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Comments by atp

Go to: Believe It or Not

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by atp

Well written, but lacks content. Mostly just saying "atheists are stupid and don't make good arguments". But hardly ever supporting the claim with arguments on his own.

The few times he does, the arguments falls flat.

For example, he seems to require that atheists have a really profound reason for being so. What nonsense, atheism is rally about nothing more than not believing in stories that makes no sense. Since there are plenty of ways to discover why religion makes no sense, and all of them can lead to rejecting religion, there are plenty of ways to reject the dogmatic truths religion provide.

There is no need for a profound understanding of the details of christianity to not believe, as there is no need for a profound understanding of any other religion to not believe.

The only points at which the New Atheists seem to invite any serious intellectual engagement are those at which they try to demonstrate that all the traditional metaphysical arguments for the reality of God fail. At least, this should be their most powerful line of critique, and no doubt would be if any of them could demonstrate a respectable understanding of those traditional metaphysical arguments, as well as an ability to refute them. Curiously enough, however, not even the trained philosophers among them seem able to do this.

Atheism has no burden of proof, because athism is not defined by what it is, it is defined by what it is not: it's not a belief system.

It is not required to show why any argument for religion fails. But it is necessary for religion to provide good arguments for the truth of religion. Unless religion is reduced to blind faith in truths mediated by authorities.

The writer tries to make an analogy of the infinte regress problem:

To use a feeble analogy, it is rather like asserting that it is inadequate to say that light is the cause of illumination because one is then obliged to say what it is that illuminates the light, and so on ad infinitum.

This is an example of how he fails whenever trying to make a real argument. There is no infinite regress problem in asking the question "what causes illumination". This can be explained very precisly through the physics. It is not necessary to understand the true nature of light to explain this.  

This was just a couple of examples of the basic lack of understanding this writer shows for the theme... oh wait, I almost forgot one part that was to funny not to mention:

I dutifully acquainted myself not only with all the recent New Atheist bestsellers, but also with a whole constellation of other texts in the same line, and I did so, I believe, without prejudice. No matter how patiently I read, though, and no matter how Herculean the efforts I made at sympathy, I simply could not find many intellectually serious arguments in their pages, and I came finally to believe that their authors were not much concerned to make any.

If you actually believe you are without prejudice, if you actually believe your prior knowledge and your world view does not affect how you meat and interpret new situations and knowledge, you lack seriously in self insight and the ability to be a sceptic.

Thu, 13 May 2010 06:11:57 UTC | #469458

Go to: Heaven: A fool's paradise

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by atp

As much as I'd like to see the future, I find the idea of eternal nothingness for everybody quite comforting. What it means is an end to all suffering. No one will suffer not being in heaven because they had a personality that made them believe the wrong thing, or was unfortunate in the religion lottery and was born into a society believing in the wrong religion.

While eternal heaven would be good, by tautology, any heaven where there is also a "not heaven" is not good. The eternal hypocrisy of being happy while others are suffering or being held out is not something that appeals to me.

Wed, 21 Apr 2010 12:19:00 UTC | #461488

Go to: Court splits sharply on campus Christian argument

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by atp

Why should any college have to fund bigotry?

Because the college should not be able to use the threat of removing funds as a way of exercising political control over student organizations.

This is a matter of a principle. And as a consequence groups that we find offensive might get funding.

I don't like religion more than the rest of you. But I think such principles are more important than what and who I like.

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 13:45:00 UTC | #461291

Go to: Now charlatans will know to beware the geeks

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by atp

The whole point is that the entire field is based on ideas that don't even make any sense based on what we know about medicine.

So make that point, and support it with arguments. Instead of crap statements like "the teachings of a more-than-usually nutty American faith healer".

Chiroporactics is based on the idea that vertebral subluxations somehow interfere with some metaphysical energy ...
Yeah, lots of bullshit there. I get it. But you cannot judge chiropractics as a whole today by this. You need to refer to what serious research says about modern practice of chiropractics.

That's why I mention wikipedia and its references as a starting point.

Sure if people want to practice other alternative (read unproven)...

It is your unsubstantiated claim that it is unproven.

The way you're stating your own personal belief as if they were facts, is exactly the same charlatans and quacks are supporting their beliefs.

It is not at all irrelevant to say that the ENTIRE FOUNDATION of this discipline is completely unfounded.

