Most doctors are not scientists, Ben Carson paper bag edition

Early in the history of this blog, I had a running gag that I'd use every now and then. Basically, it involved humorously extravagant descriptions of how I wanted to hide my face behind a paper bag in sheer embarrassment at the antics of fellow physicians, particularly fellow surgeons. Over time, the gag evolved to my expressing a mock desire to hide my visage behind a metal Doctor Doom-style mask, again, over sheer embarrassment over the idiocy of my colleagues about a scientific issue, again, usually evolution. Sadly, creationist physicians are a very common source of such embarrassment, although I don't write about them very often any more. They are perhaps the best example to illustrate a point that I've made many times: Most physicians are not scientists. While it's true that being a scientist is by no means a guarantee that one will not be taken in by pseudoscience, it helps. Worse, a disturbing number of physicians fail to abide by Harry Callahan's wise admonition in Magnum Force:

All too many physicians do not know their limitations, especially with respect to science.

As time went on, I used the gag less and less. As is the case with a lot of gags, it became harder and harder to think of new ways to use it without becoming too repetitive. So it appeared less and less and less, until finally it appeared no more. Indeed, I don't remember the last time I used it. There was also another issue that contributed to the demise of this recurring joke. I started to encounter physicians with ideas that were worse than just not believing in evolution because they were beliefs that could result in direct harm to patients. I'm referring to the "rise" (if you can call it that) of physicians spewing antivaccine beliefs, doctors like "Dr. Bob" Sears, for instance. These physicians are physicians who betray their profession—and, even worse, their patients. It just wasn't that funny to me any more.

I'm starting to get that same old familiar feeling about Dr. Ben Carson. Whenever I see him, I want to put a paper bag—or Doctor Doom mask—over my face, the better to hide my shame at a fellow surgeon's idiocy.

I find the resurrection of this particular feeling in me to be particularly disturbing not just because Carson is a Presidential candidate, thus providing his scientifically ignorant pronouncements far more publicity than they deserve, but because he truly was a magnificent pediatric neurosurgeon. I don't know if I'm mentioned this before, but I work mere blocks from the Ben Carson High School of Science and Medicine. It's part of the Detroit Public Schools for students with an aptitude for science and was founded in 2011, before Dr. Carson began his descent into pseudoscience, at least publicly. Back then, Carson was known as a truly gifted—brilliant, even—pediatric neurosurgeon, the chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. When Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008, believe me, he deserved it.

So what happened? I was wondering exactly that during the Republican Presidential debate last week, as I cringed.

You might recall how last week I took an opportunity to recount Donald Trump's long sordid history of antivaccine statements promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism. I did this intentionally because I knew that the second Republican Presidential debate was nearly upon us and I wanted to remind my readers about his history and to prepare them in case the issue came up during the debate. It did.

Given Trump's history, it's unnecessary for me to quote what Trump said about vaccines in the second Republican debate last Wednesday because it was virtually identical to what he's been saying about vaccines since at least 2007 if not before. Still, it's useful to set up the context. The question that provoked The Donald's repetition of his oft-repeated antivaccine tropes from the last eight years was not actually directed at him. After making a reference to the measles outbreak that started at Disneyland earlier this year, moderator Jake Tapper actually asked Ben Carson this question: "Dr. Carson, Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly linked vaccines—childhood vaccines—to autism, which, as you know, the medical community adamantly disputes. You're a pediatric neurosurgeon. Should Mr. Trump stop saying this?"

It was obvious that Tapper was trying to provoke an argument between Trump and Dr. Carson. Otherwise, he would have just asked Trump directly about his previous statements about vaccines and autism. It was a golden opportunity for Dr. Carson to defend vaccines, given that earlier this year, Dr. Carson had been quoted strongly defending school vaccine mandates:

"Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society," Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, told The Hill in a statement.

"Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them," he added.

That's right. Back in February, Dr. Carson opposed religious and personal belief exemptions to vaccine mandates. Last winter, he published an extensive statement in which, while acknowledging the issue of personal freedom, nonetheless came down on the side of vaccine mandates, stating:

I am very much in favor of parental rights for certain types of things. I am in favor of you and I having the freedom to drive a car. But do we have a right to drive without wearing our seat belts? Do we have a right to text while we are driving? Studies have demonstrated that those are dangerous things to do, so it becomes a public safety issue. You have to be able to separate our rights versus the rights of the society in which we live, because we are all in this thing together. We have to be cognizant of other people around us and we must always bear in mind the safety of the population. That is key and that is one of the responsibilities of government.

I am a small-government person, and I greatly oppose government intrusion into everything. Still, it is essential that we distinguish between those things that are important and those things that are just intruding upon our basic privacy. Whether to participate in childhood immunizations would be an individual choice if individuals were the only ones affected, but as previously mentioned, our children are part of our larger community. None of us live in isolation. Your decision does not affect only you — it also affects your fellow Americans.

This was an eminently reasonable position, acknowledging the balance between individual rights and how they can be constrained when an individual's choices affect other people. Now, fast forward to September and Carson's response to Tapper's question:

Well, let me put it this way. There has — there have been numerous studies, and they have not demonstrated that there is any correlation between vaccinations and autism… This was something that was spread widely 15 or 20 years ago and it has not been adequately, you know, revealed to the public what's actually going on…

This was technically correct. Incredibly tepid and cowardly, but technically correct, although I don't know what the heck Carson meant about "this" not having been "adequately revealed to the public what's actually going on." It's not as though it hasn't been widely publicized that science does not support the claim that vaccines cause autism and that Andrew Wakefield's research was fraudulent. Then, whether it's because he didn't want to attack Trump or didn't want to upset the Republican base (perhaps both) Carson went to undermine what he just said:

Vaccines are very important. Certain ones. The ones that would prevent death or crippling. There are others, there are a multitude of vaccines which probably don't fit in that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases.

First of all, as Tara Haelle pointed out, all the vaccines on the current CDC schedule prevent death and severe morbidity. Which ones does Dr. Carson consider "discretionary"? I'd love to hear his answer. Later, after Trump once again channeled Jenny McCarthy and her "too many too soon" misinformation, in which it is claimed that children are receiving too many vaccines at too high a dose at too young an age (or, as Trump has put it, "monster shots") and it is advocated that vaccines be delayed and spread out, Carson actually bought into this antivaccine gambit, saying, "But it is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time, and a lot of pediatricians now recognize that and, I think, are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done." The only pediatricians who "recognize that" are antivaccine pediatricians like "Dr. Bob" Sears and antivaccine-sympathetic pediatricians like Dr. Jay Gordon. Delaying and spreading out vaccines just prolongs the time when children are susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases without any benefit.

Basically, Dr. Carson flubbed a chance to hit a home run defending vaccines. Whether it was his fear of Trump or his fear of his own base, he equivocated, parroted one antivaccine talking point ("too many too soon") and in the end refused to tell Trump to his face to stop spewing antivaccine misinformation. It was an epic fail. Worse, it was an epic fail in which he basically gave supported antivaccine fallacies, such as the idea that we're giving "too many" vaccines "too soon" and it's somehow causing autism. During the same debate Rand Paul, also a physician and surgeon (an ophthalmologist) also implied that there was a problem with "too many too soon," consistent with his previous antivaccine statements. Overall, I'm not sure which was worse, Ben Carson knowing that antivaccine BS is BS but being too cowardly to say so (leading him instead to pander) or Rand Paul clearly believing that vaccines can cause neurologic damage and that "too many too soon" can harm children.

I wouldn't be writing about Ben Carson, though, if it were only vaccines. Arguably, Carson knows what is and isn't antivaccine misinformation; he simply chose not to stand up for science. However, in other areas of science, he's outright taken the side of antiscience. For example, he's long been known to reject evolution in favor of creationism, even to the point of arguing that evolution is "encouraged by Satan" and that the Big Bang is a "fairy tale":

At the Celebration of Creation event, he discussed at length why he believes the Big Bang theory is impossible for him to comprehend.
He said: ‘Now, what about the Big Bang theory? I find the Big Bang really quite fascinating.'

‘I mean here you have all these high-faluting scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order.’

He explains the same scientists promote the second law of thermodynamics – entropy – which says that things move towards a state of disorganization.
‘So now you’re gonna have this big explosion and everything becomes perfectly organized and when you ask them about it they say “Well, we can explain this based on probability theory because if there’s enough big explosions over a long enough period of time - billions and billions of years – one of them will be the perfect explosion”.

‘So I say, what you’re telling me is if I blow a hurricane through a junkyard enough times over billions and billions of years, eventually, after one of those hurricanes, there will be a 747 fully-loaded and ready to fly?’

Skeptics will recognize the "hurricane in a junkyard" mischaracterization of evolution as a classic creationist fallacy. It gets worse, though. Check out this transcript of the actual speech by Carson at the Celebration of Creation conference, which was organized by the Adventist News Network. Here's the actual video. It is painful to watch if you have any knowledge about evolution, geology, and other sciences:

As Ed Brayton put it, this is Kent Hovind-level scientific ignorance. It's a greatest hits of creationist tropes, dominated by the most scientifically ignorant, easiest-to-refute bits of creationist stupidity. Here's but another taste:

You know, according to the theory [of evolution] it [the eye] had to go pukh! and there was an eyeball, overnight, just like that, because it wouldn't work in any other way. And when you ask the evolutionists about that they say, 'well, we don't understand everything.' And I say, 'well, I don't think you understand anything.'

The evolution of the eye is actually relatively well understood. Seriously, Dr. Carson. Your stupid, it burns.

So why is it that so many physicians fall for pseudoscience like antivaccine views (as Rand Paul, Bob Sears, and Jay Gordon do) and creationism (which Ben Carson and his fellow creationist neurosurgeon Michael Egnor do)? Why are so many surgeons and physicians like Ben Carson? We've seen their like before on this blog over the years, ranging from the infamous creationist neurosurgeon Michael Egnor to the antivaccine pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears to the antivaccine-pandering pediatrician "Dr. Jay" Gordon. In all cases, the physician shows that he doesn't understand science and as a result adopts purely pseudoscientific beliefs, be they creationism, antivaccine views, Big Bang rejection, or any number of beliefs not supported by science. The reason is simple, and my saying what it is might piss off some of my fellow physicians. The vast majority of physicians are not scientists. Many of them think that they are scientists, but they are not.

It's been a long time since I've discussed this, but Dr. Carson's rise as a major candidate for the Republican nomination demands that I discuss it again because Dr. Carson is taking advantage of a misperception. That misperception is that physicians are scientists. Of course, so deep has been the idiocy flowing fast and furious from his mouth that Andy Borowitz posted what I consider to be the most hilarious take on Carson's nonsense, Ben Carson Shattering Stereotype About Brain Surgeons Being Smart. Particularly hilarious was this part:

“When people found out I was a brain surgeon they would always assume I was some kind of a genius,” said Harland Dorrinson, a neurosurgeon in Toledo, Ohio. “Now they are beginning to understand that you can know a lot about brain surgery and virtually nothing about anything else.”

Exactly. That's the case with most physicians.

The reason is simple. Medical training is not the same as scientific training. Yes, science is a prominent part of medical training, but not in the same way it is for scientists. In actuality, although medicine is based in science, it is an applied science. The vast majority of physicians do not do scientific investigation or contribute to scientific knowledge. Rather, they apply known science to the treatment of patients. This is not a knock on them, or an insult, or a criticism. It is simply an acknowledgement of what most medicine is. Medical school is very much more like a trade school, in which students are taught how to take care of patients, than a school teaching how to do science. Basically, medicine as a profession resembles engineering far more than a scientific specialty in that the vast majority of physicians apply science to the problem of diagnosing and treating illness, as engineers apply science to the problem of building things. Again, this is not a knock on either physicians or engineers. How they apply existing science to solve problems (or, in the case of engineers, to build things) can involve incredibly clever feats of mental prowess, but it is nonetheless a very different process than doing science to produce new scientific knowledge.

None of this is to say that physicians (or engineers) can't be excellent scientists. They can, but such people tend to be a subset of the overall profession. For example, I like to think of myself as a decent scientist, and my publication and funding record indicate that I've had some success. I also made it a point to gain additional training by spending years getting a PhD and doing a surgical oncology fellowship that had a significant laboratory research component very much like a traditional basic science postdoctoral fellowship. I also have to point out that I've known many physicians who are also excellent scientists.

As an MD/PhD, I've straddled both worlds, the world of the clinician and surgeon and the world of the basic scientist. It's not an easy task, because both worlds require very different skill sets, particularly in surgery. Wearing two hats is not something all doctors can do. For example, when I entered medical school (and I attended what was—and is still—considered to be one of the top tier medical schools in the country) I was surprised at how superficial the teaching of basic science was, from a strictly scientific standpoint. However, from a practical standpoint, the teaching of science in medical school was exactly what was required to take care of patients, no more, no less. For most physicians, that is as it should be. They need to know how to take care of patients, not how to do research.

But, I hear you saying, Ben Carson is a lot like Dr. Mehmet Oz. Before he became a politician, he was an academic neurosurgeon; Dr. Oz still is one. Both have published over a hundred papers. Yet, both have embraced pseudoscience, with Dr. Oz embracing a wide variety of quackery (such as reiki and homeopathy) and Dr. Carson embracing creationist pseudoscience, among other dubious scientific ideas. It's at this point that I have to speculate a bit. One thing that comes to mind is that if you don't have the solid grounding in the very philosophy of science, such that it infuses your very being, sure you can do clinical science. You can even be pretty successful at it, as Oz and Carson were. So that's not it, at least not by itself.

