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Mike Adams issues a challenge over vaccines to Neil deGrasse Tyson, and hilarity ensues

I’m sure that a lot of you, like me, are watching the rebooted version of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, with Neil deGrasse Tyson taking over the hosting duties originally handled so ably over 30 years ago by Carl Sagan. I definitely enjoyed the first episode and am looking forward to additional episodes. The only thing that annoys me is that Cosmos is on at the same time as The Walking Dead, but that’s what DVRs were made for. The first episode, which is all I’ve seen thus far at this writing, was quite impressive, and the segment at the end in which Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about the time he met Carl Sagan when he was 17 served as a fitting “passing of the baton” to the next generation.

I had a few quibbles, of course, but they were just quibbles. The updating of the cosmic calendar was splendid, and it doesn’t appear that the series will pull any punches (at least not much) when it comes to religion-inspired pseudoscience.

That’s why what I saw yesterday almost ruined a computer screen and keyboard, as I was drinking my coffee when I came across it. I’m referring to an article published by everyone’s favorite quack with a vastly inflated sense of self-importance, Mike Adams, entitled Neil DeGrasse Tyson publicly endorses core philosophy of Natural News: Follow the evidence; question everything.

I’ll pause here to give you a chance to let your laughter die down. It’s certain to take anywhere from several seconds to several minutes, depending on how much you know about Mike Adams. The title is gut-bustingly funny enough, but what’s in the article goes beyond hilarious. It took me multiple attempts to get through this article; so if my writing is a bit choppy, please forgive me. I know I really shouldn’t take on a Mike Adams screed like this, particularly so soon after such depressingly serious and scientific topics. However, things have gotten a little surreal around here lately, so why not some Mike Adams? Besides, I can’t choose when Adams will produce a screed custom made for some not-so-Respectful Insolence. I could choose to ignore it, but there wasn’t anything else that caught my eye last night, so what the heck?

Adams, thus demonstrating his incredible hubris, proclaims himself to be a kindred spirit to not only Carl Sagan but to the host of the new Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson. That’s right. Mike is a scientist, too, dammit:

As a long-time fan of the sciences, I was thrilled to see the re-launch of the Cosmos series this past week, starring Neil DeGrasse Tyson as the host. I was an enthusiastic fan of the original 1980 Cosmos series starring Carl Sagan, and I grew up steeped in the study of the natural sciences.

Perhaps that’s why I was especially delighted to hear Neil DeGrasse Tyson announce — in the first few minutes of the new Cosmos series — “Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question everything.”

That is, of course, the core philosophy of Natural News. It has been the driving force behind this organization’s informed skepticism of mercury in vaccines, mercury in dentistry, fluoride in public water and the ecological safety of genetically engineered food crops. It turns out that if you really “follow the evidence wherever it leads,” as Tyson rightly encourages us to do, you inevitably come to find that much of what is promoted and propagandized as “scientific” in the modern world is actually based on distorted, corporate-funded anti-science profit agendas rather than genuine science.

Mike Adams might have grown up “steeped in the study of natural sciences” or not, but even if he did, it’s painfully obvious that none of it rubbed off on him, given his career today, particularly his utterly nonsensical rejection of scientific findings. Let’s just put it this way. Adams is antivaccine, regularly abuses dead celebrities as “examples” of medicine killing, and even rejects science itself as evil, something that leads inevitably to atrocities like the Holocaust. Meanwhile, no conspiracy theory is too crazy for Adams to embrace. Whatever science Mike Adams might have learned is long gone, subsumed in his pure denialism and embrace of every form of quackery known to humans. None of this stops him from proclaiming that he’s a real scientist, maaaaaan:

My work here at Natural News is steeped in cutting-edge science. Today, I run an atomic spectroscopy laboratory conducting elemental analysis as part of my food science research. The instrumentation here rivals that of many universities, and I personally conduct all the research myself, operating ICP-MS instrumentation and practicing high-level analytical chemistry.

So much so that:

Continuing in these scientific endeavors, I am in the process of authoring numerous scientific papers on breakthrough food science research, and I will soon be publishing truly pioneering information about heavy metals in popular herbal supplements. I’m also the first person to have announced the discovery and formulation of a dietary supplement formula which can selectively bind with radioactive cesium-137 isotopes in the gastrointestinal tract.

