Respectful Insolence

Sadly, The Onion gets this one right

Want to know how Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley, other anti-vaccine advocates, creationists, quacks, 9/11 Truthers, and cranks and pseudoscientists of all stripes manage to be heard when they have no science, evidence, reason, logic, or facts on their side?

Sadly, The Onion knows: Oh, No! It’s Making Well-Reasoned Arguments Backed With Facts! Run!

At first, it looks as though the forces of reason can win:

Goddamn it, nothing’s working! It’s trapped us in our own unsubstantiated claims! We need to switch fundamentally unsound tactics. Hurry, throw up the straw man! Look, I think it’s going for it. C’mon…c’mon…yes, it’s going for it! Now hit it with the thing that one guy told us once while it’s distracted by our ludicrous rationalizations!

Gah! It’s calmly and evenhandedly deflecting everything we’re throwing at it. Our deductive fallacies are only making it stronger! Wait…what on earth is it doing now? Oh, no, it has sources! My God, it’s defending itself with ironclad sources! Someone stop the citing! Please, please stop the citing!

[…]

What’s that? Now it’s making an appeal to reason? Never! Do you hear me, you eloquent, well-read behemoth? Never! We’ll die before we recognize what we secretly know to be true! The cognitive dissonance only makes our denial stronger!

All looks lost for our crank until:

Unless…wait, of course! Why didn’t we think of it before? Volume! Sheer volume! It’s so simple. Quickly now, we don’t have much time! Don’t let it get a word in edgewise! Derisively cut it off mid-sentence! Now, launch the sophomoric personal attacks! Louder, yes, that’s it, louder! Be repetitive, juvenile, and obstinate! It’s working! It’s working!

Sadly, that just about sums up just how Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley, creationists, and quacks work. Even more sadly, all too often it’s effective. PZ’s right when he asks: “OK, who’s the wise guy who gave one of our creationists a writing gig at The Onion?” Certainly the resemblance is uncanny!

(Thanks to all who forwarded this Onion article to me.)

Comments

  1. #1 Happeh
    June 1, 2009

    “Want to know how Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley, other anti-vaccine advocates, creationists, quacks, 9/11 Truthers, and cranks and pseudoscientists of all stripes manage to be heard when they have no science, evidence, reason, logic, or facts on their side?”

    Sounds good. Too bad it is not true.

    I will talk facts to you or any of your gang about my work for months. None of you will take me up on that because it would prove you are wrong and I am right.

    The 9/11 truth movement can bury you in questions and information about what happened. But if your mind is made up, all the information and questionable actions in the world will not change your mind.

    I think if all of you stopped playing around with who is using what debate tactic and actually talked to people, we could straighten all of this out.

    When you talk to people and you are like a vulture sitting there waiting to shout “straw man argument” or “emotional argument” or “ad hominem attack” at whatever it is they say, are you really listening to what is being said? Are you a nice person trying to understand a different way of thinking, or a thug waiting in a doorway to jump out and get someone who is different from you?

    I get the feeling you and many of the commenters honestly do not want communication or reconciliation between conventional medicine and alternative medicine. You want a whipping boy in your life and alternative medicine has been the unlucky victim to be chosen to fill your needs.

  2. #2 Ben
    June 1, 2009

    “When you talk to people and you are like a vulture sitting there waiting to shout “straw man argument” or “emotional argument” or “ad hominem attack” at whatever it is they say, are you really listening to what is being said? Are you a nice person trying to understand a different way of thinking, or a thug waiting in a doorway to jump out and get someone who is different from you?”

    If you can’t use a proper logical argument, then you don’t get to play the “you should believe me because I’m rational” game. My uncle the minister makes passionate sermons about homosexuals and why they should be given equal rights under the law, but they are entirely appeals to emotion. Just because I agree with his conclusion doesn’t mean his argument is any more rational than the minister next door who emotionally argues that all homosexuals should be stoned. I’m also not going to inject scorpion venom into my heart just because someone “strongly believes” it will cure adult acne; I’d have to see scientific proof that it a) won’t kill me, and b) will actually have an effect.

    Do you know what happens to “alternative” medicine when it produces actual rational evidence? It becomes “real” medicine. Chemotherapy treatment involves injecting radioisotopes into the bloodstream. Plastic surgeons inject botulism toxin into faces for wrinkle reduction and armpits to curb sweating. Gastric bypass surgery involves rearranging organs as a weight loss procedure. Do you really think that the only reason doctors aren’t prescribing acupuncture as a cancer cure is due to intolerance?

  3. #3 snerd
    June 1, 2009

    Shorter Happeh:

    NO U. Also TEH JOOOOOOS.

  4. #4 Gil
    June 1, 2009

    At least quacks can come unstuck when they resort to the ‘Appeal to Tradition’ argument fallacy. “We can show you people who use to think or do like us a few centuries (or even a few millennia) ago therefore it’s right.” Does anyone feel convinced of Creationism because a scientist a couple of hundred years ago thought that it was history. Either the scientist was wrong even his day but didn’t bother to look or the science of the day was very limited and doesn’t apply to the modern day. Alternatively, would anyone care if a ‘magical herb’ was considered the best treatment for cancer a couple of hundreds of years ago either?

  5. #5 HubertB
    June 1, 2009

    Very occasionally the so called lunatics are correct. They did lie to us. Richard Nixon did have an enemies list. The FBI was out to get people. There was a big cover up. The alternative medicine called Chinese Wormwood is effective against malaria in spite of what the medical profession says. Of course we hear far more lies in our day to day activities. Many people do not know whom to trust and not trust and make what many of us consider us bad choices. On the other hand, some of us believed Richard Nixon.

  6. #6 Blake Stacey
    June 1, 2009

    “Very occasionally the so called lunatics are correct. […] The alternative medicine called Chinese Wormwood is effective against malaria in spite of what the medical profession says.”

    The medical profession is wrong. . . because the medical profession is wrong!

    Can’t argue with logic like that.

  7. #7 Chris
    June 1, 2009

    Looks like Non Sequitur got it right as well today:
    http://www.gocomics.com/features/112/feature_items/430396

  8. #8 Calli Arcale
    June 1, 2009

    The alternative medicine called Chinese Wormwood is effective against malaria in spite of what the medical profession says.