So what is the problem? From my perspective, it boils down to two things. The first is not listening to Harry Callahan's admonition that "a man's got to know his limitations." Surgeons—particularly heart surgeons and neurosurgeons—do amazing things. Dr. Oz can repair a person's heart, and Dr. Carson can separate conjoined twins. These are matters of life and death, and doing such things requires a level of confidence in one's own abilities that can easily evolve into arrogance. (Some might argue that most surgeons are pretty arrogant at a certain level to begin with.) So it's not surprising that doctors like Drs. Oz and Carson might start to think that their incredible skills and knowledge in one area will translate into other areas, such as science unrelated to the narrow specialty they know. The second contributing factor is ideology and/or personal relationships. In Dr. Oz's case, he became enamored of the idea of the physician-shaman-healer, not to mention that he also married a reiki master. In Dr. Carson's case, it's clearly fundamentalist religion that's led him to reject evolution and the Big Bang in favor of what seems to be a variant of intelligent design creationism. Basically, Ben Carson is now coming across like the brain surgeon in this classic Mitchell and Webb sketch:

Doctors occupy a highly privileged position in society, and because of it their opinions are often given great deference, even on topics about which they are clearly not an expert. For all their accomplishments, it's nonetheless important to remember that physicians are human and thus prone to the same cognitive shortcomings to which all human beings are prone. All too often, they are also given a status in society as all-purpose experts about all things that can be related to human biology or medicine, including evolutionary biology. The reason that Borowitz article is so spot on devastating is that it states just that in a humorous fashion and uses the example of Ben Carson to deconstruct the idea that brain surgeons are experts at everything. They're not. Nor are most of them scientists. Their pronouncements outside of their areas of expertise should be judged as you would judge anyone else's. On matters of science outside of their specialty most doctors are probably no more knowledgeable than an educated lay person and all too often let their professional status delude them into having undue confidence in their conclusions. It's the sort of behavior we expect from a buffoon like Donald Trump. It's just depressing to see Ben Carson behaving similarly, albeit with a much less bombastic voice.

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Over the years, I've frequently made the points that the vast majority of physicians are not scientists and, in fact, that many of them suffer from a severe case of Dunning-Kruger when it comes to science. Even going back to the very early history of this blog, you can find examples, the most…
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In my many years of working in research labs, I've seen a lot of medical students rotate through. They are a very mixed bag: some of them lack a comprehension of the practice of research, others were sharp, driven and great scientists.

Orac nails it here, though. Education and experience that focuses on practical applications of medicine doesn't qualify one to expound on theory and basic science. I would hazard a guess that Bert Vogelstein isn't your best choice for tumor removal, although his work has advanced our understanding of cancer possibly more than any other living person.

By c0nc0rdance (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

By coincidence I've been wondering how scientific the typical pharmacist is. At my weekly discussion group my topic was an article about TCM which mentioned James Reston's use of acupuncture as a purported anesthetic in China back in the 70s. I explained why acupuncture is nothing more than show business masquerading as healthcare and, not unexpectedly, I was countered by arguments and disbelief from two of the attendees. My attempt at explanation (placebo, regression to the mean, etc.) was countered with not only disagreement, but with some animosity. Two men vociferously objected, stating beyond all shadow of doubt that they were absolutely cured of their chronic pain by acupuncture with a degree of certainty that approached 100%! Sadly, one man is a pharmacist, a profession that I expect might require a modicum of familiarity with science and the scientific method. But when I asked the pharmacist if he even knew what the scientific method is he responded with a blank stare. At that point I yielded the floor to the next person in line. Some days I wonder why I even bother to explain simple things to my fellow human beings...

Maybe Carson genuinely believes in creationism,

His flip-flop on vaccines suggests that he is seeing a path to the GOP nomination, and has calculated that there are more votes in appealing to fear and dislike for "experts" than in supporting sound science.

It is not unusual for politicians to compromise their integrity in direct correlation to their ambition for higher office.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

#3
"...appealing to fear" "..."dislike for “experts”"

Isn't this required to be tatooed on your ass cheeks when you join the GOP?

Dangerous Bacon @3

Dr. Carson is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist faith. The founder of SDA _invented_ 6-day/6,000year creationism, in the late XIXth Century. SDA George MacCready Price _invented_ so-called Flood Geology in the 1920s.

IINM, but there was an attempt, in the 1970s or ''80s, to transplant a baboon heart into an infant. It wasn't successful, and the SDA surgeon didn't know why it wouldn't be, since evolution wasn't a real thing.

Orac you can't be that naive or blind-sighted.Dr. Carson knows what he is saying is a steaming pile of fetid dingo kidneys.Unlike Trump,Carson,can't really believe the nonsense he is spewing.When Carson decided to run for President,he ceased to be a neurosurgeon,and became simply another Republican politician.A man who will say anything to appeal to the base of the party to get elected. There are those that will deny it,but the broad base of the GOP is anti-science,and anti-vaccince.

There is only one man who has run for President in the last 70 years who has said same stuff for over fifty years.

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

@5 It was Baby Fae. The baboon blood type was AB and Fae's was O. And yes, when asked why he didn't choose a primate closer to humans on the evolutionary chart, the doctor said "I don't believe in evolution." 1984

@ Orac:

Whenever you feel awfully about doctors or surgeons behaving badly/ spouting woo- remember it could be worse, you could be a psychologist -your paper bag would wear out rather quickly from over-use.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

You're right, Orac, physicians aren't scientists; we're technicians. But sometimes we are also the closest thing to a scientist that our patients will meet, and I think we have an obligation to defend and promote the scientific method wherever we can. Most of us will do nothing to expand scientific knowledge, but without someone making those discoveries we can do nothing at all. Of course we should promote science at all opportunities. That's why it makes me a bit mad when my colleagues are overly complacent about patients pursuing non-treatments like acupuncture and homeopathy. "If it makes them feel better..." translates into "I am being complicit in a lie..." if you smile and say nothing.

By Lancelot Gobbo (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

The medical profession in the US seems to attract a disproportionate share of hubristic SOBs, and surgeons have a reputation for being disproportionately hubristic SOBs compared to other MDs. That's one of the things that makes MDs vulnerable to Dunning-Kruger syndrome. Some of it is woo pushing, yes. There are other aspects, too: MDs have a reputation for being particularly poor investors, to such an extent that you should be wary of financial advisors whose offices are in close proximity to hospitals.

Carson is an extreme example, and I can understand why Orac feels like putting a paper bag on his head. Certain of my fellow physicists make me feel the same way: most notoriously Brian Josephson (a Nobel Prize winner who subsequently went emeritus), but there are one or two others I have actually met.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Hey, the people all want their pleasing lies, and they're willing to pay damn good money for it. Everything else follows downhill from there. Grifters like Carson and Oz are just serving the marketplace; even easier if they buy into the same horseshit themselves.

I guess that's what happens when unbounded narcissism is repeatedly cultured over basic honesty and earned, not entitled, self-respect. Why know your limitations when you can simply believe them away? Especially when you can now do so twice as effectively for the low, low price of $29.95?

I have to admit, I haven't made it through this entire article. Looks like more of the same.
Like this near-1700 comment classic: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/05/20/why-do-doctors-deny-evolut…

Or the even bigger
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/07/27/when-the-antiabortion-move…

Maybe it’s like the old joke about
‘Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.’

But it’s
‘Those who can, are doctors; those who can’t, are “scientists”.’

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Lancelot Gobbo@11:

That’s why it makes me a bit mad when my colleagues are overly complacent about patients pursuing non-treatments like acupuncture and homeopathy. “If it makes them feel better…” translates into “I am being complicit in a lie…” if you smile and say nothing.

If nothing else, they ought to be rigorously honest in calling it for what it actually is: Go away and stop bothering me medicine.

That at least would enable patients to distinguish physicians who've had enough of their hypochondriac shenanigans (or just don't like sick people in the first place) from those who have genuinely disappeared up the feculent rectum of woo and thus don't even warrant the title of "doctor" any more.

See Noevo@14: Back to your bridge, troll.

Physicians are expected to know everything, and some of them think they do. No one else is entitled to be addressed as "Doctor" outside the office; most Ph.D.'s feel silly being addressed that way at work. Doctors put "M.D." after their name in letters to the editor, as if to give extra weight to their opinions on subjects ranging from zoning to international terrorism.

By Lucas Beauchamp (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Garou @#4
If tattooed there, how could they possibly read it?

@has (15): I think he got lonely, since we got bored and left. So now he's here hoping to stir things up again. Since his comment added nothing to the discussion, I'm leaving him killfiled.

(back on topic) As a nurse with APN training, I'd have to agree that some doctors have a very clear "god" complex - that the letters MD or DO after their name makes them all knowing and all powerful. It appears in many surgeons and I suspect is due to the residency training they go through, especially those who do specialties. I have a few stories but won't put them down here (although one I will always remember for my rejoinder to the sr resident - "does Betadine CLOT???" I nearly gave my head nurse a heart attack.)

Who garners more respect than a cardiac or brain surgeon among the general public? Those doctors *physically* hold your life in their hands while doing surgery. So they absorb the adoration and think they are better than anyone else.

I respect those doctors who can say "I don't know" about things outside their specialty. I had a lot of respect for Dr Carson until he started running for president and showed how much he doesn't know about being a real leader.

Eric Lund -- a particularly harmful variant of Physics Dunning-Kruger these days are the small subset of physicists who figure that climate scientists can't possibly know what they're talking about, or if they do it can't possibly be as bad as they say, or what have you.

Rich Muller, to his credit, changed his tune when he went and re-analyzed the temperature record on his own, and discovered that, by golly, the surface temperature really is skyrocketing at a historically unprecedented rate.

Steve Koonin, on the other hand, has no excuse.

By palindrom (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Spot on, Orac. Being a physician does not mean one is or has been a scientist. I, too, found the medical school science classes rather shallow in teaching science to medical students. With my undergraduate physics experience and PhD in neuroscience with a postdoc as well, there were times I felt like I was back in undergraduate classes and also felt that a lot of the medical students either couldn't get it or didn't want to get it when any science was taught.

I'm not doing research now and am strictly clinical as a pediatrician. I do miss the lab greatly, but I don't think I could wear both hats as you do and not burn out doing it. But that scientific training I've had still serves me well, especially when it comes to anti-vaccinationists.

Carson probably had no big issue refuting (albeit weakly) Trump on any link between vaccines and autism. It's not a big limb to go out on given that Wakefield has been discredited and de-licensed and no studies since have supported his fraudulent claim. Carson, however, did not oppose alternate vaccine schedules in part, I suspect, because those anti-vaccine pediatricians (Sears and Gordon) have received no profession rebuke or censure for their clearly wrong and dangerous positions on vaccines. And people think that Sears and Gordon are scientist--and they are not one bit scientist.

It feels like the proverbial hens coming home to roost after almost 10 years or AV pediatricians profiting and preaching their nonsense without any large-group opposition. This has in turn also given the NVIC more undeserved credibility. I am ashamed that those who should have taken on and taken down Sears and Gordon (the AAP and the CA Medical Board) have refused to do.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

As a scientist, I've seen plenty of MDs (whether still undergrads doing internships or MD/PhDs, or graduated MDs doing a MSc or PhD) in the lab, coming without much idea how a lab works. That's par for the course for pretty much any newcomer, actually. What's galling quite often is their attitude. They act as if they are better than us, because their are in medicine, yet they are emperors often without clothes (but with much better salaries). Having a non-physician telling them what to do in a lab seems difficult for those. And we often see the attitude that our work counts less than theirs...

Chris Hickie@22:

I, too, found the medical school science classes rather shallow in teaching science to medical students.

This particular problem goes right the way back to high school though. All the emphasis there is on memorizing facts and performing equations, much as you teach a small dog to jump through decorated hoops. Students pick up the form but not the substance; develop mimickry rather than understanding. It is a very bad way to start, for how then can they distinguish one apparent form of ritual from another, or even be aware there is a difference?

Personally I think if STEM education was done right, it'd spend a good quarter on the *history* and *philosophy* of science and math, with no shyness about bringing technological tools to bear on the rest (better to learn relationships through interactive computer simulations, for example, than develop no understanding at all simply due to a weakness in math). Which would also have the significant bonus of making science vastly more relevant and accessible to all those students who aren't into it for the math jiggery and minor explosions (amusing though the latter may be). And then perhaps we might not have quite so much magical thinking in the first place.

Obligatory Feynman, natch:

http://v.cx/2010/04/feynman-brazil-education

http://www.textbookleague.org/103feyn.htm

@ 20 MI Dawn

If tattooed there, how could they possibly read it?

When doing the daily “insert head” exercise?

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

"If tattooed there, how could they possibly read it?"

jr beat me to it.

@palindrom: Yes, I was aware of the physicist climate-denier loons. They are especially facepalm-worthy because to get to that position you have to ignore things like conservation of energy. If the energy absorbed from the sun by the earth isn't all radiated away, it has to go somewhere--like raising the temperature of the earth until the two are in balance again.

But those aren't the people I was referring to. I have personally met at least one physicist who is a fundamentalist Christian. He's never been explicit with me about his views on creationism, but I have no reason to think he isn't a YEC. This guy is so out there that (according to the rumor mill) he managed to get fired from a tenure-track position in Alabama (!) for pushing his version of Christianity a bit too hard. PZ Myers had a post on the guy a few months back.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ has (#25).

I saw Feynman speak in the mid 80's at my college. It was amazing to see him take apart a problem. He took questions from us students (on anything) and showed what it meant to really understand something.

In grad school I did teach an undergraduate physics lab for pre-med students. I was aghast at how often students just wanted to give a memorized answer to each write-up question (just like in the Brazil reference).

