The theology of quackery; how pseudoscience has become a secular religion

Adam and Eve

As any doctor or public health official can tell you, it’s hard to combat quackery.

It makes no sense on the face of it. A group of otherwise logical people have fallen headlong for nonsense. It might be anti-vaccine advocacy; it might be supplements; it might be cancer quackery. None of it can be proven and all of it is too good or too easy to be true.

So why are people so gullible?

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Detoxes and cleanses are pseudoscience exorcisms.[/pullquote]

Perhaps we’ve been approaching this the wrong way. Instead of viewing quackery as a form of knowledge, albeit wrong, we might try approaching it as a religion.

What do I mean?

It seems to me that for a large proportion of people, particularly people on the political Left, pseudoscience has become a secular religion, complete with creation myth, demons and ultimate salvation.

Don’t get me wrong: there’s plenty of pseudoscience on the political Right, too. But often that is motivated by adherence to standard religious philosophy, the idea that the Bible is the world of God and that anything that contradicts it cannot be allowed to be true. On the Left, where many abjure religion, quackery has become the new religion.

When you think about it, the religious nature of contemporary quackery is hard to miss.

1. The creation myth

Every religion has a creation myth and quackery is no different. Indeed the quackery creation myth bears a startling resemblance to the creation myth of Judeo-Christian tradition with the difference that God is replaced by “Nature.”

Nature designed human beings to function perfectly in all respects (a state of grace known as “wellness”) and to live in a Paleo Garden of Eden where everyone ate organic, exercised regularly, used only natural remedies and lived to ripe old age and beyond. So what happened?

2. The fall

Human beings fell from grace. The serpent in the Garden was technology, which lured people farther and farther from the state of nature. As a result, people developed diseases like autism, cancer and obesity.

We got sick because we ate from the Tree of Knowledge.

3. Demons

We are now plagued by demons. We might not be able to see them, and we certainly can’t find them with our scientific technology despite its sophistication. Of course we don’t call them demons. We call them toxins.

Toxins function like demons. They are everywhere; they are insidious; and they lie in wait to prey on the weak.

4. Predestination

Just like the Calvinist belief in predestination allowed the spiritual elect to be identified by their wealth and success, quackery has its own version of predestination. In quackery, the spiritual elect can be identified by their good health.

Luck played no role in Calvinist predestination. You weren’t wealthy because you were lucky or even skillful. You were lucky because you had been chosen by God. Luck plays no role in pseudoscience. You aren’t healthy because you are lucky; you’re healthy because you are one of the health elect.

It goes without saying that people who get sick must have done something to deserve it or must have been damaged by demons.

5. The Devil

The Devil is a shape shifter. One day The Devil is technology; the next it is Big Pharma; or perhaps it’s Big Medicine. The Devil is responsible for illness and the only way to remain healthy is to thwart The Devil’s machinations. How? By refusing what the Devil is offering: CHEMICALS!

What are chemicals in quack theology? In contrast to the scientific definition of chemicals that encompasses every single substance both inside and outside the human body, “chemicals” means something different in quackery. It is any substance that has a long, scary name.

6. Exorcism

Disease is caused by toxins, the demons of pseudoscience, so it is hardly surprising that preventing and treating disease involves exorcism, forcing demons from your body by cleansing and detoxifying it.

7. Faith

Like all religions, quackery requires faith in the face of the inability to prove that it works or is true. Of course in quackery they call it “intuition.”

For example, it doesn’t matter to anti-vax advocates that there is no science to support the claim that vaccines cause autism, because their intuition tells them that it does. They explicitly reject rational explanations, and, like true believers everywhere, the persistence of faith in the face of ever greater evidence is treated as a sign of devotion, not gullibility.

8. Priests

Like any religion, quackery has its own priests, the purveyors of quackery goods and services. Instead of offering rational prescriptions for health, quacks offer (for money) superstitions, affirmations, and support in rejecting rationality. They sell substances with no efficacy (herbs, homeopathy) and provide friendship and companionship as a substitute for knowledge.

Andrew Wakefield, the doctor deprived of his medical license because of research misconduct, is one such priest of pseudoscience, though there are many others.

9. Prayer

Affirmations are the pseudoscience version of prayer. Visualizing the destruction of cancer cells and birth affirmations reflect the magical thinking that thoughts have the power to affect outcomes.

10. Salvation

The goal of quackery, like the goal of many religions, is to be saved and welcomed into paradise. In the case of quackery, paradise is a return the imagined state of perfect health “designed” by Nature for blissful life in The Garden.

*****

Approaching quackery as a secular religion has important implications for how we address belief in pseudoscience. It is very difficult to reason people out of beliefs that they didn’t reasons themselves into. Hence education in the sciences, or specific disciplines of immunology, oncology, etc. is doomed to be ineffective. That’s especially true when persisten faith in the face of evidence to the contrary is venerated as devotion.

Pseudoscience as secular religion goes a long way toward explaining the vehemence and vitriol of those who believe in it. When we question anti-vax advocacy, we aren’t merely questioning a specific empirical claim, we’re questioning an entire theology. Is it any wonder then that prominent physicians who try to combat anti-vax beliefs received death threats.

It might be helpful, and more effective, to alert people to the nature of quackery as a secular religion and their faith in it as akin to religious belief. Quackery is more than just ignorance of basic scientific precepts. It reflects a world view that allows people to control their fears around health and disease and imagine themselves as destined for return to the state of wellness afforded by the original health Garden of Eden.

Turning people away from the religion of quackery is going to require more than science education; it’s going to require spiritual conversion.

  • Rozy Lenz

    The only quack I see here is Dr. Tuturro. My father was a chemical engineer. I have worked in industry around hazardous chemicals for much of my life and have paid the price. Only a fool denies the devastating effects of pollutuoon. I don’t know if dr tuturto has been drinking Flint Michigan water or if she’s just a shill for industry, but she seems to lack any comprehension that toxins play a role in disease and destruction. This is exactly the kind of left wing quackery that poses as pragmatism but is just a bunch of lies. Shame on you and be sure to drink gallons of that Flint Michigan water, and maybe visit an oil refinery or two with no protective clothing, and then suck on a bottle of round up. After all, it wonth hurt you, its just a myth.

    • Poogles

      “Tuteur”
      “pollution”
      “won’t”

    • Poogles

      Nowhere does Dr. Amy say that pollution is not an issue or denies the real issues such as the contaminated water in Flint.
      There is a large difference between actual pollution/harmful chemicals and the “natural=good, everything else=TOXINS!!!!!” mindset.

      • Nick Sanders

        And no amount of “detoxing” will help you with lead in your drinking water or a lungful of refinery fumes.

        • Rozy Lenz

          Actually, one of the main components in many detoxification programs is alpha lipoic acid which is not only a free radical scavenger but a powerful chelator, so it does protect you from lead, mercury, and even radiation. While many holistic and new age stuff is bunk, and right wing people line up for coffee enemas to cure their cancer, alpha lipoic acid is being heavily researched. As someone with a chronic disease triggered by environmental factors, alpha lipoic acid has put my disease into remission. Our bodies are natural and organic and more accustomed to natural substances or at least more simplistic molecular structure. Dr. Tuteur has created a new mantra for conservatives to criticize the already struggling and underfunded minority that is trying to clean up the planet and hold business accountable. She also mocks people who prefer to live a simpler, more naturalistic and sustainable lifestyle as quacks. We do need to return to the garden. Dr. Tuteur is just another arrogant narcissistic doctor who believes her personal very limited narrow minded and privileged point of view is supreme and name calls anyone else. If anyone is looking for a toxic waste dump site, I’ll make sure to direct them to her front yard. We don’t need more right wing propaganda. If you have problems with my spelling then you don’t know technology, I’m on an android phone. It corrects your spelling sometimes.

          • Roadstergal

            “more accustomed to natural substances ”

            Like snake venom, magma, diphtheria toxin, c. diff, uranium – all completely natural substances? Or like the unnatural fruits and vegetables we eat, from bananas to watermelon to apples, that have been bred so far from their ‘natural’ ancestors that you would not recognize the latter?

            It’s just more of the naturalistic fallacy.

            I am very familiar with chelators. Chelation is a pretty harsh treatment to put your body through with a lot of dangerous side effects, and is done only for things like acute heavy metal poisoning (or quack ‘treatments’ for autism, which have killed at least one autistic boy).

            Lipoic acid is not a chelator, it’s a compound with potential antioxidant effects (which are generally considered to be an unalloyed good, but are not – your body needs ROS for many purposes, including microbial defense – like everything else, redox is a balance that’s bad if it goes off in either direction). Clinical trials have been underwhelming to negative.

            I’m not even close to a conservative. I’m a liberal, vegetarian, bicycling, sustainability-loving, tree-hugging scientist.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Well you must not be a reader because alpha lipoic acid is a chelators as well as an antioxidant, so much for your false dichotomy. Why don’t you actually do some research. OMG not only is this dr. So dumb, but her defenders are really stupid. Here’s a link to the National Institute if Healths article on alpha lipoic acids role as a heavy metal chelator. You are no expert so just stop showing how stupid you are.
            https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12495372&ved=0ahUKEwiFzIGu2PbNAhXJLSYKHTRxAdAQFggmMAM&usg=AFQjCNHfQk6-soEhvRl1lfHX0KOEvBgpcw&sig2=yDULz3PvmRGzHQAWp1AVmg

            Yes our bodies do handle natural toxins pretty easily compared to the Frankenstein molecules big pharma comes up with. Natural toxins work very well to hurt and kill us. They have evolved as we have. Subintelligents like the good doctor and yourself patch together words and ideas to form noise that only resembles a valid point of view and live to tell people they are wrong by perpetuating lies.

            You couldn’t even Google alpha lipoic acid and chelation. You’re a failure.

          • Charybdis

            Puh-leeze. What about the lies the natural folks tell? Stuff like “Naturopaths are the same as doctors”, “Vaccines are harmful” and “supplements are pure and will never harm you”?

          • Heidi_storage

            Yeah, nobody ever died from tetanus until those Big Pharma folks started butting in!

            Um, minor point here, the article you cited is in a journal called Alternative Medicine Review, which is completely unaffiliated with the National Institutes of Health. It is indexed on PubMed, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, but the mere fact that it exists on PubMed is no guarantee of its quality nor an implication that the NIH somehow approves of the article.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Yeahhhh bs. Attack the publication because you can’t admit you’re wrong, WRONG. There’s footnotes. And peer reviewed just means establishment. But there’s many more articles out there so you can find the one that suits you, or you can remain ignorant, which is what you intend to do because people who can’t admit they are wrong never learn. They are stupid. And its their own fault. Or corrupt.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Big pharma had nothing to do with the invention of the tetanus vaccine!! Do you not know what big pharma is?
            Big Pharma is the nickname given to the world’s vast and influential pharmaceutical industry and its trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or PhRMA. These powerful companies make billions of dollars every year by selling drugs and medical devices.

          • guest

            Did you actually read that article? Tell me, in your own words, what their *conclusion* was. Because I did read it, and I see no evidence that alpha lipoic acid is the miracle cure you’re claiming it is in that article.

          • Heidi_storage

            I’m a conservative, and I agree with your post. Facts are facts, no matter which bozo you vote for.

            Actually, I’m kind of confused; one moment she’s berating commenters for being rightwingers, and the next disgustedly thinking that the commenters probably vote for Hillary. Do rightwingers support Hillary? I haven’t met any who own up to doing so….

          • Nick Sanders

            The more fanatical Bernie supporters think anyone to the right of Karl Marx is a horrible fascist.

          • Heidi_storage

            Oh, thanks for clearing that up. Honestly, I know left-wing and right-wing people with similar views to good ol’ Rozy, here, so it’s hard for me to understand why she’s been making such a big point of political affiliation.

          • Charybdis

            I think she’s trying to be insulting, but it’s falling rather flat.

          • Nick Sanders

            And I say that as someone who liked Bernie until I found out about his anti-science stances and completely underwhelming plans for achieving goals if elected.

          • corblimeybot

            Her kind of crazy seems even distributed across party lines.

          • Charybdis

            It attempts to correct your spelling. If you KNOW the proper way to spell a word, you don’t have to accept the autocorrect.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Not mine. And if you can’t deal with it, don’t read it. Gosh you people are so petty. Probably stupid Hillary supporters

          • Charybdis

            So your phone is smarter than you are?

            Petty? Nope. Not at all. Just not inclined to fall hook, line and sinker for all the “Natural is ALWAYS better” tripe that gets bandied around masquerading as proper science.

          • Rozy Lenz

            I’m glad you believe that. Natural selection will out.

          • Nick Sanders

            Funny you should say that. If it were up to natural selection you’d be dead, thanks to that chronic illness of yours.

            But hey, if you really want to hitch your wagon to that horse, be my guest.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Not really, my illness was triggered by environmental toxins, man made substances that would not normally be found occurring in nature. So I wouldn’t have even gotten sick. Guess you didn’t read that part of my post. Thank for throwing my illness in there. Real class.

          • Nick Sanders

            You’re the one who gloated about Charybdis dying. You’re the one throwing around insults left and right. You have no room to talk about “class”.

          • Charybdis

            One could argue that you started it. You brought up your illness, not us. And you using it to shill for your supplements is not the epitome of class either.

          • MaineJen

            There it is.

          • Nick Sanders

            Let’s see how many points I can rebut:
            What I’m finding on lipoic acid is scattershot and preliminary, and failed to convince me of it’s effectiveness. If you have some good solid studies with evidence of benefit to show me, I’d be willing to look them over.
            Anti-oxidant supplementation is pretty much all marketing hype with no good science behind it.
            Chelation is very risky, and should only be done by a medical professional in a clinical setting in response to diagnosed toxicity, not over the counter or prophylactically.
            Chelation does nothing for radiation poisoning.
            Anecdotes are not data.
            “Natural” and “organic” are meaningless terms. Natural substances are in no way special.
            If you think our bodies our accustomed to “simplistic molecular structure”, you’ve never taken a look at a protein.
            Dr. Tuteur has not created any “mantra”, let alone one opposing environmentalism.
            “Appeal to Nature” is a fallacy, and you need to define sustainability and demonstrate how whatever method you propose better meets those criteria and the needs of the world before saying it’s “more sustainable”.
            Define “the garden”, please.
            Your ad hominems are meaningless.
            And if you want to blame spell check (an I use an Android phone as well), maybe you should have spelled “pollution” correctly.

          • Roadstergal

            To be fair, “organic” is a term with meaning in chemistry. Not Rozy’s meaning, of course…

          • Rozy Lenz

            Did you ever stop to think that some people have physical limitations? God you people are sick, arguing over spelling, not understanding technology. All your rebuts have no supporting evidence. Show some proof. In fact you cannot. There are thousands of research projects looking at alpha lipoic acid, but you assume and don’t research, the hallmark of stupidity. Your arrogance prevents you from even googling. Alpha lipoic acid is currently used to treat numerous conditions in countries around the world. In fact, the us govt has an alpha lipoic acid specialist dr. Berkson. He used lipoic acid to save young men who had consumed the angel of death mushroom, the only case where anyone survived. Alpha lipoic acid did what no other known substance can do. It is a front line treatment in aids. It is prescribed in Germany for diabetic neuropathy, it is only available by prescription there. It was given by the military to children at Chernobyl to treat radiation poisoning. It puts primary biliary cirrhosis and lupus in remission. It is prescribed with low dose naltrexone to treat these conditions. It is recommended with ursodiol as a treatment for fatty liver. On increases insulin sensitivity. It causes apoptosis of most forms of cancer in mice. But doctors are too lazy to know this and too stupid and uncaring to provide info to their patients because they believe everything natural us quackery. Most of our effective drugs are natural substances. If big pharma doesn’t own it a doctor won’t touch it. That makes you a shill.

          • Nick Sanders
          • Charybdis

            Why do we have to continually reiterate this: If you are the one making an outrageous claim, YOU are the one who has to provide reputable citations. Telling someone to “Google it” and to “Do your own research” is NOT acceptable proof, nor is it an acceptable citation.

            The burden of proof is on you, since you are the one making the outrageous claims. *waits expectantly*

          • Rozy Lenz

            What outrageous claim have I made? I think its absolutely hilarious how arrogant and uninformed you all are. So much for American intellect. You jump on me for my spelling. Then make generalizations and assumptions with no links to back it up, you get mad when I tell you to research. We both are required to back up our assertions. I apologize for thinking that you actually researched and knew something about supplements and vitamins or or environmental toxins or the impact of chemicals and GMOs on farming andstarvation, before you condemn these things. But you are just mad that I corrected you and showed you to be stupid. Honestly, you’ll need more humility if you intend to actually learn something. There’s a word for people who can’t admit they are wrong: stupid.

          • Nick Sanders
          • Heidi_storage

            Ad hominem attacks are logically fallacious and don’t establish your points.

          • Charybdis

            I have no problems admitting when I am wrong. Sadly, I’m not wrong about unsupported miracle claims of natural supplements.

          • Heidi_storage

            Some disjointed thoughts in response to your rather rambling post:

            Ahh, the magical cure-all. If only it were true! People are insisting that many, substances cure EVERYTHING if taken in sufficiently high quantities. Vitamin C and turmeric seem to be especially popular nostrums.

            Since when does amanita consumption result in a 100% death rate?

            Poor Soviet kids.

            We all have physical limitations, some of us quite severe ones. Not sure what your point is, or what that has to do with understanding technology; Stephen Hawking’s physical limitations are pretty pronounced, and he seems quite comfortable with science-type things.

            Looks like we should all be eating our red meat and organ meat if we’re not healthy enough to make sufficient alpha lipoic acid, according to this site

            http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/alphalipoic-acid

            I note that the substance has shown promise in some areas, but that, as usual, the available evidence is generally preliminary and not especially strong.

            Many of our effective drugs have been purified from natural substances. Others are entirely synthetic. Who cares about their origin? If they’re safe and effective, they’re good medicine. Most natural remedies are not effective, and many are unsafe because of the appallingly lax regulation of the supplement industry.

          • Nick Sanders

            I looked up Pripyat, and it wasn’t a military town, so I wonder what those kids were doing there…

          • Rozy Lenz
          • Nick Sanders

            Try something with credibility, please.

            Also, even if that were a believable source, the only mention of chelation is on the title bar.

          • Rozy Lenz

            I gave you a link, educate yourself or provide a link from an article you think is reputable showing me that alpha lipoic acid is not a chelator, which you cannot do because its not true and you are WRONG!!!

          • Nick Sanders

            I don’t have to prove it’s not a chelator, because you never proved it was, and whether or not it’s a chelator is irrelevant to the argument I actually made, which is that chelation is not a useful treatment for radiation exposure.

            Also, your link is a blog post flogging a book, with no further backing. That’s not a reliable source of information.

          • Rozy Lenz

            No you said it was not a chelator that is what I was addressing, you’re welcome. Heres a link that gives q timeline of research and sources. I originally read a book by berkson on it but I can’t find it for free anymore. There’s just so much alternative med crap in the way Ive gone through several pages and want to sleep. All the crap aside, check it out and take some yourself, just not too late at night. It’ll keep you awake. Take a multi bit with it because it uses biotin, I have to take a lot of that, and b vitamins like thiamine. Geronova is a vitamin manufacturer, they are the people making the stuff. There’s no money for research into this. Dr. Berkson is a good source he worked for the govt. Like public health or something. He does the low dose naltrexone and ala research and the cancer case studies.
            https://geronova.com/researchers/r-lipoic-acid-timeline/

          • Nick Sanders

            http://www.skepticalob.com/2016/05/the-theology-of-quackery-how-pseudoscience-has-become-a-secular-religion.html#comment-2785389583

            Chelation does nothing for radiation poisoning.

            Even if I had said it wasn’t a chelator, your link does nothing to prove it is one, because, as I previously pointed out, the only mention of chelation is in the title bar at the top of the page. The blog post talks about it being an antioxidant.

          • Charybdis

            Wasn’t it the amusement park that was getting ready to open when the disaster happened?

          • Nick Sanders

            No idea, but the Wikipedia article on the pre-meltdown city said it had no travel restrictions because it was not of military importance, bases or troops among it’s structures and inhabitants.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Wikipedia now there’s a reliable source, the source of evey high school kid.

          • Nick Sanders

            Weren’t you just complaining about someone attacking your sources?

          • Rozy Lenz

            Wow, great cynicism. Too bad it makes you look like a fool. The following article discusses the use of lipoic acid at Chernobyl and references the children if you bother to read it. I’ll provide a link, but before you assume and make statements you presume to be fact, you might research them first.
            http://healthyhealingcentergoa.blogspot.com/2011/09/radiation-poisoning-part-i-treatment.html?m=1

            I agree on the point of lax regulation. I have huge problems with people like the gershons and their fake cancer treatment. Yes there’s crap out there. But there’s a place for vitamins and supplements in medicine and research, not everything has to be patented or produced by eli lilly to be effective.

          • Heidi_storage

            Sorry, could you point out the bit that makes me look like a fool? I did read your link, and am not convinced that somebody’s blog page claims of miraculous cure are reliable evidence that alpha lipoic acid fixes radiation poisoning. I feel very sorry for the Soviet children who experienced increased rates of cancer because of the Chernobyl disaster, and would have been so glad to hear that they were “fixed” with this miraculous substance.

          • Azuran

            Your link is a blogpost, in a clearly biased blog.
            And you go around accusing all medical research of being biased.

          • Rozy Lenz

            So find another. I picked that because of the level of detail. But you’re just trolling cuz youre WRONG and can’t admit it and that makes you STUPID. So just keep being stupid. I like you that way.

          • Azuran

            So you think that it’s MY job to prove you right?
            Also, this was my first post in this conversation. I offered no details on whether or not I was with or against you, and was not insulting you in any way, I only pointed out that the data you were showing was totally biased and unreliable as proof. The fact that you answered with insults shows a great deal of maturity on you part.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Do you know Stephen Hawking? I have met him many times. He used to come over to my mother-in-laws for dinner.

          • Heidi_storage

            I don’t. How nice for you!

          • Rozy Lenz

            I just thought since you were throwing his name around that you knew him. I guess dr. Hawking fits your stereotype of a disabled person. Wow. You do need some sensitivity training.

          • Charybdis

            As do you. Dr. Hawking is mentally brilliant, but you cannot deny that he IS physically disabled. Lou Gehrig’s disease certainly DOES disable you.

          • demodocus

            A lot of us regulars have health issues and/or disabilities. I’m hearing impaired and my husband is blind, due to scarlet fever and congenital rubella respectively.
            DH blesses the modern medicine that has kept him from being going completely blind nearly 40 years ago, even though it was the then modern technique of cataract removal that left him with glaucoma. (A much rarer complication these days.)
            Which reminds me, I need to post a picture of our daughter with her eyes open to the background of our computer so he can see what she looks like.

          • Nick Sanders

            And my aunt has tea with the Queen of Denmark.

          • Who?

            I’d totally join them. I like tea and northern europeans.

          • demodocus

            Mine has tea with the Empress of the Iguana People.

          • BeatriceC

            Hmmm. Your father is a chemical engineer, a generally well-paid profession, and you run in circles that would allow you to meet and marry somebody who’s mother is friends with Stephen Hawking, which would be fairly well-off circles, but you for some reason used to be able to eat only once every three days, which generally only happens in extreme poverty situations.

            I smell a liar.

          • Who?

            You make an interesting point.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Wow this is great. In our little discussion you’ve managed to throw Dr. Hawking under the bus, insulted the irradiated children of Chernobyl, stereotyped disabled people, insulted people in third world countries implying they are just too niave to make good decisions, insulted intellectuals everywhere claiming they would not associate with the poor, mocked my ability or lack there of to type well, and called me a liar for being poor In my youth becauae you see that as an insurmountable obstacle to living a good life and being successful. Yeah you’re pretty stupid and incompetent trolls. This has been real. What a hoot.

          • Nick Sanders

            I get the feeling reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. Unlike, say, wishing death on people who make choices you disagree with.

          • Who?

            Thanks so much. Don’t know why you’re jumping down my throat, I’m just popping in and out between interacting with my family, learning a foreign language, cooking and getting on with life.

            Was this your flounce?

          • Rozy Lenz

            I just didn’t want you to feel left out but really it was a group post since everyone helped. You didn’t really, you just had tea in Denmark. It was really kind of sweet.

          • Who?

            Go and tell Charybdis all about the tetanus, do.

          • Charybdis

            Nobody threw Stephen Hawking under the bus. You have been petulant, rude, condescending and cranky as hell because we won’t agree with your far-fetched verbal vomit.

            Indignantly throwing a hissy fit, metaphorically stomping your feet and ranting about the fact that we refuse to lap up your BSC *knowledge * as verified scientific data marks you as “stupid and incompetent”.

          • corblimeybot

            If you really know Stephen Hawking, you’re the one throwing him under a bus. By using him as a cheap tactic to derail conversation, in the name of nonsense he’d never condone.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Whybwould you suppose that all intellectuals are as phony as you are? Some intellectuals value human beings and aren’t prejudiced to the point they don’t associate with someone who is or was poor. In fact, it is often the contrary. Only q degenerate racist, classist person would assume otherwise. It is truly telling of how you would act or behave and has nothing to do with what anyone else would really do.

          • Who?

            So you’re an intellectual? Interesting.

          • BeatriceC
          • Nick Sanders

            Oh, hey, a fellow Mac user!

          • Who?

            Me too!!!

          • BeatriceC

            Oh, dear FSM, you should have seen me at the Apple Store today. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I had a number of issues all come to a head at once so I was at the Genius Bar with two laptops (both MacBook Air), two iPhones (one 6 plus, one 6s plus) and my iPad trying to get it all sorted out. At one point I looked at all these devices in an arc around me and just couldn’t help but laugh.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Wow really into spelling, guess its the only way to attack me. I believe that Dr Tuteur has defined the garden, refer to that. The appeal to nature fallacy you project on me and others is just a childish way of stereotyping those who disagree with you. I grow my own food and raise eggs because I don’t like to eat poison and I don’t like to support factory farming and the current mainstream food supply. You can deny that toxins exist and that they hurt you, and you can consumes vegetables with numerous toxic substances on them. I lost my fruit this year because we had no bees. You can deny that these toxic substance cause harm, but that does not make it so. You can debunk as quackery the research your colleagues do. It just makes the world a worse place. I don’t consider GMOs to be a good thing or to be natural, its a disgusting and measure to maximize profits for bad farming practices , there is a sacredness in life, I don’t get my food wrapped in plastic. Its called having a soul. You should try it. Oh and don’t think I’m not familiar with scientists and atheism and the disdain for religion and culture that goes along with it. My exhusbad haa written several books you probably read in college on evolutionary microbiology.Its time people learned to live with nature, not constantly try to change it just because they can.

          • Nick Sanders

            You seem really hung up on the spelling, despite it being the last, most minor point in my post. And I’m not projecting a thing. Do you even know what projection is?

            https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/36/Appeal_to_Nature
            http://www.fallacyfiles.org/adnature.html

            And do you mind sticking to one topic at a time instead of going off on gigantic aimless rambles?

          • Heidi_storage

            It’s awesome you can grow your own food and raise chickens. It doesn’t make you morally superior. And things like GMOs, fertilizers, artificially-bred cultivars, and pesticides have saved hundreds of millions of lives that would otherwise have been lost to starvation, for those less privileged than you.

            “Sacredness in life”? Yes, I believe in that. I believe in God, and in the value of the human soul, and because of that I do not like to see preventable death and illness. This is why I’m a fan of the Green Revolution (although I absolutely agree it brings environmental challenges with it), and this is why I’m a fan of modern medicine (which is far from perfect, but really very good at helping people live to a ripe old age with a decent quality of life).

            By all means, let’s clean up pollution and reduce exposure to environmental hazards. Who disagrees with that? But the way to do it is not to return to some mythical idyllic past, but to work out solutions that recognize current realities.

