Writer’s Note: I wanted to write my own collection of nonsense spewed by pseudoscience peddlers. I will be starting with vaccines, but I may expand it into other topics as well at some point. I want to provide short examples of the arguments made by those who don’t understand science, and I will compile the links into a separate post after I get a few done, and then continue to add links to that post as I add more. I hope it is helpful!
Freedom of Speech graffiti (via Creative Commons License)
The loudest voices, no matter how few, are often the ones that get heard the most. In the world of vaccines, celebrities who blame vaccines for all sorts of conditions are given an disproportionately large platform from which to speak about their denial of science. Social media also gives a large presence, with people like the Food Babe, Natural News, Mercola, and others watching their message of fear spread like wildfire. Occasionally, the science side does speak up, like in the case of the insurance company State Farm dropping ads featuring anti-vaccine actor Rob Schneider.
While I’ve spent way too much time this week responding to blog comments here on Skeptoid, I watched so many pieces of bad science flow through my social media feeds this week that it makes me weep knowing how poorly people understand the process of science. I don’t even have time to read my whole feed every day, so I wonder how many more I missed. So let me just summarize the few zombie junk science that I saw repeated this week – including the woo links so they can be appropriately flagged for Skeptic Action. Continue reading
I have intentionally been trying to avoid posting about aspartame, but Joe Mercola recently posted a reference to the relatively old Sweet Misery anti-aspartame documentary which I have already seen more times that I would like and responded to. This documentary features interviews with the main players in the anti-aspartame movement, who make statements that simply are not supported by the evidence. On my other blog, I have a 2-part “fact check” (Part 1, Part 2)of the documentary.
Barbara Loe Fisher guest stars in the Mercola.com article I will be looking at this week. The anti-vaccine folks have cleverly started to use the term “denial” in their rhetoric as the Mercola article is entitled “Desperate Times for Vaccine Risk Denialism“. They don’t however seem to know what the term means as the scientific community readily acknowledges that there are risks to vaccines. Families have been given money by the “vaccine court” when there is reasonable evidence of having been harmed due to vaccines. These are no secrets and it’s not clear who exactly it is that Fisher believes is “denying” the risks of vaccines. There is just the minor detail that the risks are far outweighed by the benefits for most children.