This ought to be good. I really, really hope that Adams submits his “scientific papers” to reputable journals. It will be hilarious to see his reaction to the real peer review process, something Neil deGrasse Tyson is well familiar with but Mike Adams is not. He thinks he knows, but he doesn’t. Of course, it’s quite possible that Adams will just self-publish and avoid the peer-review process altogether. In fact, that wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Of course, it doesn’t take long for Adams to get to his real purpose, namely a rant against vaccines. I’m half tempted to tell Mikey that he doesn’t help the case he’s making to Neil deGrasse Tyson that he’s a real scientist and that he isn’t antivaccine by repeating antivaccine tropes about mercury in vaccines and then running with them. Proclaiming that he has run into pro-vaccine zealots who are “no less anti-scientific than some of the more bizarre ‘voodoo science’ detox supplement proponents,” Adams launches into a long tirade about mercury in vaccines:

As such, in much the same way that Galileo fought against the faith-based dogma of the Church and its heliocentric mythology of the universe, today Natural News fights against dangerous dogmas and false “scientific” delusions perpetrated under the distorted label of “science.” If you really follow the evidence on mercury in vaccines, for example, there is no scientifically justifiable rationale for injecting pregnant women with mercury at any dose. Yet this action is precisely what is currently — and aggressively — demanded by the “scientific” community, in what history will ultimately be forced to admit is a great betrayal of the People by delusional science conducted primarily in the interests of corporate power rather than public health.

Adams is, of course, referring to the thimerosal preservative in vaccines, which contains mercury, and the general recommendation that pregnant women receive the flu vaccine during flu season. Of course, the concept that mercury in vaccines causes autism is a long-discredited hypothesis. There is no good evidence that mercury in vaccines at the dose used causes any harm at all. The worse reactions are pretty much local skin irritation. There’s a reason why it’s recommended that pregnant women receive the flu vaccine, and that’s because the flu can hit them especially bad.

Similarly, there is no evidence that mercury-containing amalgams used in dental fillings is dangerous. It’s been used for a long time, and has an excellent safety record. It’s inexpensive, and versatile, and substitutes are more expensive and don’t have the same long track record of safety. Yet Adams spends paragraphs ranting about amalgams, using in essence an argument from incredulity that says that because Adams can’t conceive of how mercury in different forms could be safe, as in amalgams, or how mercury at low enough doses can also be safe. The concept of how elements can behave differently depending upon the chemical compounds with which they’re compounded is alien to Adams. To him, heavy metals are always toxic, no matter how low the dose.

Indeed, Adams completely destroyed my irony meter:

The very nature of the table of elements, in fact, supports my position of mercury-free medicine, meaning I do not even have to be “right” myself because I have the full power of the laws of physics and chemistry to back me up. For some misguided scientist to claim that “mercury is harmless” is no less foolish than a person following “The Secret” to sit in a room and wish for material wealth to magically appear simply because they believe the so-called “Law of Attraction” will bring them whatever material items they choose to focus upon. Both beliefs are purely delusional. One is steeped in “science” and the other in distortions of popularized (but distorted) New Age thinking. Yet they are both false. Mercury is harmful to human biology at almost any dose — even at just a few micrograms injected into the tissue of a child — and there is no rational basis from which to argue otherwise.

Except that Adams doesn’t have the “full power of the laws of physics and chemistry” to back him up, not just because he isn’t a scientist, but because he’s demonstrated time and time again that he has no understanding of science. In fact, his history demonstrates that not only is he not a scientist but he has a long history of exhibiting extreme hostility to science. Indeed, he even demonstrates that hostility to science in this very post:

And it is an undeniable scientific truth that every scientist who today promotes mercury in vaccines and mercury in dentistry is also a quack. I state this undeniable truth with the same confidence and courage that Copernicus once exhibited as he wrote that the Earth orbited the sun and not the other way around. Even if the entire modern “scientific” community attempts to claim that mercury is harmless when injected into pregnant women, they remain wholly wrong despite their numbers, and their distortions contradict physical and biological reality. Just as much as the Church was wrong to imprison early astronomers, modern-day “science” is wrong to promote the injection of pregnant women and children with mercury.

“Undeniable truth”? Scientists don’t speak of “truth.” They speak of hypotheses and theories that can be supported by evidence. How did Copernicus come to the conclusion that the earth orbited the sun? He was willing to look at the evidence and, as Adams himself put it, follow it where it leads. Similarly, the way we know that the amount of mercury in thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is safe is because of science. True, arguably 80 years ago when thimerosal was first used as preservative in vaccines, there probably wasn’t the science to show that it was safe. However, eight decades, particularly studies done during the last two of them, have failed to find any link between mercury in vaccines and significant harmful effects. That’s science. No evidence of harm of the type claimed by Adams and the “toxic teeth” fear mongerers has been found linked to amalgams.

