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From the Depths of the Woo Mail Bag
2009.03.13 (Fri) 11:12
You know how sometimes you put something on your "to do" list, only to have it slip down your priorities so far that suddenly it's a year-and-a-half later, and you never actually did it? No? Oh. Guess that's just us, then.
At least, it's been over a year-and-a-half since we received this form submission from someone calling himself "vincent" back in June 2007. This guy took us to task for promoting propaganda by writing negatively about "alternative medicine" (a.k.a.: "bullshit"):
what about all the people that die a year from drugs and doctor's mistakes? why, if you want to be so objective, don't you also include all the medical fallacies, such as that most drugs don't even get all the testing they need before going on the market and that most drug side effects are discovered after they are released on the market. how about talking about the fact that cancer treatment via chemo and radiation survival rate has not changed in 30 years i could go on, my point, if you want to REALLY be objective, why not do so instead of promoting propaganda that is one sided?
Ouch. Us? Propaganda? Promoting it? Say it ain't so!
Okay, it ain't so. (That was easy.) As is all too common, vincent's missive was chock full of sound and fury, signifying precisely jack-all nothing.
Here's our reply (reformatted for the InterWebs), which nicely points out the fallacies in vincent's typical woo diversionary screed:
In point of fact, we failed to include the following information which we found in an MSNBC article shortly after we sent our reply:
The other gain is the result of new treatments, which are credited with doubling survival times for the most advanced patients.
In 1996, there was just one truly effective drug for colon cancer. Today, there are six more, giving patients a variety of chemotherapy cocktails to try to hold their tumors in check, said Dr. Louis Weiner, medical oncology chief at Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center and a colorectal cancer specialist.
Ouch. This one directly addresses advances in chemotherapy leading to increased survival rates for colon cancer, which goes a long way toward answering vincent's specific gripe. It's almost as if he designed his assertion such that the available data perfectly contradicted him. You go, vincent!
You might even note — perhaps with some minor heart palpatations — that we didn't even swear at vincent in our reply. Us! Yeah, us — not swearing! Shame on all you people who think we're always rude to morons. Sadly, vincent was offended nonetheless, and he shot back an e-mail reply that showed his offense, his last name (which we won't print here), and his inability to refute any of our arguments or admit that he was wrong:
i don't appreciate your cursing and wouldn't do it to you face to face. you sound very angry and i am sorry for that as i would have liked to continue this conversation. for your information i am a health professional and could talk quite in depth on what i mentioned, i simply was inquiring why you seemed so scewed as i have seen many many people hurt by traditional treatments that shouldn't have been done in the first place. your site is stimulating at least.
Ah, the typical "I can't respond to your arguments, so instead I'll feign offense at your potty mouth [which, really, isn't even particularly true in this case!], pretend to take the high road, and slink away with my tail between my legs" approach (with a little "argument from authority" thrown in for good measure). Excellent! Way to cover those bases, vincent.
Our final response this tool:
One of the big problems with the True Believers is that they are ready and willing to accept any piece of information as a solid fact if it looks like it bolsters their beliefs. Rather than fact-checking anything he was saying, vincent chose to spew his bullshit at us in a misguided and moronic attempt to show us the error of our ways. Unfortunately for him, we like to check the facts, and his were all wrong. Of course, a propensity for believing in bullshit that isn't supported by any facts is what gets the woos into trouble in the first place, so it's hardly surprising that this same tendency then compounds the problem to a nearly farcical degree.
One thing we were curious about was vincent's claim that he was a "health professional." While that claim doesn't change the idiocy of his assertions one bit, we had a nagging suspicion that his specialty fell into the field of quackery and woo. Frankly, we were quite curious about his, er, "field of expertise."
Thanks to his e-mailed reply, which contained his fairly-unique last name (along with some other information), we can be relatively sure that we've found him. We won't print his full name or e-mail address on our site, but we will link to the results of our own research. It turns out, and we can say this with a high degree of confidence, that good old vincent is a woo-slinging chiropractor.
So why don't we ask: what, pray tell, has chiropractics done to advance cancer treatments and increase survival rates over the past thirty years? Gee, vincent, we must have missed all those ground-breaking advances in neck cracking that magically cured pancreatic cancer, huh? Fuck, we'll even extend our question beyond the scope of vincent's question, and ask for a single example of chiropractics ever curing a single fucking disease, ever. Just one documented, scientifically validated example.
Got one yet?
Right — there are none. Other than possibly soothing sore joints (or, just as likely, causing a stroke), chiropractic treatments don't do dick, and they never fucking will.
So, vincent, we'll take those admittedly imperfect but scientifically policed doctors and medications over your useless, potentially harmful brand of utter bullshit — any day of the week. Thanks for playing.
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[ Filed under: % Bullshit ]
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TimmyAnn, 2009.05.20 (Wed) 14:54 [Link] »
Jeff from the Two Percent Company, 2009.05.20 (Wed) 17:22 [Link] »
TimmyAnn, 2009.05.20 (Wed) 18:45 [Link] »
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