It may not be in order to ask questions about chiropractics. But when it comes to determine that state of affairs today, it is 100% irrelevant.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:05:00 UTC | #461036

Go to: Now charlatans will know to beware the geeks

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by atp

The reason I recommend wikipedia is not because it is the definitive source, or anything like that, but because the article about chiropractics has a lot of references. That makes it possible to form an opinion based on more than articles from someone who is just out to slander chiropractics, or some random over confident forum poster.

The basis behind the entire this is indeed the nonsensical ravings of nutty American faith healer. That is the truth.
I don't question the truthfulness of the claim, but the relevance. Errors and mistakes and quackery in the childhood of chiropractics isn't any more relevant for today's practices than errors and mistakes and quackery in the history of medicine is relevant for today's medicine practice.

Such stupid irrelevancy just reflects back on the writer. If these are the kind of arguments he has to resort to, how strong is his case against chiropractics really?

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 14:25:00 UTC | #460999

Go to: Now charlatans will know to beware the geeks

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by atp

This article has to much mud slinging to be take seriously.

For example saying "in accordance with the teachings of a more-than-usually nutty American faith healer" is as stupid as implying modern medicine hasn't moved forward since its beginning.

There has been some alternative medicine quackery associated with chiropractics through its history, and there are probably still too many. But that doesn't mean chiropractics in itself is quackery.

Go read wikipedia for more information. the wikipedia article has many references.

That said, suing Singh was a stupid move. Singh has freedom of speech, even though what he says is mostly wrong and uninformed mud slinging.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 12:39:00 UTC | #460946

Go to: Should Richard Dawkins be Arrested for Covering Up Atheist Crimes?

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by atp

Some quotes from Einstein on God.

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."

And at last what he did believe:
"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings."

I can't take anyone seriously who deliberately lies like this. Because the writer cannot be so stupid as to have done absolutely no research on the matter before writing his text and making his claims about Einstein.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 17:07:00 UTC | #460549

Go to: Should Richard Dawkins be Arrested for Covering Up Atheist Crimes?

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by atp

What?! Dawkins covered up for the nazis? I knew he was evil!

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 16:58:00 UTC | #460545

Go to: Oh no! "Licentiousness breeds extremism"

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by atp

There's a much bigger issue here. What is demonstrated is the incompatibility between islam and western individual freedom.

Individual freedom means the freedom to act in ways that are sin as very sinful by muslims.

This is a threat to any "good" muslims that wants to protect their sons and daughters. And this is a very good motivation to fight against western influence.

I think this is a much more relevant factor causing extremism than the occasionally sexually frustrated young man (there are plenty of those among non-muslims too).

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:33:00 UTC | #431195

Go to: Believers in denial

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 97 by atp

Hi "nother person", I like your post. I will take on the role of "model flogger", although I don't like that description. And the reason I don't like it is because it implies that the only positions you could take is believing the models are correct, or believing the models are wrong.

Here's where I am: not knowing, and rejection consensus as a an argument for making up my mind

For those entertaining themselves flogging the climate models it may be worth noting that there are various strands of evidence for AGW.

Definitely. I do believe there is evidence for AGW.

But I do believe there is evidence for other theories as well.

The problem is that because of politics, these other models are not given much attention, and political pressure is used against those who forward these models.

In science you would believe the model that best fits the evidence. But when you are not approach different models with an open mind, you cannot decide which model best fits the evidence.

I wonder if any of the model floggers would take a stab at specifying precisely what sort of evidence for AGW they would find convincing?

Ideally there are a few things I need.

The first is a political climate that is not getting in the way of good science. (ref. above)

The second thing I want is a more open and honest debate, and much less of the Paula Kirbys trying to apply social pressure against those who are not bowing to "the truth".

The third thing I want is for propaganda arguments to go away. Stop with the "scientific consensus". That's a fallacy. Stop with the "humans are causing THE climate change". Humans might be causing A change in the climate. The climate has always changed, and will always change in the future.

The fourth thing I want is better descriptions of the processes involved. For example are most descriptions of the greenhouse effect very superficial. I want better descriptions of where is the CO2 accumulating. How much is concentrated in the upper atmosphere. How much in the lower. How much IR radiation is absorbed by 200ppm CO2. Just a bit more detailed descriptions.