          • Rozy Lenz

            You can try to defend the current use of chemicals in factory farming by claiming they kept people from starving, but there is no evidence to show that is true or that another method would have worked better. Perhaps better solutions could have been discovered. Poisoning our soil for hundreds of years to come, cumulatively is ridulous. So you die of cancer instead of starving. Don’t talk to me about privilege or supremacy. It was the stupid article that you are defending that called people like me quacks and deluded for trying to live in more in harmony with nature. I’m just pointing out I do what I do for my health because I respect the huge body of research done by the scientific community that exposes the dangers of chemical pesticides and the like. The stuff is toxic and has a long half-life and I’d like to see a link to any real sound research to show that it has impacted starvation. As for modern medicine, most meds created after 1950 or 60 are largely crap. Sure there’s some recently invented or discovered drug that improve health, but most have horrendous side effects and dont cure anything, perhaps treat symptoms. I’m sure you’ll point out some that save lives, but the industry, whether big pharma or insurance, has contaminated your research, universities, and scholarly work so that doctors don’t know how to practice medicine and medicines don’t cure. And if the use of chemicals in farming has been such a boon to the starving, why is one third world country after another fighting to get rid of Monsanto, get rid of the chemicals and get rid of GMOs?

          • Heidi_storage

            So which is it–respecting the huge body of research done by the scientific community, or rejecting industry-contaminated research? Sounds like science is okay when you think it proves what you want it to prove, and not okay when it comes up with conclusions you disagree with. That isn’t how science works.

            Pesticides used in the US are generally pretty safe. We should work toward seeing the same be true worldwide. There absolutely is concern about affecting watersheds with pesticide and fertilizer runoff, but returning to worldwide subsistence farming would be a disaster (including an ecological disaster, as vast swaths of uncultivated land would have to be turned into farmland).

            It’s a shame that third-world countries are being lied to about GMOs.

            Heck yes, I’d rather die of cancer at 75 than starvation at 5. Wouldn’t you?

            Why may I not call attention to the fact that you have a great deal of privilege, far more than the millions of people from whose mouths you would like to rip food? I fully admit that I am privileged, too; I have a garden (no chickens, though). I can afford organic stuff, though I don’t bother since there isn’t any nutritional difference between “organic” and “conventional” veggies.

            Sigh. I can’t even begin to address your very strange claim that meds produced after the 60s are crap. Would anyone else like to list a few for our intrepid heroine?

          • Rozy Lenz

            You really believe the chemicals used is agriculture in the us are safe? Even if you ignore the long half-life and research to the contrary, can you ignore the recent algal blooms in lake Erie linked to round up? My father was a chemical engineer and my sister worked at an agricultural research station that researched round up and other chemicals. And your experience? What do you know about the subject, are you an expert? The basis for your opinion is what you want to believe and a lack of critical skills causes you to mistake that for fact. Check out the meds data sheets on these chemicals. This whole conversation is stupid since I’m the only one capable of prividi g documentation and have to endure really stupid arrogant crap. Narcissists are so freaking stupid and they think they’re so smart. This really is the reason our medical care is horrible in this country.

            I have starved when I was young, literally starved. I went for several months only being able to eat every three days. You lecture me about privilege? And you never answered the most important question. If GMOs and chemicals are so great for starving people, then why are these same people trying to stop GMOs and chemicals from being used? Oh I guess its because they are stupid quacks like dr. Tuteur points out. Yeah well enough playing with the people with narcissistic personality disorder. I got better things to do. I’ll be sure to recommend this great book as the racist piece of crap it is.

          • Harry McNicholas

            Oh yes there is Rozy. Organic farming is great for the well off western palate but sorry it will not grow enough food to feed the poor.

          • guest

            Funny, I buy my eggs and other food at the supermarket because I don’t like to eat poison.

          • Rozy Lenz

            You obviously know nothing about egg or poultry farming. I’m glad you eat store bought eggs.

          • Who?

            So you don’t care about the chickens that lay those eggs then, just the humans who eat them who are, according to your values, worthless?

            Interesting.

            As Beatrice suggests, you are a hard one to peg.

          • Nick Sanders

            She seems pretty clear to me. No lie is too transparent to support her position, while anyone who disagrees is clearly an evil person worthy of the vilest slander she can imagine, regardless of any lack of credible basis. Check out her hurling the word racist around despite no mention, or even hint, or race being discussed. It’s simply the worst thing she can thing of that she thinks might stick.

          • Who?

            She’s actually quite sweet. Far too cranky to take seriously. Like a giant two year old-no filter. In need of a nice long nap and perhaps laying off the stimulants.

          • Charybdis

            Maybe a time-out is in order as well…

          • Harry McNicholas

            What about starving kids who raise chickens that wasy to eat?

          • Harry McNicholas

            So you have some science to back up your claim

          • Harry McNicholas

            I like poison. All this might make you feel good but sorry no science to back you up.

          • Harry McNicholas

            Hm I thought organic meant carbon based?

          • Nick Sanders

            Technically yes; but in this case, context indicated she was referring to “organic” farming.

          • Harry McNicholas

            Ah carbon based farming. Very nice.

          • Who?

            How do you know your disease was triggered by environmental factors?

            And if you like a more simple, naturalistic and sustainable lifestyle, why are you on the internet?

            It’s a bit rich to get upset with Dr T for name calling when you’re variously attacking people as left wing and right wing, for the grand sin of not finding you awesome on the internet.

          • Rozy Lenz

            Why do you have to get into personal attacks and avoid admitting you’re wrong and apologizing? I wasted time reading her crap and responding to you to see if you had any redeemable qualities. You make prouncements on what you call facts that are assumptions and have made no effort yo back up your claims. Its you who failed. You are upset I didn’t think dr tuteurs crap was awesome and jumped on me. The problem is that her work is indefensible, it is arrogant, biased, fictitious, and offensive. It is culturally and racially insensitive. Its a joke. Now go drink your round up and chew some more lead paint flakes. And maybe have a little thalidomide.
            BTW big pharma did not invent the tetanus vaccine. Factory farming has increased cases of tetanus and other disease in spite of medication. Once again the implicit buaa that only medicine treats and prevents disease. No lifestyle works well too. Oh but that’s an alternative approach, its quackery.

          • Nick Sanders

            Why do you have to get into personal attacks

            I’d like to ask you the same question.

          • Who?

            Pleasure meeting you too.

            I’m sorry your natural life hasn’t left you with a better temperament-or perhaps this is you at your best.

          • Charybdis

            I’m going to poke the cat…..

            How exactly has factory farming increased the incidence of tetanus?

    • Nick Sanders

      Quick question, who are Drs. Tuturro and Tuturto?

      • guest
        • Nick Sanders

          I’m not sure what the picture is supposed to mean.

          • Roadstergal

            That’s the actor John Turturro.

          • Nick Sanders

            Ahh…

          • Roadstergal

            (I think he’s quite good)

          • Nick Sanders

            I’m bad with names in general, so I mostly only know the names of A-listers, even in works I’m pretty fond of.

          • Roadstergal

            He’s been in a few Coen brothers movies, in the docudrama Quiz Show, in Brain Donors, a ’90s reboot of A Night At The Opera (not well-reviewed, although I liked it), and in just about every other movie ever made. :p He was also Monk’s brother in a few eps of Monk, as he has a similar Generically Ethnic look as Tony Shalhoub does.

          • guest

            He’s a great actor. I don’t think he’s responsible for poisoning anyone or delivery any babies, though.

          • Roadstergal

            I think he’d be really great in a Coen brothers movie as someone who accidentally poisons someone or accidentally has to deliver a baby…

          • guest

            +1

        • Roadstergal

          Ha, that was exactly my first thought!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I just watched O Brother Where Art Thou? this afternoon.

          “Of course it’s Pete – look at him!”

          • Charybdis

            “Isn’t this a geographical oddity?!? Two weeks from everywhere!!”

            “We thought you was a toad!”

            I love that movie!

          • MaineJen

            …I just don’t think that’s Pete.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “…we were fixin’ to fornicate, too”

          • Roadstergal

            We saw Barton Fink over the weekend. Waaaacky.

    • demodocus

      There are real toxins and then there is the stuff anti-vaxxers imagine are in vaccines

    • Roadstergal

      The stuff you’d find in the water in Flint and at an oil refinery are generally poisons, not toxins. Toxins are poisonous substances made by living organisms – diphtheria toxin, tetanus toxin, botulism toxin, etc. Pro-tip.

      For all poisons, the dose makes the poison – after all, you can drink a poisonous amount of pure water, and people have died doing so. Our measurements have gotten so good, we can detect many ‘poisons’ at levels where they are utterly harmless – as an example, formaldehyde is poisonous at high concentrations, but it’s made by our cells as a normal part of metabolism, and is obviously safe at those levels.

      Comparing situations of an obvious, acute poisonous threat to the alt-med-ers ‘toxins’ gambit is simply not the way anything works, to take a phrase from a certain insurance company commercial.

    • guest
  • Einelorelei

    I notice that it’s those on the far ends of the political spectrum that tend to fall for the quacks.

    There’s also those egotistical types who want to prove how alternative they are and are willing to sacrifice their kids to prove that they’re cool and anti establishment.

  • Nick Sanders

    It’s funny, we get called shills, and yet hear we now have to parachuters promoting themselves, one hyping their appearance at a conference, the other talking up their book.

    Can you imagine how long we’d be hearing about it if we did such things?

  • rosross

    To address some of the claims.

    “Every religion has a creation myth and quackery is no different. Indeed the quackery creation myth bears a startling resemblance to the creation myth of Judeo-Christian tradition with the difference that God is replaced by “Nature.”

    This is akin to judging any religion by the fundamentalist extremists, perhaps, and also, by judging without a thorough research being done into that which you condemn.

    Most of those who question science and particularly medical science, do not replace God with Nature and simply reject the theology that Science is a God replacement and an arbiter on all things.

    “Nature designed human beings to function perfectly in all respects (a state of grace known as “wellness”) and to live in a Paleo Garden of Eden where everyone ate organic, exercised regularly, used only natural remedies and lived to ripe old age and beyond. So what happened?”

    No, this is not the view of most of those who question science/medicine. You should expand your information source from Fox News and Wikipedia. Some of that rigorous research capacity should come into play.

    The most common view is that the body is a complex organism where disease is sourced in a myriad of factors, and no doubt some we do not yet recognise, including psychological, biological, physiological, mental, emotional, physical, environmental, circumstantial, and for some spiritual and that the Allopathic approach of removing or repressing symptoms is unlikely to bring about cure and is akin to a mechanic, wishing to ‘solve the problem’ of a warning light flashing, simply cutting the wire which turns it on and not addressing the cause of the problem in the first place.

    There is also a general view, sourced in substantial research, that modern
    Allopathic medicine is often harmful even as it fails to cure, and that toxic medications and invasive, primitive treatments – medication for life and having body parts regularly removed – is not healing.

    And with iatrogenic, allopathic doctor or hospital, deaths now at third, after Cancer and Heart Disease, and rising, seeing a doctor has become a dangerous lifestyle choice.

    Many also dislike the concept of ‘maybe medicine’ where you and your child are treated for diseases you do not have and may never get.

    The ‘Eden’ if you like is recognising that the body ultimately heals and cures and all medical treatments are simply supports for this process. Modern science/medicine rests on the delusion that the human body is no different to a man-made machine or piece of equipment and it can be treated as such.

    2. The fall

    “Human beings fell from grace. The serpent in the Garden was technology, which lured people farther and farther from the state of nature. As a result, people developed diseases like autism, cancer and obesity.

    We got sick because we ate from the Tree of Knowledge.”

    You might like to provide substantiated sources for this supposed belief. It is new to me.

    The ‘fall’ if you like was the domination of life and times by the profit and power-driven pharmaceutical and medical industries where doctors became secretaries ordering tests and chemists prescribing toxic medication. By the way, most iatrogenic deaths are from prescribed medication so this approach has been a dangerous failure one could argue.

    The ‘fall’ is also the science/medical delusion that popping a pill or wielding a knife can fix any problem. Cut it out, drug it out, is the militaristic approach and clearly a failure as chronic and serious disease rises, more so in children.

    3. Demons

    “We are now plagued by demons. We might not be able to see them, and we certainly can’t find them with our scientific technology despite its sophistication. Of course we don’t call them demons. We call them toxins.

    Toxins function like demons. They are everywhere; they are insidious; and they lie in wait to prey on the weak.”

    Not really. This sounds like a materialist reductionist mechanistic approach. More people are aware that just as polluted water is not good for one, neither is polluted food or environment.

    We don’t call them toxins, we recognise them as toxic – i.e. toxins.

    4. Predestination

    “Just like the Calvinist belief in predestination allowed the spiritual elect to be identified by their wealth and success, quackery has its own version of predestination. In quackery, the spiritual elect can be identified by their good health.

    Luck played no role in Calvinist predestination. You weren’t wealthy because you were lucky or even skillful. You were lucky because you had been chosen by God. Luck plays no role in pseudoscience. You aren’t healthy because you are lucky; you’re healthy because you are one of the health elect.

    It goes without saying that people who get sick must have done something to deserve it or must have been damaged by demons.”

    Oh dear. Substantive links for this as well. It’s a new one.

    5. The Devil

    “The Devil is a shape shifter. One day The Devil is technology; the next it is Big Pharma; or perhaps it’s Big Medicine. The Devil is responsible for illness and the only way to remain healthy is to thwart The Devil’s machinations. How? By refusing what the Devil is offering: CHEMICALS!

    What are chemicals in quack theology? In contrast to the scientific definition of chemicals that encompasses every single substance both inside and outside the human body, “chemicals” means something different in quackery. It is any substance that has a long, scary name.”

    This would be humorous if it were not so silly.

    6. Exorcism

    “Disease is caused by toxins, the demons of pseudoscience, so it is hardly surprising that preventing and treating disease involves exorcism, forcing demons from your body by cleansing and detoxifying it.”

    No, disease is the result of a body challenged beyond its capacity. That is science, nothing pseudo about it.

    Those who follow the detoxify path are minimal. Most people who are aware opt to limit the level of challenge, toxins, their body has to deal with.

    Cleansing, or fasting, is sourced in ancient knowledge and demonstrable effect. Ditto for meditation. Science is catching up on such knowledge, slowly, but it will get there.

    7. Faith

    “Like all religions, quackery requires faith in the face of the inability to prove that it works or is true. Of course in quackery they call it “intuition.”

    For example, it doesn’t matter to anti-vax advocates that there is no science to support the claim that vaccines cause autism, because their intuition tells them that it does. They explicitly reject rational explanations, and, like true believers everywhere, the persistence of faith in the face of ever greater evidence, is treated as a sign of devotion, not gullibility.”

    No faith whatsoever required. One could argue given the kill and injure rate of modern Allopathic medicine, more faith is involved than in non-Allopathic medicine.

    Those who believe vaccines are a trigger for Autism do not base their opinions on faith or intuition but on facts and research. You should try research some time.

    8. Priests

    “Like any religion, quackery has its own priests, the purveyors of quackery goods and services. Instead of offering rational prescriptions for health, quacks offer (for money) superstitions, affirmations, and support in rejecting rationality. They sell substances with no efficacy (herbs, homeopathy) and provide friendship and companionship as a substitute for knowledge.

    Andrew Wakefield, the doctor deprived of his medical license because of research misconduct, is one such priest of pseudoscience, though there are many others.”

    I take it you remain utterly ignorant of non-Allopathic medical modalities like Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Herbal and Nutritional medicine.

    By the way, Wakefield’s research is now being validated. His only error was linking the damage to gut function to the MMR. Naughty boy challenging the pharmaceutical industry.

    9. Prayer

    “Affirmations are the pseudoscience version of prayer. Visualizing the destruction of cancer cells and birth affirmations reflect the magical thinking that thoughts have the power to affect outcomes.”

    Ah, mockery, the resort of the ill-informed. For what it is worth there are quite a few Oncologists who encourage such affirmation and visualization but you would not know that.

    10. Salvation

    “The goal of quackery, like the goal of many religions, is to be saved and welcomed into paradise. In the case of quackery, paradise is a return the imagined state of perfect health “designed” by Nature for blissful life in The Garden.”

    What a ridiculous goal. Fancy seeking optimal health. No wonder Allopathic medicine does so much harm.

    Here’s a book you might like:

    Quote:

    However, it is in the field of medicine that this unconscious transposition of the religious experience — and more specifically the Judeo-Christian ideology, myths, beliefs, expectations and hopes — seems to have had the greatest impact. The facts show clearly — for anyone taking the time to study them — that medicine today enjoys an astonishing degree of undeserved credit that is out of all proportion to its actual results or promises.

    Real health keeps regressing while the great medical “miracles,” such as vaccines and antibiotics, are now clearly showing their limitations, which some had foreseen and warned of right from the start. This undeserved credit comes mostly from the fact that medicine and science have replaced religion as the only certain belief in an uncertain world.

    And the doctors and scientists are seen as the priests of the new religion, delivering through the certainties of science what the old discredited gods were not able to deliver. If we can no longer believe in the miracles, the cures and the curses of the old religions, we can certainly believe in the miracles, the cures and the destructive powers of the new science.

    Almost imperceptibly medicine has taken on a saving or messianic role, the characteristics of which we must examine. Looking back through history, there is a sense in which medicine can be said to have displayed characteristics that have at various times characterized the Roman Catholic Church:

    Autocracy

    Centralization

    The control and manipulation of people

    Censorship

    Propaganda

    Total obedience

    Infallibility

    The destruction of heretics

    The stamping out of individuality

    All this, of course, has been done in the name of public health and the general good, just as the church acted for mankind’s salvation.

    Let me make my position clear — I am not a conspiracy theorist; I do not believe that doctors, scientists and governments are intentionally and corruptly conspiring together, abusing their powers in pursuit of wealth, “Big Brother” and “Brave New World” just a step away. Rather, I do believe we are faced with a phenomenon that is largely of the unconscious kind.

    What I believe is happening is that people, whether within the medico-pharmaceutical industry or outside it, are being subconsciously influenced by deeply rooted myths, fears and superstitions, which are now being projected onto the new screens of science and medicine. This produces an amazing paradox.

    Although medicine sees itself as exclusively scientific and rational with no room for spiritual or human dimensions (such as psychic healers or shamans who are dismissed as charlatans), it organizes itself and functions in a way that can be described as intrinsically religious. The paradox is that by rejecting any spiritual dimension medicine in fact becomes the toy of the forces and myths it tries to ignore and cannot control.

    Mere denial of something’s existence has never made it disappear, except perhaps in our consciousness, but instead it is banished to our subconscious mind where, beyond our control, it can roam free, wreak havoc, and wield even greater power.

    We can see, then, that even though our society considers itself to be secular, it has remained as Christian as it was a century ago but with two major differences. Firstly, our society is not aware of it. It believes itself to be rational, scientific and free of superstition. It fails to recognize that it is still, in effect, observing the old religious rituals but under a new guise. Secondly, our society now lives its religious experiences through secular forms — medical ones in particular — and has at the same time transferred its hopes and aspirations from the spiritual world to the material.

    Medicine, then, has become the new world religion. The specific myths, beliefs and rites of Christianity have been unconsciously projected over medicine since Pasteur. As I explain in detail in my book, we can establish a very close parallelism between the catholic religion and modern medicine, although for lack of space I cannot go into all the details of each comparison in this article. In brief:

    Physicians have taken the place of priests.

    Vaccination plays the same initiatory role as baptism and is accompanied by the same threats and fears.

    The search for health has replaced the quest for salvation.

    The fight against disease has replaced the fight against sin.

    Eradication of viruses has taken the place of exorcising demons.

    The hope of physical immortality (cloning, genetic engineering) has been substituted for the hope of eternal life.

    Pills have replaced the sacrament of bread and wine.

    Donations to cancer research take precedence over donations to the church.

    A hypothetical universal vaccine could save humanity from all its illnesses, as the Savior has saved the world from all its sins.

    The medical power has become the government’s ally, as was the Catholic Church in the past.

    “Charlatans” are persecuted today as “heretics” were yesterday.

    Dogmatism rules out promising alternative medical theories.

    The same absence of individual responsibility is now found in medicine, as previously in the Christian religion.

    Patients are alienated from their bodies, as sinners used to be from their souls.

    People are still being manipulated by their fears and childish hopes. They are still told that the source of their problems is outside them and that the solution can only come from the outside. They are not allowed to do anything by themselves and they must have the mediation of priest-physicians, the administration of drug-hosts, and the protection of vaccine-absolutions.

    http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/editorial/modern_medicine.htm

    • MaineJen

      “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I just believe that doctors and pharmaceutical companies and governments are all conspiring against us.”

      I’m not even paraphrasing that much.

      • rosross

        I find humans arrogant, ignorant, stupid, incompetent and deluded enough to create any kind of chaos without requiring a conspiracy.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Well, thank god you’re superior to all that and can straighten us mere mortals out.

        • sdsures

          Gee, I guess I don’t need to take my medications that are, you know, keeping me alive, anymore.

        • LibrarianSarah

          That sounds like a problem you should work out with a therapist or your high school guidance councilor.

    • Nick Sanders

      What “limitations” are vaccines showing? Also, who is hypothesizing this alleged “universal vaccine”? Everything I know about vaccines says such an idea is silly.

    • Poogles

      *Quack quack*

    • Be reasonable

      You are absolutely nuts.

    • Rozy Lenz

      Totally agree and you know there’s a couple of conditions that fasting is proven to treat, even cure– obesity and it can help with diabetes if very limited. This whole thing is neoconservative crap name calling and lies posing as pragmatism. Its just stupid. Dr. Fail to accept that pharmaceutical companies are morally bankrupt and don’t carectgat they harm and don’t heal many times. Natural solutions like alpha lipoic acid which has been shown to cure many forms of cancer in the lab cannot get funding for a clinical trial so children die. It also halts the progression of AIDS. We give insulin to diabetics, we give vitamin d to those with lupus and osteoporosis. This is just so stupid. I’m so glad I’m not the only one saying this

      • Roadstergal

        If I had a dollar for everything that could kill cancer in the lab, I’d be a multi-millionaire. It’s the transition from lab to people that trips us all up.

        https://www.xkcd.com/1217/

        Or, as James Allison often said, “We can cure cancer in mice all day long.”

        • Rozy Lenz

          How about human cases of alpha lipoic acid caring end stage liver and pancreatic cancer? Lots of people don’t know about it. But check it out:
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20042414
          A better argument to me would probably be that alpha lipoic acid is not a natural substance, there are no alpha lipoic acid trees, by my poor definition of natural.
          I gave it to my dad with stage four liver cancer and he went from mumbling gibberish to balancing his bank account. Heis fatigue was gone. But he lacked the faith to believe the few handful if cases that it would cure his cancer, he felt he would simply be more conscious as he died, so he stopped taking it. I watched an 18 year old family member die of cancer because even though she was past medical treatment, her parents would not even entertain hope. But if your a rich patient at Sloan Kettering or another posh cancer treatment center you’re likely to get an iv of it. The good news is that its both fat and water soluable so the pills work just as well. I know of over two hundred mostly seniors now who are off all their blood pressure meds and one has had a complete remission of lupus due to taking alpha lipoic acid. Its great for arthritis as well. Alpha lipoic acid causes the creation of new stem cells.

          • Charybdis

            Anecdata doesn’t count. And alpha-lipoic acid is found in plenty of foods, especially organ meats, broccoli, spinach, and brewer’s yeast.

            How can you claim it is not a natural substance?

      • Charybdis

        Hmmm…pushing the alpha lipoic acid like a proper shill. Trolling for investors/research grants?

        • Roadstergal

          Nah, you can buy it OTC as a supplement in the US, thanks to the Supplement Loophole. Why bother doing real studies if you can just make ‘structure-function’ claims and sell it without any manufacturing controls or proof of safety/efficacy?

          • Charybdis

            Because that’s how you prove things work. Or don’t work, as the case may be.

            But then you couldn’t cash in on the herds of non-sheeple who are flocking to prove science wrong.

      • Roadstergal

        “We give insulin to diabetics…. This is just so stupid”

        Wait – you’re saying it’s stupid to give insulin to Type I diabetics?

      • Charybdis

        Claiming that fasting can cure obesity….yeah. Not eating can cause weight loss, but long periods of fasting can cause other health issues. I wouldn’t tout it as a miraculous cure for obesity.

  • momofone

    OT–I’ve had my first (and hopefully only) experience with kidney stones over the past few days. I tried for about 12 hours to manage it drug-free, but I ended up gratefully accepting all the Dilaudid, Zofran, and Phenergan the wonderful ER doctor offered (and it still hurt like a son of a bitch). I wonder if this means I should try to have a healing one now?

    • rosross

      Try jumping up and down to move the stone. Drink a lot of water, pure water. Homeopathy is very effective but you need a qualified Homeopathic doctor, preferably one who only practises Homeopathy and not a Naturopath who ‘does it on the side.’

      There are a few MD’s who are also qualified Homeopathic doctors if you can find one.

      • momofone

        Thanks. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a kidney stone–I hope not, and that you never do–but jumping was not within the realm of possibility for me. If there is a next time–and I can’t tell you how much I hate to even type those words–I will be in the ER post-haste.

        • rosross

          Yes, I have and clearly not your pain level. I found a bumpy road helped, heading for the local doctor, and later, doing research, read that jumping up and down helps to ‘move’ it and reduce pain.

          I also found it took a few ‘goes’ for an MD to diagnose although, again, when I did the research, symptoms were classic.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yeaaaaah I don’t know what kind of kidney stones you’re passing but I’m with momofone. There wasn’t going to be any jumping or driving. Just wanting to lay down and die. Minor stones? Yeah I’ve gone into work. Most of the time though? Kill me.

            Hell my dad has been burned by getting blown off the highline on his job and had to have multiple skin grafts including on his hands that hurt like nothing else. He still says it’s best if people don’t ask what he needs when he’s passing a stone as he’s likely to say “a bullet in the head!”

          • rosross

            Interesting, the stone passed without any sensation. Then again, perhaps easier for females than males. And I think women have higher tolerance for pain and discomfort.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            My dad had a finger explode where the electricity exited his body. I don’t think I’m going guess at his pain tolerance.

          • Charybdis

            Because women’s pain continues to be irrelevant, under-medicated and over hyped as somehow “good for us”.

            The female urethra is shorter than the male urethra; this is what makes women more prone to UTI’s . In women, the longest trip the stone has to make is from the kidney down the ureter into the bladder. From the bladder to outside the body is a relatively short distance in a female.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Attitudes like yours are the reason women (especially women of color) do not get enough pain medication when it is needed.

            Gender essentialism is anti-feminist. Period.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I can’t speak to kidney stones from personal experience, but I’m told that cluster headaches are comparable, pain-wise, to kidney stones and childbirth. (And, on a side note, my doc diagnosed them accurately as soon as I described my symptoms, and prescribed accordingly and effectively.)
            Suffice to say that there’s no way in hell I belonged behind the wheel of a motorized lawn mower, much less a car, while I had one. Also that, for context, I never even filled my post-CS pain medication script, not out of any sort of martyrdom, but because I simply wasn’t having pain that wasn’t more than controlled by OTC ibuprofen. Therefore, I suspect my pain tolerance is pretty high.

          • momofone

            Interesting. I have a really high pain tolerance, and it took the doctor no time to order a scan and confirm. (I was pretty sure when I arrived that that was the issue, as I’ve always heard it described as the worst pain you can imagine, and the meds I had taken had not taken the edge off at all.)

          • rosross

            Childbirth, posterior, was much harder. But everyone is different. I think it was the fourth GP I saw who was able to diagnose and it was classic. But then MD’s have lost the art of diagnosis.

          • momofone

            Childbirth was a breeze for me. Pre-labor c-section, spinal, couldn’t have been smoother. Tylenol was fine for pain relief. It may be your experience that MDs have lost the art of diagnosis, but it certainly hasn’t been mine.

          • rosross

            Well, C-section has a downside, particularly for the baby and particularly where there is no labour. My second, also natural, was a breeze.

          • momofone

            Beats the hell out of a baby dying, so it was a win/win for us.

          • rosross

            Necessary C-section is different to elective – no choice intervention is no choice.

