Thursday, November 28, 2013

Could the pyramids be 28 million years old? Answer, no.

Recently I read an article on a website that promotes Ancient Aliens and trying to rewrite history in the strangest way possible about how the Pyramids in Egypt are 28 million years old (read the article here).

Now the article tries to link a comet that allegedly exploded over the region 28 million years with the creation of the pyramids, but really when I tried to read it, it just sounded like a bunch of nonsense. Infact most of it made no sense what so ever and was actually hard to read at points.

At the end of the article it makes it sound like aliens might have built the pyramids due to the sheer fact that humans were not around 28 million years ago (atleast they got the fact that humans weren't around 28 millions years ago right).

So, are the pyramids 28 million years ago?

Not a chance.

First, if these structures were 28 million years old, then the only parts that would be left of them would be the foundations, and what ever was underneath the pyramids. Everything above would have eroded away by now.

Infact many of these pyramids are in various states of erosion due to where they are located and are almost gone. Some of them don't even look like human made structures anymore, and look more like hills or small mountains out in the middle of the desert.

Pyramid of Amenemhat III (Dahshur)

And while others are in far better conditions then the one pictured above, even they are visibly eroding away. One day they will disappear. It might take 10,000 years, or it might take 20,000 years, but they will erode into nothing one day.

Besides all this, if these structures were 28 million years old, they would most likely be in far better condition than what they are today (not only are they suppose to be surviving erosion, but also climate change, continental shift, and a whole lot of other stuff) nor would they have been built out of limestone, or any stone at all.

The article is nothing more than a prime example of what pseudoscience, and is nothing than a bunch of nonsense that tries to make it sound like aliens built the pyramids, and that they are far older than what they are when say a person with even a junior high school level of science education could debunk this.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Did we come from another planet? No.

Recently I forced myself to read an article about certain claims by made by one Dr. Ellis Silver, an ecologist, about how humans came from another planet (read the article here). Now most people would think that any proof that we do not come from this planet would be in our DNA (and I'll get to that later) but the article doesn't even make mention that. Infact it claims because of certain aliments that humans tend to have that there is only one logical conclusion as to why we have them: We came from another world.

One of the first claims made by Dr. Silver is that a lot of us have bad backs, and because of this he believes that humans must have evolve in a lower gravity environment then that of Earth's.

Even if this was true that we did evolve in a lower gravity environment than that of Earth's it wouldn't be the cause of our bad backs. Eventually our bodies would adapt over a few generations to Earth's gravity, and this guy is suggesting that we have been here for tens of thousands of years (actually between 60,000 to 200,000). This is more than enough time for our bodies to have adapted to Earth's gravity.

Now the real reason for our bad backs isn't because of the gravity, it's actually a number of different things. It can be from placing to much stress on our backs (which other species do not do unless we make them) or injury, or sitting in a chair wrong for to long of a period of time, or being overweight, or a lack of exercise, or lifting up heavy objects in an improper manner. I'm not sure if Dr. Silver ignored these facts or not, but the sheer fact that some humans have back issues is not evidence that humans are from another world.

The second claim made for why humans are from another planet is because it can be difficult for women to give birth due to the size of a baby's head, and that it can result in fatalities for both the mother and infant. He also claims that no other species on this planet has that problem.

This claim is just weird and flawed on several levels. First we are not the only species that has big heads when we are born. Infact many species of primates have big heads when they are born, as do many other species, and do experience complications from childbirth which can result in the deaths of both the mother and child.

Also, if it is true that having a big head when we are born which makes it difficult for a woman to give birth meant that we didn't come from this planet, then why would we have evolved this trait on another planet also? We shouldn't have, and therefore we shouldn't even exist...

Just because we are born with big heads does not mean we did not come from this planet.

The third claim made for the believed reason why humans cannot have come from this planet is because we cannot stay in the sun for long periods of time, unlike lizards.

Well, we're not lizards, which are cold blooded and actually need the heat from the sun inorder to function. We're warm blooded, as are all other mammals, and do not require as much exposure to sun as a lizard does. Infact many mammal species are even less tolerant of the sun than we are, and either spend a lot of time in shaded areas, or are nocturnal and live underground, or in trees and bushes until night time.

