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Are We Just Talking to Ourselves?

One of the banes of being philosophic lies in cultivating a crippling propensity to observe. It’s a bane because the marrow of some situations hides within a direct experience rather than making observations about it. 1,010 more words


Vaccine Debate Deception

This piece is concerned with the way in which the media controls the public debate surrounding vaccination by selectively presenting bits of information which support the status quo and using… 666 more words

The Politically Correct Death of Intellect by Christina Knowles

I consider myself an open-minded person who values diversity and respects the feelings of others, but I am beyond annoyed at today’s expectation that we must filter everything we say through a screen of politically correct speech. 1,317 more words

Pondering The Universe

When to Doubt a Scientific Consensus

  • Anyone who has studied the history of science knows that scientists are not immune to the non-rational dynamics of the herd. Many false ideas enjoyed consensus opinion at one time.
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Michael Lawrence Langan, M.D. reblogged this on Disrupted Physician and commented:

The 12-red flags below are very applicable to American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) related consensus and public policy.    When viewed through this lens the science and research all falls apart. (1) When different claims get bundled together. (2) When ad hominem attacks against dissenters predominate. (3) When scientists are pressured to toe the party line. (4) When publishing and peer review in the discipline is cliquish. (5) When dissenting opinions are excluded from the relevant peer-reviewed literature not because of weak evidence or bad arguments but as part of a strategy to marginalize dissent. (6) When the actual peer-reviewed literature is misrepresented. (7) When consensus is declared hurriedly or before it even exists. (8) When the subject matter seems, by its nature, to resist consensus. (9) When “scientists say” or “science says” is a common locution. (10) When it is being used to justify dramatic political or economic policies. (11) When the “consensus” is maintained by an army of water-carrying journalists who defend it with uncritical and partisan zeal, and seem intent on helping certain scientists with their messaging rather than reporting on the field as objectively as possible. (12) When we keep being told that there’s a scientific consensus.