In fact, in the article cited by you, Goldberg makes NO arguments about
"Barrett's actual published statements", but instead says "Most of what
Barrett claims can be refuted, easily and decisively. That's not my
intention here. I'm more interested in looking at the bigger picture-what is
Barrett really saying amidst his quackbusting bluster, and why?"
Could you cite any actual argument (as opposed to assertion without anything
more than anecdotal evidence) made by Goldberg that purports to refute any
statement by Barrett? After all, scientists are supposed to make decisions
by weighing the evidence. Clear but false statements about scientific
matters (theories) can be proved false once the technology becomes
available, but allegedly true statements can never be proved true.
Otherwise the statements are not about science. Can Goldberg prove that
anything Barrett says is false?
----Original Message Follows----
From: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List
<[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Quackwatch -- Not so fast ....
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 17:13:28 -0500
Eric, I agree with a strong critique of Bolen, but not of Goldberg.
But you did not address even ONE of the arguments Goldberg makes about
Barrett's actual published statements, which reflect his worldview.
It's not a question of him being "overzealous," it's a question of Barrett
being totally wrong in what he has actually said and done.
Goldberg's books on heart disease and alternative cancer treatments are
extremely helpful and have saved many lives.
I know it is tempting to knock down the credibility of an individual based
on which side they are perceived to be on or their lack of Ph.D. credentials
in the field (in Goldberg's case), but it would be more instructive to deal
with what they actually say and how competent is the actual research they've
>From: Eric Entemann <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Feb 22, 2007 11:15 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Quackwatch -- Not so fast ....
>I'm certainly not claiming that Barrett is right about everything, and I
>doubt Robert is either. In fact, Robert just recently posted that Barrett
>accepted a correction from him quite readily. Barrett may be a bit
>overzealous, but much of what he has written that I have read has the ring
>of truth, and mostl criticisms that I have read of him do not.
>But if you look at those with whom Bolen, one of Barrett's primary
>detractors, associates, he loses all credibility. He defends Hulda Clark,
>whose beliefs and practices I would challenge anyone out there to defend.
>She is truly an outrageous quack. And Mitchel seems to defend Bolen,
>puts him in very bad company, in my opinion.
>And here's a bit about Burton Goldberg, the critic of Barrett just quoted
>"BURTON GOLDBERG, PRES. alternativemedicine.com, a former hotelier,
>restaurateur and developer, discovered Alternative Medicine 18 years ago
>when his friend’s daughter attempted suicide. After conventional
>Treatment failed she was referred to a Holistic Physician, who treated her
>with diet and supplements. Amazed at her complete recovery, Mr. Goldberg
>concluded that Conventional Medicine paid little attention to biochemical
>I think one gets a good sense of his science credentials from this....
>Bolen and Goldberg don't convince me of anything. I wouldn't buy a used
>----Original Message Follows----
>From: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List
><[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Quackwatch -- Not so fast ....
>Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 04:26:12 -0500
>Eric Entemann and Robert Mann have defended so-called Quackwatch "expert"
>Stephen Barrett, and avoid the serious critiques of Barrett's science by
>reducing them to Barrett's losing of a few "hard to win" defamation
>Here's an excerpt from one critic, which puts Barrett's ideas into a very
>different and much harsher context:
>Multiple chemical sensitivity, sick building syndrome, food-related
>hyperactivity, mercury amalgam toxicity, candidiasis hyperactivity, Gulf
>syndrome-these are all costly misbeliefs and fad diagnoses, says Barrett.
>"Many Americans believe that exposure to common foods and chemicals makes
>them ill," he says. "This book [Barrett's] is about people who hold such
>beliefs but are wrong."
>.... Patients presume they are being made allergic or toxic or even being
>poisoned by the mass of modern chemicals, cosmetics, cleaning agents,
>and other human-made substances. They are mistaken, says Barrett. Their
>misbeliefs are especially hard to understand, Barrett says, "at a time
>our food supply is the world's safest and our antipollution program is the
>best we've ever had."
>Patients' symptoms are mental (psychosomatic) in origin -- "they react to
>stress by developing multiple symptoms." Their symptoms are not caused by
>chemicals or dietary factors, he says. In fact, Barrett suggests that some
>patients are "hysterical," others are "paranoid," and the rest have
>psychological factors" that "predispose" them to "develop symptoms" and to
>seek out "questionable" doctors (meaning alternative medicine
>who will attach a ("not scientifically recognized") disease label to them.
>Regarding Gulf War syndrome, for example, Barrett declares: "It provides a
>feeding trough for serious scientists, since funding is abundant, and for
>every charlatan with a newsworthy theory." On the matter of the dangers of
>mercury fillings, he states: "The false diagnosis of mercury-amalgam
>toxicity is potentially very harmful and reflects extremely poor
>For the most part, of the illnesses listed above, nearly all are mere
>"labels" rather than legitimate illness conditions, asserts Barrett;
>not caused by foods or chemicals; there are no "scientific" studies
>conclusively proving the association of diet, chemicals, and illness; and
>are best advised to dismiss them out of hand, he says.
>In most cases and for most of the illnesses commonly associated with
>chemical sensitivity, Barrett says the mass of mistaken patients would be
>better off seeking "mental help" from a psychiatrist or other "mental
>practitioner." Alternative medicine physicians and especially "clinical
>ecologists" (the old name for practitioners of environmental medicine,
>links exposures to toxic substances with health conditions) should be
>chastised, investigated, put on notice, and if possible, put out of
>business, says Barrett.
>(from http://www.whale.to/a/goldberg.html "What's Eating Stephen
>by Burton Goldberg)
>There's a lot more, but that should give you an idea of Barrett's biases
>- Mitchel Cohen
>Play Flexicon: the crossword game that feeds your brain. PLAY now for
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