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.

859 Responses to “The theology of quackery; how pseudoscience has become a secular religion”

  1. Rozy Lenz
    July 15, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    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
      July 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

      “Tuteur”
      “pollution”
      “won’t”

    • Poogles
      July 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

      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
        July 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

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

        • Rozy Lenz
          July 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

          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
            July 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

            “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
            July 15, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 11:15 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

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

          • Heidi_storage
            July 15, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

            Her kind of crazy seems even distributed across party lines.

          • Charybdis
            July 15, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

            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
            July 27, 2016 at 9:48 am #

            There it is.

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

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

          • Rozy Lenz
            July 15, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

            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.

          • Charybdis
            July 15, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

            Since it didn’t take the first time:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof#Holder_of_the_burden

          • Heidi_storage
            July 15, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

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

          • Charybdis
            July 15, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

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

          • Heidi_storage
            July 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:02 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:23 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:37 am #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

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

          • Rozy Lenz
            July 15, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

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

          • Rozy Lenz
            July 15, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 9:52 am #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

            I don’t. How nice for you!

          • Rozy Lenz
            July 16, 2016 at 12:47 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:07 am #

            And my aunt has tea with the Queen of Denmark.

          • Who?
            July 16, 2016 at 12:39 am #

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

          • demodocus
            July 16, 2016 at 11:48 am #

            Mine has tea with the Empress of the Iguana People.

          • BeatriceC
            July 16, 2016 at 12:16 am #

            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?
            July 16, 2016 at 12:41 am #

            You make an interesting point.

          • Rozy Lenz
            July 16, 2016 at 1:02 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 1:03 am #

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

          • Who?
            July 16, 2016 at 1:04 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 1:45 am #

            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?
            July 16, 2016 at 2:39 am #

            Go and tell Charybdis all about the tetanus, do.

          • Charybdis
            July 16, 2016 at 3:35 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:44 am #

            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?
            July 16, 2016 at 1:02 am #

            So you’re an intellectual? Interesting.

          • BeatriceC
            July 16, 2016 at 1:06 am #

            Leo’s opinion on the matter (note facial expression):

            http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn67/mmsw1/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_0004_zpskio3bpw4.jpg

          • Nick Sanders
            July 16, 2016 at 1:13 am #

            Oh, hey, a fellow Mac user!

          • Who?
            July 16, 2016 at 1:15 am #

            Me too!!!

          • BeatriceC
            July 16, 2016 at 1:16 am #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

            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
            July 28, 2016 at 10:04 am #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

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

          • Rozy Lenz
            July 15, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

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

          • Who?
            July 16, 2016 at 12:43 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:49 am #

            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?
            July 16, 2016 at 1:06 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 3:37 am #

            Maybe a time-out is in order as well…

          • Harry McNicholas
            July 28, 2016 at 10:01 am #

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

          • Harry McNicholas
            July 28, 2016 at 10:01 am #

            So you have some science to back up your claim

          • Harry McNicholas
            July 28, 2016 at 10:00 am #

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

          • Harry McNicholas
            July 28, 2016 at 9:59 am #

            Hm I thought organic meant carbon based?

          • Nick Sanders
            July 28, 2016 at 11:29 am #

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

          • Harry McNicholas
            July 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

            Ah carbon based farming. Very nice.

          • Who?
            July 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 12:04 am #

            Why do you have to get into personal attacks

            I’d like to ask you the same question.

          • Who?
            July 16, 2016 at 12:37 am #

            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
            July 16, 2016 at 1:38 am #

            I’m going to poke the cat…..

            How exactly has factory farming increased the incidence of tetanus?

    • Nick Sanders
      July 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

      Quick question, who are Drs. Tuturro and Tuturto?

        • Nick Sanders
          July 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

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

          • Roadstergal
            July 15, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

            That’s the actor John Turturro.

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

            Ahh…

          • Roadstergal
            July 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

            (I think he’s quite good)

          • Nick Sanders
            July 15, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

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

          • Roadstergal
            July 15, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

            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
            July 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

            +1

        • Roadstergal
          July 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

          Ha, that was exactly my first thought!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          July 15, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

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

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

          • Charybdis
            July 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

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

            “We thought you was a toad!”

            I love that movie!