And, Orac, regarding limitations, that is so true as well. I am a pediatrician. I know pediatric medicine, including, of course, vaccines. I wouldn't pretend to have medical expertise in the areas where Drs. Carson, Oz, or Paul specialize. But they don't have that appreciation of their limitations when it comes to vaccines and their political need to publicize their opinion is what so angers those of us trying to maintain US vaccination rates so as to prevent more Disneyland-type outbreaks.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

This is probably one of the biggest reasons that I believe MDs should stick with the label "physician" and PhDs "doctor". Why? Because MDs are essentially a trade degree whereas PhD scientists have obtained terminal degrees and been taught basic science so they may understand underlying principles of disease. It may be an unpopular opinion, but it would help to delineate those that are trained as physicians/MD's vs. those that are trained to be experts in scientific data. Just a thought.

Eric L -- I know at least one deeply religious physicist, but at least he accepts that the earth is not young -- if I recall, he thinks of Genesis as a metaphor for the Big Bang. He also works in an area in which natural history isn't important. Same area as yours, actually.

I don't know if people have seen this old blog post from a fundamentalist biology professor named Todd Wood -- it's about the only intellectually honest thing I've seen from that side of the fence, though I find it jaw-droppingly strainge:

http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

By palindrom (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

jrkrideau (26) and shay (27)...I only wish I'd said that...it was Janet at 19. :)

Multi-Quoted:

“…appealing to fear” “…”dislike for “experts””

Isn’t this required to be tatooed on your ass cheeks when you join the GOP?
Garou @#4
If tattooed there, how could they possibly read it?

.... yep, that's where there heads are anyway.

*their.
DAMMIT.

"They act as if they are better than us, because their are in medicine, yet they are emperors often without clothes (but with much better salaries)."

(resists temptation to make nasty crack about spelling, succumbs to temptation to say that our new clothes are better styled)

DB, M.D. (plus I have a Masters' degree in Science!)

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

(plus I have a Masters’ degree in Science!)

Do you know more than I do?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

I can't tell you how many times I've had to resist the impulse to slap hand to forehead when having a discussion with a colleague about science outside of medicine. What's more concerning to me, though, are the occasions were I see a lapse in critical thinking as it applies to medicine. To give an example in microcosm: when confronted with a well-designed study, or better yet, an emerging consensus of studies on a medical topic, the contrary response I often hear is "Well, I've always done it a different way, and it's never been an issue!" I feel fortunate to have been trained with a solid grounding in evidence-based medicine, but clearly the lure of anecdotes and "going with your gut" is often hard to resist. Add motivated reasoning to the mix, as in the case of religious or other long-held beliefs, and it's not hard to see why physicians deviate from the scientific method both in and out of their areas of expertise. It helps to have training (and therefore practice) in the lab or in research, but ultimately, it takes a commitment to a certain type (a scientific type) of thinking not to get lost in the weeds.

By Dr. Chim Richalds (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Also, rocket science seems way harder than brain surgery, FWIW.

By Dr. Chim Richalds (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

I work with lots of doctors, nurses and scientists. My observation is that the former, doctors and nurses, are very good at confidently explaining information (even in a handful of rare instances where they've been dead wrong). Their jobs depend on them being able to reassure patients that they know what they're talking about. The scientists I work with, however, are always careful to explain the limits of their knowledge - no, we can't say x, we have to say probably between x and y under certain conditions. It's a sort of professional embodiment of the idea that the first steps to knowledge are admitting you know nothing.

I had a surprising experience with this when my first child was born in 2013. Both my own primary care provider and my daughter's pediatrician recommended that I delay vaccinations and eliminate some entirely. They both cited their own experience with patients who had serious adverse effects as the reason why they don't follow the CDC schedule. And yes, they said they had witnessed healthy kids develop autism after being vaccinated. Apparently, this viewpoint is not that uncommon - see "Vaccination practices among physicians and their children" from Open Journal of Pediatrics, 2012, 2, 228-235 which finds that since 2009, 21% of pediatric specialists would NOT follow the CDC schedule for their own children. Has anyone else had a similar experience??

Since climate change has already been brought up in the comments above, and since I had no luck posting this on a nearby blog, I’ll try posting it here.

Three items:

1)
I’m always fascinated by how much emphasis scientists and alleged lovers of science put on “consensus”.
Obviously, “consensus” has no necessary relationship to truth.
“Consensus” is a word used, and a goal sought, by politicians, not truth-seekers.
But for what it’s worth…
……..
2)
I hadn’t heard of this group before, but anyway…
“31,487 American scientists have signed this petition, including 9,029 with PhDs”
http://www.petitionproject.org
………..
3)
George Mason University conducted a survey regarding global warming of the 7,000+ voting members of the American Meteorological Society. The survey drew enough interest only for about 1,800 responses.
Some responses to questions I found noteworthy:

Question 4: Over the next 100 years, how harmful or beneficial do you think global warming will be to people and society, if nothing is done to address it?
38% – Very harmful.
62% – Very beneficial to somewhat harmful, and “Don’t know”

Question 5: ‘How much global warming harm can be prevented through our actions?’
22% – All or a large amount of GW harm can be prevented.
78% – No amount to a moderate amount of GW harm can be prevented, and “I don’t know”.
http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/report/american-meteorologica…

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Factoid quoted above: 62% of meteorologists surveyed that global warming will be beneficial to somewhat harmful or don't know.

I can trump that: Did you know that 63% of dentists surveyed believe that an endoscopic transnasal approach is the optimal approach to the craniocervical junction in brain surgery?

Now the tough question: Do you know why the two factoids are comparable??

No profession, no manner of training, is exempt from participants who can perform the tasks at hand well enough, but are otherwise... well, mad as a hatter. Carson appears to be one such outlier, having now proposed so many bizarre (and clearly unconstiutional) policies "loony paranoid loon" is the sort of label critics are applying to him.

FWTW, looking at the popularity of GOP candidates as a whole, I don't think Carson's appeal has anything to do with people imagining he has scientific credentials or knowledge. Quite the opposite. Charles Pierce has labeled The Donald's appeal as a form of Magical Thinking, and suggested (as have others) the same applies to Carson and Fiorina as well. All three are presenting grossly simplistic and/or unrealistic proposals – 'let's build a wall to keep out the Muslims!' And all three are standing behind "qualifications" that are utter BS upon examination. Fiorina and Trump are supposed aces in business, but Fiorina is considered THE paradigmatic 'horrible CEO' by virtually everyone in the NoCal tech sector, and Trump having had numerous business failures, only plays an infallible CEO on "reality TV". Carson's talking points are about as far removed from any knowledge base he might have as a surgeon as you can get: condemn Muslims, establish a 10% flat tax and balance the budget, unleash the dogs of war against Putin and the A-rabs, condemn Muslims, keep Gitmo open, free Kim Davis and ban gay marriage, bring God back into government, NO gun control, and condemn Muslims.

Pierce wrote:

[Trump] is the inevitable product of anyone who ever argued that our political institutions should be run "like a business..." of anyone who ever argued [the government can] balance its books "the way any American family would...." of the economy that was deregulated out of a well-cultivated wonder and awe directed at the various masters of the universe. Sooner or later, all of this misbegotten magical thinking was going to burp up a clown like Donald Trump. The politics of this country have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of hallucinations today.

What Pierce misses here is the element that has propelled the candidates offering nothing but magical thinking about easy 'tough-guy' fixes to national problems to now command over 52% support combined (Trump + Carson + Fiorina) in the GOP polls, where in previous presidential election cycles, candidates with similar positions either garnered only fringe support or had brief bursts of interest followed by a precipitous decline. Trump, Carson and Fiorina are all not only 'outsiders', but all three present their halluncinatory platitudes with a tone of hyper-confidence, unshakable rectitude, absolute commitment, and refusal to back down or compromise.

Thus, while Carson may come by this in part from the stereotypical 'God'-complex of "disproportionately hubristic SOB" surgeons, what is appealing to his supporters is simply the bombastic 'tude he shares with Donald and Carly. The poll respondants want a maximally-hubristic SOB, and any excuse for the candidate to act that way works as well as another.

As bad as Carson's sh!t may be, it's not drawing flies because anyone thinks he's a scientist, or even because the opinions of physicians typically receive great deference. Being an M.D. isn't doing wonders for Rand Paul (a whopping 2.3%, lowest among the 'main stage' candidates... even Huckabee is at 3.5%), nor did it do wonders for Bill Frist. As elected officials, they just can't talk like that.

Ted Cruz arguably rivals the poll leaders in bombast, but he comes off too canned and calculated... ironic in that he's undoubtedly MUCH more of a 'true believer' than Trump or Fiorina. They just sound more 'authentic' to the paranoid ear, apparently. And perhaps not being able to present himself as anything other than a politician hurts his numbers as well.... So let that be our label for Carson's background as perceived by the massive majority of his supporters: not 'scientist' or 'miracle-working surgeon'; just 'NOT a politician!'

@ Opus:

I know! I know!

Because...

dentists : brain surgeons
is analogous to
TV weather reporters : climatologists

...with the exception that the 'meteorologists' tend to be better-looking and more skilled at reading from teleprompters while standing in front of chroma-key drops than the dentists.

@ sadmar:

But dentists have nitrous oxide! Beats a chroma-key seven days a week. Twice on Sundays.

Ted Cruz arguably rivals the poll leaders in bombast, but he comes off too canned and calculated… ironic in that he’s undoubtedly MUCH more of a ‘true believer’ than Trump or Fiorina. They just sound more ‘authentic’ to the paranoid ear, apparently.

Cruz came by his opportunistic theocratic grifting the easy way, by inheriting it from his dad. Carson is more authentic because he earned his opportunistic theocratic grifting, by rejecting the foundational tenets of his nominal religion (for all its sectarian whackyness, 7th-Day Adventism is inflexible on the issue of church / state separation); in the eyes of the fundamentalist voters, this makes him more religious.

But the bulk of the christianist Values Voters seem to be lining up behind Trump, because he has no discernible values and makes no attempt to present himself as christian.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

@has (15): I think he got lonely, since we got bored and left. So now he’s here hoping to stir things up again. Since his comment added nothing to the discussion, I’m leaving him killfiled.

Wise choice. In the meantime, he's been banned by Jason Rosenhouse (as a bonus, after fraudulently stating that "I’m not allowed to post on Greg Laden’s articles" despite promptly oozing right over there afterward).

His desperate, wretched antics have been reminding me repeatedly of late of Fr. Thomas Reese's recent remark in NCR:*

"The third reason the pope’s message may get through is that Francis is an extraordinary communicator in both words and actions. He knows how to use simple language to communicate. He is not afraid to use graphic images when speaking. He avoids academic language and abstractions. He preaches the Gospel, not the catechism. He is more interested in how people live their faith than how they articulate it."

This ordering of things is obviously a straight-up recipe for an S.N. fistula in ano, Kaz Matsui disease, or something closely related.

* I'm out of links; h[]tp://ncronline.org/blogs/faith-and-justice/will-we-listen-pope-francis

When I see Ben Carson in action I think of these little aphorisms by Robert A. Heinlein.

"An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he finally knows everything about nothing at all."

And…

"Expertise in one field does not lead to expertise in another, but experts often seem to think so. In fact the narrower their field of expertise the more likely they are to think this."

By Romantic Heretic (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Regarding an earlier comment by he-who-shall-not-be-named: The whinging about consensus =/= science, the meteorologists, and even the laughable Oregon petition (!) are points-refuted-a-thousand-times, plus there are feeding regulations to consider, so I'm not even bothering. For once.

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ Taylor #40.

As a pediatrician I don't know any other pediatrician in Tucson who prefers any "alternative"r schedule to the CDC schedule. I do know a lot of pediatricians (myself included) who are frustrated with parents requesting an "alternative" schedule because they've read some nonsense on the internet or been mislead by the lies spread by one despicable self-serving quack named Robert Sears, MD, FAAP.

By Chris HIckie (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

lies spread by one despicable self-serving quack named Robert Sears,

C'mon Chris -- tell us how you really feel!

(And with every justification, I might add.)

You're probably being totally unfair, by the way. I imagine that Jay Gordon may have something to do with it, too.

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

Those are nice quotes by Heinlein (via Romantic Heretic) and are a reminder that surgeons aren't unique in needing an embarrassment-shield paper bag. I really should bring mine to every faculty meeting at my liberal arts college.

By Steven St. John (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

On a depressing note for Friday: if you do a search on amazon.com under "vaccination", the great majority of books that turn up in the first few pages of the search are antivax books.

They include this recently published tome by an apparent chiro-and-spouse team:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Vaccines-Wreck-Human-Immunity-ebook/dp/B013RY…

I mention this partly to note an unusual disclaimer I've never seen before. The authors "certify" that "at least one" statement in their book and/or on their websites is wrong. This seemingly is intended to immunize them against legal jeopardy.
The same disclaimer appears in another book by the female half of the team, "Melting Breast Lumps" (which explains that breast cancer is due to bad nutrition.)

I'm pretty confident that their disclaimer is correct.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

To Orac:

Regarding your #51…

“For example, the scientific consensus supporting the theory of evolution, particularly common descent, is exceedingly strong. Based on multiple lines of converging evidence from many different disciplines, evolution one of the strongest of all scientific consensuses. Similarly, the consensus that natural selection is one major driving force behind much of evolution is nearly as strong. However, as the discussion devolves into more detailed areas, inevitably the consensus weakens. Eventually, subsidiary areas of a discipline are reached where the consensus is weak or where there is no consensus. Often these questions are at the frontiers of the science and, because there is not yet a consensus, the most heavily researched and hotly contested areas of the science. Denialists often attack science at the very edges of a field as a proxy for attacking the much more strongly supported core theory…to hide the fact that the core theory of evolution is supported by mountains of evidence and not in doubt by scientists.”