No, Adams is the one holding on to blind belief, unable to accept that mercury in vaccines at the doses used is not dangerous simply because he can’t conceive that it could be so. That’s as antiscience as it gets. In case you don’t believe me, I’ll conclude by reminding you of this Adams’ The God Within:

Watch again, if you can stand it.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

145 replies on “Mike Adams issues a challenge over vaccines to Neil deGrasse Tyson, and hilarity ensues”

a person following “The Secret” to sit in a room and wish for material wealth to magically appear simply because they believe the so-called “Law of Attraction” will bring them whatever material items they choose to focus upon. Both beliefs are purely delusional. One is steeped in “science” and the other in distortions of popularized (but distorted) New Age thinking.

Was Mikey once a fervid exponent of The Secret and the ‘Law of Attraction’? Google says ‘Yes’.

there’s growing interest in finding ways to maximize results while using the power of intention and Law of Attraction. Few people really know one of the most important secrets to making “The Secret” work: Establishing the right nutrition and dietary habits that clear your nervous system and allow intention to flow. In this article, I’ll share some of the best nutritional secrets about The Secret

no less foolish than a person following “The Secret” to sit in a room and wish for material wealth to magically appear simply because they believe the so-called “Law of Attraction” will bring them whatever material items they choose to focus upon. Both beliefs are purely delusional […] distortions of popularized (but distorted) New Age thinking.

Was Mikey once a keen exponent of ‘The Secret’ and the ‘Law of Attraction’? Google says ‘Yes’.

there’s growing interest in finding ways to maximize results while using the power of intention and Law of Attraction. Few people really know one of the most important secrets to making “The Secret” work: Establishing the right nutrition and dietary habits that clear your nervous system and allow intention to flow. In this article, I’ll share some of the best nutritional secrets about The Secret

The only thing that annoys me is that Cosmos is on at the same time as The Walking Dead, but that’s what DVRs were made for.

Having just sat through the latest installment of As the Dead Turns, you didn’t miss much. On the other hand, Peter Woit’s commentariat found a bit more to be annoyed at wrt the first episode of New Cosmos.

I do not even have to be “right” myself because I have the full power of the laws of physics and chemistry to back me up.

This has to be one of the best examples (yet) of Adams taking nonsense and raising it to the power of stupid.

I think that Orac is right in thinking that Adams’ groundbreaking scientific results will be published in one of the numerous open-access journals that are thrown on the market by predatory publishers. It’s unfortunately the dark side of the open access movement that plenty of shady businessmen are offering to publish every crap as long as the authors are paying. The quacks of course love this because now they can claim legitimacy for their views as they were published in a “scientific journal” and therefore must be true and equally valid as something you find in any other journal.

But on the plus side we can at least look forward to read more wacky fun from Mr. Adams when he publishes his amazing “science” this way. Even with the flaws that the peer-review system sometimes has, I doubt that he would ever make it into a real scientific journal with his stuff. Unless of course Nature starts to include funny pages.

As such, in much the same way that Galileo fought against the faith-based dogma of the Church and its heliocentric mythology of the universe

So, does this mean Mike belives Galileo was supporting geocentric model? And here I was thinking, that the Galileo Gambit is enough of cliche to be beyond such level of fail.

the faith-based dogma of the Church and its heliocentric mythology of the universe
Oh my. Even a double facepalm is not enough.

@The Smith of Lie: oh my word, I missed that on the first read through! LOL!

I state this undeniable truth with the same confidence and courage that Copernicus once exhibited

I knew Copernicus.
Copernicus was a friend of mine.
You, sir, are no Copernicus.

(with credits to MoB)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson publicly endorses core philosophy of Natural News: Follow the evidence; question everything.

FTFY.

(S)CAM artists: jumping on the bandwagon of science and singing off-key they were the first at it whenever convenient.

@StrangerInAStrangeLand:

Unless of course Nature starts to include funny pages.

You never know. Even quite serious journals sometimes put out April Fool’s Day issues. 😉

the same confidence and courage that Copernicus once exhibited

I.e. cautious diffidence to the extent of sitting on his manuscript for decades?

I would pay cold hard cash to see Neil deGrasse Tyson put the smackdown on Mike Adams.