This can be done in a way that doesn't have to be complex or mathematical. The point of this is having an open clear understanding. Then it much easier for the critics to point at where the problem is. And then the critics can be answered in a structured and honest way.

Today it is a total mess out there. I have been trying to read around on the web, and it is very difficult to find good and structured information.

And as a fifth point, and a bit on the side, I'd like more debate about over population.

I'll start the ball rolling by saying that if someone showed me reliable (quantified, verified) instances of paleoclimate change of the same magnitude as we are seeing today within the same decadal time scale we are seeing, that would give me pause.

That is turning the burden of proof upside down. If you are forwarding a theory, you should support it with facts. And it would be good if you could show that todays change are more rapid that what has occurred in earlier times.

Do such data actually exists, that are fine grained enough to verify your claim?

I could go on... there are many things that might convince me that AGW is false.

AGW should not be proven false. That is not how science works. Alternative theories should instead be shown to be more plausible.

Anyone producing a hypothesis has the burden of evidence. Thinking that something is true, until proven otherwise, that is what religious people do.

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 11:09:00 UTC | #422780

Go to: Believers in denial

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 89 by atp

What if the explanation is not one the majority of well-educated people are capable of understanding ?

The explanations should still be there. Give people a chance to understand them, or come to their own conclusion that they just have to trust the authorities on this one.

But they should not confusing this trust with actually knowing what is right and wrong. If you don't understand the explanation, but you still conclude that they are right, then you're committing a fallacy.

If you don't understand the explanation, you should not make up your mind. You should not just accept it as truth, because there are authorities who tell you it is the truth.

And you should definitely not call people stupid or in denial for not coming to the same conclusions based on the same lack of knowledge and understanding.

Coming to conclusions based on lack of knowledge is what religious people do.

No it's about arguing with each other and coming to a consensus. The scientific consensus is not some document
produced by a committee it is what most scientists after much discussion and debate and examination of the evidence believe is the truth.

It is still turning this agreement into politics. It is still appealing to majority and authority. It is still a fallacy.

And when it comes to AGW it is very clearly used in a political way when it is used to silence people who disagree.

Could you understand them ? I'm not having a go I am asking a serious question. I don't have the expertise to understand climate models. Maybe you do.

In their full complexity, definitely no. But I do have some knowledge of physics, and can absolutely make my own judgement about the premises the models are based on. And I think many other could too, if they were given the chance.

I can also make a judgement about the political climate surrounding the AGW debate. And it is here the real problem lies. I see scientists being knocked in the head with "consensus", to make the shut up and go away. I see people like Paula Kirby talking down people who are smart enough to understand the difference between trusting authorities and thinking they know the facts. And I hear top politicians saying it is immoral to not believe, and there is no point in having the debate any more. etc.

All of this makes me really distrust anything coming from authorities when it comes to AGW.

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 08:27:00 UTC | #422757

Go to: Believers in denial

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by atp

I am a strong believer in science. Therefore I hurt when people use scientific consensus as an argument. For appealing to the majority of scientists is the same as appealing to majority and appealing to authority at the same time. And that is two well known fallacies.

When you ask an expert for an answer, you should not do that because you want a dogmatic answer. You should do that because you expect an expert to be able to give a well founded answer with a good explanation.

Science is not about agreeing with each other and coming to a consensus. That is a political task. And appealing to scientific consensus is turning science into politics. The climate cause is dragging science down into the political mud.

So when it comes to the actual questions, is CO2 rising as a result of a warmer globe, or is it causing a warmer globe, and how does CO2 in the atmosphere affect the infrared radiation, I am still searching for good explanations.

Paula Kirbys arguments are horribly political, and borderline fanatical. And the way she demonstrates prejudice of a large group of people, and her inability to understand that there might be different ways of see the world, and you do not have to be stupid if you don't see the world in the same way as Kirby, is really horrible.

I can tell Kirby one thing. There are very intelligent people on both political left and political right. There are very bright people who are religious, and who are atheists. So what Kirby, and everyone else, should do, is arguing against actual arguments of the opponents.

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 07:35:00 UTC | #422744

Go to: Kent Hovind's Doctoral Dissertation

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by atp

When Adam and Eve fell for the line that they could become as gods, the doctrine of evolution was successfully introduced to the world.

So there you have it!

