Archive for pseudoscience

THE DEPRAVITY OF CREATIONISTS

Posted in ONLINE DEBATE with tags , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2014 by drjgelb

Hats off to Mark Joseph Stern and his recent article in Slate, entitled “The Cruelty of Creationsim”. The article finally pitches itself at the Creationists not only for their delusional fundamentalism but also for their depraved goal of indoctrinating children to take their twisted logic into the future. Here is the article. Please share it with your friends.

Intellectual freedom is one of humanity’s greatest gifts—and biggest burdens. Our ability to ask questions, to test ideas, to doubt is what separates us from our fellow animals. But doubt can be as terrifying as it is liberating. And it’s the terror of doubt that fosters the toxic, life-negating cult of creationism.

That fear is on full display throughout HBO’s new documentary Questioning Darwin, which features a series of intimate interviews with biblical fundamentalists. Creationism, the documentary reveals, isn’t a harmless, compartmentalized fantasy. It’s a suffocating, oppressive worldview through which believers must interpret reality—and its primary target is children. For creationists, intellectual inquiry is a sin, and anyone who dares to doubt the wisdom of their doctrine invites eternal damnation. That’s the perverse brilliance of creationism, the key to its self-perpetuation: First it locks kids in the dungeon of ignorance and dogmatic fundamentalism. Then it throws away the key.

And that dungeon is much darker than most Americans realize. The creationists interviewed in Questioning Darwin—including their abominable doyen, Ken Ham, a wily businessman who is already fundraising off his ill-conceived recent debate with Bill Nye—returned again and again to the same depressing subjects. Death, suffering, pain, sorrow, disease: These, creationists inform us, are what await any skeptic, anyone who questions the word of God. Pastor Joe Coffey neatly sums up their objections to natural selection:

If all we are is a product of this random mutation process, then where does morality come from? Where does hope come from? Where does love come from? Where does anything that makes us a human being really come from?
The answer, to creationists, is simple: There is no love, no humanity, in a world with evolution. Humans must have been designed by God; if we weren’t, then we’re mere animals, lacking in morality and dignity, consigned to a pitiful and pointless life of struggle and dolor. Evolution, one true believer informs us, is “incompatible with biblical Christianity” because it recognizes the permanence of death and leaves no room for a second coming. Creationists are consumed by repressing the existential panic that often attends acceptance of reality. Instead of confronting that terror, they’ve retreated into an elaborate fantasy.

So deep is their delusion, in fact, that many creationists are perfectly willing to acknowledge their abandonment of reality—on camera. “Truth is not an assimilation of information,” insists one fundamentalist in Questioning Darwin, explaining why no amount of evidence could change his mind about human evolution. “There’s one truth, and that’s found in the Bible.” A creationist pastor takes this illogic to its harrowing extreme, freely conceding that he would perform endless mental gymnastics to justify the seemingly unjustifiable conclusions of biblical text.

Creationists brainwash their own children and push their creed into public schools across the country.
“If somewhere in the Bible I were to find a passage that says two plus two equals five,” the pastor states plainly, “I wouldn’t question what I’m reading in the Bible. I would believe it—accept it as true and then do my best to work it out and to understand it.”

This ideology might seem fairly benign. And it’s true that, by itself, creationism damages only those who choose to believe it. But here lies the true peril of the dogma: No creationist is content to keep her beliefs to herself. Creationists don’t merely proselytize; they brainwash their own children and push their creed into public schools across the country. Creationists teach their children not only that evolution is evil, but that studying evolution, even thinking about it, is a sin that leads the soul to eternal damnation.

“What [Darwin] has done is worse than murder,” proclaims one creationist in the documentary. “All the death and suffering we see here isn’t the result of a creator God,” says another. “It’s sin”—such as the acceptance of evolution. (He doesn’t explain how so much death occurred before the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.) Creationists spend countless hours telling their children that scientists and biology teachers are spouting the devil’s lies. Creationism is a mental prison with no hope of release, for the only escape hatch—intellectual inquiry—has been sealed off by years of suppression.

The conflict between creationism and evolution is, to many believers, an all-out war between God’s word and humans’ sins. That’s why parents are so determined to prepare their children for battle. One mother in Questioning Darwin home-schools her children to prepare them to defend their creationist beliefs against secular “attacks.” We see pastors casting an ominous eye over their congregations, warning them of the horrors of the Darwinian worldview and the hellfire that awaits those who are lured into its trap. Creationists discuss evolution with a combination of abject fear and muffled rage, ranting that natural selection sounds “crazy” while calmly asserting that Adam and Eve shared Eden with vegetarian dinosaurs. They blame Darwin for Hitler (a time-honored smear) as well as for drug use, murder, and an endless parade of horribles. Question the Bible, creationists tell their children, and you will soon be drowning in barbarity.

