Respectful Insolence

I’m sometimes criticized for referring to various people who are “anti-science” as, well, “anti-science.” People, for whatever reason, have a hard time believing that anyone is anti-science; so when I point out how much, for example, antivaccinationists, alternative medicine believers, or creationists are anti-science, they have a had time believing it. This is particularly true because, just as antivaccinationists loudly protest that they are not “antivaccine,” those who are anti-science equally loudly protest that they are not “anti-science.” Such protestations are almost inevitably followed by statements that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are in fact anti-science.

That’s why Mike Adams of the quack website NaturalNews.com is so useful. Whenever anyone doubts that there can be someone who is anti-science to the core, all I do is point him to Mike Adams. Last week, in fact, Adams provided me just such an example of his anti-science proclivities that I had meant to blog about at the time but didn’t get around to it. In a way my not covering it when it was originally published was a good thing in that it gave Adams time to write a followup post that makes my point better than I ever could. I’ll show you what I mean.

The first post appeared a little over a week ago and was entitled, histrionically enough, Human race being terminated by ‘scientific suicide’. To call this post an example of crank magnetism liberally spiced with anti-science propaganda is a major understatement, all mixed in with a heapin’ helpin’ of pure arrogance:

This is, without question, the most important article I’ve ever penned, because it discusses the idea that the human race is being destroyed in the name of science.

Stopping these “scientists” from destroying our world and our civilization must become our top priority if we hope to survive.

Wow. Not only is this the “most important article” Adams has ever written, but he thinks that scientists are destroying civilization. After ranting about the Fukushima nuclear reactor, “self-replicating genetic pollution,” and Bill Gates (who, apparently because of his support for vaccines is evil incarnate to people like Adams), Adams concludes:

In fact, if you take an honest look at what threatens our civilization and our planet today, it’s always something done in the name of science!

Death by science

  • Toxic pesticides that kill the soils and rivers? “Science!”
  • Toxic chemical medications that kill humans and pollute downstream waters? “Scientific!”
  • The mass poisoning of the population with a toxic combination of industrial waste products called “fluoride?” It’s all done for “science!”
  • Nuclear bombs that have already decimated civilian populations? “Science!”
  • Mammograms and other medical imaging devices that actually cause cancer? “Scientific!”
  • Chemotherapy poisons, “preventive” mastectomies, cancer radiation treatments? It’s all “scientific” of course.
  • The mass mercury poisoning of children through dental amalgams? They call it “science-based dentistry!”

What’s clear from all this is that the human race is being murdered in the name of science.

But underneath that realization is an even more profound one: Much of the so-called “science” is really just fraudulent science that’s twisted, distorted and quacked up by greed-driven corporations.

“Quacked up”? Dammit, Adams owes me yet another new irony meter, because seeing him refer to anything as “quacked up” melted my most recently acquired irony meter into a quivering, quavering, molten blob of metal and plastic. I mean, if one were to come up with a “quackery index” for websites that estimates the density of pseudoscience and quackery on any given website (think The Quackometer, but more quantitative), Adam’s NaturalNews.com website would be so far off the scale that it would probably fry the meter even more than Adams’ invocation of “quacking it up” fried my irony meter. In fact, NaturalNews.com is the proverbial black hole of quackery that sucks in all light and reason, such that nothing of intelligence can escape its event horizon. Just search for his name or “NaturalNews.com” in the search box of this blog, and it won’t take you long to find a copious number of examples.

As for the rest, it’s a list of one straw man after another. Dumping toxic pesticides and chemicals into rivers has nothing do with science and everything to do with corporate malfeasance. While it’s true that nuclear weapons are a product of science, so are nuclear reactors and many medical applications of radiation. (Oh, wait, Adams hates that too.) I do find it rather interesting that Adams has to reach back nearly 67 years to find a suitably horrific example of nuclear “science” decimating civilian populations. That happened exactly twice, and not since, as part of the culmination of the largest war ever. Since then, although we still have nuclear weapons, they haven’t been used in war. I’m surprised that Adams didn’t mention Nazis and the Holocaust.

Oh, wait. He saved that for his followup article, S.O.S. alert: Help STOP Out-of-control Science from destroying us all. It’s basically the same article rearranged and rephrased, with the exception that he throws in a bit about how:

Throughout the Nazi-led mass extermination of the Jewish people in World War II, IBM’s top computer scientists provided key technologies that allowed Hitler’s minions to more “efficiently” exterminate prisoners and organize work camps.

Much of the rest of Adams’ posts are standard quack rants. For instance, chemotherapy might indeed be poison, but it saves lives from cancer because it’s more toxic to tumors than to normal cells. similarly, no one denies that medical imaging devices increase the risk of cancer (I’ve written about that very problem myself, even for mammography–it’s not being hidden), as in everything in life, it’s all a matter of risks versus benefits. Adams exaggerates the risks and downplays or denies the benefits. As for chemotherapy, well, as much as Adams wants to deny it, when it’s used for appropriate indications, it works. It can cure some cancers, and for others it increases the chances of survival after surgery with curative intent. Fluoride works, too.

Still don’t think Adams is anti-science? Take a look at this passage then:

As a result of such trends, “science” has come to mean corruption, dishonesty, greed and death. “Scientists” — the people who practice such science — are death engineers whose innovations may deliver hyped-up short-term benefits, but they often ultimately lead to long-term death and destruction. Roundup herbicide, for example, kills crop soils and encourages the development of pesticide-resistant “superweeds.” In the terrain of human biology, much the same ramification of death and destruction is happening with the widespread abuse of antibiotics and the alarming rise of MRSA and other “superbugs.”

But it’s even worse than that. Apparently, scientists are so careless and evil that, well, listen to Mikey for a chuckle:

In 2003, NASA scientists miscalculated mission profile data and caused a MARS orbiter to crash into the red planet. While this did not threaten Earth in any way, it almost certainly contaminated Mars with Earth-based bacteria and DNA fragments. (http://www.naturalnews.com/021452.html) This is just one example of how careless scientists on Earth are already contaminating our solar system and potentially threatening microbial life that may already exist on other planets. In hospitals, doctors fail to wash their hands. In space, NASA fails to fully sterilize its landing craft. It’s the same problem, just on a planetary scale.

Oh, noes! Teh DNA! Save us! Apparently Adams thinks we should completely sterilize our space probes before sending them to Mars or any other planet in our solar system. Actually, I think NASA already does some sort of decontamination. After all, the presence of earth bacteria or biological molecules could easily screw up the probe’s measurements looking for Martian life with false positive results, and NASA certainly wouldn’t want that to happen.

