, anyway), but the nature of our free market capitalism is such that if GMOs are very successful and advantegeous, then it will in the long run become very hard to stay competitive without them, and it will become hard to find food in the market that is not a GMO. Note that this problem of transgenic organisms is, in fact, the one scenario in which "GMO = evolution, haha you fools" is simply wrong. Nutritionally, you are right.

  10. Mintman says:

    2. What is it good for, anyway? So far I have learned mostly of the following strategies used in GMOs: (a) Modifying crops to be resistant against a herbicide which can then be used in huge doses with impunity. This may not be a problem for humans (although I doubt that you can rinse everything off, something will remain in the plant), but it is certainly a problem for everything around that plot of land. Yeah, I am concerned of threatened species, ecosystem services like pollinators, food chain effects, pure gound water, etc., so sue me. Another well-known problem here is spreading of the resistance gene to closely related wild plants. Let us say you have made carrots resistant against your herbicide. Now what do you see, for example, here in Germany all along the roadsides in high summer? That's right, wild carrots. It is not only likely but unavoidable that your resistance genes will be carried into your crop's close weedy relative, and then you have a weed that is impervious to the herbicide. Back to square one – or let us say, back to square minus one, as you have just lost a herbicide that was useful before the introduction of GMOs. (b) Modifying crops to have new defense mechanisms against herbivores and parasites. This sounds like a good short-term strategy but will most likely be subject to the same rat-race mechanism that we have with pesticides: there will be a huge selective pressure for herbivores to adapt to the strange new chemical suddenly produced by their food-plant over hectares of farmland. Once they manage it, you are back to square one, but one wild species that was the source of your transferred gene has just lost its defence mechanism. Oops. (c) Those tomatoes that look fresh outside for longer so that they can still be sold while starting to rot inside. Is that what humanity needs? I think not. (d) Making plants more tolerant of heat, drought, cold, salt or suchlike, or making them get along with fewer nutrients. This I will certainly grant to be extremely useful, especially considering what we have done to many soils on this planet. But apart from that, the promised advantages of GMOs are most likely hugely overhyped.

  11. Mintman says:

    3. What does the introduction of GMOs mean for society and economy as a whole? It should be well known that the modus operandi of companies like Monsanto is not to invent a new GMO, sell it to the public once and then allow everybody to use it. No, they want to have patents on this new organism-gene combination. While for the last several thousand years a farmer could buy seeds once, harvest, and then just keep a few of the seeds for next year, he will now have to pay a company a fee every year to be allowed to continue using these plants, although the last round of seeds stems from his own harvest. You may like that idea of patenting or not, but it changes the rules of the game, especially for third world farmers who may not be able to afford that and then be pushed out of competition by huge agroindustry companies. This is another sense in which the GMO = traditional plant breeding analogy breaks down, by the way. The nastiest aspect of this is that Monsanto et al are known to attempt even to sue farmers into paying fees who may have tried using non-GMOs but then obtained the new genes in their harvest via cross-pollination from GMOs on a different field. This is the real reason I despise the GMO lobby; not that I fear I will die from eating a banana containing a cow gene, or that something like that were somehow metaphysically unnatural, but that the whole business model of biotech companies is aimed to destroy all non-industrialized forms of agriculture. If patents on life forms were to be outlawed, or if companies like Monsanto were to be expropriated and run by the state as a service for the public good, this problem would, of course, disappear.I would be very interested to learn that you are aware of these issues and/or could show me to where they have been addressed. Otherwise, I will remain very skeptical of GMOs, or let us say mostly of the motivation of the companies promoting them.

  12. Mintman says:

    Okay, that sentence which implies cows being plants was a serious oversight. Sorry.

  13. Doubting Tom says:

    Mintman, thanks for the thoughtful questions. GMOs are a particular interest of mine, and while I'm not an expert, I'll do my best to answer your questions and concerns in a post in the next few days.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great! I actually loughed out loud at the homeopathic cure for diarrhea comment.It's sad that it takes alot more time to (even briefly) explain why this guy is wrong than it took him. It is alot harder when you are trying to (at least) make sense.

  15. Ben says:

    NN – "These are the people who line up to be injected with useless H1N1 vaccines. (The joke is on them, of course. Those vaccines were a complete fraud…)"DES – "And what's your evidence for that claim?"Well, the EU Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) H1N1 investigation for a start.http://www.wodarg.de/presse/pressespiegel/3022454.html

  16. Ben says:

    DES – "A fluoride molecule from a coal-fired power plant is exactly the same as a fluoride molecule from anywhere else–including from the natural fluoridated water sources that first tipped people off to the idea of fluoridating water."That is incorrect – "90% of the fluoride put into our water supply is not in the form of medical grade sodium fluoride, rather it is the industrial waste products hydrofluosilicic acid (H2SiF6) and sodium silicofluoride (Na2SiF6), together called "silicofluorides". As is noted in the testimony of one the EPAs own scientists, there have been no toxicity studies done on these silicoflourides."Source – http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2009/11/water-fluoridation-part-iii.html

  17. Heathen Mike says:

    This was great. Had to link to it. Must…lay…down…now….

  18. littleoaks says:

    I can't help but think of this wonderful beat poem when I read the last part of this great post.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB_htqDCP-sYou just need the right backing track…

  19. Skeptico: Yes. If it's the same Mike Adams, he's always this nuts. He frequently has posts on Town Hall where he complains vociferously about his right to bigotry.

