“What’s the Harm” of Applying SSkepticism in Lieu of Science? When the whole of the skepticism movement is focused on, not simply soft targets like UFO’s, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, but more accurately those as useless distractions, commensurate with unexamined and enormous disasters wrought in the name of ‘settled science’, there is only one term to describe such incompetence: Malevolent Fecklessness.
And such malevolent fecklessness takes decades to unravel from the fabric of social thought and the incumbent tragedy.
Below, you will see the outline of the seven key phases of the Social Skepticism lifecycle around a disfavored subject. This process takes anywhere from 30 to 90 years to execute; culminating with a Kuhn Paradigm Shift enabled through the passing on of the key celebrity skeptics who denied the issue. To the right, I decry the condition wherein our ‘settled science’ on cholesterol and heart disease, fully defended by the skepticism cabal for 45 years, led to the deaths of millions of Americans (like my father) under the false enforced assumption that a grain based diet was healthy for them (notice who benefits in this alliance – the same groups who benefit from their malicious advocacy work on glyphosate now). As in this example American tragedy (medical and diet quackery promoted by unchallenged business groups), and as is happening now inside media and social media circles, the final phase of the process involves Social Skeptics cleaning up/hiding all their past articles/advocacy. Editorializing in major periodicals, to explain how they were onboard the new science all along, and never denied it to begin with.
They can pull this off because no one holds them to peer review or accountability.
A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
– Max Planck
The methods used by many professional skeptics – sarcasm, ridicule, authoritative-sounding pronouncements unanchored to any facts – are in line with these skeptics’ self-image as more clever, more worldly, and more knowledgeable than the rubes and yokels who are readily taken in by sleight of hand, slippery language, and assorted con games. It’s hard to overestimate the amount of damage this mentality can cause.¹
– Michael Prescott
Further below you will see a case example where Social Skepticism was enlisted in the early 1960’s to protect the, what would become, $215 billion in revenue for acid reducing prescription drugs which were foisted on the American population based on age old pseudoscience from 1905. It took about 90 years for this pseudoscience house of cards to finally come crumbling down, despite the enormous battle waged by Social Skepticism to support their Pharma Cronies. The net cost to American Citizenry was at a minimum, as follows.²
- $215 billion in unnecessary revenue,
- $800+ billion in productivity loss,
- countless cases of peptic ulcers, endotoxin based endocrine disruption and deaths from stomach cancer, and
- immeasurable amounts of human suffering. ²
But hey “What’s the Harm?” We are skeptics after all – We do the science so science doesn’t have to. Compare the suffering above to the entire repertoire of supposed suffering broached in the name of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine approaches to human health and well being. None of the sins of that category of medicine can’t even begin to approach the damage enacted through this one single instance of applied Social Skepticism. It is not even close in comparison.
The Seven Phases of Fake Skepticism
I. Rally the Troops – Corporate or Academic sponsors contact Social Skeptics to pass message and define targeted enemy. Political rallies around issue – Dictate denial to troops – Big corporation or celebrity skeptic condemnation – Identify enemies to the troops.
II. Decry the Topic – Social Skeptics brief celebrity skeptics and develop presentations for key conventions. Develop a set of placeholder science for denial – Push propaganda in forums and conventions.
III. Demonize the Subject – Larger body of Social Skepticism is taught how to attack the issue and persons involved. Crucifixion through publishing ridicule and personal media.
IV. Police Public Discourse – Media and Forums are used to enforce conclusion on scientists and the public. Professional penalties enforcement for those who dissent.
V. Silence – Overwhelming tide of obfuscated observations quietly begins to turn ethical scientists toward dissent. Academia ignores the issue as a waste of time – Privately scientists dissent.
VI. Acquiescence – Dissent overcomes Social Skepticism – SSkeptics begin to remove history of articles from media. Mute disposition on the topic – Skeptic articles are slowly and surreptitiously removed.
VII. Behaviour Special Pleading – Excuses are passed, denials are made, SSkepticism was never wrong. Apparently no one ever denied subject to begin with. Behavior Special Pleading -“We never denied the issue – it was just good science.”
A Case Example ³
Of course, up until 1994 we all knew that ulcers (PUD) were caused by ‘coffee, worrying to much, salt, peppers, alcohol, smoking, lethargy, acidic foods and masturbation.’ Can we find the articles today which cite this? Not any longer of course. The key statement by Social Skeptics, that the cure “arrived right on time” is an example of the post-defeat apologetics accompanying the flurry of article and publication removal which occurs in phases V and VI.
Observe here how, the only reason the science actually won over the Social Skeptics and corporate opinion, was because the patents had expired on acid blocking drugs and they were removed from prescription status to over-the-counter designation as heartburn treatments. The only ‘right on time’ which occurred had nothing whatsoever to do with science.
The Typical Fallacious Special Pleading Employed in Phase VII by Social Skeptics
Notice the sleight-of-hand involved below, where Social Skeptics will pretend that you are attacking science, when you raise a case history involving their nefarious activity. This default assumption that they now, or in the past, represented science, is a fallacy called Ergo Sum Scientia. When the process below is contended as a way of saying that you do not understand the process of science involved, nor the priorities of science, this is a Fallacy of Relative Privation.