So what is Adams’ solution to this problem? It’s on this infographic he created. He wants to end all intellectual property, for one thing, particularly for GMOs and medicines. Yup, that’ll work. It would be perfect for a huckster like Adams, because the pace of introduction of new drugs slows to a crawl he could take over the market selling his supplements and nostrums. He also want to outlaw the genetic engineering of seeds, eggs, and embryos. I have to wonder if he means to ban transgenic mice. Transgenic mice (mice that have been genetically engineered to delete or insert a gene or genes to study gene function) are an invaluable tool for studying what genes do in living organisms. As for “genetically engineering” seeds, does that mean Adams wants to ban hybridizing plants? Technically, that’s a form of genetic engineering; it just doesn’t require plasmids and the like. Then, of course, Adams wants to recall all “non-safety-proven” technologies. Of course, his definition of “non-safety-proven” resembles a scientist or rational person’s definition of “non-safety-proven” only by coincidence. Basically, Adams lumps technologies that have the potential to be truly dangerous (bioweapons, for instance) in with fluoride, flu shots, antibiotics, and the like.

Yes, Adams views fluoride, antibiotics, and flu shots as being on par with bioweapons and catastrophic “grey goo” warnings from nanotechnology. His infographic is particularly amusing in his “Danger Levels of Science.” At the top of the list is Skynet. I kid you not. Methinks Mike has been watching too many Terminator movies. He even makes it explicit:

Because next we can count on the rise of the robot drones in the name of science — a new race of Terminator machines (unmanned AI drones) with the capability to mindlessly unleash bombs and bullets on civilian populations. Such drones will be developed in the name of “science,” of course, with all the predictable ego-driven fantasies of their geek-headed inventors who, with all their superior intellect, have still failed to study human history.

So let’s see. Here we have a man who thinks that virtually every major advance in science over the last century is dangerous and potentially evil, blames scientists for the horrors of the Holocaust, and seems to think that scientists will destroy the world. Adams should have been born 60 years earlier than he was. He could have had a good career writing science fiction and horror B-movies during the 1950s warning about science gone too far. The technology would have been more to his liking, as well, being a half century behind where we are now. Or maybe not. After all, personal computers and the Internet didn’t exist back then, which means he wouldn’t have been able to preach his anti-science message nearly as easily. He would have been reduced to spending bundles of money printing up his screeds, writing books that probably wouldn’t have sold, and trying to get on the radio or early TV.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the very science that Adams castigates as the source of all human suffering produced the very technology that allows him to spread his vitriol about science to many more people than he ever could have done before the rise of the Internet.

Comments

  1. #1 Science Mom
    May 16, 2012

    Such drones will be developed in the name of “science,” of course, with all the predictable ego-driven fantasies of their geek-headed inventors who, with all their superior intellect, have still failed to study human history.

    Heh, Methinks Mikey has a wee inferiority complex. It is amusing that these natural-worshippers have no problem using computers to deliver their naturalistic screeds.

  2. #2 Wojtek
    May 16, 2012

    I do not like your article because you did not mention homeopathy even once. Please proof-read next time.

    I am the inventor (patent pending) of the acclaimed “homeopathy scale”, which is used in science to accurately measure the level of nonsense.
    Homeopathy gets the max mark 100 (with others you did mention in your article, but I still miss the word “homeopathy”) and then it goes downhill towards boring science stuff.

  3. #3 LW
    May 16, 2012

    Wait, the mass-mercury poisoning of children is through dental amalgams, not vaccines? This can’t be right.

  4. #4 LW
    May 16, 2012

    Roundup herbicide, for example, kills crop soils and encourages the development of pesticide-resistant “superweeds.”

    Roundup isn’t a pesticide and pesticides don’t kill plants anyway….

  5. #5 meg
    May 16, 2012

    um, hang on.

    ‘Suicide’, by definition, is self inflicted.

    Death by science, which is what I think he’s arguing, would be by definition not self inflicted, but at the hands of govt/big pharma/big bad wolf, therefore, not self inflicted.
    If he’s trying to imply that we’re committing suicide by not doing anything about big bad science, he’s doing a poor job of it, imo. Cause isn’t it all being hushed up by those payments I keep waiting for?

    Hmm, had a couple of glasses at dinner, and suspect I’m trying to apply reason to somewhere it simply doesn’t exist.

  6. #6 harold
    May 16, 2012

    He’s confusing “technology” with “science”.

    Human technology has been increasing in power at a very rapid pace since at least 10,000 years ago. It has been critical for human social groups since at least the deliberate use ofstone tools http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Age#Beginning_of_the_Stone_Age, let alone control of fire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans.

    Every single new level of technology has improved the lives of at least some humans, while increasing the ability of humans to harm each other and the common environment.

    Which level of human technology is “natural” enough for him? Ocean-going wooden sailing ships/steel tools/muzzle-loaded weapons/highly developed horse drawn vehicles/highly developed but handmade textiles? That’s still a lot of “unnatural” technology, and even the Amish don’t take it that far.

    Or maybe he’d prefer the pre-wheel, pre-literate neolithic, with early but intense genetic modification of agricultural species (“breeding”), highly developed stone tools, massive engineering projects, woven cloth, organized production of alcoholic beverages, etc. But wait a second, that’s still a LOT of unnatural technology.

    Which technological era does he want to go back to? There is no actual record of any Homo sapiens sapiens population or individual that didn’t use some kind of technology. I’ve invited libertarians to prove their true independence from “government” social cooperation by parachuting naked into a remote wilderness and taking it from there (before you jump on me note that I’m being rhetorical, and that they have similar, apparently non-rhetorical ideas themselves http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasteading). I offer him the same challenge. Except that the libertarians can make and use tools and fire, and still be consistent. He has to be “natural” and use his own two hands.

    Still, of course, he does accurately identify a down side of technology (even though his examples are often absurd).

    Human societies have had the technological ability to horrifically harm each other and their common environment for millenia, and have frequently done so. We’ve probably had the potential ability to mess up the entire global environment for at least 150 or more years now, but for the last 65 or 70, we’ve also had the ability to rapidly exterminate ourselves and much of the biosphere with nuclear weapons.

    That’s just the way it is. Our technology is powerful enough to do horrible things, and all of us who don’t want that have to be aware of it. “Returning” to a prior “natural” state isn’t possible. Who is going to return, to what state, and what are you going to do if somebody else doesn’t, and uses modern technology to exploit you?