I would sell a kidney and probably a third of my liver to see such a thing.

Adams and his very expensive toys are a perfect example of Feynman’s phenomenon of “cargo cult science”. He’s got real equipment, but given the operator they might as well be bamboo mock-ups.

Inronically, antiscience cranks in the global warming field love to selectively quote Feynman when he points out, as Tyson does, that scientists question everything. They say this as if it automatically invalidates every painstakingly arrived-at conclusion of normal science.

“My work here at Natural News is steeped in cutting-edge science. Today, I run an atomic spectroscopy laboratory conducting elemental analysis as part of my food science research. The instrumentation here rivals that of many universities, and I personally conduct all the research myself, operating ICP-MS instrumentation and practicing high-level analytical chemistry. ”

Is this a joke? What degrees did he take, which subjects.

He actually sounds like he may have psychiatric problems.

@Fergus – if you read a selection of his previous material, you wouldn’t even have to wonder….there is definitely something “off” with him.

Skeptisism is so often abused. Anti-vaccinants call themselves skeptics too. “Don’t believe everything that is told”, they say and they refer to sites that are the Dutch equivalents of whale.to, or natural news, or worse. Sites like wanttoknow and niburu. It is like trying to win an argument about the form of the earth, by referring to the Flat Earth society.

“As a long-time fan of the sciences…”.

That’s like calling Lee Harvey Oswald a long-time fan of the Presidency.

“Follow the evidence; question everything”. Sure they question everything but the other half of the quote is forgotten, to follow the evidence. Instead these nunus decide on an endpoint and then cherry-pick or outright invent evidence to follow that will lead to that endpoint. Some people live in a calender where it is always 1st April.

He’ll self-publish in Natural News.

Mike Adams would not bestow anything bearing the Mike Adams brand on a venue the profits of which might go to strangers. Come on.

As if that wasn’t bad enough….
he continues today ( ” Common Core math education..”).

Mikey believes that “mathematical mental illness” is rampant : government debt gone mad and “mentally ill victims of mercury of mercury in vaccines” ( i.e. us) abound, attacking sane parents trying to protect their children form the ravages of vacinne-induced psychopathology.

He ventures that the new math curriculum is “designed” to drive students stark raving mad. And he, who does ” PhD-level work in analytical chemistry” and computer code, just doesn’t get it.

(Oddly, the problems don’t seem so terrible to me. They’re trying to get students to understand proportions across different types of graphic representation. That’s all. )

Then he says something that perhaps hints at his “core beliefs”: a verbal problem includes a character with a Spanish/ Hispanic name, “Juanita”. Mike re-phrases the question substituting kids’ art supply examples ( ” bags of stickers”) with “bags of cocaine”.

He has a history: when he speaks about gang takeovers of readers’ homes and endless disparaging comments about a particular black man who lives in a white house.

Interestingly enough, the other idiot ( @ PRN) has been ranting- and writing- of late about how “psychopath” ( and sociopaths) have taken over government, industry, education, corporations etc.

Do these wankers see mental illness everywhere they look? Or, as the Christians say, do they merely see the mote in others’ eyes and not the beam in their own?

Pardonnez the typos, svp, I just can’t seem to see striaght. Must be the antihistamines/ decongestants.
Or maybe it’s just spring in the air or suchlike.

Whatever happened to all the earth shattering, ground breaking discoveries he was going to release (slowly) so we would be able to handle them?

@ nutrition prof:

Oh those were released over the past 2 months or so- the results of is “PhD level work” in his “atomic spectroscopy lab”. Where’ve you been?

Archaeology is the search for fact … not truth. If it’s truth you’re interested in, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall

On a more serious note, that’s what he’s trying to do:
get his readers to take his word over scientific consensus, so he has to build up the cargo cult. In this, he mimics one of his role models, Gary Null.

Both have created story lines about being scientists who are so spectacularly cutting-edge that they have razor burn.

The basic elements of the story go like this:
they each showed remarkable ability at a young age and achieved in many fields ( see Health Ranger bio/ Null’s you tube video-bios, various rants). They were advanced students in science and later chose to work in nutrition, doing research over many years. Whilst on this mission to save humanity, they came across many sordid factoids about how Corrupt Science ™ REALLY functions and its ties to governmental, corporate and media abusers.

OBVIOUSLY speaking and writing publicly about Malfeasance in High Places ( and I’m not talking about the Denver airport) put them on hit lists by the malfeasants who would besmirch their respective pristine images in order to steer the sheeple away from the Truth.