I believed in evolution for about 30 years. I started DIS-believing in evolution when I began reading about its DETAILS, from the evolutionists’ mouths.
In EACH and EVERY case, I found the details ludicrous or, at a minimum, unconvincing.
I’ll use your metaphor of the “mountains of evidence”:
Each and every time I found a problem with the cow chip of detail I was given, I was told
“You don’t like that cow chip? That’s OK. We’ve got other cow chips. Let me get you another from the mountain of manure we have back yonder.”

What a bunch of B.S.
Or C.S.

Perhaps another metaphor – “the Tree of Life”: Oh, you’ll have significant disagreements about the branches, but you all agree about the trunk. Except you don’t know, and don’t agree on, what the trunk IS (i.e. What the universal common is.).

(And as you probably know, the iconic “Tree of Life”, still probably appearing in school textbooks, was essentially chopped down by the evolutionists years ago. Too problematic. Now they’re talking “bushes”/multiple trunks.)
…………………
“Creationists like Casey Luskin, for instance, spit the term “Darwinist” at evolutionary biologists and frequently try to link evolution (and thus its defenders) Nazi-ism and the Holocaust, eugenics, social Darwinism, and all manner of evils. Above all, evolutionists must be atheists…”

Firstly, I’d say all atheists are evolutionists, but not all evolutionists are atheists.

Secondly, it’s quite true, I think, that a positive correlation exists between belief in evolution and many other things I find objectionable. As I’ve said before in these blogs, the increasing acceptance of evolution seems positively correlated with the increasing acceptance of, or increasing incidence of,
– abortion,
– contraception,
– population decline,
– fornication,
– divorce,
– extended or perpetual singlehood,
– out-of-wedlock births,
– homosexual lifestyle and gay marriage,
– sexually-transmitted diseases,
– pornography,
– drug addiction,
– depression and dysphoria,
– social isolation/disintegration of community,
– socialistic government programs
…….
“Richards apparently doeesn’t know the difference between scientific theory and scientific fact. That salt is sodium chloride is a fact. That light travels 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum is a measurement and a fact. That blood carries oxygen to our organs is a fact. Of course, no one argues about them; they are well-settled facts, not theories. They are trivially obvious. Arguing about them would be as trivial as arguing about what I had for breakfast this morning or whether the above paragraph by Richards represents the essence of scientific ignorance. A theory is a higher level construct supported by facts, experimentation, and evidence.”

So, at least you’d agree that evolution is not a scientific fact.
That's mildly encouraging.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

@Taylor #40 and Chris Hickie #52:

"Open Journal of Pediatrics" is published by SCIRP. That outfit is commonly viewed as a predatory publisher, with obvious implications for the reliability of any data or conclusions published therein.

Narad@48: Given that it's now just outright spamming and not even pretending to engage, I'd say Mr Rosenhouse is fully justified in doing so. Much as we enjoy our robust chew toys here at Casa del Orac, this one is full of pus and slime mold, with the profoundly unpleasant aftertaste of quietly sobbing altar boys and trains that always run on time.

Chris Hickie@29:

In grad school I did teach an undergraduate physics lab for pre-med students. I was aghast at how often students just wanted to give a memorized answer to each write-up question (just like in the Brazil reference).

Ugh. I hope that was only the lingering after-effects of the high school rote mentality, and not how they intended to go on in their lives. Such mindless ontological exercises are for machines and daytime quiz show contestants, not those seeking to make life-and-death decisions.

has @59 -- I see what you did there.

has @60 -- What makes you think that they'll change once they're doing clinical work?

I'm happy to report that my more recent crops of pre-meds have been pretty good, in the main, mostly quite a bit more curious that the ones from several decades ago.

They're also mostly nicer people with more realistic and altruistic motives for being MDs than earlier cohorts. Doctorin' isn't perceived as a straight shot to riches like it used to be -- the people who want to do it are in it because it's intersting, useful, and fulfilling work, and are willing to do it despite the crushing student loan debts and the ever-decreasing autonomy that physicians typically put up with these days.

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Could you just please leave us alone," says the former member of the audience. "We get it you're lonely and you got no place to go, but that doesn't give you the right to pester us still!"
"Yeah", agrees another former spectator of the Nerve-rending See Noevo 'show'. "We're waiting for a bus to get us the hell away from you."
See Noevo waves its hand in dismissal "You left before I got to the good part!" it exclaims.
"I doubt that very much."
"Evolution!" shouts See Noevo. "And-"
"Not this again." sighs the former members of the audience in unison.
"Oh, you picked up on my subtle anti-evolution symbolism. Naming my monkeys Darwins, for example..."
"Real subtle indeed, not to mention your rants and your previous show and-"
"I'm worried particularly with," interrupts See Noevo, "how belief in evolution poisons the society and leads to population decrease and all sorts of nasty liberties and human rights!"
"So you're saying human population has decreased since Darwin?" asks the former member of the audience.
"It's so obvious it's ridiculous so-called scientists don't notice it, right!" says See Noevo, nodding.
"That's preposterous!"
"Indeed."
"No, sorry, you must have misunderstood me. I meant you're preposterous!"
"What?" See Noevo yelps, taken aback. "You're not one of them nasty feeble-minded and unskilled scientists are you?"

I saw Feynman speak in the mid 80’s at my college. It was amazing to see him take apart a problem. He took questions from us students (on anything) and showed what it meant to really understand something.

I never had a chance to see Feynman give a talk as he died long before I became a physicist (5 years old at the time of his death). Have read the lectures and seen videos of some of his talks he really did show what it meant to understand a topic.

In grad school I did teach an undergraduate physics lab for pre-med students. I was aghast at how often students just wanted to give a memorized answer to each write-up question (just like in the Brazil reference).

I had a similar experience while TAing undergraduate physics labs, where I demonstrated and marked for both physics and engineering students. My physics students wanted to know 'why' something was the way it was, but my engineering students wanted a formula or algorithm that they could memorise to get a correct answer. That plus a worrying lack of basic math skills (again the whole memorise, not understand problem) gives me pause when driving over a bridge or through a tunnel etc (Mostly kidding, but only mostly ^^)

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

Re: Garou (#4) and Janet(#19) How could they read it? Where else would you expect their heads to be?

By DanielWainfleet (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

palindrom@60:

has @60 — What makes you think that they’ll change once they’re doing clinical work?

Why, wishful thinking, of course! Seems to work for the rest of humanity. :)

stewartt1982@63:

My physics students wanted to know ‘why’ something was the way it was, but my engineering students wanted a formula or algorithm that they could memorise to get a correct answer.

My guess: engineers (like my old dad, for example) lean towards the conservative and enjoy their certainties - which is all you really require to make cool things, after all - whereas scientists thrive on the very opposite. I suppose it's understandable. You wreck the LHC, red faces all round, nobody dies. Your bridge falls down… that is major sh_t-fan interface.

It is a great shame though that this mindset should extend all the way back through education; the whole point of learning should be to make interesting mistakes in safety.

Secondly, it’s quite true, I think, that a positive correlation exists between belief in evolution and many other things I find objectionable. As I’ve said before in these blogs, the increasing acceptance of evolution seems positively correlated with the increasing acceptance of, or increasing incidence of,
– abortion,
– contraception,
– population decline,
– fornication,
– divorce,
– extended or perpetual singlehood,
– out-of-wedlock births,
– homosexual lifestyle and gay marriage,
– sexually-transmitted diseases,
– pornography,
– drug addiction,
– depression and dysphoria,
– social isolation/disintegration of community,
– socialistic government programs

Have you...ever studied history? Like, mores, norms, in other times? Try the Regency era on for size.

Orac,

There is one part that you wrote (as have many others) that drives me up the wall: Creation Science. Creation and Science are polar opposites of each other by definition. In science we prove or disprove our hypothesis to try to develop our theory. Most science is eventually either disproved or found to be a smaller subset of a more complex problem. With Creation there is nothing to prove or disprove because Creation is the only and final (no matter who's creation) answer.

Therefore, no one can be called a creation scientist because creation defies science.

By Richard Bly (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

Um, I wrote no such thing. Nowhere in my post is the phrase "creation science." Nowhere. I searched—multiple times. So I am really puzzled why you would criticize me for something I didn't write in this post. The closest I came was "creationist pseudoscience," which I assume you approve of.

Orac,

I did not mean to be criticize you personally for creation science. I really meant it as a general comment about what is written and what the creationists call themselves.

Please take my apology for not making sure that it was taken as general comment and not a swipe at you. I am sure you and most commenters know the difference between science and creationism.

Again my apology.

Since climate change has already been brought up in the comments above, and since I had no luck posting this on a nearby blog, I’ll try posting it here.

More stupidity, dishonesty, or both?

Frankly, if See Noevo wants to complain about the concept of science, he should do so with a pen and paper.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

@Taylor #40 and Chris Hickie #52:
“Open Journal of Pediatrics” is published by SCIRP. That outfit is commonly viewed as a predatory publisher, with obvious implications for the reliability of any data or conclusions published therein.

Open Journal of Pediatrics, in particular, is recognised as a useful pukefunnel for pipelining made-up crap straight to the more credulous journamalists. It's more expensive than stapling one's cyclostyled rantings to telephone poles, but it gets them wider attention, and the peer-review standards are equally low.

Joe Mangano has used OJP to promote several emissions of Fukushima-related fabrications --
http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=28599
-- and brought OJP to the attention of Jeffrey Beall, for the scuzzy graping dishonesty of its editorial practices:
http://scholarlyoa.com/2014/04/29/fallout-from-questionable-article-in-…

But Taylor, writing in a style more associated with a Letter to Penthouse, just happens to have a copy of the paper, and just happens to have met two paediatricians who illustrated its claims of widespread autism-vaccine beliefs among paediatricians. And Taylor wonders whether other readers have had similar experiences.

And I am Marie of Romania.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

Delphine @26

Have you…ever studied history? Like, mores, norms, in other times? Try the Regency era on for size.

I find most of the items on SNs list of the "evils" allegedly correlated with evolution to be good things.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

Gray Falcon

Frankly, if See Noevo wants to complain about the concept of science, he should do so with a pen sharp stick and paper clay tablet.

FTFY

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

"I believed in evolution for about 30 years. I started DIS-believing in evolution when I began reading about its DETAILS,"

You've said you never studied it.

Dean, shirley you aren't expecting anything resembling truth, accuracy or a coherent argument from SNE? We haven't sen that yet...

[Forgive me if the following seems a little out of focus - my recall problem is kicking me right in the Republican tattoos tonight - ORD.]
It occurs to me that one reason physicians overestimate their ability to evaluate science outside their own fields is that all physicians (at least the good ones) are empiricists, sometimes brilliant ones. I am thinking of such examples as the discovery of quinidine, or John Snow and the Broad Street pump, or even, but anyone who has been in or around the practice of medicine can think of more pedestrian examples. Off-label prescribing, rough and ready improvisations in the ER or the OR or out in the street, inspired guesswork - someone who has been successful at it gains a self-confidence that lets them think they are either smarter or more capable than they really are.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 26 Sep 2015 #permalink

I believed in evolution for about 30 years. I started DIS-believing in evolution when I began reading about its DETAILS, from the evolutionists’ mouths.
In EACH and EVERY case, I found the details ludicrous or, at a minimum, unconvincing.

If S.N. hadn't run away, I'd almost be inclined to ask what business Bracovirus had being in the genomes of parasitic wasps, but then I remembered that, when pressed, he turns out to redefine "evolution" as short-term baramin change.

Then again, his whole recent fascination with "The Tree of Life" versus "The Bush of Life" suggests to me that Freudian psychoanalysis still has its place.

The author, Orac, does not explain or cite an example of scientific endeavor vis-a-vis applied scientific endeavor, the latter to which he refers to as what physicians really do. Clinical research and trials (cited by the author) and are still applied science, not basic science. Albert Einstein with his thought experiments performed the scientifically purist form of theoretical scientific endeavor which was subsequently proven by scientific observations in 1919 [Eddington] and 1923 in the area of General Relativity (Curveture of Space.) excellent doctors, such as Drs. Carson and Oz have worked tirelessly at applied science, taking the world as it is and using it to perform medical "miracles" such as the separation of conjoint twins or CABG procedures. They took the 'black box" of Nature as we know it and used it to do their thing. Newton, Toricelli, Lorentz and Einstein when to the core of Nature or the actual core of the Black Box and came up with, at the time, new hypotheses which were later PROVED by observation which, thus, made their hypotheses actually theories (scientific facts.)
An example of such core thinking comes in the form of stem cell transplantation. The use of genetically foreign material (donor) stem cells transfused to a host with a genetically different genome than the donor SHOULD NOT WORK, but it does and the work in discovering the why is a basic science endeavor. The Carson's and Oz's have not delved that deeply but have spent countless hours working with the minutiae of their works.
Small wonder why physicians (applied science) don't have the time (or money) to delve into highly theoretical areas (pure science.)

By Stephen Garram… (not verified) on 26 Sep 2015 #permalink

My former cardiologist in Alabama was a young earth creationist, which I discovered from his response to my comment that I was a grad student in evolutionary biology. I totally would've let that slide, except that when we were discussing antibiotic prophylaxis and the AHA's then-new recommendations against it for my condition, everything he tried to tell me about antibiotic resistance was completely wrong. Beginning with, "It's not really a big problem."

So, yeah. I bring up that story every single time my alma mater says Evolution shouldn't be a required course for all biology majors when the majority of them are pre-med.

By Cathy Newman (not verified) on 27 Sep 2015 #permalink

Cathy @85 -- To be fair, I think most Young Earth Creationists (YECs) acknowledge that "micro-evolution" (or some such other term) does happen, but assert that evolution somehow can't produce new species ("forms", I think). If that's the case, there's no reason why a YEC would reject the development of antibiotic resistance among bacteria.

