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How to spot “alternative scientists”.

Filed under: — rasmus @ 12 August 2020

Recently, a so-called “white coat summit” gave me a sense of dejavu. It was held by a group that calls itself ‘America’s Frontline Doctors’ (AFD) that consisted of about a dozen people wearing white coats to the effect of achieving an appearance of being experts on medical matters.

 

The AFD apparently wanted to address a “massive disinformation campaign” (what irony) and counter the medical advice from real health experts. This move has a similar counterpart in climate science, where some individuals also have claimed to be experts and dismissed well-established scientific facts, eg. that emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels results in global warming.

 

Climate science is not the only discipline where we see confusion sown by a small number of “renegades”. A few white-coated scholars have disputed the well-established danger of tobacco. We see similar attitudes among the “Intelligent Design” community and the so-called “anti-vaxxers”.

 

Statistically speaking, we should not be surprised by a few contrarians who have an exceptional opinion within a large scientific community. It is to be expected from a statistical point of view where there is a range of opinions, so there should be little reason to make a big deal out it.

 

On the other hand, there are some fascinating stories to be told. Sometimes there are individuals who can be described as “crackpots” and “quakesalvers” (e.g. a scholar believing in dowsing rods among the climate renegades and some within the AFD who talk about demons). Hollywood has even realized that some scientists may be mad, which has given us the familiar term “mad scientist”. But all “renegades” may of course not necessarily be mad.

 

Nevertheless, according to Snopes, the background of the individuals of the AFD is rather colourful. And there is nothing in the background provided about them that gave me any confidence in their judgement. On the contrary.

 

A sign that should trigger a big warning is that Snopes found it difficult to see who the AFD really are or where their conclusions really come from. The transparency is lacking and their story is murky. Especially so if the results have not been published through renowned peer-reviewed scientific journals. This is something we have seen time and again with climate change contrarians.

 

Any claim would be more convincing if colleagues independently are able to replicate the work and get the same results (without finding anything wrong with the process). This would require transparency and openness.

 

Another sign that should make you skeptical is if the claims have a dogmatic character. The AFD address is all dogma. This is also typical among the science deniers.

 

It’s also typical that the extreme fringes cannot falsify the established science and therefore move on to conspiracy theories. In the case of AFD, it is the alleged “massive disinformation campaign”.

 

Should we take such fringe views seriously? This type of “infodemics” seems to become a growing problem as described in a feature article in Physics World July 2020: ‘Fighting flat-Earth Theory’. The term “infodemic” reflects the fact that false information is just as contagious as an epidemic. Imposters dressed in white coats peddling false information can cause harm if people take them seriously.

 

The damage caused by erroneous information and conspiracy theories is discussed in the HBO documentary ‘After truth’, and the wildest claims can spread like a rampant disease as shown in that film.

We have witnessed how misinformation and lack of trust of true medical sciences have caused bad situations in some countries, while in others (eg. New Zealand, Canada, and some Nordic countries) the pandemic has been kept under control because the general public in general has followed the scientific health advice.

 

There is a common denominator when it comes to the AFD, anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, “intelligent design”, chem-trail evangelists and those dismissing climate science. I think it may be useful to join forces within the broader scientific community to help the general public understand the real issues. This effort should also be on more general terms. People have a right to reliable and truthful information. Everybody should understand that anyone who spreads bullshit or lies also shows you a great deal of disrespect. The same goes for platforms spreading disinformation.

 

So what can we do to make people understand how science works and enhance the general science literacy? Is it better to teach people how to spot these “alternative scientists” (the term is inspired by “alternative facts”), conspiracy theories, and falsehoods, if we show a range of examples from different disciplines? We can probably learn from each others. There seems to be a lesson to be learned from the pandemic.

249 Responses to “How to spot “alternative scientists”.”

  1. 151
    Radge Havers says:

    “American Thinker,” [snort].

  2. 152
    nigelj says:

    KIA @146

    “The number of COVID patients who were helped by HCQ exceeds by many times the few included in all the clinical trials combined. ”

    This is not about the numbers of people. It’s about the environment you use to assess the drug. It has to be a controlled environment with double blind trials, to rule out the placebo effect and other factors that may be helping, and so then you don’t need many people. Why do you think the medical community do clinical trials if just informal observations and counting and self reporting worked?