  7. #7 Dangerous Bacon
    May 16, 2012

    I don’t see how Mike Adams can be anti-science. He is constantly trumpeting scientific journal publications about some “natural” remedy or other (like vitamins for cancer). He loves science.

    True, he consistently misunderstands and exaggerates the science that seems to support his beliefs, he has a pitiful lack of knowledge of the scientific method and does not comprehend the difference between case reports and clinical trials. But he’s definitely pro-science.

    Especially if it promises to bring NaturalNews more advertiser bucks.

  8. #8 jane
    May 16, 2012

    Back in the 1970’s NASA generated strong scientific evidence that there was probably actively metabolizing life on Mars. I see no justification for sneering at the mere suggestion that we should avoid introducing terrestrial bacteria that could potentially have a catastrophic effect on the Martian ecosystem. Is the idea that high-status Americans should feel free to do whatever they find most profitable or convenient, not just to this planet, but to the entire universe? Or is your binary worldview simply so rigid that, if a Quack and Woomeister like Mike Adams speaks up for preserving unspoiled nature, you see that as proof that spoiling nature is righteous?

  9. #9 Becca Stareyes
    May 16, 2012

    Oh, noez!Teh DNA! Save us! Apparently Adams thinks we should completely sterilize our space probes before sending them to Mars or any other planet in our solar system.

    Actually, NASA does sterilize anything that heads towards Mars a lot more than anything else they send out, because Mars is a lot less hostile than other places, and we’d really like to be sure if we find life, that it is indeed Mars life.

    In fact, that’s why the Galileo probe to Jupiter ended its life being crashed into Jupiter. Leaving it in jovian orbit after it ran out of fuel meant it had a chance of crashing into Europa, which is another place that might have liquid water and that we don’t want to contaminate. The same discussion is happening with the Cassini space probe currently orbiting Saturn, as Saturn’s moon, Enceladus has water geysers at its south pole that may be fed by liquid water reservoirs.

    Google ‘Office of Planetary Protection’.

    Of course, I’m not particularly surprised that Mike Adams doesn’t know what NASA Mars policy is, since yelling about Science Is Killing Us All! is so much easier than five minutes on NASA’s website.

    (Also, believe it or not, Mister Adams, that probe was carrying things we’d have liked to keep intact so we could use them to learn more about Mars. Expensive things. And you can only launch things to Mars once every two years. Generally if NASA wants to crash something into the surface of the planet, they don’t bother putting much in the way of scientific payload on it.)

  10. #10 JTE
    May 16, 2012

    @LW – a pesticide is a product that kills an unwanted living things. Insecticides and herbicides are subsets of pesticides. Roundup kills unwanted plants. It is a pesticide.

  11. #11 puppygod
    May 16, 2012

    There are 7 friggin billion humans on this planet. Which, btw is about twice or so that can be provided for in a sustainable way. If science is to kill us all, it’s so incompetent and counter-effective in its’ efforts that you could make cartoon rivalling Wile E. Coyote out of it. I’ll say keep up good work. Try killing me more with energy efficient HD displays, broadband wifi, space exploration and gene therapy. I’ll be waiting.

  12. #12 Composer99
    May 16, 2012

    With regards to possible Terran invasion of microrganisms: does anyone have a reliable cite to a non-Natural News article on the subject?

    My expectation is that any biological material on a space probe would be quickly killed or destroyed by exposure to vacuum and solar/cosmic radiation.

    In other words, IMO without a better cite Adams is full of it when he whinges about microorganisms contaminating Mars.

    jane: In fact the paper suggesting the 1970s probes found evidence of life was published very recently and is based on a post facto reanalysis of the data. Even the authors admit it’s hardly a slam-dunk and that further confirmation (by, say, a return visit with better-equipped probes) is required. So “strong scientific evidence” is a stretch.

  13. #13 Vicki
    May 16, 2012

    I love how the people who are opposed to antibiotics altogether scream about MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bugs. The worst-case scenario on antibiotic resistance is that we’d be back where we were before antibiotics were discovered. Those “superbugs” aren’t more destructive than other pathogens, only harder to kill. If we had never had antibiotics, MRSA would be just another staph infection.

    Back before antibiotics isn’t someplace I want to be: but the problem isn’t that antibiotics were discovered, it’s how they’ve been misapplied and overused, making the evolutionary arms race worse. (Take away antibiotics, and the levels of resistance in the bacteria populations drop, because antibiotic resistance has a biological cost.)

  14. #14 Eric Lund
    May 16, 2012

    So Adams argues that because certain IBM-created technologies were put to the use of making the Holocaust more efficient, those technologies are evil? By that logic (and I use the term loosely), dihydrogen monoxide is also evil, because it is a critical component in at least one of the mass extermination methods that was used during the Holocaust.

    I’d like to think that nobody can be that dumb, but Orac routinely demonstrates that that’s purely wishful thinking on my part.

  15. #15 nash
    May 16, 2012

    Further to Becca @8 comment and Composer99

    Carl Sagan, Elliott Levinthal and Joshua Lederberg identified this problem in 1967 see paper (http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/BBABJH.ocr) for more detail
    Of course they were scientists.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    May 16, 2012

    Mikey’s other website- HealthRanger.com- *used* to have a bio that informed us that he was the child of pharma employees who himself had created software used in marketting via e-mail ( it also contained his personal bio-statistics, his ‘projects’- read *businesses*- and medical advice such as “Avoid doctors”). Scarcely down home on the farm. However, that set-up seems to have gone missing: the NEW HealthRanger site showcases his journalism and musical efforts. For you see, Mikey is a rapper.

    He now resides in Austin ( making it a two charlatan city) and raises chickens.

    Because I survey rant journalism – written and spoken, health division ( NN, PRN, AoA, TMR), I seem to detect a hint of desperation- their shrieking and de-corticate meanderings seem trumped up and staged. We’ve heard it all before: doctors are evil, science is perverted, *everyone is in it for the money*, it’s the end of the world as we know it.

    He can influence many people who take his balderdash seriously- indeed, some of it may echo REAL issues altho’
    exagerating their liklihood to black and white certainties-
    scaring patients away from testing or taking meds cannot always be in their best interest. Promoting hatred for doctors** may cause readers to hesitate when time is an important factor. One of his so-called writers takes on mental health issues: Mike is anti-pharma especially in this area. I wonder why?

    ** Alison MacNeil @ TMR has an anti-physician rant today.

  17. #17 JohnV
    May 16, 2012

    @composer99

    Spores of “wild-type” Bacillus subtilis 168 were able to tough out radiation in space for 97 days (PMID: 22091486), I think. It wasn’t really measuring CFUs but metabolic activity. Since it was the lab adapted strain 168, a true wild-type might easily perform better.