    Just to interject for a moment, the “medical profession” (as if it were a monolithic entity) doesn’t deny that wormwood is effective against malaria. Wormwood is, after all, a very ancient anti-parasitic. (That’s why it’s called wormwood, actually — it’s been used as a deworming agent for a long time.) The gold standard treatment for malaria has long been quinine and derivatives thereof, but now that the spirochete is developing resistance to those drugs, various regions (i.e. those with resistant malaria) have started to use wormwood-derived drugs with some success. Of course, there’s no guarantee malaria won’t evolve resistance to that as well.

  9. #9 megan
    June 1, 2009

    It’s what I’ve been saying for years now. Ever since progressive and liberal thought used the stance of every thing is equal from a certain view or all views are valid the concept of reasoned debate and logic was undercut. Those with completely unbased or flimsy logic could throw out the “We’ll agree to disagree crap” or attack sound logic, research or social philosophy by throwing out one instance of not fitting the hypothesis and equate their opposing view as equally valid though having many more null results to their hypothesis and nary a correct matching without assumptions and fiat initial constants derived from untestable positions.
    Therefore, I say we the intelligentsia and academia have failed to maintain the continued higher education of the masses to inoculate them from these hack ideas by allowing the low funding for basic education, poor pay for teachers, allowance for theology to being ‘secularized’ into political and social thought by freedom of speech and allowing for respect of others, without using any criteria to atleast label them for what they are. And the destruction of true news reporting and investigation vs the opinion talkingheads that spew false commentary and assault without justification or verification.

    Okay, I’m rambling but if you can get my point. I’ve been pissed about this since Ronald Reagan and my days in high schools fighting/debating the conservative Repugnican dittoheads in school. I was confronting their new tactics back then and saw the future.

  10. #10 Chris
    June 1, 2009

    This Chris also enjoyed the Non Sequitur cartoon linked to by another Chris (oh, the confusion, there are two people posting as Chris who agree with each other!).

  11. #11 Rogue Medic
    June 1, 2009

    Happeh,

    Are you a nice person trying to understand a different way of thinking,

    You act as if trying to understand faulty logic would convince those who understand logic. There is no logic to your ranting. There is no sense to your nonsense.

    You can claim that is is something wrong with logical people, that they use science to figure out how things work. Science is the reason you are able to spread incoherent ramblings. Why is it that you use science when it helps you to spread anti-science, but you claim that science does not work?

    Silly of me to ask a logical question. Your answer could be anything from green, to everybody knows, to because of the fluoride that they put in the cement of the Twin Towers.

    I just spent an hour with a paranoid schizophrenic. Then I
    read your comment and it is as if I never left.

    Maybe someday you will see reason. Maybe someday you will make sense. Or it may be as Credence Clearwater Revival sings, Someday Never Comes.

    Someday you may face reality. But you currently spend your time denying reality with your different way of thinking. Reality and logic go together.

    Denying logic is denying reality. A different way of thinking does not produce results that can be reproduced. At least not in the real world.

    The Onion has happeh lampooned perfectly, in this piece.

  12. #12 Anthro
    June 1, 2009

    @Megan –

    I have been posting my own versions of what you are saying here at numerous sites and it is good to know that there are at least two of us who feel this way. The problem is deep and systemic and not going to respond easily to any remedy. We are in deep doo with all this woo!

  13. #13 DLC
    June 1, 2009

    I don’t often read The Onion. But I’ve been referred there many times and it’s generally been spot-on for sarcasm or parody. This time is no different.

  14. #14 elsie
    June 1, 2009

    Just to be clear, malaria is not caused by spirochetes. Various Plasmodium species cause malaria.

  15. #15 Happeh
    June 1, 2009

    “You act as if trying to understand faulty logic would convince those who understand logic. There is no logic to your ranting. There is no sense to your nonsense.”

    See what I mean? RogueMedic is about attack. He is not about anything rational or real.

    Any person can describe the writings of another as ranting. It is a trick to control people and the conversation. Anyone can describe the writings of another as nonsense. That is another trick to control people and the conversation.

    RogueMedic’s post says nothing about me or what I say. It is a list of generalized insults and attacks that they teach in a psychology class or a police or military interrogation class.

    Mr RogueMedic. Instead of throwing out unexplained accusations that are the stock in trade of people who do what you do, please describe the ranting I am engaged in, then explain why it is ranting. Please explain the nonsense I am engaged in, then explain why it is nonsense.

    Or you could post more of those generalized insults and attacks you learned in class.

  16. #16 Rogue Medic
    June 1, 2009

    happeh,

    You wrote:

    See what I mean? RogueMedic is about attack. He is not about anything rational or real.

    Mr RogueMedic. Instead of throwing out unexplained accusations that are the stock in trade of people who do what you do, please describe the ranting I am engaged in, then explain why it is ranting. Please explain the nonsense I am engaged in, then explain why it is nonsense.

    Below is my response to your comments on Orac’s post Cancer research explained briefly. I wrote this comment 2 days ago. Perhaps you will claim that Orac backdated the comment for me to produce the impression of having posted it earlier. Perhaps you will claim that your response was also altered. You pick and choose the reality you want. First you claim my comments are too specific, although you ignore more general statements in the same comment. Today you criticize me for being too general. Smooth.

    You parody yourself.

    I know. I know. You did not write those words. I had Orac post them as if you did write them. You would never be so foolish to make the foolish statements above your signature. I guess you caught me in this conspiracy. How will I ever get over having my Black Helicopter grounded? :-(

    Now that I am busted, there will only be a Bilateral Commission. double :-(

    Here are the comments that are in response to your original comment on Orac’s post Cancer research explained briefly.

    See if you can spot all of the places where I already addressed this ranting – Please explain the nonsense I am engaged in, then explain why it is nonsense. A life-size replica of happeh’s integrity to the first person who can spot all of the examples.

    happeh,

    You demonstrate a typical logical fallacy.

    “Surgery is no longer the best treatment option for most patients with advanced colorectal cancer that has spread to other organs, a new study suggests.”

    You assume that because a treatment is found to be no longer the best treatment option, that the treatment is ineffective. That is not even what the headline suggested, but you misinterpreted the headline that way. Did you read the story, never mind the study it describes?

