Confession from a paid shill for Monsanto and Big PharmaSubmitted by Delysid on Tue, 07/09/2013 - 19:41
Just kidding. I'm not a paid shill. I earn exactly as much money by defending the principles of molecular biology and pharmacology as I make by defending free-market libertarianism- $0.
In every thread or post about GMO's or pharmaceuticals or medicine, I am inevitably accused of being a paid shill, often by more than one person. I'm not exaggerating when I say HUNDREDS of people have made this baseless, childish accusation. It is ubiquitous, and pathetic.
Why is this happening?
Are people so convinced of their beliefs that they can't even fathom that someone would have a genuine, educated, and opposing scientific viewpoint? Just because someone criticizes the mythology of the church does not mean they are possessed by the devil.
It is incredible to me that so many of a group of people who pride themselves in being "awake" are so quick to stoop to primitive anti-intellectualism. The "natural" health/alternative medicine movement has become a hivemind united in the lowest common denominator of sensationalism and logical fallacy.
I can't even estimate how many times I've been told to "keep drinking the fluoride, man." It is a brainless, meaningless, hypocritical insult, and as a dentist I will keep brushing my teeth with fluoridated toothpaste because it hardens enamel and makes it more caries resistant. I will also keep using my limited influence to stop public water fluoridation, because I strongly oppose the practice for both ethical and scientific reasons. People aren't even attempting to understand the mindset and perspective of the strangers (who are often allies in liberty) they are insulting.
Ultimately the blame comes down to each individual, but there are influential leaders in the natural health/alternative movement who are spewing anti-science disinformation, and they have a legion of followers who parrot their style of demagoguery and spam their propaganda everywhere. The worst example of this, of course, is Mike Adams of Natural News. His propaganda is so distinctly emotional (and unscientific) that I can often not only recognize his work instantly, but whether someone else has been influenced by his work. With the possible exception of Alex Jones, he is unrivaled in his ability to create an alarmist frenzy out of non-existent, minimal, or even conflicting information. There are Natural News disciples who have more confidence in the pseudoscience of the Natural Fallacy than Einstein did in the principles of physics. I mean this literally. Einstein had doubts about physics, while many NaturalNewsers have no doubt whatsoever that GMOs, pesticides, vaccines, psychiatric and other pharmaceutical drugs, nuclear power, et cetera are going to destroy the human race.
Is this what people prefer to believe? Chemophobia?
This has to stop. I'm sick of the fear-mongering. I'm sick of getting accused of being a paid shill in every conversation. I'm sick of getting blasted with pseudoscience alarmism. Defending the claims of Natural News by linking to a different Natural News article, which is defended by a different Natural News article, which is based on a documentary by an activist film maker who based his work on Greenpeace research, mixed in with angry name-calling and false allegations, is NOT debating.
We don't live in a black and rainbow fairy tale. Don't be that anti-intellectual who is manipulated by demagogues. Science is often counter-intuitive and complicated. Scientific evidence and mechanisms should not be angrily and immediately dismissed because they conflict with preconceived notions, superstition, and speculation. Corporations, including Monsanto, and the government are NOT always wrong, particularly in the case of science. Opposing a government program like NASA does not mean that the principles and accomplishments in astronautics are lies and conspiracies. This is analogous to the FDA and EPA in medicine and agriculture.
I AM NOT A SHILL. So please stop accusing me and the other defenders of modern medicine/science as such.