Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WOO and the Law

After looking at several other blogs, it is becoming apparent that the woo merchants are starting to follow the lead of the chiropractors in the U.K. If you cannot beat someone with evidence then sue them. Paul Offitt has been sued by the antivaxers for saying they are lying. There is a good summation of this on the Science Based Medicine blog, I suggest you go there to read it. I will not repeat the story here. Several points I will mention as I have seen it here. The woo merchants cannot tolerate vigourous debate. In a scientific forum the debate gets very robust. You can see this on skeptic blogs where all comments are allowed as long as they are not of a kind that is pornographic, or use language that is of a kind that is of a type that, well example and you fill in the blanks. "You f______ b_____ you don't know what your talking about." Get my meaning. But woo merchants themselves will use ad hominum attacks as they do not have the scientific evidence to back up their claims. They also will exclude any skeptic from critizing their view points. That is why I will allow other view points, even ones critical of me on the blog, as long as they do not use the type of language illustrated in the blanks. I will not use ad hominum attacks against individuals, as those individuals seriously believe what they say, even without evidence. So as serious skeptics we should not to be afraid to be critical of ideas, claims, devices etc. But, use the boundry of not doing ad hominum attacks or questionable language. That is the mark of good healthy debate and critical thought. The hypocracy of the woo merchants, antivaxers, homeopaths, chiropractors, accupuncturists, astrologers, new agers, etc. is that they will use those tactics and that is a reflection on their own character and intolerance of criticism, no matter how much they wrap their rhetoric in the flag, free speech (which they really do not want), and civil rights.

Skeptical DoDo

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