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reason | Contriving

Tag Archives: reason

Our alien benefactors

Ten years ago a powerful alien race appeared in the skies above humanity’s major cities.

These aliens are so far in advance of our technical abilities that they have what seems to be magical powers.  Remember Clarke’s third law:  “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  These aliens, who call themselves the Oodat, claim to have experience all over the universe helping species like humans reach their full potential and in fact to reach a state of “perfection”.  They’ve helped millions of species.  If you accept them at their word, you have no reason to doubt that they know whats better for you than you yourself does.

To receive their aid, all you have to do is do what they say.  Because of their unique history, they have many customs for you to follow.  For example, they have a large digital archive full of advice and stories from their past that they require you to read from every day.  They require you to gather together with other like-minded individuals and read from this archive together and listen to others expound upon what they think this archive means to you.  The Oodat require you to hold them in…something even more than esteem and appreciation.  Maybe the right word is reverence.

The most important part of the Oodat’s requirements is this:  you must reject the any ideas that could possibly be construed as not agreeing with what they’ve taught you no matter what the outside evidence.  Not only that, you must also reject any people who aren’t living up to the requirements the Oodat have set out for you.

After awhile, it becomes apparent that many people who follow the Oodat actually are happier.  Of course, it isn’t possible to know whether they are actually on the way to perfection, but the evidence for some people is that their lives are better.

On the flip side, some people actually seem to be worse off.  There are conflicts on the edges between people who follow the Oodat and those who don’t.  Even people who are happier under the Oodat’s tutelage lie, murder, and steal just like other humans.

Would you follow the Oodat?

Say you knew that the Oodat were legit, and actually had raised people of many species to “perfection”.  Would you follow them?

What if you realized that your idea of perfection wasn’t the same as the next person contemplating following the Oodat?

What if you realized that the Oodat’s idea of perfection was different from your own?

Naturalnews.com is misleading to further their anti-vaccine agenda

Someone recently pointed me to an article on Naturalnews.com.  It’s idiocy blew my mind.

I probably shouldn’t even dignify it with a rebuttal, but I can’t help myself.

#1) Where are the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies proving flu vaccines are both safe and effective?
Answer: There aren’t any.

The CDC would like to disagree.  Even if there weren’t such studies, we have to make decisions based upon the best available evidence and every study that has been done points to the flu vaccine being effective and safe.

#2) Where, then, is the so-called “science” backing the idea that flu vaccines work at all?
Answer: Other than “cohort studies,” there isn’t any. And the cohort studies have been thoroughly debunked. Scientifically speaking, there isn’t a scrap of honest evidence showing flu vaccines work at all.

See the previous question.  Studies of flu vaccine effectiveness have not been “thoroughly debunked”.  If this was so how come the scientific consensus still supports the use of the flu vaccine?

#3) How can methyl mercury (Thimerosal, a preservative used in flu vaccines) be safe for injecting into the human body when mercury is an extremely toxic heavy metal?
Answer: It isn’t safe at all. Methyl mercury is a poison. Along with vaccine adjuvants, it explains why so many people suffer autism or other debilitating neurological side effects after being vaccinated.

Point number one, thimerosal is ethyl mercury, not methyl mercury which is a critical difference as ethyl mercury doesn’t accumulate in the body like methyl mercury.  Regardless of that, almost all evidence points to no ill effects from thimerosal in vaccines.

As Wikipedia says:

Most conclusively, eight major studies (as of 2008) examined the effect of reductions or removal of thiomersal from vaccines. All eight demonstrated that autism rates failed to decline despite removal of thiomersal, arguing strongly against a causative role.

On to their next point…

#4) Why do reports keep surfacing of children and teens suffering debilitating neurological disorders, brain swelling, seizures and even death following flu vaccines or HPV vaccines?
Answer: Because vaccines are dangerous. The vaccine industry routinely dismisses all such accounts — no matter how many are reported — as “coincidence.”

I don’t even understand how this is an actual argument.

Correlation is not the same thing as causation.  I’m sure hundreds of people have got in car accidents after getting a flu vaccine as well.  Is that the flu vaccine’s fault?

#5) Why don’t doctors recommend vitamin D for flu protection, especially when vitamin D activates the immune response far better than a vaccine? (http://www.naturalnews.com/027231_V…)
Answer: Because vitamin D can’t be patented and sold as “medicine.” You can make it yourself. If you want more vitamin D, you don’t even need a doctor, and doctors tend not to recommend things that put them out of business

Oh gosh, a conspiracy theory.  Why didn’t I see that coming?  It’s not an either/or situation.  Vitamin D does strengthen the immune system.  However, a strong immune system doesn’t keep you from getting the flu.

I’ll finish up with my rebuttal in my next post.

Reasonable is not the same as Right

I came across a forum post sharing this interesting story:

How Mil Specs Live Forever

The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English people build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did “they” use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that’s the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

So who built these old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts? The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for or by Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

Thus, we have the answer to the original questions. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification (Military Spec) for an Imperial Roman army war chariot.

MilSpecs and Bureaucracies live forever.

So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse’s ass came up with it, you may be exactly right. Because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.

Wild, yet reasonable!  More after the fold…

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