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
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.
Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2013 7:10 AM
Subject: with regard to this list's discussions
I am a relative newcomer to this
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.
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?
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
From: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]
SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE <[log in to unmask]
Oct 26, 2013 12:15 am
Subject: Another letter with regard to this list's
Id 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 arent 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 dont 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 lets not kill the messenger lets be grateful for whatever we can
get to help us be aware . Especially from those not being funded to put out a
. And email me if you find the flu stats --- Im
Che Guevara on this 46th anniversary of his assassination (Oct. 9, 1967)
Bill De Blasio and Nicaragua -- a refutation of the corporate media
Petition to Free Lynne Stewart
- "I ain't gonna fight Obama's wars no more"
- "Lawrence Summers to head the Fed? You've got to be kidding!" Check
Cohen's book, "What Is Direct Action? Lessons from (and to) Occupy Wall Street"
(foreword by Richard Wolff) (596 pages). Get it now!
Ring the bells that
still can ring, Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a
crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen