I have often pointed out that no sooner do I write a post on the buffoonery of various homebirth and anti-vax activists then they rush to double down on their buffoonery.
For example, no sooner did I write a post that the surest sign of ignorance is when someone claims to be “educated” then the nitwits at The Thinking Mom’s Revolution rushed to demonstrate that my claims are true. Not surprisingly, the “Thinking Moms” are the one’s who have trouble with thinking.
Consider this gem of stupidity published only this morning, Featured Guest Blog: Oh, for Shame! But Shame on Who?. It is a truly touching example of how the ignorant ban together to defend each other’s ignorance.
The piece is about me and my attempts to hold Jennifer Margulis accountable for her nonsense, ranging from her claims that ultrasound might cause autism to her masterfully idiotic defense of the hideous homebirth death rates in Oregon (“Amy, Oregon has some of the safest best homebirth stats in the country IF YOU DON’T COUNT PORTLAND…”).
The author of the TMR piece is Jody McGillivray. What are McGilligray’s qualifications for assessing any disputes between Jennifer Margulies and myself?
She is a former K-12 foreign language educator and a volunteer autism legislative insurance reform advocate.
Well if that doesn’t qualify her to adjudicate a dispute about scientific evidence, I don’t know what does!!
Not surprisingly, her “defense” of Margulis is as damning as her lack of qualifications to defend Margulis.
The piece reads like it was written for The Onion. Here she lists Margulis’ qualifications for opining on medical issues.
Dr. Margulis is a magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell University. She was accepted for graduate school at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley (she turned down Harvard to go to Berkeley). After earning a Master’s there, she spent three years doing development work in West Africa and worked in corporate philanthropy in the United States. As the small-project coordinator for Africare/Niger, Margulis built a hanger for handicapped artisans, directed an off-season gardening project with hundreds of rural women, spent two weeks in the bush interviewing very poor women about their health and the health of their families for a needs assessment, and worked on a child survival campaign. She was invited to speak live on prime-time TV in France to talk about the problem of child slavery. Her writing has appeared in so many magazines and newspapers that I couldn’t list them all, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on the cover of Smithsonian magazine.
Exactly! Margulis has NO qualifications of any kind to assess or comment on medical research.
It gets worse:
Oh, and did I mention Jennifer Margulis has a Ph.D.? From Emory University in Atlanta. And four children? And is part of an astonishingly intellectual family that includes at least one Nobel Prize winner (her uncle), a microbiologist who changed our understanding of evolution and whose name is in every Biology text book in the world (her mother), and the former head of the Math department at MIT, who solved several unsolvable problems?
She has a PhD in English! She has smart relatives!
So why does Amy Tuteur think Jennifer Margulis should be included in the “natural childbirth hall of shame?” Her biggest indictment of Dr. Margulis is that Dr. M has no credentials (see above). Her second reason for freaking out? The Business of Baby received two bad reviews.
Earth to Jody! Earth to Jody! My biggest indictment of Jennifer Margulis is that she is WRONG! I didn’t need a scathing review from The New York Times to tell me that Margulis’ book (currently ranked #297,043 on Amazon) is garbage, although I did enjoy Annie Murphy Paul’s takedown:
Inaccurate or inflammatory statements are repeatedly reproduced without adequate substantiation or comment from the other side… Margulis’s treatment of scientific evidence is similarly unbalanced… [U]ltrasound exams of pregnant women may be responsible for rising rates of autism among their children, according to “a commentator in an online article.” This anonymous individual has “used ultrasonic cleaners to clean surgical instruments (and jewelry),” which apparently qualifies him or her to offer an opinion on how the vibration of ultrasound waves may be causing the developmental disorder: “Perhaps this vibration could knock little weak spots in myelin sheeting of nerves or such, I don’t know.”
Jody keeps digging herself in deeper and deeper:
Dr. Margulis was recently in New York City. Why? Because the very same book that Dr. Amy Tuteur (retired)’s followers want you to shred for your hamster cage was nominated as one of five finalists for the prestigious Books For A Better Life Award.
Prestigious? It’s awarded by The New York City-Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. No doubt they do great work supporting people with MS in NYC and Southern New York, but they are hardly the Pulitzer Prize Committee.
Jody thinks this is her coup-de-grace:
Dr. Margulis really seems to have gotten Dr. Amy Tuteur’s (retired) goat. AT concludes her nasty blog with: “Jennifer Margulis has gone from journalist to joke, because of her endless stream of nonsense. Perhaps if she spent more time learning science, and less time worrying about me, she wouldn’t be one of the leading candidates for a spot in my Natural Childbirth Hall of Shame.”
I snorted my herbal ice tea out my nose when I read that. In fact, it is Dr. Tuteur (retired) who needs to spend more time in the actual field of science and less time personally attacking accomplished women who are working hard to make positive changes, to promote safe childbirth, and to champion safer childhood vaccines.
And who would know better than Jody, than a K-12 teacher of foreign languages?
Luckily, Thinking Moms are not so easily duped. We research, we study, we read extensively, and we educate ourselves beyond our degrees to become the best moms we can be. We live in the real world, not on the Internet. We make informed choices, beginning with choosing where to give birth, and we recognize that the decisions we make for our children determine how healthy they will be, and what type of people they will become. Nice try, Amy. But we will not be subjugated, intimidated, or made to feel disempowered by a schoolyard bully.
In other words, the “Thinking Moms” have no idea what they are talking about.
Oh, and Jody, no one is trying to subjugate, intimidate or disempower you. I’m simply trying to make you and Margulis look like the fools that you are. Thanks so much making my job even easier than it already was.