          • momofone

            I didn’t specify; you assumed. Incorrectly.

          • rosross

            The comment was general and it pays to specify. Elective or necessary the negative aspects of C-section are best addressed and no doubt will be as research confirms what common sense always said, being born naturally has health benefits.

          • momofone

            So does being born alive.

          • Who?

            I’ll do the popcorn…

          • momofone

            It pays not to jump to conclusions without basis. Please do share your research.

          • rosross
          • momofone

            You assumed my c-section was not necessary and proceeded from there. “Elective” does not mean “not medically necessary.”

          • rosross

            Elective does mean medically unnecessary. Elective means you get to choose. Medically necessary is not elective, you don’t get to choose.

          • momofone

            Elective means planned, not that it isn’t necessary. Emergent is done in response to some unexpected situation (uterine rupture, etc.).

          • rosross

            No, I am not. Elective is where C-section is a choice made when it is not medically necessary.

          • momofone

            Sorry. You are clearly determined to insist, and I have no further interest in beating this horse. Best wishes.

          • rosross

            Take care. None of it is personal and misunderstandings are all too easy on such threads.

          • Who?

            You’ve made yourself quite clear.

          • Azuran

            Actually no, an elective surgery is a surgery that is planed in advance because it is not an emergency. (look it up if you don’t believe me)
            A maternal request c-section is also an elective c-section, but not all elective c-section are exclusively maternal request.
            A scheduled c-section for pre-eclampsia, breech, twins etc are considered elective. You could argue that the mother ‘chose’ to have them. But they were still medically recommended.

          • demodocus

            Someone in my due date group has breech twins and someone else asked if she’ll still be able to have a vaginal birth. 0.O
            well, she could try if she really insisted but i suspect that even if she finds a doc willing to supervise, the staff will all praying

          • Elizabeth A

            My c-section is on the books as elective.

            By which they mean that I could have had it when I did, or spent another day waiting to see if the baby and I would stop bleeding (risking bleeding one or more of us to death), and had the c-section a week or so down the road, maybe.

            I did make a choice. The choice I made was not “c-section or not,” it was “now, or maybe a few days from now.”

          • swbarnes2

            I will of course defer to the medical pros here, but googling “elective surgery” turns up site after site saying that elective just means “scheduled in advance, not an emergency” No one seems to use it the way you are insisting it be used to mean “medically optional”.

          • Squillo

            What, you mean you’re not going to insist on laysplaining medical terms to a group of medical professionals

          • Daleth

            Elective does mean medically unnecessary. Elective means you get to choose. Medically necessary is not elective, you don’t get to choose.

            Yeah, no, that’s actually not correct. There are two kinds of c-sections: elective and emergent. (You may also hear of “crash” c-sections–that’s the most urgent type of emergent CS).

            An elective c-section includes all CS that are scheduled in advance, whether there is a medical reason for them or not. So it includes maternal request CS (no medical indication, just mom’s desire) as well as CS done because baby is breech; because there are multiples; because mom had a previous uterine surgery (e.g. CS or fibroid removal) and is thus at risk of uterine rupture if she attempts vaginal delivery; because ultrasound shows the baby is likely to be very large; because mom had a shoulder dystocia (a common cause of death or brain damage to baby) in a previous delivery and thus is at higher risk of having it again, etc.

            An emergent c-section is one that’s done either during labor as a result of something going wrong, or before labor due to a medical emergency. For instance, a placental abruption during or before labor could necessitate an immediate CS to save the baby; labor stalling for too long, cervix not dilating, etc., can indicate that a CS is advisable; baby’s heart rate getting perilously low or not recovering after each contraction can indicate that the baby needs to come out via CS to avoid brain damage or death.

            And in ALL these cases, including a minutes-to-spare life-threatening emergency, you–the mother–get to choose whether or not to have a c-section. (That is, you get to choose as long as you’re conscious and mentally competent, same as with any other medical procedure). Some women (very very few) would refuse a CS even if the doctor assured them that their baby would die without it. Some women would choose a CS even if all the doctor said was that there was a slightly increased risk to the baby. And some women would choose it just for themselves, even with no apparent risk to the baby.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Another word that doesn’t mean what you think it means. It seems to be a patter with you.

            In the context of medicine, “elective” means “scheduled” as opposed to “emergency” or “need to get this done right the fuck now or you will die.” Many Mastectomy’s are elective, it doesn’t mean that they are not medically necessary.

          • Charybdis

            How so? Other than the mother being tired, physically worn out and way stressed out because of a long labor, stalled labor or fetal distress?

          • Daleth

            Correction: vaginal birth has a downside for the baby–possible brain damage or death due to oxygen deprivation (cord compression, cord knots, shoulder dystocia and abruption can all cause that), permanent nerve damage due to brachial plexus palsy, or a broken clavicle, which can happen when desperately trying to get a stuck baby out before it’s too late.

            In contrast, c-sections pose a risk of the baby getting nicked by the scalpel (much more likely, though still rare, in a minutes-to-spare emergency c-section than in a planned prelabor CS). Oh, and a handful of tiny Scandinavian studies have found a difference in gut flora in infants born one way vs. the other, although there is no evidence the differences are better/worse than each other, or that they cause any health effects, or that they persist beyond infancy.

          • Charybdis

            Exactly what would the downside be? My CS was great. I would not consider a VBAC if I was to have another child. Nope. No VBAC, ever.

          • Angie Young-Le

            Same

          • momofone

            Me three. There is nothing about VBAC that appeals to me.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Let’s see…you’re saying that an MD took several times to diagnose the kidney stone and homeopathy is completely effective in treating it…If homeopathy is so effective, why did you even keep going back to the “incompetent” MDs who couldn’t diagnose the problem? Why not just take your homeopathy and have it resolve rapidly and easily?

          • LibrarianSarah

            “Research”

            You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. In fact, I know it doesn’t.

      • Nick Sanders
        • Azuran

          well, if drinking a lot of water is effective for passing a kidney stone. Then technically rosross is not wrong that homeopathy is effective, It is water after all.

          • Nick Sanders

            Don’t homeopathic preparations come in tiny little vials, only a few mls each? You’d have to spend a lot of money, and would certainly be “overdosing” to budge a kidney stone with homeopathy that way.

          • Bombshellrisa

            There tends to be lots of alcohol in homeopathic tinctures, that is the only ODing that is remotely possible.

          • Azuran

            I’ve had a client when I was a student who killed her cat with her alcohol based homeopathy. (I don’t even get why there is alcohol in there, what happened to water memory?) She was trashing the poor cat’s liver by giving him the equivalent of 3 shots of vodka to a human every single day.
            Despite having an urgentologist and an internal medecine specialist telling her she needed to stop giving all this crap to her cat, she wouldn’t budge. Cat got better under our care because we were giving the ‘treatment’ to the trashcan (seriously, the woman came in everyday and checked the bottles to make sure we were giving it). Cat got sick again as soon as it got out of the hospital and eventually died because she didn’t give the medical treatment and kept trying to cure it with more ‘homeopathy’.

          • demodocus

            geez

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I don’t understand. If she was insistent that she knew better than you how to treat her cat, why was she paying you all that money?

          • Azuran

            Honestly, I have no idea. She was a very strange crazy cat lady.

          • SporkParade

            Just dilute it. It will both stretch it farther and make it more potent!

          • demodocus

            Dilute the pure water with vodka!

          • Bombshellrisa

            You could even make your own homeopathic remedy, just write “Heal” on a piece of paper and tape it to your water glass, word side in. Something about imprint and intention. (This is snark btw)

        • Azuran

          Makes me think of this, I’m sure you’ll like it: http://gomerblog.com/2015/05/homeopathic-burn-remedy/

      • MaineJen

        Jumping up and down…with a kidney stone.

        Are you high? No, I’m serious. Have you ever experienced a kidney stone? Or been witness to someone trying to pass a kidney stone?

        Also, “homeopathic doctor” is an oxymoron.

        *The more you know*

      • Charybdis

        Jumping…up…and…down…you are kidding, right? The ureters are smooth muscle and this is why you have the crampy, colicky pain with a stone. They are contracting to move the foreign object down.

        Drinking lots of water could be a problem, because if the stone is large enough, it can lodge in the kidney or ureter and cause urine to back up into the kidneys, which causes damage.

        Homeopathy is a crock of BS.

        You may go now.

      • Yes, always consult a qualified homeopathic “doctor”. It’s very important to ensure you see a genuine charlatan, not one of those fake ones.

    • demodocus

      My sister gets them periodically. She complains more about them than she did during labor. But then, she might have gotten an epidural.
      I wonder if my husband jumped up and down enough and drank homeopathic water if that would remove the scarring in his epididimus. 😉

    • Charybdis

      A lot of people will have a single stone episode in their entire lives and never have one again. Some folks are “repeat stone formers” and have them fairly regularly; these are the people with genetic conditions (COLA causes cystine stones, xanthine stones), wonky calcium metabolism issues and occasionally infections due to catheterization or persistent UTI’s. Some medications can cause stones to form as well (indinivir, guaifenesin, sulfa drugs).**

      Hopefully, you are one of the people who will have one stone episode and not have one again.

      ** This is what I do for a living; I analyze kidney/bladder/urinary stones, tonsil and salivary gland stones, prostate stones, gallstones, etc). You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I’ve seen come across my microscope.

      • MaineJen

        My mother was a repeat offender with calcium stones throughout her childbearing years. Some of them were too big to pass and required surgery to remove. Watching her go through that was terrible…which is why I get so pissed off when people say things like “try jumping up and down to dislodge the stone.” >:( Kind of hard to jump up and down when you’re spiking a fever and trembling in a fetal position.

      • momofone

        I hope I am in the one-stone category, but the doctor said he could see spots in my kidney (I can’t remember the term he used) that can act as magnets for stones to form? I may have that completely wrong; I’ll have to ask the person who was with me. I don’t have any of the issues you mentioned, so I’m hoping it’s a one-time deal.

      • Nick Sanders

        Thanks for the heads up about guaifenesin. In the past, I had wondered about exceeding the label instructions, since they say one pill every 4 hours, yet it wears off after 3. Now I am quite glad I didn’t.

    • Angie Young-Le

      “I wonder if this means I should try to have a healing one now?”

      this gave me a good chuckle. GL with the stones, I’ve heard they’re awful.

  • rosross

    Ah, the irony. The new ‘god’ is science/medicine and the new religion is science where dogma, theology and metaphorical burning of ‘heretics’ is the name of the game.

    There is no pseudoscience and that which science labels as such is merely that which science does not understand and/or does not like because it challenges profits, prestige, power etc.

    • Nick Sanders

      Haha, no. Science requires zero faith. In fact, one of the core necessities of engaging in science is a willingness to discard any current belief that evidence shows to be incorrect, no matter how fond of it one may be.

      • rosross

        Are you aware that two former editors of top medical journals, Dr Richard Horton, The Lancet, and Dr Marcia Angell, The New England Journal of Medicine, have both said much research is just plain wrong?

        Other research by professionals says most of it is wrong. Distortion, prejudice, corruption etc., at work in the science industry. Your comment would be funny if it were not so wrong.

        Any reading of the history of science makes it very clear that the initial response is rejection, mockery and villification of anything which challenges current beliefs.

        Quantum Physics faced it, including from Einstein, who, though supposedly brilliantly intelligent, rejected the concept of Quantum Mechanics.

        Your faith in a man-made and human driven system is quaint. Systems drive behaviour. Science is no more than a system of enquiry, driven by human behaviour.

        • Nick Sanders

          That institutions have developed problems because of inherent flaws in humans is not a refutation of the underlying philosophy. Observe, predict, test, repeat; that is science. Not journals, not public outcry, not Einstein’s personal biases.

          • rosross

            No-one is refuting the philosophy in terms of pure science, but the practice is the problem and the limitations imposed by the materialist reductionist mindset.

          • rosross

            You do realise this is the foundation of non-Allopathic medical modalities, particularly Homeopathy? Empirical process and evidence.

          • Nick Sanders

            Right, that’s why they claim it can’t be subjected to tests…

    • Leves

      There is science and there are frauds. Unfortunately you are free to believe whomever you choose.

  • Did I mention that I am presenting a poster at this conference, which starts tomorrow?

    http://www.labroots.com/virtual-event/genetics-genomics-2016

    RNA-mediated physics, chemistry, and molecular epigenetics

    Abstract:
    Olfaction and the innate immune system link energy as information from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of supercoiled DNA. The sun’s biological energy is the source of the information that links angstroms to ecosystems via physics, chemistry, and molecular epigenetics.

    RNA-mediated protein folding chemistry and amino acid substitutions link the anti-entropic quantized energy of sunlight from the virucidal effects of ultraviolet (UV) light to healthy longevity via biophysically-constrained energy-dependent hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution and cell type differentiation.

    Biomarkers link energy-dependent differences in base pairs and amino acid substitutions to biosignatures across the healthy life span. RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions also reveal the increasing complexity of interactions among cell types as pathology progresses. For comparison, successful reproduction links energy from supercoiled DNA to protection of all organized genomes from virus-driven energy theft and pathology.

    This model links the sun’s biological energy from top-down causation in microbes to the most recent model of bottom-up gene activation and cell type differentiation in vertebrates. Citations to extant literature provide examples of what is currently known about how ecological variation leads to biophysically constrained cell type differentiation in the context of nutritional epigenetics and Precision Medicine, which clearly link metabolic networks and genetic networks to pharmacogenomics.

    • For comparison, Sean B. Carroll is one of the two authors of this article that claims gene duplication is a common mutational process. My conference poster provides the opportunity to pseudoscientists who believe in Sean B. Carroll to compare his claims to mine.

      I claim that energy-dependent gene duplication is biophysically constrained in the context of the physiology of reproduction. Claims that virus-driven energy theft, which causes all mutations also causes evolution cannot be taken seriously by anyone who knows that energy must be linked from angstroms to ecosystems in all living genera.

      Expression of tandem gene duplicates is often greater than twofold
      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/05/06/1605886113.full

      Excerpt 1) “Gene duplication is a common mutational process, occurring
      with estimated rates of 10−9 to 10−7 new duplicates per gene per
      generation in flies, worms, and yeast (5, 6). Gene duplication has been
      of long-standing interest in evolution because, once genes have
      duplicated, one copy may acquire a novel function (7, 8), and many genes
      involved in physiological and developmental diversification occur as
      tandem duplicates in gene complexes. However, relatively little is known
      empirically about the first step in this process—the immediate
      phenotypic consequences of a single gene duplication.”

      Excerpt
      2) The discovery of the overactivity of tandem duplicates in Drosophila,
      despite many decades of the study of gene duplication, underscores how
      our understanding of the quantitative factors that govern gene
      expression are incomplete.

      • Nick Sanders

        Ok, what the fuck does “energy-dependent” even mean? You keep sticking it in front of various things as if it’s meaningful, but I can’t think of a single physical process that doesn’t require energy in some way.

        • Thanks for asking. Sean B. Carrol claims that mutational processes drive evolution. I claim that energy-dependent changes in base pairs link the innate immune system to ecological adapation via the physiology of reproduction.

          • Elizabeth A

            So, again, what does “energy-dependent” mean?

          • rosross

            Energy is required for the process. Our entire body is energy dependent and our cells are like little ‘batteries’ producing energy.

          • Azuran

            Funny thing is, any change in anything needs energy. So it’s not very clear what ‘energy dependant changes’ are in jvkohl’s incomprehensible mind.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I’m trying to think of the “non-energy dependent changes”

            Unfortunately, the thermodynamicist in me struggles to find that example. I can draw the potential energy surface, but can’t think of a good situation.

          • Nick Sanders

            That’s not an answer.

    • Who?

      You did, repeatedly.

      Others have told you that is no big deal and makes you an expert in nothing.

      Perhaps take your free advertising to a more receptive environment?

      • Thanks. Why do you think mentioning a free conference on Genetics and Genomics is akin to free advertising?

        • demodocus

          Possibly because you’ve been plugging it more often in the last few days than Dr. Amy has been plugging her new book.

  • Who?

    Entirely off topic question for the vets, people who work for vets, and animal lovers.

    How to smuggle tramadol into dog food. My little old dog needs some tramadol for the pain in his neck/shoulders. We’ve been tucking it into treats-cheese, sausage, ham, peanut paste, things he loves but wouldn’t ordinarily get. Trouble is the flavour of the tramadol is so strong and bitter apparently, that he is now ‘off’ all of those foods. He tends to be a picky eater anyway, so he’s quite happy to leave what he doesn’t like or want.

    Any thoughts gratefully tried.

    • Azuran

      Canned food maybe. Or pill pocket. But if he’s a picky eater he might find it in anything. Maybe try changing what you use every day and give him a few normal treats to get him hyped up before giving him the one with the pill, he might eat faster and notice it less.
      But if nothing works you might have to just dry pill him. Unless he’s aggressive when you touch his mouth. If doing it with your hands is too hard there are little sticks to help throw the pill at the back of the mouth. You can ask the techs at your clinic to show you how to do it properly if you are unsure.

      • Who?

        Thanks for that.

        My next thought was to make the treats a game-particularly if he’s hungry, and has a sniff, he’ll run for them, unless he gets too sore. Which will see me tossing food around the house in the hope he’ll chase and eat it.

        I fear we are close to having to dry pill him. He’ll let us touch his mouth but he really hates the tablets. I’ll ask the vet about it.

        • Empliau

          When I pill my cat, I grind it in a mortar and mix the powder with the sauce from her canned food. She’s a sauce freak and laps it up without trouble. It’s not bitter tasting that I know of, though, so that might not work for you.

      • Who?

        Success! I got a few different minced meats, and offered him small balls of one of them, one of which had the tablet in. He was pretty hungry and gobbled it all down.

        I’ll keep mixing up what I’m offering and hope that keeps him clueless about my ulterior motives.

    • Charybdis

      French fries are always a good treat disguiser, as are mashed potatoes. Although I do dry pill my IG. It is easier and faster for me, but I’ve had years of perfecting my technique with my previous IG (lived to 17 and a half) and my parents Basinji/Corgi cross. She was the very devil to give pills to; I had to make special trips to my parent’s house to pill their dog when she had vestibular issues, as the vet techs couldn’t get a pill down her and she wasn’t eating, so the “hide it in something tasty” wasn’t working.

      • Who?

        Thanks!

        I’ll add those to the list of things to hide pills in.

    • Megan

      We had great luck with pill pockets. They’re made by the same company that makes Greenies chewies. Not sure if they have them in Australia. Our dogs love the peanut butter and the chicken flavored ones. To save money (and since we have small dogs and hence, small pills to give them) we used just a half of one and smooshed it around the pill.
      http://www.amazon.com/GREENIES-PILL-POCKETS-Treats-Chicken/dp/B001BS9P0Q

      • Who?

        Thanks, I’ll have a look for those-I think I’ve seen something called that here.

    • sdsures

      Aww, poor guy. *snuggles*

      • Who?

        Could be! I think I may have already poisoned the well, so to speak, using treats and then smuggling in the tablet, which despite my best efforts at concealment he still sometimes notices.

        He’s feeling much better so the need is now not so great, but it’s good to have some strategies on hand for next time.

  • Roadstergal

    On a related note, this is amazing and perfect. He even makes the comparison to religion.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rnq1NpHdmw

    • guest

      B.D. Wong *and* H. Jon Benjamin!?! That was awesome.

  • Amazed

    Today, I went to see my dentist. There was this man who was still trying to convince her that brushing our teeth was not necessary and made no difference. I couldn’t quite hear where he read that but I think it was somewhere in the broad world of internet. He was trying to convince her that her science wasn’t all that sciency after all. I am so not envying her when at his next visit, she’ll potentially have to try and explain where this new caries came from. He isn’t going to believe her that brushing matters.

    Anyway, dentist, two receptionists, one other patient, and yours truly were agog.

    • Nick Sanders

      I feel sorry for her and anyone else that will have to dig around his open mouth, smelling his breath.

    • SporkParade

      Well, it was said recently on Healthcare Triage that the evidence for toothbrushing is fairly weak, and that dental history may have more to do with the individual than with dental hygiene. It was NOT, however, suggested that toothbrushing is pointless or shouldn’t be done.

      • Azuran

        But it’s probably true that individual predisposition plays much of the role. If teeth brushing was so effective, people wouldn’t have that many cavities despite brushing every day.

    • Angie Young-Le

      From my experience I’m not that shocked….I do not brush as much as I should, at least 1 time per day, 2 on a good day. I have only had 1 cavity in my life. I do have 2 broken molars but dentist says its due to grinding and clenching and not hygiene. I know people that brush as recommended and floss who get cavities regardless and others that don’t brush who pay dearly for it (missing many teeth and have many cavities) I think it depends on what bacteria are in each individuals mouth more than anything. But I am not a dentist so I can’t really say… maybe I am just lucky 🙂

  • barrydesborough

    “Turning people away from the religion of quackery is going to require more than science education; it’s going to require spiritual conversion.”

    To what?

  • Femtosecond structural dynamics drives the trans/cis isomerization in photoactive yellow protein http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6286/725

    Can anyone else link the photoactive yellow protein to the yellow hormone, which is also known as luteinizing hormone (LH)?

    LH stimulates development of corpus luteum, which is yellow in color.

    LH also links everything known about the sun’s biological anti-entropic
    virucidal energy from the bull sperm miroRNAome to microRNAs in human
    breast milk, which links differences in metabolic networks to genetic
    networks to all morphological and behavioral phenotypes in all primates
    via RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions and cell type differentiation
    during life history transitions.

    Dobzhansky (1973) put this succinctly when he claimed that “…the so-called alpha chains of hemoglobin have identical sequences of amino acids in man and the chimpanzee, but they differ in a single amino acid (out of 141) in the gorilla (p. 127).” http://www.jstor.org/stable/4444260

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I’ve never read technical papers while taking LSD, but I imagine if I did they would read a lot like this. What is this all supposed to mean? How does alpha-globin and sequence homology between humans and other great apes have to do witih microRNA? And I suppose calling the sun’s energy “anti-entropic has a certain local validity, but where does the virucidal bit come in? Viruses depend on the sun as much as any other living creature on earth (apart from deep vent critters) for input energy. And where do you get the idea that LH is “photoactive”? More to the point, how does this all fit together and what does it have to do with Dr. Tuteur’s post?

      • Dr Kitty

        Nutritional epigenetics seems to be a fascinating area of study, looking at food as environment rather than just substrate.
        I don’t think jvkohl is the person to explain it though.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500842/#!po=12.2500

        • guest

          Yes, this is what a neonatologist explained to me in layman’s terms about my daughter, who was born with a small placenta. Her experience of restricted calories in the womb may have altered her gene expression and puts her at higher risk for diabetes and being overweight in adulthood (she’s of normal weight right now).

          I wonder if there’s anything I can really do about it in that case. He suggested stressing exercise and a healthy diet, but the latest news articles are about how your body is just going to fight to keep weight on no matter what you do to try and lose it. So the question is, do I try and fight her ever putting on extra weight in the first place (something I don’t even know how to do without creating a bad relationship to food) or simply shrug it off and focus on body positivity?

          • Dr Kitty

            Try to stop excess weight gain before it happens.
            Portion control and encouraging exercise are better than obsessing about food. Allow treats and don’t label some food as good and some as bad.

            Body positivity should be there regardless.

          • guest

            Well, yes, body positivity of course. I meant that I didn’t know if promoting diet and exercise at the same time would undermine it. I guess I don’t know what level of “promoting” I should be doing. I am by no means perfect, but I was an athlete before being sidelined by injuries, and I do try to offer healthy meals as often as I can (but some days just call for take-out). I was a skinny kid without effort as a child and the idea of managing weight is new to me – I don’t want to accidentally create body image problems doing it wrong.

            At some point I will talk to a doctor, but no one wants to discuss it at her current age.

          • Dr Kitty

            I get it. I’m genetically skinny and can eat what I like, with a kid who takes after me, and a husband who struggles with his weight. My husband’s solution is a bit drastic: he runs 30 miles a week so that he doesn’t have to watch what he eats.

            I think promoting exercise as being about being strong, fit, having fun and working in a team, rather than about maintaining weight is probably the best approach. Having exercise be about making you feel better, rather than about making you look better is probably key- which means carefully choosing physical activities your child enjoys (mine likes tennis, ballet and gymnastics…not exactly a team player unless she’s captain).

            Having junk food as a treat, or as an occasional sanity saving measure is probably healthier than having it as a forbidden evil!

          • demodocus

            or passive aggressive shaming like DH’s grandmother. How many 22 year olds do you know have eaten enough with half a bowl of soup and half a ham sandwich even if that does work for 84 year old Grandma?

          • guest

            Oh goodness, no. I don’t see any positive purpose in shaming someone for eating whatever they might be eating. I am also not requiring my children to clean their plates, although I do ask them to taste new foods before rejecting them, and I feel like I need to pressure my son a bit on eating his vegetables, because otherwise right now he only wants to eat meat and bread. But my daughter, for the moment, is the healthier eater of the two. She eats more, but she’s eating fruit, veg, meat, and carbs.

            I didn’t realize just how often outside people try to give your kids sweets, though, many times without asking you.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Teaching your kid to say “no thank you” when an outside person offers them sweets is a useful life skill as well. I’m convinced that we can virtually all use a lesson in how to politely refuse an unwelcome treat from a well meaning but clueless friend, relative, or acquaintance.

          • guest

            I don’t think a three-year-old has the ability to say “no thank you” in the face of candy and ice cream. At least, mine don’t. It’s something to work on, though. I need to have a talk with the nanny, as well, because I’m not always there when these things are happening.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Mine did, but that’s one of the advantages of having a picky eater: She’s also picky about which sweets she wants.

          • demodocus

            I didn’t suppose you would. (i was reminded by something on to Dr. K’s post so posted there rather than commenting directly on yours)
            Around here, we don’t get too many people offering our kid sweets. Random people either assume we already do, (Dh and I are overweight, though kiddo is not) or maybe because this is crunchy town and everybody knows kale chips are way better than candy.

          • guest

            We’re going to try swimming lessons this summer, but we live in an urban area, have no car, and not a lot of money for extracurriculars. That combined with my injuries means we already don’t get outside running around time as much as I’d like. And the schools here – the play yards are depressing, and sometimes non-existent. They do have AYSO, though, which is what I did as a kid. Right now, I think she’d enjoy a tots gymnastics class, but those are too expensive.

          • Dr Kitty

            Does your kid like to dance?
            That requires a little floor space and a decent parental tolerance for high energy pop music, but 30minutes leaping about would definitely count as aerobic exercise. We have some dance games on the console, but my kid is just as happy dancing to the radio, Spotify or age appropriate YouTube videos. In fact, she loves it so much that being allowed to dance to Katy Perry videos is now a reward for good behaviour.

            Would that work?

          • guest

            So far, no interest in dance parties in the living room from either kid, plus the downstairs neighbor gets upset if they run or jump or do pretty much anything in the apartment. City living sucks.

          • demodocus

            this, sadly, I understand far too well. My old downstairs neighbor got upset once because my 25 pound kid was *walking* too loudly before 7 am. She figured we shouldn’t wake him until 8. Except that we’ve never woken him intentionally in his life. Best part, she had a 2 year old and was running a daycare out of her apartment. :/

          • guest

            Downstairs Neighbor has no idea how good he has it – my kids go to bed at 10 PM right now, but are pretty quiet from 6-10 as they watch TV while I make dinner, then we eat dinner all sitting in chairs, then they play quietly, then bath, etc. And they don’t get up until 8:30 or 9 AM.

            I have worked on being considerate (we *do* have carpet down) and even invited the neighbors to their birthday party, but it is so stressful nonetheless.

          • demodocus

            yeah, dealing with DN was one of the things that pushed me over the edge, I think. (I’ve got depression with this pregnancy to the point of having dozens of suicidal thoughts a day before the zoloft kicked in, even with therapy.) Our current one seems to be more easy going, fortunately. She has yappy dogs and a kid herself, so this may help.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Note that increased risk does not mean will inevitably happen. Also, by the time it’s a problem for her, it may not be a problem at all. There is a fair amount of work being done on diabetes and there may be better treatments for it when and if she develops it.