Dr. Silver is also suggesting that because we can be harmed by the sun (i.e. get sunburned) that we must have come from another planet.

Actually the reason why we get sunburned isn't because we evolved on another planet, it's because we have a lot of exposed skin. Most other mammals have thick hair (i.e. fur) that protects their skin from direct exposure from the sunlight. Infact we're not the only mammals that have a problem with getting sunburn. Pigs for example are very well known for getting sunburned, which is why they tend to roll around in mud. It's not because they like it, it's so they don't get sunburned.

Now the forth claim that is made is that we have a strong dislike of naturally occurring foods, and for this reason we're probably not from this planet.

This is completely bogus. A lot of people love naturally occurring foods, which is why we still have people who hunt and fish, or go into the woods looking for wild fruits and nuts and plants and berries to eat. The reason why some people don't like natural or wild foods is because their taste buds are not use to them, but given time a person will get use to it and even like natural foods (especially if that's all they have to eat).

The fifth claim made (at this point in time I'm trying not to tear my hair out of my scalp do to the sheer ridiculousness of this) is that because we have high rates of chronic disease (that's a matter of opinion) is that we may have evolved to expect 25 hour days (i.e. we evolved on a planet that has a 25 hour a day rotation) and therefore we might not get enough sleep.

Evolving on a planet that has only a 25 hour day would not have been a big deal to us. It's only a one hour difference, plus, if what Dr. Silver is suggests is true and we did come here tens of thousands of years ago, we would have adjusted to a 24 hour a day cycle a long time ago.

The real reason why we are prone to chronic diseases has nothing to do with being from a planet that has a 25 hour day, but has everything to do with our habits, our diet, our genetics, and yes, even a lack of sleep. Also we're not the only species on this planet that suffers from chronic diseases. Infact I'm not even sure if there are other species on this planet that do not suffer from some chronic diseases.

Now Dr. Silver also suggests that when we allegedly came here that we crossbred with other hominids, such as homo erectus.

Besides the genetic improbability that it should be impossible for two different species that have evolved from two completely different genetic lines and have no common ancestors what so ever to be able to crossbred, why would a species that is advanced enough to get from one star system to another even want to crossbred with a species that is barely advanced enough to make crude stone and stick tools?

It should also be noted that he suggests that we came here (apparently from Alpha Centauri, according to his suggestions) as fully evolved homo sapiens. But if this is true, then why would he have suggested that we crossbred with homo erectus? If we came here the way we are today then we shouldn't have any genetic connections with homo erectus, which infact we do.

Did we come here and crossbred with another species to create our modern species, or did we come here the way we are? You can't have it both ways.

Even if we did crossbred with another species it would show in our genetic makeup and our DNA that we are not from this planet. Infact on a genetic level we are closely related to every other species on this planet. We actually share about 99.6% of our DNA with chimpanzees and bonobos. It shouldn't be anywhere near that if we came from another planet, even if we did crossbred with a native species.

Another suggestion that Dr. Silver makes as to why we must have come from another planet is because many people do not feel that they belong on or are at home on the Earth.

This doesn't mean anything really. There are a lot of different reasons why a person might not feel like they belong on this planet. It could be because they want to explore, or they may just have a bad life and feel that they are not meant for the world.

In conclusion these claims by Dr. Silver are just flawed beyond compare, and are easily disproven. His book about this is not going to create debate as he believes. At best it will be used as an example of bad science.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Death of Sylvia Browne

Yesterday one of the world's most famous fake psychics (I know, that's redundant) died.

Sylvia Browne, who had made many appearances on TV (most notably The Montel Williams Show and Larry King Live) died yesterday at the age of 77 (she had predicted should would die at age 88).

Now being a skeptic and someone whom believes that all psychics are frauds (apart form those that are mentally ill and really do believe that they have psychic powers) many people might assume that I am rejoicing, and perhaps even celebrating her death (especially those who believe that people can have psychic powers, or just people who don't like skeptics).

To be quiet honest I'm not sure how I should feel about her death, because there are just so many feelings I have about it that I can't seem to focus on one to just go with.