          • MaineJen
            July 27, 2016 at 9:37 am #

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

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 27, 2016 at 10:08 am #

            “…we were fixin’ to fornicate, too”

          • Roadstergal
            July 27, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

            We saw Barton Fink over the weekend. Waaaacky.

    • demodocus
      July 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

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

    • Roadstergal
      July 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

      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.

  2. Einelorelei
    May 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    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.

  3. Nick Sanders
    May 11, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    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?

  4. rosross
    May 10, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

    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
      May 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

      “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
        May 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

        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
          May 11, 2016 at 3:26 am #

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

        • sdsures
          May 11, 2016 at 7:36 am #

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

        • LibrarianSarah
          May 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

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

    • Nick Sanders
      May 10, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

      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
      May 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

      *Quack quack*

    • Be reasonable
      May 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

      You are absolutely nuts.

    • Rozy Lenz
      July 15, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

      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
        July 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

        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
          July 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

          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
            July 15, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

            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
        July 15, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

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

        • Roadstergal
          July 15, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

          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
            July 15, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

            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
        July 15, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

        “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
        July 15, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

        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.

  5. momofone
    May 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

    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
      May 10, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

      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
        May 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

        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
          May 10, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

          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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:56 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

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

          • rosross
            May 10, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

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

          • momofone
            May 10, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

            I didn’t specify; you assumed. Incorrectly.

          • rosross
            May 10, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

            So does being born alive.

          • Who?
            May 10, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

            I’ll do the popcorn…

          • momofone
            May 10, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

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

          • rosross
            May 10, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

            The comment was general. You jumped to conclusions.

            http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/9/1796S.full

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110651/

          • momofone
            May 10, 2016 at 11:19 pm #

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

          • rosross
            May 10, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

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

          • momofone
            May 10, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

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

          • rosross
            May 10, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

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

          • momofone
            May 10, 2016 at 11:30 pm #

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

          • rosross
            May 10, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

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

          • Who?
            May 11, 2016 at 12:59 am #

            You’ve made yourself quite clear.

          • Azuran
            May 10, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 8:01 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 7:00 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 12:16 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

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

          • Daleth
            May 11, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

            Same

          • momofone
            May 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

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

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            May 11, 2016 at 3:34 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

            “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
        May 10, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

        Homeopathy is very effective

        https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a9/66/f4/a966f4d587ac378df62459fc837b6249.jpg

        • Azuran
          May 11, 2016 at 12:22 am #

          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
            May 11, 2016 at 12:31 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 12:50 am #

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

          • Azuran
            May 11, 2016 at 8:54 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 9:49 am #

            geez

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 11, 2016 at 10:51 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 11:06 am #

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

          • SporkParade
            May 11, 2016 at 1:49 am #

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

          • demodocus
            May 11, 2016 at 7:56 am #

            Dilute the pure water with vodka!

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 11, 2016 at 12:49 am #

            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
          May 11, 2016 at 12:31 am #

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

      • MaineJen
        May 11, 2016 at 9:21 am #

        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
        May 11, 2016 at 9:53 am #

        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.

      • May 16, 2016 at 8:11 am #

        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
      May 11, 2016 at 7:55 am #

      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
      May 11, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      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
        May 11, 2016 at 9:54 am #

        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
        May 11, 2016 at 11:27 am #

        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
        May 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

        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
      May 11, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

      “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.

  6. rosross
    May 10, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    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
      May 10, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

      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
        May 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

        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
          May 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

          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
            May 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            May 10, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

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

    • Leves
      June 11, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

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

  7. May 10, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    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.

    • May 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

      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
        May 10, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

        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.

        • May 10, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

          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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

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

          • rosross
            May 10, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

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

          • Azuran
            May 10, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 9:43 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

            That’s not an answer.

    • Who?
      May 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

      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?

      • May 10, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

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

        • demodocus
          May 11, 2016 at 8:14 am #

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

  8. Who?
    May 9, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    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
      May 9, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

      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?
        May 9, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

        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
          May 11, 2016 at 10:55 am #

          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?
        May 10, 2016 at 4:32 am #

        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
      May 10, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      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?
        May 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

        Thanks!