Wed, 09 Dec 2009 21:31:00 UTC | #421963

Go to: Large Hadron Collider Makes History with 1.18 TeV Protons

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by atp

To gain actual knowledge, we need to things from philosophy (theoretical physics) to science, things need to be tested. We need observations confirming our hypotheses.

The reason we need more energy in the collisions, i.e more eV, is because the particles(*) that are being searched for are big and heavy. And more mass requires more energy. And more energy requires increased speed.

So what they are doing is putting a lot of energy into the collision and hoping to observe new and heavier particles, in particular the Higgs Boson.

For understanding the standard model, google for "the particle adventure".

(*) There are more things than searching for the Higgs Boson they are doing. But I'm no expert, so I won't go into those things.

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 12:27:00 UTC | #419426

Go to: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: If only I could explain where this violence comes from

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by atp

Freedom of choice, means freedom for women to be whores and for men to be drunk.

Any "good" Muslim must those oppose this "immoral" western freedom. Any moral person believing in freedom as a human right must oppose Islam

In this lies a struggle that will not end before the whole world is educated enough to see that religion is based on nothing but dogmatic statements, and holds no truth at all.

Mon, 23 Nov 2009 07:50:00 UTC | #415667

Go to: Mr. Deity and Death

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by atp

"I kill people for a living!"
"I've done that."


Wed, 11 Nov 2009 08:50:00 UTC | #412684

Go to: Vaccination: the moral imperative

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by atp

Next time influenza mutates and comes around you might be in the sub-population that it targets for lethal cases; how will you feel about those who pass up the vaccination, then?

I would accept that. I accept that life is not without danger.

I would expect the government to do everything it could to fight the disease. But I would also accept and respect peoples individual integrity and choice. Those who refuse to have the vaccine for some reason is not the cause of the disease.

Also I think there is a huge danger if society stops respecting peoples integrity and choice by forcing them.

I value individual freedom very much, and think it is something that needs protecting, even when it may lead to people making choices that are not always the best for the society.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 06:34:00 UTC | #409913

Go to: Vaccination: the moral imperative

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 73 by atp


You are choosing not to have the vaccine. How is that any different to choosing to have it? Once the vaccine exists you have to choose one way or the other. I don't think you do nothing and claim it isn't a choice.

Think of all the people in the world who need help, and who you are choosing not to help at the moment.

I suspect people will always die. I don't see any reason to do nothing when it is within your power to act in a way that means less people will die.

I am not saying we should do nothing.

What I am saying is that it is wrong to attack people for not doing what you expect them to do.

I don't call you immoral for not giving all of your money to cancer research. Even though it is your choice to not do so. And even though someone might die because of your choice not to help in all the ways that you can.

This way of attacking people for not doing what society requires of you, is in my opinion highly troublesome. It reduces the individuals to slaves of the society. And I find that immoral.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 06:23:00 UTC | #409912

Go to: Vaccination: the moral imperative

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by atp

Thanks for the info, mordacious1.

I have an additional question. Are the viruses always free floating, or could they be attached to for example water droplets that could be stopped by a mask?

Related to this, there was a discussion here about sneezing in the elbow (which is encouraged by the Norwegian authorities if you have no better choice). A professor came out and said it was counter productive, because all you did was gathering the viruses in your clothing. And then later when shaking the clothes you would spread the viruses around you. According to him, and if I remember correctly, the viruses can survive four-five days in the clothes like that.

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 08:03:00 UTC | #409597

Go to: Vaccination: the moral imperative

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by atp

mmuray, the difference between examples like your and the vaccine requirement is addressed in the first paragraph of my post.

Driving while drunk is a choice. Being part of the society is not a choice. In the first case you pose a risk because of something you chose to do. In the second case you pose a risk simply because you exist as part of society.

From what I read each person who get the H1N1 will give it to two other people. This means that if 50% or more of the population choose to take the vaccine, there is no risk of uncontrolled spreading. As a society we should be quite safe.

Also from what I read the lethality of the new flu is in the same order as the "old" flu.

It is a good thing that we have the possibility to fight illness. But I think that we still must accept that we are not yet above nature, and that people will die from disease for many years to come.

If you think you got the flu, stay at home. If you still have to go out when sick, consider wearing a mask (in Asian countries people are very good at this). This is avoiding risk behavior.

But accusing people of being immoral for the risk behavior of simply existing in a world where there is illness, I think that is overstepping a limit, is an attack on peoples freedom and integrity and is a sign of hysteria.