    If you want to find treatments that are ineffective, you need to look at alternative medicine. They never need to improve their treatments, because none of their treatments are effective. If patients treated with quack treatments get better, it isn’t because the voodoo was effective. If these victims of fraud get better, it is in spite of the snake oil – not because of it.

    What this story is saying, is that those conventional doctors who know everything, have been cutting pieces out of the behinds of people with colorectal cancer for years for no reason at all.

    Please provide a direct quote of any of the researchers making that suggestion.

    You Orac, and your fellow doctors, clearly do things that are unnecessary. If I wanted to be mean and rude, I could say that you were butchers and quacks for convincing trusting uneducated people to allow you and your fellows to cut pieces off of them like they were a steak.

    Again, where is any quote from any of the researchers that finding a better treatment for this one type of cancer means that the previous best treatment was ineffective?

    You did not understand what the point of this post was. Did you even read the post?

    Why would anyone think that you were not trying top be rude. You also succeeded in demonstrating your ignorance.

    What guarantee can you give Orac, that in 20 years I will not be reading a story that says, “20 years ago chemotherapy was thought to be the best treatment for cancer, but now we know that only hastened the death of the patient, and did not cure the cancer”.

    The use of chemotherapy for the type of cancer Master Hauser has, is 90% effective. That is an especially effective form of chemotherapy, but there is evidence of this effectiveness. That will not change in 20 years, except that there will be more evidence of the effectiveness of chemotherapy. There will be changes in chemotherapy to more effective forms of chemotherapy. There may be some changes from chemotherapy to other treatments, because the other treatments are found to be more effective for that specific type of cancer. These are improvements in care, not signs of ineffectiveness or signs of harm.

    If you are an honest scientist and medical professional, you cannot give me that assurance.

    If you are an intelligent person, you realize that is not even close to true.

    Let’s use a nice simple example, that even happeh might understand. I own a car that is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 10 seconds. A sports car might accelerate to from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 5 seconds. the sports car is better at acceleration.

    Does that mean that my car does not accelerate?

    Does that mean my car’s acceleration is so bad that it is negative (harmful)?

    happeh, if we believe you, these would be reasonable conclusions about my car. My car accelerates adequately for my needs. happeh, you may not be able to understand this.

    How did you, happeh, start your comment?

    What is missing from the blog, is any honest treatment of why patients would avoid or not trust conventional medicine doctors. This blog conveniently never mentions that conventional medicine can be taken apart by someone who wants to, just as easily as this blog takes apart alternative medicine.

    You demonstrate a level of incompetence that is fortunately rare.

    Posted by: Rogue Medic | May 30, 2009 7:47 PM

    .
    .

  17. #17 cooler
    June 2, 2009

    I have to agree with this post, denialism and pseudoscience have one telling trait, the denial of overwhelming evidence. That being said can you guys provide me with some overwhelming evidence to back up your claims on 9/11 and HIV.

    On 9/11 I would like Videos and sworn witness statements that place all 19 hijackers at the airports. If a 7-11 was robbed this stuff would be released the next day, with 9/11 they’ve only shown 5 of the hijackers on CCTV and those even were released 3 years later (Explain the delay as well). Atta has only been shown on video only at the Portland, Me airport. Just show me the vids of the remaining 14 hijackers at the airports on 9/11.

    For HIV Cite and briefly describe the scientific papers that proved HIV was a fatal disease that justified AZT’s release in 1987. Waiting. Please don’s spam a website, this would get you laughed out of any courtroom or classroom.

  18. #18 Mu
    June 2, 2009

    While you’re at it, please disprove the existence of the Santa Claus, clearly refuting the evidence given by millions of kids that they did see him. A concisely written essay of 5 pages minimum is required.

  19. #19 Sascha
    June 2, 2009

    Cooler

    Your tinfoil just fell into your Koolaid.

  20. #20 Militant Agnostic
    June 2, 2009

    Remember folks – Cooler is unable to use Occam’s Razor because he is not allowed to have sharp objects.

  21. #21 happeh
    June 2, 2009

    RogueMedic? Save your energy. You are a hater. I never interact with haters if I have any choice at all.

  22. #22 cooler
    June 2, 2009

    Thanks for providing the overwhelming evidence that 19 hijackers were at the airports and an explanation of the papers that proved HIV was a fatal disease that justified AZT’s release in 1987! NOT! I love it when I prove that people who claim to “rational” and “skeptical” have clearly excepted dogma purely on faith and can only make personal attacks! Not a single shred of evidence cited! I love it!

  23. #23 bigjohn756
    June 2, 2009

    Is he talking about Fox News?

  24. #24 bigjohn756
    June 2, 2009

    Is he talking about Fox News?

  25. #25 Mu
    June 2, 2009

    The best part of cooler’s conspiracy theories is, he thinks the conspirators are not only omnipotent, but also inept. You’d think if the government had planed 9/11 they’d made sure to have perfect surveillance pictures for starters. And not dumped one of their four planes in the middle of nowhere. And there would have been no need to waterboard anyone, since they already knew who’d done it. But the latter was probably part of a deeper conspiracy to train our forces in enhanced techniques when they are let lose on the civilian population.

  26. #26 DiscomBob
    June 2, 2009

    happeh is not happeh because he can’t prove it. happeh is a hater but happeh still talks to self. why happeh why?

  27. #27 cooler
    June 2, 2009

    Hey guys, thanks for admitting there is no evidence that the Hijackers were even at the airports, no videos (except of the 5 random people released 3 years later), sworn statements, ticket stubs. Thanks for not citing an explanation of the papers that proved HIV was a fatal disease that justified the IOM recommending billions in funding in 1986 and AZT being approved in 1987. Thanks for admitting you guys have no evidence to support your crazy conspiracy theories. Thanks again. This is FUN!

  28. #28 Sascha
    June 2, 2009

    A happy Happeh hater happened to hop home, hot on his hind hopped Happeh hopeing to have a heated hassle with his hated Happeh hater…

  29. #29 kelson
    June 2, 2009

    cooler,

    A flight attendant, Amy Sweeney, called in their seat numbers during the actual hijacking and they had an identification the day of for Muhammad ╩╗Ata as-Sayyid. They did this identification by his credit card information, and you guessed it ticket receipts. This was in the 9/11 commissions report and its easily found on wikipedia. The response to this is obviously that “we are being manipulated to believe that” but then you have set up an unprovable hypothesis, which is, of course, the core basis of any good conspiracy theory. Oh well, the Onion wins again.