On the one hand I am sort of glad that she's gone because now she can no longer hurt people and mess with their emotions with her stage magician like "readings" while at the same time exploiting those people for fame and money.

On the other hand I'm also a bit angry, not only because of her exploitation that she basically got away with up until she died, but also because she would never would come clean about being a fake, despite the numerous failed readings and predictions she has had. Now that she's dead, she never will.

Yet on the other hand I also feel a tad bit sad for her, not only because she died having many people despise her, but also because she is leaving behind family, friends, and fans who all loved her and will miss her greatly, as well as got some inspiration from her.

Yet still I also feel a tad bit ashamed as well for being glad, and anger, and sad that she's gone.

I do infact feel ashamed for being sort of happy that she is gone, because despite the fact that she did exploit people for fame and money, I don't believe she was a truly evil person, plus you really shouldn't be happy that someone has died anyways.

I also feel ashamed for being angry that she's dead, because while she never did stop or ever come clean about her "powers" I also know that she'll never be able to hurt anyone again, and that I should let any anger for her go.

Yet I also feel ashamed for feeling sad about her death because despite the fact that she will be missed by many people, she also hurt a lot of people, and so therefore it might not be appropriate to feel sad about her death.

In the end I think it might be best that the only appropriate emotion to feel about here death is to feel no emotion at all about her death, and to let her fade from memory.

Help stop DMCA abuse and homophobia at the same time

Today I found out that former U.S. Navy chaplain turned far right fundamentalist Christian and notorious homophobic, Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt, manged to get Right Wing Watch's Youtube account suspended after filing a series of bogus copyright claims (I.E. a DMCA attack) because the page hosted several one to two minute video clips showcasing his blatant bigotry.

This is the second time this has happen in the past two weeks (read about it here, here, here, and here) and despite already having restored it once after RWW filed a counter claim that clearly demonstrated that they do infact have every right to use those video clips under the FAIR USE Act (not to mention the 1st Amendment, which also allows Mr. Klingenschmitt to continue to spread his hate speech, as well as allows me and RWW to call it hate speech), Youtube decided to side with "Dr. Chaps" and took down the page again.

Youtube is ofcourse notorious for taking down both videos and entire pages after someone files a false DMCA claim, and not even doing any investigation into the claim to see if there is any validity to the claim (as is the case here). The way that Youtube handles these DMCA claims basically allows most people to get away with suppressing information about a group, or a single person, or themselves, that puts them in a bad light (again, as in the case here). That, or it's used as a form of information gathering because Youtube requires a user to send a certain amount of personnel information that would be made available to the person filing the DMCA claim to begin the counter claim process.

This type of abusive behavior needs to stopped, and it can be stopped, and here are a couple of ways you can do that:

First, you can go to Youtube's Twitter page and tell them to restore Right Wing Watch's account and to revise there takedown policy to keep abuse like this from happening (go here to ask them).

Second (and the one that I most recommend), you can sign a petition started by Right Wing Watch and it's parent group, People For the American Way, asking Youtube to restore RWW's account, and to stop abuse of it's own takedown policies (go here to sign the petition).

This in my opinion is just another example of why the DMCA needs either a heavy overhaul, or needs to be repelled entirely and replaced with something much better, and also what lengths that a homophobic bigot will go to (or really anyone with a extremist and/or harmful agenda) inorder to suppress criticism not only of themselves, but also what they claim to believe in.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Frankenbull: GMOs run amuck, or a deception of the Anti-GMO movement

Recently I saw an article on a conspiracy theorist website concerning what they claimed was a genetically modified bull called the Belgian Blue (read the article here).

As you can clearly see that is one right big bull (although most bovine species do tend to be big creatures) and looks like a result direct genetic manipulation. Also, the way the article is worded (and the fact that the title of the article is "FRANKENBULL: GIGANTIC GMO BULLS Are Now A REALITY") makes it sound like the species was only recently developed, and that is was the result of direct genetic manipulation. This is not true for either one.

While the species is the result of a kind of genetic manipulation, it is not however the result direct genetic manipulation (which involves directly manipulating a life form's DNA) but instead indirect genetic manipulation through the use of selective breeding.

