Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bullshit, Incorporated: Science & Medicine

There's a lot of bullshit being slung at the scientific and medicinal communities by fucking idiot celebrities and alternative medicine assholes and eco warrior terrorists and those USRTK fucksticks lately. Yeah, Gary Ruskin, you brainless taint barnacle, I mean you. And I have a few things I want to get off my chest about it.

Thank you in advance for indulging my oddly placid rant. (Not counting the above intro.)


Or as they spell it in Europe, "sceptical." I like the k better, but the c is kinda cool, too. Gives an old-worldy feel to it.

A skeptic is someone who needs evidence before accepting something as true. A skeptic is someone who keeps an open mind to new evidence and changes their opinion of a subject if new evidence is produced that alters a previous concept. People who tout alternative remedies and new-age mysticism often tell people to "keep an open mind" to their bunk. That is the opposite definition of keeping an open mind. Keeping an open mind is not 'denying all evidence or complete lack of evidence and still believing the unbelievable.' Keeping an open mind is, well, see the first two sentences of this paragraph.

Be skeptical.

Outspoken actors who are scientifically illiterate on issues like food processes or vaccines should be labeled as such. I believe we have the right to know that their ignorance of basic science, coupled with their self-righteous, out-of-touch entitlement are not only not helpful, but directly harmful to the safety of people across the globe. 

This also goes for mommy bloggers who have no scientific education on the topic they are speaking out against. The mommy bloggers who "just know" because they "feel" what they say is true because they "did their research" on Google. A degree from Google University, were it an actual tangible piece of paper, wouldn't even be useful as toilet paper due to the sharp, paper-cutty edges. Somehow, giving birth also imparts them with a natural knowledge that no doctor or scientist who spent years in school and decades in research could possibly understand.

This also goes for people who have degrees in certain areas of science, like perhaps computer programming or philosophy or cardiothoracic surgery, yet feel they are qualified to comment on vaccines, genetic engineering or climate science. They are not.

Just label them.

Just because some people are popular because they got naked in a magazine or make the same goofy rubbery facial expression in every movie or played a caregiver on TV in the 80's or pretended to stab vampires or get naked on a cable show a lot for no apparent reason that moves the plot forward or sells cookbooks that have overly expensive recipes because they are so goddamned out of touch with average humans - please don't mistake this for education. It is not education. This does not, however, mean you should not listen to educated people who also happen to be popular. Learn the difference between the two.

Popular does not mean educated.

There are a plethora of websites that tell you vaccines and one particular food process out of dozens is "poison." They cite discredited research papers as their "proof." They make statements that have no evidence to back them up (aka lie). They then cite the discredited research papers again. And again. Finally, after scaring you with lies, they proceed to list all the alternative products they happen to be selling that "actually" work. If someone is selling you an alternative to the thing they say is bad for you, there is a 99.9999% chance they are feeding off your fears. Fears that they themselves exacerbated. Their recommendations can sometimes hurt you. They are called snake oil salesmen. They are frauds. They are cranks. Some are babes. Some are doctors on TV. And they do not want to help you. 

They just want your money.

If you rub your body with completely useless "essential oils" and wave a "healing crystal" over an area to draw out the "bad vibrations" and only eat fresh vegetables or switch to a "Paleo" diet instead of going to a doctor for treatment, you will die of your cancer. Yes. Your cancer will kill you.

There are many cases where people find out they have cancer and elect to follow what their "naturopath" tells them instead of their doctor. Naturopathy is not a real thing. A naturopath is not a doctor. They use naturopathic or homeopathic (not a real thing) or holistic (not a real thing) or some other made-up placebic voodoo witch doctor spell instead of medicine. These new-age tree-hugging hippie remedies are fraudulent. They are nothing more than theatrics and sciency-sounding phrases used with sugar pills. They make up words for their fake remedies that sound scientific to make you think there is research behind their claims (research that they otherwise refute regarding real science).

There is not.

You will die.

There are many cases where the people who have chosen these methods simply get sicker and sicker and sicker. They finally go back to the doctor and the doctor informs them that if they had come to the hospital when first diagnosed six months or a year ago, their localized cancer would have been removable, but now, after all this time spent on new-age nonsense, their cancer has had the time to spread throughout their internal organs and has become inoperable. And they will die a slow, painful death.

Alternative medicine kills.

