Why Skeptics Are So Full Of Hot Air.

Several years ago, at the beginning of 2016, on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe forums, there was a thread about driverless cars.  All the skeptics were going on about how great it was going to be, how it will be here in two years, five years at the most, how we will overcome all the “small” problems by 2017, maybe 2019 at the latest, blah, blah.  And at the time, I had told them, well, you may want to hold on a while, its not quite as easy as you think.  And how was that met?  By a barrage of insults, of you ridiculous troll, what do you know about anything, if you wouldn’t be so ignorant and just learn, can we just block this guy moderator, on and on it went… (typical skeptic fare).

That thread was viewed 117,000 times.  There was exactly ONE person who was adamant that their time frames were wrong, that we still have a long way to go.  And boy, they sure didn’t like that.  Looking back now at the litany of nonsense the skeptics spewed kind of makes me laugh now.  Its the same nonsense you see here at TSZ every day.  Now, in 2020, some of the most ardent skeptic cheerleaders have reluctantly finally started to admit, ok, yea, you was right, it was a a lot harder than we all said.

That site is propagated by a whole host of computer programmers, professors, tech experts…and not ONE of them was even close in their predictions.  And me, oh I am just a dumb rice farmer, what do I know.

Well, I knew one thing, that’s for sure.  And that is, that when someone calls themselves a skeptic, and then starts preaching about all they know about the world, take that with the largest grain of salt you can find.  Skeptics are a cult.  They don’t think for themselves, they team up with some club narrative, and go around chanting, we are skeptics, rah, rah, close your mind and believe.  Its pervasive.  It spreads to academia, and to the church leaders like Degrasse Tyson, Shermer, Krauss, Coyne, the Novellas, and out it goes.  Rarely do we get the chance to see just how closed minded and simply wrong these preachers are, because they will never admit it.  But the driverless cars in five years evangelists, its one easy example where you can see how nutty their group-think is.  And how empty their cult actually is of dissenting voices that actually think.

I guess the main reason is that, if a person is actually curious and actually free thinking about the world, they would never, in a million years, label themselves a “skeptic.”

 

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136 thoughts on “Why Skeptics Are So Full Of Hot Air.

  1. PeterP,

    Here is what the label says under adverse reactions. Good luck:

    The following adverse reactions are listed in decreasing order of severity, without regard to causality,
    within each body system category and have been reported during clinical trials, with use of the marketed
    vaccine, or with use of monovalent or bivalent vaccine containing measles, mumps, or rubella:
    Body as a Whole
    Panniculitis; atypical measles; fever; syncope; headache; dizziness; malaise; irritability.
    Cardiovascular System
    Vasculitis.
    Digestive System
    Pancreatitis; diarrhea; vomiting; parotitis; nausea.
    Endocrine System
    Diabetes mellitus.
    Hemic and Lymphatic System
    Thrombocytopenia (see WARNINGS, Thrombocytopenia); purpura; regional lymphadenopathy;
    leukocytosis.