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

    • Megan
      May 10, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

      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?
        May 12, 2016 at 12:19 am #

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

    • sdsures
      May 11, 2016 at 7:47 am #

      Aww, poor guy. *snuggles*

      • Who?
        May 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

        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.

  9. Roadstergal
    May 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

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

    • guest
      May 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

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

  10. Amazed
    May 9, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    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
      May 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

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

    • SporkParade
      May 11, 2016 at 1:52 am #

      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
        May 11, 2016 at 9:05 am #

        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
      May 11, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

      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 🙂

  11. barrydesborough
    May 9, 2016 at 10:22 am #

    “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?

  12. May 9, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    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
      May 9, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      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
        May 9, 2016 at 10:49 am #

        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
          May 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

          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
            May 9, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 9:51 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 9:57 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:05 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:12 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:26 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:41 am #

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

          • demodocus
            May 10, 2016 at 10:26 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:08 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:35 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:44 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:53 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 11:04 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 11:16 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:10 am #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

            Thanks.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      May 9, 2016 at 10:42 am #

      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
      May 9, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      Oh my…god

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      May 9, 2016 at 10:57 am #

      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
      May 9, 2016 at 11:57 am #

      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.

      • May 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

        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
          May 10, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

          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

          • May 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

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

          • Azuran
            May 10, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

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

          • MaineJen
            May 11, 2016 at 9:31 am #

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

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 11, 2016 at 9:57 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 10:06 am #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 7:14 am #

            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
      May 10, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      Wha…? This makes no sense.

      • May 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

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

        • Ayr
          May 10, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

          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’.

          • May 10, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

            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.

  13. Jelena Dimitrijevic
    May 9, 2016 at 4:48 am #

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

  14. Petticoat Philosopher
    May 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

    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?
      May 8, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

      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
      May 9, 2016 at 3:17 am #

      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.

      • May 9, 2016 at 10:08 am #

        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.

    • May 9, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      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
        May 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

        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.

        • May 10, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

          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
            May 10, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

            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.

          • May 10, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

            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
      May 9, 2016 at 10:41 am #

      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
      May 9, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

      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
        May 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

        Glad to know I’m not the only one!

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
          May 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

          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
        May 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

        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
          May 9, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

          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
        May 9, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

        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
          May 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

          “Gluten-Free Mustard”

          • Nick Sanders
            May 9, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

            “Gluten-free yeast”

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            May 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

            Gluten free water!

        • MaineJen
          May 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

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

        • Azuran
          May 9, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

          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
            May 9, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

            “Now with more chicken flavor!”

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

          • Nick Sanders
            May 9, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

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

          • Who?
            May 9, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

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

          • demodocus
            May 10, 2016 at 10:07 am #

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

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            May 10, 2016 at 11:08 am #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:54 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 7:56 am #

            HAHAHAHAHAHA!

          • Michelle
            May 9, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

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

        • Roadstergal
          May 9, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

          “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
            May 11, 2016 at 7:55 am #

            Oh, ****. 🙁

        • Monkey Professor for a Head
          May 9, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

          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
            May 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

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

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 9, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

            Yup.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 9, 2016 at 10:56 pm #

            It does, and it is. 🙂

          • sdsures
            May 11, 2016 at 7:54 am #

            PIE! OM NOM NOM!!!!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 11, 2016 at 10:56 am #

            My views precisely!

          • Nick Sanders
            May 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

            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
            May 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 7:54 am #

            That’s horrible! (The whole thing.)

          • Old Lady
            May 9, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 7:53 am #

            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
          May 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

          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
          May 11, 2016 at 7:50 am #

          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?
        May 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

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

        • Petticoat Philosopher
          May 10, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

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

      • Jen
        May 10, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

        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.

  15. notmike64
    May 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    that guy in the picture is hot

    • Nick Sanders
      May 8, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

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

      • LibrarianSarah
        May 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

        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
        May 9, 2016 at 7:56 am #

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

      • Roadstergal
        May 9, 2016 at 11:56 am #

        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
          May 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

          They both look 15-16 to me.