I fully agree that evolution should be a required course, but it sounds to me like you just happened to have a not-very-good cardiologist.

By palindrom (not verified) on 27 Sep 2015 #permalink

@Cathy: I think I would have run away as fast as you apparently did!

Happy Sunday Night, all! I was away for the weekend, doing many of the things SN frowns upon. I did wave in the Pope's general direction as we passed by Philly. And no, I have do no confessing of my so-called sins because 1)I don't believe they are sins and 2) I'm sure not repentant...already planning for the next trip! :)

To Cathy Newman #85:

“…I was a grad student in evolutionary biology…
So, yeah. I bring up that story every single time my alma mater says Evolution shouldn’t be a required course for all biology majors when the majority of them are pre-med.”

I see study in “evolutionary biology” as a double major, or a major minor.
It’s effectively a major in “Creative Writing” with a minor in “Biology”.

I think a regular “Creative Writing” curriculum would do well to include “Evolution” as a required course.
P.S.
Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is not evolution.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 Sep 2015 #permalink

#84 Stephen Garramone,

Interesting analysis. I agree with Orac's basic points on this, but yes, one can try to create a "higher resolution" picture of how we endeavor to understand and work with nature.

MD/Engineering training gives one some skills and techniques, and one can apply scientific rigor and scientific method towards some goal, and we can correctly call it applied science. As with discovering the best way to make a spear-point or an arrowhead out of rocks. (I have a lot of respect for those scraggly, lice-infested, "primitives" who created elegant and beautiful solutions to the mundane problems of their age.)

So, you would be correct that the educational credential alone is not really dispositive.

But you aren't making clear what the distinction is in your examples that qualifies something as "real" science. I understand the term "applied science" to indicate that there is a desired outcome of the program, for commercial or other purposes-- a lack of neutrality in developing the experimental design, as it were.

But you seem to be distinguishing between theoretical and experimental, or something along those lines, and I wouldn't agree with that characterization at all. It's the nature of the question that defines basic science, not the method for finding the answer.

Someone should do a study on the mental effects of long-term celibacy. It'd be interesting to know whether having an unpleasant personality is an effect or a cause and how sperm travels to the brain and poisons it.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

See, antibiotic resistance in bacteria is evolution by definition: change in the frequency of alleles within a population over generations.

But... but... scientists and doctors both wear white coats and use big words! Doctors must be scientists!

Someone should do a study on the mental effects of long-term celibacy.

I presume in women as well as men?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

M'OB: I doubt there'd be much detrimental effect in women, as it's much easier to conduct day-to-day life without having to do all the work that is necessary in a relationship, like cleaning the living space, waking up an hour early to put makeup on, learning to practice mindreading etc. Also, women don't tend to lash out violently like celibate men do.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

To JGC #93:

“See, antibiotic resistance in bacteria is evolution by definition: change in the frequency of alleles within a population over generations.”

If that were all there was to “evolution”, than I (and the 45% of Americans who dis-believe in evolution) would believe in “evolution.”

But I don’t believe in evolution.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

Also, women don’t tend to lash out violently like celibate men do.

Yah, those Sri Lankan monks are pretty violent.

^ Oops, I guess some of them actually are, had forgotten about that. Was thinking about a few I know personally.

Outside of the U.S. many people, including myself, are watching in disbelief and horror at the parade of Republican idiots presenting with delusions of grandeur for the presidency. Did someone put something in the drinking water in the U.S., or is it just the 'cool-aid' these days? These people are a danger to your society and the world. Look at the mess George Bush caused and the bill he ran up doing it. Anyone could tell he wasn't the brightest nail in pail, and the same goes for this Carson character and the rest of them. Of course, what they are really playing to is the right-wingnut religious base, which is how Bush came to power. Hell. He even promised Billy Graham and the ilk a prayer room in the White House where, according to leaks, they did anything but pray and mocked the very Christian base that put them in power.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

@See Noevo: Um, I think you're missing the factor of mutation in evolution.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ Lighthorse

Outside of the U.S. many people, including myself, are watching in disbelief and horror at the parade of Republican idiots presenting with delusions of grandeur for the presidency.

It was already like that last time around. Except that the new batch seems decided to outdo last candidates' performance.
The frelling Donald is not the worse, for FSM sake. For now.

It is as if there is some sort of competition between them (well, there is one, but I was under the impression it's not about who is saying the dumbest things or the most transparent lies). Every times I think I have heard it all, comes another candidate who pushes the boundaries of idiocy even deeper.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

PGP @96

You've never been out in the Bigg Market in Newcastle upon Tyne on a Friday or Saturday I take it?

You'd be amazed how many fights are taking place between groups of women...One of my partner's colleagues nearly missed her wedding after getting her nose broken on her hen night.

Lighthorse @101

You forget that SNE is actually Humpty Dumpty...Us lesser mortals are obviously not in possession of the necessary understanding to keep up.

It was already like that last time around. Except that the new batch seems decided to outdo last candidates’ performance.

It's not a promising trend.

Republicans (43%) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (20%) to say that they could conceive of a situation in which they would support a military coup in the United States. Independents tend to say that they could not (38%) rather than could (29%) imagine supporting a coup

The sheer size of the country and diversity of the populace affords some measure of protection against that sort of thing, as does competition among the political and monied interests vying for power.

But it's not pretty. If forcing government shutdowns gets to be a routine action rather than a regular threat, it'll be a real problem.

The sheer size of the country and diversity of the populace affords some measure of protection against that sort of thing

That whole civilian control of the military thing doesn't hurt, either.

@shay --

Absolutely.

I guess I'm presuming that "coup" means that no longer applies, though. So I suppose it would really be a takeover by rogue militias, not the military.

Not that I actually think it's imminent. I just find the tone of the discourse a little alarming.

To ann #106:

“But it’s not pretty. If forcing government shutdowns gets to be a routine action rather than a regular threat, it’ll be a real problem.”

Government shutdowns! The horror. The horror.
Especially the 17% shutdowns, like we had in 2013.
Shiver.

I wouldn't be exaggerating much if I said
I think this government is at its best when it’s shut down.
I long for more of them.

The relative absence of shutdowns in recent years just goes to show that the so-called government gridlock is not all it’s claimed to be. Instead, the liberal big government behemoth keeps bopping along relatively unimpeded, even with a now Republican-controlled Congress.

The socialistic slither was not always so smooth.
I read that the government was shut down seven times under Ronald Reagan, with a Dem-controlled House under Tip O’Neill.
O’Neill also was party to five shutdowns under President Jimmah Cawhta, where the Dems also controlled the Senate.

And on the latter, most of the shutdowns apparently were over abortion policy.

Speaking of abortion, Cecile Richards made an interesting admission recently. You know the old line that abortion constitutes just a 3% sliver of Planned Parenthood’s "health care" services? Well, it depends how you measure.
Because Cecile offered that about 86% (eighty-six percent) of Planned Parenthood’s non-federal funding revenues come from abortion.

But then again, perhaps Cecile’s words were heavily and misleadingly edited?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ Lighthorse and Helianthus:

I agree.

Recently one of the most frothing of them, Carly Fiorina, carried on about abortion and the "selling of baby body parts" by Planned Parenthood. A reasonable journalist interviewed her, questioning her misinformation but she persisted in her folly. I wondered how suited is she for high office ( including high corporate office- which she's already botched) if she can't see through an anti-abortion propaganda film?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

To Denice Walter #110:

Some follow-up Carly Fiorina’s comments in the last presidential debate about the abortion video…

“Carly Fiorina appears to have conflated the video of the fetus with the story being told by O’Donnell at the same time. It’s fair to say Fiorina’s description was incorrect to the degree it treated both incidents as relating to one fetus; however, both the brain harvesting incident and the video of a fully formed, kicking fetus are real.”

Be forewarned - Graphic video content:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/29/graphic-content-carl…

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Carly lied? What a non surprise.

I'm happy to see that someone here doesn't think a $2 billion dollar shutdown (cost of the last one, and that's just direct costs) is a big deal.

see Media Matters- Chuck Todd interviews Carly Fiorina
video/ transcript

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Remember, this is the same See Noevo who once asked, in all seriousness, "Are you saying NO ONE apart from Jesus Christ has authority to say definitively what Christianity is, and even authority to decide what proper Christian behavior is?"

In other words, he considers himself above his own Messiah.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Jen Gunter has been posting rather a lot of info at her blog about the great steaming pile of mendacity that is those videos. Short version: the famous fetus video does not depict an induced abortion, but that's just one aspect of this whole fractally-wrong sack of fetid dingo's kidneys.

@115: Well, he also asserted he'd solved the halting problem and that he had obtained an "elite" ivy league education - personal integrity and honesty are things not known to him.

To shay #113:

The last government shutdown – 16 days in 2013 – cost $2 billion?

First of all, I’d like to see your breakdown of the $2 billion.

Secondly and more importantly, even if the $2 billion cost were valid, that sounds like a true bargain – about $125 million per day - when the regular, open-for-business government costs over $10 billion per day.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

madder -- I think the creators of the video understand their audience is not going to quibble that the actual fetal footage was not shot at Planned Parenthood but came from other sources.

My source is Reuters. I'm glad you believe that paying people not to show up for work is a bargain.

Standard & Poor, on the other hand, estimated the 2014 shutdown cost to the American economy at $24 billion.

I was very hesitant to post to this thread out of fear that I'd just be guaranteeing its hijack by SN.

Drat.

To Gray Falcon #115:

“In other words, [See Noevo] considers himself above his own Messiah.”

Old Gray One, are you trying to get in a competition with dean as to who can post the most falsehoods?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

But ann...you ought to feel so honored that he followed you, a mere woman, to this thread. (Ugh. Just typing that made my brain hurt.)

There isn't a Republican running that I would even consider voting for. I'm not thrilled with the Democrats, totally, either, but they are 100% better than the alternative. I just hope the House and Senate get more Democrats in them, too, to break the Republican stranglehold they like to use on the country to force us to bow to their whims.

@shay--

Yes, you're certainly right about the audience for whom this kind of thing is red meat; for them, the truth is mere nitpicking. But I think the video was also intended to reach the people who don't pay that much attention, and to "shame" pro-choice people in general. That's why it's important to point out the truth.

I read that the government was shut down seven times under Ronald Reagan, with a Dem-controlled House under Tip O’Neill.

" During Gerald Ford's presidency, one funding gap occurred. Under the Carter administrations, funding gaps caused 5 partial shutdowns that affected only the departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare. These lasted from 8 to 18 days and the primary issue of dispute was federal funding for abortion. During the Reagan administration, there were funding gaps with technical shutdowns lasting less than 48 hours or over weekends while spending measures were negotiated rendering them to be of negligible effect. A funding gap during the George H. W. Bush administration also caused a weekend shutdown, resolved late the following Monday." (Wikipedia).

Well, he also asserted he’d solved the halting problem and that he had obtained an “elite” ivy league education – personal integrity and honesty are things not known to him.

He has an MBA from an Ivy League school. But "elite" is an overstatement, and "education" suggests an academic rather than professional degree.

So that characterization is misleading, at best.

"He has an MBA from an Ivy League school. "

He's never provided proof of that that I've seen.

"Old Gray One, are you trying to get in a competition with dean as to who can post the most falsehoods?"

I will simply point out that twice, once at Ethan's, once at Greg's (at Greg's after you lied and said you were no longer allowed to post there) you became upset because I cited you "nothing should be studied unless there is an immediate application" comment: you insisted you'd never said it and wanted a specific statement of where and when it was done. I supplied them. You never returned to the comments.
Being accused by you of telling a lie does not mean a lie has been told: it means that you don't like the comment.

Secondly and more importantly, even if the $2 billion cost were valid, that sounds like a true bargain – about $125 million per day – when the regular, open-for-business government costs over $10 billion per day.

^^Of course, even if you had so many business degrees from Stanford, Harvard and Tuck that you'd lost count of them, you still wouldn't be much of an advertisement for any MBA program as long as you made comments like that.

That programs and services come to a halt has a huge impact on numerous sectors of the economy, not excluding finance and healthcare. Jobs go uncreated. And revenues are lost.

It's not like they're just taking that $10 billion and setting fire to it.

The $2 billion, on the other hand, is all loss.

fear that I’d just be guaranteeing its hijack by SN.

This is where I would link to that Bloom County strip which ends with the words "Leaving a trail of slime whereever he goes...", but I can't find an on-line copy.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Oh jeez, are we (tinw) really doing this again?

The subject of government shutdowns was first broached here, I think, by ann.

I have a scenario and some questions for you all:

The government will soon be embroiled in another budget fight, and will likely throw up its collective hands, and pass another kick the can down the road Continuing Resolution. But the CR will be based on a projected full year budget of approximately $4 Trillion.

Now, if the GOP provides a “clean” CR, funding everything Obama wants, EXCEPT for Planned Parenthood's $500 million (0.0125% of total gov't budget), should Obama veto the CR and essentially cause a shutdown of the government?

If “yes”, why? On what principle?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Because depriving a few million under-served and poor women of a variety of necessary health care services is just a plain stupid and politically motivated idea....

Any reasonable President would veto such an attempt.

Because defunding an agency that provides a valuable service to an underserved population, has not violated any state or Federal law, and for no reason other than to placate its enemies, sets a dangerous precedent.

A shutdown would happen before the possibility of veto arose, not after. So civics fail.

But to answer the question on the proposed terms:

The electorate supports continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood by a margin of two to one, according to polls.

Seven out of ten are opposed to a shutdown over the issue. And that includes 59% of Republicans, as well as 91% of Democrats.

So the answer is:

On the principle that rewarding an attempt by 28 members of congress to use blackmail in order to ignore the will of the American people would mean the end of democracy.

