That’s how you do it

Remember that scumbag Lawrence Stowe*?

Stowe charges exorbitant sums of money so he can insert IVs into people in some dank, run-down building in Mexico. One family sold their home to pay for Stowe’s bogus treatments. Others have paid tens of thousands of dollars of their savings with no results.

It’s hard to be a big fan of any sort of news that comes from TV these days, but there is still some worthwhile stuff that comes out of investigative reporting. Originating from “60 Minutes”, that information on Stowe should make everyone happy there are still good reporters out there.

In fact, I have to admit I’m a little jealous. I took part in the successful marring of the web presence of Andreas Moritz, another lying quack who steals from sick people. (I only say marred because while there are still hundreds of sites out there that expose him as the quack he is, he has unfortunately regained some footing, at least insofar as Google search** is concerned. However, the hits I get on my posts about him go through the same rough fluctuations as they did when I was number 2 in searches for his name. This isn’t so bad when considering 1) PZ’s post is going to obviously be more prominent and 2) typing “Andreas Moritz” into Google pops up several options, one of which is “quack”.) But this hardly compares with taking down a quack nationally as “60 Minutes” did.

And, of course, there’s our old friend Christopher Maloney. Google searches for his name bring up a lot of unrelated results, but “is a quack” remains a Google suggestion and a search of his name with “Maine” added brings up a whole slew of excellent and honest results. Regardless, this still isn’t much compared to the success of “60 Minutes”.

But these schmucks responded to criticism all wrong. They whined and moaned and tried to get an undergraduate’s blog shut down under the threat of a libel lawsuit and blah blah blah. They’re quacks and they sell snake oil in one form or another by virtue of their ‘professions’, so none of this was that surprising. But Lawrence Stowe is also a sleazy piece of trash; he causes real harm to the health of others, too. But what has his response been? Take a look.

Thank you for your interest in the Stowe Foundation. As a non-profit public charity our mission is to make available to the public an understanding of the human immune system through scientifically validated principles of Regenerative Medicine.

It isn’t until the second page of selling his snake oil that he even mentions “60 Minutes”. And when he does mention the show, he buries its relevance in a hog pile of pseudoscience and lies.

Stowe was clearly a bumbling buffoon when he was pinned down in front of the cameras. That’s what usually happens to snake oil salesman, and I suspect in front of a PZ Myers or Dr. Novella, bosom buddies Moritz and Maloney would suffer the same pathetic fate. But writing, especially on the Internet, is a different beast. Stowe doesn’t have to spend his time responding to every ounce of criticism flung his way; he knows he can’t. Just like the bosom buddies, he knows he’s utterly wrong in all the things he claims. Just as Moritz knows iridology offers no insight into other bodily ailments, and just as Maloney knows black elderberry absolutely does not “block” H1N1, Stowe knows he cannot cure ALS or any other disease. But unlike the bosom buddies, Stowe hasn’t deluded himself. He’s acutely aware that the falsity of his claims are not going to fool anyone. He knows he needs to dodge all criticism, not meet it head-on.

He’s a particularly dangerous snake oil salesman.

*I bring Stowe up again due to a sudden surge in hits. It appears “60 Minutes” updated their article on him (with what particular details, I’m not sure). It also appears that I’m number 2 in Google searches for his name. That would make me much happier if there were another 10,000 posts and articles about the scumbag immediately after FTSOS. (Or before. It isn’t about me; it’s about exposing quacks.)

**Another Google suggestion after searching for Moritz is “Wikipedia”. I took a look. Yes, Moritz has a Wikipedia page. And, gee, imagine that. Not a single disparaging word. Strange, huh? I wonder if that will change any time soon…


Thought of the day

When there is a fraud within science, who exposes him? Other scientists, of course. But for all the frauds about in alternative medicine, do alt-med ‘practitioners’ ever expose each other?

Stephen Hawking states the obvious

Just like with Einstein, theists love to usurp the words Stephen Hawking to pretend as though he’s a believer. It’s long been obvious that that is not the case. Recent statements now make this more clear.

In “The Grand Design,” co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” Hawking writes.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

This ought to be clear.

It’s unfortunate that literary devices are often abused. Recall when Hawking ended “A Brief History of the Universe” by referencing “the mind of God”. We have dozens of other statements from the man, including these most recent ones, which show that he rejects religion and silly superstition. But does this stop all the lying and/or ignorant theists? Of course not. Really, it’s sad that they think by having a prominent scientist on their side of belief that they’ve actually bolstered the case for God, but I’m more offended by the utter willingness to misrepresent a person’s views.

Again, this all should be clear – and it should have been clear almost 20 years ago.