  30. #30 cooler
    June 2, 2009

    Read the wikipedia on Mohammed Atta. He passed through security In Logan Airport and there is not one video of him or the rest of his pals for 3 years, but luckily his bag didn’t make connecting flight. Luckily it contained all types of incriminating evidence like a will (why would someone take a will on a suicide flight), a flight manual etc.! Don’t forget about the red bandana and ID’s in the empty ditch in Shankesville, or the passport that flew out of the hijackers pocket when the plane hit the WTC and was found intact on the streets! What a joke.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Atta

  31. #31 New World Order
    June 2, 2009

    Cooler…you know too much.
    You shall be silenced.

  32. #32 Prometheus
    June 2, 2009

    Oh Happeh Day!

    I will talk facts to you or any of your gang about my work for months. None of you will take me up on that because it would prove you are wrong and I am right.

    Happeh, I’ve looked through your website. Initially, I thought it was a spoof, but I’m beginning to think that you’re serious. Are you telling us that the stuff on your website isn’t a spoof or a gag and that you actually believe this stuff?

    I’d be willing to see any data you have to support your rather….eccentric hypotheses – I wasn’t able to find any data on your website, just assertions.

    Let me give an example. From the section titled “Happeh Theory and Human DeEvolution”:

    According to Happeh Theory, the human race is in a state of de-evolution. Human beings are losing knowledge about themselves that they had in the past. This loss of knowledge shows itself in the look of the human body. People from the past look different from people of today. According to Happeh Theory, that is because the people of the past were strong, and the people of today are weak.

    The people of today have forgotten varying amounts of what it means to be a human being. The white western countries appear to have forgotten the most, with the USA the worst of the bunch. Other people around the world still retain a large amount of the knowledge of what it means to be a human being, but they too are slowly degrading.

    And from the section titled “Scientists R Stoopid”:

    Scientists R Stoopid. Really stoopid. Not only that, scientist knowingly tell lies. Scientists lie for money, they lie to protect their job, they lie to protect their status, or they lie to protect their ego. Many scientists are incompetent beauracrats whose scientific knowledge consists of quoting someone else, and whose only real interests are in gaining power through office politics.

    According to Happeh Theory, the stoopidity and close mindedness of scientists is so great, they form an actual danger to society. Scientists give out information that causes harm to people, and scientists actively try to prevent people from receiving information that can help them.

    Care to provide any data – apart from your vast experience, of course – to support these claims?

    And, regarding the “Scientists R Stoopid” piece – weren’t you going on about ad hominem attacks and name-calling?

    Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, shake hands with Mr. Pot.

    Happeh continues:

    The 9/11 truth movement can bury you in questions and information about what happened. But if your mind is made up, all the information and questionable actions in the world will not change your mind.

    My five-year-old niece can “bury you in questions and information” about unicorns, fairies and leprechauns. The problem is that neither my niece nor the “9/11 Truthers” have any data to support their assertions.

    Questions are good – they can highlight holes in the data or problems with the hypothesis. However, there is a vast difference between showing that there are unanswered questions and showing that your hypotheses – or those of my niece or the “Truthers” – are correct.

    Showing that one hypothesis is incomplete (or even wrong) does not show that yours is correct!

    I think if all of you stopped playing around with who is using what debate tactic and actually talked to people, we could straighten all of this out.

    I don’t think so, Happeh. As long as some people try to substitute their fantasies for reality, we will never “straighten all of this out”. Given that people have been trying to reject reality and substitute their own version for all of recorded human history, I don’t see it stopping any time soon.

    Are you a nice person trying to understand a different way of thinking, or a thug waiting in a doorway to jump out and get someone who is different from you?

    Well, I never claimed to be a “nice person”. And what, exactly, is “a different way of thinking” in your lexicon?

    If you mean you get to pick your own reality, that’s not going to work. I’m always open to new data or different interpretations of old data or even to speculation about what might be possible, but I draw the line at making up the data to fit your hypothesis.

    You are free to have your own opinion (see: “Opinions are like a**holes…”); you can even have your own fantasies, dreams and aspirations. But we’re all stuck with the same reality. If yours doesn’t look like everybody else’s, you might want to have your version checked.

    Again, if you’ve got real data to support your hypotheses, let’s hear it. Don’t simply say “I know it’s true!” and expect people to take you on faith. That’s not how it works here. Convince us. If you can’t do that, maybe you ought to take another look at what you believe.

    I get the feeling you and many of the commenters honestly do not want communication or reconciliation between conventional medicine and alternative medicine.

    Right in one! I prefer to have my medicine straight, without any fantasy-based hypotheses or “therapies” to dilute it.

    The history of medicine consists of hundreds of millenia of superstition (i.e. fantasy-based medicine) and un-ending human misery capped off by a little over a century of increasingly reality-based (i.e. science-based) medicine and a simultaneous near-tripling of life expectancy and unparalleled decrease in human suffering.

    This could be just a coincidence, but I think that there’s more than enough data showing that the increase in life expectancy and decrease in human suffering was caused by the rise of science-based medicine and the decline of superstition-based medicine.

    Rather than passively sit by and have some of the very practices that contributed to making human life “nasty, brutish and short” in the “Good Old Days”, I’d like to see “alternative” medicine (i.e. medical practices that have not been shown to work) booted back to the Victorian Era where it belongs. I don’t see how introducing magical thinking and phony jargon into medicine is going to make my life – or the life of anybody else – happier, healthier or longer.

    I encourage other readers of this ‘blog to visit Happeh’s website and view the sort of thinking that is behind the comments posted here. I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

    Prometheus

  33. #33 Prometheus
    June 2, 2009

    Kelson,

    You are wasting your electrons on “cooler” – his aluminium-foil hat is impervious to foreign ideas.

    This is the same person who argued – passionately, exhaustively and futilely – that “fire can’t melt steel”, ignoring the fact that crucible steel (melted) was first made in the 1740’s – long before the development of the electric arc furnace. Obviously, steel was melted by “fire” for over two centuries before “cooler” was ever born.

    “Cooler” has equally unsupported hypotheses about HIV and who knows what else. Bless him, he never lets the fact that the data don’t support his hypotheses get him down.

