Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The good Dr. William Hammesfahr was on Hannity and Colmes the other day, and Sean Hannity made it a point to refer to him as a “Nobel Prize nominee” about, oh, 1400 times in a single hour (a world record, I believe). A few examples:

HANNITY: And we’re going to talk to a doctor who spent 10 hours with her tonight, and he says that he believes, in his expert opinion — this is a man that was nominated for a Nobel Prize, by the way — that she could be rehabilitated.

HANNITY: And coming up later in the program tonight, we’re going to meet a doctor who actually spent 10 hours examining Terri Schiavo. He was nominated for a Nobel Prize. He believes that she could be rehabilitated.

HANNITY: You were nominated for a Nobel Prize in medicine?

HANNITY: You were nominated to get a Nobel Peace Prize in this work. Are you saying that this woman could be rehabilitated?

HANNITY: How is it possible we’re in this position if you have examined her? You were up for a Nobel Prize. This is mind boggling to me.

HANNITY: Well, this is what I want to understand. This is your area of expertise that got you nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in medicine, the Nobel Prize.

HANNITY: — hang on a second — and talk to a Nobel prize-nominated physician who spent 10 hours with her, who believes if, given the opportunity, he can rehabilitate her?

HANNITY: Imagine being in his position and having a guy like a Nobel Prize nominee like Dr. Hammesfahr, who I’m looking at right now, who spent 10 hours with her and feels that, given the chance, he could rehabilitate this girl.

You just cannot help but snicker at this pathetic appeal to authority, especially when it’s based on nothing more than a letter from an obviously clueless Florida Congressman who actually nominated him for the “Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine”. So in honor of all of this silliness, I’ve just sent the following email to Sean Hannity:

Hey Sean, just wanted you to know that I just wrote a letter to the Nobel Prize committee nominated you for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine (the exact award for which Dr. William Hammesfahr was nominated). So from now on, feel free to introduce yourself as a Nobel Prize nominee 7 or 8 times per hour.

Sincerely,

Ed Brayton

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make some dinner. Someday I hope to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in Cooking.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    March 24, 2005

    Ed –

    I hearby nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize in Poker. That oughta get you free pass into the next WSP. Who could tun away a Nobel Prize Nominee?? Think of how jealous and enraged Phil Hellmuth would be ….

  2. #2 Lynn
    March 24, 2005

    LOL Dave… brilliant idea :-)

  3. #3 Strange Doctrines
    March 24, 2005

    You might take a look at Media Matters’ stuff on this guy, e.g., here.

  4. #4 Dave S.
    March 24, 2005

    Some info on Bilirakis’ other “nomination”, also medical doctors, for Peace (this time just Peace) can be found at

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?r105:5:./temp/~r1057bn1Us::

    Given that the remarks were made April 1st…Dr. Dicksheet … you might think … you know. But no, I think he was serious. The funny part was he screwed up the title of the award he was asking for again. “Dear Nobel Committee Members: It is my distinct privilege to bring before the Committee two physicians whose humanitarian contributions in the area of medicine have prompted me to submit their names for consideration as Nobel Prize Laureates.” Which Nobel Mike, peace or medicine?? He only mentioned it was for Peace in his opening remarks to congress, not in the letter itself.

    Anyway, as a representative of government he can offer a name (‘submit a proposal’ to use the Nobel Foundation’s phrase) for consideration of the Peace prize. This is not exactly a nomination, but close enough for title droppers.

    However, being a representative of the American government does not entitle Bilirakis to offer a nomination for the Medicine Prize. According to the Nobel rules such a right is submit is enjoyed by:

    1. Members of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm;

    2. Swedish and foreign members of the medical class of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences;

    3. Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine;

    4. Members of the Nobel Committee not qualified under paragraph 1 above;

    5. Holders of established posts as professors at the faculties of medicine in Sweden and holders of similar posts at the faculties of medicine or similar institutions in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway;

    6. Holders of similar posts at no fewer than six other faculties of medicine selected by the Assembly, with a view to ensuring the appropriate distribution of the task among various countries and their seats of learning; and

    7. Practitioners of natural sciences whom the Assembly may otherwise see fit to approach.

    Unless Bilirakis is in fact a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, then he has no right to submit anyone. Maybe that’s why he invented the Peace/Medicine Prize.

  5. #5 Dave S.
    March 24, 2005

    The above URL is a seach and doesn’t work, so here’s the text:

    HONORING DR. PAUL DRESCHNACK — HON. MICHAEL BILIRAKIS (Extension of Remarks – April 01, 1998)

    [Page: E542]

    HON. MICHAEL BILIRAKIS

    in the House of Representatives

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 1998

    Mr. BILIRAKIS . Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the work of one of my constituents, Dr. Paul Dreschnack. Dr. Dreschnack is a plastic surgeon who spends several weeks each year in India, voluntarily performing free operations on children born with facial defects.

    I recently nominated Dr. Dreschnack and his mentor, Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet, for a Nobel Peace Prize. I would like to share with our colleagues the letter I submitted with their nomination application. I nominated these outstanding men because they embody the essence of humanitarianism. They have selflessly given their time, money, and energy to improve the lives of others.

    On behalf of the United States House of Representatives, I thank Dr. Dreschnack and Dr. Dicksheet for their tireless work. They are very worthy of this prestigious award and would uphold its tradition of outstanding recipients if it is awarded to them.

    Dear Nobel Committee Members: It is my distinct privilege to bring before the Committee two physicians whose humanitarian contributions in the area of medicine have prompted me to submit their names for consideration as Nobel Prize Laureates.