This view isn’t benign or wacky: It’s poisonous and medieval. Creationists reject not just evolution but most of the Enlightenment and pretty much all intellectual development since. Rather than celebrate the brilliance of the human mind, they disparage free thought as dangerous and sinful. Instead of extolling the virtues of creativity and imagination, they malign all unorthodox ideas as immoral and wicked. For all creationists’ insistence that evolution denigrates humanity, creationism is fundamentally anti-human, commanding us to spurn our own logic and cognition in favor of absurd sophism derived from a 3,000-year-old text. It turns our greatest ability—to reason—into our greatest enemy. Using our brains, according to creationism, will lead us to sin; only mindless piety can keep us on the track to salvation.

It’s easy to scoff at all this, to giggle at the vivid weirdness of young Earth creationism and then shrug it off as an isolated cult. But the 40 percent of Americans who reject evolution, as well as the tens of thousands of children or more who are being brainwashed with it in publicly funded classrooms, aren’t laughing. Creationism is built to metastasize; those who believe it won’t rest until everyone else believes it, too. True believers yearn for the rest of us to be locked up in the same mental prison where they have consigned themselves and their children. They insist that evolution has robbed us of our humanity. But in reality, it’s their twisted gospel that aims to strip us of the very thing that makes us human.

ANTI-VACCINATION CONSPIRACY THEORISTS BULLY GRIEVING PARENTS!

Posted in ONLINE DEBATE with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2013 by drjgelb

I just have to put this link up for all to see. The AVN has outdone itself by cruelly bullying and harassing a young couple whose 4 week old baby died from Whooping Cough…..Pertussis…..due to the presence of the bacteria in the under-vaccinated children of the Anti-Vaccination activists, whose conspiracy theory is that all medical advocates of vaccination are on Big Pharma’s payroll! They are dangerously deluded! Thankfully, Bill Gates was in Canberra, Australia’s Capital, today and at a Press Club Luncheon, he explained how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was gratefully accepting an $80 million donation from Australia to complete vaccination and elimination of the Polio Virus from the last Four countries where the terrible scourge still exists. Gates said he is a champion of vaccination and credits it for saving 5 million lives each year that would otherwise be lost in the third world alone!

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/grieving-parents-speak-out-against-anti-vaccination-extremists/story-fnet08xa-1226650422913

THE ANTI-VACCINE & ANTI-WESTERN MEDICINE CRACKPOTS ARE AT IT AGAIN!

Posted in MEDICOPOLITICS with tags , on May 10, 2013 by drjgelb

I’m getting pissed off by the weakness of doctors in opposing these organisations:

I commented tonight:

Anti-Vaccine activists are cranks of the worst kind. They use fear & cult like conspiracy theories to further their crazy aims. Undervaccination puts children too young to be immunised at great risk of death by preventable disease. The anti-vaccinators use false info to further their cause. They cannot prove any of their assertions re vaccines being unsafe. As soon as vaccination rates fall, epidemics follow & deaths are concentrated in non-immunised infants. Non-qualified nutjobs calling themselves “natural chemists” & similar bullshit names, claim that there is no such thing as herd immunity. They simply do not know what they are talking about! Most are too young to have seen wards full of diphtheria, measles, or polio victims in iron lungs! I have! The vaccine possible diseases killed millions of people….Smallpox, Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Chicken Pox Encephalitis etc etc. Ignore these charlatans & vaccinate your kids. Severe side effects are as rare as being hit by lightning. As for the obsessed anti-vaccinators? They should be criminally prosecuted for their lies resulting in sickness & death for our most vulnerable citizens.

I got encouragement from my father-in-law, who knows the difference between lies & the truth & That prompted me to post more!

I wrote:

“When similar talk gripped Japan several years ago, falling vaccination rates led to epidemics of measles involving thousands of cases. When vaccine rates rose again, the disease once again became rarely seen. The anti-vaccine mob believed Wakefield’s greed driven lies about Vaccines & Autism….he has been deregistered for his lies……lies for which he was paid! Forget political correctness & stop debating these idiots! Give them no more publicity! No more time on A Current Affair, no more time on radio or in the papers! Doctors, Scientists, Politicians & Parents need to tell the anti-western medical brigade to FUCK OFF!