            For prevention, I’d recommend setting a good example of a healthy diet and exercise and not worry about it too much otherwise. She’ll eventually have to make her own decisions and the more you can model a healthy attitude towards it all, the easier a time she’ll likely have. Try to avoid worrying about it too much: stress hormones increase appetite, blood sugar, and the risk of diabetes. So, ironically, you may be best off shrugging the risk off to some extent. (While maintaining a reasonable diet and not getting too upset if takeout happens occasionally.)

          • guest

            Thanks.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Normally, I would suggest this would be what you would find in the dictionary as an illustration of ‘non-sequitor,’ but I have to admit, it’s far, far too convoluted to do that.

    • MaineJen

      Oh my…god

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Can anyone else link the photoactive yellow protein to the yellow hormone, which is also known as luteinizing hormone (LH)?

      Normally, I’d criticize this comment on the grounds of this, because the answer is “probably not.” Other than being yellow, what are the similarities between them? LH is, as you say, in the corpus luteum. PYP is found in purple photosynthetic bacteria. Why should they have any relationship? That’s a basis suggestion.

      However, in this case, it’s not just that there is no basis for making the comparison, it’s more the question of so-the-fuck-what?

      Let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that there is a structural similarity between PYP and LH. What does it matter? OK, so LH undergoes a femtosecond-time-scale cis/trans isomerization. And?

    • Dr Kitty

      Chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than gorillas.
      What on earth does that have to do with sunshine and the colour yellow?

      Your posts read like someone in the midst of a manic episode. I assume that is not the impression you wish to give.

      • I’m providing links to cited works, as usual. That’s what is expected of a serious scientist who understands why luteinizing hormone was once referred to as the yellow hormone.

        It links everything known about epigenetically-effected GnRH secretion to fertility via the bull sperm microRNAome and microRNAs in breast milk.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          That’s what is expected of a serious scientist who understands why
          luteinizing hormone was once referred to as the yellow hormone.

          Even if true (I have found nothing to support that assertion), it has NOTHING to do with photoactive yellow protein.

          And even if it DID have some relationship with PYP, the study you cited has fuck-all to do with anything.

          Signed,
          A REAL serious scientist

          • The yellow hormone is the yellow protein that links photoactivation from the sun’s biological energy to fertility.

          • Azuran

            Wait, are you saying that the luteinizing hormone and the ‘yellow protein’ are the same thing? Because they sure aren’t.

          • MaineJen

            And how would lutenizing hormone be affected by sunlight when it is INSIDE THE BODY

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            trans-cis isomerization of stilbenes (retinal) is the mechanism for vision, of course, but that means you have to have an aperture in the eye to let in light. EM transmission through the skin is pretty weak (a couple of mm at most) and it is the red that is transmitted most effectively (you can verify this by noting how if you look at the webbing between your fingers, with a light behind it – notice how it looks red – that’s because everything else is absorbed)

            If he had made some claim about PYP and rhodopsin, it might make sense. But the relationship to LH is nuts. As far as I can see, there is no structural relationship in any way between PYP and LH. He claims that they are the same because they are both yellow (too stupid to even address), but even there, I have found no basis for the claim that LH was ever called “yellow protein.” So even if it were true that “they are both yellow” had any bearing on reality, it’s a false premise. They _aren’t_ both yellow!

            BTW, it looks like this “poster at a conference” that he is presenting is merely an open-access, “virtual” conference. A rung below the “open-access, virtual journals” that I get a half a dozen invitations to submit to every day.

            It’s one step above a junior high science fair (and a step below _winning_ a junior high science fair)

          • MaineJen

            Not to mention the fact that he’s rolled all of his claims into peddling a pheromone-based love potion. This one is truly special.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            PYP is found in purple phytoplankton. WHicham has fuck all to do with LH.

            And what is the “sun’s biological energy”? It’s sunlight, dumb ass.

    • Ayr

      Wha…? This makes no sense.

      • Have you considered placing it into the context of cryo-EM or cryo-ET?

        • Ayr

          Your post makes no sense, it rambles without a point, and honestly has nothing to do with the main post. It compares religion with new age ‘medicine’.

          • Precision Medicine links energy-dependent changes in angstroms to ecosystems via metabolic and genetic networks. Is that what you call religion? I’m trying to compare pseudoscience to science in a group where most people seem to be pseudoscientists who think Precision Medicine is quackery.

          • Azuran

            Really you might want to take a course in vulgarization because even after checking out the meaning of basically every single words you said, I still can’t figure out what the hell you are talking about. Being able to communicate your research and finding in a clean and understandable way is like the first step to being a good and successful scientist. No matter how serious your work might be, no one will ever take anything you do seriously if you keep rambling like a madman.

  • Jelena Dimitrijevic

    a perfect allegory, though instead of priests I see messianic leaders

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    The thing is, I find that left-leaning (and secular conservative) quackery adherents actually believe that they believe in science. The paleo crowd is the best example of this. They actually think that evolutionary biology backs up their beliefs because they don’t understand it and don’t realize how much those beliefs are influenced by “Garden of Eden” naturalistic fallacy. Really, flawed understandings of evolution account for a lot of quackery–the idea that human childbirth was “perfect” before it got meddled with by medicine, for example. These people don’t understand the concept of evolutionary trade-offs, like the fact that one of the prices we paid for the advantages of bipedalism is that childbirth really kind of sucks and often doesn’t work that well. They believe that evolution “designed” perfect beings. But that they think that that belief is scientific. They think have the science right and it’s everyone else who is wrong because they are either bought by somebody, or are too credulous to realize that the authorities they listen to are bought by somebody.

    These tend to be the people that believe that the Real Science is being suppressed by The Establishment–the medical establishment, the corporate establishment (for the left-leaning types), the government establishment (for the libertarian right-leaning types). They believe the Real Scientists are being persecuted. References to Galileo tend to abound.

    Christian conservatives might also use “science” to validate their beliefs but they are pretty open about the fact that they are working backwards from the conclusion that what God created–human bodies, food, whatever–is perfect and that the only way to True Health is to not adulterate his creation in any way. They don’t really try to hide that dogma comes first and science is useful only insofar as it backs it up. But secular woomeisters, on the Right and the Left (again, the libertarian faction is pretty big and not necessarily religious) actually believe that they are following the science. They don’t understand how much a very unscientific cultural/religious obsession with purity and the loss/maintenance of it is coloring their understanding of “science.”

    • Who?

      I was walking with a friend the other day, and she is very into the ‘sciencised’ (coined that one as I was listening to her) natural theories. For example, gluten is bad for the gut microbiome. Insert sciency sounding words here. And the way to fix that, for everyone who has the grab-bag of symptoms her people are putting down to gluten, not all of which are gut symptoms btw, is to cut out gluten.

      We then talked about another friend, who has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. My not delightful menopause symptoms are very similar to some of the Hashimoto’s symptoms. Thankfully, mine are coming to heel under the influence of HRT. So I said to my sciencising friend-what about Hashimoto lady and me-if you gave us both HRT, I’d feel better, and she probably wouldn’t, because while we share some symptoms, they are caused by different states of our bodies.

      The subject got changed. Which was fine, lest my usually low blood pressure got a workout.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      This is true. I wonder if the lack of teaching of evolution is partly to blame for this. A good grounding in evolution and how it actually works should rid most people of the belief that it results in something that works “perfectly”.

      Science education in general is an unsolved problem: Teach people the facts and they won’t understand the philosophy and will start saying things like “Science says… (fill in the blank, probably with some gross misunderstanding of an observation)”. Try to teach people the philosophy and they end up saying things like “do your research” without any understanding of the background or whether what they learn in their research is plausible or not. Try to teach both and you quickly run out of time, funding, and student interest. Try to teach people that science is complicated and best left to the experts and you get people like the authoritarian down the thread.

      • Israeli middle schools started teaching evolutionary theory two years ago in an attempt to offer students the opportunity to compare pseudoscientific nonsense to what they were learning about ecology, before they were taught to believe in too much pseudoscientific nonsense.

    • Are you familiar with the fact that young earth creationists have linked virus-driven energy theft to all pathology and the neo-Darwinists have only recently begun to realize that they missed something important about that fact?

      “The entire evolution of the microbial world and the virus world, and the interaction between microbes and viruses and other life forms have been left out of the Modern Synthesis…” — Eugene Koonin
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzan-mazur/riding-the-evolution-paradigm-shift-with-eugene-koonin_b_7217216.html

      • Nick Sanders

        YECs couldn’t find their butt with both hands. And I would love to hear how viruses are linked to something like, off the top of my head, scabies.

        • The broader perspective was placed into the context of Endogenous retroviruses function as species-specific enhancer elements in the placenta http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789077/ and Regulatory evolution of innate immunity through co-option of endogenous retroviruses http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6277/1083

          YECs reported on the first example, but I haven’t seen them gloat about the follow-up.

          Viral Genome Junk Is Bunk http://www.icr.org/article/8661
          Excerpt: “The most parsimonious answer is: the RNA viruses got their genes from their hosts.”6

          Unless their antagonists can explain how energy-dependent nucleic acids were created in the viruses, the facts known to serious scientists about biophysically constrained protein folding chemistry will stand on their own — no matter what biologically uninformed science idiots believe.

          • Nick Sanders

            One of these days you’re going to have to define “serious scientists”. Because from context of the times you’ve used it, it seems to mean “people who agree with me”.

            Oh, and you didn’t answer my question.

          • Sorry. I thought everyone knew the difference between serious scientists and bird-watchers or butterfly collectors.

            It’s not a definition. It’s statement by Dobzhansky (1964) in “Biology, molecular and organismic”

            Excerpt: The notion has gained some currency that the only worthwhile biology is molecular biology. All else is “bird watching” or “butterfly collecting.” Bird watching and butterfly collecting are occupations manifestly unworthy of serious scientists! I have heard a man whose official title happens to be Professor of Zoology declare to an assembly of his colleagues that “a good man cannot teach zoology. A good man can teach, of course, only molecular biology.

    • Daleth

      I find that left-leaning (and secular conservative) quackery adherents actually believe that they believe in science.

      YES! That’s why they like to claim they’ve “done their research” about whatever fringe theory they’re embracing. They believe there is a “true” science that’s being suppressed by the pharma-gov-medico “establishment” or “elite,” either in the interest of profits or just to keep the “sheeple” under control. And they also apparently believe that they can ferret out this true, hidden science by running google searches that lead them to random stranger’s blogs.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      I’ve become so annoyed with the “pure” fallacy that I have started picking my groceries based on them NOT having the words Pure, Paleo, Natural, Organic, GlutenFree or NonGMO on the packaging…

      • Nick Sanders

        Glad to know I’m not the only one!

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          It’s not that I mind people picking and choosing what they want to buy/eat. It’s when they try and guilt me for not doing what they do, foodwise, where I get irritated.
          Especially since the cost is not coming out of their paycheck….

      • Roadstergal

        I absolutely do that. I look for the foods that do not have the “Non-GMO!” [sic] label. It’s not the easiest way for a vegetarian to shop. :

        • demodocus

          Especially things that either have *no* science modified versions or are heirloom this or that. I get the fuzzy yellow tomatos because I like fuzzy yellow tomatos, they amuse me. Don’t give a crap about whether they’re modified the slow or fast way.

      • Charybdis

        The gluten-free thing has gotten out of control. For celiacs and others with gluten sensitivity, the range of gluten free stuff around now probably makes their shopping lives easier.

        For those food faddists that jump on every new thing coming down the pike ( count fat grams, not calories! Eliminate sugar! Low carb/no carb diets! Atkins! South Beach Diet! Paleo! Cabbage Soup!), they need a reality check (Blood Type Diet) and leave the gluten-free stuff for those who require it.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          “Gluten-Free Mustard”

          • Nick Sanders

            “Gluten-free yeast”

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Gluten free water!

        • MaineJen

          It’s not fair to the folks who actually *do* have Celiac disease, and really *can’t* have gluten.

        • Azuran

          I know. I was so insulted at the convention I went to a few weeks back. One of the few company that makes veterinarian grade dog food was showing off a new ‘gluten free, grain free, natural, biologic, OGM free food’
          Putting that food in my clinic would be like giving credits to all those stupid diet fads.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “Now with more chicken flavor!”

            I always wondered who did the taste test to figure that out.

          • Nick Sanders

            I once read an article about the people whose job it is to taste foods: the upside was that if they did a good job of climbing the ladder they could be tasting new snacks or other fancy products by major companies. The downside was that somebody has to taste pet foods and such, and it involves trying dozens or more minute variations of thoroughly disgusting things made with ingredients that aren’t always fit for human consumption, for hours a day in a darkened room designed to block out distractions so you can focus on the flavors.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            You know I did eat two different dog treats on a dare in high school… If I really needed money… Hmmm…

            Tasting the Milkbones and stuff wouldn’t be so bad. They’re just kind of like stale bread swished in beef bouillon.

            The gummy bear type ones? Never. Again. I can see why dogs like it. The taste gets all up in your sinuses and you can smell it for hours. And it is STRONG. It ate it in the morning and I was smelling/tasting that nasty artificial bacon and cheddar flavor clear into the late afternoon.

          • Azuran

            There’s this new fad of super cute highly decorated dog cookies that actually look like cookies and cupcake for humans. I’ve never tasted them (although I did almost take one thinking it was cookies someone brought for the clinic more than once).
            Those who tasted them said they are surprisingly good.

          • Roadstergal

            My husband was SO excited to see those at Petco Unleashed the first time we took our dogs there to clean them! Until he read the sign and saw they were for dogs, not humans.

            I mean, in my experience, dogs do not exactly have a discerning palate…

          • Azuran

            But more and more humans wants to treat their pets as human.

          • Who?

            At the pet shop the other day was a whole lot of what looked like cake pops, coconut chocolate logs etc, which were all dog food, not people food.

            V odd.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            See, I don’t get this. One of the things I like best about my dog is specifically that she isn’t human. Even if I feel like the biggest piece of shit in the world she comes over and wants to be around me anyways. Even if I’m not fitting in because of social issues she doesn’t care. There’s very few humans in my life that I can reliably count on to do that. But it’s the opposite in dogs for me. More dogs are “kind” to me than not. I mean I know it’s because they just plain don’t have a concept of a lot of what’s considered awkward but still.

          • Roadstergal

            My dogs are not humans. They are dogs and are awesome.

          • demodocus

            i find people referring to me as Pet’s mom way more annoying than Child’s mom.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yeah it’s weird… Though I did use having a dog as an excuse to celebrate mother’s day despite not having children but it was entirely tongue in cheek. My father in law also likes to call our dog his granddogger. But that’s because he’s a retired submariner and submariners have a certain reputation for being off the wall bonkers as I understand it.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            The concept of “kitty rocca” a person I knew came up with for dogs cruising for litter box treats lends credence to your last statement.

            My dad also says, “People that don’t understand the phrase ‘shit eating grin’ have never had a dog sneak cat turds out of the litter box when you’ve been trying to keep them out of it long enough to scoop.”

          • Mishimoo

            Oh goodness, 100% this. It’s worse when you have dogs that are clever and determined. We’ve solved the problem by putting the littertray in a plastic box up on a bathroom bench. The dogs could reach it, but they hate the slipperiness of the bathtub they’d have to step in to do so, so they only tried it once and gave up.

          • Roadstergal

            Kitty rocca. LOL!

            We don’t have a cat, but two of the places we take our dogs to for off-leash play have horses sometimes. It’s been a chore to train them out of snacking on the apparently delicious droppings.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I’ve seen those and I consider getting them and then look at the price. Then I think about making them and see what goes into it. Then I offer Nailah a McDonald’s French fry* for actually staying when I tell her too and she doesn’t seem to feel cheated lol.

            *Not a common thing. Just in a great while.

          • Mishimoo

            How could you?! 😛

            My brother-in-law called me the other night, completely freaking out because his wife had given their dog some fries and they had salt on them. Turns out, his buddy told him that dogs can’t have salt ever as it “crystallizes their stomachs and they will die!!”

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Oh gosh, seriously? XD

            My reason is far more.boring. I have a giant breed and any extra weight on their joints can make their elderly years pretty miserable. I try not to load her up on junk food and treats and keeps a good eye on her portions for that reason.

            But French fries and other people goodies are fantastic motivators when regular doggie treats are old hat. I also use it for when we have people over for dinner and if she goes the whole time without begging or backs down and doesn’t try to sniff people’s plates when I say “No begging!” I give her a couple table scraps as incentive. Trying to teach her that if she listens good things happen like she gets what she wants and then some instead of losing out on everything when she doesn’t listen.

          • Mishimoo

            Seriously! He was expecting to need to rush to the afterhours vet, was ready to get a loan from his grandparents, and then thought: “I’ll call Mishi, she used to work in a vet surgery. She’ll know!” I honestly thought he was joking because that’s just not even logical. I told him not to stress about treats but not to overdo it either.

            We have weimaraners, so we’re the same with feeding and treats. They’re getting a bit heavy, so I’m walking them when I can but they’re doing well for 8 and 9 year old dogs. It’s such a novelty to have ‘senior’ dogs, even though they’re more middle-aged to me, because the dogs I had growing up didn’t last that long.

          • Azuran

            Well I guess they just add more chicken or more chicken flavoring. It should taste more like chicken if you put more chicken flavored things in it. But I doubt it actually tastes like real chicken.
            When I was working emergency at night, we were bored and made a bet about eating cat hypoallergenic pills pocket. It remains to this day the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted.

            Honestly, it’s generally dogs and cats who do taste test. They just basically put dogs in front of two identical bowl with 2 different food in them and look at which one the dogs will eat first and how quickly they eat it.

          • sdsures

            HAHAHAHAHAHA!

          • Michelle

            Thank you for being so ethical. Many would carry the product for the profit,and ignore the non-evidence based claims being made.

        • Roadstergal

          “For celiacs and others with gluten sensitivity, the range of gluten free stuff around now probably makes their shopping lives easier.”
          I heard a report recently that, since ‘gluten-free’ has gotten so boutique, there’s plenty of stuff that’s labeled gluten-free that has enough to trigger a celiac. Since the majority of the audience just has to _think_ it doesn’t have gluten to feel better, that would work against those with a genuine sensitivity…

          • sdsures

            Oh, ****. 🙁

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          It’s definitely easier to find gluten free options nowadays. But the downside is that you feel like an annoying hipster whenever you ask about gluten free options when eating out.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            This is what scares my mom and sister to death. That the hipsters make it so obnoxious that waitstaff just pretend to check and say something is gluten free when it really isn’t. Then end up miserable an hour later and wanting to die for the next few days because someone thought gluten free = all the magic health benefits and pissed off the wait staff.

            Fortunately enough people know what Celiacs is now that they start saying that instead and they don’t get the dirty looks. We’ll see how long that works out until all the hipsters claim to be celiacs so get their way… Wish they’d jump on a new fad. Like, apple free or something. Less obnoxious and easier to avoid.

            As for the taste since it was easier for all of us, Dad and I included, when my sister and I lived at home to cook gluten free I’ve had my fair share. All I can say is at least one stupid genetic thing in my family skipped me for once and thank goodness it was that one!

            I do make gluten free desserts for my mom and sister for their birthdays if they’re in town or I’m visiting. I have one rule about gluten free desserts: enough chocolate ganache or cream cheese icing can save just about anything.

          • Old Lady

            I don’t think it’s just the obnoxiousness of the hipsters that is the reason for that. Obnoxious customers are a part of customer service, plenty of gluten eating customers are also difficult. Many people take not eating gluten very personally even if it doesn’t have anything to do with them.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’m lucky that my symptoms are relatively mild (mainly fatigue) so a small amount of gluten won’t make me feel too bad. But since I’ve been struggling to get my iron levels up for the past year, I’d still like to avoid cross contamination.

            I can make some pretty good gluten free desserts though. My gluten loving husband maintains that my churros are some of the best he’s eaten. Still working on bread though.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I like your rule. 😀
            Something I’ve found to also be true for gluten-free friends is that homemade-from-scratch pie filling topped with real whipped cream, meringue or ice cream, depending on what’s called for, outside of a pie shell tastes pretty damn good. I simply rename it “Lemon Meringue Pudding,” or something of the sort. Most pie fillings don’t contain flour, and those that do usually have such small amounts that I can substitute another commonly-available thickener easily or avoid it altogether. Then both the gluten-free and the give-me-all-your-gluten can enjoy the same desserts.
            Aaaaaand now I’m hungry.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            A “lemon meringue pudding” should, however, have cornstarch. Is that gluten-free?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Cornstarch itself is gluten free, although if it’s manufactured in the same facility as wheat, barley or rye products, there is a risk of cross contamination. But in my experience it’s usually been fine, even the local supermarket own brands here are labelled gluten free.

          • Nick Sanders

            Yup.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            It does, and it is. 🙂

          • sdsures

            PIE! OM NOM NOM!!!!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            My views precisely!

          • Nick Sanders

            We’ll see how long that works out until all the hipsters claim to be celiacs so get their way

            Some of them are already doing that, or claiming other food allergies, to avoid an ingredient they don’t care for, then following up by ordering pastry desserts or something else containing the ingredient in question. It’s really pissing a lot of restaurants off, because there are very rigorous and time consuming procedures they have to go through when someone tells them they have a medical problem with an ingredient.

            https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2015/10/14/why-food-allergy-fakers-need-stop/PB6uN8NF3eLWFjXnKF5A9K/story.html

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            This makes me so mad. I’ve heard of uber-crunchy moms advising other moms to tell people hosting their children that their children have food allergies and that’s why they can’t eat their food–when really it’s just that the host’s food is not organic and “natural” enough for their special snowflakes. It’s pitched as a polite way to turn down other people’s inferior, tainted, “toxic,” food. Instead ot just trivializes a medical condition that is potentially life-threatening for some people. It’s really important that people NOT start seeing food allergies as a joke. These moms are sacrificing other people’s safety for their parenting obsessions.

            Of course, lots of these same people refuse to vaccinate their children so that’s nothing new.

          • sdsures

            That’s horrible! (The whole thing.)

          • Old Lady

            Not to mention being the butt of jokes all the time. Or people think it’s all in your head, hopefully not servers or people giving you food. What I don’t get is why so many people take your diet so personally. What does it matter to them what we eat or don’t eat?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            And it can be really unpleasant for honest servers to deal with the aftereffects of the dishonest ones, though of course not even on the same scale of unpleasant/deadly that the consumer can experience.
            Case in point: I would have dearly, dearly loved while working that college job to get my hands on the barista at the coffee shop down the street who would tell customers that she could make them a “no-carb Frappuccino.” This was plain and utter BS. Yes, your frap will have fewer carbs if I make it with–cringe–cream or half and half. (I refuse to be answerable for the consequences to your digestive or cardiac systems if you insist on drinking well over a cup of cream at one sitting, but I digress.) It will not ever have “no” carbs. The flavor powders still have plenty of sugar in them. Every so often, I’d get an Atkinsophile/person with diabetes into my store who’d want a “no carb Frappuccino,” and then I’d, of course, get told off for being honest about my inability to make one. Grrrrrr.

          • sdsures

            I’m lactose-intolerant, and soon after we found out, I went to my local coffee shop with trepidation, scared that they wouldn’t have a substitute for milk that I could put in my black coffee. They did! Soy milk. Now my weekly coffee trips have become much more pleasant. They’re a small shop, so they know me on sight.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          Easier in some ways, but harder in others. Now that everyone is gluten-free it’s harder for true celiac a to be taken seriously when it comes to restaurants etc. A lot of people don’t understand that for some people, being gluten-free genuinely is a medical necessity.

        • sdsures

          I heartily agree. It’s really not fair to celiac’s sufferers to have their food necessities turned into a fad. Does the fad mean the food will eventually become more and more expensive? What’s next, insulin?

      • Who?

        I’ve been doing that for a while. The one I struggle to avoid is milk described as ‘permeate free’.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          Lol what? I don’t think I’ve even seen that. What does it mean?

      • Jen

        Same here. I was quite concerned when I ordered my caffeine pills off amazon and they came emblazoned with Non GMO, gluten free labels. Um, I think the general understanding of science is missing if it is not understood that something has to have genes in the first place if it is to be genetically modified.

  • notmike64

    that guy in the picture is hot

    • Nick Sanders

      I dunno, they both look close enough to being underage that the picture seems kinda sketchy to me.

      • LibrarianSarah

        True. He has a nice body but I look at his face and I feel like I want to give him a shirt and teach him how to use Academic Search Premier.

      • demodocus

        I agree, those kids are probably helping pay for Freshman year by modeling, lol.

      • Roadstergal

        That dude looks shockingly like a boyfriend we had recently (who is over 30). I mean, enough so that I had to double-take. Some guys just look young…

        • Nick Sanders

          They both look 15-16 to me.

  • Talko

    The fact that vaccine safety testing is not held to the same higher standards as other pharmaceutical drugs AND the fact that pharmaceutical companies are not liable anymore (since 1986) for any damages or deaths, should cause any intelligent person to question their motives. Vaccines are loaded with neurotoxins and other poisons (yes, poisons) that should not be injected into any body, let alone infants. Most people dont bother to educate themselves in the history of disease, immunology, toxicology, biology, and politics because it is much easier to spout the lazy mantra of “vaccines are safe and effective, follow the science.” I have followed the science, and so have thousands of scientists, researchers, and medical doctors, and it proves without a doubt that vaccines do harm to the human body and they’re destroying our central, digestive, and immune systems AND the DNA damage is passed to the next generation. Vaccinate all you want but don’t push these toxic chemicals on others. If your vaccines work so well than you should be well protected, but strangely most people who get the diseases are fully vaccinated. Time to crack open some books, do your research, and learn the risk. Where there is risk there must be choice.

    • Charybdis

      So, what is your science degree in? Just asking, because a lot of the folks here have science/math degrees, some hold Master’s and Doctorate degrees. We have immunologists, MD’s, statisticians, esoteric lab techs, RN’s, CNM’s, plus a shit ton of very intelligent people who DO know how to not only read and evaluate other’s research in peer-reviewed journals, but often DO the research.

      Please, feel free to “educate” the hoi polloi and ignorant, unwashed masses that hang out here. Should be entertaining.

      • mabelcruet

        And don’t forget pathologists who have carried out autopsies on infants and children who died as a result of illness that would have been entirely prevented had the sperm and egg donors bothered to get their offspring vaccinated. I refuse to call them parents-what they did to their kids (3 so far in my career) is unforgiveable.

        • Amazed

          Hey, I call the women who brag how amazing homebirthing their (dead as a result) kids were birthers. Great minds think alike!

          • mabelcruet

            These people are turning their baby’s body into a battlefield for their own beliefs and obsessions, putting their baby’s life at risk for a political statement or free-birthing performance art. It’s sickening.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      vaccine safety testing is not held to the same higher standards as other pharmaceutical drugs

      Whatever gives you that idea? Vaccines go through the same clinical testing as any other pharmaceutical. No, what is NOT tested and regulated adequately, at least in the US, is “natural” treatments. Thanks to the naturopathy lobby, any “natural” product can go on the market without ever proving safety and efficacy. The result is lives lost, organs damaged, and money wasted. All without even the slightest hint of any efficacy against any disease.

    • LaMont

      What neurotoxins are in vaccines? Have vaccines been linked to nerve disorders and memory impairments? Also DNA damage implies that it’s genotoxic, not neurotoxic. If medical doctors and scientists are so determined that vaccines are harmful why do they actually vaccinate themselves and their children?! That’s a hell of a long con they’re playing if they’re willing to poison themselves and their kids to do it…

    • Box of Salt

      “Most people dont bother to educate themselves in the history of disease,”

      Yes, and that’s why they think it’s OK to avoid preventing diseases.

      There is very little in your entire comment that is based in reality.

      For example: “If your vaccines work so well than you should be well protected, but
      strangely most people who get the diseases are fully vaccinated.”

      Read this and weep, Talko: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6414a1.htm
      “The majority of the 159 patients with reported measles in the 2015 outbreaks were either unvaccinated (71 [45%]) or had unknown vaccination
      status (60 [38%]); 28 (18%) had received measles vaccine. Among the 68
      U.S. residents who had measles and were unvaccinated, 29 (43%) cited
      philosophical or religious objections to vaccination”

      Your misguided views put other people at risk.

    • Nick Sanders

      The fact that vaccine safety testing is not held to the same higher standards as other pharmaceutical drugs AND the fact that pharmaceutical companies are not liable anymore (since 1986) for any damages or deaths

      Wrong on both counts.

      Vaccines are loaded with neurotoxins and other poisons (yes, poisons) that should not be injected into any body, let alone infants.

      So name some of them. And after you do, explain how the amounts in vaccines qualify as “loaded”.

      I have followed the science, and so have thousands of scientists, researchers, and medical doctors, and it proves without a doubt that vaccines do harm to the human body and they’re destroying our central, digestive, and immune systems AND the DNA damage is passed to the next generation.

      In that case, it should be easy to cite some of the papers proving this harm.

      If your vaccines work so well than you should be well protected

      Unlike you, we’re concerned about more than just our personal safety. We are worried for those who don’t get the vaccines because of fearmongers like you, as well as those too young or too ill to be vaccinated.

      but strangely most people who get the diseases are fully vaccinated.

      That’s a matter or proportions, not of risk. Vaccinated people far outnumber unvaccinated people in industrialized countries. Proportionally, the unvaccinated get far more infections. It’s just that 1% of us outnumbers 60% of you.

      Where there is risk there must be choice.

      You guys say this so often, yet no one has taken away your choice.

    • Leves

      Are you a doctor? If not then you are not qualified to do any research.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      So I should stop injecting a cobalt based chemical into my body because heavy metals are the devil, right?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      More sober drivers die in car accidents than do drunk drivers. Clearly, sober driving is more dangerous than drunk driving

    • “Where there is risk, there must be choice.”

      Yes – that was the whole point of SB277 – your unvaccinated kids pose a RISK and the rest of Cali has made their CHOICE – you can’t send them to school.

      Where there’s a risk – there must be a choice, right?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95e7d57eb9bc34f525076c75aeec3c2983caa78f152c32f7f0355721895f1694.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd9f3456ea9b4be54376f7a621f4db236a3e717eb96173cf41df6ce11a5e4b5f.jpg

      • Angharad

        I like that infographic, but if we’re counting rash as an adverse reaction, then there should be 1.4 million adverse reactions out of 1.4 million measles cases.

    • Sonja Henie

      “Where there is risk there must be choice.”
      Hey, that’s Grace’s line. You mean she didn’t invent it herself? Call me. . . shocked.

      “strangely most people who get the diseases are fully vaccinated.”
      That would be strange. . . if it were true.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        It’s marginally true that more vaccinated people get certain diseases than unvaccinated, but it is only because there are more of them. Take the mumps vaccine which has a reported efficacy of around 88%. 12% of vaccinated people is going to be more than 90% of unvaccinated people. Math is hard for people that don’t understand anything

      • Well…it is technically true but highly misleading.

        It’s true in the same way that most drivers who get into fatal accidents were sober at the time. The point is that they are underrepresented as a group compared to drunk drivers – no matter what the raw numbers say.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Virtually all of the scientists, researchers, and medical doctors you speak of vehemently support vaccination. Are you suggesting that they don’t understand disease, immunology, toxicology, and biology? What could account for such broad consensus, with only a few discredited stragglers? There is no profit motive because vaccines are a cheap intervention. So what is it? What are all these pediatricians and other medical professionals and scientists getting out of recommending vaccines? What could be motivating them besides a well-informed concern for public health?

    • guest

      You have made the wrong choice.

    • L. Ivanov

      So tell me, when was the last time you suffered from smallpox or poliomyelitis?

      Wait, you haven’t ever? Wooow, I wonder how this happened – must be all those fresh fruits and vegetables that you ate as a kid. Or perhaps it was vaccines – who knows 😉

    • MaineJen

      Oh Wow! Please do, educate me in immunology.
      -Someone who actually works in immunology.

      • The nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated innate immune system function links biophysically constrained protein folding chemistry to supercoiled DNA, which protects all organized genomes from virus-driven entropy in the context of the physiology of reproduction.

        That’s what makes matching tissue types so difficult.

        Experience-dependent changes in the innate immune system ensure that many different experiences will lead to differences in tissue type.

        Would you like me to explain the problem that causes transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of Zika virus-damaged DNA, also?

        • MaineJen

          No. What makes matching tissue types difficult is that HLA antigens are codominantly inherited. So you are only likely to completely “match” with a full sibling, and then only about 25% of the time.

          Big words not necessary.

          • Roadstergal

            I’ve been giving some talks on sensitization recently, and whenever I get to the bit about pregnancy being a risk factor, all of the moms in the audience have a “Hey! Not fair!” moment. *trying to bring the topic back to SkOB stuff*

          • MaineJen

            Yeah, you can also become HLA sensitized from pregnancy (foreign invader with 1/2 foreign DNA) or blood transfusion. Also, sometimes, there will be a short-lived spike in antibody after certain vaccinations. Fun times…

        • Roadstergal

          But what about the turbo encapsulator??

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Vaccine safety testing is held to a higher standard than other drugs

  • omg

    hey, chemtrails reduce the harmful effects of vaccines. so spray away, rogue government forces untouched by the EPA! (ha)

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      I heard chemtrails make people not want to vaccinate in a depopulation attempt.

  • Leves

    In my opinion the simplest way to reeducate those gullible fools is through undemocratic methods. When human rights and freedom of speech became paramount stupidity has skyrocketed.

    • demodocus

      *eyeroll* I’m sure that’s the best option. Really i do.

      • Leves

        The more we coddle them the worse they’ll become.

        • LibrarianSarah

          What makes you think that you are not one of “them?” What makes you entitled to freedom and human rights and “they” aren’t. How do you know that the state or whomever will always act in your best interests?

          Everyone assumes that they will be the lords when in reality they are statistically way more likely to be the serfs.

          • Leves

            I don’t know. If people are incapable of thinking for themselves then someone else or the state will do it for them. Those that can will do so under any regime.

          • LibrarianSarah

            How do you know that you are going to be the one the state decides is “capable of thinking for themselves?” The state might just as well think that you are not smart enough to make your own decisions for whatever reason.

          • Leves

            This is a strong possibility. I don’t mind supporting the ‘official’ view on things.

          • LibrarianSarah

            How can you say that when you don’t even know what the “official” view is? The “official” view could be “Leves need to be punched in the gut as often a possible. So if anyone sees Leves must punch Leves right in the gut”

            For someone who seems to doubt “the masses” ability to think critically, you don’t seem to do a very good job of it yourself.

          • Leves

            If I don’t like the ‘official’ view on things I’ll work to change it through acceptable means. I won’t run and believe the first piece of crap I see.

          • LibrarianSarah

            But you would run an believe the first piece of crap someone in authority told you?

            What makes you think that the state would give you “acceptable means” to change it? I’d hate to break it too you but dictatorships don’t exactly give their citizenry a method to change things. That’s kind of what makes them dictatorships.

          • Leves

            There are no guarantees, that’s true. At least the state has some core interests at heart.

          • LibrarianSarah

            The core interest of a dictatorial state is to make life really sweet for the dictator and his friends. As Charlie Chaplin said “Dictators free themselves but they oppress the people.”

          • Leves

            Yes, I didn’t mean THAT kind of state.

          • Nick Sanders

            It’s not like totalitarian governments have a history of destroying the best and brightest because thinking poses them a threat, or anything…

          • Leves

            While liberal governments produce them in quantity?

          • Nick Sanders

            It wasn’t Nazi Germany that all the intellectuals were fleeing to in WWII.

          • Leves

            Yet they made some incredible breakthroughs.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Their greatest scientists fled their country and gave us all their nuclear secrets as soon as it became apparent what the Nazi’s were up to.

          • Leves

            They fled the country because Germany lost the war.

          • LibrarianSarah

            I meant the ones before operation paperclip such as Einstein.

          • Irène Delse

            And Lise Meitner, whose work on nuclear fission made possible the A bomb. Like Einstein, she was from a Jewish family and knew she had to live the country or die.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Nuclear fission, smuclear smission, Nazi “scientists” at that time were making major breakthroughs on mysticism and the occult!

          • Leves

            There were those too but they were a minority.

          • Nick Sanders

            True, however, I’m not the one conflating intelligence with moral worth. I never said all of them fled, or that totalitarians unilaterally hate the best and brightest even when they use their abilities in service of the dictator/military/what have you.

          • Leves

            Are you responding with more than one profile?

          • Nick Sanders

            Nope.

          • Leves

            Ok. I thought your answer matched another’s.

          • Who?

            Don’t go all ‘you meaaan people who disagree with me, there can’t be so many, you must be sock puppets’, sob. Show some grit, man!

            You’ve only just arrived.

          • Leves

            ????? Are you on drugs?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Um, no, they weren’t. If you actually read the experiments they were doing, they were basically meaningless junk science. I wouldn’t have wasted my time on them, even if I thought the people I was experimenting on were completely worthless. The fact that you seem to think that they made “incredible breakthroughs” speaks to your ignorance of the period. Or to your being a poe who is jerking us around for the fun of it. I’m kind of hoping for the latter, but authoritarian personalities do exist, so I’m not counting on it.

          • LibrarianSarah

            I’m going with “misanthropic teenager” personally. We all went through that stage where we thought we knew everything and everyone else on the planet were morons. Hence why I am playing so nice today.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Seems not unlikely.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Although I worry seriously about their life, if so. There’s a strong fascist strain that is suggestive of a very limited education and lack of exposure to reality.

          • LibrarianSarah

            I think this one is more “I’m so edgy and cynical” than anything else.

          • Leves

            Don’t worry your little liberal soul about that 😉

          • Leves

            An American criticizing others on reality’s behalf? Nice joke.

          • Leves

            I’ll leave you guessing some more 😉

          • Nick Sanders

            I was under the impression they did some impressive work with rocketry, once Hitler stopped blocking them, towards the end of the war.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            They managed to get some rockets into the air and occasionally even got them to land in the places they wanted them to. But that was simply because even Hitler couldn’t completely destroy German science all in one go.

            However, I was thinking more in terms of their biology experiments which were simply ridiculous. High school students should and regularly do do better. Pathetic scientifically as well as, of course, morally indefensible.

          • Leves

            You were under a wrong impression then.

          • LibrarianSarah

            The United States, England, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, the Scandinavian countries, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, India, Ireland and so on seem to be doing a whole lot better on that front than North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Congo, Chad, Sudan, Tunisia and Syria.

          • Leves

            Give it some time and you’ll see the real results.

          • LibrarianSarah

            “Liberal” countries have been pretty much killing it on the innovation front for the past couple millennia. How much more time do you need to see the “real results.”

            And “the future prove me right” isn’t much of an argument. I’m pretty sure their is a logical fallacy related to that but I can’t remember the name.

          • Leves

            It is a logical fallacy, that is correct but I already see the detrimental results of our false liberalism,

          • Nick Sanders

            Normally I hate replying twice, but I remembered something else: don’t the highest number of published papers, international academic awards recipients, and in fact scientists per capita come from the social democracies of northern Europe?

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Hmm…you’ve got a point. Except that your pronoun is erroneous. It’s not “them” that need less coddling, it’s “you”. The black helicopter to take you to the reeducation camp should be there in, oh, 15 minutes or so. Remember to pack a toothbrush and a change of underwear before they get there.

          Oh, what? YOU aren’t an example of the “irrational masses”? Could have fooled me.

          • Leves

            Guess again, I don’t believe in revisionism crap and I don’t question trained professionals on their jobs. If you like those masses that much though maybe you would like to join them on their re-education 😉

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            That’s not your decision to make. If democracy and self-determination are bad, you do not get to decide whether you are thinking acceptably or not. Trained professionals have decided and I’m afraid you’re next in line for neural rewiring. Don’t worry, we’re almost certain that we’ll get it right this time!

          • Leves

            I never worry. The problem doesn’t lie with me. You on the other hand should.

    • Azuran

      Because everyone was so much smarter in the dark age.

      • Leves

        Everyone obeyed the state and the dark ages eventually ended. Give too much freedom to the uneducated masses and we’ll have a new dark age.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Wouldn’t the better solution be to EDUCATE the masses? To fund public schools and colleges? To offer a comprehensive scientific education that focuses on how to think instead of what to think? Say you want about America but we are still a shit ton smarter and better off than the people of North Korea and most of China.

          • Leves

            Educate the masses? Are you serious? This has failed completely. The masses don’t want education even though they need it. They want protection from themselves.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Actually, educating “the masses” or as I prefer to call it “society” has gone really well. Don’t believe me? Look at world wide literacy rates over time.

            https://ourworldindata.org/literacy/#literacy-rates-around-the-world-from-the-15th-century-to-present-max-roserref

            There is no “they” by the way, just “us.”

          • Leves

            Do you really think that is the case? I don’t think literacy rates mean anything. Look at how much crap people believe.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Everyone believes something that is false whether they know it or not. Someone can just as easily look at one of your deeply held beliefs and call it “crap.” Personally, I think your belief that we would be better of living under a dictatorship to be not only complete crap, but just as dangerous as the beliefs of antivaxxers.

            But I don’t think that the state should come into your house, take you away and “reeducate” you into seeing things my way. Instead, I am asking you questions and responding to your points. Because even if I don’t convince you that you are wrong, I might convince someone who is sympathetic to your point of view and that makes it worth it.

            In under a century, the ability to read and write has gone from a skill set that only 12% of the world’s population possess to something 83% of us can do. That is probably one of, if not the greatest achievement in human history. It means a lot and it is a big fucking deal.

          • Leves

            Just to be clear, I don’t advocate for a full fledged dictatorship. I’m just against total freedom of speech and total liberal standards.

          • LibrarianSarah

            We don’t have “total freedom of speech” here or anywhere. Incitement to violence, libel, harassment, threats, and slander are still illegal.

            And although this is not a “free speech” issue,we also can mock, criticize and question beliefs that we disagree with. Private citizens and companies can block and ban people who say things that offend, scare or displease them from their homes, businesses, websites, etc.

            I am not sure what you mean by “total liberal standards.” Are we talking about classical liberalism? Modern American progressivism? What form of “liberalism” are we talking about?

          • Leves

            Yet dangerous revisionists and outright frauds and scam artists have the freedom to publish their dangerous drivel and get away with it as long as they pay their taxes.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Which is why the “historical revisionists” need to be publicly called out and ridiculed for it. If you toss them in jail they will use that as proof of a government conspiracy. Tossing them in jail will solve nothing and increase overcrowding.

            As for scam artists and frauds, I wouldn’t be oppose for stiffer penalties for those crimes (depending on what the penalty is in your state), but the problem with prosecuting these cases is that victims feel too much shame to come forward. Part of the reason that happens is that people like you dismiss these victims as idiots.

          • Leves

            Maybe you are right on that. However I don’t usually meet people like you that advocate correct methods of dealing with the problem. Most of the time it is the liberal lunatics that scream the loudest protesting on behalf of the frauds’ rights.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Again I’m not sure what you mean by “liberal” here. Are we talking about Classical Liberalism, Social Liberalism, or are you using liberal to mean “progressive?”

            I’m also not sure what any of these have to do with fraud.

          • Leves

            I mean it in the sense of fake progressives.

          • LibrarianSarah

            And what are “fake progressives” and what do they have to do with fraud? Is there a specific incident that is sticking in your craw? If not can you give me an example?

          • Leves

            Glad to do that although the article above already paints an accurate picture of them. What else do you call someone that for the sake of profit alone endangers the health of others?

          • LibrarianSarah

            That is fraud. But woo (and other health fraud) isn’t just the forte of progressives. There are plenty of libertarians and fundamentalist christian conservatives that are part of that party as well.

            And anyone who believes in woo will cry about the “rights” of those who peddle it. But there are a couple of issue here:

            1.Some people who peddle woo aren’t committing fraud. They believe the shit they are shoveling and honestly think they are helping people by doing it. Do you really want the state to punish people for being wrong? What would the punishment be?

            2. If you just through everyone who believes in or peddles woo in prison or fine them. They will spin it as a conspiracy of the government trying to keep the real cures away from people and you will accomplish nothing.

          • Leves

            You are correct, perhaps I was a bit vague on the term. I agree 100% with your definition of frauds (of course there are those of conservative political ideas like fundamentalist christians). They are all frauds.
            As for the rest of your questions
            1. Maybe the state shouldn’t punish those since their lack of education is the state’s fault. However as you correctly proposed before a state program (free of charge) of mandatory education should be made available to the ASAP.
            2. I honestly don’t see a quick remedy for them. Leave them alone and they poison the minds of others, put them in prison and they become ‘martyrs’. I ‘m open to suggestions on that.

          • Mishimoo

            The second point would accomplish something: more sales thanks to the ‘proof’ of a government conspiracy. It’s a completely backwards way of dealing with the issue, decent education is a much better (albeit slower) solution.

          • Charybdis

            A CPM, naturopath, homeopath, chiropractor, Modern Alternative Mama, Lisa Barrett and a whole lot more. Pick one, there’s a wide choice available.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          That or the Black Plague happened and destroyed the foundations of Western society as they knew it which allowed new forms of leadership to arise.

          But, you know, keep believing it was strict obedience to serfdom or whatever.

          • Leves

            The plague had a minimal effect on the forms of leadership you mentioned. You are entitled to your opinion though.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Actually, one of the reasons the dark ages ended was that through the crusades, Europeans were exposed to the ideas that came from the “liberal” Ottoman empire. Those ideas sparked the Renaissance.

          • Leves

            Totally wrong. The crusades provided only loot for those mercenaries.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Actually it was far more complicated than that.

            Visions of the Ottoman World in Renaissance Europe is a pretty good book on the subject. Basically the Ottoman “threat” was one of the “sparks” if not caused the Renaissance had a significant impact on the need for a common marketplace of ideas (as the Ottomans had) which resulted in it’s origin.

            What definitely did not happen was “everyone obeying the state ending the dark ages.”

          • Leves

            I have not read that book but I totally disagree about the ottoman threat jump-starting western Europe’s development. Sure, the influx of scholars after the fall of the Byzantine empire helped but it only happened sporadically and for a century it was confined at the weak city states of Italy.

          • LibrarianSarah

            The Renaissance started in the weak city states of Italy and spread throughout Europe.

            It was probably not the sole cause (the Medici, increase wealth brought in by the “loot,” and various other factors have been theorized and debated) but it was definitely a factor.

            Furthermore, “everyone obeying the state” was definitely not the cause of widespread social change and upheaval.

          • Leves

            People obey the state as long as it fulfills their basic needs. If you think social change can come through ideals then I’m sorry but you’ll be disappointed.

          • Amazed

            Going back in time, the “lightest” state through the dark ages of the time was the Byzantine Empire – which just happened to be a state where not everyone obeyed the state, as proven by the regular change of emperors casted down by army revolts. Actually, the whole Macedon dynasty was descended from a groom. I doubt he became emperor by obeying the state. And the various religious movements most definitely did not obey the state, yet religious persecutions were carried out on a considerably lesser scale than those in Europe. Again, not exactly “everyone obeying the state”.

          • Leves

            Those things happened to the rest of Europe too yet they remained in a semi-barbaric state until the late middle ages. Why was that?

          • demodocus

            I wonder if Dunning-Kroger is in effect here. He’s a med student, he said, so therefore he knows more medieval history than those of us who actually studied it in college. I’m far from an expert, but it seems to me he’s making his own revisionist history of Medieval Europe.

          • Leves

            Then you haven’t studied enough. And yes you are far from an expert.

          • demodocus

            Where’d you get your history degree?

          • Leves

            Where did you get yours?

          • demodocus

            Southern Connecticut State University.

          • Leves

            And they actually taught you THAT stuff? For real?

          • Irène Delse

            I doubt anyone with a real history degree works characterise the Middle Ages as “everyone obeying the state”. There were previous little “state” in the various European kingdoms and principalities at that time. Even the (Germanic) Holy Roman Empire, the largest aggregation of force at the time, spent centuries tied in a fight with the papacy, and neither completely won.

          • demodocus

            Not to mention the myriad rebellions. My degree isn’t prestigious, but it is sufficient that I’m reluctant to use one liners to describe anything historical. There’s always more to the story.

          • Leves

            Fine, I’ll paraphrase then. People obeyed their rulers or else…..

        • Who?

          So would place yourself as one of the masses or one of the ‘state’ parties?

          • Leves

            This is all academic. If I had to choose I’d be with the state.

          • Who?

            The state wouldn’t let you. If you were unlucky enough to be born into the unwashed, or whatever you call them, that’s where you’d stay.

          • Leves

            Ok by me.

        • Amazed

          Unless the state *is* the uneducated masses. Like, murdering off the elite and then replacing it with a selection of uneducated but happily brainwashed masses. Ask any resident of a post Communist country. We (I suppose I can speak for yugaya and Inmara as well) are stull suffering the consequences. Obeying the state, no democracy and no freedom of speech? Have you really lived it? I have. Not pretty. And created a whole new dark age. One that we still cannot scramble out of.

          • Leves

            There is that possibility too. Btw, I have asked many people from ex-communist countries. Some prefer it the way it is now, others say it was better during communism.

        • Azuran

          Oh yea, because the renaissance was a crimeless time of absolute joy and everyone was so smart back then, lived happily, following the rules of the elite and the clergy.

          Just face it, people have actually never been as educated as today. 100 year ago, practically no woman went to school. Those who did only stayed until they were 10-12 years old. Most men probably didn’t stay until they were 15. In the past, knowing how to read was reserved to only the elites­.
          We used to burn witches for god’s sake, how educated was that? You just see more of stupid people today because of the internet and TV and such.

          • Leves

            I really hope you are right and the demographics haven’t changed. However people 100 years ago at least had an excuse when the word ‘vaccine’ sounded like a magic spell. Today with the internet and higher standards of education what’s their excuse for being that ignorant?

          • Azuran

            well, the internet mainly. It’s good for information. But it’s even better for disinformation.
            And with the constant advancement with all the various branches of science, it’s impossible to keep up. So we’ve never been more educated, but proportionally to the knowledge available we’ve probably never been so uninformed because there is just SO MUCH out there, you can’t possibly be expect to keep up.

            But things like anti-vaxxers is more of a psychological problem than an education one. It has been shown that each new study coming out showing that vaccines are safe and effective is actually reinforcing anti-vaxxers’s belief against vaccination. Not because of a lack of education, the evidence is everywhere. We are just very biased creatures who hate admitting to being wrong and the longer you spend digging down that hole, the harder is it to get out off.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            We are just very biased creatures who hate admitting to being wrong and
            the longer you spend digging down that hole, the harder is it to get out
            off.

            Admitting that you’ve been wrong, wasted your time, and endangered yourself and others (including, in this case, your own kid) with your false beliefs can’t be easy. But I like to think that I would have done it, for the sake of the other kids at least.

            I’d also like to point out that actual scientists do manage to admit that they’re wrong, when confronted with the data. Think, for example, about long term HRT or use of erythropoietin in cancer: both seemed like they were helping, in initial studies, but were later shown to be potentially dangerous–and practice changed when it was. Ironically, this very ability of medicine to change recommendations when the data warrant such changes, is used against doctors, with the argument, “but look how they keep changing their minds!” (Which, of course, makes it even harder for the woomeisters to change their minds because it would make them more like the “allopathic” doctors that they set themselves up in contrast to…)

          • Leves

            I think you summed it all up nicely.

        • Daleth

          Everyone obeyed the state in the Middle Ages?! Um, what history books have you been reading? Sounds like they were probably self-published online by friends of yours.

          • Leves

            Never mind, believe what you will.

    • Nick Sanders

      If that’s the way you feel, I’d appreciate it if you would remove your upvotes from my posts. I neither need nor want the support of someone like you.

      • Leves

        As you wish.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Oh, totally. The ancient Roman emperors, for example. Great examples of intelligence. Or how North Korea? Definitely a bastion of rational thought. And, whoa, when the Nazis took over, German science sure took off*. Democracy clearly ruins everything.

      *Actually, it did. Specifically, it took off for the US. And that is why most scientific conferences are conducted in English.

      • Leves

        Actually it did not. As always the strongest economies dominate the field and that’s what brought the US in prominence while before WWII nobody would have noticed it.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Sigh. And the US economy was strong by total coincidence. Didn’t have anything to do with its relatively democratic form of government. Nah, of course not.

          And a large percentage of German intelligensia’s decision to move to the US in the 1930s and 40s, again, must have been a complete coincidence. Nothing to do with academic freedom.

          • Leves

            Of course not, though I’m sure you are convinced otherwise.

          • AnnaPDE

            Not getting harassed, put in camps and murdered on account of their religion was good enough for lots of them. Academic freedom is just a nice little extra.

  • BeatriceC

    Latest middle kid update: they are in a holding pattern. Nothing is definitive and they can no longer medically justify keeping him hospitalized since he’s gaining weight on a liquid diet. Some of the tests they ran will take days to come back, and they would like to keep him there until there are results, but they can’t. So he’s home. It’s better for his mental state this way, but I’m really frustrated not having any answers.

    • Mrs.Katt the Cat

      Glad he is gaining weight and happier. Hang in there as best you can. Waiting is terrible.

    • Megan

      Waiting is such torture. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Thinking of you and wishing you weren’t spending Mother’s Day under these circumstances.

      • BeatriceC

        I’m not a big fan of what I call “forced appreciation holidays”, so at least it’s good that Mother’s day isn’t something that I care much about. Sometimes my bad attitude comes in handy.

    • PeggySue

      Arrghh. Thinking of you. I wish the system was saner. At least I hope he is not having pain.

    • demodocus

      Oh man.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I’m glad middle kid is feeling better, both physically and emotionally, but I feel for you on the frustration at not having answers. I hate not having answers! Did he get a biopsy yet?

      • BeatriceC

        The tumor is too far down to biopsy without doing actual surgery. They don’t have anything that’s long enough to get to it either from above or below. They’re hoping the 24 hour urine collection they finished yesterday at 5 will give more answers, but that takes a few days for results.

        • Amazed

          Still thinking of you and middle kid. Waiting is hell.

        • Who?

          Hope the at home time is working for all of you.

          Sorry this is such a saga.

          Look after yourself.

  • OldTiredRN

    I agree with everything you wrote, except the left learners being the ones being sucked in. From where I sit as a nurse in a mother-baby unit, I’d say our pseudoscience followers would be right leaners. I’m assuming right leaners are also of the religious kind. We obviously don’t talk much politics on a mother-baby unit with our parents, but it’s hard to miss the rosary on the bedside stand or the scapula hanging like a necklace. Those are the no HepB vaccine, delayed cord clamping,skin to skin for hrs, non-separation families. Seems to go hand and hand around my area.

    I’m glad to see others down below have the same thoughts on the subject as I do.

    • It might depend on where you live. In the big picture, people of all political beliefs seem drawn to the “faith.”

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Agreed. I’ve often found the close similarities between the off-the-left-edge-of-the-earth types and the off-the-right-edge-of-the-earth types interesting, to say the least. I grew up in a community which more than qualified as the latter, while having majored in an arts-related field, I have plenty of friends in the former camp, too.
        Me, I find it hilarious to think of just how offended/shocked/horrified Person A (right-wing religious type) and Person B (borderline socialist and decidedly agnostic) would be to realize that their views on acupuncture/homebirth/chiro-woo/supplements/odd diets/et all are virtually identical, though in Person A’s case there’s a veneer of God Will Save Us Through His Natural Woo and in Person B’s it’s more The Evil Pharma Companies Are Trying To Cover Up The Fact That Essential Oils Cure Cancer. Though Person A would probably agree with the latter if you substituted “government” for “pharma companies” because as we all know, the FDA is comprised entirely of scientists who hate kittens and puppies and want the human race to go extinct because yay abortion or something.

  • Stephen Maser

    Excellent article.