    Immune System
    Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such as
    angioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or
    without an allergic history.
    Musculoskeletal System
    Arthritis; arthralgia; myalgia.
    Arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic), and polyneuritis are features of infection
    with wild-type rubella and vary in frequency and severity with age and sex, being greatest in adult females
    and least in prepubertal children. This type of involvement as well as myalgia and paresthesia, have also
    been reported following administration of MERUVAX II.
    Chronic arthritis has been associated with wild-type rubella infection and has been related to persistent
    virus and/or viral antigen isolated from body tissues. Only rarely have vaccine recipients developed
    chronic joint symptoms.
    Following vaccination in children, reactions in joints are uncommon and generally of brief duration. In
    women, incidence rates for arthritis and arthralgia are generally higher than those seen in children
    (children: 0-3%; women: 12-26%),{17,56,57} and the reactions tend to be more marked and of longer
    duration. Symptoms may persist for a matter of months or on rare occasions for years. In adolescent girls,
    the reactions appear to be intermediate in incidence between those seen in children and in adult women.
    Even in women older than 35 years, these reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with
    normal activities.
    Nervous System
    Encephalitis; encephalopathy; measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE) (see
    CONTRAINDICATIONS); subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE); Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS);
    acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM); transverse myelitis; febrile convulsions; afebrile
    convulsions or seizures; ataxia; polyneuritis; polyneuropathy; ocular palsies; paresthesia.
    Encephalitis and encephalopathy have been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of
    M-M-R II or measles-, mumps-, and rubella-containing vaccine administered since licensure of these
    vaccines.
    The risk of serious neurological disorders following live measles virus vaccine administration remains
    less than the risk of encephalitis and encephalopathy following infection with wild-type measles (1 per
    1000 reported cases).{58,59}
    In severely immunocompromised individuals who have been inadvertently vaccinated with measlescontaining vaccine; measles inclusion body encephalitis, pneumonitis, and fatal outcome as a direct
    consequence of disseminated measles vaccine virus infection have been reported (see
    CONTRAINDICATIONS). In this population, disseminated mumps and rubella vaccine virus infection have
    also been reported.
    There have been reports of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) in children who did not have a
    history of infection with wild-type measles but did receive measles vaccine. Some of these cases may
    have resulted from unrecognized measles in the first year of life or possibly from the measles vaccination.
    Based on estimated nationwide measles vaccine distribution, the association of SSPE cases to measles
    vaccination is about one case per million vaccine doses distributed. This is far less than the association
    with infection with wild-type measles, 6-22 cases of SSPE per million cases of measles. The results of a
    retrospective case-controlled study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest
    that the overall effect of measles vaccine has been to protect against SSPE by preventing measles with its
    inherent higher risk of SSPE.{60}
    Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported to VAERS following measles, mumps, and rubella
    vaccination. Although a causal relationship between the Urabe strain of mumps vaccine and aseptic
    meningitis has been shown, there is no evidence to link Jeryl Lynn™ mumps vaccine to aseptic
    meningitis.
    Respiratory System
    Pneumonia; pneumonitis (see CONTRAINDICATIONS); sore throat; cough; rhinitis.
    Skin
    Stevens-Johnson syndrome; erythema multiforme; urticaria; rash; measles-like rash; pruritis.
    Local reactions including burning/stinging at injection site; wheal and flare; redness (erythema);
    swelling; induration; tenderness; vesiculation at injection site; Henoch-Schönlein purpura; acute
    hemorrhagic edema of infancy
    Special Senses — Ear
    Nerve deafness; otitis media.
    Special Senses — Eye
    Retinitis; optic neuritis; papillitis; retrobulbar neuritis; conjunctivitis.
    Urogenital System
    Epididymitis; orchitis.
    Other
    Death from various, and in some cases unknown, causes has been reported rarely following
    vaccination with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines; however, a causal relationship has not been
    established in healthy individuals (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). No deaths or permanent sequelae were
    reported in a published post-marketing surveillance study in Finland involving 1.5 million children and
    adults who were vaccinated with M-M-R II during 1982 to 1993.{61}

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  2. phoodoo: Yea, that’s my point.

    Are you really that desperate, phoodoo? I guess you are if you have to stoop this low in an attempt to salvage your position.

    I’ll give you the benefit of doubt and consider that you just missed reading this part of the sentence you truncated:

    ……..but I usually read the label/insert provided with the vaccine or medication for whatever particular information you are interested in.

    or the entire sentence for context:

    I don’t know where you start to look for info on vaccines or medications but I usually read the label/insert provided with the vaccine or medication for whatever particular information you are interested in

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  3. phoodoo:
    phoodoo,

    But give it to your child, because its safe!

    Yes, it is safe for example”

    No deaths or permanent sequelae were
    reported in a published post-marketing surveillance study in Finland involving 1.5 million children and
    adults who were vaccinated with M-M-R II during 1982 to 1993.{61}

    Can you venture a guess or provide the actual statistics for adverse outcomes in 1.5 million children and adults contracting wild-type measles? Then add rubella. Then add mumps. How does that compare with adverse events from the vaccine?

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  4. phoodoo I’ll give you a starting tidbit:

    measles results in death in 2 of 1000 infections. In 1.5 million cases of children and adults contracting measles you would expect 3000 deaths. How does that compare to the death rate due to MMR vaccine administration?

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  5. phoodoo, is blindness a adverse side effect of MMR vaccination? Do you know what the frequency of blindness is in children who contract measles? Hint: it isn’t zero.

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  6. PeterP,

    Thanks, but I won’t be relying on your safety analysis anytime soon. I also wouldn’t use the results from a narrow set of factors, involving only people in Finland, to conclude that using vaccines is always the best option.