    He is irrepressible and uneducable.

    Don’t even bother.

    Prometheus

  34. #34 Joseph
    June 2, 2009

    There’s no such thing as de-evolution, Happeh. You probably think evolution is something it’s not. For example, cave-dwelling fish are blind even though they have eyes. This is most likely the result of genetic drift, but there’s probably also an energy advantage to being blind. This is evolution, not de-evolution. It’s an adaptation to the environment.

  35. #35 cooler
    June 2, 2009

    Promoidiot
    Now you know why you have no respect from the scientific community. I said office fires can not melt steel, this is a fact according to NIST, office fires can only weaken steel, office fires are a diffuse flame that can not melt steel, this is different from a controlled environment you bastage! How stupid do you feel now?

    “The temperature of the fire at the WTC was not unusual, and it was most definitely not capable of melting steel. ”

    Dr. Thomas Eagar MIT expert supporter of OCT.

    http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0112/Eagar/Eagar-0112.html

  36. #36 Michael Ralston
    June 3, 2009

    Wait wait, cooler, do you think that the WTC collapse was somehow “manufactured”, or do you, like Dr. Thomas Eagar, agree that it was in fact the result of the plane crashes?

  37. #37 Chris
    June 3, 2009

    The real question is why do you even bother with a troll like cooler? Trolls tend to starve if you do not feed them.

  38. #38 cooler
    June 3, 2009

    No, michael, I agree with these guys, over 600 architects and engineers at http://www.ae911truth.org/ that explosives were used.

    Chris,
    Be a man, don’t be such a crybaby, I asked for the overwhelming evidence that proved HIV was a fatal disease that justified AZT’s release in 1987. A true troll is someone who believes things without overwhelming evidence to back it up, so because you have no evidence to back your claims, you are the troll. Cue the excuses to not provide the papers and explanations………..waiting.

  39. #39 Rogue Medic
    June 3, 2009

    happeh,

    RogueMedic? Save your energy. You are a hater.

    Yes. I hate ignorance. I try to educate people.

    happeh appears to love ignorance. happeh spreads it so deeply.

    However in promoting ignorance, happeh is promoting harm to people. Some of that happeh-promoted harm will result in death.

    While happeh may be proud of happeh’s love of ignorance, happeh’s love of ignorance kills people. happeh’s love of ignorance only demonstrates a hatred of people.

    I prefer to hate ignorance and to help people.

    happeh seems to prefer to love ignorance and hate people.

    If that makes me a hater, then thank you. I am glad I am not like happeh.

    I never interact with haters if I have any choice at all.

    A demonstration of happeh’s ignorance, happeh claims to not interact with haters. What happeh seems to be stating is that happeh has no answer for my criticism of happeh’s stupidity – or should that be stoopidity? How long did it take happeh to think up stoopid? Or was it some kind of revelation? Does this revelation mean that happeh is meant to go out into the world to champion stoopid? happeh’s own Life of Brian?

    Does happeh really think that ancient people, who had a life expectancy of about 30 years, were healthier than modern people? Modern de-haqppehed people have a life expectancy of almost 80 years?

    Maybe happeh thinks that alternative medicine is due to some revelation. If that is the case, why doesn’t alternative medicine work? Alternative medicine has been studied over and over. It doesn’t work. If alternative medicine did work, it would show up as better than placebo in the research. If alternative medicine did work, doctors would use it. Not all doctors, there are some closed-minded doctors, but it would have increasing acceptance among the conventional medicine community – if it could be shown to work. Alternative medicine does not work.

    That is the reason for the demand for research. Without research, there is no reason to endanger patients with these so called medicines. All medicine carries some risk, so all medicine does endanger patients – at least a little bit. The reason to use medicine that has been demonstrated to be effective, is to have a way of determining if that risk is one the patient should take.

    A medicine that has more potential risk than potential benefit is not one worth taking. Alternative medicine has more risk than benefit, because nobody can demonstrate any benefit.

    Why should I believe that happeh’s alternative medicine is any better than the intervention of Promethius’s niece’s unicorn? If anything, Promethius’s niece’s unicorn gives an indication of supernatural intervention, the unicorn doesn’t need magic potions to heal. Apparently happeh’s alternative medicine is a poor substitute for, and possibly a de-evolved form of unicorn medicine.

    happeh has unicorn medicine envy.

  40. #40 Rogue Medic
    June 3, 2009

    cooler,

    Is an office fire still an office fire, when supplemented with some aviation fuel?

    Did the beams need to melt to collapse under the weight of the rest of the building (the part above where the plane hit)?

    Was weakening enough?

    What does it take to weaken beams that have already been struck by a plane?

    Has this been tested?

    How much weakening would be necessary for the floor to collapse under the weight of the rest of the building?

    How much does the momentum of the rest of the building falling on the next floor add to the force involved?

    Since this seemed to be an acceleration of the rate of collapse, did this force increase with each floor, so that by the time it had collapsed to where the undamaged floors were, the extra momentum was beyond what was needed to crush an intact floor and keep collapsing?

    I am not an engineer, but it seems that this was not a typical office fire.

    As with other conspiracy theories (and I do realize that the conventional explanation of the events is a conspiracy, too), the amount of coordination required to pull this off successfully is tremendous. This is the same government that keeps messing everything else up.

    Is faking incompetence part of the conspiracy? These are the people who brought us FEMA and the TSA. The people who made, We’re from the government and we’re here to help, both a punchline and a nightmare. These are the people behind these super-conspiracies? I find that hard to believe.

  41. #41 DLC
    June 3, 2009

    9/11 conspiracy theories ignore Ockham’s razor.
    It’s always an incredibly convoluted plan requiring too many people to carry it out, and usually requiring too many leaps of faith.

  42. #42 happeh
    June 3, 2009

    “If that is the case, why doesn’t alternative medicine work?”

    Alternative medicine does work.

    “Alternative medicine has been studied over and over. It doesn’t work.”

    Alternative medicine does work. If the studies showed it didn’t work, instead of assuming alternative medicine does not work, why not assume the people who performed the study are incompetent? Why not assume the study is flawed? Those conclusions are just as valid.

    “If alternative medicine did work, it would show up as better than placebo in the research.”

    Not if the study is rigged or the study people were incompetent or the study was flawed.

