I enjoy sciblogs in that it provides a forum for those who are interested in science to exchange and debate ideas. Occasionally someone will come along who posts what might be described as “alternative” views, at which point most bloggers will politely attempt to correct any factual errors and explain how science works. Even when such posters persist in anti-scientific and sometimes rude comments, the most common response is to reiterate the facts, perhaps with a little more terseness than usual. At no point have I ever come across any sort of demonisation of the poster.
It would appear however, the same consideration is not extended on less scientifically orientated sites. In a recent tirade against GMO and those who support it Mike Adams of Natural News felt the need to make the following comments:
“Today’s “scientism” followers (the cult worshippers who call themselves “science bloggers”) don’t value life, knowledge or truth. For some astonishing reason, they pick the most evil side of every issue. On the issue of GMOs, for example, they automatically side with Monsanto and DuPont, calling for more biotech Frankenseed interventions that threaten the very future of life on our planet.
On the issue of Big Pharma and the mass-drugging of world citizens with patented synthetic chemicals, the science bloggers of course side with the drug companies! Big Pharma and the FDA can do no wrong in their eyes, and the solution to health is, they say, found in prescribing more chemicals to more people!
If these people were living back in the 1950’s, they would no doubt side with Big Tobacco, because the “science” at that time said cigarettes were actually good for you!”
Now, I don’t mind debating the pros and cons of various scientific technologies with people on a factual basis, but I do take exception to such outrageous and incorrect assertions about science bloggers. The article in question is nothing more than a series of slurs, generalisations and cherry picked information taken out of context, combined with conspiracy theories.
Sometimes this type of article makes me want to reply in kind. I’m sure I could come up with just as many barbed, emotionally charged inaccuracies as the next guy. However it is not the kind of argument I consider worthy of a science blog. It may sometimes feel like we are defending ourselves with one arm tied behind our backs, but in the long run clear communication and good science should win out.