    I became acquainted with the work of Dr. Dicksheet and Dr. Dreschnack during a recent meeting with representatives from a local chapter of an international civic organization, the Rotary Club of Dunedin, North. The story that unfolded over the next several hours could be subtitled by the headlines of some of the articles contained in their packet: `The Doctor’s Heart: A New York Doctor Returns to India to Give His Life’s Earnings Back’; `New Life to the Deformed’; `One Man, 20,000 Lives.’

    Most of us, as we mature and recognize that we have been the recipient of unearned blessings or talents in life, desire to give back to the community. Such is the motive driving both Dr. Dicksheet and Dr. Dreschnack. But their vision, the longevity and the largesse of their contributions sets them apart among men.

    For thirty years, Dr. Sharad Dicksheet has spent approximately six months each year in the poorest regions of India, providing free surgery to those in need. He brings with him a small team of surgeons, often paying for their travel out of his own funds.

    They arrive at one of the many Plastic Surgery Camps, or Shibers, as they are called. Year after year, the routine has been the same. By daybreak, hundreds of people have arrived, (some traveling hundreds of miles) to be evaluated for treatment. In recent years the number arriving at each site has often increased to over one-thousand people.

    Time and resources dictate that only those deemed treatable can be assured of surgery. The patients are primarily cleft lip and or cleft palate cases but include a variety of facial deformities, burn injuries, including burn contractures of joints, and deformed ears and eyes.

    By nine o’clock, separate operating tables have been set up for the team and the surgeries begin, continuing uninterrupted until six o’clock in the evening. An average of thirty-five surgeries are performed daily, but many times the number reaches more than fifty. The statistics are phenomenal. Since Dr. Dicksheet began his work in 1968, more than 40,000 operations have been performed. Financially, his contributions exceed $80 million.

    But, what does the work mean to his patients? Nothing short of a new life! Infants who would have died, unable to suck milk, now thrive. Families outcast by the social stigma of deformity, are restored. Young girls, (and boys), unmarriageable and unable to work or make a living, have a future. Each of the 40,000 cases has a life changing story. It would be impossible to accurately estimate the thousands of people whose lives have been positively affected by Dr. Dicksheet and his associates. And, when you consider that the doctors also teach surgical techniques to Indian surgeons through the Indian Medical Society, the number increases even more.

    What makes Dr. Dicksheet’s story even more remarkable is that the doctor has conducted the majority of his humanitarian work while he, himself, has been in grave health. About 18 years ago he underwent surgery for laryngeal cancer. His speech is, for the most part, inaudible and he must communicate in writing much of the time. Ten years ago he suffered a severe heart attack, followed by another attack in 1994. In spite of his health he has continued to raise funds, travel and operate from a wheelchair. At this time, however, his health has further deteriorated. He is not expected to live much longer. Over the years he has treated each day as a `bonanza,’ and filled it with giving his life to his fellow man. `I feel good in giving this service to my countrymen,’ he responds when asked about his work.

    What will happen to his work? Preparation has been made to turn the work over to the very capable hands of Dr. Paul Dreschnack, who has worked with Dr. Dicksheet for nine years and shares his vision, enthusiasm and dedication. As Dr. Dreschnack responded in an interview in 1995, `I’ll be doing it (the work) for a long time.’ I am very proud to count Dr. Paul Dreschnack as a resident of my Congressional district.

    The humanitarian contributions of these men sets an example for the world. They exemplify how much more we can give when we are willing to give our lives, totally. They show us how much larger our vision can be when we refuse to see obstacles and we view our fellow man as our brother.

    I am very pleased to bring Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet and Dr. Paul Dreschnack before you.

    With best wishes, I am

    Sincerely yours,

    Michael Bilirakis ,
    Member of Congress.

  6. #6 KeithB
    March 25, 2005

    On the John and Ken show on KFI 640 in Los Angeles they called the good Doctor yesterday and grilled him on his nomination.

    It was really funny, I wish the audio was available. Basically he started out all puffed up and it seems sincerely believes that the letter meant he had a nomination. However, as John and Ken read the list of who could actually nominate (as given above) he quickly backpeddled and kept saying things like “I haven’t researched that…” The good doctor finally hung up after a minute. Ken said “Ah,too bad, we never got to ask about Terri.”

    Really funny. If they put the audio up, I will post it.

  7. #7 KeithB
    March 25, 2005

    As promised:
    http://www.johnandkenshow.com/audio/files/hammesfahr.wmx

    Here is the description from where you click to get that link:

    “Another John & Ken interview that didn’t go well.

    Dr. William Hammesfahr is making the media rounds, claiming that Terri Shiavo could recover with the correct treatment, based on his research. He also claims that he is a Nobel Prize Nominee, based on a note he got from some guy a few years ago. John & Ken called him on the dubious nature of his so-called nomination, but unfortunately he terminated the call before they could call into question the veracity of his “World’s Greatest Dad” coffee mug.”

    Enjoy.

  8. #8 Kristjan Wager
    March 27, 2005

    Which Nobel Mike, peace or medicine?? He only mentioned it was for Peace in his opening remarks to congress, not in the letter itself.

    Dave, carefull making fun of others – while it is indeed stupid of him to nominate people for the Nobel Prizes, there is doubt which prize he is nominating for in this case. The Nobel Peace Prize is choosen by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, while the rest of them are handled by the Swedish Nobel Committee, so if he wrote to the Norwegian Nobel Committee there is no doubt which prize he was talking about.

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