  20. I'm wrong. Different Mike Adams.

  21. Zeno says:

    This had to be done and congratulations for fisking his verbal diarrhoea.

  22. I think it's a bit unfortunate that you took the time to write such an incredibly lengthy reply to such an obvious troll. He is obviously writing to is own public and nobody there will go through you blog post and change their mind, especially with in the tone its written.++ I'm certain that nobody reading YOUR blog needs explanation of what skeptics believe in.

  23. Kelly Hills says:

    And all you people drinking green smoothies, and growing your own food, and getting natural sunlight, and taking care of your own health, and drinking herbal tea… well you're all just fools, say the skeptics.Note:…okay, that one's pretty much right. Sigh.This, for what it's worth, is why it's nearly impossible to get people who are interested in scientifically studying CAM and EBM to talk. The bias is equally strong on both sides. EBM should be encouraging people to grow their own food – it's better for the environment, and it creates a healthier source of food for a family (especially important for low income families, or families living in food deserts). Add in to that the exercise you get as you tend a garden, and it's a good thing.Getting natural sunlight? Also one of those EBM things people are encouraged to do – remember that whole push to get people to expose themselves to 15min a day of sunlight w/o sunscreen? That's right there on the NIH website. It's good for you, helping in vitamin production & synthesis.Herbal tea? Certainly better than soda. Can or does some it have other health benefits? Certainly possible, depending on the strength and concentration of the ingredient. And by possible, I do mean grounded in research and fact.And so it goes. Is Adams a nut? Yes. Are you misrepresenting what skeptics believe in an effort to push things over the top? Well, frankly, it seems that way. (Shall we case/point with your claims about GMOs and then go take a looksee at Starlink corn?)Just because something is endorsed by a quack doesn't make it wrong. (Just like having something endorsed by a doctor doesn't make it right. Case/point, Vioxx.)

  24. mjp says:

    I hate to go Godwin here, but all the stuff about skeptics being "zombie drones" sounds a little like the dehumanization that often comes before genocide.

  25. xinit says:

    The only part that I'd disagree with is that growing your own vegetables and drinking herbal tea aren't particularly stupid… fresh tomatoes are great, and I kind of like flavoured hot water with or without caffeine.

  26. Doubting Tom says:

    Anonymous: It's sad that it takes alot more time to (even briefly) explain why this guy is wrong than it took him. It is alot harder when you are trying to (at least) make sense.It's the old Gish Gallop again. "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."Ben: I've been researching your points, and I'll have a more substantial response up later tonight. François-Denis Gonthier: I could quibble on the definition of troll, but you're generally right. I'm not going to change the minds of his die-hard followers, and no one who reads my blog needs a primer on what skeptics think. However, I don't think that means such idiocy should go unanswered, and I think Adams' arrogant bigotry (if I can bastardize that word a bit) and juvenile behavior are pretty evident in this whole mess. I think reasonable people can see who's unhinged in this situation.But mostly, I realize he's a low-hanging fruitcake, I just wanted to exercise the ol' snarky skeptic muscles a bit.

  27. Doubting Tom says:

    Kelly: This, for what it's worth, is why it's nearly impossible to get people who are interested in scientifically studying CAM and EBM to talk. The bias is equally strong on both sides.The bias on the side of Science-Based Medicine is toward what the evidence has to say. I don't think that's something to apologize for. EBM should be encouraging people to grow their own food – it's better for the environment, and it creates a healthier source of food for a family (especially important for low income families, or families living in food deserts).That all depends on how people are growing their own food. I'm all for sustainable agriculture, but that's not going to come on the backs of locally-grown produce alone, and it certainly won't happen with the low yields and low efficiency of "organic" farming. The often natural pesticides and fertilizers that are allowed in organic farms are decidedly not better for the environment or for the people growing the food, not when you consider the high heavy metal content and other nasty natural chemicals in manure fertilizers. Add in to that the exercise you get as you tend a garden, and it's a good thing.I'm all for gardening. I'm even more for everyone who has a mouth getting fed. The latter can't happen if we all just switch to the former. That's right there on the NIH website. It's good for you, helping in vitamin production & synthesis. Sure, it's good for you in moderation (as most things are). And I at least alluded to that above in a couple of places. It's not a substitute for medicine. Herbal tea? Certainly better than soda.I'd actually be skeptical of that. Not saying that it's unbelievable or anything, but given the recent findings on the relative sugar contents of juice vs. soda, I wouldn't be surprised if herbal teas also weren't quite as healthy as we're led to believe. In any case, green tea is not a substitute for medication. Are you misrepresenting what skeptics believe in an effort to push things over the top? Well, frankly, it seems that way.I obviously can't speak for all skeptics; we're a diverse bunch with different views on different things. I tried to stick to the science and be as inclusive as possible, when I wasn't being intentionally flippant (as in the comment that earned your ire). Trying to judge my whole post by that one remark–especially given that I elaborate on some of those points elsewhere in the post–seems pretty weak. (Shall we case/point with your claims about GMOs and then go take a looksee at Starlink corn?)Exactly what's objectionable in my claims about GMOs, and why is StarLink corn an example of why I'm wrong? I made the (valid) point that all foods produced by agriculture are genetically modified, and so anyone who thinks cultivated foods are safe–which I think includes most skeptics–thinks at least some genetically modified foods are safe. Nowhere did I say "all genetically modified foods are safe," nor did I say "GMOs intended only for animal consumption are safe for human consumption when they somehow infiltrate the human corn supply." The StarLink issue is an example that even the system that GMOs are under now–where they must be approved by the FDA, the USDA, and the EPA–isn't 100% perfect. And some lettuce hits the shelves with salmonella. Mistakes happen; they make the news because they're rare, and we learn from them. It doesn't follow that GMOs are dangerous, or that they're any more dangerous than any other crop.

