Now there’s some “anti-science”…

I’m sometimes criticized for referring to various people who are “anti-science” as, well, “anti-science.” People, for whatever reason, have a hard time believing that anyone is anti-science; so when I point out how much, for example, antivaccinationists, alternative medicine believers, or creationists are anti-science, they have a had time believing it. This is particularly true because, just as antivaccinationists loudly protest that they are not “antivaccine,” those who are anti-science equally loudly protest that they are not “anti-science.” Such protestations are almost inevitably followed by statements that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are in fact anti-science.

That’s why Mike Adams of the quack website NaturalNews.com is so useful. Whenever anyone doubts that there can be someone who is anti-science to the core, all I do is point him to Mike Adams. Last week, in fact, Adams provided me just such an example of his anti-science proclivities that I had meant to blog about at the time but didn’t get around to it. In a way my not covering it when it was originally published was a good thing in that it gave Adams time to write a followup post that makes my point better than I ever could. I’ll show you what I mean.

The first post appeared a little over a week ago and was entitled, histrionically enough, Human race being terminated by ‘scientific suicide’. To call this post an example of crank magnetism liberally spiced with anti-science propaganda is a major understatement, all mixed in with a heapin’ helpin’ of pure arrogance:

This is, without question, the most important article I’ve ever penned, because it discusses the idea that the human race is being destroyed in the name of science.

Stopping these “scientists” from destroying our world and our civilization must become our top priority if we hope to survive.

Wow. Not only is this the “most important article” Adams has ever written, but he thinks that scientists are destroying civilization. After ranting about the Fukushima nuclear reactor, “self-replicating genetic pollution,” and Bill Gates (who, apparently because of his support for vaccines is evil incarnate to people like Adams), Adams concludes:

In fact, if you take an honest look at what threatens our civilization and our planet today, it’s always something done in the name of science!

Death by science

  • Toxic pesticides that kill the soils and rivers? “Science!”
  • Toxic chemical medications that kill humans and pollute downstream waters? “Scientific!”
  • The mass poisoning of the population with a toxic combination of industrial waste products called “fluoride?” It’s all done for “science!”
  • Nuclear bombs that have already decimated civilian populations? “Science!”
  • Mammograms and other medical imaging devices that actually cause cancer? “Scientific!”
  • Chemotherapy poisons, “preventive” mastectomies, cancer radiation treatments? It’s all “scientific” of course.
  • The mass mercury poisoning of children through dental amalgams? They call it “science-based dentistry!”

What’s clear from all this is that the human race is being murdered in the name of science.

But underneath that realization is an even more profound one: Much of the so-called “science” is really just fraudulent science that’s twisted, distorted and quacked up by greed-driven corporations.

“Quacked up”? Dammit, Adams owes me yet another new irony meter, because seeing him refer to anything as “quacked up” melted my most recently acquired irony meter into a quivering, quavering, molten blob of metal and plastic. I mean, if one were to come up with a “quackery index” for websites that estimates the density of pseudoscience and quackery on any given website (think The Quackometer, but more quantitative), Adam’s NaturalNews.com website would be so far off the scale that it would probably fry the meter even more than Adams’ invocation of “quacking it up” fried my irony meter. In fact, NaturalNews.com is the proverbial black hole of quackery that sucks in all light and reason, such that nothing of intelligence can escape its event horizon. Just search for his name or “NaturalNews.com” in the search box of this blog, and it won’t take you long to find a copious number of examples.

As for the rest, it’s a list of one straw man after another. Dumping toxic pesticides and chemicals into rivers has nothing do with science and everything to do with corporate malfeasance. While it’s true that nuclear weapons are a product of science, so are nuclear reactors and many medical applications of radiation. (Oh, wait, Adams hates that too.) I do find it rather interesting that Adams has to reach back nearly 67 years to find a suitably horrific example of nuclear “science” decimating civilian populations. That happened exactly twice, and not since, as part of the culmination of the largest war ever. Since then, although we still have nuclear weapons, they haven’t been used in war. I’m surprised that Adams didn’t mention Nazis and the Holocaust.

Oh, wait. He saved that for his followup article, S.O.S. alert: Help STOP Out-of-control Science from destroying us all. It’s basically the same article rearranged and rephrased, with the exception that he throws in a bit about how:

Throughout the Nazi-led mass extermination of the Jewish people in World War II, IBM’s top computer scientists provided key technologies that allowed Hitler’s minions to more “efficiently” exterminate prisoners and organize work camps.

