Author Topic: Episode # 194  (Read 14648 times)

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Offline MisterMarc

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Re: Episode # 194
« Reply #120 on: April 25, 2009, 02:09:33 AM »
While I disagree that religions don't swindle money from people, it really doesn't matter. The point is moot either way. Motive has no bearing on the truth-claim of a group. Ghost believers don't try to swindle people out of money all the time...many are genuinely interested in the paranormal, and simply go out and look for ghosts. They don't have to be making a profit dishonestly for me to say that their claims hold no water. The same could be said of UFOlogists.

Maybe you've hit on an even bigger point here ... maybe for such things as the podcast its great fun to be skeptical about ghost believers and UFOologists.  But when it comes to actually devoting the resources of the skeptical movement, we should leave it alone just as much as religion.  And in as much as they aren't being malicious to anyone (or cheating them out of money, etc.), we are welcome to express our personal opinions and evidences that they are wrong - as you are welcome to express your opinion that my beliefs are wrong - but that we should be careful not to personally insult them, either.

The idea being that we shouldn't give up our skeptical attitude our keep our mouth shut about the things we see around us which are ridiculous (though we should be careful not to offend when speaking our minds), BUT that the things we should really get out and DO things about, ORGANIZE ourselves against/for, spend money, have meetings about, etc. should be teaching pure science (i.e. evolution, not creationism) in school, stopping the sale of homeopathic medicine, the passage of eco-friendly laws (research, protection, etc.), that kind of thing.

Insofar as these skeptical "resources" exist, I agree that devoting them to the harmful rather than harmless (whether any is truly harmless is another matter) would be a priority. When it comes to running our mouths, however, I prefer a more no-holds-barred attitude. ;)

Offline mddawson

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Re: Episode # 194
« Reply #121 on: April 25, 2009, 04:43:40 AM »
After thinking about it I must disagree that the LDS in non-profit.  Just because it obtains money through donations and does not pay its "staff" does not mean the organisation as a whole does not make a profit - $30 billion in assets is testament that the LDS acquires wealth - profit.

"I only take scientific comments when they are peer-reviewed rather than being published in a small local newspaper or scratched on a toilet wall somewhere."
Professor Peter Brown (2005).

Offline Citizen Skeptic

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Re: Episode # 194
« Reply #122 on: April 25, 2009, 11:19:15 AM »
And secondly, the church is a nonprofit organization.  So don't try to equate it to con artists stealing money using pseudo science, like chi-energy, homeopothy, etc. etc.

I have a problem with churches being non-profits, or better stated, tax exempt. That means to some degree I am financing your nice temple and choir in SLC. I have as much trouble with that as financing the Church of Scientology's tax free status, and frankly, I don't see much of a difference between believing in Xenu or believing in some mythological or made-up God. Why should that warrant tax-free status again?
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Offline skepticmormon

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Re: Episode # 194
« Reply #123 on: April 25, 2009, 11:40:58 AM »
At this point I am taking my leave of this debate.  I have made my points.  I feel that overall I have argued them well.  At times I have strayed off course, perhaps even occasionally putting my foot in my mouth, but overall I have done my job and I think you all know what my real intentions were.  It was not to argue that the LDS church is a valid religion, or to argue that it is a non-profit organization.  It was to make a point about putting differences asside, working together, and focusing our energies on the most important and damaging problems.

A few took my points quite well.  Others disagreed completely, which is fine.  Unfortunately, yet others completely ignored my points, and instead took to mocking my religion - and succeeded in getting me off course several times, but this did have some fruit as it brought up another point that when being skeptical, we should always be careful not to personally offend anyway.  No matter what crazy things people choose to believe in, they are PEOPLE.  We can present to them logic and science, and beg that they listen to reason, and if they are harming others with their ignorance, we can speak strongly to them and use the law and politics against them, but we must not insult them like uneducated, juniour high bullies.  It's unbecoming of the educated, intelligent people we are supposed to be.

So again I take my leave.  If you ever hear from me again, it will be under a different username and not on this thread.  Continue discussing the topic as you will, if you feel it a worthy topic of conversation, or if you are glad to be rid of it, let it die.  Hopefully I have made some small impact.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 11:43:53 AM by skepticmormon »

Offline seaotter

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Re: Episode # 194
« Reply #124 on: April 25, 2009, 12:16:47 PM »
Talk about stayin in the shallow end of an argument.
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline KGelling

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"Vitamin D supplementation may exacerbate autoimmune disease" ?
« Reply #125 on: July 01, 2009, 09:19:39 AM »
I heard this and thought I know Vitamin D3 is safe when we create it in our skin (otherwise we'd all be dark-skinned to prevent UVB rays), so I wonder what aspect of "Vitamin D supplementation" is causing the problem.  Is it the type of vitamin D or how much is taken or how the body absorbs it if it is administered orally, etc.?