  28. Doubting Tom says:

    Just because something is endorsed by a quack doesn't make it wrong.I agree; that'd be a fallacious argument. Which is why I didn't make it. (Just like having something endorsed by a doctor doesn't make it right. Case/point, Vioxx.)Again, not an argument I'd make. What I said was that drugs which pass through a regulatory process are more likely to be safe than supplements that don't (case/point, Zicam). Of course mistakes happen; no system is perfect. But eventually the mistakes are corrected–that's part of science. You can go through the annals of medicine and find all manner of drugs that have been pulled or altered due to negative effects (a list which pales in comparison to the list of drugs which haven't had such negative effects). That's not a knock against science-based medicine; we're well aware of the risks involved. Contrast that to CAM practices, where Ayurvedic "medicines" have been found to contain toxic amounts of heavy metals, or where megavitamin doses put you at risk for all manner of ill health effects, or where chiropractic manipulation can lead to strokes. There's no CAM FDA pulling these practices off the market. I think I'll stick with the regulated medicine, thanks.xinit: The only part that I'd disagree with is that growing your own vegetables and drinking herbal tea aren't particularly stupidI agree, I just also think they're not medicine. Adams lumped those things in with "taking charge of your own health," and I think that is foolish. People have been fooled by his Barnumesque hucksterism into thinking his snake oil and magic bullets and simplistic answers are better than expert medicine. What I realize I should have said instead, going back to my point that fields requiring expertise are best done by experts, is a twist on an old proverb: "A man who is his own doctor has a fool for a patient." When I want to take charge of my own health, I call someone who knows what they're doing.

  29. Hoflimits says:

    MJP sort of beat me to it, but maybe there should be a new variant on Godwin's Law: as soon as anyone mentions the 9/11 conspiracy, they lose the argument. Especially when debating medicine!

  30. Nico says:

    Mother of God! you were able to read all of that boring crap… My hat is bowed to you

  31. I'll try to respond to Mintman's questions here.1. You can test to find out if a product causes allergic reactions. If it does it should get a warning label.2. You, yourself, conceded there is a use for GM crops (increasing yields, so Rwandans with half-an-acre don't starve). Your problems with the other three proposed uses for GM crops have nothing to do with Genetic Modification per se. Modern farmers did all three before GM camealong. And even if GM crops are permenently banned they'll continue to do them. They'll just be less efficiant then they'd be with GM.3. In every sector of the economy new techniques routinely lead to changes in business practices. And frequently the change involves stupid legal BS — such as Kazaa users being dragged to Court and fined millions for sharing a few $thousand worth of songs. That doesn't mean we should all go back to physical CDs, it means Congress should fix the law.In this case there are several possible fixes. The most obvious one is to have the US Government buy the patents on GM crops most beneficial to third world farmers, and then declare them to be public domain.To the other problem (an American farmer's seed corn gets polinated with GM corn, and he gets sued by the gene manipulator) there are practical solutions. Don't let them sue that guy unless he tries to make money by selling his seed corn as GM seed corn.

  32. xinit says:

    @mjp "I hate to go Godwin here, but all the stuff about skeptics being "zombie drones" sounds a little like the dehumanization that often comes before genocide."Well, keep in mind we'd have science on our side.When was the last time homeopathy proved to be an effective weapon?

  33. Bryce says:

    Nice smackdown. The guy is an idiot.I think there are some places where you go too far in mocking him. It was wrong for him to say that skeptics inherently disbelieve in certain things, which I as a skeptic believe myself.GMOs are neither inherently safe nor inherently dangerous, but I do believe the regulatory framework meant to protect us (and the environment) from the dangerous ones is severely lacking.There are some scientific studies indicating that certain organic agriculture practices lead to more nutritious food. Grass-fed beef is much more nutritious than its feedlot, corn-fed counterpart.Overall, though, you have performed a laudable public service.