    But thanks for your uneducated opinion. Sort of not what I was asking.

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  7. phoodoo:

    I also wouldn’t use the results from a narrow set of factors, involving only people in Finland, to conclude that using vaccines is always the best option.,

    What would you use? Or more to the pointis what info source do you use?

    But thanks for your uneducated opinion.Sort of not what I was asking.

    You asked for a website with vaccine info. Moving the goalposts? Of course!

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  8. PeterP: In 1.5 million cases of children and adults contracting measles you would expect 3000 deaths.

    This number is also wrong, where are you getting these figures?
    Furthermore, virtually ALL of those deaths are in countries that are third world, with very poor health care. In America, almost no one who gets the measles dies.

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  9. phoodoo: I also wouldn’t use the results from a narrow set of factors, involving only people in Finland, to conclude that using vaccines is always the best option.

    What results do you use to inform your opinion/decision? any specific country? Multiple countries? Where do you gather your information?

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  10. phoodoo:
    PeterP,

    Thanks, but I won’t be relying on your safety analysis anytime soon.I also wouldn’t use the results from a narrow set of factors, involving only people in Finland, to conclude that using vaccines is always the best option.

    But thanks for your uneducated opinion.Sort of not what I was asking.

    For me, the question is always whether the rate and severity of symptoms directly resulting from the vaccine are worse than if no vaccine existed for the condition. If hypothetically you’d get 500 deaths per million without any vaccine, and 5 deaths using the vaccine, this is a good cost benefit ratio, despite no vaccine being absolutely safe.

    I remember reading some anti-vaxxer claim that the Salk vaccine has a poor ratio. The statistics were that 10 people had died of polio, and six of them (the majority) had had the vaccine. The conclusion was that you were more likely to die from polio if you got the vaccine than if you didn’t. Needless to say, no mention was made of the 30,000+ worldwide deaths from polio before the vaccine was widely administered.

    From my reading, it’s very difficult to determine the effectiveness of vaccines in third world nations, because those vaccines are provided only under Democratic administrations, and withheld when Republicans are in charge (because these poor countries don’t outlaw abortions). So vaccinations are spotty and results can be ambiguous.

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  11. phoodoo: I also wouldn’t use the results from a narrow set of factors, involving only people in Finland, to conclude that using vaccines is always the best option.

    PeterP: What would you use? Or more to the pointis what info source do you use?

    phoodoo: This number is also wrong, where are you getting these figures?

    PeterP: What results do you use to inform your opinion/decision? any specific country? Multiple countries? Where do you gather your information?

    Looks like phoodoo is afraid to explain where he gets his better data about vaccines.

    Hey, phoodoo, remind me how you know the FBI uses psychics? Is it the same way that you know the ‘best option’ and when to use it?

    phoodoo: Furthermore, virtually ALL of those deaths are in countries that are third world, with very poor health care. In America, almost no one who gets the measles dies.

    The CDC notes that there were 400 to 500 deaths a year in America prior to the measles vaccine in 1963.

    Or perhaps you meant in America, if you are not poor and can afford actual healthcare, almost no one who gets the measles dies.

    I’m sure it’s what Jesus would have wanted. It’s not like this information about death rates prior to vaccines is secret. You could find it out for yourself. I won’t link it as you have a problem with everybody’s sources except your super-secret sources that let you and the other anti-vaxxers feel special with your knowledge that nobody else has.

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  12. I’ve changed my mind. Improvements in global medicine and hygiene have contributed significantly to unrestrained population growth. Let us reverse this trend, by encouraging anything that increases mortality! Go, anti-vaxxers! Also, more guns.

    2+
  13. phoodoo: This number is also wrong

    No, that number is correct for the statistically anticipated number of deaths due to 15 million cases of measles in the USA. If you beleive they are incorrect feel free to link to the ‘correct’ number derived from your secret sources.

    phoodoo: Furthermore, virtually ALL of those deaths are in countries that are third world, with very poor health care.

    If you wish to look at the anticipated number of deaths as a result of measles in third world countries then 1.5 million measles cases would result in 150,000 deaths. FAr higher than the USA.

    phoodoo: In America, almost no one who gets the measles dies.