    “If alternative medicine did work, doctors would use it”

    No they would not. As mentioned in another post, doctors have every reason in the world to avoid alternative medicine. Money.

    Herbs cost nothing. How will medicine make money selling plants that cost nothing to grow? How will doctors make money if they cannot perform costly surgery? How much does a massage or chiropractic appointment cost? $75? How much does it cost to go to a doctor? $100 to walk into the emergency room. Then you start paying for the people to look at you and the drugs they give you and the bed they put you in………

    Conventional medicine has the most important reason in the world, money, to rig any study to prove that alternative medicine doesn’t work.

    Ask an average person the following question.

    “If a doctor has a choice to use a new miracle cure that cost 10 cents that will cure all of his patients in one visit, or the doctor can continue with the normal treatments that pay for his home, his vacation home, his mercedes, his jaguar, his private jet, his boat, and his kids private school, what treatment do you think the doctor will choose for his patients?”

    I think we both know the answer the average person will give. Doctors are human just like anyone else. They would screw people over to get all those fancy physical belongings.

    If I was wrong, then doctors would work for free. There would not be glut of doctors in the big money areas like plastic surgery and not enough doctors in the low money areas like general practice.

    You guys are about money. Not helping people. That reality means everything you say, including your study results about alternative medicine, are suspect.

  43. #43 Sascha
    June 3, 2009

    Methinks Happeh-long Cassidy and the Koolaid Kid will soon meld their conspiracy theories into one great string theory of conspiracies, where the same shadowy (insert favorite evil being: Aliens, commies, incubii, illuminatii, Darth Vador, etc…) left Atlantis, built the pyramids, found the Holy Grail, built the canals on Mars, shot JFK, went on to fake the moon landings, start the AIDS scare and then took down the towers.

    Are you human Happeh? If yes, then you too would screw over everybody to get those fancy physical belongings. What’s good for the goose is good for the lunatic.

    And if your not, will you take me back to K-Pax when you leave on your beam of light? Can’t take Cooler, he wears a tinfoil hat and can’t ride the Photon Express with you.

  44. #44 Michael Ralston
    June 3, 2009

    Happeh: Many (most?) drugs came as a result of doctors and scientists discovering that herbs did useful things, and then isolating the ingredients which did that and producing chemicals with a regular amount and less side-effects.

    Do you think there’s some block OTHER than a failure to be effective in the herbs that they didn’t turn into drugs?

    Do you REALLY think that EVERY study that rejects specific alternative-medicine modalities is incompetent or fraudulent? Most such studies have been repeated many times – do you think they’re ALL incompetent or fraudulent?

  45. #45 Prometheus
    June 3, 2009

    Happeh again:

    Alternative medicine does work. If the studies showed it didn’t work, instead of assuming alternative medicine does not work, why not assume the people who performed the study are incompetent? Why not assume the study is flawed? Those conclusions are just as valid.

    For that matter, if there are studies that show that “alternative” medicine does work, “…why not assume the people who performed the study are incompetent? Why not assume the study is flawed? Those conclusions are just as valid.”

    The double-edged sword can cut both ways.

    Happeh continues:

    Herbs cost nothing. How will medicine make money selling plants that cost nothing to grow?

    Strangely, naturopaths and herbal “medication” companies manage to make a living – and even charge money – “…selling plants that cost nothing to grow”.

    So do farmers, although I suspect they’d tell you it cost much more than “nothing” to grow plants.

    How will doctors make money if they cannot perform costly surgery?

    My internist doesn’t do surgery yet he seems to be making money. The same can be said about psychiatrists. In fact, how are the “alternative” practitioners making a living if they aren’t charging for their services? Are they using “alternative” financing?

    How much does a massage or chiropractic appointment cost? $75? How much does it cost to go to a doctor? $100 to walk into the emergency room. Then you start paying for the people to look at you and the drugs they give you and the bed they put you in………

    Of course, the most effective way to get medical care is not the “emergency room”. My doctor charges about $75 for a regular office visit.

    If you need the emergency room, I doubt that you would find a “massage” or chiropractic manipulation would be an adequate substitute. This isn’t comparing apples and oranges, it’s comparing apples and orangutans.

    Happeh’s line of “reasoning” makes about as much sense as saying that since a candy bar costs $1, that charging $10 a pound for steak is a rip-off. Or, that since I can get a tent for $100, that charging $100,000 for a house is unreasonable. Or…. but you get the point.

    Happeh, sad to say, does not.

    Prometheus

  46. #46 Chris
    June 3, 2009

    A troll told me:

    Be a man, don’t be such a crybaby

    I have never had to prove my masculinity because I lack a Y-chromosome.

    And trolls tend to starve if you ignore them.

  47. #47 happeh
    June 3, 2009

    Michael Ralston – “Many (most?) drugs came as a result of doctors and scientists discovering that herbs did useful things”

    Typical western scientists. Shamans and tribal medical people discovered those medicinal plants long before you decided to make money from them.

    Why don’t you admit exactly where your medicine comes from? Western Medicine is derived from torture. All of the surgical procedures and anatomical dissections were first performed by torturers to maim and hurt their fellow human beings.

    I bet you think it is miracle of western science that face transplants have been done in the last few years? I bet you think it is a triumph of the supremacy of western medicine over other medicines?

    Think again. Your fellows just happen to be doing face transplant surgery, because a few years ago they were cutting the faces off of muslims as torture in Iraq.

    Your fellow medical professionals are standing in a room in Iraq with a bunch of dead muslims and their cut off faces, and one of those sick bastards wondered “Can we put one of these back on another human being?”.

    Voila! The latest wonder invention of western science. Face transplants. All due to the torture of innocent human beings.

    Keep talking about how western medicine is better. Money. Torture of animals and human beings billed as research. Suppression of other medicines as an anti competitive practice.

    Who you are is apparent to everyone.

  48. #48 Prometheus
    June 3, 2009

    OK, I’m now at a sort of crossroads with Happeh. For a while, I was suspicious that he was carrying out an elaborate spoof with his wacky ideas. Then I thought he might be one of those internet cranks.

    Then came his latest comment.

    Think again. Your fellows just happen to be doing face transplant surgery, because a few years ago they were cutting the faces off of muslims as torture in Iraq.