Let me make it easy for everyone. Natural Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Reflexology & lots of other “alternatives” have been around for up to 5000yrs (Chinese) & in all that time, HOW MANY YEARS OF LIFE EXPECTANCY WERE ADDED TO HUMAN BEINGS LIVES? The Answer? FUCKING ZERO, ZIP, NONE!!

Life Expectancy after 5000Yrs of Chinese Medicine was 40yrs of age in 1900 in the West & even LESS in China!! SO WHY DID LIFE EXPECTANCY INCREASE FROM 40yrs to over 80yrs today!???

The answer is WESTERN MEDICINE!!! GET IT CRYSTAL BELIEVERS & POTION PEOPLE? Before the rise of modern medicine people had been dying of the same scourges as they had for over 100,000yrs!

I for one am sick & tired of Western Medicine being given such a pounding by New Age crackpots! When they get seriously ill from any one of thousands of known diseases, let them seek help only from the alternative practitioners & put their lives where their mouths have been! Watch how quickly the tune will change then!

Why am I angry? Because I’ve watched parents at a Melbourne hospital where I was working, deny their son chemo for leukaemia & I watched that kid slowly die an unnecessary death! And I was just a lowly intern….and I hated those parents for insisting that they knew better! I’ve seen this scenario 4-5 times over 32 yrs as a doctor…..what would you think by then?”

THE ANTI BRIGADE!

Posted in ONLINE DEBATE with tags , , , on May 9, 2013 by drjgelb

Lots of recent articles, recycling the so called debate re vaccination, quackery and pseudoscience!

I made this comment to Paul Smiths article in Medical Observer, 23rd April 2013:

“Why are too many doctors so reluctant to raise their voices and stridently call a spade a spade? I fear that an entire generation is growing up with political correctness hard-wired into their brains by constant repetition of that mantra throughout their childhood & adolescence. Anti-Vaccination activists are ignorant, conspiracy theorists who commonly hold multiple unfounded beliefs & who have a broad mistrust of science, bordering on paranoia. They easily find sectors of the community who are unschooled in being able to differentiate between science and pseudoscience. Even Paul Smith makes assumptions about Richard Dawkins & the Big Bang Theory without finding out about the close friendship between Dawkins, Isaac Asimov & Carl Sagan & the numerous & extensive discussions these men have shared. Rather than make assumptions, write to Dawkins & ask him on what basis does he accept his various beliefs. In my experience, he is careful not to be dogmatic where it is unsafe for him to do so. Not so the anti-vaxers, many of whom I met on the Sunshine Coast when I lived there from 1996-2006. They quoted anecdotes & rumours, railed against scientists as all being in the pocket of Big Pharma & considered Western Medicine generally as a fraud. When a friend with a totally unvaccinated 12yr old brought him around newborns, I explained the danger & was poo-poo’d by a roomful of vegan, yoga loving, Neo-Buddhist, Anglo-aussies who believed far more earnestly in crystals & craniosacral readjustment as the path to good health! I left that Sunday coffee & cake afternoon simply shaking my head in disbelief & vowing not to subject myself to such stupidity again! And I told them that their ignorant & false beliefs may well lead to the death of innocent infants! Wasn’t I popular…….not!!

FLOURIDATION DEBATE RETURNS FROM THE DEAD!

Posted in ONLINE DEBATE with tags , , on February 27, 2013 by drjgelb

Dear Sir,

Unfortunately, comments like these recently attributed to you,

“Government MP Jason Woodforth last week said he’d rather spend the rest of his life taking the banned performance-enhancing substance IGF-1 than drink fluoridated water.”

are causing Australia international embarrassment, as foreign scientists, researchers, dentists & dental organisations discuss your shocking display of ignorance with incredulity.

It’s not just that a State MP holds a view consigned to the dumpster of history by mountains of research evidence, collected over decades, it’s that you clearly have never learned how to find & review the published research (over 22,000 studies on Flouridation) & analyse the findings.

Worse still, rather than keeping quiet when your ignorance is revealed, you continue to proclaim your delusional ideas publicly, leading to other ignorant citizens believing you, because of your position. If only they knew that you are just so wrong, so conned by pseudoscientific conspiracy theories.

Dentists knew that Flouridation would greatly reduce cavities, reducing their pool of work substantially. They nonetheless promoted Flouridation tirelessly. All of us who recall the preflouride days & all those cavities, have seen our kids sail through with far fewer dental problems or visits. And studies show no significant harms have been found at greater than placebo rates. So where are all these people poisoned by fluoride? Where’s the science…….not fictional anecdotes Mr Woodforth! You should be ashamed to scaremonger. Stop it now, do your background research properly or just shut up before you hurt people.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Jerome Gelb
http://iconify.co/drjgelb