The Scripted Pseudo Scientific Bullshit Apologetics from SSkeptics Concerning the 30+ Years of Obfuscation:
- Only “CAM Supporters” or pseudo scientists bring up these old issues.
- Where are all the old articles? We need recitation (pretending that the old wives tale paradigm never existed).
- “The science arrived right on time” baloney.
- Scientists always scoff at the first introduction of a new idea (ignoring the timeframe).
- “The contention was accepted right on schedule, and only after appropriate initial skepticism.”
- The history cited is mythical.
- The lacking number of citations did not merit the idea’s consideration at the time.
- Even the discoverers had some doubts and conflicting evidence (early early on…).
- The ‘scientific method’ and standards of progression were not followed or took time to execute.
- It has to be replicated (ignoring the decades of refusal to do so).
- The solution or treatment had to be shown as safe or had side effects (ignoring the decades of elapsed time and suffering).
- Animal models needed to be developed and pursued.
- This was not a simple task.
- Other forms of x pylori exist in 90% of humans and they don’t all get ulcers (ignoring the fact that the sickness involves more than simply ulcers).
- A case for absolute proof needed to be established, just to be safe.
- Time was required to study trials which observed humans over long timeframes, in order to prove efficacy and safety.
- This is all a Myth.
Yet at the same time, compare the diatribe above about the supposed realities of science with the enormous and highly risky achievement of approving the Genetic Modification of Food to Enable Use of Glyphosate. This monumental task took only around 12 years to formulate, test, review and deploy IN ITS ENTIRETY. The principal body of science itself was only executed over THREE YEARS, 1988 – 1990, by a couple small labs, prior to its approval in 1991. And this was approval to treat 80+% of our food! The most monumental initiative of science impact on human well being ever. Three years to pull off. Let the Fallacy of Relative Privation fly.
It is clear that when we want to do something, it is amazing how Social Skepticism simply evaporates and all the excuses above just do not seem to apply. When we do not want to do something, Methodical Cynicism comes into play, and the excuses are myriad.
Funny how that works.
Ethical Skeptics, don’t let the fake skeptics kid you either. The next big issue on the horizon, which they are complicit in squelching for decades in similar fashion to h. pylori science, is the role of sugar and our cognitive health. You can hear the big guns of Social Skepticism attacking doctors (Oz, Mercola, Crane, Scott, etc.) who cite the science behind sugar, grains and the brain even now. There are at least 200 more issues just like this on the horizon, which are about to explode now that the era of sharing of information has arrived in force. A set of 200 issues which will undergo revolution in thinking and serve as a discrediting mechanism towards this fake and deleterious form of social activist based skepticism. During this process it will be vital that we keep the internet free from SSkepticism’s taking control.
The fireworks are merely beginning, and you have a front row seat to it all.
¹ Michael Prescott’s Blog “The Monsters of Florence;” extracted 28 March 2015; http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/
² Estimates of damages vary widely and increase each couple years, but the online resources citing monumental impact and social loss from h. pylori include
Bacteria that Can Lead to Cancer
Acid Blocker Annual Revenue and Downsides
H. Pylori Costs and Disease Impacts
³ Timeline of peptic ulcer disease and helicobacter pylori, Wikipedia; extracted 26 March 2015; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_peptic_ulcer_disease_and_Helicobacter_pylori
Hey TES, Robert from GMOWTF(dotcom) here, the Cornell sh!t-stirrer currently making a film about their Monsanto ties. I’m a huge fan and have been for a while… in fact, I could use your advice on the nature/narrative of my film, as you understand this stuff better than anyone. I must, however, disagree ever-so-slightly with your assessment in the first few paragraphs of this piece – that a grain-based diet is the ’cause’ of chronic disease. I see this rhetoric passed around a LOT by very smart, aware, truly ethical skeptics and thinkers, but it indeed represents a bit of a… Read more »
Bob, What a great post! Yes, I do recall you and the Cornell discussions. Thanks for being a loyal follower and reader – I will strive to keep to my core principles yet make my writing a bit less dry, and more entertaining over the coming years. I have a small but fiercely loyal audience. And that is good. :-) Meet your first keto-diet/MCT Oil/Butter, no grain, no soy, no canola, no cottonseed, no corn consuming person with ZERO heart disease. Me. This is as certified by the head cardiologist at my nearest big city cardiac center, via catheterization/angioscope. In… Read more »
Thanks so much for this in-depth dive! I’m def going to save and digest later as well. I can tell we’d be friends lol, and I can see exactly why you’re so adept at calling out the fake skeptics! My whole start in this ‘realm’ was from losing my health and regaining it through personal observation/experimentation. I’m very curious as to the outliers and exceptions when it comes to disease healing. A keto-vegan diet was shown to reverse heart disease as well, but was slower. There are all sorts of things that will slow/reverse heart disease for various reasons… I’m… Read more »
Have seen this happen in multiple areas. The “Skeptics” are a shady dishonest network of people who will be “sketpical’ of anything you pay them to be skeptical of.
Max, they are “For Hire” – no doubt about it.