Maloney makes it worse

I’ve told Christopher Maloney (do I still need to provide background links on who he is at this point?) that he cannot make his destroyed web presence any better; he can only not make it worse. But as some readers may recall, he put an absurd amount of effort into creating a site about his ‘debate’ with Dr. Steven Novella. Since he failed to link back to Novella, I took the liberty of forwarding the link. The fortunate result is a new post where Novella demolishes Maloney.

Made clear by this exchange is the difference between the science-based approach and Maloney’s approach, which is typical of naturopaths. I look at all the evidence for plausibility, safety, and the reasonable potential for benefit. If I am convinced that I can offer my patients the probability of benefit in excess of harm, I will use a treatment (no matter how it is labeled) with proper informed consent. But I will then closely follow the evidence and will stop using a treatment if good clinical evidence is negative. Or I will start using a treatment when new evidence shows that it is safe and effective.

Maloney, on the other hand, appears to trade in wild speculation. In my opinion he has demonstrated sloppy, black and white thinking, an inability to understand the implications of published research, a bias against science-based medicine, and a willingness to prescribe treatments based upon the flimsiest of scientific justifications. He then accuses me of being “dismissive” and has the stones to declare victory in our exchange because I eventually tired of his evasiveness and crank tactics.

Further, Maloney, if anything, has demonstrated that the naturopathic/alternative approach has nothing to offer. The science is the science, and properly using scientific research as a basis for practice is the ideal of mainstream medicine. The optimal standard of this is what I have termed science-based medicine. Maloney, however, is laboring under the false dichotomy of “alternative” medicine. As evidence of how ultimately worthless this false category is, he pulls from the scientific literature to find alleged alternatives to science-based practice. He claims that supplements are alternative and “suspects” that I would ignore them because of this, when they have received research attention in accordance with the basic-science evidence without discriminating based upon their “supplement” status.

Lovely.

I like to think I recognize the limits of what I have to offer. For instance, one reader asked me a very specific (and very interesting) question about what method to use in a phylogeographic study. Instead of offering an answer which would be dubious at best, I simply fired off an email to one of the original researchers (and a former and hopefully future professor of mine) for the paper on which I based my post. He gave a succinct answer with a complete understanding. It would have been a display of hubris for me to take on the question alone.

But then I’m not a naturopath. I recognize the need for evidence or the awareness of evidence in order to start spouting off. Maloney, on the other hand, likes to throw out a bunch of Gish Gallop nonsense and then whine that no one is taking him seriously when they don’t spend hundreds of hours responding to his unevidenced garbage. Everyone just recognizes his complete lack of credibility since he has no evidence for any of his positions.

Of course, Maloney has already seen Dr. Novella’s post. (Frankly, I’m honestly impressed with his speed.)

I wonder if a certain unbalanced local well known to the police tipped you off about my poor little website?

Without revealing more than I should/can, the Augusta police don’t really take Maloney or his Official Police Complaint that I’m just a downright meanie very seriously.

If you encourage him enough, perhaps he will again play the midnight stalker and place hate mail on my neighbors’ porches. The encouragement of hate is a dangerous business, Dr. Novella. I suspect our mutual “friend” is trying to get the attention of his own father, a medical man like yourself. It’s called transference, and -tag- you’re it.

1) Maloney has also claimed that I intentionally went to his neighborhood to distribute my publication (“hate mail” as he calls it) at a time when I somehow magically knew he wasn’t home. So even though I knew he wouldn’t be home, I was still stalking him. Oh, and he has lied in the past about me leaving anything at his house. I specifically avoided his doorstep (and a house I couldn’t be sure wasn’t his) in order to honor his request that I do not directly contact him.

2) Given the fact my own father’s profession is not related to science in any way, I believe he means PZ when he references my father.

Dr. Novella pointed out (as did I) that Maloney did not link back to the blog post he quotes over and over. Maloney responded:

I cited your blog specifically, following all known copyright laws. I did not provide links because, my grandstanding fellow, you are very easy to find online. My own fame only arises from your attack upon me. You continue to libel me in the false headline that you and the unwashed rabble that follow you broadcast across the internet.

1) His fame arises from being in cahoots with Andreas Moritz to get my blog shut down for six days. PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Simon Singh, and half the Internet then helped restore my ability to promote science and fight quackery.

2) No one seems to understand what libel is, especially quacks. Perhaps Maloney should go talk to the British Chiropractic Association. They once had his same problem.

If you are sincere about your wishes to continue our discussion (which you have now suddenly done so after months of silence) I would be glad to do so, but I have no interest in playing for your motley crew of ignorant “science wanna-bes”.

1) This isn’t a discussion. It’s a beat down.

2) Maloney created his crappy summary site out of the blue. Shortly after I discovered it, I realized Dr. Novella would probably never see it if I didn’t send him the link. I sent it to him five days ago.

3) By continuing to address this six month old bitch slapping with all his new sites, Maloney is doing nothing but playing for everyone’s entertainment.

P.S. You are officially denied permission to reprint this letter on your hate blog. Feel free to link here, though.

Good thing he only denied Dr. Novella, right?

Oh, and quoting, citing, and addressing published work cannot somehow be denied, not “officially”, not magically, and not otherwise.

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7 Responses

  1. Baloney Maloney is so entertaining. Too bad he contributes to killing and harming people with his quackery.

  2. I have known Michael Hawkins for a total of 10 years. I have always considered him to be a caring, respectful, contientious and open minded individual. If this guy Maloney believes that Michael is in anyway trying to harm or scare him, it can be only due to Mr. Maloney’s own fear that his controversial practices will be outlawed or worse be the cause of some future criminally prosecution. Michael Hawkins has a right to promote his publication in all lawful ways. Just as in this state Mr. Maloney has the right to conceal evidence regarding researched outcomes from anyone who steps foot in his office or contacts him. Michael Hawkins has an interest in seeing certain public policies rethought. And as most anyone with strong leadership abilities can tell you, public policies don’t always adhere to science or relevant facts. Its that there are too many people without the courage to put their neck on the line for what is true. THANK YOU MICHAEL HAWKINS for being a pariah in the cause for a secular society!

  3. Creepy, you sound like you want to have his babies.

  4. No, but I do need to catch up with this man once again.

  5. Sounds like you don’t have any friends that would take the time to that for you.

    Maloney would love more correspondence from Novella, in order to twist more words around and impress the mindless dolts that agree with his nonsense.

  6. Funny enough, the only reason anyone sees anything Maloney writes is because I make posts or send links out. If I stopped looking at his sites, I doubt anyone would ever read them.

  7. It cracks me up that Maloney needs to resort to personal attacks with you, as if that bolsters his argument (his brand of ConcernTrolling is an especially nice touch). Keep it klassy, Christopher.

    P.S. Did you see where he demanded that Dr. Novella call him “doctor” . ” I would request you correct all of your online blogs to address me by the title Dr. It is legally a title I hold, and to not do so continues to make it clear to everyone reading that you are treating me with contempt, sir.”

    HE THINKS HE’S A DOCTOR ROFL!

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