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I am hoping that this posting reaches the list, since the last several postings I have sent appear to have sunk into the cyber-ether. Herb, I am sending it to you directly as well so that if it does disappear into the Atlantic, you can send it to the list – thank you.
As one of the moderators on this list, I would like to make a few points:
1. Just to clarify: as a basic principle, we have asked all posters, but especially Mitchel Cohen, since it is he who has often used the list in this way,  not to post notices about very localised issues – parochial meetings in New York, for example. He acknowledged then that he just tended to send notices of this nature to all lists he is involved in, and agreed not to clutter this list with many such notices. Mitchel is a long-standing member of this list who has the admiration of many members for his lifelong commitment to activism.  He is not, however, a scientist – and I can say that with impunity, because nor am I, I am only a science writer!
2. I would assume that, as a very basic criterion for engagement in a list called Science for the People, that list members believe that the scientific method of enquiry is the best way to engage with matters of fact in this world. The scientific method has been used for both good and evil, of course – it is a neutral process – but it is surely our best way of ascertaining truth as nearly as it can be ascertained.
3. I likewise assume that an intelligent group such as this list’s members are aware of the Galileo Syndrome – just because Galileo turned out to be right in the teeth of the establishment’s disbelief and sanctioning, does not mean that EVERY Lone Ranger who has a theory which is dismissed by the scientific establishment will turn out to be right. On balance, probably more than 90% of them turn out to be cranks with an obsessive belief. 
4. I would assume that people subscribing to a list based on science would also understand the concept of consensus.
5. And surely all members understand the principle of scientific referencing? I would be more demanding of references from someone like me, who has no scientific basis on which to make claims, or someone like Gary Null, who likewise is not a scientist.

It seems to me that subscribing to the scientific method has found its way, heaven knows how, into the package of things that are not lefty. You know, if you’re right-wing you are automatically pro the death penalty and anti-abortion? If you’re left-wing, it seems you are obliged to accept a whole raft of rather unscientific things such as alternative healing modalities, and be rather suspicious of science.
How this happened would take a book to explain, and I think it is very sad, as science has been in many cases a progressive force. And while I am deeply suspicious of the way some industries like Big Pharma use science – especially the untransparent way they act – I do not see any reason to diss every action of what might be called the ‘establishment’. The Geiers, for example: I’d happily accept bias and prejudice by one court in dismissing their evidence, but ten? which if I remember is the total of courts which held their evidence (for which they are paid) to be not worthy of consideration.
The fact that they’re paid for their evidence makes me as suspicious of their motives as I am of Big Pharma’s motives. That is why I think a call for references, decent scientific references which would enable us to scrutinise the science behind various claims, is entirely reasonable.
Could we be less confrontational (as in using hot-button words like canard) and more rigorously enquiring? That way we might have some good, productive debate on this list.
Mandi Smallhorne

From: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2013 7:10 AM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: with regard to this list's discussions

I am a relative newcomer to this list.
I delete a fair amount without opening it, often because I have come to understand that the sender rarely says anything I want to know.

I often do this with Mitchell's posts.  

Why? Because what I see in them usually is a mountain of poorly integrated facts and reports that he does not sift through.  Good writing in a list serve like this consists of starting with what the point of the posting is.  What will I learn by reading the posting? What challenge will it make to what I think I know?

And then whatever evidence is produced is organized so as to bear on this--along with a statement of its limitations.

Occasionally Mitchell does this, but far too often he does not.

As to the argument between Herb and Thomas:  It assumes a lot of prior knowledge about SftP that I am probably others do not have.

best
sam




-----Original Message-----
From: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
To: SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sat, Oct 26, 2013 12:15 am
Subject: Another letter with regard to this list's discussions


From: LEL <[log in to unmask]>

I’d like to jump in for a moment here and say that we should all be grateful for those who report what facts they can find ---and if they try to connect some dots but aren’t always right on the money ­ we  should still be grateful we had the information so we can connect the dots another way ( global warming for instance)   

The problem would be if we let phrases like "fear mongering"  keep us from learning that there is an increase of animals with problems and fish with problems in these areas. Much necessary information is suppressed in every community across our nation  with the simple phrase  "fear mongering" -- and that alone was a red flag when I read this --but the biggest red flag for me here was the comment about the flu vaccines.   In fact it is “fear mongering “ that drives people to get vaccines every year in droves I have concluded from the research I have done.  I invite you to do your own . 

Amazingly, when I was researching West Nile  incidents vs cancer & other  detriments from pesticides, I was led to inquire about  a comparison of the number of deaths from flu vs the number of deaths from flu vaccine.  I would dare any one of you to find me a site with an accurate analysis of complications and deaths from flu vaccines.  It was amazing . I even implored this group to try to find me  the scientific data on it .  Despite the millions that get flu vaccines every year ­ they do not publish the information to really show what your risks are from the vaccine itself .  Like fluoride ­ and pesticides for West Nile ­ we are told the chemicals/ vaccines save lives or guard against illness/disease.  But if you don’t know the real results from the “cure” itself, it would be hard for you to concur. The people telling you about it  have a “dog in the fight”  - a money making one !  

So let’s not kill the messenger ­ let’s be grateful for whatever we can get to help us be aware . Especially from those not being funded to put out a corporate perspective….  And email me if you find the flu stats --- I’m still hunting …

Lora
 





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Ring the bells that still can ring,  Forget your perfect offering. 
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~ Leonard Cohen