Saturday, April 16, 2011

Elephants and Mice, or Cowards and Censors?

If there is one thing I can not abide it is people who push their worthless "medicine", especially homeopaths.  When examined as a whole, the science shows that homeopathy has no value.  Yet people with vested interests and those that are emotionally attached continue to push this 200 year old rubbish to increase their income and spread their faith in magic pills.

Today, I have found something worse.  The homeopathic censor.  On occasion I put my skeptic hat on and dare to comment on some of the non sense that is put on the web.  Most specifically I have had cause to comment on a blog post at "Elephants and Mice".  Previously my comments on this blog have been “moderated”, by which I mean not published.  Clearly, the only way to get your comments published here is to agree whole heartedly or post something that the owner feels they can rip into.  Today though, my comments were posted, but only after being edited.  I feel violated.  I put a lot of thought and effort into writing a comment only to have a fraction published and for the published part to be made fun of in the most bizarre fashion.

To the owner of Elephants and Mice, I am publicly calling you a coward.  I challenge you to publish the full comment and put down the censors knife.

Editing comments is only one step from out right lying.

IMHO, the moderation feature on a blog is to ensure that the comments are not abusive, do not contain foul language and so on.  It is not there to allow censorship.

I will be posting a link to this in the comments of Elephants and Mice.  If you have the nerve to publish it, I am sure my little blog will be attacked by you and your minions.  Unlike you though, I will not censor the responses to suit my agenda.

The full comment is as follows.  Only the first two paragraphs were published.  You can find the edited version here

You guys are great, you go direct to attack mode.  How fun.

I have no knowledge of this alleged fraud, which is why I have not commented specifically on it.  I do know many applicants to the million dollar challenge simply will not agree to reasonable test conditions.

"But then again, as an organizer of the secret meetings and organizing of skeptics it is par for the course for you. "  This is pathetic.  How you managed to make this jump of logic is beyond me.  I am no organiser of skeptics and if there are secret meetings, they are secret from me.  More likely, they are not secret, its just you were not invited.

You can appeal to authority all you want.  Even Nobel winners make mistakes.

rside: You are making sweeping generalisations and assumptions.  The skeptic movement is chock full of real scientists who make themselves heard if any skeptic gets the science wrong; including Randi.  While Randi is not a scientist he relies on scientists for the best information out there.  True believers look to their token scientists as if they are priests who can do no wrong.   For the record, my diploma is in applied science; so rasberries to your assumptions.

You call me a skeptic as if it were an insult. I wear that label proudly.  All good scientists are skeptics.  The first thing a good scientist does is try to dis-prove their own hypothesis.  If the idea passes well designed tests, then maybe it has some merit.

Science has nothing to do with being loud or nasty.  It is a process.  An idea must stand up to peer review, it must be repeatable and it must be able to withstand criticism.

To summarise, you folks have made a number of assumptions and generalisations in your responses which are not true.  You attack the person who provides any opinion which does not match your own.  You do not provide worthwhile evidence.  You can distract from the real issue all you like by alleging fraud and so on, but it does not help support your claims about homeopathy.

The fact is homeopathy does not work and you can not let go of your beliefs.  You do not have the ability to examine the evidence in a rational and impartial fashion.  Probably because you have financial and emotional attachments.

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