    There’s a handful papers in pubmed about the ability of B. subtilis to survive Martian UV and grow in fake Martian soil. I’m too lazy to really go through them, but it looks like the Martian UV intensity is a bit excessive for life that evolved on our planet.

    That said, there are a few papers describing very radiation resistant Bacillus species isolated from NASA clean rooms. So perhaps they’d be better candidates.

  18. #18 dean
    May 16, 2012

    Actually, NASA does sterilize anything that heads towards Mars a lot more than anything else they send out

    Many years ago Dr. Van Allen spoke at Western Michigan University, and commented at length about the Pioneer project. After detailing the steps scientists went through to maintain the clean room where the probe was assembled, he talked about the time it was to be packed up. He and several others stood in the room, looking at their finished product. Eventually he said he realized that the others had left and he was alone. He said that, after a brief bit of thought, he took off one of his gloves, licked his thumb, and placed a thumbprint on one of the gold plaques. He then left, with the thought that if the probe were ever discovered, a little bit of him would be found too.

  19. #19 nash
    May 16, 2012

    Robots are AI whilst Mike Adams is RI (Real Ignorance)

  20. #20 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 16, 2012

    composer99,
    There is an international treaty that calls for not transporting biological organisms to Mars. See http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/technology/insituexploration/planetaryprotection/ and http://marsrover.nasa.gov/technology/is_planetary_protection.html for some data on efforts NASA takes.

  21. #21 JaneMD
    May 16, 2012

    Feel free to all medical science. When you cut yourself shaving with your ‘all natural’ seashell razor, please don’t wash your hands, your cut, or put a band-aid on it. ‘Science’ determined the need for safe water, handwashing, and sterile bandages – that pesky germ theory. Instead, put your ‘natural’ product gel on your unclean wound. When it gets infected and starts liquifying your face, avoid doctors with their sterile scalpels to lance it and avoid antibiotics to keep it from spreading.

    Can I get my big Pharma payment too from endorsing basic common sense and basic science/health practices? Oh, wait . . .

  22. #22 hoary puccoon
    May 16, 2012

    It’s pretty much true that human innovation is currently the biggest threat to life on earth– what with overpopulation, habitat destruction, and global warming. But we’re a few millenia too late to close Pandora’s box or put the genie back in the bottle. It’s nice we’ve controlled the A-bomb, but the damage was already in process when we failed to ban the atlatl.

    We’ve reached the point where the only way out is forward– available birth control (and careers for women) to keep the population from exploding further; more understanding of the natural world for effective conservation; and alternatives to fossil fuels. All of that requires science.

    Unfortunately, the people who are belligerently anti-science are the same ones who are driving gas-guzzlers, living in McMansions–with the heat up to 80 (27 c) in the winter and the air conditioning down to 65 (18 c) in the summer. Oh, yes– and, for their latest trick, harrassing law students who think it’s good for society to have health insurance cover birth control.

    You might notice, though, that their anti-science never extends to leaving their muscle cars and McMansions, and going out in the woods to live on grubs.

  23. #23 Calli Arcale
    May 16, 2012

    Regarding the hypothetical contamination of Mars or other worlds by terrestrial microbes, this is actually a real controversy which Adams has latched onto by virtue of being able to squeeze into into his anti-science rant. It’s rather puzzling to be both anti-science and, apparently, pro-science, since the main objections to inadequate sterilization come from xenobiologists, who hope to find evidence of alien life and would prefer not to have to rule out terrestrial contamination first. Because that, in fact, is the main concern with inadequate sterilization. Yes, it’s unlikely any serious amount of bacteria will survive the transit AND an unplanned atmospheric entry and crash, colonize Mars, and wipe out native life. But it’s not impossible, and rather more likely is the possibility of screwing up future searches for non-terrestrial life by giving scientists an irritating confounder (although even that isn’t *very* likely).

    It’s an ongoing debate in the planetary exploration community, because you have to balance the desire for sterilization with the need for the equipment to actually survive the process — indeed, the standards for sterilization were loosened years ago because they were seeing too many failures as a direct result. (Autoclaving your computer can help kill microorganisms, but it can also seriously damage the components.)

    But of course, this is not what gives Adams any interest in the topic, because he doesn’t care about science. If there is some way to make science look vaguely bad, that’s all he cares about. Actually understanding the problem isn’t part of it. Heck, I’m surprised he didn’t bring up the deliberate scuttling of Galileo; at the time, the whackos were protesting that its Pu-238-based RTG would “nuke Jupiter” and turn it into a star. Seriously. People actually said that, and were trying to organize a protest to convince NASA not to deorbit Galileo.

  24. #24 Calli Arcale
    May 16, 2012

    dean,

    Pioneers 10 and 11 were not going to Mars and thus not covered by the “sterilize anything going to Mars” policy. I doubt they were sterilized at all, since they were neither landers nor orbiters. Cleanrooms in spacecraft assembly facilities have nothing to do with biological protection. It’s about keeping the components free of debris that could harm them during the long mission. Even dust can become a problem. Fortunately, his smudgy thumbprint was not in a vulnerable location, and I suspect he chose that location partly for that reason.

    Of course, the fact that he was *able* to apply that thumbprint shows how much NASA and others depend upon discipline in the cleanroom, and demonstrates that not everybody fully respects the rules. On *this* instance it was harmless, but a tiny paint chip getting into a fuel line could blow up the spacecraft the first time it fires its engines.

  25. #25 Composer99
    May 16, 2012

    Thanks to everyone who responded with more info & context on terrestrial contamination of Mars probes.

  26. #26 eric
    May 16, 2012

    Ironic, isn’t it, that the very science that Adams castigates as the source of all human suffering produced the very technology that allows him to spread his vitriol about science to many more people than he ever could have done before the rise of the Internet.

    You ever hear of “stimulated emission of radiation”? Yeah, that’s right. Unnaturally made radiation. You know that’s gotta be evil science right there. It’s also what makes lasers work, which are what make fiber optic cables the backbone of the Internet. Internet = evil science!

  27. #27 JGC
    May 16, 2012

    If we accept his premise that science = suicide and we must abandon it to survive, what exactly does he suggest we replace it with?

    It’s not as though the scientific method arose in a vacuum rather than to address real world problems, after all.

  28. #28 g724
    May 16, 2012

    At risk of saying something a little too edgy for this site, I’d suggest the following:

    Find out where this guy lives.

