The Threat of Mad Science Is Real:
(Trust in Demagoguery Will Kill Us)
This convenient use of the word "denialism" by those advocating "science" come off every bit as zealous in their own religiosity, as any other
zealot in theirs. Like all great preachers, they rely heavily upon non specific imagery to sell their ideology, ironically ignoring facts, a
decidedly non-scientific behavior, in order to advocate their world view. I would suggest that there are far less who mistrust science, than there
are those who mistrust the scientists who hide behind the purity of science, just as many mistrust preachers who hide behind the purity of
When, Michael Specter
For centuries, the general view had been that science is neither good nor bad-that it merely supplies information and that new information is always
Specter chooses to ignore the enduring literary longevity of Frankenstein
, as well as its
cinematic appeal, and sticking with the cinematic role in drawing metaphorical parallel's to peoples fear of mad scientists and the very real threat
they pose to humanity, so while Japan was making movies about Godzilla
theater's of Europe, and even America were staging plays by playwrights from a new movement called the
Theater of the Absurd
, where literary giants, such as Beckett and Ionesco would make their
mark, while American science fiction films were littered with allegorical and metaphorical scenarios that reflected the modern fear of the mad
scientist who preached upon the alter of science.
Even films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers
, which did not blame science
for disaster but instead blamed some alien species, and paralleled the sense of doom and dread that came with the
which served as a tangible threat to America's sense of freedom, and while this threat was
embodied in the ideology of communism, and tools such as propaganda used to sell the totalitarian state were tangible fears for Americans, the
greatest fear of the Cold war lied in the nuclear arms race, a undeniably concerning product brought to us by mad scientists.
Books and films such as A Clockwork Orange
reflected a general fear of the
scientist bureaucrat, intrusive states, and the dubious rise of fields such as psychiatry and psychology through claiming the mantle of "science".
From Mad Max, Bladerunner to Minority Report, films of the science fiction genre continue to reflect the genuine fear people have of science and
technology used against them, and their right to live, liberty and happiness.
Specter is clearly wrong in asserting that there have been centuries of a general ambivalence towards science, but his fanciful view of the world
doesn't end with a relatively enlightened populace accepting of the good science hath wrought, who have suddenly turned increasingly towards mistrust
of not just the institution of science but institutions in general. Specter continues with his flawed premise by stating:
Now, science is viewed as a political constituency that isn't always in our best interest.
While all ready declaring those skeptical of modern scientist methods and motives as "denialists", Specter now points to the primary difference
between now and then, that being the strong view that science has become a political constituency, not always working in our best interests. That
the field of science has indeed allowed itself to be politicized is evident in the plethora of political organizations, starting with the government
ones such as U.N.A.I.D.S.
, the CDC
, there is also the IPCC
, a governmental organization that, if not selling us
science fiction, it is every bit as scary as the best of science fiction, but those selling it are no doubt a political constituency.
The propaganda by Specter is only starting, and in the very same paragraph he declares a new age in mistrust of scientists, he hopes to demonize and
dismiss the growing movement towards the use of supplemental dietary goods to support health as being a part of this "denialist" movement. He
We live in a world where the leaders of African nations prefer to let their citizens starve to death rather than import genetically modified grains.
Childhood vaccines have proven to be the most effective public health measure in history, yet people march on Washington to protest their use. In the
United States a growing series of studies show that dietary supplements and "natural" cures have almost no value, and often cause harm.
While Specter seems to be agog at the notion that vaccines are being questioned for their safety, he is equally agog that people would show an
interest in natural supplements
, such as herbs, vitamins and minerals, in an effort to
promote health and longevity, declaring it a useless practice. Never mind that in science the
is taken seriously, and there are
numerous hypothesis and theories suggesting placebos and the
power of belief
, and that a reliance on herbs, vitamins
and supplements with the firm belief they will support health and longevity, could easily avoid uselessness through this so called placebo effect,
Specter has an agenda, a political agenda.
Herbs, vitamins and minerals, remain largely unregulated in The United States by the FDA
, so it should come as no
surprise that a search engine using the key words harm caused by dietary supplements, brings up few medical claims on the first page of Google, but
does offer a lawyers firm relying on the general term "dietary supplements" to demonize their lack of regulation, by pointing to
, and a site called
, dedicated to exposing fraud in medicine. It should not be so hard
to understand, that while a deeply ensconced medical establishment, filled with organizations such as AMA
other powerhouse associations intent on keeping the public "informed", there are also the subset of organizations such as the
National Council Against Health Fraud
, that are all taking swipes at herbs, vitamins and minerals that have been
trusted healing devices for centuries, why people are mistrustful of this modern medical establishment.
The Quotes I offered of Specter are from his website describing his book Denialism
. I have not read his book, so at this point I can only go
by what his own website say's about the book, and that brief blog betrays a political agenda. The modern day medical establishment has been in full
support of strict government regulation on health, which is by nature a very controversial issue. How much jurisdiction a government can actually
hold over an individuals health is becoming more and more hotly debated, and to reduce this debate to a religion versus science dichotomy is hardly
scientific, to say the least.
While modern day science has predicated much of its advancement and "knowledge" on established theories assumed to be true, (and what is faith if
not that?), those who advocate it tend to draw the battle lines with faith based believers, and are every bit as willing to engage in vitriolic attack
of their opponents as their opponents are of them. So comfortable has the modern day scientist become with presuming truth behind the conventional
wisdom of theories, they too advocate theories that soon themselves become presented as fact. Consider the current
, that while remaining a theory, and in spite of the many changes made to
continue justifying this shifting paradigm
, the so called
, never quite seems to match the numbers of predictions made by those
political organizations who stand to profit the most from this medical syndrome.
If a rigorous adherence to a scientific method
was used in
the advocacy of HIV being the primary factor causing AIDS, the history of that advocacy by scientists such as
, and the great controversies that followed, coupled with the
"triumphs and failures"
of this advocacy, and the genuine confusion that came
with viewing HIV as a virus or retrovirus
, lend credence to showing some concern about this
HIV/AIDS paradigm, particularly if the pandemic being sold by government organizations is to be trusted, but thanks to the thousands upon thousands of
political organizations advocating the HIV paradigm, those who question it are "denialists".
There is a reason for the mistrust in the modern scientist.
[edit on 15-4-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]