Sometimes when you’re a skeptic the only word you can possibly use is sorry. Sometimes an apology is the only correct response.
Lynne McTaggart (@LynneMcTaggart) framed calls to remove What Doctors Don’t Tell You (WDDTY) from supermarkets as a free speech issue, then deleted commentary by critics – however polite, however reasonable – from her Facebook pages.
Skeptics characterised this as hypocrisy.
She claimed that a piece in The Times criticising WDDTY for inaccuracies was itself inaccurate.
Skeptics pored through the content of the journal and proved this was false (example, example). One tracked down the author of a study cited by WDDTY and was told that the results had been “misquoted and misinterpreted – I believe on purpose”.
Several of us deconstructed her “Top 10 Dirty Tricks” commentary.
Lynne claims to have written on the “new physics”, but it appears that what she has actually written about is quantum flapdoodle.
But have skeptics cruelly wronged someone who is merely explaining a different way of knowing? Is Lynne really a respected, intellectually honest proponent of treatments that are likely to work but fall outside of the current medico-scientific paradigm? Is she blazing a Kuhnian trail to a new horizon from which we will all look back and see what fools we were?
I come back to the subject of this post. An apology. The word sorry.
And to answer my own rhetorical question above:
WDDTY is a sorry excuse for a health magazine and represents a public danger. Following its advice can lead to harm, and when it s correct it is either because nobody can be wrong all the time or because some parts of SCAM are and always have been mainstream health advice – like good diet and moderate exercise. There is nothing remotely alternative or controversial about these.
And Lynne McTaggart an apology for a science journalist. A kook, a crank, a hypocrite, a believer in nonsense that is plainly contradicted by the best evidence, a serial manipulator of facts, who ignores conflicts of interest and rampant profiteering in the SCAM sector while criticising it in the medical sector, who has fallen for the naturalistic fallacy and every other rhetorical abuse of the SCAM sector in order to become a propagandist and to make claims for woo which the peddlers cannot make themselves for fear of prosecution – an accomplice, and apparently a willing one, to health fraud on a massive scale.