    “Why do people insist on denying what doctors and their patients have experienced? If you don’t think it helps, why do you care if some people want to take it in the HOPE that it will provide relief? ”

    People can use it if they want, I don’t want to stop them, as long as they realise HCQ is highly unlikely to work and has serious side effects that could kill them. I dont like seeing people get sucked in by people promoting CHQ. Nobody wants to sit back and see people get fooled.

    “You said in another comment that HCQ use would help big pharma – that is not correct. IF HCQ were a proven cure it would deny billions of $$ to big pharma because they could not sell us an expensive patented vaccine.”

    OK but even if covid 19 helped, nobody has touted it as a complete cure and so you would still want a vaccine. So your reasoning falls over I’m afraid.

    “HCQ has been used to treat lupus, RA, malaria, etc for many decades – it’s safe and dirt cheap – THAT IS WHY big pharma wants to suppress knowledge of its effectiveness.

    HCO has serious side effects with some people, especially if they have a virus type of infection. Easily googled. And another common cheap steroild has been proven to work against covi19 as below (at least in initial trials). Neither the CDC or big pharma are rubbishing this medicine, so that destroys your conspiracy theory.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300036368/covid19-british-breakthrough-finds-cheap-drug-improves-survival-rate.

    I’m as suspicious of “big pharma” as the next guy, but I don’t think you have made a good case in this instance. Plus its not really big pharma criticising HCO, its more various medical safety authorities. Your critical thinking skills are so rusty it aint funny :)

  3. 153
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted @150, I had exactly the same impression about the experts issue. Its more nuanced than the article implied. I thought the article worth posting because it covered the basics well enough, and was apposite given neo classical economics, (which is much the same as “neoliberalism”) comes up for discussion regularly on FR, and has some big implications for climate change mitigation.

    Good points on neoclassical economics. Rubbishing it entirely is a bit coarse grained for me too. You have to get down to its various components. I looked up neoliberalism on wikipedia last year to see how they defined it, and it described a series of component parts, and some seem desirable to me and soundly evidence based, others much less so on both counts. Just slinging mud at a belief system only goes so far. I wont go further as its a bit off topic for this thread ,and I have no real disagreement with what you say on it all.

  4. 154
    jb says:

    Wool*ard at 108, and his subsequent blabber:

    I take the following three passages (one a quote) from David Hume’s History of England published in the 1750s:

    1. On the whole, there are three things to be considered, wherever a sum of money is mentioned in ancient times. First, the change of denomination, by which a pound has been reduced to the third part of its ancient weight in silver. Secondly, the change in value by the greater plenty of money, which has reduced the same weight of silver to ten times less value, compared to commodities …

    2. Hume cites a statute which says: “that the price of corn in Sicily was, during the preetorship of Sacerdos five denarii amodius; during that of Verres, which immediately succeeded, only two sesterces; that is, ten times lower; a presumption, or rather a proof, of the very bad state of tillage in ancient times.”

    3. Yet the middling price of cattle, so late as the reign of King Richard, we find to be above eight, near ten times lower than the present.

    In each case, I’m going to take the fact that David Hume said it (not just said it, but wrote it) as a substantial basis for accepting the construction and presuming that it is not “nonsensical.” We also must presume that the prices and values Hume discusses in each passage are positive real numbers – not negative numbers as Wool*ard suggests they must be.

    I’m not saying that Wool*ard has to be right all the time. I’m just saying that he should at least do a modicum of research into whether his assertions are
    justified. He also should notice the difference between “science” and English usage.

    Up your game, Keith. Stop being such an easy target.

  5. 155
    MA Rodger says:

    Maniac Mack @145 & @147,
    You appear to be unfamiliar with the mathematical nomenclature employed @139. There is no division by four. The Stefan–Boltzmann law states that the radiation from a body is proportional to the fourth power of the temperature thus the equation set out @139 calculates the inverse of this.

    [(1360/5.67e-8)^(1/4) =] +120°C

    In obtaining the value +120°C, there is and never was any division-by-four @139.

    But perhaps more worrying is your reference @147 to a six-years-old comment thread complete with your eye-swivelling response to the idea that a sphere rotating in space when warmed by a near-by star is, on average, warmed to a quarter the intensity of the projected starlight. This division-by-four is because the starlight projects onto the disc of the sphere (with area π r^2) and thus projects its warming over a plain area only a quarter the total area of the sphere (with area 4π r^2).
    If you are unable to comprehend this most simple geometry and instead suggest such correction is but reality being “buggerised round with and divided down”, if your intellect is so limited, you will never properly understand the world you inhabit or the reasoning for AGW being the problem it is.
    For those here who enjoy a good laugh, here is Maniac Mack’s response to the ‘divide by four’ issue from six years ago that he was so proud of that he wished me to “take note of.”