THUS neither ever achieved the true level of fame to which he was truly entitled.

UNTIL now, when Paradigm Shift finally rolls around and they each are recognised for their mind-shattering contributions to Science, Art and Humanity.

Remember that loyal followers listen to or read their nonsense repeatedly over a long period of time: if you read comments or hear phoned in questions, you’ll find that not only are their pathetically impoverished ideas learned and regurgitated but their floridly histrionic language is repeated as well.

@Nutrition prof

He’s probably still trying to figure out how to use his ICP-MS, and how to account for ion interference.

Oh, I am so glad I hadn’t picked my drink up yet when I read that. I seriously would’ve been making apologies to the IT department for having spewed Mountain Dew all over my keyboard. That was funnier than I expected. 😀

I, too, would pay dearly to see Neil deGrasse Tyson deliver the skeptical beatdown to Mike Adams. I suppose the only thing that would be funnier would be if Adams decided at this point to come out in favor of Pluto as a major planet. 😛

The current issue of Smithsonian has a great article about the new Sagan archive, which was donated by Seth McFarland, who bought it from Sagan’s widow (who is also his co-collaborator in producing the new “Cosmos” series). It includes quotes from the many letters sent to Sagan by cranks, which he politely marked “F/C”, for Fractured Ceramic. I’m not sure Tyson can be as politic towards the cranks as Sagan was; he tended to treat them with respect even as he refused to accept their propositions, though I think the craziest ones he just ignored.

So how will Tyson react to this? Being an Internet-savvy fellow, he may be aware of Mike Adams’ newfound admiration for him. But then, medicine isn’t his thing, so he may not notice a quack idolizing him unless that quack starts expounding on astrophysics. But we shall see. I would love to see his reaction. 😉

Great article, but for the part where you say scientists don’t speak of truth. The point and spirit of your argument is good, but I think the choice of words is poor. Of course they talk about truth. It’s just that they are truths based on scientific evidence, not on a gut feeling. Since you were talking about Tyson, lets look at a few of his quotes:

“Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick…You can decide whether or not to believe in it but that doesn’t change the reality of an emergent scientific truth.”

or

“Every great scientific truth goes through three phases: first, people deny it. Second, they say it conflicts with the Bible. Third, they say they’ve known it all along.”

I think even in the episode last night he called evolution a scientific fact, which is equivalent to truth. There comes a point when the evidence is so strong that a hypothesis can be regarded as a scientific truth.

@ Calli:

I would guess that if deGrasse Tyson ever even comes across Mike’s “challenge” he would be tipped off immediately by the question *itself* about mercury and medicine being incompatible.

“He’s probably still trying to figure out how to use his ICP-MS, and how to account for ion interference.”

No. He’s probably still trying to figure out how to wipe his own arse.

@Justin: I hate that fake Schopenhauer quote (he almost certainly never said it) with a bloody passion:

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/02/11/a-proposal-anti-schopenhauer-response/

Also note that deGrasse Tyson is addressing a popular audience and is therefore simplifying. I would disagree with him on the choice of that word in favor of the word “fact” or something like it (and he did use the word “fact” to describe evolution in the second episode). You almost never see scientists discussing “truths” amongst themselves.

“He’ll self-publish in Natural News.”

The ideal situation for Adams would be to start his own open-access journal (that is, open to bold paradigm-shifters like Mike and his pack of “citizen journalists”). He could call it the Journal Of Real Uncorrupted Science, Proceedings of the Natural News Academy of Toxin Research or Mass Spectroscopic Delusions.

I’m sure many of his illustrious colleagues would happily volunteer for peer review.

Denise — oh, I’m sure he would, I’m just wondering whether he’s even likely to encounter Adams’ claims unless someone brings it to his attention. I know about Adams because I have a fascination with the weird, which most definitely includes quackery. I don’t know whether Tyson shares that fascination, and if he doesn’t, he may never have heard of Natural News. (In which case, perhaps he’s fortunate!)

@27: “He may not notice a quack idolizing him unless he starts expounding on astrophysics”.

Such Mikey’s Mindbending Theory #2, The Stargate Explanation (about the disappearance of the Malaysian jet), in which he postulates that:

“A teleportation portal of some kind exists in the skies, through which the plane inadvertantly flew”. http://www.naturalnews.com/044260_Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370_supernatural_explanations.html

Even Mikey admits this is unlikely, but demonstrates how his brilliant mind is always open to quantum theory and such.

