I’ve added some more claims and references to the Vaccinations topic today. In the process I stumbled across a site that seriously knocks the credibility of Quackwatch, and its founder Stephen Barrett, M.D. The Quackwatch article on Mercury Dental Amalgam, along with a brief summary of its salient points on the letterhead of the NZ Dental Association, are the “evidence” given to patients who question the safety of installing toxic heavy metals in their mouth.

“Skeptics” like Barrett, give being sceptical a bad name. Their claim to be interested only in the value-neutral pursuit of scientific truth simply does not gel with their vitriolic attacks on anyone who comes to different conclusions from them, or has beliefs about things which are outside the capacity of empirical science to study. I written a primer on my issues with “Skeptics”, and what being sceptical means to me, and encourage anyone researching controversial topics to use and contribute info and references to Sourcewatch.

Filed September 11th, 2010 under Uncategorized

Drilling for Truth (D4T) began on the wiki of the Disintermedia project. Today I have moved those pages to this separate project, which can be edited by anyone with a CoActivate account. I am hoping to attract a broad range of independent researchers to add their knowledge and evidence to the D4T pages, and since some bleeding edge researchers tend not to be joiners, I thought a separate project with a more liberal edit rule might help (Disintermedia only allows edits by team members.).

At present there are 7 topics on the wiki. Each of these needs more work to identify claims, and counterclaims, and link to examples, and to relevant evidence. Some claims for which there are no counterclaims need to be moved into a separate section, ‘uncontroversial facts about…’. The Drug Law Reform topic is one that hasn’t really been properly begun, and I intend to make time to work on it in the next few months, so it can be a reference resource for the 2011 general election campaign here in Aotearoa. Other topics could be added.

Some may ask why I don’t simply contribute to the relevant wikipedia pages. Certainly, the information aggregated on D4T could be used by those researching wikipedia edits, but the answer is that I want to experiment with a different way of presenting the information. By breaking down complex and often emotive controversies into simple claims and counter-claims, it is easier to see that these issues are never as simple as picking a ’side’ to believe. People can look at the evidence for both sides of a particular claim, and come to their own conclusions.

I welcome you to explore the D4T pages, and add to them as you see fit. Let’s see what we can learn together.

Nau te raurau, naku te raurau, ka ora ai te iwi

(By working together, we serve the greatest good of the people)

Ngaa mihi


Filed September 6th, 2010 under Uncategorized