    Your fellow medical professionals are standing in a room in Iraq with a bunch of dead muslims and their cut off faces, and one of those sick bastards wondered “Can we put one of these back on another human being?”.

    Voila! The latest wonder invention of western science. Face transplants. All due to the torture of innocent human beings.

    If this is a spoof, it’s gone far beyond funny and solidly into “disturbing” territory. If it’s not a spoof, I’m even more concerned about Happeh’s mental health.

    If anybody out there is nodding in agreement with Happeh, I’m worried about you (and your neighbours), too.

    Happeh, if you have any evidence to support your outrageous claims, go directly to the US Department of Justice. If you are suspicious of them, go to the International Red Cross.

    If you don’t have any evidence to support your claims, go immediately and directly to the nearest mental health facility or hospital emergency room and tell them what you just told us.

    Prometheus

  49. #49 Michael Ralston
    June 3, 2009

    Happeh: You have just admitted that conventional medicine takes “alternative” modalities that works and uses them. You’ve also said some frankly unbelievable things that make me suggest you should take Promethus’s advice, but you’ve also admitted that conventional medicine takes the “alternative” medicines that work.

    As such, you’ve basically just refuted your own primary argument.

  50. #50 Rogue Medic
    June 3, 2009

    happeh,

    I am going to respond to the ignorance you posted before your fascinating demonstration of making absurd claims, that even Osama bin Laden would be embarrassed to make. Apparently happeh is having a bad trip on alternative medicine.

    “If that is the case, why doesn’t alternative medicine work?”

    Alternative medicine does work.

    Where is the evidence?

    “Alternative medicine has been studied over and over. It doesn’t work.”

    Alternative medicine does work. If the studies showed it didn’t work, instead of assuming alternative medicine does not work, why not assume the people who performed the study are incompetent? Why not assume the study is flawed? Those conclusions are just as valid.

    Your answer is that the alternative medicine specialists do not understand what they are doing.

    Why not assume the studies are flawed? That is one of the great things about the scientific method – other scientists can point out the flaws in the research. Other researchers can replicate the studies in a way that they feel is not flawed, or in a way they feel is not incompetent.

    The scientific method is not biased.

    There is no reason alternative medicine researchers cannot demand a do-over. If one group of alternative medicine researchers do not feel that the research by another group of alternative medicine researchers is not competent or fair, there is no reason not to perform the research with the most competent alternative medicine people involved, just to be as fair as possible.

    Still no research to support alternative medicine.

    Maybe all alternative medicine practitioners are incompetent, or flawed in treating patients.

    Maybe an alternative medicine practitioner, who participates in research, has his secret decoder ring deactivated (remotely, by alternative medicine methods) for participating in research.

    After all they just made this stuff up. There has been no testing of safety. Dude, this alternative medicine is completely safe because it is all-natural. Take a hit.

    “If alternative medicine did work, it would show up as better than placebo in the research.”

    Not if the study is rigged or the study people were incompetent or the study was flawed.

    Back to the problem of the alternative medicine doctors being incompetent, or incapable of setting up a study properly, but now you are accusing them of rigging their own studies. Smooth.

    “If alternative medicine did work, doctors would use it”

    No they would not. As mentioned in another post, doctors have every reason in the world to avoid alternative medicine. Money.

    Nothing about using alternative medicine stops alternative medicine practitioners from making money off of alternative medicine. Imagine if a big drug company were able to modify the alternative medicine slightly, patent it, and sell it for a fortune. If it worked, they would. As you mention, drug companies like making money just as much as alternative medicine practitioners.

    Herbs cost nothing.

    You obviously do your herb shopping someplace I do not know about. Where I am, if I take herbs without paying, they will charge me with theft.

    How will medicine make money selling plants that cost nothing to grow?

    2 problems with what you wrote.

    1. Plants that cost nothing to grow? No body farms them? They show up in the container on their own? They even self-label?

    You have identified a conspiracy among alternative medicine practitioners. They are charging ridiculously high prices for treatments that are free. You ought to do something about this.

    2. It isn’t the cost of the drug that controls the price to the consumer. Drug companies need to do research. First they need to demonstrate safety. Then they need to look for effectiveness. Then they need to get approval from the FDA to sell the drug. It is only after the patent expires that the real cost of the drug has much to do with the price to the consumer.

    Generic drug manufacturers do not have the same research and development costs as the company that originally patented the drug. These generic drug manufacturers would be happy to sell proven effective alternative medicine treatments.

    How will doctors make money if they cannot perform costly surgery?

    Since most doctors are not surgeons, that is a silly question. Many conditions, that used to be handled surgically, are now treated with medicine. Dissecting aortic aneurysm is one example. How could this possibly happen, if your conspiracy statement has any basis in fact?

    Maybe the statement is flawed. It came from happeh, so that would be a reasonable conclusion.

    Maybe the person making the statement is incompetent. Again, it came from happeh, so that would also be a reasonable conclusion.

    How much does a massage or chiropractic appointment cost? $75? How much does it cost to go to a doctor? $100 to walk into the emergency room. Then you start paying for the people to look at you and the drugs they give you and the bed they put you in………

    happeh makes an appointment to be seen by a massage therapist or a chiropractor, but when happeh wishes to see a doctor, happeh goes to the emergency department. No wonder happeh thinks conventional medicine is more expensive than alternative medicine.

    Let’s look at how this works. happeh makes an appointment and goes to the alternative medicine practitioner. happeh pays $75 dollars plus the cost of the free herbs. No trustworthy alternative medicine practitioner would ever charge happeh for the free herbs. That would interfere with the healing process. happeh takes the free alternative treatment. happeh does not get better, because the treatment is ineffective at any price. happeh makes another appointment and goes back to the alternative medicine practitioner. happeh pays another $75 and the cost of some more free herbs. happeh still does not get better. happeh makes another appointment with the alternative medicine practitioner. Third times the charm. Before happeh has the opportunity to have happeh healed by the alternative medicine practitioner, happeh realizes that happeh is at death’s door. happeh goes to the emergency department. While the treatments in the emergency department may be a bit expensive, that is the way things are, when you demand that every treatment be available at your convenience. happeh does not appreciate the effective medicine happeh received in the emergency department. happeh sues the emergency department, the doctors, the nurses, the techs, . . . .

    happeh is sue happy. happeh does not mind driving up the cost of effective medical treatment even more, because happeh did not get magic herbs. happeh is not happeh, although happeh is no longer at death’s door.