I know I’m in the minority, but I never really liked Carl Sagan’s approach. His presentation is very slow.

As to Mr. Adams having the money to buy a piece of lab equipment–dang, that’s an expensive toy. It’s nice that they are made so that pretty much anyone can run one these days. If he bought a formula one car it wouldn’t make him a good race car driver. I.e., I’m not really impressed that he’s made himself a lab technician to a non-scientist (himself).

I’m sure that Neil deGrasse Tyson would agree with Mike that Mercury is bad for your health. I mean, how long could anyone actually live there?

No, I think Mike Adams should just cut to the chase and put out “Significant Mainstream Peer-Review Science Journal.” Then he can insist with no fear of contradiction that his studies came out in a “Significant Mainstream Peer-Review Science Journal.”

Then he could cosplay being an editor like he cosplays being a lab scientist. The first one, you get to smoke a pipe and wear tweed.

When I am on my deathbed with only a few minutes left to live, I will lament the 23 minutes spent watching The God Within video.

As a long-time fan of the sciences

[snip]

My work here at Natural News is steeped in cutting-edge science.

[snip]

it is an undeniable scientific truth

You keep using that word, Mike. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

@ Sastra:

Sure. But what would be in that pipe?

@ Eric Lund:

Notice that he says “steeped” a few times.
Steeped in science, is he?

Helianthus – I appreciate the shout out. However, I merely paraphrase Sen. Lloyd Bentsen.

I like Ronald Reagan’s version. “This fellow they’ve nominated claims he’s the new Thomas Jefferson. Well, let me tell you something. I knew Thomas Jefferson. He was a friend of mine. And governor, you’re no Thomas Jefferson.”

Well, he’s some kind of bag but I thought the name started with a “d”…

@ Todd W.:
Being likened to a tea bag is so much kinder than being compared to the proverbial sack of hammers or rocks.

I prefer an ooooold line from Foghorn Leghorn: “About as sharp as a sack of wet mice.”

“My work here at Natural News is steeped in cutting-edge science. Today, I run an atomic spectroscopy laboratory conducting elemental analysis as part of my food science research. The instrumentation here rivals that of many universities, and I personally conduct all the research myself, operating ICP-MS instrumentation and practicing high-level analytical chemistry. ”

From his fondness for first-person pronouns, I imagine that the Evidence speaks to Mikey, and it does so in his voice

I remember hearing once about a company that was putting out fortune cookies with sarcastic wiseacre remarks in them instead of the usual cliches and pleasantries. The best of them said simply: “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Denice @20: How is math supposed to drive students “mad”? I mean, unless it is non-Eucledian geometry from the minds of the great Old Ones who lie dead and dreaming. Ia!

I will grant that being asked to visiualize a point on 5-dimensional hypercube can make you feel like your brain just skipped a gear, but I doubt that’s on the Common Core.

@ JustaTech:

I suspect that it wouldn’t take much to drive Mikey mad as the trip there rather short. Right next door.

Actually if he’s so *fabulously* gifted in science I can’t imagine why kiddie math problems would be so disabling for him.
And sure, “fabulously* ( as in “fable”) is probably the correct term concerning his alleged gifts.

How is math supposed to drive students “mad”?

As I’ve noted before, “Everyday Mathematics” appears to be designed to do pretty much that, as well as parents (see, you’re doing it wrong, because you don’t understand the swirling and the metaswirling). At least it doesn’t try to burden anyone with such trivialities as long division.

How is math supposed to drive students “mad”?

You don’t *have* to be insane to be a mathematician. It’s more of a guideline than a binding obligation.

He has a history: when he speaks about gang takeovers of readers’ homes and endless disparaging comments about a particular black man who lives in a white house.

Interestingly enough, the other idiot ( @ PRN) has been ranting- and writing- of late about how “psychopath” ( and sociopaths) have taken over government, industry, education, corporations etc.

Do these wankers see mental illness everywhere they look? Or, as the Christians say, do they merely see the mote in others’ eyes and not the beam in their own?

It’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” playbook.

(http://harpers.org/archive/1964/11/the-paranoid-style-in-american-politics/)

He’s very John-Birch-y, in most ways. They might seem like strange bedfellows. But Mike Adams probably isn’t that many degrees of separation from the Kochs. They have some mutual interests.