  • Angharad

    This would explain the antivaxxers who want a religious exemption to vaccines, despite no religion actually having a doctrine against them. My church requires missionaries to be fully vaccinated before they are allowed to leave, and I have actually heard several antivaxxers say that it’s terribly unfair that our church will not give them a religious exemption from the requirements it has set. Sorry, you can’t get a religious exemption from the requirements set by your church.

    • Kelly

      So they admit that their medical “beliefs” are in fact religious. That is hilarious. I am sure I am of the same church and we have a few here as well. While I have to go to church with them, I have asked that they not come to my house or hold my children. Mine are still quite young and I will not have that in my home.

    • Leves

      There are certain muslim sects that are anti-vax. I’m sure if you search long enough you’ll find some fringe christian minority that denies their efficacy too.

    • LibrarianSarah

      Actually their are religious sects that have doctrine against vaccines. Usually, they are sects that are against using any and all medical care such as The Church of Christ Science.

      I understand what you are trying to say but saying “no religion has a doctrine against vaccines” is grossly inaccurate.

      • Angharad

        I stand corrected. Maybe “no mainstream religion” would be more accurate? Or “the religions of most people who want to claim a religious exemption”?

  • Excerpt: “Toxins function like demons. They are everywhere; they are insidious; and they lie in wait to prey on the weak.”

    Viruses prey on those with innate immune systems that are dysfunctional because stress-altered stress causes changes in pH that allows viruses to steal more of the energy that would otherwise link nutritional epigenetics from angstroms to ecosystems in all living genera.

    Please consider searching google for “RNA mediated” or searching PubMed for microRNA to inform yourself before criticizing the serious scientists or teh informed laypersons who are trying to withhold their laughter — because they know how much more serious the death toll will become if pseudoscientists do not stop touting their nonsense.

    • demodocus

      Viruses prey on everybody, even some plants if memory serves. Our pH barely ever shifts one iota. Or at least that’s what my science teachers and professors told me, and I’m going to trust them over whatever you’ve been reading.

      • Thanks for confirming your belief in their beliefs. Ask your science teachers what they know about virus-driven energy theft, or learn something about subtle changes in pH, and report back on their ridiculous claims, or absence of any claims that make sense in the context of energy-dependent RNA-mediated cell type differentiation.

        • Sue

          I’ve seen a lot of natural experiments in changes in pH in humans.

          A bit to the right (alkalosis), and changes in ionised calcium lead to carpopedal spasm. The oxygen-dissociation curve shifts, making it more difficult to unload oxygen to the tissues.

          A bit to the left (acidosis) isn’t good either. Respiratory acidosis means that people are obtunded from hypercarbia. Metabolic acidosis reflects serious organ perfusion problems or toxic effects, and leads to myocardial dysfunction, amongst other things.

          But that virus-driven-energy-theft-epigentic stuff, not so much.

        • Leves

          You don’t need a science teacher but a doctor. Are you one? I think not.

          • I’m a medical laboratory scientist (ASCP) who is presenting a poster at this conference later in the week. http://www.labroots.com/virtual-event/genetics-genomics-2016

          • linden

            In my field of engineering, a disproportionate number of people fall into the woo too. There there. It comes from being moderately intelligent, and thinking you can understand and pontificate on fields you haven’t studied.

          • Thanks. I find comments from those who have limited themselves to a specific sub-section of a specific discipline outside the context of biologically-based cause and effect to be among the most amusing. It’s like an admission that they know nothing, therefore others must know nothing more than they know.

          • demodocus

            I’m a social studies teacher; I assume lots of people know far more science than I do. I have, however, read enough to generally tell when something’s off in someone’s statement.

          • Thanks. Why don’t you tell others what that is? “Something” is rather vague.

          • demodocus

            That, sir, I leave to my superiors in science, many of whom have been replying to you.
            I studied *history* and *politics*. So of course I’m vague. I’m not a scientist.
            The only red flag I can specifically point to is your habit of using a dozen polysyllabic words in one, grammatically dubious, sentence. If you can’t explain the main points to a 12 year old, then perhaps you need to study either your topic better, or work on explaining things more efficiently.

          • Linden

            No, it just makes me hyper-alert to bullshit when there are people around me who could bamboozle the unwary with technobabble any time they please, and be clever enough to get away with it. My usual mode of operation is to read/listen, then evaluate evidence. One dead giveaway to BS is using big words to baffle.
            Real genius is often the ability to make the hitherto unconsidered into the blindingly obvious. You fall before you even approach the first hurdle. Your words mean nothing, they convey no meaningful information.
            You’re just not clever enough to appear knowledgeable. It’s like listening to Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy. There are words but no coherent thought behind them.

          • Leves

            Medical laboratory scientist? What exactly is that? Are you a biochemist or a molecular biologist?

          • It would not be difficult to find out what a medical laboratory scientist is. What are you?

          • Leves

            a medical student

          • Azuran

            And? My boyfriend is also presenting a poster in a conference in a few weeks. That still doesn’t make him an expert in anything really valuable in his field.
            And his conference isn’t a internet conference with free poster submission open to everyone.

          • I’ve been presenting the same model since 1992 with updates as new information became available. I also have a history of publications that extends across 20 years with awards for publications in neuroscience and in social science.

            You have a boyfriend. Congratulations!

          • Azuran

            Yet I’ve noticed that you were not actually invited to present anything in person in that conference and that nothing from you count as credited formation in the conference.
            You are also here, on a blog about birth and babies, trying to impress a bunch of stranger who really don’t care your ‘model’. Which makes me believe that actual scientists don’t care to listen to your nonsense.
            I also happen to have a Doctorate and my boyfriend is finishing a master’s degree in engineering. So no, I’m not impressed by you, or your poster.

          • Thanks. Why do you think I am trying to impress anyone? My last published review led to a request for this invited review: Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems. https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.994281 In our 1995 book, my co-author and I linked luteinizing hormone from the birth of all mammals to life history transitions in their development. In 1996, others co-authored
            From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior
            http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/1961to1999/1996-from-fertilization.html But, again, that fact is not meant to impress any biologically uninformed science idiot with a history of being unable to understand the rabbinical form of debate that begins with: “You fool….”

          • Azuran

            I think you are trying to impress people because you are, for the third time, on a BIRTH AND BABY BLOG trying to preach to us about your studies and telling us to read your stuff..
            This is not the place for you to be peddling your stuff. Have you not noticed yet that nobody cares? We are not here to read your stuff.

          • MaineJen

            Hi there! I’m a medical lab tech too, specifically a CHS (transplant medicine). Are you an MLT? And what are you trying to educate us on again?

          • I’m an MLS (ASCP) who is toying with the ridiculous misrepresentations of what is currently known to all serious scientists about top-down causation and biologically-based cause and effect.

            Were you trained to believe that something besides nutritional epigenetics could link chemical ecology to the immune system and all RNA-mediated protein folding chemistry in all living genera?

            That would explain your question: “…what are you trying to educate us on again?”

          • MaineJen

            I was trained to know the meaning of all of those words individually. Beyond that, I cannot tell you.

          • If you learned why blood gas analyzers must be calibrated and controlled for temperature and barometric pressure, you already know more about hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution that any theorist.

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          I already told you what I think about your ideas.

      • Nick Sanders

        Animals, plants, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, archaea, even other viruses:
        http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2008/08/07/the-virophage-a-virus-that-infects-other-viruses/

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        Tobacco mosiac virus, grapevine fanleaf virus, stunt virus, citrus psorosis virus, tomatoes can be affected by about 5 different viruses, lettuce about 3. There are 1,000s of plant viruses

    • Nick Sanders

      Using lot of big words doesn’t make you right. Especially when you aren’t even using some of them correctly.

    • Heidi_storage

      I did a Google search for virus-driven energy theft and came up with a bunch of articles that seem to have been authored by…you. Where are all these almost laughing scientists with their nutritional epigenetics that you mention?

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Can you please explain your experience in changing the ph of, for example, an human being? What is the amount of change that you have achieved in, let’s say, blood and how you did it? And how did that change the human being reaction to a viral infection?

      I am very interested in the answers.

      • Heidi_storage

        Ooh, ooh, I bet I can answer; no need for Kohl to put himself to the bother of explaining things to uneducated folk like you! MicroRNA energy transfers epigenetics energy stealing hydrogen nutrient viral pathology. There, you’re welcome.

        • demodocus

          Don’t forget polygonal quasars disrupting oxygenic osmosis and some other big sciency words I read in high school.

          • Nick Sanders

            Hey, you leave my family out of this!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Don’t forget to calibrate the endoplasmic reticulum for maximum efficiency. Damn thing is always out of whack.

          • Charybdis

            Thymine Dimers!! It’s always the thymine dimers!

      • Sue

        “Or that changes in pH that allows viruses to steal more of the energy that would otherwise link nutritional epigenetics from angstroms to ecosystems in all living genera”

        What even does that mean?

      • LibrarianSarah

        While you’re at it, please explain what the ever-loving fuck “stress-altered stress” is.

        In all seriousness, I find it hilarious that all these quacks thinks that people are perfectly evolved to handle childbirth, disease, etc but can’t seem to handle the “stress” of modern life.

        I’m pretty sure that running around in the wilderness, not knowing if you will eat or drinks today while being constantly on guard for predators is a shit ton more stressful than anything we have going on today. Those lucky caveman only had to worry about whether a tiger will attack them and their families in their sleep Ihave to worry about that expense report due on Monday.

        Please.

    • Linden

      You have no idea what an angstrom is. Or an ecosystem. You haven’t a clue about epigenetics. You, TEH informed layperson, are *exactly* the type of person Dr. Amy is writing about. Viruses stealing your energy. So science! Very brainz!

      • Thanks. I’m presenting the fourth in a series of poster presentations that link the anti-entropic epigenetic effects of ultraviolet light from the energy-dependent physiology of reproduction to supercoiled DNA that protects all organized genomes from virus-driven entropy at the forthcoming free virtual conference on Genetics and Genomics (labroots).

        • Linden

          Dude, we know the meaning of *all* those words. Have you been hitting PubMed and ieee xplore for your word salad? Polysyllabic words aren’t going to impress us. They are not some magic incantation you are the master of. Those words mean something, and scientists, who’ve studied for years, use them to communicate information. They don’t use them to obfuscate and hide their ignorance. You need to level up a lot before you can bullshit this crowd.

          • demodocus

            A prof of mine was fond of saying “I understand all those words individually, but not together in your sentence.” (He’d use it generically, not directed at any student)

          • demodocus

            btw is supercoiled a thing outside his brain?

          • MaineJen

            DNA is supercoiled inside the nucleus; that is what allows so much DNA to be packed into such a tiny area. The coils are wrapped around histone proteins, and different enzymes uncoil certain sections of DNA for transcription when necessary.

            None of that has anything to do with what jvkohl is saying.

          • demodocus

            Cool. 🙂 Sounds vaguely familiar but it has been ages since I had biology.
            I already guessed that jvk is talking nonsensically.

        • Dr Kitty

          The word is enthalpic. Not anti-entropic.

          Delusions of grandeur in a manic episode make more sense as an explanation for your posts than anything else.

          If you want to be taken more seriously than that, assuming you don’t have a serious mental illness at present, you need to work on communicating your ideas more effectively.

          At the moment you don’t make sense, even to people trying to understand you.

          I promise you, this is not due shortcomings in the IQ or education of your audience.

          • demodocus

            excepting me 😉

          • Thanks. As an anonymous source who is commenting on my word choice, which is based on what I known about the anti-entropic virucidal energy of UV light in the context of RNA-mediated DNA repair, please tell me why I should consider using your word choice in my accurate representations of biologically-based cause and effect.

          • Do you want people to understand what you’re saying or not? People are telling you they don’t understand you and asking you to clarify your words. Is communication of your ideas a thing that matters to you? If so, that’s why you should change your word choice.

          • When do you think people who are interested in understanding what I am saying will start to learn why I am using the language serious scientists use and citing my sources, and continuing presentations like these?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K35THJtlhoE
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CN2a0Z1fQI

          • Well, you can either communicate with people where they are, or you can keep using science-y terms that set off woo bullshit red flags. Your call.

          • Nick Sanders

            Nobody but you uses the language you use.

          • Who?

            How can anyone learn what you’re saying when you talk incomprehensibly.

    • Deborah

      “Quack quack”

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Speaking of PubMed, it appears to have never heard of you.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      You keep stringing words together in a meaningless way

  • Mishimoo

    I am officially a #shitmum! I had the utter gall to state that the paleo diet is based on pseudoscience and is unhealthy (and might kill me). Apparently I’m setting a bad example for my children, know nothing about anything, need to “harden up princess” (?), keep my opinions to myself, and should listen to my betters.

    • Charybdis

      Welcome to the shit side! We have more fun than they do.

      • demodocus

        and better cookies!

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Yeah, none of that gluten/dairy free crap!

          • Azuran

            and with sugar!

          • demodocus

            Especially that part!! (Margerine and shortening work just as well for cookies, imo)

      • Mishimoo

        And way yummier food!

    • tracy two crows

      Paleo Diet= repackaged Atkins/South Beach diet for douchbags and Hiptsers too young,or uneducated to remember it the first go round….lol

      • Mishimoo

        Exactly! It’s a fad and it would wreak havoc on my gallbladder, gut, cholesterol, and my bank account. No thanks!

        • Kate Reed

          Ok, not a Paleo True Believer here, but I think the mainstream paleo folks are about unprocessed foods, lots of vegetables, pastured/wild meat when possible, and no fear of fat. No grains, often no dairy, as little sugar as possible. Will this diet kill you? Probably not. It might be the best thing for some, just as a vegan diet may be the best thing for someone else (though I can’t imagine who . . . ).

          • Mishimoo

            It might be great for some, but considering there are some questions about what it does to the human body in the long run, I’m never going to be a fan.

            As for it killing me: my family has a history of gallbladder issues and I end up in excruciating pain when I eat what my body defines as too much fat (aka: normal to most people, and low to paleo), even though my gallbladder tests as healthy. Once my gallbladder goes, my liver will follow because that’s what just seems to happen in my family. Having seen my stepmother-in-law die of non-alcoholic cirrosis from another issue (yay, childhood Heb B infection), that’s really not something I want for myself. I also have the start of high cholesterol issues, my gut is refusing to process small amounts of meat properly which leads to nausea, indigestion, and heartburn; and I also struggle with raw foods, which sucks because I love snacking on raw fruits and veggies. Sitting on the toilet for the next week and courting dehydration due to severe diarrhea isn’t worth it though. So yes, changing to a paleo diet has the potential to kill me or make my health issues bad enough to make me want to kill myself. So I’ll just stick to the one my dietitian signed off on, instead of taking advice from people online.

          • Kate Reed

            Yeowch! That’s a difficult list of health problems. I do hope you are able to find a strategy to live comfortably. I apologize if it sounded like I was trying to give you advice. I was trying to address the scornful accusation that paleo diet followers are douchebags, hipsters and faddish. I’m sure some of them are, but then you’ll find those people in every crowd.

          • Mishimoo

            It’s okay, I just get frustrated when paleo is presented as a cure-all, especially when it’s just assumed that I’m eating junk*. I cook/prepare most of what my family eats because I love cooking, I have certain dietary needs, I have picky eaters, and because it’s a lot cheaper for my single-income family.

            *Which is one of those things – it seems like most people want to blame something for various health issues which IS very human (I have hypermobility syndrome, fibromyalgia, and IBS) and if you don’t eat 100% perfectly, then it’s your own fault that you’re sick or your child is sick, not just a crappy draw of the genetic lottery. It gets tiring.

          • Kate Reed

            Yeah, I hear you. It’s kind of amazing how entrenched everyone gets and how intolerant of other people’s right to do things differently. It seems to happen more often these days and I’m trying to quit getting outraged so easily! A person can learn a lot from someone’s different experience, like yours, for example.

    • Who?

      Whoever said that sounds cranky. So much for the diet doing them the world of good.

      • Mishimoo

        Apparently I should bow to her B.A in History and take her nutritional advice instead of listening to my dietitian, and I am terribly abusive and ungrateful for disagreeing with her unsolicited advice. I am the worst person ever, of all time 😛

        • Who?

          Well if that’s all it takes….

          • Mishimoo

            It would appear so! Witness me, I am the cause of civilization’s downfall. Mwahahaha

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            One little failure to go on a paleo diet, and civilization collapses? Either you’re the secret key to the universe (or maybe your intestines are) or civilization is a lot more fragile than I ever would have suspected.

          • Mishimoo

            Oh, but you see: I disagreed. I disrespected someone who is my elder and my better, at least according to her, by refusing to take her dietary advice. Since I have my son in my FB profile pic, she went on a rant about how I am setting a bad example for my children and how I am the reason that kids these days are so horrible, and so on. Hence the fall of civilisation as we know it!

          • Amazed

            Shame on you! Civilization was doing great until you came along. Sure, there were two world wars, two hundred years wars and about two hundred smaller wars but WE WERE JUST FINE!

          • Who?

            If you don’t mind my saying so, to paraphrase my mother, you may have left your hearing aid turned on too long.

          • Nick Sanders

            Wait, wait, wait, so modern civilization depends on imitating pre-civilized peoples? (I’m not even going to get into how the paleo diet looks nothing like what paleolithic people ate, I just want to understand the chain of thought she’s employing)

          • Who?

            Referring to it as ‘random mental bubbles of certitude’ rather than ‘chain of thought’ might get you off to a strong start;-)

          • MLE

            Oh wow, that was great! Thank you!

          • Mishimoo

            Pretty much, along with proper respect (you know, the type that only goes one way) and my personal favourite fallacy: the Appeal to Ancient Wisdom.

  • CatSpam

    An excellent article. Nonsense abounds all about us: it surrounds us. One of the things I came away with after reading this was the necessity to remain critically vigilant when presented with new information. At a minimum, we should accept nothing without sufficient evidence. “Authoritative” sources such as the media may lure people into acceptance of ideas based primarily on their perceived authority. I recall from many years back the hysteria surrounding an insecticide called “alar.” You may see from the attached snippet how uncritical and unscientific thought and political pressures may create “facts” out of thin air: http://junksciencearchive.com/news3/alar.html

    • TakeMe2MonkeyTown

      The main issue I have with science reporting is that the people who write the clickbait articles often don’t even remotely understand what they are reporting on, and the public knows even less. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve read through actual peer-reviewed articles or reports after reading a questionable news article, only to find that the peer-reviewed lit says the exact opposite of the news article.

      • Megan

        This is a pet peeve of mine too. I really think literacy of basic statistics and how to interpret the scientific literature should be part of our high school curriculums.

  • Mrs.Katt the Cat

    Yes! This exactly! Eloquently put. I have considered the belief in natural cures just that, a belief system. A belief system that views trust in medicine (“allopathy “- giving the others a special name to label non believers) as another belief system.

    Tyring to use rationality and evidence to convince them they are wrong is seen as attempts at conversion, to undermine the system by which they define themselves. To them, it is one belief system against another. The idea that science is not a matter of belief, but of critical thinking, is not something they understand. Throwing more evidence and proof at them might ‘convert’ a few, but it won’t undo their religion.

  • Bob Blaskiewicz

    Entirely agree. Have become increasingly convinced of this as I followed the Burzynski case.

  • Linda Rosa

    An apt model. This is something we just saw play out at the Colorado Capitol in legislators considering the lay midwifery sunset bill. They were all about protecting those wonderful high priestesses of home birth (vs. the public).

  • “Medical error third leading cause of death in US: study” May 3, 2016 http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-05-medical-error-death.html

    • Guest

      Your point?

      • Sue

        Don’t you get it? Medical error allows viruses to exploit epigenetic energy-dependent base-pair pH changes, resulting in – ah – bad stuff.

    • guest

      I see that as a good sign – if people weren’t getting good medical care most of the time, quite a few other things would be leading causes of death over medical error.

    • Azuran

      This number is an extrapolation of an estimated number from 17 years ago. (and they took the biggest numbers of every estimates to reach the biggest number possible)
      The medical community does have problems and yes medical complication and death do occurs (although caution must be made to differentiate between real medical error, misdiagnosis, failure to respond to treatment (or adverse reaction to treatment) and medical complications as those are not at all the same thing).
      There are certainly a lot of things that could be done to prevent more deaths. First would be to have computerized medical files and prescriptions everywhere to avoid those way too common reading mistakes.
      Removing those private insurance companies from putting their noses into what tests and treatment you can get.
      Get healthcare coverage for the entire population so people can have proper medical care and follow up with their doctors and not just show up at the emergency room all the time and seeing a different doctor every time.

      It’s very hard to say if those numbers are accurate or not. Obviously, having better documented death certificates and proper compilation of those results would definitely help. The take home message is not that we should all avoid doctors because they will kill us. It’s that your medical system needs improvement. (and it always will, nothing humans do will ever be perfect)

      • Megan

        Meanwhile, there was no widespread use of EHR 17 years ago. I’d be interested to see how the numbers compare as it’s been adopted. Not saying I love everything about EHR, but would be interested.

      • nomofear

        Believe it or not, private insurance isn’t necessarily a boogeyman. In the same way that we prefer OBs to lay midwives because the volume that OBs handle makes them safer (among many other reasons, of course), insurance companies are able to take the volume that each individual doc handles and aggregate it onto metadata, which shows us some hard truths about what works in medicine. For instance, there are a few procedures that insurance companies realized had high failure rates – so they’re able to require a similar but less invasive procedure first, which, if that goes well, predicts success for the more invasive thing, or avoids it altogether.

        Also, most companies are self funded – part of the fee that they’re paying to the insurance company includes taking the PR hit for refusing to cover stuff that’s too expensive. The company itself is paying those bills at the end of the day, so it can’t afford to cover everything. Nor can it afford for employees to be marching up to HR every time insurance refuses the newest designer drug.

        You’re always going to be able to find a bad example, but the system works pretty well, overall.

        • Azuran

          And you think a public health system wouldn’t be able to keep track of what it’s paying for?
          I’ve seen many american doctors complaining about the amount of paperwork they have to do. About insurance companies denying test they know their patients need because the patient is not a ‘textbook’ case so they don’t feel he needs the test. Or insurance companies just being so late on medical knowledge that they refuse to pay for new and better tests.

    • The Precision Medicine Initiative is trying to address the pseudoscientific nonsense that has led to the suffering and deaths by virus-driven pathology during the years since neo-Darwinian theory was invented.

      Serious scientists have since linked energy-dependent changes in base pairs to healthy longevity and energy theft by viruses to all pathology via what is known about physics, chemistry, and the conserved molecular mechanisms of RNA-mediated cell type differentiation.

      What we will continue to see here are examples of people who, like Amy, do not want to learn anything about nutrient energy-dependent hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution, or anything else that links microRNA flanking sequences and adhesion proteins to supercoiled DNA that protects all organized genomes from virus-driven entropy.

      • Sue

        Wait – this jvkohl person is really a very cheeky twelve year old boy having fun with us, using all those big words in word salad, right? If so, it’s very funny, but not convicing. Nice, try, though.

      • Charybdis

        Thymine dimers!!

  • Bugsy

    Absolute fantastic, fantastic post, Dr. Amy. This analogy very well demonstrates the vitriol our anti-vax friend had for us after we wouldn’t expose our young son to her child.

    • No replies to the presentation from the “Molecular Diagnostics” conference last month is not a surprising finding. It’s only been a few hours. Let’s wait and see the responses after someone takes the time to listen to the 7-minute presentation. Predictably, due to the nature of pervasive ignorance in groups like this, respondents will claim I don’t know what I am talking about — despite the citations to published works.

      • Nick Sanders

        Why are you talking to yourself?

        • Charybdis

          Any idea what he is trying desperately to get a response to?

          • Nick Sanders

            Probably the youtube video, I’d say. Not that anyone is going to watch it, since it’s doubtful he talks any more coherently than he types.

          • Obviously, the idiot minions of neo-Darwinian theorists are not going to watch it. They live in fear of experimental evidence, and I’ve cited the works to support my model.

          • momofone

            I’m curious–you’re certain that the readers here are “idiot minions,” yet you seem compelled to have them accept your model. What purpose would that serve?

          • MaineJen

            I’m…just going to leave this here. It seems our serious scientist is actually…peddling snake oil himself.

            http://scentoferos.com/index.html

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Himself!

          • Thanks Dr. Tuteur. See also: http://physicsdaily.net/documentaries-2015-mystery-of-quantum-physics/

            See also: “In my opinion, quantum collapse is happening all the time, everywhere,” Ellis says. Pointing to a sun-drenched tree, he adds: “Every time a particle of light hits a leaf, quantum uncertainty about that particle changes to certainty.” http://discovermagazine.com/2015/june/18-tomorrow-never-was

            My comment: It has always been difficult for me to think of any other explanation for life on Earth. If theorists cannot link hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution to energy-dependent cell type differentiation in all living genera via what is known to all serious scientists about the anti-entropic energy of the sun and biologically-based cause and effect, what good are their ridiculous theories?

          • demodocus

            I’m neither bored nor curious enough to bother watching his little video. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is on.

          • Thanks. I know lots of people like you who make claims like that to disguise their lack of intelligence.

          • demodocus

            Thanks!

          • demodocus

            I have to admit, despite being the lowest rung of the social ladder throughout my school years, this is the first time anyone ever called me unintelligent. Interesting.
            On a related note, I know a few people who utilize an excessive percentage of polysyllabic words to compensate for something.

          • guest

            I see overuse of polysyllabic words a lot in undergraduate papers. They think it will impress professors if they take the word they would have used and find an alternate in the thesaurus. It does not impress.

          • Charybdis

            Then what’s your excuse?

          • It’s a common sense approach to energy-dependent cell type differentiation.

          • Who?

            it isn’t.

            And anything described by its progenitor as ‘common sense’ has a big black cross against it, since said progenitor is unlikely to be able to see past the end of his own nose.

          • RNA-mediated physics, chemistry, and molecular epigenetics
            http://www.labroots.com/virtual-event/genetics-genomics-2016

            Abstract: Olfaction and the innate immune system link energy as
            information from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of
            supercoiled DNA. The sun’s biological energy is the source of the information that links angstroms to ecosystems via physics, chemistry, and molecular epigenetics.

            RNA-mediated protein folding chemistry and amino acid
            substitutions link the anti-entropic quantized energy of sunlight from the virucidal effects of ultraviolet (UV) light to healthy longevity via
            biophysically-constrained energy-dependent hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution and cell type differentiation.

            Biomarkers link energy-dependent differences in base pairs and amino acid substitutions to biosignatures across the healthy life span. RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions also reveal the increasing
            complexity of interactions among cell types as pathology progresses. For comparison, successful reproduction links energy from supercoiled DNA to protection of all organized genomes from virus-driven energy theft and pathology.

            This model links the sun’s biological energy from top-down causation in microbes to the most recent model of bottom-up gene activation and cell type differentiation in vertebrates. Citations to extant literature provide examples of what is currently known about how ecological variation leads to biophysically constrained cell type differentiation in the context of nutritional epigenetics and Precision Medicine, which clearly link metabolic networks and genetic networks to pharmacogenomics.

        • No, I was baiting the idiot minions of all theorists.

          • Azuran

            You do realize this is a blog mostly about things related to pregnancy/Birth/childcare right? No one here is in search of the meaning of life or quantum collapse. You’re on the wrong part of the internet.

          • Nick Sanders

            In what language is “no” an appropriate answer to “why?”?

  • Sue

    Nice model, Amy. Very elegant.

    • “The serpent in the Garden was technology…”

      There is too much theory for this to be considered a model, and it does not address the facts in “Analysis of 6,515 exomes reveals the recent origin of most human protein-coding variants”

      For example: The findings confirm that the majority of variants, including potentially harmful ones, were picked up during the past 5,000–10,000 years.

      73% of 1.15 million single-nucleotide variants found among more than 15,000 protein-encoding genes arose the past 5,000 years. ~ 14% were potentially harmful and 86% of those arose in the past 5,000 years. That is what all serious scientists would expect if virus-driven energy theft cause the harmful variants during that time.

