Stephen Gets Controversial pt. 1
The mission statement for TheHealthySkeptics.com and my FB blog is simple: Helping health-conscious people to know “What to Explore and What to Ignore.” As we enter our third year, I want to express my gratitude to Healthy Skeptics members and friends who understand how important it is to have critical voices in the natural health arena. In that regard, I want to raise a serious concern. You see, everyone likes the Explore part.
Those posts get four to five times the number of likes and shares compared to posts that focus on products and programs we think you should Ignore. Those generate a lot of push-back (which we invite and appreciate) but the tone and content of push-back tends to be strikingly unscientific, along three main lines:
1. How dare you criticize my favorite company/ health guru/ product!
2. You must be a shill for Big Pharma.
3. You don’t know what you’re talking about. This company/ health guru/ product is beyond your limited understanding of science.
Hopefully, everyone reading this blog knows that Natalie and I are wedded, not only to each other, but also to the scientific method. This means that we start – every time – with the possibility that we are wrong.
What we bring to each discussion, therefore, is a rational and carefully referenced point of view. The question is, why is that so often met with anger and accusations? Why is it so very rare that those pushing back come forward with reasonable evidence to support their point of view?
I think the answer to that question gets to a core failing of the natural health arena; which undermines the credibility of the industry and more important, reduces the chance of you experiencing real benefits from efficacious products and programs.
Can you think of another area of science where critical thinking and healthy skepticism is frowned upon? True science not only invites push-back, we depend on it, in order for all of us to move forward with confidence. Peer review is sometimes brutal, but always necessary.
Nothing like that exists in the natural health arena. Instead, it is a free-for-all where bizarre theories and outlandish claims go unchallenged and consumers are left to wade through the swamp of confusion, wasting their money, and even worse, wasting time.
I’m posting this excellent Webaloney Detection Kit, hoping that you will keep it in your download file. Send it to anyone posting miracle claims or “breakthrough” information. Let’s raise the bar and make it harder for the scammers, fear-mongers and conspiracy nuts. Thoughts?
Joy Page – I absolutely LOVE Stephen Cherniske. Please keep this web baloney detection kit. In fact, forward it liberally.
If we all follow it maybe the web can become a more trusted place for information.
Ron Lloyd – I have experienced the same push back and name calling from so called friends, I have gotten to the point I won’t even bother trying to help people anymore unless they ask. I’ll only worry about myself and families health… (and even then I get some sh!t 🙂 ) Thanks for all you do!
Sherry Gazzigli – Oh the internet full of experts. Right? I can only imagine the kind of things people say to you. I appreciate you and having two people that are passionate about sorting through the bs. I defiantly trust your information much more than the general public that think they know it all. Thank you again for all you do. I do not have access to the information that you both have and I am grateful that you are willing to share it.
Steven Goethner – I appreciate what you 2 bring to my education. It’s humorous that there are people who don’t respect your credentials. That’s laughable! Thank you for all that you do.