  34. Mintman says:

    Nick Benjamin:Thanks for the answer.1. You can test to find out if a product causes allergic reactions. If it does it should get a warning label.Right; does not help if transgenic plants have cornered the entire food market of the future though, because then you can just say, oh well, no more food for me.Btw, we see that mechanism at work already, not only necessarily with GMOs: the USA, Brazil and a few others are throwing so much soybean onto the market these last few years that it is increasingly stuffed into wheat, rye and other bread as a cheap fill-up additive. For my Fabaceae allergic wife, it becomes ever more difficult to find even a loaf of toast that does not contain soy flour. The hell?2. You, yourself, conceded there is a use for GM crops … Your problems with the other three proposed uses for GM crops have nothing to do with Genetic Modification per se.Correct on both counts – but you seem to confuse me with somebody who has ideological problems with GMOs per se. No, I have problems with repeatedly seeing self-proclaimed skeptics insinuate that everybody who criticizes GMOs at all must be a wacko, never mentioning that the biotech lobby features some pretty shady members. To me, it comes across a bit like saying that pharma critics were loons to insist on stopping the use of Contergan because the pharmacological industry works evidence based, in general. Of course you would not do that, put that way; then why do I always read these condescending quibs against GMO critics?Modern farmers did all three before GM camealong. And even if GM crops are permenently banned they'll continue to do them. They'll just be less efficiant then they'd be with GM.Ah, and that is where it breaks down. No, transgenic organisms are qualitatively different from everything we did before. But you must realize that yourself, no? How can you have so much more efficient if it is the same? It is so useful precisely because it is a revolutionary new approach. And that is also why we have to treat it differently.The rest of your answer lines out very useful ideas for addressing issues I raised, so I get back to agreeing with you, however! Firstly, the implementation of those ideas or similar depends on there being the kind of GMO watchdogs that I see getting treated as weirdos in the skeptical blogging community. These companies do not play nice if we just rely on them getting it right without scrutiny. Secondly, not suing the farmer is good, but what if he did not want, say, a soy gene from a transgenic rapeseed field in his own rapeseed harvest because he wanted to sell it to people allergic against Fabaceae?

  35. Right; does not help if transgenic plants have cornered the entire food market of the future though, because then you can just say, oh well, no more food for me.There's always going to be a market for non-GM food. Especially if allergies become a concern. It may be very difficult to find, or expensive, but it will exist.Heck they make non-allergenic peanut butter these days.Correct on both counts – but you seem to confuse me with somebody who has ideological problems with GMOs per se. No, I have problems with repeatedly seeing self-proclaimed skeptics insinuate that everybody who criticizes GMOs at all must be a wacko, never mentioning that the biotech lobby features some pretty shady members. To me, it comes across a bit like saying that pharma critics were loons to insist on stopping the use of Contergan because the pharmacological industry works evidence based, in general. Of course you would not do that, put that way; then why do I always read these condescending quibs against GMO critics?The problem with many GM critics is they are nuts. I once had a guy tell me that GM tomato altered with fish genes is inherently dangerous because nobody has ever tried eating it before. It could be dangerous. This is logically possible, but by that standard nobody should ever eat any tomato because a tomato hat exists has never been eaten before.You have reasonable objections. That dude did not.Ah, and that is where it breaks down. No, transgenic organisms are qualitatively different from everything we did before. But you must realize that yourself, no? How can you have so much more efficient if it is the same? It is so useful precisely because it is a revolutionary new approach. And that is also why we have to treat it differently.Farmers will always strive to have crops genetically resistant to local pests, that look pretty, and can survive massive doses of weedkiller. With GM techniques they get these results a lot faster, and with less fuss.As for the hypothetical farmer trying to raise non-allergenic rapeseed, there are a couple workarounds I can think of. The GM crops could be altered so that they cannot pollinate non-GM crops. That would be a lot of work, but it would protect the intellectual property rights of Monsanto. You could also screen in the fields of non-GM crops. That would be expensive, but presumably if a GM crop is making good enough business for the rest of us an increased subsidy to the farmer with the non-allergenic rapeseed would be possible.

  36. Mintman says:

    Nick Benjamin:I understand you are only concerned about wackos, just like I am only concerned about companies endangering environmental safety to cut corners or flooding the market with unlabeled food endangering allergics. We are agreed on the topic as such, but may differ on the communication. Because, sorry, this:we've been genetically modifying food ever since. Nowadays, we can just do it a whole lot better, quicker, and safer than we could before, since we're working on genotypes instead of phenotypes. So yes, skeptics think genetically modified foods are safe, and if you've ever eaten a banana or an ear of corn, you do too.…is a gross oversimplification of the issue. While I do of course think that it is safe to eat GMOs, it is simply wrong to pretend that a potato containing a novel defense mechanism from a completely different plant species is just the same as breeding a bigger potato through artificial selection. We have no model to begin to understand the possible consequences of bringing something like that out onto the fields en masse.

  37. Ty says:

    Tom, your Kung Fu is strong.*bows*

  38. Doubting Tom says:

    Mintman: Because, sorry, this: …is a gross oversimplification of the issue.It's a gross oversimplification only because you're reading more into it than is written there. Nowhere did I say "All skeptics think all GMOs are safe for all people." That would be a silly thing to say. It would be similarly silly to say "all skeptics think all peanuts are safe for all people." But if I said "skeptics think peanuts are safe," would I be making a gross oversimplification because I've left out the disclaimer "for people who aren't allergic to them"? The weirdest part is that you confirmed what I said and meant in the next clause: "While I do of course think that it is safe to eat GMOs[.]" So, you're a skeptic, and you think GMOs are safe. Perhaps there are issues still to work out and reasonable worries to possess, and perhaps they are not safe for everyone in every context, but that's really not relevant to the point, unless it's an article about, say, GMOs, which my response to Adams wasn't–though my response to you will be. I thank Nick for answering some of your questions, and I'll address them as well when I have a skosh more time. The one thing I would like to address immediately, though, is this claim:it is simply wrong to pretend that a potato containing a novel defense mechanism from a completely different plant species is just the same as breeding a bigger potato through artificial selection. We have no model to begin to understand the possible consequences of bringing something like that out onto the fields en masse.Ignoring the fact that for decades we have been (I'm not certain if we still are) irradiating various plants to produce mutations in hopes of developing novel traits–some of those have made it to markets, without the stringent regulations placed on GMOs (and as far as I know, without incident as well)–and the matter of cross-species pollination, the simple point is that this is incorrect. Hopefully I'll be able to find the sources I used last time I looked into this issue, and my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I recall research being done on tomato plants, where the researchers discovered that the plants they were modifying had already been modified, in very similar ways, by retroviruses in the distant past. cross-species See, we have a model for understanding the consequences of cultivating plants that produce novel proteins derived from other organisms: nature. And again, all this is disregarding the research and modeling done before such transgenic plants ever reach the market. They have to be validated independently by the FDA, the USDA, and the EPA; do you really think none of them are going to consider the consequences of widespread cultivation?