    Sure if you consider 2 deaths for every 1000 measles cases to be almost no one. What is the death rate from the measles vaccine adverse side effects again? What does your source say is the ‘correct’ statistic to apply in these cases, phoodoo?

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  14. Allan Miller:
    I’ve changed my mind. Improvements in global medicine and hygiene have contributed significantly to unrestrained population growth. Let us reverse this trend, by encouraging anything that increases mortality! Go, anti-vaxxers! Also, more guns.

    Natural selection with some help? 😉

    I hope we never get to the point where people will be forced to take flu shots, or else…
    But other, well proven and necessary vaccines, that have been around for a long time, should probably be given, one at a time to toddlers, but especially boys, just in case science is not 100% certain yet…

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  15. J-Mac: But other, well proven and necessary vaccines

    What is a necessary vaccine?

    J-Mac: should probably be given, one at a time to toddlers,

    Why one at a time?

    How many pathogens is a toddler with a mouthful of dirt exposed too in that instant? More than one?

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  16. PeterP: What is a necessary vaccine?

    HPV vs polio, for example

    PeterP: Why one at a time?

    No simple answer exists… There maybe a connection between the vaccination overload (too many vaccines) and an autoimmune response leading to some brain developmental issues especially in boys…
    No conclusive evidence exist, for now…

    PeterP: How many pathogens is a toddler with a mouthful of dirt exposed too in that instant? More than one?

    The more the better, world leading microbiologists claims… 😉

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  17. J-Mac: HPV vs polio, for example

    Preventing polio is necessary but preventing cervical, and other, cancer is not necessary. How does that work, i.e., why the distinction between the two?

    J-Mac: No simple answer exists

    What you meant to say is that no rational answer exists. You’d have to ignore pretty much all of immunology to think that a few vaccines taxes the immune system.

    J-Mac: There maybe a connection between the vaccination overload (too many vaccines) and an autoimmune response leading to some brain developmental issues especially in boys

    then again maybe not….correct? Have any citations to support your allegations?

    J-Mac: No conclusive evidence exis

    True! there is no evidence that supports linking vaccines to autism.

    J-Mac: The more the better, world leading microbiologists claims

    Name some names!

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  18. jmac is the HPV versus polio vaccine your sole example of a necessary versus unecesarry vaccine?

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  19. J-Mac: There maybe a connection between the vaccination overload (too many vaccines)

    What is the actual scientific evidence that vaccination overload is a real thing?
    This WHO page notes:

    available scientific data show that simultaneous vaccination with multiple vaccines has no adverse effect on the normal childhood immune system.

    It seems J-Mac must know something they do not.

    It seems to me that by promulgating the idea that “vaccination overload” exists you discourage some people from getting them at all.

    So, J-Mac, unless you want to be a purveyor of lies, could you link to the evidence?

    1+
  20. PeterP: Preventing polio is necessary but preventing cervical, and other, cancer is not necessary. How does that work, i.e., why the distinction between the two?

    Have you ever heard of prevention? No, eh? 😉 It has less undesirable side-effects but it doesn’t feel as goooood… 😉

    PeterP: What you meant to say is that no rational answer exists.

    No yet… If there is, you, and people like you, will never know 🙁

    PeterP: You’d have to ignore pretty much all of immunology to think that a few vaccines taxes the immune system.

    It’s easy for you but if you had watched your kid turn into a mute within a few weeks of vaccination, you’d think twice, perhaps…

    PeterP: True! there is no evidence that supports linking vaccines to autism.

    Even if there were, this would neither change anything, nor you…

    PeterP: Name some names!

    There is no paper, if that’s what you are looking for to my best recollection but I will check my email … A conference few years back…A Swiss microbiologist says . the West is too sterile therefore allergies, low immunity etc… When he was a kid, he ate carrots strait from his grandmother’s garden without washing…
    Today, veggies have to be treated with some antibacterial stuff before they can be shipped to his store… Something like that…

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  21. PeterP:
    jmac is the HPV versus polio vaccine your sole example of a necessary versus unecesarry vaccine?

    So, I wasted all this time for an uninformed idiot?
    There is just no way we can keep you on … 😉

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  22. J-Mac: So, I wasted all this time for an uninformed idiot?

    Uninformed? Hardly. but it is easy to see that the HPV versus polio is the sole member of your list of necessary versus unecessary vaccines.