Be forewarned – Graphic video content

Wait, you're actually dumb enough to think that people follow your Breitbump link spam?

On consideration, it occurs to me that the part about the veto is just some unrealistic fantasy about making it Obama's fault.

The shutdown would happen because they couldn't pass a CR, due to the aforementioned blackmail attempt by 28 members of congress. And the GOP would be faulted for it.

I mean, it just happened two years ago. You don't have to be a political scientist to figure it out.

@ Narad:

Heh. My thoughts exactly.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Anne Dachel at Age of Autism was horrified by this exchange between Dr. Carson and a radio host:

Radio Host Bill Cunningham: "what is the association if any of inoculations on one hand and autism on the other?"

Pediatric neurosurgeon and Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson: "There is no relationship between vaccines and autism, but what has happened is that we've learned a lot more about autism, and the spectrum has increased tremendously, our ability to diagnosis it has increased tremendously, and therefore there are those who think that because we're diagnosing it more, we're creating it with vaccines.

"Because we live in a society where almost everybody gets vaccines, they make that false correlation. There've been multitudinous scientific studies that have demonstrated that there's no correlation....

"I guarantee you, if you stop all the vaccinations, you'll still have the same number of people being diagnosed with autism. "

This is where I would link to that Bloom County strip which ends with the words “Leaving a trail of slime whereever he goes…”, but I can’t find an on-line copy.

This one?

@Narad --

Nice.

And very befitting wrt someone who claims conservatism is about taking responsibility while daydreaming about forcing his personal agenda on the nation against its will at the cost of billions of dollars and then blaming it on Obama.

To Lawrence #133:

“Because depriving a few million under-served and poor women of a variety of necessary health care services is just a plain stupid and politically motivated idea…. Any reasonable President would veto such an attempt.”

Are they being deprived by the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)?

Can’t they find appropriate health care at the many clinics run by other than Planned Parenthood?
In about sixty seconds I googled “alternatives to planned parenthood clinics” and found this website http://getyourcare.org/

Looks like a lot of non-PP clinics. (And probably some of them even offer mammograms, unlike PP.)

What would be “a plain stupid and politically motivated idea” would be Obama shutting the government down for a politically/ethically-charged 0.0125% of the gov’t budget.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

To shay #134:

“Because defunding an agency …”

Agency?
When I hear “agency”, particularly in this context, I think government agency.

But Planned Parenthood is a PRIVATE organization.
If a supposedly private organization requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business.
About 40% of Planned Parenthood’s funding is from the federal government.
Accordingly, PP should either go out of business or reduce its operations such that it can survive without the fed funding.

And if the government is dead set on spending (and it always is) the $500 million that used to go to PP, maybe it could open some government-run health care facilities similar to the VA hospitals/clinics.

What actually “sets a dangerous precedent” is continuing federal funding of PP.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

To ann #135:

“The electorate supports continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood by a margin of two to one, according to polls.”

And USA Today says “An even bigger majority opposes shutting down the government as a tactic to deny funds for the group.”

So about 70% would be OK with shutting the remaining 99.9875% of the government down
if the 0.0125% is denied to PP.

How about some out-of-the-box thinking?
What if that 0.0125% ($500 million) went instead to other non-PP clinics, or to the creation of non-abortion-providing government-run clinics?

Couldn't that work, maybe?

“So the answer is: On the principle that rewarding an attempt by 28 members of congress to use blackmail in order to ignore the will of the American people would mean the end of democracy.”

I guess the other 500 or so members of Congress don’t understand
- the spirit of the law (e.g. the law forbidding federal funding for abortion), nor
- the elementary principle of the fungibility of money.

On the latter, about how much of abortion promoter and overseer Cecile Richardson’s $520K salary comes from federal dollars? I think PP’s revenue/funding breaks down about as follows:
$500M federal funding
$645M abortion revenues (86% of non-fed funding revenue, per Cecile)
$105M non-abortion revenues
--------
$1,025M total funding/revenue

Boy, those abortion services are quite a revenue generator!

Anyway, so, maybe about 40% of the salary of abortion promoter and overseer Cecile Richardson comes from federal funding (i.e. taxpayer dollars).

All hail democracy!

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

To ann #137:

“On consideration, it occurs to me that the part about the veto is just some unrealistic fantasy about making it Obama’s fault. The shutdown would happen because they couldn’t pass a CR, due to the aforementioned blackmail attempt by 28 members of congress. And the GOP would be faulted for it.”

I’ll rephrase:
If a “clean” CR is presented to Congress, funding everything Obama and the Dems want, EXCEPT for Planned Parenthood’s $500 million (0.0125% of total gov’t budget), should Congress not pass the CR and essentially cause a shutdown of the government? If “yes”, why? On what principle?

Doesn’t matter. Your answer would be the same.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

I'm not ashamed that my answer would still be that:

Since none of that money is spent on abortions and the 28 members of congress withholding it would therefore not be saving a single life or achieving a single goddamn thing other than engaging in a senseless act of terrorism that harmed hundreds of millions of people and wreaked havoc with the economy out of sheer spite and an inability to take responsibility for the failure of their arguments, I'm against it.

"It’s fair to say Fiorina’s description was incorrect to the degree it treated both incidents as relating to one fetus; however, both the brain harvesting incident and the video of a fully formed, kicking fetus are real.”

Of course, the brain harvesting incident depends entirely on the word of one woman who didn't work there and the video is not really of an abortion, has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood, probably wasn't shot in the last fifteen years, and Carly Fiorina hadn't seen it when she described having done so.

Other than that, she was totally right.

And it's very morally virtuous of you to root for shutting down the government without saving a single life simply in order to compromise the freedom of people on Medicaid to get their healthcare where they choose.

The question remains:

Could you be any stupider?

I've never made a request like this before. But please ban that hateful insane troll before I live to regret doxing him.

Humpty Dumpty rides again.

haven’t been following, but regarding video from the usual slimy sources:

http://wonkette.com/594388/uh-oh-lying-liar-carly-fiorinas-planned-pare…

via Mike the Mad Biologist

Yep. Even Daleiden's not claiming it was filmed at Planned Parenthood. He's actually barely pretending it's not a spontaneously aborted pregnancy -- aka "a miscarriage."

I mean, I haven't seen a single doctor who says it's anything else. Daleiden says it's an abortion, but he doesn't push the point:

Then it gets really interesting! Ya see, Daleiden admits his videos use NOT ABORTED AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD imagery — like the photo of a stillborn fetus he stole from a grieving mother to imply it had been aborted and sold for scrap at Planned Parenthood — because really, what’s the difference?

DALEIDEN: [It’s] used to illustrate exactly the kind of late second-trimester baby, fetus, that we’re talking about in these cases of organ harvesting.

CUOMO: But if you’re talking about organ harvesting and abortions, and how terrible they are, why would you use a stillborn fetus, which is not a function of an abortion?

DALEIDEN: Do you think that the fetuses are different somehow? It’s the same gestational age, it’s the same baby, whether it’s born dead or alive, whether its organs are harvested or not. That’s the same kind of infant.

Not that he'd have any idea whether it was, in fact, an abortion. It's stock footage from the same place that supplied the stillborn pictures he also used to "illustrate" what he was saying without specifying or disclosing it. It appears to show a miscarriage. And it probably does.

But Carly Fiorina was right!!!

Just because.

Read more at http://wonkette.com/594418/jerk-behind-planned-parenthood-videos-accide…

CUOMO: But if you’re talking about organ harvesting and abortions, and how terrible they are, why would you use a stillborn fetus, which is not a function of an abortion?

Incidentally, for those too stupid to figure it out for themselves, the true answer to that question is:

"Because there are no born-alive, kicking, fully formed fetuses with beating hearts being slaughtered for their organs by abortionists. The whole thing's a great big lie we like to tell to people who are so stupid that they'll believe anything. That's why!"

But what the hell. Shut the government down anyway.

To ann #147:

“And it’s very morally virtuous of you to root for shutting down the government without saving a single life simply in order to compromise the freedom of people ON MEDICAID to get their healthcare where they choose.”

I don’t understand the first half of that, but regarding the latter part:

So, the people going to Planned Parenthood for other than abortions are using Medicaid (or maybe something through Obamacare, or some other insurance), but STILL require ADDITIONAL federal subsidies to get the care from PP?

Now THAT would be “stupider.”

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Most of the federal funding is Medicaid reimbursement, you idiot.

Also, I'd like to change my answer to:

On the principle that the state is supposed to prove that a crime occurred and someone is guilty of it before rushing off to punish anyone (let alone millions of poor women who are entirely innocent) simply because a bunch of ill-informed fools saw a video of a woman miscarrying fifteen years ago and got upset about it.

To ann #148:

“But please ban that hateful insane troll before I live to regret doxing him.”

Wow! That sounded like a threat, and I don’t even know what “doxing” is!

I had to look it up: Per Urban Dictionary – “Doxing is a technique of tracing someone or gather information about an individual using sources on the internet. Its name is derived from “Documents” or “Docx”. Doxing method is based purely on the ability of the HACKER to recognize valuable information about his TARGET and use this information to his benefit. It is also based around the idea that, “The more you know about your target, the easier it will be to FIND HIS OR HER FLAWS.”

My goodness, annie!
It’s almost like you’re trying to “dig up dirt” on a person because you can’t handle the person’s arguments. Like ops research to fuel ad hominems.

Nah. That just couldn't be.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

It most certainly couldn't.

I mean look at the arguments. Also, I didn't actually "dig up dirt" on you. You outed yourself on the first thread you posted to here, because you're an idiot. It took one G--gle search.

It's the hateful misogyny I don't feel compelled to tolerate. But although you've obviously got problems and are fairly plainly seriously handicapped by them, I'm not in a position to really know what they are. So out of caritas, I'm reluctant to dox you.

Incidentally:

75% of that funding is Medicaid reimbursements, which are subject to the Hyde Amendment.

The other 25% is Title X money, none of which funds abortion to begin with.

The only thing defunding would accomplish would be to force states to raise taxes in order to meet their obligations. Because there would be just as many women on Medicaid as there were before.

Possibly even more, depending on how that shutdown thing goes.

Planned Parenthood would continue providing abortions as usual. There's no reason why that part of the business would be the least bit affected. You'd just be getting rid of the other stuff.

Ban, please.

That he gets off on this is repellently obvious.

Probably including getting roughed up by girls.

To ann #151:

“Because there are no born-alive, kicking, fully formed fetuses with beating hearts being slaughtered for their organs by abortionists. The whole thing’s a great big lie…”

Perhaps no born-alive, kicking, fully formed fetuses with beating hearts were slaughtered for their organs by abortionists.
However, at a minimum, that Holly O’Donnell has said otherwise.
If Holly lied, she should be appropriately punished, to the full extent of the law. You’d be OK with some kind of court process with discovery and cross-examination and testifying under oath – of O’Donnell AND the person or people she alleges were doing the live harvest – wouldn’t you?
I would.

But you’re OK with harvesting the organs, as long as the abortionists slaughter the kicking, fully formed fetuses first.
After all, you’d never stop a woman, even if you could, from having any abortion she wanted.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

If a supposedly private organization requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business.

You don't say. Remember when you ran away from this one?

And very befitting wrt someone who claims conservatism is about taking responsibility while daydreaming about forcing his personal agenda on the nation his imaginary daughter to carry a rapist's baby to term against its her will at the cost of billions of dollars and then blaming it on Obama.

FTFY.

@See- That was a direct quote. I can link you to it if you want. Next time, when you post, ask yourself, "Am I committing blasphemy when I write this?"

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

You don’t say. Remember when you ran away from this one?

That's nothing. He couldn't have made a living if he wasn't willing to see taxpayer dollars turned into private profits.

Which is also nothing, relative to the fact that if someone shows him a video that's not of anything he cares about, then proposes a political action that won't address any of his concerns, he's so dangerously stupid that he'll support them while they overthrow the government.

@#157 --

I'd be okay with any legal proceeding you care to name, as long as it met all the criteria for one.

But hauling people into court because one person made unsupported allegations is not how we roll here in the USA.

Especially since there's plenty of evidence that the Center for Medical Progress is lying and several state-level investigations have already failed to turn up jacksquat in the way of evidence that Planned Parenthood broke the law.

Under those circumstances, suggesting that a trial is warranted is basically just you fantasizing about making your irresponsible failures of good judgment somebody else's fault again.

Agency? When I hear “agency”, particularly in this context, I think government agency.

Your history of making up your own definitions is already well known here.

If a supposedly private organization requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business

I’ll pass that along to GE, Boeing, DuPont and Verizon.

And if the government is dead set on spending (and it always is) the $500 million that used to go to PP, maybe it could open some government-run health care facilities similar to the VA hospitals/clinics.

Tell us, oh MBA (alleged), how cost-effective is it to build, staff and equip new facilities to replace perfectly-functional facilities that already exist?

I've spent the last two hours listening to Ella Watson-Stryker speak, which makes reading SN's selfishness, arrogance and dishonesty all the more nauseating.

Ann -- I know. When the Attorney General of Louisiana, FCOL, couldn't find any grounds to charge Planned Parenthood, you know someone's house was built on sand.

To ann #155:

“The only thing defunding would accomplish would be to force states to raise taxes in order to meet their obligations. Because there would be just as many women on Medicaid as there were before.”

I don’t see why any additional taxes would need to be raised.
No change to Medicaid monies, just can’t use them at Planned Parenthood.
I’d bet those Medicaid patients would find alternative, non-PP clinics quickly (http://getyourcare.org/).

“The other 25% is Title X money, none of which funds abortion to begin with.”

Title X covers “family planning” services. Of course, it has the fine print footnote “By statute, Title X funds are not used to pay for abortions.”
But I imagine the funds could pay for just about everything surrounding and enabling the abortion (e.g. office space, utilities, instruments, training of personnel, disposal of deceased).