Much of the rest of Adams’ posts are standard quack rants. For instance, chemotherapy might indeed be poison, but it saves lives from cancer because it’s more toxic to tumors than to normal cells. similarly, no one denies that medical imaging devices increase the risk of cancer (I’ve written about that very problem myself, even for mammography–it’s not being hidden), as in everything in life, it’s all a matter of risks versus benefits. Adams exaggerates the risks and downplays or denies the benefits. As for chemotherapy, well, as much as Adams wants to deny it, when it’s used for appropriate indications, it works. It can cure some cancers, and for others it increases the chances of survival after surgery with curative intent. Fluoride works, too.

Still don’t think Adams is anti-science? Take a look at this passage then:

As a result of such trends, “science” has come to mean corruption, dishonesty, greed and death. “Scientists” — the people who practice such science — are death engineers whose innovations may deliver hyped-up short-term benefits, but they often ultimately lead to long-term death and destruction. Roundup herbicide, for example, kills crop soils and encourages the development of pesticide-resistant “superweeds.” In the terrain of human biology, much the same ramification of death and destruction is happening with the widespread abuse of antibiotics and the alarming rise of MRSA and other “superbugs.”

But it’s even worse than that. Apparently, scientists are so careless and evil that, well, listen to Mikey for a chuckle:

In 2003, NASA scientists miscalculated mission profile data and caused a MARS orbiter to crash into the red planet. While this did not threaten Earth in any way, it almost certainly contaminated Mars with Earth-based bacteria and DNA fragments. (http://www.naturalnews.com/021452.html) This is just one example of how careless scientists on Earth are already contaminating our solar system and potentially threatening microbial life that may already exist on other planets. In hospitals, doctors fail to wash their hands. In space, NASA fails to fully sterilize its landing craft. It’s the same problem, just on a planetary scale.

Oh, noes! Teh DNA! Save us! Apparently Adams thinks we should completely sterilize our space probes before sending them to Mars or any other planet in our solar system. Actually, I think NASA already does some sort of decontamination. After all, the presence of earth bacteria or biological molecules could easily screw up the probe’s measurements looking for Martian life with false positive results, and NASA certainly wouldn’t want that to happen.

So what is Adams’ solution to this problem? It’s on this infographic he created. He wants to end all intellectual property, for one thing, particularly for GMOs and medicines. Yup, that’ll work. It would be perfect for a huckster like Adams, because the pace of introduction of new drugs slows to a crawl he could take over the market selling his supplements and nostrums. He also want to outlaw the genetic engineering of seeds, eggs, and embryos. I have to wonder if he means to ban transgenic mice. Transgenic mice (mice that have been genetically engineered to delete or insert a gene or genes to study gene function) are an invaluable tool for studying what genes do in living organisms. As for “genetically engineering” seeds, does that mean Adams wants to ban hybridizing plants? Technically, that’s a form of genetic engineering; it just doesn’t require plasmids and the like. Then, of course, Adams wants to recall all “non-safety-proven” technologies. Of course, his definition of “non-safety-proven” resembles a scientist or rational person’s definition of “non-safety-proven” only by coincidence. Basically, Adams lumps technologies that have the potential to be truly dangerous (bioweapons, for instance) in with fluoride, flu shots, antibiotics, and the like.

Yes, Adams views fluoride, antibiotics, and flu shots as being on par with bioweapons and catastrophic “grey goo” warnings from nanotechnology. His infographic is particularly amusing in his “Danger Levels of Science.” At the top of the list is Skynet. I kid you not. Methinks Mike has been watching too many Terminator movies. He even makes it explicit:

Because next we can count on the rise of the robot drones in the name of science — a new race of Terminator machines (unmanned AI drones) with the capability to mindlessly unleash bombs and bullets on civilian populations. Such drones will be developed in the name of “science,” of course, with all the predictable ego-driven fantasies of their geek-headed inventors who, with all their superior intellect, have still failed to study human history.

So let’s see. Here we have a man who thinks that virtually every major advance in science over the last century is dangerous and potentially evil, blames scientists for the horrors of the Holocaust, and seems to think that scientists will destroy the world. Adams should have been born 60 years earlier than he was. He could have had a good career writing science fiction and horror B-movies during the 1950s warning about science gone too far. The technology would have been more to his liking, as well, being a half century behind where we are now. Or maybe not. After all, personal computers and the Internet didn’t exist back then, which means he wouldn’t have been able to preach his anti-science message nearly as easily. He would have been reduced to spending bundles of money printing up his screeds, writing books that probably wouldn’t have sold, and trying to get on the radio or early TV.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the very science that Adams castigates as the source of all human suffering produced the very technology that allows him to spread his vitriol about science to many more people than he ever could have done before the rise of the Internet.