Infact the breed itself was first identified in the early 19th century, and the modern beef breed was developed in the 1950's through the use of artificial insemination. So it is not a new breed, and was not developed by messing with it's DNA (which is technology that scientists did not have back then). The article ofcourse doesn't mention any of this.

Heck, one of the photos in the article is also clearly not a modern photo either, and appears to be from atleast from either the 50's or the 60's:

Now by the standards of the Anti-GMO movement this freakish looking bovine is not a GMO animal because it's genetic manipulation is not the result of manipulating it's DNA, but the result of genetic manipulation through selective breeding (which almost all other species of domesticated plants and animals that are used for food are the result of in one form or another) and by their standards is okay to eat (which apparently it is).

The article is clearly being deceptive, and was only posted inorder to scare people away from GMO foods by making it appear that if scientists are willing to create something like that through direct genetic manipulation, then who knows what they are willing and able to do with the rest of our food. Infact you'd pretty much have live off the land and eat nothing but wild plants and animals inorder to have a diet that consisted of no foods that are the result of genetic manipulation of one form or another.

If the anti-GMO movement is so blatantly willing to lie about something like this that was so easy to find the truth about and debunk, then who knows what else they're willing to lie about inorder to make GMO foods look dangerous?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Of Elves, Abductions, and fake News Stories

The other day I came across this very strange "news" story on an blog that's been going around the internet about a Danish anthropologist by the name of Kalena Søndergaard, whom had apparently been abducted and held for seven years in Iceland.

Now normally this would be a tragic and horrible story, except the strange fact that (at least according to author of the story, C. Michael Forsyth) her abductors were elves (read the story here).

That's right, I said elves.

Obviously I'm skeptical of the story, and for good reason (mostly being that it is ridiculous as hell, and that the story itself written by a horror fiction writer).

Besides the obvious fact that the story was written by a horror fiction writer, and that it just sounds fake, the story itself has no links or references what so ever to show to show that this woman had ever been listed as missing, a major red flag telling that it was fake.

Infact when I did a Google search on her the only thing I could find out about Kalena were just copied and pasted portions of the story (or the whole story in itself) written by C. Michael Forsyth.

The second red flag that shot up for me was the fact that in the story there was information in there about the Homo floresiensis, a diminutive hominid that was very closely related to modern humans, and according to the story was a major part of the woman's doctoral thesis... about elves and how they might exist.

While I found the information to be interesting, the fact is that it had nothing to do with the story, and seemed to have been added in to attempt to prove that elves exist, or atleast give the possibility that elves exist more credibility.

The third red flag that shot up for me was the photos.

First the two photos showing a naked woman trapped on a cliff. I'm not sure whom that woman is, but I can tell you these two things about those photos: they are not of Kalena Søndergaard, and they weren't taken in Iceland. Infact they are of a nude sunbather who got trapped on a cliff while trying to get to Black's Beach in San Diego, California. The story itself is 2 1/2 years old and has nothing to do with Kalena (read story here).

The third photo of whom is suppose to be her shows a head shot of "Kalena" taken some time before here abduction. Now I'm not sure who that woman is either, but I can tell you one thing about her: She is not Kalena Søndergaard!

Again I did a Google search on the image found it to have no relation to Kalena except to the original story written by Mr. Forsyth. Infact the photo appears to be a stock photo as I have found this photo in numerous other websites that make no mention of Kalena, including Russian bride sites...

Now if the things that I mentioned above don't scream that this story is fake, the final piece of evidence does, and that is immediately after the end of the story there is an advertisement for the latest horror novel written by Mr. Forsyth. Not only is that very odd to me, it also seems very unethical as well to do something like that when concerning something as serious as this, and that the only type of person whom would do something like that is someone whom didn't take the story seriously.

Considering all the evidence here, and the fact that Mr. Forsyth is a fiction writer, I can only come to one conclusion: The story is completely fake.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

5 Things I've noticed about... AIDS Denialism

AIDS Denialism.

Despite all the we know about HIV and AIDS from the many years of research into it in hopes of one day finding a cure for it, there are still people out there who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS, or that it even exists.

There are a lot of things I have noticed about AIDS Denialism (and none of them are are positive, pun not intended) but I have narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about AIDS Denialism:

5. It's a very dangerous and deadly form of Pseudoscience/Alternative medicine.

Of all the different types of pseudoscience and alternative medicine out there, AIDS denialism is one of the most deadly types of pseudoscience and alternative medicine there is.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is a very deadly disease, and if left untreated it can kill someone within a few years of being infected (this does vary from person to person), and will kill 100% of the time.

AIDS denialists deny that AIDS even exists, or that at least HIV doesn't cause AIDS, and encourage people not to take any medication after they've been diagnosed with HIV.

This is why AIDS denialism is considered to be so deadly. Because they are denying that HIV is dangerous, and that AIDS doesn't even exist, AIDS denialists are basically encouraging those who have been infected to shorten their lives.

In fact many people consider AIDS denialism to be the second most dangerous form of alternative medicine and pseudoscience there is. Only the anti-vaccination movement is considered to be more dangerous, and that's only because a lot of the diseases that vaccines are meant to prevent are a lot easier to get than HIV (although many of the diseases that are prevented via vaccines are usually not as deadly as HIV is).

4. It denies over three decades worth of research into HIV.

We know a lot about HIV and AIDS. We know how it's transmitted from one person to another. We know how easy it is to prevent getting it. We know the average life expectancy of a person after they have contracted HIV, and we have known all of this for almost 30 years now.

Also, through the decades of scientific and medical research, we have developed medicines that can drastically extend the life expectancy of a person who has HIV by years, even decades, and even reduce the chance of a pregnant woman with HIV transmitting the virus to her unborn child to almost 0%. There are people who are alive today who were diagnosed with HIV back in the 1990's who wouldn't be alive today without all of this research (which has gone into the billions of dollars worth).

AIDS denialist just look at all of the research and all that we know about HIV and AIDS and says nope, it's all fake...

3. It's self destructive.

It shouldn't be surprising to to many people but many AIDS denialists have also been diagnosed with HIV, and also not surprising many of them have died as a result of complications due to AIDS. A recent example of this would be former professional boxer Tommy Morrison, whom's death was clearly a result of complications due to AIDS (although AIDS denialists will say otherwise).

Another example of AIDS denialists self destructiveness would be the magazine Continuum, which was run by AIDS denialists who had also all been diagnosed with HIV. The magazine shutdown in early 2001 due to all of the magazine's editors dying of AIDS...

To put it to a point, if you have HIV, but don't believe it's going to kill you, you're sentencing yourself to an early grave. And not only is it self destructive, also...

2. It encourages dangerous behavior.

Besides just being self destructive and outright deadly, AIDS denialism also encourages dangerous behavior as well, either indirectly, or directly.

AIDS denialism indirectly encourages dangerous behavior by making it seem okay for a person whom has HIV to continue to engage in whatever lifestyle that they were engaged in that caused them to contract HIV in the first place. Or they may feel that it is okay to continue to have unprotected sex because if they believe that HIV isn't deadly then there isn't any reason for them in their minds to use protection, or even tell a sex partner that they have HIV.

AIDS denialism also directly encourages dangerous behavior by making it appear that because HIV is allegedly not deadly that people don't need to take any drugs that can hold HIV at bay, or even get tested for HIV if you believe you may have contracted it. Infact many AIDS denialists say that you shouldn't take any of the drugs that hold HIV at bay, and that the drugs are what make you sick, and that there is some kind of conspiracy by pharmaceutical companies to keep the "truth" about HIV hidden so that they can keep selling these drugs to people with HIV.

1. AIDS denialists use one small fact about HIV to try to back up there claims.

While everything that AIDS denialists claim have been completely discredited and debunked for years now, they do use one small fact about HIV that AIDS denialist do use that is actually true: HIV in itself is not a deadly disease and has never directly killed someone. What they tend to ignore is that HIV is an indirectly deadly disease because it destroys a person's immune system and causes other diseases which would normally not do anything to someone to kill that person.

This is somewhat similar to person dying in a car wreck. While the injuries they may have gotten from the car wreck is what ultimately killed them, the car wreak itself is what caused the injuries that killed that person. Same thing with HIV. While other diseases in a person that has HIV were the actual cause of a person's death, HIV is the cause of that person's immune system being destroyed which allowed those viruses to kill that person. This is why when someone dies in a car wreck, or dies as a result of HIV, it's not listed as cause of death being due to a car wreck or HIV, but instead it is listed as being whatever injury or disease as being the directed cause of what killed that person.

Just because HIV isn't listed as a direct cause of death doesn't mean that it isn't the cause of someone's death.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

9 Reasons why people use Alternative Medicine

Why do some people continue to used alternative medicine?

Despite all the information there is about alternative medicine and how not only does it not work, but that infact it can even be harmful, people still use it and believe that it really does work.

So why is it that people still use alternative medicine? Well, I've been thinking about that, and I've come up with quite a few reasons why:


Science based medicine is an incredible thing and can cure many diseases and fix a lot of things that can go wrong with the human body, but unfortunately it can't cure every disease, or fix everything that goes wrong with our bodies (not yet atleast). So when science based medicine can't fix or cure what ever is wrong with us (or atleast not doing so in a way that is fast enough for us) some people, even rational people, might become desperate enough to use alternative medicine.

This sort of situation especially happens when someone has a terminal disease and they are told by their doctor that there is nothing they can do to cure what ever it is that is killing them. Some people will not accept this and will seek out anything that is claimed to be able to cure them (even if all the evidence says otherwise).

They think it's cheaper

Because alternative medicine isn't manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies (who are for profit businesses) it is assumed by some people that alternative medicine must be cheaper than science based medicine because they believe that the people who are manufacturing these alternative medical products are not doing it for a profit, plus when a person is told about a product that is suppose to be cheaper and work better than the conventional product, people tend to buy the supposedly cheaper product.

Now if you seriously believe that alternative medicine is cheaper than science based medicine, and that people who make these alternative medical products are not doing so for a profit, then I know a Nigerian prince that wants to give you $15,000,000.

A friend told them it works

Probably the best form of advertising there is is word of mouth. You don't do have to pay for anything, and people tend to trust the opinion of a friend or family member over a creative ad in a newspaper or a TV commercial. Same thing holds true with alternative medicine.

Lets say you've been sick for a while and you have been taking some medicine for what ever has been ailing you, but so far it has had little to no affect. You tell a friend or a family member about your health issues and they might recommend that you take some herbs, or to go see this "doctor" that they recommend (who turns out to be an alternative medicine practitioner and not a real doctor) because they claim that it helped them, or it helped someone they know. Because you trust the person whom is recommending this "doctor" or this product, you might be more willing to see this "doctor" or try this product than you would if some stranger had told you.

Science based medicine can be harsh

Science based medicine (or modern medicine, or real medicine as some people like to call it) is a great thing. It has cured a lot of stuff, and has extended our average life expectancy by years, but it can also be pretty harsh at times as well. Because of this some people might either choose to stop using a science based medical treatment because they feel that it has become to harsh on them and that they believe that it might kill them if they continue to use, and so they decided to use alternative medicine instead because they believe it will help them without any side effects, or they might already know (or atleast believe) that the medical treatment that they've been recommend that they do could or will be harsh on them, and they decide to forgo it and use alternative medicine instead.

It goes with their beliefs

Whether is be religious, or cultural, or even personal, our beliefs in whatever form it may be shapes our thinking and what we do and what we trust, and if there is something about an alternative medicine that appeals to a person's beliefs, or if there is something about science based medicine that person considers taboo, the person might be far more willing to use alternative medicine even when it clearly doesn't work and that science based medicine clearly does work.

They believe that science based medicine is dangerous

Some people might chose to use alternative medicine rather than science based medicine not simply because they believe it is better than science based medicine, but because they believe that science based medicine is actually dangerous.

It shouldn't be to surprising that many supporters of alternative medicine also tend to be conspiracy theorists who believe that pharmaceutical companies are greedy and are only putting out products to make money without care of whether or not a product is dangerous, or intentionally putting out a product that will make us sick so that they can make more money off of us that way, or are part of some "New World Order" and are putting out dangerous products as a way to either control us or slowly kill us.

It should also not be surprising that many people who believe such conspiracy theories also believe that pharmaceutical companies are also trying to suppress information about alternative medicine, and are even going so far as to try to outlaw alternative medicine. Because of this belief it can make many people believe that alternative medicine is not only the right choice, but the only choice.

They used alternative medicine before and believed that it worked

One of the main reasons why some people use alternative medicine is because they already used it before for something else and as far as they are concerned it worked.

Now the two biggest reasons why someone might think that alternative medicine actually works after they already used it and it appeared to cure what ever was ailing them is either because they took it along with the real science based medicine and they simply assumed that the alternative medicine either helped cure them, or was what really cured them. Or they might not have used any science based medicine and that their body simply healed itself, but because that they used alternative medicine they assume that it was the alternative medicine that healed them and not their own bodies.

Because some people who have taken alternative medicine and believe that it really did work they might forgo using any science based medicine and use only alternative medicine, or atleast continue to use it along with science based medicine.

They read information about it that makes them think it works

There are a lot of websites and books out there about alternative medicine and it's alleged "benefits". Many of these books and websites contain "information" mostly in the form of positive stories about alternative medicine and how it's "helped" certain people by telling you their stories of how it's supposedly cured them while at the the same time bad mouthing science based medicine by claiming it wasn't working, or that it was killing the person, or by putting in information that makes science based medicine look harmful, or just insert a bunch of pharmaceutical industry conspiracy theories.

Sometimes these books and websites will take it a step further and have a real doctor claim that some kind of alternative medicine really works, or perhaps the book was written by a real doctor, or the website is run by a real doctor, and because something is written or run by a real doctor, it might cause some people to believe that there is something to this alternative medicine.

They got scammed into it.

Despite all that we've learned from snake oil salesmen of the 19th century, people still get scammed by con-artists and quacks who get people to buy useless products because they have been lead to believe that said product works and will cure what ever is ailing them when all it is is really junk.

Be either through an ad on the internet, or directly from the mouth of the person selling what ever they are selling, people to this day still get suckered into buying stuff that does not work. The fact that alternative medicine even exists today and that there are companies that manufacture and make billions off of this stuff is proof of that.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The big winner in the VA. Governor's race: Reason

Yesterday during the Virginia elections of 2013 there were many winners last night, the two biggest being Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam, both Democrats who won their bids for Governor and Lt. Governor, respectively. On the other hand the two biggest losers yesterday were Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, both Republicans who lost their bids for Governor and Lt. Governor, respectively (the Attorney General's race is still to close to call at this point). But the biggest winner of this election didn't even run at all, and isn't even a person, but a philosophical ideal: reason.

With this victory over both Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, Virginia voters have basically reject both men's extremist views and their blatant disregard of the law, civil liberties, and science when it suits them.

Both Cuccinelli and Jackson are notorious homophobics, and have made it very clear that they believe that homosexuality is wrong, and Cuccinelli even attempted to get U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it's own ruling that declared that archaic sodomy laws were unconstitutional, probably so he could have a legal way to prosecute homosexuals. He also wanted state colleges and universities to stop including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or like classification from their nondiscrimination policies.

Cuccinelli is also a climate change denier, and not only attempted to sue the EPA over it's findings of greenhouse gases being a danger to public health, and the federal standards for fuel efficiency for cars and trucks under the Clean Air Act, he even pretty much tried to use his own office to harass climate scientist Michael E. Mann, using the dubious claims that Dr. Mann had possibly violated state fraud laws in relation to five research grants by allegedly manipulating climate change data. Fortunately Cuccinelli lost in his attempts to prosecute Dr. Mann.

Cuccinelli is also extremely anti-abortion, and sponsored numerous bills to try to "discourage" women from having an abortion (aka try to intimidate women into not having an abortion), but also tried to alter licensing and regulations of abortion clinics in the state of Virginia in a blatant attempt to shut them down. Heck, he even tried to ban birth control (which actually would have cut down on the number of abortions in Virginia).

There are ofcourse numerous other reasons why it was a good thing that Cuccinelli and Jackson did not win yesterday, and while McAuliffe and Northam were the winners, the big winners were science, tolerance, equality, civil rights, women's right, the poor, the environment, and ultimately reason and everyone in Virginia.