Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Liar's Club: Vaccines, Creationism and Global Warming

I hate liars. Why can't people have an honest debate about the things that are important?

Here is a liar on my list: Anti-vaccine crusader Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Doc Andy believed autism was caused by childhood vaccines, but the evidence was against him. Instead of giving up his beloved theory, he lied – he did bad experiments that biased the results in favor of his beliefs. Tragically, his lies fooled millions of parents, they refused to get their children vaccinated, and dozens, maybe hundreds of children are dead. Thanks, doc, good work.

There's nothing wrong with making a mistake, but the reason Dr. Wakefield is on my list is because he knew he was doing bad science. He deliberately misled the world, and caused true misery and death, all because of his ego.

Here's another liar on my list: Kent Hovind, the famous creationist. I don't mind a good debate about science, but apparently Kent does, because rather than arguing science, he cheats, knowingly and deliberately. This video is a hoot, from the amazing potholer54 (warning, potholer54 uses strong language), and explains Hovind's lies far better than I could:
Liar, liar. Even worse, Hovind knows his audience has no science education, and he can easily fool them because of their ignorance. That's really sick.

How can a man like that live with himself? If he trusts in God, why does he have to lie to prove God's greatness? It's baffling.

Let me check my liar's list again ... aha, the global warming deniers. Not the scientific skeptics, the ones with valid, testable hypotheses. No, I'm talking about the liars, the ones who abuse science. I wrote about this some time ago, and the deniers came out in droves. But since then, I discovered another video from potholer54 that is quite extraordinary. He goes through the controversy wonderfully, and explains both sides of the global warming question. Potholer54 presents it scientifically.

Not the deniers. Unlike the scientists who are are genuine global-warming skeptics with well-reasoned theories, the deniers lie. They make up stuff, and put together propaganda pieces that use outdated non-scientific articles (you think Time magazine is peer reviewed?) to "prove" that scientists are a bunch of yahoos. Take a look at this one from crybaby Glen Beck, one of the world's most famous deceivers. Nasty stuff. See how many propaganda tricks you can spot, especially after you watch potholer54's video on global warming.

And why is it that so many in the liars club lie about more than one thing? You'll often find the same guy making up lies about global warming, vaccination conspiracies, creationism, and you can probably throw in the Apollo moon-landing hoax and how the JFK assassination was orchestrated by the CIA. I guess if you're willing to make stuff up, there's no end to it.

I always go back to my favorite quote:
"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. ... It happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion."
– Carl Sagan
That is what makes a real scientist. They don't lie, and they admit when they're wrong.

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Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

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