    Sneak up to his house at night. This is best done with two people, one to act as lookout. Do not carry a cellphone, its tracking bugs will prove you were there.

    Find the electric utility “service entrance” panel on the outside of the house. Wear thick rubber gloves. Open the hinged door to the panel.

    Inside the box there is a big switch. Pull the switch all the way DOWN. You may notice that any lights that happen to be on inside the house, will go off.

    Then close the door to the box, put a padlock on it, and attach a sign to the box that says “SCIENCE IS EVIL, isn’t it?”

    This doesn’t qualify as vandalism since nothing is destroyed or damaged to make the point.

  29. #29 Vicki
    May 16, 2012

    g724:

    I notice that you are suggesting someone else risk their life for this stupid prank. Adams lives in Texas, whose law protects householders who shoot suspected trespassers.

    Also, are you sure nothing would be destroyed or damaged? Consider the contents of his refrigerator (even assuming that there are no perishable medications, meat, fish, and dairy products can spoil fairly quickly).

  30. #30 Calli Arcale
    May 16, 2012

    I’m afraid Vicki is right — that would still qualify as vandalism, and would certainly qualify as trespassing. And if you were caught, it could easily be seen as interrupting a burglary in progress, since that’s also a method for disabling home security systems (cut all power). The electric company might also want to prosecute for tampering with their equipment.

    But yeah, it is tempting, isn’t it? Just don’t anyone do it. It’s not right, and the point would go right over his head anyway; Adams can’t catch a clue with a mile-long drift net.

  31. #31 Candy
    May 16, 2012

    Roundup is an herbicide. Products that kill insects are pesticides. And herbicide is not a pesticide, except in the extremely general sense that a weed is pestiferous.

  32. #32 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 16, 2012

    Speaking of losing electricity, I noticed Adams goes on about “being prepared” and sells all kinds of survival equipment to allow one to live “off the grid”.

    What exactly is he expecting to happen? I’m being serious here: is he preparing for another “Y2K” worldwide crash, or terrorism, or natural diasater, or what? Has that ever been explained, or is it all his paranoia? (I realize the two are not mutually exclusive…)

  33. #33 Orac
    May 16, 2012

    You do realize, don’t you, that Mike Adams got his scamming start online publishing Y2K survival kits back in the late 1990s.

  34. #34 Old Rockin' Dave
    May 16, 2012

    So those evil “scientists” at IBM were really the ones responsible for the Holocaust?
    A few points:
    The Nazis used IBM-supplied punch-card tabulators, little different from the Hollerith machines used half a century before to tabulate the US Census. IBM’s complicity with the Nazis was a business decision, taken solely in the interest of the corporate bottom line – I doubt if they asked any actual scientists whether it was a good idea. Tabulators were an aid to the Nazis, but the Romans managed to run an empire and kill endless numbers of people with IT no better than wax tablets and squid ink on papyrus sheets.
    Tabulators didn’t require any new or advanced science when they were developed, either, but were essentially an engineering product. We could have a lovely discussion of the bad things engineers have done, but it could take years to get through (Personally, I think the machine gun was the worst invention ever, but it was probably inevitable.).
    In fact, every technology that was essential to carrying out the Holocaust was a 19th Century invention, requiring little to no science as we understand it. The main ones were the telephone, telegraph, railroad trains, automobiles, barbed wire, electric lighting, the machine gun, bolt-action rifles, and cased-cartridge ammunition. The prussic acid used in the gas chambers was a product of science, but it was not essential. The Nazis and their helpers killed many with nothing more high-tech than starvation and disease.

  35. #35 Denice Walter
    May 16, 2012

    @ Marc Stephens Is Insane:

    I believe that he has a host of theories about why the grid might be wiped out: solar storms, home-grown Fukushimas, governmental crack-down, gang take-overs ….

    He, like the other idiot, says we are on the brink of total economic and societal collapse… the police state is coming…

    -btw- I think that these guys’ definition of fasc-sm is that they are not allowed to call themselves physicians or make medical claims un-supported by reality…

    Calling your government names is unjust to those who suffer(ed) under REAL totalitarian regimes, past and present.

  36. #36 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 16, 2012

    Orac,

    I’m new to this whole world of woo and don’t know much about Adams’s past. He seems obsessed with this “end of the world” theory (someone else once posted that he taught himself to suture with chicken flesh, to “prepare”) and I was curious what he’s preparing for. It sounds like those militia activists who stockpile weapons.

    By the way, your “friend” deserves a humanitarian award for what he’s trying to do over at the “Danielle and Brad” thread on his other blog. I hope he gets through to them.

  37. #37 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 16, 2012

    Didn’t Adams once rant against Bayer as well, because they were part of the IG Farben conglomerate that manufactured Zyklon B? And the fact that their CEO went right back to work after serving his sentence 50 years ago shows how corrupt Bayer still is today?

    Gee, I hope Adams doesn’t drive an Audi.

    Did we get to Poe in 35 comments?

  38. #38 jane
    May 16, 2012

    Composer99 – Actually, the experimental data obtained in the 70s immediately met the prespecified criteria that were supposed to demonstrate the presence of life. The guys running that experiment thought at the time that it was a success, as was a second less definitive experiment. In fact, the story has it that they were preparing to set up a news conference to make the announcement when suddenly the political higher-ups yanked the rug out from under them, hanging the young and powerless researcher out to dry. It’s not hard to see why they might have chosen to suppress the truth. America perhaps wasn’t yet clearly entering its dark age, but it still had millions of religious fanatics who would have gotten upset had NASA used tax dollars to report that terrestrial life was not their deity’s only creation.

  39. #39 Kelly M Bray
    May 16, 2012

    Adams couldn’t catch a clue if he paid for one to be delivered to his house.

  40. #40 Renate
    May 16, 2012

    And lets hope mr. Adams doesn’t drive a Ford, considering Henry Ford was one of the financiers behind Hitler. At least that’s what I learned from a National Geographic documentary.

  41. #41 dean
    May 16, 2012

    Calli, I realized Pioneer was not Harding to Mars and so wasn’t
    In the same category as what was being discussed. What I tried
    (and failed horribly to do) what make a humorous visual about the event.
    My apologies.

  42. #42 Composer99
    May 16, 2012

    jane:

    Thanks for the additional clarification. The paper to which I referred to upthread is Bianciardi et al 2012.

    Were there any news articles or broadcasts discussing any NASA management interference in announcements of results from the Viking experiments?