  39. anaglyph says:

    >>…after all, anything is deadly in large enough amounts.Except homeopathy. It's more deadly the smaller the amount.

  40. Tom Rhoads says:

    Thanks for the response to this nutcase. Great job.

  41. Dikkii says:

    I've been enjoying your takedown of this, Tom and the assorted comments on this page as well. Great job and well done.I thought I'd add something else into the GM discussion – one of the reasons (the main reason, IMHO, but I have no evidence to support this) that Monsanto have in creating herbicide resistant seed is that the biggest selling herbicide – Roundup – is also a product of Monsanto.While this might represent a productivity increase for farmers who can now soak an entire crop repeatedly with this stuff and not have to worry about whether the crop will survive, several questions are raised:1. Do crops need to be soaked repeatedly in herbicide, really?2. Further to the previous question, can't farmers already adjust their weeding practices proactively to render this likelihood unnecessary?3. Monsanto are only too well aware that this and the resulting environmental run-off is a likely outcome. What steps will Monsanto be taking to ensure that farmers use Roundup responsibly?4. Knowing full well that the answer to the previous question is 'nil' and that Monsanto will be taking to the streets to beat farmers over the head with the message "Spray lots and spray often with Roundup®. Your crop will barely notice!" what limits will be introduced to limit this grossly unethical conduct?5. Finally, is the inbuilt GM resistance to Roundup an example of illegal third line forcing?I also noted some time back Syngenta's work with 'termination seeds', a disgraceful project involving sterile seed that only sprouts if a chemical inducer (made by Syngenta, natch) is applied.While I certainly agree that Adams has misrepresented skeptics and scientific skepticism, I think that skeptics should be playing up the importance of ethical skepticism which, on last count Adams has comprehensively pwned himself.

  42. Doubting Tom says:

    There are actually valid reasons for both those things, at least according to my research, Dikkii. The benefit of herbicide-resistant plants is that farmers can use an all-purpose herbicide like Roundup without harming their crops, rather than the current practice of being forced to use selective herbicides to kill off the weeds. Ultimately, this results in less herbicide use (spraying once, rather than spraying for each kind of weed that's common in the area). Obviously it wouldn't make sense to make an herbicide-resistant GMO crop if farmers weren't already using herbicides. The benefit from Monsanto's point of view is that the farmers would be buying both the crop and the herbicide from them, even if less herbicide is being used overall (which, I suppose, also works in Monsanto's favor).As to terminator genes (of which the type you mention is only one of several), this is really a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don't situation for GMO producers. One of the big risks of GM crops is that they'll cross-pollinate with weeds or other undesirable plants, granting those plants herbicide or disease or pest resistance, and rendering a lot of the GM work moot. Terminator genes are one way of accomplishing that, by making sure that the crops cannot viably cross-pollinate. But, by trying to avoid one environmental disaster, "Big Agri" opened itself up to all manner of criticism and conspiracy theories about how terrible it is to force farmers to buy seeds every year (instead of stocking some) or–as you mention–buy a chemical that allows the seeds to sprout. I understand and appreciate skepticism and even a little cynicism regarding the motives of a large corporation–obviously, companies like Monsanto are trying to make money–but the way this issue is portrayed, there's no way for the company to win. While I'm sure every decision is made to further enrich their coffers, that's not necessarily the only reason behind them. After all, they're not health insurance companies.

  43. Doubting Tom says:

    As long as we're still on this, I might as well link GMO Compass, an informative site that keeps coming up in my research. I've hesitated using it because I couldn't find information on who runs and funds it (the last thing I'd want to do is be funneling information from Ameren or something), but the Imprint page (which the link goes to) makes it all look pretty above-board. Obviously it's not my only source (I've been trolling the USDA, FDA, and EPA websites quite a bit), but it seems like a good general resource for these issues.