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 07:20:00 UTC | #409588

Go to: Vaccination: the moral imperative

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by atp


would you let them hear about it for coming to work when sick, or for not taking the vacine?

And if people gets the common cold, and gives it to you, will you let them hear about it for not eating enough vitamin C too?

If someone you know died of cancer, will you go around accusing everyone who has not given money to cancer research?

What is your limit for accusing people for what is part of nature? How much do people owe you just be existing?

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 05:52:00 UTC | #409574

Go to: Seven questions that keep physicists up at night

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by atp

zengardener, "not knowing" is one of the bases for science. We do not know until we have sufficient observations to confirm our hypothesis. This is one important thing that separates science from religion. In religion gaps of understanding is a reason to insert God.

When it comes to the questions that keep me up at night, I have two:
1. What is it all made up off? I think answering this also will answer what caused the Big Bang, what is dark energy made up of, what is time etc.

2. From what comes qualia, the quality of our sensations. What makes us have a feeling connected to the information/mental state when we observe red, are in pain etc.

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 05:42:00 UTC | #409572

Go to: Vaccination: the moral imperative

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by atp

There is another difference than the one The_Intangible_Fancy mentions. All the examples in the article requires you to take safety measures when you are doing something that could be potentially dangerous. You always have the option not to drive, not to dump sewage, not to build buildings.

But in order to not take the vaccine, and stay moral, you need to not exist. In the vaccine case it's like the religious doctrine, you are a "sinner" just because you exist. Therefore you need to repent and take the vaccine.

The argument "by not doing as we require, some people suffer for it" can be used in a lot of other situations. For example when it comes to charity; "you have a moral obligation to help cancer victims. By not supporting the case, people will suffer and die."

I am not a huge fan of any argument that makes you a sinner, that makes you guilty or that makes you in debt to society just because you happen to exist. Actually I think such arguments are immoral, because they take away peoples individual liberty and integrity and make them into something similar to ants in an ant hill.

Arguing that it is a good thing for the society that most people take the vaccine, and therefore encouraging people to do so is a good thing. Attacking people and portraying them as immoral for not doing this is in my opinion wrong.

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 05:11:00 UTC | #409565

Go to: The Trouble with the New Atheists: Part II

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 89 by atp

Classic appeal to consequences fallacy.

Wed, 22 Jul 2009 00:41:00 UTC | #381223

Go to: Why the 'New Atheists' are Right-Wing on Foreign Policy

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by atp

Actually Luis_Cayetano is just throwing a lot of blame around without not much of reasoning. And he seems to assume that since the west has done questionable things, and since there are more to any situation thatn religion alone, that excuses religion as a major factor.

Like he writes: What is missing from Hitchens', Harris' or Dawkins' analysis of religion is any real appreciation for political economy. They are great polemicists and their writings are brimming with morsels of wisdom and wit, but they seem to lack any real conception or feel for how religion isn't a stand-alone entity but rather a cultural factor that finds continuity with other factors arising from the material and historical forces that underpin any society.

But he doesn't argue, doesn't give examples, just claims that it is so. It seems profound because it is well written, but in reality it is just a simple ad hominem. An argument totally without substance.

Of course, a forum like this is not a suitable place to write long drawn arguments. Claiming something, and then elaborate if people disagree, is a suitable method for a forum like this.

So I will say, Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins know very well the religion is not a stand alone entity. And it is always difficult, or near impossible, to say what part of a culture, what part of a conflict, is religon and what is not. Because culture affects religon, and religion affects culture and they develop together.

But what seems obvious is that religion has a very strong tendency to both cause conflicts and escalate conflicts.

The reason I believe so is
- religion separates people very strongly into "us" and "them", much more so that ethnicity alone usually does.
- religion imposes moral rules, right and wrong, in a very dogmatic way. People believing in different morals often comes into conflicts. From what I understand many muslims strongly fear the influence of western culture because of the hedonistic ways personal freedom often leads to. Women drinking and dressed like whores is nothing they want in their society
- religion is a tool giving strong influence over people and it can escalate any ordinary conflict into a holy war

I know that religion is not stand alone. I know the religious practice very often is formed by cultural practice. But I still believe, for the reasons above and more, that religion often has a strongly negative influence on culture, and that religion both causes and escalates conflicts.