*****     *****

Tim Minchin's

"Throughout history
every mystery
ever solved
has turned out to be...
not magic."
*****     *****
Here is a list of reputable sources of information online. It is not complete, but it's a start. They're mostly on Facebook; many have their own websites or blogs. Sorry I didn't link them. There are a lot and I'm feeling lazy. Feel free to copy and paste them into your internet browser or Facebook browser. I dare you. S'matter, you chicken?

The Genetic Literacy Project
Dr. Kevin M. Folta
Lawrence M. Krauss
The Credible Hulk
Kavin Senapathy
The Farmer's Daughter
The Skeptic's Guide To The Universe
Science Pony
A Science Enthusiast
Insufferable Intolerance Blog
March Against Myths About Modification
James Fell - Body For Wife
Refutations To Anti-Vaccine Memes
GMO Answers
James Randi
Mommy, PhD
Destroyed By Science
Golden Rice Now
The Skeptical Beard
Ask The Farmers
Mainstream Mandy
Farm Babe
Chow Babe (Satire, but satire is truth)
Stop The Anti-Science Movement
Science, Critical Thinking and Skepticism
Food Hunk
We Love GMOs and Vaccines
I Fucking Hate Pseudoscience
Center For Science In The Public Interest
Kamiya Papaya
The Skeptic's Dictionary

Here is a list of bullshit artists on Facebook that don't care if you die as long as they get your money first. They need to make the payments on their multi-million dollar mansions. Yes, the very thing they claim scientists are doing, getting rich off you, they themselves are the ones actually doing it. They all have their own websites from which to sell you their bullshit. Also not a complete list, but most of the major assholes are here.

March Against Monsanto
Natural News
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Alex Jones/InfoWars
Food Babe
David (Avocado) Wolfe
Billy DeMoss
Modern Alternative Mama
National Vaccine Information Center
Eat Clean. Train Mean. Live Green.
Prevention Magazine
Collective Evolution
Spirit Science
Natural Cures Not Medicine
The Mind Unleashed
Eat Local Grown
Freelee The Banana Girl
Dr. Tenpenny On Vaccines
Dr. Mehmet Oz
Deepak Chopra
Medical Medium
Fearless Parent
Discovery Institute
Consumer Reports (when they stray away from testing product safety & reliability and veer into science regarding GMOs, organic food, mammograms, muscle-building woo, etc.)
Mark Hyman, MD
Organic Consumers Association
Green Grandma
Underground Health
World Truth
Above Top Secret
Prison Planet
Before It's News
Conscious Life News
The Organic & Non-GMO Report
GMO Dangers
Healthy Holistic Living
David Icke
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I Fucking Love Science (once reputable, now devolved into mostly just clickbait)
*****     *****
And here's a website with a list of self-serving bullshit websites -

And for some light reading from The Genetic Literacy Project about a couple actors (should be more than just a couple) -

Monsanto is the "big, unstoppable, evil" corporation that anti-science asshats like to use as the symbol at which they aim their misinformed, self-righteous outrage. But here are...

A bit about anti-science activists being dubious in their witch hunt -

And here is a Reddit AMA from Dr. Folta -
"An anti-biotechnology activist group has targeted 40 scientists, including myself. I am Professor Kevin Folta from the University of Florida, here to talk about ties between scientists and the industry. Ask Me Anything!"

And here's an article explaing how the organic industry is actually doing the thing that their anti-science activists are claiming the GMO industry is doing - "Irony, thy name is Big Organic Shills" Irony, thy name is Big Organic

Chiropractic is not medicine. It's just not. It just is not.
Sciencebasedmedicine: Chiropractors Lobby for Acceptance by the VA and TRICARE 

And please don't make me explain why acupuncture is complete bunk.

*****     *****

How to spot an anti-science quack:
1) They are assholes:

2) They follow very stupid strategies on how to deny facts, and are pleased with their stupidity:

*****     *****

Here's this:
Socially-Networked Science Communication and Outreach

And there's this...
Online Tools For Skeptical Fact Checking

And last but not least,
Fuck Jamie Oliver. He should know better. Or at least try to.

Good day.

 And now for something completely different.

The Ragtime Gals: Bitch Better Have My Money (w/Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

I realize this is a blog and the Microsoft Paperclip at the top makes fun of blogposts as not being credible sources of information, but in all fairness, fuck off. I cite credible sources.

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