  44. Dikkii says:

    I agree with most of what you've written, however…Ultimately, this results in less herbicide use (spraying once, rather than spraying for each kind of weed that's common in the area).Unfortunately, we both know that "spraying once" is not the intended message that Monsanto will be taking to the road vis-a-vis Roundup use.The benefit from Monsanto's point of view is that the farmers would be buying both the crop and the herbicide from them, even if less herbicide is being used overall (which, I suppose, also works in Monsanto's favor).While I'm sure that in print, Monsanto will be plugging the less herbicide message, you can rest assured that where farmers were once more careful about what they sprayed and where, Monsanto will be doing their utmost to ensure that the message gets out to the effect of "You can now spray all day, everyday, everywhere." This is essentially the same as what happens now with mobile phone contracts (does anyone manage to stay under their caps?), with re-useable lines of credit (especially credit cards), contracts with utility providers (especially where rates are different at different times), hell, even funeral services.In short, while Monsanto’s published line reflects their published intentions, history shows that the ‘unintended’ outcomes are precisely what is intended. Monsanto will inevitably shift blame on to farmers who ‘misuse’ their product just like tobacco companies who could (but won’t) choose to stop making their product at any time. Not that I’m suggesting that sale of the products themselves in, in itself, unethical, unlike tobacco companies.I used to go to school with farmers so I know how they will use both the crop and the herbicide. I also know that this end user really couldn’t care less about environmental outcomes, unless the law comes a calling. And I suspect with good reason that Monsanto are aware of this. You can bet your life that Monsanto, again, will be shifting the blame on to the consumers, but at the same time, will only be making a half-assed effort to educate end-users in responsible usage.Ethically, we have every right to be skeptical about the intentions, even if the science stacks up, which it does, but only just.Re terminator seeds: I agree that cross-pollination prevention is a viable aim, however the evidence that widespread interspecies cross-pollination is a major problem appears to be exaggerated.Thus, I’m not really convinced that this is a strong argument, either.

  45. Doubting Tom says:

    Re: Monsanto: I can't condemn a company for something they haven't done yet. Why would the "spray all day, every day" message play any better than the "spray less, spend less time in the field" message? I have to imagine that the repeated applications of selective herbicides are as time-consuming as they are expensive; why would farmers willingly spray more than they need to? And if that's the case, why wouldn't they be doing it right now? The selective herbicides don't do much to the crops as far as I've been able to tell, so shouldn't we see farmers excessively over-herbiciding right now as well? Is there any data to support that?Re: cross-contamination: one of the studies I read the last time I seriously researched this (about 4 years ago, now) was one examining the danger of cross-pollination, and finding that it had already occurred on some experimental farms (using Bt corn, as I recall). I'll try to track down that source or others like it. Regardless, the problem is real whatever the risk is, and I think you may be taking and overly cynical view on the matter. I freely submit that my view may be overly optimistic and naïve, but I'd rather err on the side of not ending up with superweeds or contaminated non-GM crops.

  46. Dikkii says:

    Tom:And if that's the case, why wouldn't they be doing it right now?Have you ever seen Roundup in action? More importantly, have you heard a farmer complain after his idiot son erroneously destroys half an acre of recently sowed canola with the stuff?The selective herbicides don't do much to the crops as far as I've been able to tell, so shouldn't we see farmers excessively over-herbiciding right now as well?Selective herbicides are also a great deal more expensive than Roundup, and require a great deal more care, generally. Your answer might lie there, possibly.Incidentally, I've been reading about natural selection producing glyphosphate-resistant "superweeds". Should be interesting to see what happens here!And I may be being overly cynical, but let's face it, big business with a captive audience does not exactly have a good track record.

  47. Mintman says:

    Tom:The issue with the terminator genes is a very interesting one indeed, as you have to weigh two of the criticisms of GMOs against each other – the effects on farmers' business models and containing the spread of modified genes into the landscape.I still do not get how you can say that what these retroviruses did in evolution is the same as what biotech researchers are doing now. Quite apart from the phylogenetic distances covered by us vs. retroviruses, the sheer scale is, as always with man-made changes, different, just like "there were climate fluctuations in the past" is no answer to the gigantic amounts of CO2 we are producing in an unprecedentedly short time.

  48. Dikkii says:

    A thought just crossed my mind as I was re-reading this question of yours which struck me as a somewhat unusual one:The selective herbicides don't do much to the crops as far as I've been able to tell, so shouldn't we see farmers excessively over-herbiciding right now as well?Just for a moment let's ignore that selective herbicides are generally more expensive than Roundup. Let's also assume that these herbicides can be applied in the same way and assume that the selective herbicides don't do much damage to the crops as your question assumes. Wouldn't this negate the need for GM crops that are herbicide resistant?Just curious, is all.

  49. Mintman says:

    Dikkii:Intriguing parallel to what I wrote above – both cases of wanting to eat your cake and have it too. GMOs are so much more useful and efficient than crops from traditional breeding programmes that we just have to use them, but of course they are suddenly "just the same" when it comes to risk assessment. The combination of genetic manipulation and round up is so much better than specific herbicides before, but of course it is suddenly equivalent when it comes to risk assessment. Hah!

  50. Dikkii says:

    Mintman, I'm not sure that I totally see it as an exact parallel.Nevertheless, the way that I see it, in this example, Monsanto have specifically created GM crops that are resistant to Roundup. I fail to understand why anyone would be doubting that Monsanto would then market these crops as being resistant to Roundup.It's a lay down misere: One can almost hear a salesman saying, "You can spray Roundup on it as much as you like and it won't die." I haven't ever worked in marketing, but wouldn't a salesman be a complete idiot if they didn't use this line? Don't Monsanto employ salespeople?