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  23. J-Mac: Have you ever heard of prevention?

    sure like in vaccine preventable diseases!

    Are you advocating the cessation, or prevention, of sex between humans, young, old, and middle age? Seems like an untenable idea to me. How are you proposing to implement such a policy? Seems easier and much more efficacious to adminsiter a vaccine which would prevent nearly ALL cervical cancer as well as other associated cancers.

    J-Mac: It’s easy for you but if you had watched your kid turn into a mute within a few weeks of vaccination

    Likely symptoms were already present prior to vaccination.

    J-Mac: Even if there were, this would neither change anything

    Sure follow the evidence where it leads and do not make unsupported claims or base
    positions supported soley by ‘the evidence doesn’t exist yet’. That seems like a stupid idea but I always consider the source.

    J-Mac: There is no paper, if that’s what you are looking for to my best recollection

    The hygeine hypothesis has been around for a long time. Typically it is associated with the increased cases of paraylitic polio in the 1950’s.

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  24. J-Mac: Have you ever heard of prevention? No, eh? It has less undesirable side-effects but it doesn’t feel as goooood…

    Presumably you and your wife were both virgins when you met? Presumably you also believe that your children will also be when they eventually wed.

    Or is it that the effects are mainly suffered by women so it does not matter to you so much?

    Or perhaps it is that it is seen by you as just punishment for sex outside marriage?

    Do tell. As right now it seems to me you would prefer your children had cancer then enjoy sex outside marriage. Given that approximately 3-5% of Americans who ever marry are virgins at the time of their first marriage that seems the most likely outcome, as presumably you wont’ be getting your children the HPV vaccine.

    What will you tell your daughter when she asks you why she did not get it and that it could have prevented her cancer?

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  25. J-Mac: Another one…Looks like agripa will make his reappearance soon… The Alzhe Club…
    God help us!

    Facts don’t matter. Check.

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  26. OMagain: What will you tell your daughter when she asks you why she did not get it and that it could have prevented her cancer?

    Or if one of his sons infect his wife, who might or might not be a virgin prior to marriage, and the end result is cervical cancer. Males are not exempt from HPV related cancer.

    OMagain: Facts don’t matter. Check.

    It certainly isn’t a case of following the evidence where it leads. Appears more of a case of following not yet existing evidence to where ‘I’ (jmac) wish it would lead.

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  27. One prime example of this skeptic mindset I recently saw online, is from Robert Sapolsky, a Stanford neuro-endocrinologist. I started listening to one of his lectures online, about the limbic system or something, and only a few minutes into one of his lectures, I could already recognize the tell-tale skeptic/atheist talking points.

    So I looked up more on him, and of course there is was, the biologist here to tell us all about his take on God and religion, because, why not, he is a clan member after all, of course this is what an endocrinology professor is going to be spending most of his time preaching about. Welcome to academia folks. he even got a glowing mention from Jerry Coyne, praising him for his Freedom From Religion Foundation award, whoppeee. Separation of church and state only goes one way in the worlds of Jerry Coyne and all.

    Biologists sure hate it when religious scholars talk about religion, but they pretty much love it when biologists talk about religion. Self-appointed experts. I am sure he must have a speech all about global warming out there somewhere, or about Lee Harvey Oswald.

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  28. phoodoo: Self-appointed experts. I am sure he must have a speech all about global warming out there somewhere, or about Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Maybe vaccines.

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  29. Suppose you don’t know that having more than one partner puts you at risk of cervical cancer…
    Suppose you live few thousand years ago…
    Suppose someone tells you those facts long, long time ago…

    Exodus 20:14

    “You shall not commit adultery”.

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

    “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God….”

    How could someone know those facts few thousand years ago, what scientists discovered to be the facts just recently?

    If you are from the The Alzhe Club, or worse, I don’t want to be told what to do club, no matter what the facts or truth club, than you need prevention of your choice with the side-effects and poor effectiveness criticized by experts…

    Effectiveness of HPV Vaccination Heralded Despite Criticism of Studies

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/924113

    This is the beauty of choice… 😉

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  30. Next up, on the infinite list of hot air skeptics, Brian Greene.

    You know the mathematician, and string theorist, who is going to tell us all about biology, and how consciousness emerges, and anything he has not training in.

    Religion, of course, another New Atheist, just listen to him talk about anything over 1.2 minutes.

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