“Planned Parenthood would continue providing abortions as usual.”
I suppose so. And at about $2,000 per.
Not cheap, but probably less than you’d pay a hit man.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

No change to Medicaid monies, just can’t use them at Planned Parenthood.

Why not?

I don’t see why any additional taxes would need to be raised.
No change to Medicaid monies, just can’t use them at Planned Parenthood.
I’d bet those Medicaid patients would find alternative, non-PP clinics quickly

Again, not exactly an advertisement for that Ivy League MBA program.

Yes, actually, cutting $375 million in Medicaid funding would be a change to Medicaid funding.

And no, existing clinics could not easily perform millions of services for patients they're not staffed, equipped, or prepared to accommodate.

So don't make a habit out of betting large sums.

Title X covers “family planning” services. Of course, it has the fine print footnote “By statute, Title X funds are not used to pay for abortions.”

That's because none of that money is used to pay for abortions.

But I imagine the funds could pay for just about everything surrounding and enabling the abortion (e.g. office space, utilities, instruments, training of personnel, disposal of deceased).

No. They would be spent on family planning services, as outlined by Title X.

That would just (once again) be you imagining a way out of your responsibility to be minimally informed.

“Planned Parenthood would continue providing abortions as usual.”
I suppose so. And at about $2,000 per.
Not cheap, but probably less than you’d pay a hit man.

Except that the cost is $390 to $1090 or less, the part about how you'd be doing nothing but mindlessly getting your hate on without preventing a single abortion is correct.

Thank you for conceding that defunding Planned Parenthood would just be an idiotic, pointless act of destruction that harmed innocent people for no good reason.

I have no idea how much it costs to take out a hit on someone. But I doubt there's a standard rate.

To shay #163:

Me: “If a supposedly private organization requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business.”

You: “I’ll pass that along to GE, Boeing, DuPont and Verizon.”

No need to. There’s a substantive difference between the government purchasing something from an organization and the government funding an organization. As I explained on another blog recently:
“You apparently can’t see the differences between
1) Doing something yourself (e.g. building fighter jets with your own engineers and manufacturing plants; making massive mounds of paper for your endless laws and regulations with your own forests and paper mills; fashioning paper clips with your own mines and steel mills.), where, if you fail, you go out of business.

2) Paying other people, who have greater expertise and efficiency, to build fighter jets or make paper or fashion paper clips, etc., where, if the other people fail, they go out of business, and you look for other more reliable suppliers.

3) The above do-it-yourself operation or one-to-one/arms-length deal is replaced by a third-party (i.e. government) blob of other people’s money (i.e. taxpayers’ taxes) to keep the one party in business (e.g. Planned Parenthood) and the second party happy (e.g. the patients getting freebies).

You’re a 3) kind of guy.”

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

SN does not understand the difference between government subsidies and government purchases.

What alleged Ivy League school awarded him/her an alleged business degree?

SN said "But I imagine the funds could pay for just about everything surrounding and enabling the abortion (e.g. office space, utilities, instruments, training of personnel, disposal of deceased)."

In case anyone wondered, SN has just demonstrated beyond doubt the fact that it knows NOTHING of governmental accounting. All overhead costs are allocated to the activity when federal funds are involved. If 1% of an organizations activities are abortions then 1% of the rent, 1% of the electrical bill, 1% of the receptionist's salary, 1% of the director's salary, and so on ad infinitum is paid with non-federal funds.

The above is an overview suitable for those, like SN, with limited literacy skills.

More details here regarding basic rules: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/CFR-2014-title2-vol1/CFR-2014-title2-v…, and

here, for the rules regarding medical costs: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/CFR-2011-title45-vol1/CFR-2011-title45…

It is not unusual for a cost allocation plan between a funding agency and a fund recipient to be so comprehensive that the random number generator used to determine which records are audited is specified and mathematically validated to ensure that patient records are truly randomly selected.

To ann #167:

“Yes, actually, cutting $375 million in Medicaid funding would be a change to Medicaid funding.”

You don’t need an MBA to know that no change in Medicaid funding would be required. The $375 million in Medicaid funding (and $125 million Title X funding) would still be expended, just not at PP facilities.
.....................
“And no, existing clinics could not easily perform millions of services for patients they’re not staffed, equipped, or prepared to accommodate.”

No, I think the 13,000 other clinics could probably pick up the load from the 600 PP clinics:
http://dailysignal.com/2015/08/17/planned-parenthood-loses-government-f…

And we could do some more out-of-the-box thinking.
Get wild! Even the craziest ideas are fair game.
For example:
-PP could stop doing abortions and so keep those many needy Medicaid patients and stay in business.
-The abortion-less PP might transform the former abortion facilities/resources into something it doesn’t currently have – like mammogram facilities.
-More and more people could refrain from sex outside of marriage and so reduce the incidence of STDs and PP’s need to treat them.
-What else?
.....................
Me: "But I imagine the funds could pay for just about everything surrounding and enabling the abortion (e.g. office space, utilities, instruments, training of personnel, disposal of deceased)."

You: “No. They would be spent on family planning services, as outlined by Title X.”

Oh, absolutely. And money’s not fungible.
..................
You: “Planned Parenthood would continue providing abortions as usual.”
Me: “I suppose so. And at about $2,000 per. Not cheap, but probably less than you’d pay a hit man.”
You: “Except that the cost [per PP abortion] is $390 to $1090 or less …”

Perhaps the $390-$1090 is the PP advertised “price”, but not the actual related cost or funding. My $2,000 was just some quick math: ~$645 million in PP abortion revenues divided by ~300,000 abortions.
..............
“Thank you for conceding that defunding Planned Parenthood would just be an idiotic, pointless act of destruction that harmed innocent people for no good reason.”

I’d normally say “You’re welcome”, but I won’t, because I made no such concession.
.....................
“I have no idea how much it costs to take out a hit on someone. But I doubt there’s a standard rate.”

Really? I thought you might have done some research on that recently.
Whatever the standard rate is, they might charge you more for me. Because I can shoot back. Go NRA!

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

To Opus #170:

“In case anyone wondered, SN has just demonstrated beyond doubt the fact that it knows NOTHING of governmental accounting. All overhead costs are allocated to the…”

That may be true.
It also may be true that I’ve forgotten more accounting than you’ll ever know, as my bachelors was in Accounting and in my early days I worked in accounting, even as a CPA in the health care/health care reimbursement field.

But a couple things I do remember:
-Figures don’t lie but liars can figure.
-Accounting, especially governmental accounting, is never wrong. Example: “GAO has designated Medicare as a high-risk program, in part because the program's size and complexity make it vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse… More broadly, in fiscal year 2013, CMS estimated that improper payments—some of which may be fraudulent—were almost $50 billion.” http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-712T

By See Noevo (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

Next time, when you post, ask yourself, “Am I committing blasphemy revealing too much when I write this?”

For example,

However, at a minimum, that Holly O’Donnell has said otherwise.
If Holly lied, she should be appropriately punished, to the full extent of the law.

What immediately stands out about this utterance is that it literally makes no sense: there are no criminal penalties whatever for lying in random propaganda videos.

My immediate reaction was "Oh, G-d, he's got the hots for her." But this didn't really come together until I ran across the retracted RH Reality Check item.

You’d be OK with some kind of court process with discovery and cross-examination and testifying under oath – of O’Donnell AND the person or people she alleges were doing the live harvest – wouldn’t you?
I would.

I suspect that there's no shortage whatever of '70s Eurotrash films that S.N. could choose from here as exemplars of his fantasy, but like everything else that might present a stress to the Shіt Noggin, it's not going to happen.

It also may be true that I’ve forgotten more accounting than you’ll ever know, as my bachelors was in Accounting and in my early days I worked in accounting, even as a CPA in the health care/health care reimbursement field.

Heh. The failed-interview blob-speech is a nice touch.

My poor father was perplexed for some time over the fact that there was, in fact, no way in which I could "minor in accounting." This isn't a slight against accountants per se – I know a very colorful one, against whom I have an unbroken arm-wrestling record (JP has documentary evidence) – but the already stupid babbling about, e.g., "fine tuning" of the cosmological constant has just taken a death blow.

Now, it's not entirely clear whether the CPA part came before or after S.N.'s shelling out for a terminal "Ivy League"* master's degree for the sake of résumé padding,** but whatever. Given S.N.'s frequent issues with a Cheneyeqsue*** cheese steak**** in his pants, the obvious target seems to be Wharton.

Perhaps he could regale the commentariat with reminiscences of the high points of the curriculum. After all, the "'No Fly'/'Do Not Call' list” has already been assigned to the wearing of delicious, fantasy ball gags.

* It should be kept in mind that the term refers to college sports.
** I've TA'd folks doing the same thing in computer science. Based on the graduates of the program that I've run into, that whole asymptotic-notation thing might as well have come with a guaranteed expiration date.
*** And I do mean -esque.
**** Whip, of course.

^ The boldface should have begun and ended with "after"; in retrospect, the omission of the '/' in </b> might be an improvement.

Shay and Ann, it has long been my view (based on direct experience of people holding it) that MBA stands for "Master of Bugger All" and acts as a pretty good marker for those who do not understand and cannot evaluate evidence and rely instead on assertion (see also pretty much any management "qualification" - I read a lot of assignments a colleague submitted as part of a "management degree" and they were utter rubbish, yet this person was awarded a good degree).

SN: "the elementary principle of the fungibility of money"

I think I see why you are not in accounting any more: You ran out of petards. . .

No, I think the 13,000 other clinics could probably pick up the load from the 600 PP clinics:

That MBA was truly worthless.

And we could do some more out-of-the-box thinking.

I don't think it's possible to be more of an inside-the-box thinker than you are. You literally don't appear to have a single non-prefab thought., or any capacity for original thinking whatsoever. You just swallow whatever bucket of sh*t Breitburp ladles out.

Get wild! Even the craziest ideas are fair game.
For example:
– PP could stop doing abortions and so keep those many needy Medicaid patients and stay in business.
– The abortion-less PP might transform the former abortion facilities/resources into something it doesn’t currently have – like mammogram facilities.

^^That, for example. Diagnostic imaging is routinely done at either specialty clinics or hospitals. By everybody. Every time you repeat it as if it were meaningful, you prove your inability to think at even the level of basic reality-based observation.

– More and more people could refrain from sex outside of marriage and so reduce the incidence of STDs and PP’s need to treat them.
– What else?

Thank you for conceding that none of this is actually about the fantasy criminal fetal organ trade and that all of it is about your wish to control the sex lives of other people.

Really? I thought you might have done some research on that recently.
Whatever the standard rate is, they might charge you more for me. Because I can shoot back. Go NRA!

Don't flatter yourself, you loser.

I want you to live. I just don't want to be exposed to your hateful, destructive stupidity.

Owing to which, I'm done here.

" More and more people could refrain from sex outside of marriage"

I think that probably sums it up entirely: he wants to dictate how others should behave because of his belief in his own moral superiority.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Oct 2015 #permalink

See, do you keep gun in your hand with your finger on the trigger, pointed at the nearest person at all times? Do you always stand with your back to a wall? Do you never sleep? If the answer to any of those is "no", then you may not always be able to shoot back.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 01 Oct 2015 #permalink

Had a spare wasteable coffee break again, luckily the dishonest creep has slunk back after its ignoble retreat. Apologies about the thread jumping, but the source material keeps smearing itself into multiple places.

"We don't want your bigotry and idiotic opinioning here." says the former member of the audience, looking hopefully for the bus, but in vain.
"Oh, silly you", says See Noevo, "it was all an act - I'm not at all like you describe!"
"So that whole debacle was an act?"
"Indeed." See Noevo nods."I'm one of the few really decent guys, actually." See Noevo says, picking off imaginary dust from his collar.

(incredulous silence)

"Really?" says the former audience member. "So what you really think of gays?"
"Poor misguided souls, I'm afraid, but I have nothing personally against-"
"Misguided how?"
"Off the narrow road, and towards what I can only imagine is eternal damnation."
"'Decent', sure..."
"You're trying to trick me!" See Noevo screams suddenly. "I can spot a trap! You're no doubt some sort of commie atheist!"
"You're off the rails once again, I voted republican."
"You lie! No real republican would question my values! I bet you even dislike Trump!"
"I do, but that's nothing to do with the party..."
"Bah!" See Noevo exclaims. "Lies, all lies! Like evolution!"
"So how much of your 'act' wasn't just you spewing nonsense?"
"You're just ignorant!" See Noevo shouts, pointing at the people on the bus stop. "I used to be like you, believing in evolution, but I studied! I did! And got cured!"
"Studied? You?"
"Indeed. With my accounting degree from a super-uber highest top-tier ivy league school I easily deciphered their lies. The more I read about it the more obvious the idiocy of it became." See Noevo says, smugly.
"Care to give an example?"
"Darwinists think sunburn turns into eyes!" See Noevo literally jumps up as it shouts this. It does a little victory jig. "See how silly?"
"Yes. Yes I do see." say the people on the bus stop, in unison.

(still silence)

"What?" asks See Noevo, "No thanks for enlightening you foolish ingrates?"
"No." answer the spectators. "Can we just wait for the bus in peace?"
"You're evading! You're scared to engage in real debate! I win!"
"What debate?" asks the former member of the audience. "You're just spewing your f-"
"Any debate!" See Noevo insists.
"You're not debating, you're just shouting opinions in public."
"And there it is! I win! You couldn't make one argument without lying about me!"

(crickets)

"And all you'd do anyways is use words incorrectly, like say agency when I know you obviously meant government agencies alone, because you obviously lack my super-high advanced specialist ivy league not-to-mention so very expensive it must have been excellent and you lot could never afford such an education, uh, education. So you can't win. Zero for twenty already!" See raves, spittle flying every which way.