  51. Doubting Tom says:

    Mintman: I still do not get how you can say that what these retroviruses did in evolution is the same as what biotech researchers are doing now.Both are modifying the plant's genetic code to cause the plant to produce novel proteins not previously produced in that species. The difference is that with GMO, we know what the protein is, where it comes from, and when and how it entered the genome. Quite apart from the phylogenetic distances covered by us vs. retroviruses,What do you mean by this? Are you suggesting that viral DNA inserted into plants have less phylogenetic distance than plant DNA inserted into plants? Granted, we've also been working with bacterial DNA in various cases, which is a bigger phylogenetic jump. Is the scale different? To a degree, I suppose. It's certainly a different time scale. But the degree of control and study is also different. It sounds like you think these plants get released for public consumption with no thought as to what effect they might have on consumers, and that's just as fallacious as when pharmaceutical opponents suggest the same thing.If we're going to make comparisons to the global warming issue, then how about this: it's just as fallacious to suggest that there's something fundamentally different about what humans are doing through genetic engineering from what nature is doing as it is for AGW denialists to suggest that there's something fundamentally different about human-produced CO2 driving climate change from all the natural climate forcings. but of course they are suddenly "just the same" when it comes to risk assessment.I'd like to know what you're quoting, Mintman, because the only person who's said "just the same" in this thread is you. I agree that there are risks of GMOs, chief among them being that they're a new, somewhat unknown factor being introduced into the wild. That's why I think they should be subject to far more regulations and safety and efficacy research than traditional crops. And they are. If you can find where I suggest that they shouldn't be subject to the approval of three different agencies and that they shouldn't go through extensive study before being released to the public, I'd like to see it. Dikkii: Just for a moment let's ignore that selective herbicides are generally more expensive than Roundup. Let's also assume that these herbicides can be applied in the same way and assume that the selective herbicides don't do much damage to the crops as your question assumes. Wouldn't this negate the need for GM crops that are herbicide resistant?Um…no. Again, the benefit of having crops that resist a non-selective herbicide is that you only have to use one kind of herbicide for all your weeds. Ideally this means you'll be spraying fewer times, which means you'll use less herbicide overall. And, as you said, the selective herbicides are expensive. Less work, less time consumption, less precision necessary…isn't that the whole reason for herbicides in the first place? "Instead of weeding all day, kill the weeds with a spray." Furthermore, and I'm not sure how big a problem this is with herbicides, but I know a lot of developing nations still use wildly outdated pesticides in their agriculture, which have a greater impact on the environment than the modern chemicals. If the same is true of herbicides, then there's another benefit: poorer nations can buy less herbicide and a safer variety too. As to natural selection producing superweeds, I'm not surprised. It's the same selection pressure that we're putting on bacteria. It's a process that I wouldn't want to be helping along by introducing transgenes into the mix.

  52. Mintman says:

    Okay, yes, I have seen that you are aware of all the issues I raised and have thought them through. We are presumably mostly agreed on the regulation that would be necessary and that fundamental opposition to genetic engineering as such is unwarranted, so there is not much use in me continuing this discussion.My point here was that this nuanced position is hardly ever spelled out, there are only these asides insinuating that being skeptical of GMOs is a typical woo position. While lambasting a crank for believing that carrots have souls, there comes a remark on the level of "haha, you even think that GMOs could be dangerous" and then that's that. You would also not say something similar about vaccines, as everybody is aware of a certain risk of complications, and thus we phrase it more as a trade-off between that and the risks of not being vaccinated. I only ask for a similarly honest assessment of the GMO issue that does not sound like painting all GMO opponents as loons.

  53. Dikkii says:

    Tom:Less work, less time consumption, less precision necessary…isn't that the whole reason for herbicides in the first place? "Instead of weeding all day, kill the weeds with a spray."(My emphasis)I'd also add "…as many times as you'd like" at the end which is the message Monsanto will make, however. It would be marketing silliness if they didn't.See the thing is that while we agree that crops being herbicide resistant is a pretty neat idea, we disagree on the way that Monsanto (and others) are going about this.I agree that just using Roundup in place of a few selective herbicides would be cheaper. I even note that the price differentials between some of these make vast quantities of Roundup cheaper than even small quantities of a mixed multi-species-specific herbicides approach.I disagree, however that farmers wouldn't take advantage of a less finicky and (markedly) cheaper weed solution, i.e. blasting away at the slightest non-crop growth. I also disagree that Monsanto won't take full advantage of this.You may, incidentally, have thrown a few of my assumptions to the wind in your last response, and I would add that your unstated assumption that farmers will be using more than one selective herbicide at a time compared to equivalent use of Roundup on a herbicide resistant crop remains to be seen. But you did make your point well.But this is the bit that grates on me and this is why we should question Monsanto's ethics: Monsanto have made motherhood statements of a largely altruistic nature about feeding the third world (amongst other comments). Bearing this in mind, what Monsanto could have done if they were genuine about these statements is this:1. Rather than investigating herbicide resistant transgenics, they could have investigated genes from certain legumes or couch grasses that inhibit weed growth. I'm aware of no evidence that they did.2. Monsanto stands to make a fortune from Roundup sales alone. They could have released the patent over their genetically modified seed into the public domain to demonstrate genuineness, but again, I'm not aware of any evidence that this was considered, either.3. Lastly, Monsanto could have invested in researching alternative systemic herbicides to glyphosate to which crops already had an inbuilt resistance. I'd like to think that this is an area that they are throwing large amounts of money at. But once again, I'm not aware of any significant work in this area.I'll shut up now.

