Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
It is time for a laugh…
The pseudo-skeptic mini-machine is jam-packed with losers – from those that totally hide behind fake internet names to those that (snicker here) pad their resumés with high-sounding, but near-worthless, qualifications, to attempt to convince a reader that they know what they are talking about. Pompous-Assity reigns.
There are just too many examples of this extant in their midst. One need only look at Stephen Barrett, bobbie baratz, Orac the Nipple Ripper, or “Carpet-Head” Stephen Novella as examples. They have almost a compulsiveness to puff themselves, desperately seeking some, any, recognition, even if it is based on false claims of authority.
It is kind of the anatomy of the entire pseudo-skeptic mini-movement..
A quick look at his resumé makes it VERY clear that Salzberg could be a poster boy for EVERYTHING wrong with our current Scientific/Medical Research System. What system is that? A friend, the other day, sent me a link to an article written on the Forbes magazine blog by someone named Stephen Salzberg – who claims to be fighting PseudoScience. He ought to know what that is – because he lives it. Breathes it. Smears it on walls and windows.
Well, it is the system that, for instance, told President Richard Nixon, in 1972, that they would solve the problem of cancer in eighteen months, if given enough research money. The project, called the “War on Cancer” has, now, been going on for forty (40) years, has a monstrous, way overpaid, bureaucracy in place consuming more than 105 billion dollars, and has accomplished not one thing towards curing cancer.
Not one thing – except excuses, and requests for more money.
But, Salzberg isn’t into Cancer Research… It’s worse than that.
He’s in, he claims, “Bioinformatics.” Is he a scientist, as he attempts to portray himself in his articles? Nope. He is a software engineer. Think of an office full of junk food litter, half-eaten pizzas, spilled cola, sticky keyboards, stained carpet, a smell in the air of unwashed bodies, old porn magazines folded up under a table leg to level the surface. And, no interface with people. None whatsoever. Typical pseudo-skeptic material.
Bioinformatics? Oooh-Ahh! (sarcasm intended). The guy uses a computer. Wow. How special (more sarcasm here).
More, Salzberg attaches himself, with his claims, to genetic, or human genome, research, so, I guess, we will all be impressed with him. Why would he do that? Apparently, so he can sound like the kind of high-born, so-to-speak, that could actually criticize (as he did in his AutismOne article) a Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer of the link between the HIV virus and AIDS.
The truth is that Salzberg is so far down the scientific research chain that he, in his entire lifetime, during his entire life work, never once even saw anyone in a meeting, in a hallway, or in conference, that could even be invited to attend a Nobel conference, much less be nominated for the prize. In short – pseudo-science by a pseudo-skeptic.
But, I’ll bet he is a big hit in his local “Skeptics in the Pub” group.
More, and extremely important, is that Salzberg, in his blog article, only got about 16,000 hits, most, probably, from angry Autism parents, many of which told him, in the comments section, what an idiot he is.. Forbes isn’t going to sell any advertising on this guy’s draw.
So, what this human genome research? Is it legitimate?
Maybe, maybe not.
I see two areas to criticize: (1) One more huge bureaucracy is being established around it – which means the science, if there ever was any science, is doomed to failure. Frankly, it looks like a scientific plaything to me – sort of “full employment for the mediocre pseudo-scientific wanna-be.” (2) There really is a whole nut-wing of these people that sell the idea that they can build a super-race.
Their whole concept is that they can create a vaccine (yup, a vaccine) that if injected at 30 years old, can change the DNA so that people do not get aging diseases, etc. For only a measly $150,000.
They are wanting to build GMO people. Yup, shades of Monsanto, applied to humans. And, they plan on owning your DNA.
These are the people that keep trying to convince the world that Autistic children are the product of gene defective parents – meaning that the children of those parents cannot accept, just like agriculture, huge amounts of chemicals – so they want to change the human population to withstand Roundup, mercury, whatever.
Sound nuts? Well, it is. Are they getting anywhere? So far, all the mice die.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate