‘The Dirty Dozen’

Christopher Maloney has arbitrarily chosen 12 sites which criticize him, referring to them as “The Dirty Dozen”. I mentioned this recently. Now some of those sites are picking up on him.

I have been promoted to “The Dirty Dozen”, a minion, nay, a TOP minion of PZ Myers. You see, PZ Myers literally has MILLIONS of minions and for somebody (even a quack like Christopher Maloney, or even a stranger quack purporting to be Christopher Maloney) to recognise me as one of the TOP 12 minions is a singular honour.

I just want to take this time to thank my parents, without whom I would never have been able to achieve this honour. And I would like to thank my team and especially the crowd from #pharyngula who have made all of this possible. I would like to thank my lovely wife, whose support and assistance during this time has made all of this possible. And thank you all, for your loyal support. And last, but not least, I would like to thank Dr. PZ Myers. Without his inspiration and mentoring, I would surely never have been able to win this award. Thank you.

At least he’s grateful.

Of course, not all are so gracious.

So, finally over, right? Wrong. Chris has apparently been busy putting up crummy websites about how awful PZ and his “drones” are. I made it onto his list of The Dirty Dozen.

Hey, I’m on a list with Steve Novella! And that would mean something if I respected this Maloney’s judgment!

Listen, Chris. I’m glad you hate me. You are a cancer quack, the worst type of shit there is, harvesting the hopes of the desperate. Seriously, look at what this animal put on his website about how he “treats” cancer!

That blogger, Happy Jihad, then goes on to quote this from Maloney.

Claiming to treat something like cancer is a bit like claiming to treat something like colds, except in this case we have a different cold specialist for each eye, each ear, and every part of the nostril. Oncologists will rightly yell that I have little to no experience with your particular subsection of cancer and that might be correct. But my reply is that despite all the extensive specialization we have been unable to stem the tide of cancer. Perhaps a slightly wider view of the whole body system would be beneficial.

“The tide of cancer” is a phrase which means nothing. It’s intentionally ambiguous; the alt-med crowd doesn’t like to be pinned down and so use nothing-terms to avoid backing up anything they say. Does it mean survival rates? Does it mean frequency rates? Does it refer to carcinogens? It’s impossible to tell from any of this.

As for “a slightly wider view of the whole body system” being beneficial, this is more ambiguous language. It’s a promotion of vague alt-med ideas – none of which have significant supporting evidence.

At any rate, more websites are picking up on Maloney. The reason? He keeps chirping. I’ve said it so many times now, but I’ll say it again: He cannot make anything better. He can only not make it worse.

Sinkhole in Guatemala City

This is crazy.

Crab Nebula

When I choose Hubble images to put on FTSOS, I specifically try to avoid the Crab Nebula image. It’s just so common, so frequent. It’s almost a stereotype in a way, at least to me. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if I’ve slipped up actually posted it in the past. But I was just rethinking it. Stereotype, cliche, overused, too common, too frequent: none of that matter. It’s a frickin’ cool image. That’s all the justification I need.


I hiked a few trails near Camden, Maine today. It was one of those foggy, cloudy days where the heaviness of the air can be felt on every inch of skin. To cap things off, the final hour of hiking consisted of a heavy drenching. While I would obviously rather hike in 70 degree, perfectly sunny weather, there’s always something I love about being in the rain on the side of a mountain. It feels like their can’t be a moment in the day I’m wasting.

One of the trails I was on came out at Maiden’s Cliff, which rises about 800 feet above sea level. In 1864, 12 year old Elenora French chased her wind blown hat as it swept towards the edge. Not realizing how close the danger really was, she lost her footing and fell to her death in front of Megunticook Lake. Now there is a cross in memorial of her short life.

Seeing the irony in taking a photo of me as I reflectively read Elenora’s memorial plaque next to a giant white cross, a friend snapped this:

I like it.

I just don’t get it

I made issue of two errors in one of Christopher Maloney’s new, sort of weird blogs. First, he had a typo. I’m sure I have plenty of those; I really just wanted to see how quickly he would make a change to his site. My stats page has long made it obvious that he clicks and sends off each post I make about him, presumably because he doesn’t get that sitting down and doing nothing is still his best solution. As it turns out, it didn’t take him long to make the correction. Second, I also made issue of the title to a link where he said I could not “read science”.

Oh, and naturopaths apparently read science. Not scientific literature, raw data, or anything of that nature. They literally read science itself. It’s magical.

This prompted a change in that link title.

The Maine kid with an English degree who can’t read.

This is probably funnier than the way it was originally. The whole point of the first title was to say I cannot understand the Gish Gallop of citations Maloney provides when he’s trying to draw anti-science conclusions. He even goes so far as to claim I have an English degree (I don’t), specifically implying that my specialty lies outside the realm of science. But while he poorly worded everything the first time around, the point was understandable, if still false on a number of counts. Now he’s completely changed his point. It’s not that I don’t understand science, it’s that I’m illiterate. And to top it all off, he leaves the falsehood that I have an English degree.

But I don’t get this. I mean, I make one quick post to point out a number of flaws with Maloney’s work and the turn-around is impressive. Basically the next morning the guy has made a number of alterations, accepting my criticism as worthwhile. But then he still leaves several lies. He’s still saying I have an English degree. He still hasn’t changed his whine about his post being moderated, even though he knows it was caught by a spam filter:

Somehow I crossed an unseen boundary, and the following post was moderated out of existance. Myers later claimed on his blog that he has standard moderation and that he doesn’t check it. But I wrote to him personally the same day he moderated me out and received no reply. The only logical conclusion is that Myers found my posting too much of a threat to allow me to continue. I was crossing the boundary from quack to regular, and he couldn’t handle the transition.

While I’ve pointed out in the past that PZ has responded to a number of my emails, he certainly hasn’t responded to them all. I’ve managed to get his attention for a post mocking creationists, the Discovery Institute, and the validity of the term “new atheists” (a post which also showed up on RichardDawkins.net) as well as the whole Maloney-Moritz malarkey, but several of my emails have been ignored. And that’s understandable. Pharyngula gets millions of hits a year, PZ gets hundreds of emails a day. It is not a logical conclusion to say PZ did or thinks one thing or another just because he doesn’t give a personal response to every individual with an email account who wants to talk with him. Nobody moderated Maloney out of “existance” (how long until that one changes?), but basic truth isn’t his particular concern.

But what I really don’t get is that if a single, short post is enough for him to accept my criticism as valid, then why does it seem like my more lengthy posts refuting his entire profession go by the wayside? This really isn’t that hard: cite established facts with empirical evidence, use information that has the support of the medical community, and only offer patients and critics studies which involve more than 29 people. Hell, it would be nice if he just stopped citing studies which don’t even have the full backing of the original researchers, e.g., studies which say more research is needed before any firm conclusions are drawn.

But I’m asking for a lot from a naturopath.