So 'skeptic' hat on, let's dig deeper:

Okay, so following the link on the Podcast #194 takes me to a news story at EurekAlert!

Here are some quotes from the article:
  • 1. "a review"
  • 2. "appearing in Autoimmunity Reviews"
  • 3. "Authored by a team of researchers at the California-based non-profit Autoimmunity Research Foundation"
  • 4. "Written under the guidance of professor Trevor Marshall of Murdoch University"

1. It is review not new research.  It could be a balanced look at current research but it could also be an opinion piece.

2. It is published in a peer-reviewed publication.  That's good.  I'm unable access to the review details though as it requires a subscription.

3. Autoimmunity Research Foundation - "is a 501(c)3 charity whose educational efforts are focused on letting Health Professionals, and the public, know the cause of Th1 chronic inflammatory disease".

That sounds respectable.  The Foundation's website has links to more information of Th1 chronic inflammatory disease.

It also refers to The Marshall Protocol.  That's the name of the review's lead author Trevor Marshall.  So there could be a risk of bias on the author's part, if there's already a protocol with his name on it.

I don't have expertise to assess the science behind the Protocol's details.  Although I note that there is a lack of references.

4.  Who's Trevor Marshall?

From Wikipedia "Trevor Marshall received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Western Australia", "Trevor Marshall founded the Autoimmunity Research Foundation ... to ... promote the Marshall Pathogenesis" and "Marshall's theories are considered highly controversial".

The Wikipedia article is in dispute and talk page makes interesting reading too.

Conclusions

There's too much doubt here.  I don't think "new research suggests that Vitamin D supplementation may exacerbate autoimmune disease" qualifies as science.

Someone should tell Rebecca.  ;)

« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 05:30:10 PM by KGelling »

Offline Kim Barron

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Re: "Vitamin D supplementation may exacerbate autoimmune disease" ?
« Reply #126 on: October 03, 2009, 05:04:16 PM »
I heard this and thought I know Vitamin D3 is safe when we create it in our skin (otherwise we'd all be dark-skinned to prevent UVB rays), so I wonder what aspect of "Vitamin D supplementation" is causing the problem.  Is it the type of vitamin D or how much is taken or how the body absorbs it if it is administered orally, etc.?

So 'skeptic' hat on, let's dig deeper:

Okay, so following the link on the Podcast #194 takes me to a news story at EurekAlert!

Here are some quotes from the article:
  • 1. "a review"
  • 2. "appearing in Autoimmunity Reviews"
  • 3. "Authored by a team of researchers at the California-based non-profit Autoimmunity Research Foundation"
  • 4. "Written under the guidance of professor Trevor Marshall of Murdoch University"

1. It is review not new research.  It could be a balanced look at current research but it could also be an opinion piece.

2. It is published in a peer-reviewed publication.  That's good.  I'm unable access to the review details though as it requires a subscription.

3. Autoimmunity Research Foundation - "is a 501(c)3 charity whose educational efforts are focused on letting Health Professionals, and the public, know the cause of Th1 chronic inflammatory disease".

That sounds respectable.  The Foundation's website has links to more information of Th1 chronic inflammatory disease.

It also refers to The Marshall Protocol.  That's the name of the review's lead author Trevor Marshall.  So there could be a risk of bias on the author's part, if there's already a protocol with his name on it.

I don't have expertise to assess the science behind the Protocol's details.  Although I note that there is a lack of references.

4.  Who's Trevor Marshall?

From Wikipedia "Trevor Marshall received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Western Australia", "Trevor Marshall founded the Autoimmunity Research Foundation ... to ... promote the Marshall Pathogenesis" and "Marshall's theories are considered highly controversial".

The Wikipedia article is in dispute and talk page makes interesting reading too.

Conclusions

There's too much doubt here.  I don't think "new research suggests that Vitamin D supplementation may exacerbate autoimmune disease" qualifies as science.

Someone should tell Rebecca.  ;)

Has anything further been heard about this subject?  Since my husband has a couple autoimmune disorders I am interested to find out.

Offline kungfujoe

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Re: "Vitamin D supplementation may exacerbate autoimmune disease" ?
« Reply #127 on: October 03, 2009, 06:32:13 PM »
Has anything further been heard about this subject?  Since my husband has a couple autoimmune disorders I am interested to find out.
If I recall correctly, there was an update on this specific story in one of the more recent episodes of SGU, and Steve apologized for not checking his sources better. As he explained, the story is completely lacking in credibility, and goes against everything that is known from existing research.

I too have an interest in this because of some issues my wife has.  I played her the original audio clip, and she was skeptical (rimshot!), but was interested in hearing the claims and looking into them.  When the retraction was played, I played that clip for her as well.
Erik Harris
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