It’s Science; Use Your Goddamned Brains!

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http://www.blaisehartley.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Maher-300x156.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 540px) 100vw, 540px" />
A Real Crime, with Bill Maher

Bill Maher has just had a long sit-down with a prominent anti-vaxxer. During the interview, he made it clear, as he has a number of times before, that he was inclined to take these claims seriously as a general part of his “skepticism” of western medicine, made no attempt to question or rebut any of the obviously questionable claims presented by his guest, and implied that there was some shadowy movement making it “courageous” even to speak on the subject. It’s not really a surprise to see him openly supporting quackery, as he’s done it before, but it is a perfect example of how, when it comes to science, “liberals” are just as bad as “conservatives”. In either case, when it agrees with their politics or other ideology, “the science is settled”. When it disagrees, It’s a “corporate/government/illuminati/whatever conspiracy!”

Listen, people, here’s the thing. It’s good to be skeptical, but you have to understand what that means. “Skeptical” means not accepting things until there is significant, solid evidence in support of them, but then also accepting them if/when they finally pass that test! If you only have the first part, you aren’t skeptical, you’re a denier, and while you are welcome to believe anything you want, believing bullshit is a sure path to pain and suffering.

Science works. When there are literally thousands of peer-reviewed studies/experiments carried out by unrelated groups of researchers that mutually confirm each other, you can be pretty damned sure they are correct. Of course nothing is ever 100% certain in science, but by the same token, one unconfirmed study that supports your position does not Trump mountains of strong evidence. [see what I did there?]

Just fucking stop it.

  • Vaccines work, and are safe. They aren’t a “big pharma” conspiracy.
  • The global climate is warming, and our carbon emissions are helping it do so. The Illuminati haven’t subverted millions of researchers worldwide.
  • GMOs are safe and effective, and their technology is literally safer than hybridization, which we’ve used for at least 10,000 years as a species. The lizard people aren’t behind it.
  • The Earth is round. The Rothschilds haven’t been tricking billions of people with fish-eye lenses for thousands of years.
  • Evolution is actually how life on earth unfolded. The Devil didn’t bury dinosaur bones in rocks and then trick millions of scientists by changing the radiologic content of the rocks to make them look old.
  • Alternative medicine, if it has been scientifically confirmed to work, is called FOR FUCK’S SAKE MEDICINE! If it has been tested and shown to work no better than placebo, or has never been tested, it’s an alternative TO medicine, not alternative medicine. Homeopathy is fucking water, prayer doesn’t work, your body has multiple systems in place that more or less guarantee you are at the correct pH, and if you have a properly working liver and kidneys, you are already as “detoxed” as you will ever be. If you insist on an alternative to medicine, I will happily provide you with bloodletting services for free, so don’t waste your money! (Can you cause blood-loss via blunt-force trauma? No matter, I don’t need any more evidence to support my position that if I hit you with this bat enough times you’ll bleed than I do for the claim that letting your blood out will cure you.)

Come on now. You travel in jets, cars, and trains. You use electricity. You’re reading this on the internet, for pity’s sake. You know full well that science works. You don’t get to pick and choose!

About the Author

Despite a decade of Catholic school, I have never been a believer. I guess I was just born without the gene! Nevertheless, I've always tried to explore others' ideas and practices, on the theory that just because you can't use one part of a product, it doesn't mean you have to throw the whole thing away.
 
I spent over a decade traveling the world, and I've lived in both Europe and the US. I've read the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Koran. I've studied engineering, yoga, martial arts, shooting sports, and ballroom dancing. What I've discovered is that a) spirituality is just a spooky sounding word for any of a number of methods for learning about yourself and your mind, and b) whatever word you use, doing so is the single most important thing in learning to be happy.
 
My blog, The Passionate Rationalist (http://www.societyofreason.com/devoutrationalist) is dedicated to my thoughts both on gaining self-knowledge and using your mind to eliminate misunderstanding and delusion.