      • Heidi_storage

        What does your reply have to do with this quote? In fact, what does your entire mass of ramblings have to do with this post?

        • Azuran

          There was a theft this week in another vet clinic where I live. I guess I’ve found where the stolen drugs went.

      • Sue

        WHy is this kohl guy repying to my comment to Dr Amy? Wait – Amy- is this one of your top-secret avatars? Nice work! Nobody would have picked it.

  • Colm Donnelly

    I can’t help but find that, for an article based in the rational world (and an otherwise excellent article at that), the fact that the assumption of political affiliation is made. For want of not sounding butthurt, this isn’t a rational assumption that can be made, simply on the basis that pseudoscience is a belief followed by the non-religious, and so the left-inclined.

    Don’t get me wrong: this has been an excellent read, but making assumptions like that at best, is lazy, and at worst, can give indication of a political agenda.

    • Who?

      Agreed.

      The fact that a fair swathe of the community seem susceptible to this particular brand of nonsense should be enough, without putting old fashioned labels on it.

      • Charybdis

        I think it helps explain some of the “why” and “how” people get sucked into this BS, using a comparison a huge swath of people across a myriad of socio-economic levels can follow/understand.

    • guest

      Aren’t you making the same political affiliation assumption, just in the opposite direction?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      I didn’t say that pseudoscience was followed only by the non-religious or the political Left. I said that pseudoscience is treated as a sexual religion by the non-religious and those on the political Left. For the religious and those on the Right, pseudoscience is treated as the inevitable result of religious or political beliefs. For example, opposition to evolution follows inevitably from the belief that the Bible should be read as literally true.

    • indigosky

      And where I live, it is followed by the right-leaning. The few ex-friends I have who became woo-crazy were all registered Republicans, one of them a straight up Tea Partier. You can’t make broad assumptions about religious/political affiliation and pseudo-science.

  • Francesca Violi

    I agree, and I were definitely convinced of this recently.
    In the area where I live, elementary school’s canteen is due to provide special meals for children with health issues (celiac disease, allergies, of which family must produce medical certification) and religious ones: muslim families can request their children are provided with alternative meals free of pork meat. I heard more than one vegetarian mother complaining: “Why can the muslim have their pork-free menu while my child cannot have a veg menu?”. They did put their dietary choice together with a prescription from a religious belief! But (and I am an atheist and vegetarian) real religions may have mundane prescritpions about what to eat or what to wear but these things are not the core of faith, they are accessories for the superior, transcendent dimension: faith, religion, is about crucial stuff like the meaning of life, good and evil, afterlife, saving your soul, and a God in the end. Some ideologies or secualr religions don’t have a god but still have a core of ethical principles, a world vision. Whereas all this “natural ” advocacy for some people actually takes the form of a religion, with all the narrative and faith and the do’s and don’ts, but actually it starts and ends with what you put in your entrails and how you cure haemorroids kind of stuff…What is at their core? The perfect health and well-being and “armony” of the individual? This really troubles me. .

  • star

    I can see how normal people can be sucked in. I have had a knee and ankle issue for years. I have gone to see the best doctor and specialists in the country. I have gone to therapies, taken medication and pretty much tried everything western medicine could offer. I was constantly in pain and unable to do the most basic things, like walk around a grocery store. I became desperate and tried acupuncture, homeopathic doctors, that thing where you dip your feet in water and that device “purifies” your body, the foot pad things that do the same, and on and on I fell. I just wanted to stop hurting so badly I would have sold my soul to the Devil.

    Eventually, I was able to stop most of the pain but when I am going to be out and about walking, I need my cane, lest me knee give out on me.

    • Colm Donnelly

      Funnily enough, I just saw a video where a chap deconstructed the water based purifying device – it’s a very basic (and incorrect) electrolysis setup. The therapist puts “purifying” adulterants in the water that raises its conductivity; the electrodes made of different metals are then hooked up to a low-power AC supply, and it produces a whole heap of colourful metal oxides in the water, which are explained away as “toxins”.

      • star

        I’ve seen that too. I felt like such an idiot for falling for that crap. My father was a Navy Corpsman for 25 years! I have a Master’s degree! But chronic pain will make you try anything. All I did was waste thousands of dollars on snake oil and almost destroyed my marriage.

  • Steve

    Anyone here for a rebuttal?

    1. Creation myth: there was a mindless explosion in infinite thermal equilibrium of quantum fluctuations that then steadily gave rise to all the known elements in the universe.

    2. The fall: mindless entropy moved forward. some of these elements grouped together, walls fell around them called “cellular membranes” until a code and code-making process fell into place. This gave rise to self replicating organisms, which evolved into organisms that became more complex and ordered, negentropy. Some of them developed language, and discovered how to be cruel. Then they deluded themselves into believing this mindless explosion bequeathed to them a mind capable of imagining such a thing as cruelty.

    3. Demons: amidst this cruelty some animals developed what became known as the “scientific method”, a series of steps to be followed by all intelligent organisms. In the process they learned cruelty isn’t real and shouldn’t be judged in that way. Because it’s artificial, another form of survival.

    4. Predestination: the explosion from nothing into something ran its course and the fixed immutable laws that were discovered, it was decided, (by a method of inquiry born of mindless organisms), that the explosion will eventually peter out deterministically and all information will be lost and likely return to a void – long after the mindless organisms die out, having lost to entropy in the end.

    5. The devil: while the apparent cruelty still cannot be judged as such, it will be tempting for some to propose serial killing and other such schadenfreude as evidence of a malevolent force. This is folly, because the scientific method of investigation will have been vindicated by inventions such as air conditioning and iPhones. Those who don’t believe in mechanisms that can be measured will be called pseudoscientists. They will be shunned and scorned accordingly.

    6. Exorcism: mechanistic brains who have invented a notion of devilish forces and other such pseudosciences will need to be swept up from the halls of academia, in education, and the public square. Their ideas, not their bodies, will need to be purged.

    7. Faith: a trust in new inventions and gadgets born of the scientific method will hold sway as they promise to lengthen the life of organisms that were not built to survive in an otherwise mostly dead universe anyway.

    8. Priests: the inventors who have been preserved in the halls of academia will be hailed in great esteem. They will undergo a ritualized training, award themselves with certificates, meet at conventions, challenge each other and write papers that only the most esteemed can criticize. This mass institution will be called higher education, and will decide how the young will be indoctrinated in the right method of thinking.

    9. Prayer: these priests will gather in meetings called peer-review and decide who has held to their principles most objectively. These leaders will be followed and adored by those less capable of clear thinking. They will award themselves prizes and congratulate each other in ceremonies. A variety of different sects called “specializations” will be formed where they can conduct their study.

    10. Salvation: occasionally, one inventor will have a creative leap of imagination and overturn 99% of what the other inventors have up to then believed was basically the final word. This new inventor will be scorned and ridiculed in their time, but later be hailed as a towering figure of leadership who brought good news, but was not understood or appreciated. Photos of these famed inventors will be placed in all halls of academia, their works and ideas will be referenced in most all future works and their original manuscripts will be kept under glass. One of their brains will be kept in a jar with the hope of discovering how their mind (excuse me) brain worked.

    • Nick Sanders

      Phew, where to begin describing your misconceptions…

      • Who?

        Nick, this is the time to be kind to yourself.

        Let it go.

        • LaMont

          And if you can’t, listen to “Storm” a few times and then sleep on it. That beautiful poem/monologue/song/whatever is my goddamn happy place.

        • Bugsy

          The preschooler has watched Frozen too many times. Your post came with its own musical accompaniment.

          • Who?

            I haven’t seen the film the whole way through, and have not seen that song in context, though I do somehow know most of the words-osmosis?

            It does seem a fine sentiment though.

            One of my memories of it is watching a very young Japanese girl do an impassioned version in front of the biggest television I’ve ever seen, in an electrical appliance store in Tokyo. She was right into it.

      • canaduck

        And he spent so much time on it, too. What a tortured attempt at analogy, and what a waste. Blech.

    • Sue

      Not much point wasting energy on that drivel, but there are some great rebuttals of other myths perpetrated by high-priests of woo to read around the net. Search for almost any crazy myth with ‘deubnked’ and you can find a good scientific correction.

    • canaduck

      Wow, you spent a really long time on that tortured analogy. What a waste.

    • demodocus

      Maybe it’s because my kid kept me up half the night, but this is making less sense than that poorly translated German philosophy book I was paid to read to a blind philosophy student in college.

      • Megan

        Kind of reminds me of the Consumer Reports bits where they show product directions translated from Chinese into English with some pretty amusing results.

        http://static2.consumerreportscdn.org/content/dam/cro/magazine-articles/2013/January/07to11upfrontCRJAN13-COMBO-TRANSLATION.jpg

        • Empliau

          David Sedaris’ “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” comes from a Japanese hotel’s emergency instructions. I love the idea that there’s anything you can do when you are engulfed in flames. Plus, we should use the word engulfed more often!

          • Deborah

            I am engulfed in a migraine after reading today’s comment section. Damn – the energy thief strikes again!

    • See: Why humans are the high-energy apes http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6286/639.full

      It links the anti-entropic energy of virucidal ultraviolet light to all healthy longevity and virus-driven energy theft to all pathology via epigenetic effects on the innate immune system, which links the physiology of reproduction to supercoiled DNA in all living genera.

      The supercoiled DNA protects against the virus-driven energy theft that causes the mutations, which are linked to all pathology by what is known to serious scientists about how to link angstroms to ecosystems.

      Ranier Friedrich’s group just linked olfaction from the innate immune system to supercoiled DNA and consciousness via chemical ecology and niche construction that links the weekend resurrection of the bacterial flagellum via RNA-mediated physics, chemistry, and the conserved molecular mechanisms of energy-dependent biologically-based cause and effect.

      • CatSpam

        What in the wide world of sports are you talking about?

        • demodocus

          poe mocking the other’s style, or just another parachutist, I’m guessing.

          • Thanks for guessing. That’s what pseudoscientists do, isn’t it? Most of them assume that de Vries 1902 definition of “mutation” is the best way to link evolution of one species to another. Someone else assumed it first, and they like the idea of extending assumptions to their guesses.

          • Paolo Sudiro

            “What of it?” demanded Hardin. “[…]. I took that record, had it copied out and sent that to Holk for analysis, also.”
            Lundin Crast said, “And where is the analysis?”
            “That,” replied Hardin, “is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Holk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications – in short, all the goo and dribble – he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out.”
            “Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn’t say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire.” (I. Asimov – Foundation)

          • LaMont

            Salvor Hardin is the best!!!

          • demodocus

            Ah, the latter. And here I was so hoping.

        • Thanks for asking. How could it not be clear? Did you consider trying to find information on “…RNA-mediated physics, chemistry, and the conserved molecular mechanisms of energy-dependent biologically-based cause and effect.”

          • CatSpam

            I’m wondering less about what you said and more about why you said it. None of what you said pertains in any way to the article being discussed.

        • guest

          Steve and Kohl shared a bad batch of drugs.

      • Nick Sanders

        There is no such thing as “anti-entropic” energy. Which is a shame, since the second law of thermodynamics is rather depressing.

      • MaineJen

        I’m hoping to have a nice weekend resurrection myself. It’s going to involve Corona and my back porch.

        BTW, UV light does indeed cause point mutations in DNA, but whether it is “supercoiled DNA” or not doesn’t matter. Also, when someone claims to know the cause of “all pathology”, serious people become seriously skeptical.

        • Thanks. Evidently, when I say virus-driven energy theft is the cause of all pathology, pseudoscientists do not recognize the fact that energy is required for healthy longevity and the physiology of nutrient-dependent reproduction that links angstroms to ecosystems in species from microbes to humans.

          • Nick Sanders

            How does one link angstroms to ecosystems, anyway?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I don’t know, but something tells me that he can make the Kessel run in under 9 parsecs.

          • demodocus

            also, he beat the kobiyashu test faster than Jim Kirk

          • MaineJen

            This guy would just talk the computer to death. “Error…does not compute”

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            You know, virus driven energy theft could actually be a useful thing in modern society. One of the big (sorry, pun unavoidable) medical problems of modern society is obesity. In short, too much energy. A virus that “stole” some of the energy stored in a person’s body in the form of fat might be helpful to that person’s health, as long as it had no direct or immune mediated pathology and could be “shut off” when no longer needed. Unfortunately, a virus that meets these parameters is, as far as I know, a fantasy.

          • demodocus

            Oh, I don’t know, I lost a lot of weight when I caught a rotovirus. *sarcasm*

        • I am not a scientist, but it looks like jvkohl is saying words together that simply don’t make sense when configured in those sentences.

          It’s just … setting off all my woo red flags. I think jvkohl is saying that sunshine is good? And fixes all health problems? And viruses “steal our energy” instead of hijacking our cells to reproduce themselves?

          Then something about supercoiled DNA which makes no sense.

          And then something about smells being linked to improving our immune system through, uh, some sort of magic it looks like.

          Am I completely crazy here?

          • MaineJen

            Check out my link above. He’s trying to peddle his pheromone based love potion. I’m not even kidding. It’s the second or third Google link when you look this guy up by name.

          • Lovely. /s

        • Who?

          When someone claims to know the cause of ‘all anything’ I get a bit twitchy.

          Complacent over-confidence is not a good look.

  • Who?

    My only quibble is the predestination issue. Most of my circle who are into this have been seriously ill-mostly cancer, actually mostly breast cancer. Some others are afflicted with hard to pin down tired all the time type symptoms, which they assure me can’t be corrected by adopting a regular sleeping pattern. So what if they are so busy they go to bed after midnight and are up again at 5.30? Nothing to do with being tired. Obviously.

    What those two groups have in common though is a high level of neurotic/ocd type personality characteristics. They are 100% into whatever the cure du jour happens to be, can’t countenance anything else. Things come and go, each with the zeal of the one true cure. Which they never seem to tire of.

    If only they didn’t feel the need to proselytise.

    • mabelcruet

      I was diagnosed with intraductal carcinoma, a preinvasive stage of breast cancer a few years ago (lump appeared that my GP said I should get a mammogram for just in case). All I needed was a lumpectomy, nothing else, so I consider myself very lucky.

      There was a patient support group attached to the clinic, and as I’m single and in a different country to most of my family I thought I’d go and check it out. I went once and never returned-I got nothing but criticism, even anger, about my behaviour and beliefs. I’m overweight, I’m a carnivore, I eat dairy, I eat cooked food-no raw macro nutrient diet for me. I don’t pray, I don’t meditate, I drink alcohol, I don’t believe in homeopathy, I don’t believe in detox diets, I use a mobile phone regularly, and I refuse point blank to use the phrase I am a cancer survivor. I’m not, I was lucky that I found the lump early, lucky that I have a sensible GP and lucky that I have access to first rate medical care. I didn’t fight, I was terrified and did everything my surgeon told me to do, and he told me to go home and get on with my life. I can understand why a lot of them were reacting the way they did, a diagnosis like that leaves you feeling completely out of control, and maybe changing to a dairy free raw vegan diet or whatever is their way of regaining control, but to me, it was like being bullied at school again for not wearing the right shoes and being the odd one out.

      • Who?

        I feel sick reading that, can imagine just how they spoke to you and each other.

        You challenged them by being yourself.

        I’m so sorry and hope your health is good, and that it will stay that way.

        • mabelcruet

          Thanks, I’m absolutely fine now. I have to go for mammograms yearly but other than that, nothing else. When it all happened, I was upset and angry for days-I thought it would be supportive and helpful, but the overwhelming impression I got was that they all thought cancer was punishment and so they had to eat clean and live clean and only those who tried hard enough and sacrificed enough would be cured. Fat, chocolate eating, wine drinking, atheist me who only had in situ cancer, not even real cancer, didn’t compute with them . It was like they were angry at me for not being sicker when I had such an unhealthy life style and was refusing to make any changes to it.

          But that was what really changed my attitude about the language of cancer. I hate the phrase cancer survivor, and I hate the prevailing attitude of ‘we will beat cancer’, ‘she fought a brave fight against cancer’. It implies that those who succumb to cancer were losers, they didn’t fight hard enough, they didn’t sacrifice enough, that their death was partly their own fault because they didn’t change to a fruitarian diet or whatever.

  • BeatriceC

    Middle kid update: it’s been a horrible day. Still no answers and the child flipped his shit. I went home on the advise of the social worker. He has a “sitter” in his room, as his attempt to escape makes him a flight risk. He and I butt heads a lot. He’s stubborn and strong willed just like me and sometimes that doesn’t work out to well. We will revisit the idea of exploratory surgery if they can’t figure it out by Monday. MrC booked a hotel for the two of us tonight and tomorrow night to get me away for a while. We are leaving in about an hour.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      I’m sorry today has been the way it is, but good on Mr. C for taking care of you!

    • Mel

      *hugs*

    • Gatita

      Oh that sounds terrible. I am so so sorry you’re going through this. Your husband is a gem for taking care of you that way.

      • BeatriceC

        I was teasing him that he wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel room if he would fix the hot tub at the house! A hot tub to relax in was the primary reason for getting away. My oldest, who will be 17 on Wednesday, will be taking care of the youngest, who will be 14 in a few weeks, but can’t cook to save his life. The parents of the oldest kid’s girlfriend will be checking in on them and we are only going to be 39 minutes away, so I’m okay leaving them.

        • Who?

          So glad you have lovely Mr C and kind friends to support you.

        • Charybdis

          Do the oldest and youngest get along okay?

          I am so sorry this is happening to you guys. Would they let you bring Leo in for a visit? Pets can help a lot.

          Have a nice dinner, some chocolate and a tasty adult beverage then hit the hot tub. Sometimes a little distance can be a good thing. Continuing to cross fingers that this gets resolved soon.

          • BeatriceC

            Yeah, they get along fairly well. The youngest is actually really easy to get along with. He’s really laid back and practically nothing bothers him (though when it does, he goes from zero to completely losing it it about two seconds.) he spends most of his time playing with Legos or playing computer games. He gets so quiet that sometimes I go to his room just to make sure he’s still breathing. The hardest part of taking care of him is making sure he eats.

          • Chi

            My heart breaks for you and your son. I hope the doctors will find answers soon.

            And it will be good for you to get away. There is nothing wrong with taking a little space to breathe and find yourself again, because it’s so easy to get swept up in your child and their feelings. And of course as a mother, you want to do everything you can to make them feel better/not scared.

            Taking that time will help ease some of the stress you must be experiencing, which will give you a chance to recharge your emotional batteries as it were, so you can better cope with what’s happening with your son and his subsequent mood swings.

            I know it’s only words but if I could swing by with hugs and chocolate I would, because I’ve always enjoyed reading your rational (sometimes snarky) responses to comments here.

            All the best.

        • BeatriceC

          30. Not 39. It’s hard to type on my phone through tears.

          • Who?

            Glad to see that, I wondered if all the misery had rendered you a touch-how shall I put it-sensitive to very fine detail.

            Go. Have a break. Everyone is well cared for and will be fine. The time out will do you good, if anything can for now.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      I don’t blame him for wanting to run away. He must be so scared. Not knowing exactly what’s going on can’t be helping.

      Please take some time for yourself! It won’t stop the worrying but it will help you maintain equanimity when you are with your son.

      • BeatriceC

        Yeah, I really don’t blame him at all. This whole situation just sucks. There’s no other way to put it. Hopefully there will be some answers soon and treatment can start. He’s gaining weight on a mostly liquid diet, so at least there’s some good news.

    • PeggySue

      Hugs. Such suckitude. Thinking of you…

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I’m sorry. It sounds like a horrible situation. I’m glad you’re getting away for a bit, though. It’ll help you and middle kid both if you have a break.

    • Sue

      Feel for you – sounds so stressful for all. HOpe it resolves soon.

    • momofone

      How incredibly scary and frustrating for you both. I hope your time away is exactly what you need, and that you have answers soon.

    • Angharad

      I’m so sorry! Internet stranger support and prayers! I hope things take a turn for the better.

    • mabelcruet

      Poor kid, it must be horrible waiting and waiting when nothing seems to be happening. Is there any chance he could get a ‘day pass’? In our local teenage and young adult cancer entre some of the kids are allowed out for an hour or two (obviously attended, and they can’t go if they are on a drip or immunosuppressed or something), but even just getting out on a medical pass to sit outside is calming.

      I hope you all get some answers soon.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      Poor kid… Well if they have an internet connection and you get that XBox 360 hooked up my gamer tag is SorceressDelphi if he needs someone to play with Thurs-Sunday to keep himself sane. I’m only actually good at Mass Effect 3 multiplayer but I’m willing to embarrass myself in the different Halo games if it helps him feel better.

  • Jules B

    Might we worth it for public health officials to study up on cult deprogramming techniques (I am kidding, but then I am not…)

  • guest

    It’s even harder to combat quackery when people who are doctors and scientists are promoting it. I’ve had a bad day on the internet with people insisting that knowing a few couples that got pregnant after they stopped trying means stress about fertility inhibits fertility (not stress in general, mind you, but stress specifically about fertility), and that’s how evidence-based medicine works. If evidence-based medicine means using anecdotes in place of data, count me out. But my area of expertise is neither science nor medicine, so today, at least, anything I say is just disrespectful and wrong.

    ARg.

    • guest

      Which is to say, the analogy in this post seems very accurate to me. You can’t have a rational discussion about the misinformation spread to couples facing infertility when your discussion partner treats their opinion like a religious belief.

    • Ugh. That particular opinion is so hurtful. It explicitly blames the stressed-out infertile person (and let’s be real here, that usually means blaming the woman) for their own medical condition. Infertility feels enough like failure without other people confirming it for you.

      • guest

        Yes, that’s why it bothered me. But the medical professional in question insists that she knows how science is done, and doctors use anecdotes to base their practices on all the time.

        Of course doctors use their experience to modify their approach, but you can’t explain away a new study with “well, I know lots of people where they got pregnant when they just stopped being stressed about it.”

        If a person stops being stressed, you can attribute anything that happens afterward to the lack of stress, but that doesn’t make it a causal relationship.

        • Azuran

          Well, everyone will see patterns everywhere all the time. That’s how our brains are wired. The important thing (especially for doctors) is to be able to recognize that our pattern recognition system is often flawed and should not be trusted when making important medical decision. Especially in medicine.

          • guest

            Yep. That’s what my argument was, but it was not acceptable.

    • I was involved with women in fertility treatment for about 8 years. It soon became obvious to me that the more we know about reproductive physiology, the less we are sure we’ve found all the answers and there are new questions all the time.

      • guest

        We haven’t found all the answers, but we’re also not going to find them if the health practitioners in the field refute scientific research studies with “well, I know of quite a few people who got pregnant when they just stopped trying.” It’s one thing to say there’s a lot we don’t know; it’s something else again to task couples having difficulty getting pregnant with paying for ART *and* homeopathy, pineapples, yoga, positive thinking, sex in specific positions at specific times of day, “clean” eating, both lots of exercise and no exercise at all, and on top of that commanding them never, ever to be stressed out about it, even when there is no scientific evidence that any of that works.

        • Megan

          Don’t forget the CoQ10 and lying with your legs up the wall for 30 minutes after sex. 😉

          • guest

            Of course. Can’t leave a single superstition out!

    • Nick Sanders

      That’s approximately the opposite of evidence based medicine.

      • guest

        Thank you. I should really just leave these things alone, because I start out trying to offer some correct information and end up doubting myself because I am not, in the end, a scientist or medical doctor. Although the day before yesterday I did have someone try to tell me that I didn’t know what a particular word meant, and then claim that my use of Dr. Google didn’t count when I cited the Merriam-Webster dictionary (because the OED is behind a paywall), and you can believe I won that debate since you don’t get three degrees in English without knowing your way around the English language.

    • Megan

      When I had my miscarriages, I was told I was just trying too hard to get pregnant too. But then I got my PCOS treated and had two successful pregnancies in 2 years. What a coincidence…

    • Puffin

      My medical school – a world leader in medical research – has a group dedicated to it. I find it very, very frustrating.

      The frustrating thing is that these modalities are researched a LOT, and the bit of positive stuff that does end up published is usually made up of fantastic examples of how not to conduct research. Multiple subgroup analyses until they find something positive (the “throw enough at a wall and something will stick” approach,) or focusing only on subjective end points in non or incompletely blinded trials, or completely ignoring things like biological plausibility, or taking the smallest possible statistical significance for a single endpoint – after dozens of negatives – and treating it like a world changing revelation instead of the fluke it most likely is. To be fair, plenty of researchers in actual disciplines wring their data until it screams too, but it is of epidemic proportions in the research into alternatives to real medicine.

      But most doctors – and keep in mind, you do not need a science education to go into medicine – are not good with assessing the quality of research, I’m barely above amateur at it myself, and so they hear that a study had a positive outcome for acupuncture in a particular thing (even though it was unblinded and the effect was replicated in another paper by randomly twirling toothpicks on patients) and they’ll recommend it.

      It’s frustrating.

    • demodocus

      Anecdotally I do know a family who conceived a second daughter a year after adopting their first, but I know several others who did not conceive even after giving up. Like me and DH. IVF worked, not stress free boinking. Though the latter *was* fun 😉

      • guest

        Oh, it will absolutely happen that some people who stop trying will get pregnant. The anecdotes are real. But they don’t amount to a “cure” for infertility (as I know you know). And the percentage of the time that will actually happen in couples with known fertility issues is quite low when compared to couples who are actively trying using ART.

        • demodocus

          I know, and saying to people who don’t need to just relax is *NOT* helpful. No amount of relaxation will remove the scarring my spouse has in a really inconvenient place.

  • Roadstergal

    *ovation*

  • chemist mom

    This is excellent. What an interesting way to look at it. It helps explain some of the seemingly contradictory similarities of those on the far left and far right. I’ve read several articles about the psychology of anti-vaccination, for example, and the resistance to reasoned explanation really does seem religious.

  • Sean Jungian

    I’ve been hearing and saying bits and pieces of this for years – thank you for writing such a good analysis of this phenomenon.

  • Zornorph

    This article is certainly spot-on, but I don’t know how you convert people from this type of Earth-worship. I mean, what do you convert them to?

    btw, Dr. T (I always expect you to chain me to a piano when somebody calls you that), do you have any comments about that ‘Breastmilk grows brains in premmies study’?

    • Daleth

      Probably the only realistic conversion direction would be to a combination of holistic and western medicine.

      The most reasonable combination is western med (perhaps with a side of feel-good holistic stuff) for specific conditions that western medicine has a good approach to (pregnancy/childbirth, broken bones/emergency medicine, cancer, serious infections, etc.), and holistic stuff for mild or vague complaints.

      • Harry McNicholas

        Western medicine as opposed to “Eastern Medicine?” You realize that some of the best medical scientists using Western Medicine live in Asia right? Quackery is quackery no matter what part of the globe it is from.

        • Roadstergal

          And on top of that, homeopathy, eg, is ‘western.’

          • Harry McNicholas

            Again quackery is quackery no matter where it is from. When I was in the PI and had bad allergies Chinese doctor fixed me up. Stuck some Chinese medicine in my nose and I had terrible nose bleeds which I had never had in my life. Went to base doctor who just happened to be Chinese. He laughed and knew that I had been to a Chinese doctor. He told me that most Chinese doctors that practice Chinese medicine are quacks. Thousands of different crap given by Chinese doctors and only two have ever shown to do anything positive. Stick to science base medicine. I still get those damn bloody noses.

          • Sue

            Yep. I saw a study once that showed that, while TCM is becoming more popular in the US, it is becomeing LESS popular in China.

            People only need access to effective medicine, in order to want to choose it. If herbal stuff is all they have, that’s what they use.

      • swbarnes2

        But mild and vague complaints are the very ones where it is hard to know if you are paying for something effective, or nonsense. It’s not reasonable at all to pay for unevidenced nonsense.

        • Daleth

          Mild and vague complaints are also the ones where the placebo effect can be very helpful (and real), and where it doesn’t really matter if you’re getting cutting-edge modern medical care because the stakes are low.

          But more to the point, who cares? Why does it bother you if some people choose to see alternative health practitioners? I’m sure you do some things in your life that others could plausible consider unreasonable. But that’s your business, as long as you’re not actually hurting someone (other than, at most, yourself).

      • critter8875

        “Western medicine” always makes me think of Doc on Gunsmoke.

      • Kerlyssa

        A: A ‘non traditional’ practitioner is not qualified to diagnose complaints as ‘mild’
        B: How on earth can you justify a system that involves encouraging health superstition? It’s medically unethical, and a waste of money for any governments bankrolling it

        • mabelcruet

          The NHS in England, on the brink of collapse, still spends millions of pounds a year on homeopathy despite a government select committee ruling that it was no better than placebo and based on pure pseudoscience, and despite the Chief Medical Officer (most senior doctor in the country) saying it was total crap. It’s on the basis that ‘patients want it’.

          • Kerlyssa

            A lot of money is spent on stupid things to make constituents and/or donors happy.

        • Daleth

          I don’t care if people want to be involved in “health superstition,” as long as they vaccinate their kids. It’s their business (unlike vaccination, which affects us all). All I was proposing was a realistic compromise.

          Why do you care so much?

    • Sean Jungian

      I don’t know about converting hard-core woo believers, but I think a great deal could be done to sway fence-sitters back to science-based medicine by having health care professionals simply spend more time listening to patients (at least in the U.S.)

      I think we’d find that bedside manner is one of the biggest draws away from SBM.

      • Roadstergal

        But the quacks will always have something legit science-based doctors don’t – easy answers.

        • Sean Jungian

          Hmmm the same thing religion offers….

        • Mark Marquette

          BINGO! And that, my friends, also explains Donald Trump.

        • Sue

          Exactly, Roadster! It seems that, since we encouraged doctors and nurses to express doubt and share the decision-making with patients, there has been a rise of the New Paternalists – slick salespeople who are good at validating your choice to rebel against conventional medicine, while giving you simplistic, directed advice. Oh, and selling you a ‘remedy’.

          • Who?

            And, while they do all that, claim it is the medical profession that is paternalistic.

      • Squillo

        And this is why alt-med purveyors have a huge advantage over real clinicians. If you cater to a cash-paying clientele, you can spend as much time as you like with them. If you are a physician in a normal practice, you only have so much time per patient. This is one reason CAM is most popular among the relatively wealthy; they can afford to pay someone the going rate for as much hand-holding and attention as they need to be convinced that the “therapy” of choice is working.

    • Roadstergal

      Link?

      • Zornorph
        • Roadstergal

          It was a poster, not a paper. : I can’t read it. But posters are usually preliminary and just meant to generate some interest and feedback.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          I only he a quick glance at the article, but the obvious confounder would be whether the babies who took less breastmilk were sicker to begin with. Did they take less breastmilk because they weren’t able to take food orally, or because they were more premature and the mother wasn’t able to provide breastmilk.

    • guest

      I’m pretty sure formula grows brains in preemies, too. Otherwise, we’d have a lot of adults walking around with infant-sized brains.

      • I think there ARE a lot of adults with infant-sized brains…

      • Bugsy

        Pretty sure that’s what lactivists feel happens to kids who aren’t breast-fed!

    • Francesca Violi

      “how you convert people from this type of Earth-worship”?
      You just don’t, I’m afraid 🙂 . Still Dr.Amy’s blog and debunking in general can be very useful for all the other people who still hold a space for doubt, to balance the misinformation circulating in the web, and to push the media in general to provide correct information and framing of issues like home birth.

  • Felicitasz

    WOW, this is very thought-provoking and inspiring and all that. A very impressive piece indeed. Thank you.

  • cookiebaker

    This one always cracks me up. Bring on the dessert!

    • Daleth

      Love it! As someone who is eating a chocolate chip cookie right now, just ate a brownie half an hour ago, had a hot bacon-egg-cheese ciabatta for lunch, wears a size 4 and is constantly told that I look 15 years younger than I am, I gotta support your post.

      • Daleth

        Update: inspired by Nigella, I’m now eating chocolate chip cookie #2.

        • demodocus

          hush you, it’s mean to taunt people with cookies!

          • Daleth

            My apologies to you both!

        • Angie Young-Le

          Completely jealous… i’m one of those eats-a-cookie-and-gains-5-lbs kind of people

      • Who?

        That used to be me, then I turned 45…

    • LibrarianSarah

      Personally, I am not much of a fan of this one. While I love, meat, butter and desserts as much as the next person I find the idea that judging whether or not a woman’s ideas are right or wrong solely but her attractiveness anti-feminist at best but straight up sexist would be more accurate.

      Imagine if someone did the same with Dr. Amy and Jenny McCarthy or Jill Dugger. Would that be funny?

      • Charybdis

        True, but for all the “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” messages we have received over the years, no matter how much we agree with it, we DO form first impressions based on a myriad of things, appearance being probably the most important, mainly because it can be done at a distance. Think of all the first impressions based on appearance: “She looks nice.” “He looks scary”, “If I saw him approaching me, I would cross the street”, “He is SO HOT!!!”, “She is absolutely gorgeous”, “She looks kind and compassionate”, “She looks creepy”, “He is always so well-put together”, etc.

        Gillian looks tired, haggard, sun-damaged and rather unhealthy. Would she look different if she were wearing makeup, a nice outfit and had her hair done? Probably. Does Nigella look that way every day? Probably not. Would she look different if she had her hair up in a ponytail or bun, was wearing workout clothes and had no makeup on? Probably. But the fact that they are the same age and have diametrically opposite beliefs about food and appearance is what makes the comparison “work”, so to speak.

        And Dr. Amy, Jenny McCarthy and Jill Duggar are not all the same age; it would not be the same type of comparison.

        • LibrarianSarah

          While it is true that we all do form impression on people based on their appearance. Women are far more likely to be reduced to their appearance than men. And even if we compared Dr. Amy to a woo filled celebrity of the same age, it still wouldn’t make a difference.

          How someone looks or ages is as much a fluke of luck or genetics as it is about lifestyle. How is this better than the troll a couple days ago that basically called us all fatties because we disagreed with him/her on c-sections?

          • Harry McNicholas

            Sorry life is not fair and you show up for a job interview they are going with your appearance.

          • Who?

            You have to dress for the occasion-find out how people where you are going dress for work, and go up one level-no so far that you make them feel bad, but far enough they can see you are of their tribe and want the job.

          • Mishimoo

            Exactly! Which is why I’m wearing ‘natural’ make-up and touching it up throughout the day; it’s the workplace culture and unspoken expectation. I just wish it was tax-deductible.

          • Who?

            Sounds perfect. Are you in the second rotation-nearer home-yet?

          • Mishimoo

            One more week, and then I’ll be doing work experience closer to home. It will be nice not to travel but I like the atmosphere in that library, so I would seriously consider working there if I had the opportunity despite the commute.

          • Who?

            So good you’re having great experience. Make the most of it!

          • LibrarianSarah

            If I went on a job interview and the interviewer said to me “You look younger and prettier than the other candidates despite being the same age so you are obviously the better candidate. When can you start?” Not only would I not accept the job, I would also think the interviewer was a sexist asshole.

          • Who?

            You’d know the interviewer was a pervy asshole as well, and you definitely wouldn’t want the job.

            And you’d tell everyone you knew to avoid that employer. Or I would.

          • Harry McNicholas

            It would only matter if you were applying for a modeling or acting job. If someone told you that, and you were not applying for a modeling or acting job, they were stupid. However, male or female when you apply for a job, your appearance will have influence on the person doing the interview.

      • Mark Marquette

        Gillian IS “older”! Her skin all down her front is much wrinkled and her face, too. In my personal experience I can think of THREE or more people – incl. one male – who were very rigid on “health foods’, vegan, and they all looked like Gillian. Karen Carpenter died from a macrobiotic diet, as did what’s-his-name, the creator of it.
        Certainly genetics plays a huge role here, as well.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          Karen Carpenter died from anorexia nervosa, no? People with eating disorders are often really obsessed with prescribed, restrictive diets and, likewise, an obsession with these prescribed, restrictive diets can be an overlooked sign of disordered eating (since they’re just about “health,” of course.) But it was the eating disorder that killed Karen Carpenter. Her problem was that she wasn’t eating, not the diet she wasn’t eating.

          • Mark Marquette

            Yes, I realize she’s an extreme case; but, ‘Macrobiotics” is a “philosphy/diet/religion that attracts so many.

          • Mark Marquette

            This COULD open up a discussion of the mental health of those who jump ont e bandwagon, at very LEAST, nearly ALL (OK, MOST) I saw or have known would fit into the OCD category, and those like Carpenter who use it as excuse for a.n.
            Oh, and varying degree of outright paranoia: neurotic, to be sure!

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I do agree with the below comments regarding not judging people according to their looks.

      Prior to this post I thought Gillian was now in her seventies and that she was at least 60 when she appeared in you are what you eat, so it is not a matter of a bad photo.

      I do see in my clinic a lot of differences about appearance in people that have good habits (eating mostly healthy, no tobacco, no alcohol, sleeping well, exercising) and bad habits (drinking alcohol, smoking, eating awfully, sleeping badly, no exercise). But it is true that some of my patients are too healthy conscious and they end up with a vitamin deficiency because a very low fat diet without animal products and nothing remotely processed might sound healthy and great but lacks vital vitamins. And yes, that can give you a very unhealthy look and you might not age that well.

      • LibrarianSarah

        From what I have read, a lot of the visible signs of aging that affect the skin are due to damage from the sun. So it could just be a matter of one woman spending more time indoors than the other or Gillian might be one of those “sunscreen is poison” people who lives in a high UV area.

        Things like grey hairs on the otherhand seem to be mostly genetic. I read somewhere that something like 5% of people don’t get grey hair.

        • Chi

          And some people get grey hair late in life, some early.

          Early grey hairs run in my mother’s side of the family. She started getting grey hair in her early 20’s. As did my brother. And apparently my younger sister too.

          Whereas I think I got more of my dad’s genes and seem to have avoided the early grey hairs. But then it’s hard to tell with me as I unnaturally dye mine ^_~

        • Spamamander

          I started going gray when I was 21. Yay?

          • demodocus

            I have never seen my Demo with a full head of hair; I met him at 20. Poor boy, at least he’s a blond so the early graying doesn’t really show. BIL joked to my little guy when they were admiring his hair that it’ll be the best 16 years of his life.
            I, on the other hand, was still getting asked for my hall pass when I student taught at a high school, at 34.

    • Who?

      As a 53 year old who could pass for either depending on the day, and the time, trouble and expense I feel like taking before heading out to face the world, it makes me edgy.

      Gillian needs a decent haircut and to stop wearing tank tops with ugly bras under them. Or maybe she’s not aware of the marketing opportunities her appearance is costing her, or maybe she just doesn’t care how she looks. Nigella took two days and a team, and being photographed through lino under very flattering lights, possibly with some photoshop thrown in, to look like that.

      I’m probably more in Nigella’s team than Gillian’s-and I eat full fat everything, just really small portions. I told my husband recently I was considering letting myself go. He told me to let him know when I was starting, as he’d sell tickets to watch-he reckons I wouldn’t last 5 minutes. Call me shallow…

    • indigosky

      Not a fan, as it uses real people. I prefer Warren Buffet’s immortal phrasing instead: “I don’t see smiles on the faces of people at Whole Foods.”

    • mabelcruet

      It’s a bit unfair though-I’m not a fan of Gillian McKeith (read Ben Goldacre’s blog about her), but that photo was taken when she was in the jungle on I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’ on TV, and the one of Nigella was at a fancy pants black tie launch so she’s all scrubbed up for it.

  • Mel

    I was binge-watching “Better Off Ted” on Netflix yesterday when I caught this excellent critique of loving Nature under the guise of weaponizing pumpkins:

    “Okay, people, we need to turn this simple festive gourd into a killer. I’ve asked Dr. Bamba to take a look at how Nature does it, because Nature is a fantastic killer of things”

    • HowPunny

      One of the best sitcoms about the office, ever.

    • OttawaAlison

      Lol, loved that show too!

    • chemist mom

      Oh I loved that show so much. The one-liners were just so excellent.

    • Di Another Day

      That show’s short life was a travesty.

  • Zen

    So true about the “priests” with friendship and companionship.

    But my midwife spends so much TIME with me! Our visits are an hour long, she cares about me so much!! The OB just walks in, tells me I’m fine, and walks out! She doesn’t care at all!

    • Sue

      Good point. My friends spend time with me for free – I don’t want to pay a health care professional for friendship. I want skill. Good communications skills when they need to explain something, but not for a long chat about trivia.

    • Bugsy

      There’s a naturopath that advertises around here…her website is filled with pictures of her adorable young family, stories of how the doctor got involves in naturopathy herself (fertility struggle), and glowing recommendations of how thoughtful, kind and supportive she is. It ticks me off to no end – do people not realize they’re being conned into believing she can sell you this perfect lifestyle of having a perfect family? None of my SBM doctors have told me – let alone actively promoted for new “patients” – the story of how they got into medicine, and frankly, it’s irrelevant to whether I use their services.

      Just is so sad to see this snake oil salesman hiding in sheep’s clothing, and now that she is taking on medical clients as their primary medical doc to due to a local GP shortage? But she is so nice! And compassionate! Argh. Thankfully MSP still doesn’t cover these quacks.

  • namaste863

    Hooray! Bravo! The comparisons between pseudoscience and more “Conventional” religions is indeed eerie.

  • Ennis Demeter

    Don’t forget: women must suffer and sacrifice. That’s a huge part of a lot of religion and pseudo science.

    • sdsures

      Yep – funny how both pseudoscience and religion focus squarely on women and making women’s suffering irrelevant. 🙁

      • Harry McNicholas

        You are making a generalization saying “religion focus squarely on women and making women’s suffering irrelevant”

        • Azuran

          religion sucks for both sex, but you cannot deny that women have been getting the worst of it.

          • Harry McNicholas

            It depends upon the religion. Judeo-Christian and Islam yes. They have always been male dominated religions.

          • LibrarianSarah

            So which religion would you say that women get the better end of the stick then.

          • demodocus

            Certainly not Hinduism nor Buddhism.

          • Harry McNicholas

            In general I would say Buddhism. There has always been female Buddhist Nuns or monks. The wife of the Buddha became a follower and then a Buddha herself. There are many female Buddhas including. Kanon (Japanese) being the most prominent. Men and women generally were kept separate in the Sangha because of the realization that both could start a little hanky panky. In the American Zen community, there has been a rather sordid history of affairs between monks and followers. I am not aware of any in Pure Land but Tibetan Tantric yes. This has developed out of the very close relationships between the teacher (sensei, guru or Lama) and the student. Both in Zen and Tantric. Pure Land does not have monks or this close relationship so I am not are of any fooling around but there could be something I am not aware of in Japan or the U.S. Also, Pure Land temples are owned and run by a board of directors elected by the members whereas Zen and Tibetan Tantric generally are run by the Roshi or Lama. The theist religions have a very bad history of child molestation and adultery. Why I do not have a quick answer.

          • Spamamander
          • Sue

            Too much of a stretch there, Harry. Men are definitely more powerful in Buddhism. Nuns are there, but they don’t hold positions of power like the heads of monastries do.

            Time to stop squirming and just accept that essentially all major religions practice gender inequality.

          • Harry McNicholas

            I do not think you know much about Buddhism today. Many women hold positions and in Pure Land many women are ministers and are Presidents of temples. A whole religious order and likely one of the most influential in Taiwan was started by a Buddhist Nun. Time for a bit better education.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Yes, because times change. They change for non-Buddhists too. There is also a lot of female leadership among Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Female imams are getting more common in some parts of the Muslim world, most Jewish sects ordain female rabbis and many Protestant Christian sects ordain female clergy as well. The Catholic Church is a hold out because it is not democratically controlled–but much of the Catholic laity also supports female ordination and, in general, a liberalizing of the views on gender.

            The “Western regions are backward/Eastern religions are enlightened” view is pat and simplistic. Shifting social mores about gender are affecting all religions everywhere–as well as creating reactionaries everywhere.

          • Harry McNicholas

            Yes change is inherit in all things. Unfortunately,it is not just the Catholic church, the Orthodox, Mormon and others. I very much doubt that in the Middle East you are going to find many female Imans.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            No, but most Muslims don’t live in the Middle East so what’s your point? Like I said, the liberalism of Islam depends greatly on the social context. Freer, more liberalized societies have more liberal Islam.

          • Harry McNicholas

            So show me a large country of Muslims that is so liberal? Indonesia? How about Bangladesh? Iran? Afghanistan? Malaysia? Non of these are in the Middle East and non can be considered being liberal.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            No, but some are more liberal than others. There is complexity and variation. Also, um, how about the growing population of Muslims here in America or other Western countries. Plenty of liberal Islam and those people are as Muslim as any other Muslim and this is their country too.

            But okay, dude, keep on explaining Judaism and Islam to Jews and Muslims. They really need you to help them understand the stuff of their own lives. Bet you’re an epic mansplainer too…

          • sdsures
          • Harry McNicholas

            The UK is not a Muslim dominated state. Try again.

          • sdsures

            We do have a relatively larger Muslim population, compared to the US.

          • Harry McNicholas

            So what? The UK still is not a Muslim dominated country.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Yep. I mean, The Catholic Church has nuns too. lol. Hardly proof that the Catholic Church isn’t patriarchal.

            Of course, there are also lots of Catholics who want the Church to be egalitarian and many churches (and sects of other Abrahamic religions) that are egalitarian. Most mainline Protestant churches ordain women (as well as LGBT folks) as well as all sects of Judaism except for the Orthodox. Muslim women are increasingly participating in religious leadership in freer parts of the world as well.

            Meanwhile I’ve been to some pretty patriarchal Buddhist countries. (Thailand anyone?) Misogyny is everywhere in the world. For most of history, it has been reinforced by major social institutions, such as religion. Some conservative forms of religion continue to uphold it while others have chosen to challenge it–within all religions and all parts of the world. People who have these romanticized views of Eastern religions (and overly simplistic negative views of “Western” ones) are usually pretty ignorant. People just don’t fit into boxes that easily!

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Child molestation, sexual abuse and really all forms of abuse tend to thrive in closed, authoritarian communities that encourage mistrust of outsiders, lionize leaders and encourage obedience to them above all. Those communities can be theist or non-theist, religious or non-religious in nature. It’s the social dynamics that tend to matter much more than the particular belief system from which they are said to be derived.

          • sdsures

            The Duggars. *shudder*

          • Harry McNicholas

            Wicca and Voodoo. Buddhism is not perfect but provides a better chance for women to end suffering than the theist religions. Stop generalizing.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            We’ll yeah, religions invented in the 20th century and practiced primarily by people who rejected the churches in which they were raised are probably gonna be more socially progressive. As for Buddhism, there are many different types but life for women in Buddhist societies certainly isn’t necessarily better than life in Abrahamic religious societies. Patriarchy is pretty international and pretty much all major religions have been complicit in it in some way or another.

            I mean, you don’t get to accuse others of “generalizing” when you yourself use a term like “Judeo-Christian.” Judaism is a vastly different religion from Christianity and most Jews absolutely hate that term because it subsumes Judaism into Christianity.

            Honestly, I think the big differences in social views and feminism tend to be in sectarian distinctions within religions than among religions. You can find an authoritarian patriarchal version of pretty much every major religion and also a socially liberal version. When it comes to views on women, Patriarchal Orthodox Jews have far more in common with patriarchal authoritarian adherents of any other religion than they have with Reform Jews, for example. (And most Jewish sects now adhere to gender egalitarianism. The Orthodox are the exception at this point, not the rule.) even in Islam, where it is practiced in freer societies that do not brutally punish reformers, reform has taken place. I’ve known plenty of committed Muslim feminists–one of them a feminist academic and former professor of mine. They are not less Muslim than the Muslims who throw acid on women.

          • Harry McNicholas

            Christianity developed out of Judaism. Both use the Old Testament with a few changes. Both worship the same God. Islam also developed out of Judaism. All three are religions of Abraham. That Judasim has different theological viewpoints is meaningless since all Christian traditions have different theological viewpoints. The Catholic, Baptist and Mormon are all three Christian religions but their theological viewpoints are totally different. I am not aware of any Buddhist group burning women at the stake for being a witch. That was an action carried out for religious reasons. The rest of your comments are about customs and not religion.I might add that never has Buddhism carried on a jihad or a crusade. Buddhists did not destroy books or murder people in the name of their religion. They certainlys suffered because of their religion. No “heretics” were murdered or apostates

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Jews didn’t do most of that stuff either. Why not? Probably because they were busy being oppressed by more powerful groups, like Buddhists in many countries. Groups without power on their side tend not to engage in as much bad behavior because they are in the defensive and have less agency to to do so. Again, it’s social dynamics not the belief system itself.

            There are plenty of highly patriarchal Buddhist societies and plenty of highly violent ones too. Buddhism clearly does not inoculate human beings against their worst instincts any more than any other religion does. Shockingly, people are people no matter where they are and what they believe. You can find good and bad among all belief systems and good and bad interpretations of all religious texts.

            Oh, and this is a common enough thing for Americans to be ignorant about since few who aren’t Jewish themselves no anything about Jews but there is significant textual difference between Judaism and Christianity. Yes, they share what is know to Christians as the Old Testament but they interpret it really differently. Just as Christianity has the New Testament, Judaism has an extensive canon of religious texts in addition to the “Old Testament.” You should really understand your topic more before you speak on it.

          • Harry McNicholas

            The Jews murdered both Canaanites and Philistines as directed by their God. Sorry. Name one instance where Buddhists carried on a jihad or a crusade in the name of their religion? Christians murdered thousands of other Christians whom they considered heretics, and then on to their way to murder thousands of Muslims in the Middle East, stopped off in Anatolia and murdered thousands of Orthodox. All in the name of their religion. They fought a war that actually lasted 300 years (30 years war) between Catholics and Protestants. Thousands died because of their religion. Northern Ireland Protestants and Catholics have fought a civil war based upon their religion. Muslims murdered Christians and Sunni have murdered Shiites in the name of their religion. A Turco Muslim general invaded India and when he cam to the largest Buddhist and Library in the world at that time, when told there was no Quran in the school, murdered all the teachers, students, monks and burned the library and the school. It burned for 3 months due to all the books in the school and library. No you cannot name one instance where Buddhists invaded a country to murder people because of their religion. 2,500 years and not murdering Canaanites, Christians, Muslims or Hindus due to their religion.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            You’re using the Torah as a historical document? Oooookay. But sure, tribes kill other tribes. It’s a Thing. Doesn’t seem to have much to do with the belief system. People who want to kill find the justification they need in the belief system at their disposal. People who wish to be peaceful do the same. The belief systems themselves are fairly neutral–you can find good or bad in all of them, depending on what your agenda is.

            The situation in Ireland is waaaaay more complicated than just a religious conflict. I’ve spent some time living there. It is very poorly understood by people outdid the country and hard to understand even if you’re in it. It certainly requires more humility than you are displaying here.

            Look, you don’t really know what you’re talking about and I don’t have the time to refute all your generalizations and misconceptions and give you a crash course in world religions, geopolitics, history etc. Have a nice day, I’ve got work to do.

          • sdsures

            I’m Jewish, and even I don’t use the Torah as a historical document. Yeesh.

          • sdsures

            Wicca?

          • sdsures

            And Buddhism.

        • sdsures

          Prove me wrong.

          • Harry McNicholas

            Buddhism is about ending suffering. Not just for men but women also. For all beings. Get a better education.

          • sdsures

            I minored in religion, tyvm. You have no argument. Christianity is also about suffering – you know, that carpenter who deliberately got himself to be killed in a brutal and torturous ritual that believers annually observe? There are people who actually re-enact the crucifixion during Holy Week in the Philippines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_in_the_Philippines

          • Harry McNicholas

            You are the one who has no argument. Show me the sermon Jesus gave about the cause of suffering and how to end it? He endured suffering but said nothing about the cause or how to end it. Go back and study and learn a bit more.

          • MaineJen

            Doesn’t Buddhism teach that women must be reborn as men in order to enter Nirvana?

          • Irène Delse

            It’s true in Mahayana Buddhism, which is the main Buddhist tradition in the world, nowadays.

          • sdsures

            Yep.

    • Harry McNicholas

      Are you saying men do not suffer and sacrifice? All people suffer and sacrifice.

      • LibrarianSarah

        I’ve yet to see a memorial for women who have died giving birth.

        • Harry McNicholas

          There are many of them. Have you ever been to a cemetery? Where are the memorials for men who died with scarlet fever etc? I do not see any memorial for men who died with prostrate cancer.

        • Bombshellrisa

          If you don’t count that stupid quilt project of Ina May’s and the hospital gowns publicity stunt Improving Birth did. But actual national monuments where people gather to pray and try to make sense of tragedy? Uh uh, nope.

      • Chi

        In this ‘quackery as religion’ comparison, yes, it is expected women must suffer.

        Especially when it comes to ‘natural’ birth. You MUST do it completely unmedicated and vaginally otherwise you’re not a real woman/mother/whatever.

        And in the bible a woman was responsible for original sin, ergo that pain in labour is supposedly women’s punishment for that.

        The theme is the same. Women are EXPECTED to suffer and sometimes even die.

        No one is saying men don’t suffer and sacrifice, but the fact is that there is more of an onus on women to do so.

        • Harry McNicholas

          I am not aware of any modern society expecting a woman to go through a natural birth unless she chooses to do so. In poorer countries they do because of the lack of medicines. The Bible does not speak for all religions. So millions of men have not suffered from wounds in battle and died in battle? Men never suffered in slavery especially being galley slaves? Also, give us your definition of suffering since there is physical suffering and mental suffering.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Vickie Garrison’s writing about being and then leaving the Quiverfuls comes to mind, also many of the young women who have escaped the FLDS.
            I was expected to give birth without pain medicine. The nurse refused to call for epidural for me. I couldn’t make the whole unit rearrange staffing so I could get a new nurse, I couldn’t call the number myself and screaming and crying did nothing to change the situation. That was suffering both mentally and physically.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            The FLDS girls don’t even talk to people outside their religion for the most part since Jeffs was caught. It’s really sad to see them so socially controlled. The younger ones used to talk a bit since I go out of my way to be nice to them and be social since so many others gawk. It’s been years since one has said hi or waved back. They look so scared now. Since they’re not letting outsiders join up anymore the men have been acting a lot more entitled to every aspect of the womens’ lives. And the women don’t fight it because that’s what’s expected of them.

            The men also eat like Kings while the women and children get the bare minimum needed for survival because of the emphasis on the superiority of men over women in their religion. In the past I at least could put the idea in their heads that maybe people outside their religion weren’t so bad by feeling friendly and inclusive. They can’t even have that anymore.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I can’t imagine coming from an environment like that. Life “outside” must be scary and overwhelming. Good on you for trying to reach out.

          • Harry McNicholas

            The FLDS is a cult of a few thousand members. I am very aware of it personally since I spend 8 weeks a year in Ely, Nevada which is just north of the center of the FLDS. We also forget the oldest religion in the world. Shamanism. It is still very much in existence and may have a history dating back 100,000 years. It is still practiced in Africa, in Asia and most of Latin America. Very much so in Mexico where the Shamans are called brujo (male) or bruja (female). They are equals and Mexicans go to them for a variety of reasons. Many times because the Mexicans believe they are “embrujada” bewitched. The brujo or bruja will get rid of the bad spell placed on them by another shaman It is basically Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions that demonized women. Likely fear because women controlled the birth of human beings.

          • sdsures

            I saw a show about cults that profiled the FLDS. Creepy AF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYrP0s7VwtQ Creepier than the Manson Family. If you get a chance, read “Helter Skelter”. Great book.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I read “Helter Skelter”! It was very hard to out down, I couldn’t believe what I read.

          • sdsures

            Fantastic book, isn’t it? After reading it, I was hooked. Another one I recommend is “Outrage: the five reasons OJ Simpson Got Away with Murder” by Bugliosi. All of his books, IMO, are excellent.

          • MaineJen

            “But what about the MEN???”