    Conventional medicine has the most important reason in the world, money, to rig any study to prove that alternative medicine doesn’t work.

    happeh believes that money is what is most important in the world? no wonder happeh is unhappy.

    Ask an average person the following question.

    Am I looking for an averageanswer, or an accurate answer?

    What is an average person? Why do you think they are able to read minds?

    “If a doctor has a choice to use a new miracle cure that cost 10 cents that will cure all of his patients in one visit, or the doctor can continue with the normal treatments that pay for his home, his vacation home, his mercedes, his jaguar, his private jet, his boat, and his kids private school, what treatment do you think the doctor will choose for his patients?”

    Golly, happeh has ridiculously optimistic ideas about what the average doctor has left over for himself/herself after paying for malpractice insurance (it is like auto insurance, a doctor needs it to work), the cost of the doctor’s office, costs to remain current on relevant research, costs to maintain the doctor’s license, . . . .

    I think we both know the answer the average person will give. Doctors are human just like anyone else. They would screw people over to get all those fancy physical belongings.

    A new miracle cure that costs 10 cents that will cure all of his patients in one visit? The doctor would be using every form of communication medium to get the story out. That doctor is now rich and famous. Patients will be demanding this treatment. Patients will not go to doctors who do not prescribe new miracle cure.

    If I was wrong, then doctors would work for free. There would not be glut of doctors in the big money areas like plastic surgery and not enough doctors in the low money areas like general practice.

    happeh understands that general practice doctors do not have all of the fancy cars and private jets, that happeh accused them of having in the previous paragraph. happeh talks out of both holes at the same time.

    Doctors have many reasons for choosing the kind of medicine they will finally practice. A doctor I used to know had gone to medical school all set to specialize in cardiology. Big money fancy procedures. A rather glamorous specialty. During his rotations in medical school, he decided that he would rather specialize in oncology. As you have pointed out, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery to remove a cancer, do not have the high tech aura of cardiology. I have no idea what the pay difference is. He chose a specialty that allowed him to feel good about what he would be doing to help people. He found that his personal qualities were better suited to working with cancer patients, even though he would have to deal with the death of a higher percent of his patients than many other specialties. That was almost 20 years ago. The success of cancer treatments means that nowhere near as many of his patients die soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Cancer therapy has improved a lot due to people like him.

    Most of the doctors I know are in emergency medicine. They do not choose emergency medicine because of the money. They choose emergency medicine because they would not feel satisfied working in other specialties. Some no longer like working in emergency medicine, but there are many reasons for that. Looking at money as the only motivation for a choice of specialty is juvenile.

    You guys are about money. Not helping people. That reality means everything you say, including your study results about alternative medicine, are suspect.

    I am a paramedic. I do not make a lot of money. But you know everything, so you already knew that.

    As I pointed out, the research on alternative medicine is mostly done by alternative medicine specialists. Not knowing that is just an indication of how little you know about alternative medicine.

    If a study is looking at acupuncture, nobody other than an acupuncture specialist is appropriate to perform the treatments. To publish a study that was done with somebody not practicing as an acupuncturist, would be ridiculed by even the conventional medicine doctors.

  51. #51 happeh
    June 4, 2009

    RogueMedic – “Your answer is that the alternative medicine specialists do not understand what they are doing.”

    That was actually an insightful thing to say. The statement is not true, but it points out the real problem between conventional science and medicine and alternative medicine.

    Alternative medicine people cannot explain what they do in the terminology of conventional science. They did not take your classes at college. So why do you expect them to speak your lingo? Why do you expect them to be able to explain what they do in your terminology? That makes no sense.

    You say you are a paramedic. I bet you would have trouble explaining what you do to a welder or a laborer or a farm worker because they do not have the necessary medical terminology to understand you.

    That welder and that laborer and that farm worker could all say you were stupid or wrong or lying because you cannot explain what you do in language they understand. But you would ignore them and continue to treat people because you know what you do works.

    I mentioned listening to what alternative medicine people have to say as a cultural anthropologist. If conventional medical and scientific people are as smart as they claim to be, then it is up to them to translate alternative medicine speak into the lingo of whatever field they are in.

  52. #52 Sascha
    June 4, 2009

    The analogy only holds true if RogueMedic was to start berating a welder that he doesn’t need toxic tungsten but should only use natural herbal based fillers or highly diluted water solutions. The welder, nonplussed would simply drop his jaw and wonder when RogueMedic might become physical and whether he should he call the police.

    RogueMedic would then complain bitterly that the welder shills are censoring him and only blocking further research into AW (alternative welding) because they are making so much money off the backs of the poor sods in the ship and bridge building industry.

    RogueMedic would then selfpublish a book, a movie, a podcast, a tweet called “House of Torches” or “Acetylene Nation” and post on various industry blogs complaining that the reason orthodox welders or the worthodoxy do not fully understand the new paradigm stems from the fact alternative welders did not learn welding in college and thus did not acquire the arcane lingo of the worthodoxy. ( I know there should be a comma in there somewhere according to the english language orthodoxy, but I’m using Alternative Syntax┬«)

    It is up to the welders to make the effort to translate the babbling into coherent speech. Thus colleges professional welding schools and apprenticeship programms should include cultural anthropology, ethnography, applied semantics, advanced linguistics, psychology, psychosomatography, babbleology, crystalgayeology, etc…

    And so on, and so forth.

    Replace welder with any human activity and repeat ad aeternam.

  53. #53 Rogue Medic
    June 4, 2009

    happeh,

    Sascha makes some excellent points.

    I will take a bit of a different approach.

    Since the scientific method is taught in high school, why do you claim that all alternative medicine practitioners do not understand it?

    If all alternative medicine practitioners are that incompetent, that would be a good reason to never let them treat anyone.

    If talking about the scientific method with a bunch of welders, I would expect at least on to understand. And they do not even work in medicine. Alternative medicine practitioners pretend to work in medicine, so they should understand the scientific method.

    Maybe that is the definition of alternative medicine practitioner. Somebody who doesn’t know good medicine from bad medicine and can’t imagine why discriminating between the two is important.

    In other words, not somebody who should be allowed to treat patients.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.