  54. Schmiddi says:

    " we call them wackaloons. There's a detailed taxonomy, remind me to send you the poster. "Ohh, me want, me want.

  55. Donna Muller says:

    I laughed so hard I had to use my Ventolin inhaler. If I'd had parents who'd followed Mike's sort of advice, I'd have died at the age of 2 wks old from my first asthma attack. Instead, I'm 52. Long live science-based medicine.

  56. Real is Homeopathy. Homeopathy for everyone

  57. Doubting Tom says:

    What's the homeopathic remedy for talking like a muppet? A 30C dilution of Yoda's blood?But you're right, albeit made of felt. Homeopathy is real: it's real pseudoscience, it's real quackery, it provokes a real placebo effect, it presents a real danger to those who use it instead of actual medicine, and if everyone did so (as you suggest) a lot of those people would get real anosmia, real blindness, real malaria, and many would become real corpses.

  58. Akusai says:

    Hey, give her a break; she's just trying to earn a free trip to Disneyland.

  59. Psychic says:

    Hmm Well I was just searching on Google for some psychic readings and psychic articles and just came across your blog, generally I just only visit blogs and retrieve my required information but this time the useful information that you posted in this post compelled me to reply here and appreciate your good work. I just bookmarked your blog.

  60. Psychic says:

    Hmm Well I was just searching on Google for some psychic readings and psychic articles and just came across your blog, generally I just only visit blogs and retrieve my required information but this time the useful information that you posted in this post compelled me to reply here and appreciate your good work. I just bookmarked your blog.

  61. Ty says:

    Psychic, did you know ahead of time that I was going to call you a spammer?

  62. Jon says:

    Granted, Mike's article seems written in a hasty and spastic manner, but after reading your refutations to Mike's article, I can't help but feel that you are as much of a quack as you claim Mike is.It seems like common sense to NOT put poison's into your body…even if that poison comes with Science(TM) and Medicine(TM)'s seal of approval.

  63. Doubting Tom says:

    Jon: What's a poison?Seriously, since you apparently think that the chemical world is divided into "poisons" and "non-poisons," tell me, which substances are poisons? What's a good way to distinguish between a poison and a non-poison? For instance, is chocolate a poison? It certainly is for dogs, but is that enough to stick it in the category of "poisonous" substances? What about nut products? They're not poison per sé, but if I were to feed them to someone with a nut allergy, they'd have much the same effect. What about the poisons that are naturally produced in our body, like formaldehyde and ammonia? Sure, it might be "common sense" not to put poisons into our body, but what about the poisons that our bodies make themselves? And how do we deal with the fact that all substances are poisonous in particular doses? Cyanide is certainly deadly in certain doses, but people tend to be just fine if they accidentally eat an apple seed or two, despite the cyanide content in them. Even oxygen, water, and Vitamin D can be fatal in sufficient doses. So, do we stick all those things in the "poison" category? Or do we do the reasonable thing and recognize that "common sense" is a poor substitute for evidence, and understand that the world is more complicated than naïve binaries like "poison/non-poison"? All substances are toxic in certain doses, and the dose differs from organism to organism. The amount of penicillin it takes to kill a bacterium is several orders of magnitude smaller than the amount of penicillin it takes to kill a non-allergic human. Common sense may tell you "poison BAD!" but reason tells you that it's better to ingest enough "poison" to kill the invaders but do no harm to yourself, than it is to allow yourself to die from the invasion, and evidence tells you exactly what the safe levels are and what you can expect to happen–and why you can expect it to work.So, yes, if you (like Mike Adams) are incapable of understanding that the universe is complicated, and that not everything can be shoved into easy little pigeonholes labeled "good stuff" and "bad stuff," then let your "common sense" dictate the standard of care. The rest of us will trust to the methods that have increased the average human lifespan by forty years in the last century or two.

  64. Pingback: Is there an echo (echo, echo) in here? « Dubito Ergo Sum

  65. Lev says:

    Your argumentation shows you are even more unreceptive to new ideas than he seems to be and more arrogant in your approach. That being said, his article is silly since M. Adams himself is a skeptic. You, however, sound as if you already have it all figured out, which is even more intellectually distasteful. Thanks for wasting my time heh.

  66. Bronze Dog says:

    Lev, your lack of specific, core issue arguments shows you are even more unreceptive to new ideas and to be arrogant in your approach…

    You know, if someone can simply reverse assertions like yours just by changing a few minor words, Lev, it’s a strong sign your argument is without meaningful content. Thanks for wasting our time with with your mindless repetition of guru-ordered prejudices.

    Do you have any specific arguments you want to present, or are you just going to project your own attitudes onto Tom, and then leave like all the other hit-and-run trolls people like us deal with?

    Oh, and casting Adams as a skeptic? That’s hilarious. Do you even know what skepticism actually means? Do you know what it means to think critically?

  67. Whatevergirl says:

    KILL YOURSELF AND GO TO HELL, YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT! TURBO IS NOT THE WORST AND IT’S NOT BAD! IT KICKS ASS! SO FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HOPE YOU GET CANCER AND DIE!

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