  16. Talko
    May 8, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    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
      May 8, 2016 at 10:55 am #

      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
        May 8, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

        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
          May 8, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

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

          • mabelcruet
            May 9, 2016 at 5:32 am #

            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
      May 8, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      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
      May 8, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      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
      May 8, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      “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
      May 8, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

      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
      May 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

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

    • DelphiniumFalcon
      May 8, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

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

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      May 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

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

    • May 8, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

      “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
        May 9, 2016 at 12:33 am #

        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
      May 8, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

      “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.

    • Petticoat Philosopher
      May 8, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

      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
      May 9, 2016 at 12:03 am #

      You have made the wrong choice.

    • L. Ivanov
      May 9, 2016 at 1:27 am #

      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
      May 9, 2016 at 9:17 am #

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

      • May 9, 2016 at 10:14 am #

        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
          May 9, 2016 at 10:54 am #

          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
            May 9, 2016 at 11:59 am #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

            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
          May 9, 2016 at 11:57 am #

          But what about the turbo encapsulator??

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      May 10, 2016 at 9:06 am #

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

  17. omg
    May 8, 2016 at 10:20 am #

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

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      May 10, 2016 at 9:11 am #

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

  18. Leves
    May 8, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    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
      May 8, 2016 at 9:28 am #

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

      • Leves
        May 8, 2016 at 9:30 am #

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

        • LibrarianSarah
          May 8, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

          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
            May 8, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

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

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

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

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            May 8, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

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

          • Leves
            May 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

            While liberal governments produce them in quantity?

          • Nick Sanders
            May 8, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

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

          • Leves
            May 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

            Yet they made some incredible breakthroughs.

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

            They fled the country because Germany lost the war.

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

            I meant the ones before operation paperclip such as Einstein.

          • Irène Delse
            May 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

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

          • Leves
            May 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

            There were those too but they were a minority.

          • Nick Sanders
            May 8, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

            Are you responding with more than one profile?

          • Nick Sanders
            May 8, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

            Nope.

          • Leves
            May 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

            Ok. I thought your answer matched another’s.

          • Who?
            May 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

            ????? Are you on drugs?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            May 8, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

            Seems not unlikely.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            May 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

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

          • Leves
            June 11, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

            Don’t worry your little liberal soul about that 😉

          • Leves
            August 2, 2017 at 1:45 am #

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

          • Leves
            May 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

            I’ll leave you guessing some more 😉

          • Nick Sanders
            May 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

            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
            June 11, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

            You were under a wrong impression then.

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

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

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

            “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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

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

          • Nick Sanders
            May 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

            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
          May 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

          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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

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

    • Azuran
      May 8, 2016 at 9:39 am #

      Because everyone was so much smarter in the dark age.

      • Leves
        May 8, 2016 at 9:49 am #

        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
          May 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

          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
            May 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

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

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

            I mean it in the sense of fake progressives.

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 3:45 am #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

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

        • DelphiniumFalcon
          May 8, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

          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
            May 8, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

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

        • LibrarianSarah
          May 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

          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
            May 8, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

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

          • LibrarianSarah
            May 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

            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
            June 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

            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
            May 11, 2016 at 8:30 am #

            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
            June 11, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

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

          • demodocus
            June 12, 2016 at 8:36 am #

            Where’d you get your history degree?

          • Leves
            June 12, 2016 at 8:49 am #

            Where did you get yours?

          • demodocus
            June 12, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

            Southern Connecticut State University.

          • Leves
            June 12, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

            And they actually taught you THAT stuff? For real?

          • Irène Delse
            June 12, 2016 at 9:48 am #

            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
            June 12, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

            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
            June 12, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

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

        • Who?
          May 8, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

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

          • Leves
            May 8, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

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

          • Who?
            May 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

            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
            May 8, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

            Ok by me.

        • Amazed
          May 8, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

          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
            May 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

            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
          May 8, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

          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
            May 9, 2016 at 3:23 am #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 4:47 am #

            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
            May 9, 2016 at 5:08 am #

            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
            June 11, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

            I think you summed it all up nicely.

        • Daleth
          May 9, 2016 at 10:06 am #

          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
            May 9, 2016 at 10:38 am #

            Never mind, believe what you will.

    • Nick Sanders
      May 8, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

      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.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      May 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

      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
        May 8, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

        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
          May 8, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

          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
            May 8, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

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

          • AnnaPDE
            May 8, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

            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.

  19. <