(crickets)

"And you socialists are ruining the country, not just this debate! Funding those serial killers at Planned Parenthood, resisting my accurate Christian values like stoning people I don't like for saying stuff I disagree with, or hating me when I celebrate nine-year-old pregnancy successs stories! You just mindlessly repeat what you've read somewhere and fawn that hidious muslim race-traitor spawn Bee Hussein Obama!" See Noevo is frothing at the mouth.

(crickets)

"I hope the government would shut down! Then you'd see how effective the Gee Ough Pee really is and how they're much better than any so-called democrats! Then you'd see!"

(crickets)

"Be awed by my reasoning!" See Noevo screams, out of breath, eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets. "I'm better than all of you!"

(crickets)

"You do realize none of us cares about your spew of verbal effluence?" says the former member of the audience, finally.

Except ignore the part about the thread jumping. That's what I get for opening multiple tabs and using a tiny tablet.

...and gaist wins an Internet!

– More and more people could refrain from sex outside of marriage and so reduce the incidence of STDs and PP’s need to treat them.

If you think married people don't need PP's services, including STD treatments and abortions, you are for some surprise.

"to refrain from sex outside marriage"? Good luck with that*. It didn't work that well for King David. He got his comeuppance, but the damage was done. If even god's chosen fall to the temptation...

* I strongly disapprove of cheating people and other relationship betrayals. That being said, syphilis is a nasty disease**, so as a microbiologist I'm all for limiting its spread by all means available. Dito for other STDs.
** it's also a baby killer, leading to fetus malformations or even miscarriage. I would have thought the pro-life crowd would be all for stopping it.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 01 Oct 2015 #permalink

Murmur -- I tend to agree. I got my MBA from the University of Illinois for two reasons -- one, I figured two years in an academic setting would allow sufficient decompression time for someone fresh out of the military and leery about plunging into the work force right away (I still have colleagues gripe that I'm a little too USMC), and two, someone else paid for it.

The US has this lovely program called the GI Bill. I'm sure SN disapproves; it's a free ride to a college degree for those who qualify. I mean, practically welfare.

Helianthus, married people shouldn't need birth control. Women are supposed to stay home and have lots and lots and lots of babies, regardless of the couple's ability to provide the necessary emotional and financial support.

And those affordable cancer screenings for low-income women? Why, since the ACA was passed, ob/gyn's have been falling all over themselves to open offices in the poorer parts of town.

@ shay

married people shouldn’t need birth control.

Oh, I know.

I just wanted to inject the little fact that transmission of STDs and unwanted pregnancies is not just the province of these godless, live-in-the-sin liberal people in extended singlehood, both historically and nowadays.

A decade ago, an article in Le Monde described the results of the thesis of a French/Moroccan student. It was a social study of the profile of French prostitutes' customers.
Contrary to the cliché of the young celibate man, the typical customer is married, in his 30-50, and have children. Quite often, he is on the road for business reasons.
All things being equals, I doubt it's much different in the US.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 01 Oct 2015 #permalink

Whatever the standard rate is, they might charge you more for me. Because I can shoot back. Go NRA!

It's not often that one sees such a superfluous announcement of a whiny, golfing tough guy's having a three-inch barrel in his pants.

Bizarre:
What language is that?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2015 #permalink

Helianthus, it's not just SN -- I've yet to see an anti-PP.anti-abortion/anti-contraception rant that doesn't boil down to they're sinners and must suffer the consequences.

Go NRA

It never ceases to amaze me the number of civilians who think that a handgun and eight hours of instruction turns someone into Dead-eye Dick, the Two-Gun Terror of the Plains.

Bizarre:

What language is that?

It appears to be a novel approach to avoiding plagiarism. They registrant is nominally in Hungary, but I'm not sure how seriously to take "Janos Nagy."

I justify this post for several reasons:

-This blog article and at least the initial comments were about Ben Carson and doctors not being scientists.
-The Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy MD, seems to believe gun control is an issue his agency should have control over or at least have a say in. (One particular tweet of his:“Tired of politicians playing politics w/guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of [National Rifle Association]. Guns are a health care issue.”
-Dr. Ben Carson has dipped his toe into one of the hot stories of the day – the Oregon school mass murderer who singled out Christians for his slaughter – by holding an “I am a Christian” sign.
-Regarding the hot “health” topic of gun control, I have three comments “awaiting moderation” over on Greg Laden’s Blog for “What YOU can do about gun violence”. The first two have been in his review loop for several hours. All my posts on Laden’s blogs are put into that ‘pending’ mode, but at least in the last month they usually get posted. (A while back, for a month or two none of my posts got through. Lately though, it appeared my banning had ended.). So, in case my three comments don’t get posted on Laden’s blog, I’ll post them here:

1)
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
To Jesse #16:
“You want to protect yourself? Fine, use bo (it can be had around the house if you own a mop) or a machete. Carry a knife. I happen to like sais. The targeting is easier, and at close range it’s faster, and you can’t accidentally kill yourself with them. (Well, I suppose you could, but it would be hard to do).”

That might be fine when the attacker is using a bo or a machete or a knife or a sais. But what if the attacker is shooting?

OR what if he looks better with his sword than you are with yours?

I’d side with Indy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YyBtMxZgQs
…………..
2)
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
The NRO article on the “Australian Model”:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425021/australia-gun-control-obam…
…………………….
I might *briefly* consider giving up my guns,
as soon as the criminals, crazies and the evil no longer have guns.
But then, we’d still have this government.

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
– Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century
criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776
………………
3)
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I read today that the Congressional Research Service reported that the number of privately owned firearms in America went from 192 million in 1994 to 310 million in 2009, and that homicides involving firearms dropped from 6.6 per 100,000 in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000 to 3.2 per 100,000 in 2011.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 03 Oct 2015 #permalink

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that trolls gotta troll.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Oct 2015 #permalink

Sn, everyone has comments go to moderation at Greg's when they repeatedly post links. You've been told that before, so implying you are being singled out is simply mote of your bs.

Your nro article should be blocked - it's a load of horse crap. But again, partly for your course.

Shay: yes, an actual review of data shows that, unless you include movies, a brave gun owner stopping a crime is vainishigly rare. It's amusing that sn has referred to the community college campus in Oregon as a "gun free zone" when, in fact, several students who had weapons on them have said they were on campus but we're smart enough to know that had they shown up the swat team would have had no way to know they weren't helping the shooter.

"“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”"

sn, like so many other tea baggers, you can't even get an attribution correct. That is not Jefferson's quote, he was repeating something from Cesare Beccaria's "Essay on Crimes and Punishments.". The greater context where Jefferson used it was not, as you would imply, that restrictions against guns are not constitutional, it was a discussion of how such laws would be enforced.

Since firearms-related homicides/suicides are one of the leading causes of death in Americans aged 15-24, why wouldn't the surgeon general be concerned?

(6,500 young Americans died from gunshot wounds in 2000, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “WISQARS: Fatal Injury Data, 2010).

So, in case my three comments don’t get posted on Laden’s blog, I’ll post them here

Yah, you've done this before. It's pathetic display of your juvenile need for instant gratification in addition to being an utterly moronic attempt at further threadjacking, since the people you're replying to aren't even here.

^ "a pathetic display"

'Tis truly heartwarming to see SN, our itinerant monk, wander through in search of his posterior, which hath been handed unto him so many times that it is worn to a veritable nubbin.

Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! See Noevo just go get laid already but do human kind a favour and wear a condom.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 04 Oct 2015 #permalink

"Tell Jesse he obviously haven't thought things through, I mean, what if they come at you with guns!" See Noevo tells, to the gathered crowd.
"What?"
"Who's Jesse?" asks the crowd.
"They're trying to silence me! Me! So you tell him Indiana Jones was right shooting the swordman!" See Noevo is hyperventilating.
"He's finally lost it..."
"Is that some code?"
"It's speaking in tongues" says the crowd.
"How about you calm down, and shut up for a change." says a former member of the audience, patting See Noevo on the shoulder. "I'm sure they pick up your monke-"
"Don't touch me! I'm armed!" See shrieks, and moves to pull a revolver from the front of his pants, but the bulky gun gets stuck on his belt buckle.
Everybody moves away from the fumbling See, who finally gets the gun free and waves it about. "Don't be shocked, I have to" he reasons, "I'm an important man, friend to the Pope and all that, I have to be prepared to defend myself against atheists..."
"Just put the gun down, okay..." says someone, as calmly as possible.
"They no doubt have put hits on me, those godless bastards. Hits! On me! Can you imagine, a world without See Noevo in it! I can't, so it must be really awful!"
"Easy there, just point it away, all right, nobody's going to hurt you..."
"You lie! You're all criminals or crazies or evil or government employees! You're dangerous!" See hisses.
"You're the one waving the gun around!" someone points out.
"We don't even know any Jesse!" points another.

See Noevo@196:

I justify this post for several reasons:

p.s. You forgot:

– I am a giant sucking rectal wound in major need of attention.

Hey, a least you're on a medical blog – I guess that's close enough.

From GOP's Case Against Planned Parenthood Collapses: Jason Chaffetz Admits He Uncovered No Wrongdoing:

“Did I look at the finances and have a hearing specifically as to the revenue portion and how they spend? Yes. Was there any wrongdoing? I didn’t find any,” Huffington Post’s Jennifery Bendery reports the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman admitted during yet another hearing on Thursday.

(Not that it will make any difference. Carly Fiorina saw an imaginary video that was kinda similar to one of who-knows-what that somebody later posted on the internet, after all. That's what really counts.)

All Doctor's I know of, Ben Carson included, believe in that species change over time and that natural selection can play a role in that. As such, they understand that germs develop resistance to antibiotics. What millions of doctors reject, is the idea of a species evolving into another species. Academic scientists are afraid to admit their doubts because they will lose their jobs.

Darwin's theory is simply not supported by the fossil record

By Roger C D'Aquin (not verified) on 12 Oct 2015 #permalink

@Roger C D'Aquin:

Darwin’s theory is simply not supported by the fossil record

Homo Naledi would seem to disprove you.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 12 Oct 2015 #permalink

Darwin’s theory is simply not supported by the fossil record

Ah, the "missing link" fallacy.
Whenever paleontologists find a new fossil to insert into the chain, creationists wail about the gaps between this new fossil and its two neighbors. A variation on Zeno' paradox.

What millions of doctors reject, is the idea of a species evolving into another species.

And yet, the London underground has its own species of mosquito.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 12 Oct 2015 #permalink

@Helianthus:

And yet, the London underground has its own species of mosquito.

Ruddy great big things they are too.

All Doctor’s I know of, Ben Carson included, believe in that species change over time and that natural selection can play a role in that. As such, they understand that germs develop resistance to antibiotics. What millions of doctors reject, is the idea of a species evolving into another species. Academic scientists are afraid to admit their doubts because they will lose their jobs.

Darwin’s theory is simply not supported by the fossil record

First of all, not only is the theory of evolution quite well-supported by the fossil record, it has proved to have significant predictive power for the fossil record, e.g. Tiktaalik -- so on that score you are simply wrong.

Second of all, you do not seem to realize all the implications of what probably seems to you like a minor admission. You acknowledge that species can change over time. But, you say, there is some limit. Let us refer to this as "the species boundary". Species can change over time, but only up to the species boundary; when they encounter the species boundary, the process of change... what? Does it just stop dead? Does it rebound, as if off a wall? Do individuals sometimes in fact cross over that species boundary, only to find that without exception they have paid the ultimate price for their transgression-by-birth, inevitably being sterile or mateless or hopelessly unfit for the process of living?

The reason I have to ask is that actual scientific evidence doesn't support the idea that such "species boundaries" actually exist -- much less the mechanisms to enforce them that would have to exist. If you acknowledge that species can change over time, congratulations, you are right on at least that much. If you want to assert, however, that these "species boundaries" exist which keep species from evolving into other species, the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence for their existence.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 12 Oct 2015 #permalink

I recall Orson Scott Card commenting that if every living thing had died rignt on top of its parents and been perfectly fossilized, there would still be people saying "but where are the transitional forms?".

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 12 Oct 2015 #permalink

Indeed, O Feldspathic One, there is a whole set of debates to be had around the concept of speciation, its limitations and validity - just get a group of taxonomists in a room with some palaeontologists.

On a more prosaic level I can remember doing a botanical survey of an Irish island, crawling around fields with a hand lens, a copy of Clapham, Tutin and Warburg's excursion flora and a monograph on the Dactylorhiza orchids of western Ireland and finding Dactylorhiza specimens showing features belonging to 4 apparently separate species. Little sods those orchids!

Carson, a neurosurgeon who waffled on creationism and vaccines, the alleged educated neurosurgeon, thinks he's a aqualified, presidential candidate ? What a sick statement about the best country in the world USA ? This is a joke, right?
The country that went to the moon six times has people running for the presidency who doubt the utility of vaccines and believe in delusional concepts of creationism, and think they it can deal with the Middel East? We will be eaten alive. We get what we deserve... The end has never been closer. A senator of immigrant parents who's elected to the senate and has the worst senate voting record of any of his peers. He should be turned out of office. He said it doesn't matter because the president will veto anything. He should not be a US Senator. And president? What is it he does not get? Why does the public not think this is relevant?

You also need to remember that science was not a requirement for medical school pre-1977 (the start of MCAT's). Even after that, it took a while before medical schools started considering science as integral to a medical education. Carson got in with a degree in 1970's psychology.... Even today, most science folks will state that psychology is not a science (including myself and I was going to be one until I took 4 classes and realized it was 99% BS).

By thejumpingsheep (not verified) on 08 Nov 2015 #permalink