The ideal situation for Adams would be to start his own open-access journal (that is, open to bold paradigm-shifters like Mike and his pack of “citizen journalists”). He could call it the Journal Of Real Uncorrupted Science, Proceedings of the Natural News Academy of Toxin Research or Mass Spectroscopic Delusions.

I’m sure many of his illustrious colleagues would happily volunteer for peer review.

Maybe. But he seems more like a businessman than a dreamer to me.

I tried to look into the NN business set-up once, but almost immediately ran into the complete dead end that’s presumably one of the perks of incorporating in Taiwan.

Before he was Mike Adams, Health Ranger, he was Mike Adams, Spamware King, though. Lest we forget. And to me, that suggests a market-oriented mind.

“Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question everything”

“Undeniable truth”? Scientists don’t speak of “truth.” They speak of hypotheses and theories that can be supported by evidence.

I totally agree with what you’re saying, but I think there should be a disclaimer here too. Scientists talk about truth all the time in that it’s not always self-evident how particular theories and hypotheses should be interpreted. There is a “right way” to interpret the ideas of quantum mechanics or evolution, for instance. Pointing out the limits of what a particular theory says is demonstrating the truth about a given theory in that the truth must also accommodate the limits of our certainty about a particular model. These cranks lie all the time by fudging the hell out of the interpretation.

I mention this disclaimer because it’s essential in understanding when it’s okay to “question everything.” If scientists literally questioned everything all the time, we would be wasting our careers reinventing provenance, and nobody has time to do that. If somebody can’t even get the fundamentals of what we actually say correct, they are in no position to question anything and are still grappling with scientific truths… like where most creationists are trying to fight with evolution –their problems aren’t with where we are right now, their problems are with issues that were well settled a long time ago. Somebody who hops in “questioning everything” without bothering to understand what’s still “questionable” is instantly announcing themselves as a crank to the entire world. We should be honest about how accurately the current scientific models reflect the truth about our world… which is to say very accurately and precisely in many cases (so as to be indistinguishable from the truth). For all intents and purposes, the scientific mainstream presents a model that is an absolute truth from the perspective of the layman. That’s why Adams hates us so much: he can’t questioning anything at a level where the model is still “in flux” enough for his take to be meaningful.

Scientists should be talking “truth” all the time if only to defend our subjects from these people who would simply steal our language to sound like us, without ever actually doing the work to speak at our level. Scientists are the best sources of truth about science that there is. We should be sharing that truth!

Wait wait wait – how in the hell did Mike Adams pay for an ICP MS? I can see a microscope, some wet chemistry supplies, maybe an oscilloscope – but a good mass spectrometer? That’s tens of thousands of dollars down the drain. Mike is either so delusional that he really believed this was a smart use of his own money, or he managed to find a very senile and wealthy donor.

Wait wait wait – how in the hell did Mike Adams pay for an ICP MS?

There’s been speculation that he might be renting a suite in an incubator lab. For that matter, I suppose he might just be leasing the pricy equipment. Seems like it would make reasonable business sense.

Heh, this one nearly cost me a keyboard too. Especially the part about ‘the church’s heliocentric mythology.’

If someone’s in a mischievously funny mood and has a spare email address to burn, you could try emailing Mikey to let him know about his little ‘typographical error’ where he ‘really meant to say “geocentric”,’ and then tell him he’ll find a sympathetic ear at such-and-such journal if he marks his submission ‘attention (name)’ where ‘name’ is someone you know at that particular journal, who’s also in the mood for some comedy.

Too bad entries are already closed for April Fools’ Day this year, but your pal at the journal can always send Mikey letters congratulating him on his breathtakingly important work. Also let him know his paper is getting extra-special Attention (capital ‘A’) from some Big Names (capital ‘B,’ capital ‘N’), and he’ll be published ‘ahead of our normal schedule,’ in about a year. Much humour & merriment will ensue.

Re. the health of his beautiful mind: I was thinking ‘narcissistic’, but Denice @ 25 might be right about ‘histrionic,’ though I think ‘artistic’ or ‘theatrical’ would be stretching things a bit.

Lastly, who can I talk to around here about getting paid by Big Pharma? I’ve tried to contact their PR people and gotten nowhere. I’m beginning to think this ‘paid shill’ stuff is a joke or something.

@Sawyer #62

You may underestimate a few things about Mike’s line of business
i) the sales volume
ii) the huge margins
The various supplements can be bought in bulk, often from China, and in any case are never tested. If x ingredient actually costs money, the house can blend 10% X and 90% something-that-looks-like-X.