And I don't think blaming western culture is neither an excuse or a reason for this.

Mon, 13 Jul 2009 21:57:00 UTC | #378739

Go to: Science journalist sceptical of chiropractic therapy

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by atp

Adrian, I'm not claiming anyone is biased. Also bias is not a problem for me, I try to ignore anything that isn't a good argument anyway. In my opinion a good argument from a biased person is of more value than a bad argument from an unbiased person.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that Singh's argument is very week. And I can add that I think it is so week that it should not be forwarded as if it had any validity.

What I do support 100% is criticizing any chiropractors who claim that they can cure anything like asthma and colic. But I do think that critique should be directed towards those making the claims. And also towards any chiropractics association where these chiropractors are members.

I also support research into any possible harm chiropractics can cause. But this is on the general basis that anything having an effect also has side effects.

I think the way Singh uses his anecdote is wrong. He presents it as if it supports the claim that neck manipulation may be dangerous. Which it don't.

Also I don't agree with point b. An anecdote is not even close to proof. An anecdote is a good story, something that catches interest. And I don't think it should be used for anything else than that.

I got to go, so this is my last word in this debate I'm afraid. But I'd like to leave with an anecdote about anecdotal evidence. :)

I live in Norway, and here we've had a discussion about a person called Snåsamannen, who supposedly has healing powers.

During the debate, our health minister came forward in defense of Snåsamannen, and officially told he had been calling the healer. One of the health ministers kids had colic. And right after calling Snåsamannen, his kid became better!

Some time passed, and his kid got worse again. So he called Snåsamannen again, and his kid got better again! And as far as I know the kid stayed well.

And based on this, our health minister came forward and spoke in favor of Snåsamannen.

So here in Norway we actually have a health minister who believes in telephone healing based on anecdotal evidence.

How about that!

Thanks for the debate. :)

Tue, 07 Jul 2009 08:56:00 UTC | #376860

Go to: Science journalist sceptical of chiropractic therapy

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by atp


your logic is flawed. 70 reports doesn't mean any of them was actually caused by neck manipulation.

And no, I'm not calling them coincidence. I am saying that there is no way of telling whether they are coincidence or not. They could all be coincidence, or all of them could be caused by manipulation, or just enough so that the one in a million number would be correct.

What is needed is some statistics saying how often people getting chiropractic treatment suffers stroke compared to the rest of the population.

Please people, apply the criticism you use towards other to your self as well. Don't allow yourself to get away with arguments you wouldn't accept from those you usually criticize.

Don't fall into the trap of just arguing with your sympathies.

Tue, 07 Jul 2009 07:29:00 UTC | #376839

Go to: Science journalist sceptical of chiropractic therapy

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by atp

>Any wacko claim is not automatically true unless and until proven otherwise!

Of course not.

Chiropractors should not make claims to cure asthma or colic without backing that up with serious research.

But claims that chiropractics can cause stroke should also be backed up with something much more substantial than what Singh brings to the table.

My point is that this applies to everybody, not only those we criticize.

Also there are of course research being done on chiropractics. Wikipedia has several references.

Tue, 07 Jul 2009 07:18:00 UTC | #376832

Go to: Science journalist sceptical of chiropractic therapy

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by atp

Adrian, your point is a good one in many cases, but it does not apply in this situation.

Even if there was a reason to believe manipulating the spine would cure colic, the argument would still be an argument we should dismiss.

Pointing to statistical evidence that is indistinguishable from pure coincidence is a bad argument in any and all situations.

Tue, 07 Jul 2009 06:58:00 UTC | #376822

Go to: Science journalist sceptical of chiropractic therapy

atp's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by atp

If there is no evidence of risk, if it can't be distinguished from pure coincidence, then it is no reason to bring it up. The argument is seriously flawed.

I agree that research should be done on both effects and side effects to get real knowledge about any risks.

But I also think that criticism of a treatment should not be done with the same kind of arguments we would dismiss in most other situations.

If I rewrite the argument slightly, no one here would accept this argument!

"I think what that particular study highlighted was - it looked into - it asks specialists whether people had become well from colic - following a visit to a chiropractor. And I think perhaps 70 cases were then reported back to the researcher in question, a friend and colleague of mine, Professor Edzard Ernst."

Tue, 07 Jul 2009 06:16:00 UTC | #376801