    The first four cites in the Biancardi et al paper are, to my knowledge, the published literature from the original experiments.

  43. #43 Sastra
    May 16, 2012

    Science is a search for consensus among a community of experts who all try to use methods which eliminate bias as much as possible. You have to be able to persuade critics who don’t already agree with you. Persuading people who are already in agreement with you isn’t a rigorous enough standard.

    That’s why conspiracy theories and conspiracy type thinking is so destructive to the scientific process. Suddenly, you don’t have to worry about having evidence and argument capable of convincing your critics: your critics are evil! There is nothing that will change their minds because they have an AGENDA!!!

    There goes the search for consensus on the facts of the issue. There goes the issue itself. The fight is not really about health or environment. It’s about Good Guys versus Bad Guys.

    You can’t do science under those conditions. There’s nobody who can check your work or dispute your conclusions. You’re too busy trying to fit them into their Evildoer suit.

  44. #44 Calli Arcale
    May 16, 2012

    dean — no apologies needed! I thought it was a cool story. I just wanted to clarify for those reading what the real purpose of cleanrooms is. I think folks like Adams don’t really understand what’s going on there, and certainly the importance/value of sterilization of probes is not what people generally think it is. (The value part especially. Some have proposed ending the sterilization program altogether on the basis that it’s probably not adequate anyway.)

  45. #45 Sastra
    May 16, 2012

    Science is a search for consensus among a community of experts who all try to use methods which eliminate bias as much as possible. You have to be able to persuade critics who don’t already agree with you. Persuading people who are already in agreement with you isn’t a rigorous enough standard.

    That’s why conspiracy theories and conspiracy type thinking is so destructive to the scientific process. Suddenly, you don’t have to worry about having evidence and argument capable of convincing your critics: your critics are evil! There is nothing that will change their minds because they have an AGENDA!!!

    There goes the search for consensus on the facts of the issue. There goes the issue itself. The fight is not really about health or environment. It’s about Good Guys versus Bad Guys.

    You can’t do science under those conditions. There’s nobody who can check your work or dispute your conclusions. You’re too busy trying to fit them into their Evildoer suit.

  46. #46 Calli Arcale
    May 16, 2012

    jane — the experiments were positive, but there was (and still is) considerable controversy within the scientific community whether or not those were the right tests to perform; i.e. whether or not the results actually were indicative of life. I was pretty young at the time, so I don’t recall what was being said widely, but from following the matter since then, my understanding is that any backlash was scholarly, not political. I don’t think it was ever hushed up; it just failed to overcome skepticism on the topic.

  47. #47 JaneMD
    May 16, 2012

    I’m surprised he decided to go out of the way and attach science with Nazis as a bad thing. You see, Hitler was particularly taken with killing off the educated Jews – which included MANY scientists. (Welcome the the US, Mr. Einstein)

    Oh, and I heard a rumor once that Jews are over represented in MDs and PhD’s. (And lawyers. And Speilberg films)

  48. #48 Heliantus
    May 16, 2012

    Re: the health ranger latest vitriol.
    Yawn. Another conspiracy rant. Boring.
    (but don’t stop pointing how idiotic he is, someone has to)

    If he was advocating for more cautious use of new techs, he could have a point, but he is mostly in a us vs them point of view.
    I wonder where he is drawing the line on bad science vs good science. We could go back before we domesticated fire.
    Oh, silly me, everything is bad science, unless he benefits from it, and in this case it was not found by science, but by an empirical process of trials and errors. (what?)

    Re: OT cleanrooms and dust on things we put in space.
    I subject to your curiosity the sci-fi webcomics Freefall. The author did some homework on engineering sciences and it shows. See here for dust in microgravity (although the microgravity topic was on-going for a dozen strips or so).
    Beware, it’s a 10-year running comic strip. For a summary, check its article on TVtropes (although a visit to the TVtropes website is unlikely to shorten the time spent procrastinating :-)

  49. #49 Ken
    May 16, 2012

    puppygod @10: There are 7 friggin billion humans on this planet.

    Most of whom would die if we stopped using all the scientific advances Adams excoriates. Does that make him the biggest mass-murderer in history?

  50. #50 lilady
    May 16, 2012

    “You do realize, don’t you, that Mike Adams got his scamming start online publishing Y2K survival kits back in the late 1990s.”

    Has anyone seen the National Geographic reality TV show “Doomsday Preppers”?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/doomsday-2012-preppers-prepare-worst-turn-profit/story?id=15523533#.T7QMBcUneTY

  51. #51 Heliantus
    May 16, 2012

    A bit more on this “science is out to kill us”.

    Because next we can count on the rise of the robot drones in the name of science — a new race of Terminator machines (unmanned AI drones) with the capability to mindlessly unleash bombs and bullets on civilian populations.

    He says this like it’s a bad thing.
    Where has Adams been these past 10 years? The US Army (among others) has been using drones all this time to mindlessly unleash bombs and bullets on civilians, and there were humans in command of the remote. There was another case of collateral damage just last week.
    But before drones, we had centuries of human armies dropping bombs, naphta, big rocks and the occasional rotten corpse on civilian populations. I don’t know if free-will robots can do worse than humans. At least they won’t be pretending they have the moral high ground.

    I was reading recently on the development of modern firearms during the 19th century (mostly Wikipedia articles). Apparently, Mr Gatling has said something on the line “my invention will end war by making it too horrible”.
    (so many weapon inventors supposedly said this, I wonder if it’s just apocryphal).
    It sorts of backfired, machine guns just created new ways to wage war. But on a sense, he was right. After all, gunship diplomacy is based on a show of power.

    That stuck me is that a number of these new weapons were developed because there was a need – governments and armies wanted better weapons, not only in term of killing efficiency, but also in terms of safety (for the ones using them). A weapon which burns its holder face and/or explodes in its hand is not that useful.
    But if these breakthroughs hadn’t occurred, that wouldn’t have changed much the then current political situations; war still would have happened between countries in conflict over resources or who rules who.
    When modern weapons were not available, large scale bloodshed still occurred. Just in the last two decades, we have numerous examples of riots or civil wars where one or more of the sides have nothing better than knifes, clubs and stones. That never stopped them.

    The issue is not science. It’s the whole human species.

  52. #52 Jenora Feuer
    May 16, 2012

    Heliantus@46:
    The author did some homework on engineering sciences and it shows.

    The author in question is also a nuclear engineer, and my recollection is that he worked at the Fermi power plant in Michigan for several years. (And commented at one point that if Scott Adams had worked at Fermi rather than Pac Bell, he would have been inspired to start Dilbert two years faster.)

    A lot of the science in Freefall wasn’t just homework for him.

  53. #53 Denice Walter
    May 16, 2012

    You might wonder how websites like Natural News operate…
    well, I’ll tell you anyway (unfortunately, I can’t include the flow chart):

    they use articles and internet radio/ TV to get their audience onto the site-
    1. hits mean ad revenue
    2. each site has a store that sells supplements, food, juicers, filtration systems, enema supplies, gas masks, films, books, lectures, seminars, events, what-have-you
    3. needless to say, your reading, watching or listening tells you how much you need what is sold at the store
    4. Adams sells a premium channel- the Inner Circle- where special programming is available
    5. sites get YOU to sell : Adams participates in various MLMs; Null gets followers to sell his products and media
    6. they may get other outlets to show their shows ( NPR means FREE airwaves/ others’ websites- they show each other’s articles/ shows)
    7. they encourage followers to use social media to spread the word.

    If you scan Adams’ or Null’s articles, you might ascertain that much of it has little to do with nutrition- it’s politics, economics, business, environmentalism/ ecology, conspiracy mongering- but these ‘information services’ work a few ways-
    they portray the chief honcho as an expert in many areas, as being on the side of the “little guy”, i.e. you and someone who is trustworthy *unlike* the government, corporations, medicine, the mainstream media and last and certainly not least, educational institutions. AND get you to buy stuff at the store.

    These sites’ owners boast of world-wide audiences and millions of followers. Perhaps they confuse *hits* with *persons*.

  54. #54 bad poet
    May 16, 2012

    Oh, noez! The evil, shape-shifting Terminator… Even worse, deadly dental amalgam… The shock of bacilli… Maybe even pesticide… Y2K survival kits *shudder*… Murdoch’s National Geographic… Ewww – this is almost enough for me to really enjoy my 100% certified, all-natural, chemical-free, loon-free canned tuna sandwich and a nice big glass of fluoridated tap water. Maybe I’ll even go out to the store and get some tasty regular old non-organic ice cream.

  55. #55 Elihphile
    May 16, 2012

    This isn’t really on topic, but I thought this might be of interest to people here, it’s a documentary about Paediatric Oncology at Great Ormond Street Hospital. One of Burzynski’s patients is featured.

    The relevant sections are at 28-32.40, 39-49.12 and 52.50 minutes onwards. It’s on Youtube, so hopefully it’ll be available outside the UK, but people may need to get in quickly before Youtube and/or the BBC take it down:

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-qS5lR65ug&feature=relmfu

    She comes back with horrific side effects. The Doctor’s expressions throughout pretty much say it all.

  56. #56 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 16, 2012

    Yeah, that’s Luna Petagine. We’ve been commenting on her case here for a while. The doctors are working furiously at Great Ormond just to reverse the damage done by Burzynski.

  57. #57 Narad
    May 16, 2012

    You ever hear of “stimulated emission of radiation”? Yeah, that’s right. Unnaturally made radiation.

    Oh, you can hardly swing a cat without finding a maser.

  58. #58 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 16, 2012

    Elihphile: Thanks for the link. I tried to watch it last week from the BBC site but the evil Internet copyright lords knew I wasn’t in the UK and blocked the video. The YouTube link is working and I’m watching now.

    BTW, you can post links here so there’s no need to break up the URL. Orac allows up to two links per post before he submits you to moderation purgatory.

  59. #59 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 16, 2012

    Oh, you can hardly swing a cat without finding a maser.

    If that’s your idea of a good time.

  60. #60 lilady
    May 16, 2012

    Here is the Great Ormond Street Hospital YouTube video link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-qS5lR65ug&feature=relmfu

  61. #61 augustine
    May 16, 2012

    Question for Science Bloggers.
    Why do you tend to be socialists/democrats. Do you have a personal explanation for this? Is this because of your interpretation of science?

  62. #62 Narad
    May 16, 2012
    Oh, you can hardly swing a cat without finding a maser.

    If that’s your idea of a good time.

    You need a lot of sky to ferret out the interstellar TOXINZ, especially with an uncooperative device.

  63. #63 Old Rockin' Dave
    May 17, 2012

    @JaneMD, #47:
    Much of what we normally think of Nazi scientific acumen was really engineering, and engineers are no less prone to unscientific ideas than anyone else. Nazi views of science in part accounted for their failure to develop an atomic bomb – physics was a “Jewish science” and non-Jewish physicists were suspect by association. Werner Heisenberg was only cleared because his mother and Himmler’s mother were distantly related. Himmler actually tried to recruit Heisenberg to take on one of his pet projects, an institute that would prove that the stars were really made out of ice.

  64. #64 Paul Murray
    May 17, 2012

    Doing something about the abuse of patents and IP might be a nice idea. Quite a bit of this reasearch on drugs is finding ways to tweak soon-to-be out of patent molecules so that they can be re-patented. It’s research that contributes nothing to society. Much of this research into genuinely new drugs is done with public funds.

    There’s also vile things like US corporations patenting natural compounds that have been known for years in other countries, outright stealing the rights to them via international IP treaties.

  65. #65 puppygod
    May 17, 2012

    Ken @49

    Most of whom would die if we stopped using all the scientific advances Adams excoriates. Does that make him the biggest mass-murderer in history?

    Yup. Just switching back from high yield crops developed during green revolution to the “natural” and “ecological”* ones would starve about half of humanity within less than decade.

    * – Disclaimer: I’m aware that there are crops and methods of farming that can be called ecological without use of scare quotes (minimizing impact, preserving biodiversity and improving sustainability) – and I’m totally supporting them. It’s just that many products marketed as “ecological” really aren’t.

  66. #66 Adam
    May 17, 2012

    The simply retort to these buffoons is to point out the very computer they are writing their screed on is science. That it is packed with rare earth elements which were extracted from the ground and refined with science. That the electricity that powers the device is science. That the vast network of computers, cables and satellites that move the bits from his computer to the server and onto the client machines where it is read are science. That the house the guy lives in is science from the panes of glass to the insulation to the plastics and composites used throughout. That the foods he eats (even natural ones) are science thanks to processing, transportation, farming and automation techniques.

    So science is only bad when it suits whatever stupid point he wants to make but somehow great otherwise. Of course perhaps he lives in a mud hut subsisting on wild grasses and animals, and writes his articles on bark but somehow I doubt it.

  67. #67 Ian
    May 17, 2012

    People and their beliefs use science for evil. Saying science is evil is like saying a stone or water is evil. Science haters can’t cope with revealed truth and prefer to keep deluding themselves with a make believe world fashioned to their own fantasies.

