But I do keep thinking of things I should blog skeptically about, I just have trouble finding the time to do so.
I recently received a rather ludicrous anonymous comment on this previous post about Mike Adams. It is on one of my most popular posts, but you don't have to read the post in order to appreciate what follows. But the content of the comment (essentially a diatribe about how great Mike Adams is and how filthy-evil modern medicine is) is germane so I'll post it in it's semi-literate un-edited entirety here:
Mike Adams rocks. A little liquid silver and I have been sick but once in 7 Years. I stop taking the flu shot and got well. Strange ain't. This old Mississippi girl listens to everything Mike Adams. If you look up what the flu shots for it would scare you. Most of my family and friends read Mike thanks to me and they trust him to. My dad would not listen and guess what I buried him 2 years ago. My daughter would listen until just the other dad. We took her to the doctor and the doctor said the other doctors had made her a drug addict.Now my daughter has to detox off of the garbage to great medical doctors gave her and will be going natural now. I wish more people would read Mike Adams, Dr. Mericola , and a whole host off people that are willing to really help you get well. People like you will never will see 100 plus. Your body is design to make it way passed 100 but thanks to modern garbage most of the people won't even see 80. Such a young age to die. Most people thanks to modern medicince are sicker, can't sleep with out meds, I could go on for ever at what modern medicine is doing for the people. Just read the side effects on one bottle. Then when the have to give you more meds for the side effect read it and when you have to take anther med for those side effects read the side effect again man a people would have to been very much in the dark to not listen to Mike Adams. I listen I am 54 years old And I am one of the healths people I know. Oh how I hope one day people like you will open you eyes to the Medicine people and see they are so trying to make you sick. If you are not sick they make no money. So PLEASE for your kids and all the people who love you listen to Mike Adams. He is one of the greatest men alive and he only cares about your health. Reading him is free so he makes nothing off of it like the doctors, insurance companies, Med companies and so on. Trust Mike Adams, he won't let you down.....I began writing a response to that, and before too long it was enough for a post in and of itself... so here we go, my response:
Not to go all broken record here, but why is it always the anonymous comments that border on illiterate? I mean, it's one thing to not proofread and then there is a level where proofreading would be pointless as the author doesn't grasp rudiments of spelling and grammar in the first place.
But simply being incapable of communicating in functional sentences doesn't disqualify one from being right. However, in this case, it seems like every sentence is burdened by a logical fallacy.
Liquid silver... has at best nominal efficacy as a disinfectant - possibly even hampering healing speed. And on top of that, there are some well-established deleterious effects to health. Funny thing, Mike Adams regularly rails against metal poisoning. Is seems that his discrimination as to which substances to fight for or against is based not upon medical value, but on the value he gains from products sold on his website. (Which I am not linking to here as to avoid giving him additional google-rank, but is easily found with any search for Health Ranger.)
Anonymous Mississippi Girl (AMG) provides a few anecdotal single data points as evidence. We are forced to take her at her word that she is being honest when she says she has not been sick in seven years. We also have to take into account whether she is being honest with herself. Is she counting an occasional seasonal-sniffle, or just knock-you-off-your-feet ailments? And does she even realize that she is filtering out the lesser illnesses if she is doing this?
I do know what is in flu shots - indeed I did a lot of work on this very subject during the Swine Flu outbreak two years ago, including the post that spawned this comment - and thanks to my ability to read and sort through scientific data in a logical fashion I am not scared of what is in flu shots. In fact I am kind of glad I don't have to live my life frightened by demons in white lab-coats.
"Most of my family and friends read Mike thanks to me and they trust him to." ...a quote by Obi-wan Kenobi springs to mind: "Who is more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows the fool?" (On a side note, it has always seemed to me that Lucas missed the mark with that quote by being too on the nose. It would have been far more elegant if the second half was "...the man who follows the fool" - if they are already a fool, then following a fool can only amplify it whereas being a potential non-fool is sullied by following a fool which is already a double-shot of dumb - not only failing to think for ones self, but by doing so in the footsteps of a fool.... but I digress.) In this case though, it appears to be fools following a fool following a fool... multi-layered recursive stupidity.
Dad died when he was somewhere north of 70 (Assuming he was 20 or so years older than AMG, who tells us she is 54 and he died 2 years ago.) Uh... so what? That is utterly meaningless. Again, it is a data point of one. How many people die before 70? Many. One more is an example of precisely nothing.
I'm not even really confident what part of the daughter's story to criticize. "We took her to the doctor and the doctor said the other doctors had made her a drug addict." Uh... so which doctor is at fault here? Okay, I am being a tad deliberately obtuse here, I know that the first doctor mentioned is the alt-med "hero" here. While I could analyze this mess in more detail, I'll sum it up by pointing out that the underlying argument here is essentially the naturalistic fallacy. "Natural" is in reality meaningless as not only are medical therapies perfectly natural but even when you break down the meaning into the meaning alt-med proponents typically mean (IE. Only un-manufactured ingredients as they are found in nature - nothing processed.) then as many so called "natural" remedies fail by those standards as not. The position simply doesn't hold up.
"People like you will never see 100 plus." Most people don't see 100 regardless of lifestyle. Indeed reports (anecdotal as they are) consistently come about surrounding just how unhealthy by the yardstick of common practice most centenarian's lifestyles have been. And really, I could care less as to how long I live if my quality of life sucks, so I'll worry about that as (and if) it approaches. Which brings us to AMG’s claim that: "Your body is design to make it way passed 100 but thanks to modern garbage most of the people won't even see 80." Which is, to not put too fine a point on it, bullshit. Before modern medicine people died much younger than they do today. Just look at the UN life expectancy numbers and it is clear that a great number of industrialized countries have a life expectancy above 80. Canada is one of them, and while the US where AMG is from is only close, the average for women is above 80. Further to the point, looking at third world countries, the averages are dramatically below 80. Really, her contention is just completely fucking laughable.
“I could go on for ever at what modern medicine is doing for the people.” Funny, I could say the same thing, except I would be saying what I mean to be saying, not the opposite. Sigh. Is it any wonder that people like this are dumb enough to fall for the crap Mercola and Adams flog?
“I listen I am 54 years old And I am one of the healths people I know.” Call me when you are 80. :-)
“If you are not sick they make no money.” True. But that does not mean their intention is to keep you sick. Quite the opposite. The mechanic who can’t or won’t fix a car has no customers. The implication that doctors could successfully operate that way is absurd.
“...listen to Mike Adams. He is one of the greatest men alive and he only cares about your health. Reading him is free so he makes nothing off of it...” Uh... wrong. AMG clearly has no idea about internet commerce. Check out Mike Adams’ Natural News website and full half of the real-estate on it is advertisement. And if I’m not mistaken, while it isn’t now, as little as two years ago you needed a subscription to his site in order to read the full version of his articles. (My memory may be faulty on this, but at least I am willing to admit to possible gaps in my position. But I seem to recall that when Adams presumed to tell the world what skeptics really think that the full post wasn't readily available to non-subscribers.) Add to that that he quite blatantly has a “store” on his site - which you can even get a discount from just by subscribing to his newsletter (again, he does not actually provide his info strictly for free.) – it is patently untrue that there is no profit motive for Mike Adams. Anyhow,
I’ve wasted enough time addressing this asinine comment. I’m out.