Look up Kevin Trudeau, he was up to about $200M in net worth. That took quite a haircut, as was too cheap to rent some lawyers and Congresspeople before the need arose and is now housed in a relatively pleasant, secure facility at your expense.
He’ll probably start to miss paying landscapers and pool maintenance in a year or two.

That took quite a haircut, as was too cheap to rent some lawyers and Congresspeople before the need arose and is now housed in a relatively pleasant, secure facility at your expense.

Dude, you left out the payload: he was sentenced today.

There’s the possibility that Mikey may indeed, be rolling in dough**:
– he sold his spamware company
– he sells supplements and superfoods
– he sells organic foods for mail order
– he sells survivalist supplles
– he sells e-book, film and upgraded web TV shows
– he sells ad space
– he used to be involved with Ecuadorian land
– he sold MLM supplements ( Omega 3 green lipped mussels, other products)

I haven’t ever been able to find annual sales figures for his various companies.

-btw- he wrote that be got some of his lab equipment used from university surplus websites at low cost.

** most likely gluten-free

Narad @66 — Wow!

I guess “They” had him locked up because “They” really don’t want you to know about what he’s selling,

Or, maybe he’s just a lowlife slimeball who’s been cheating people out of millions of dollars.

Gosh! How to tell?

In other cheery news, Fred Phelps is dying. AND he’s been excommunicated by his own church.

What a study that place would make for a psychologist.

Shay, more information re Phelps, please? I teach Snyder v. Phelps in torts and admit to being very curious. Not just because of that.

LW @ 57, you made my day.

Also, since the quacks have such penchant for questioning everything, maybe some brave soul should endevour to make them question gravity? It surely is lie made up by Big Shoe Soles to keep us grounded and make them their filthy lucre by selling shoe soles that get used up by walking. Mike and his ilk should demonstrate the lie by the way of simple experiment. Namely, jumping from great height.

Shay & Dorit @ 70 & 71:

I saw the article about Phelps. Problem is, it used too many pronouns so it was not clear whether Phelps or his son had been excommunicated.

Years ago there was a lengthy account published online by Phelps’ estranged son (may be the same son or a different one, he had plenty of ’em) of the son’s experience growing up in the Phelps household, describing the son’s experience of chronic extreme child beating by Phelps. Warning: that account contains extensive graphic descriptions of child abuse and should not be read by anyone who has PTSD or other sensitivities to graphically violent material.

That account described three details that to my mind are diagnostic. One, at an earlier point in his life, Phelps was active in supporting the Civil Rights Movement in support of African Americans’ rights: a politically liberal or progressive cause. Two, Phelps sustained repeated head injuries or concussions whilst engaged in the sport of boxing, prior to his transformation into the patron saint of hatred. Three, the son repeatedly noticed that Phelps appeared to go into a trance-like state when engaged in delivering brutal beatings to himself and his other children. The son’s descriptions of the trance-like state are practically textbook examples.

To my mind that adds up to a strong case for psychomotor epilepsy: head injuries, followed by personality transformation and trance-like behaviour. However, even if my layperson’s remote-diagnosis is correct, it does not relieve Phelps of the moral responsibility for what he did and what he set in motion. Further, it does not overcome the fact that Phelps was a manifest danger to his own family members during that time, and should have been permanently confined to prison to protect others from his violent acts.

That said, regardless of any possible diagnosis or other causality, the correct adjective for describing Phelps is _evil_, and the correct noun is _monster_. Distilled essence of evil, even if the evil was motivated by an underlying physical pathology. If he had attained any position of real power in a society without adequate safeguards, it is quite clear he was capable of unleashing mass murder. Thankfully he never had that opportunity.

And yes, I shall rejoice when that evil monster drops dead, and despite my agnosticism about whether consciousness persists after the cessation of brain activity, I hope that he goes directly to a most literal fundamentalist hell and roasts for eternity, whilst a throng of protesters at his funeral raise up sufficient noise to give his flock an overdose of their own foulness.

Point of clarification: the item about Phelps earlier engagement in the Civil Rights Movement is intended to demonstrate that at one time in his life, he was well within the range of normal attitudes and behaviours. Subsequently came the head injuries and then came the personality transformation and the trance-like brutal beatings of his own children.

Had he not practiced the sport of boxing he would not have suffered head injuries, and so he might have continued to lead a normal life, or if he turned toward the political right wing, at least would not have become an archetypal example of a total devotee of hatred.

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