  68. #68 hoary puccoon
    May 17, 2012

    Jenora Feuer @52–

    Does the Fermi power plant in Michigan have any connection to the famous Fermi Labs in Illinois?

  69. #69 sophia8
    May 17, 2012

    hoary puccoon@67|:

    Does the Fermi power plant in Michigan have any connection to the famous Fermi Labs in Illinois?

    No, only the name. the nuclear power plant in Michigan is named after Enrico Fermi, the physicist and is owned by some energy company. Fermilab (or to give it its full name Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory ) is a university research facility.
    If you want any other details, then Google is very handy for that.

  70. #70 novalox
    May 17, 2012

    @Ian

    I remember one of my chemistry teachers (from way back when) stating that science itself is not good or evil. It is the application (or non-application) of the science, along with the critical thinkings skills to appraise and apply the science, that makes it good or evil.

    In this case, mike adams can hardly be using critical thinking skills, and really doesn’t have an understanding of what science is.

  71. #71 MarkH
    May 17, 2012

    I first read this article when it came out and I nearly fell out of my chair it was so funny. It was like a parody of total insanity. But that’s the internets for ya. When you see something so crazy like that in print it’s very hard to tell the satire of the crank from the actual crank. It’s actually so perfect an example of crankery that I think we should consider reposting it in full as a satire of Mike Adams.

  72. #72 Elihphile
    May 17, 2012

    @Marc Stephens.

    The good news is that now Chiane Cloete’s parents (who are also featured in the documentary) are no longer pursuing the Burzynski option, one presumes because they saw the effect it had on Luna, in the programme.

  73. #73 Calli Arcale
    May 18, 2012

    Heliantus:

    Where has Adams been these past 10 years? The US Army (among others) has been using drones all this time to mindlessly unleash bombs and bullets on civilians, and there were humans in command of the remote.

    Absolutely. We definitely do have robot drones capable of unleashing death from the heavens now, but there is always a man in the loop for the actual deployment of the weapon. They do have autopilot capabilities, and there are completely autonomous low-cost drones now that can be rented by farmers to survey their crops. (You specify what area for it to search, the computer works out the path and sends that to the aircraft, you toss the aircraft in the air, it flies its route, it comes back, you download the pics to your computer and see where you’ve been missing when you drive out with the fertilizer or whatever.) But for shooting, the military always requires a man in the loop.

    That said, there *are* weapons which really do shoot on their own. This is permitted only when the required response time is below human reaction time, and is needed for things like the Patriot missile batteries and the Phalanx CIWS. There’s always a human involved, but there are modes where it doesn’t ask for permission for every target, since if the target is an incoming cruise missile, you don’t have time. It’s important to mention that this is NOT the default state for the weapons. Default state would be passive tracking.

    That stuck me is that a number of these new weapons were developed because there was a need – governments and armies wanted better weapons, not only in term of killing efficiency, but also in terms of safety (for the ones using them). A weapon which burns its holder face and/or explodes in its hand is not that useful.

    Yes. And killing efficiency isn’t just about quantity killed; it’s also about killing the ones you intend to kill. Carpet bombing can be very effective, as can a nuclear bomb, but it blows up a lot more stuff than you really need to (unless your goal is to demoralize the enemy population so thoroughly they demand their own government surrender — which was the point with a lot of bombing campaigns in World War II). There is a time and place for each type of weapon, but increasingly militaries are trying to minimize civilian casualties and play it as “we’re not *your* enemy, we’re your *government’s* enemy, and we don’t have to be your enemy if you don’t want us to”. One can argue whether that philosophy makes any sense, but it drives more and more development of smart weapons. Cruise missiles. JDAMS. Mavericks. And Hellfire missiles deployed by Predator drones that can loiter close enough to get a positive ID on the target without risking a pilot. This is not an easy thing to accomplish, but it’s been the general thrust of a lot of military tech development in the past fifty years. More accuracy, more safety. When you’re working with explody things, there’s a huge focus on making sure it can only explode exactly when and where you want it to. A fuzing mechanism will be designed mostly to not fuze.

    (Sidenote: this overall philosophy is why some experts believe the hacking attack that shut down Iranian centrifuges was in fact originated by the US military, because it took exactly that philosophy. Most of its code was dedicated to making sure it didn’t run anywhere except in these specific centrifuges. Others can certainly adopt the same philosophy, but the US military is exceedingly reluctant to harm bystanders if it can avoid it. That it nevertheless does only emphasizes how difficult this avoidance is in war.)

  74. #74 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    May 21, 2012

    I’ve commented on the article. I can guarantee that my comment will be deleted but … I screen-saved it for posterity… and the fun value of the comment :D

  75. #75 DW
    May 21, 2012

    @ David N. Andrews M. Ed., C.P.S.E.:

    I suspect that Mr Adams- being an un-realistic, no-talent, candy@ss idiot-
    highly disapproves of good, solid Anglo-Saxon expressions like *f@ck*, *f@cking* et al.
    Unfortunately, both articles seem to have lost the comments sections. Pity.

  76. #76 viggen
    Boulder
    May 22, 2012

    “After all, the presence of earth bacteria or biological molecules could easily screw up the probe’s measurements looking for Martian life with false positive results, and NASA certainly wouldn’t want that to happen. ”

    I guess this kind of begs the question of “what is a false positive result?”

    This is actually a nice argument for extraterrestrial origins. If microbes from Earth on a space probe can survive long enough to inhabit Mars, it is highly probable that any life found on Mars could easily have originated on Earth billions of year ago (or vice versa, life on Earth originating on Mars) since, in the 4 billion years of terrestrial history, objects naturally from Mars have been found on Earth already… and therefore objects from Earth have made it to Mars prior to humans making the trip. My feelings are that any observations concerning the survival of life on a space probe in open vacuum constitute a remarkable data set concerning the robust nature of life.

    More than that, a false positive of the nature you’re referring to would be an incredible find in and of itself: Earth life we aren’t familiar with is important in its own way –you would have trouble proving it wasn’t just Mars life. Otherwise, I think we’d know pretty easily if something was a contaminant. (gee, Mars life is all Staphylococcal) My feelings are that any true Mars life will be distinctly different from anything we’ve seen before, even if it originated from Earth two billion years ago.

  77. [...] no depths to which Adams won’t go and not crimes he will not exploit in order to promote his anti-science message. Keywords: CDC, Mike Adams, zombies (30) More » [...]

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