    “Andrew Lacis, ( like all the rest) ,says “This puts the global-mean incident solar energy at 340.2 w/sq,m.” No it doesn’t.
    The 1360w/sq.m is a yearly global average, and is a bulk load which cannot be buggerised round with and divided down. You can’t just pick one instant in time and say the Earth casts a shadow , therefore this and that are calculated. The sun shines over your head also at nightime when you deal with this average. Reality is , the 1360w/sq.m IS the incident solar radiation. It should be regarded as non-directional, covering the whole globe at the TOA. “

    Maniac Mack, even for a troll, you truly do assume the role of Mack the Moron.

  6. 156
    Mack says:

    The topic is about cranks ? well, here’s a fully blown nutter…
    https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2013/06/wild-bill-mckibben-outlaws-of-physics/
    ” His voice is engaging, almost reasonable, but his wild eyes cannot help but flash his burning lunacy at the camera”

  7. 157

    BPL @ 148.

    I failed English in high school and I still have to explain grammar to a professional writer!?

    The statement “X is 5 times less than Y” Is complete nonsense. The correct statement is “X is one fifth the size of Y”

    The same goes for the statement “Keith is 3 times closer to the South Pole than Barton” That is meaningless. The correct statement is “Keith is one third the distance from the South pole as compared to Barton” **

    ** don’t measure them, they are just guesses.

  8. 158
    jgnfld says:

    @145 “Wow, so you don’t think that spacecraft travelling between, say, the Earth and the Moon or Mars revolves in space to keep one side from getting red hot and the other side from freezing.? Do you get your science from comic strips?… Sorry , in space, in the vicinity of this Earth, the Sun’s radiation shines constantly on an object with something over 1000watts.”

    This is easily tested. Take a “something over 1000 watt” source–2 500 watt and 1 350 watt infrared heat lamps will do the trick. Shine the total output from that source spread equally across a 1 meter square piece of surface material from a spacecraft. Wait a bit for everything to stabilize. See if the material glows red. (Hint: It does not.)

    Basically YOU are forgetting to divide said “something over 1000 watts” over a full meter square.

  9. 159
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA: “Usually the comments on AT are as good or better than the article.”

    Well, there’s not much room to go down from abysmal.

  10. 160

    To check the capabilities of “How to spot a crank”, we should really try it out on something challenging. For example, how is this going to work when some computer scientist runs a machine learning algorithm that finds the pattern behind El Nino cycles and also discovers all the teleconnection patterns with the other climate indices? What would be the distinction between this and some non-credentialed individual finding the same thing?

    I guarantee that the former will eventually happen via some form of neural network, and when it does none of the crank-detection tips will work because a machine has none of the psychological traits of deceit that a human possesses. And read Kerry Emanuel’s latest paper if you don’t believe that this can’t happen.

  11. 161

    KIA, #146–

    Seriously OT, but briefly on hydroxycholoroquine–

    Why do people insist on denying what doctors and their patients have experienced?

    Nobody is “denying” anything in this respect. However, these experiences are what is called “anecdotal evidence”–you may have heard of it–and long, long, looooong experience has shown that such evidence, while useful, is grossly insufficient to determine that a given treatment is, or is not, a reliable or safe one.

    If you don’t think it helps, why do you care if some people want to take it in the HOPE that it will provide relief?

    Because although you elsewhere call it “safe”–as if any powerful medication were entirely safe!–there are in fact significant risks to taking it, particularly without medical supervision:

    https://www.poison.org/articles/chloroquine-hydroxychloroquine

    There’s an additional potential risk to others as well; if demand surges too much, folks actually prescribed it (say, for lupus or RA) may not be able to access their meds. In fact, that reportedly happened in March:

    https://www.propublica.org/article/lupus-patients-cant-get-crucial-medication-after-president-trump-pushes-unproven-coronavirus-treatment

    /end PSA

  12. 162
    John Pollack says:

    MAR @139 Mack has convinced me he’s not a bot by his comments in 145. Bots didn’t sleep through algebra class, and fail to understand the distinction between dividing by 4 and taking a 4th root. And, if they didn’t understand, they’d avoid the topic entirely to avoid displaying complete ignorance.

  13. 163
    Russell says:

    Have another snort, Radge:

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2020/06/keep-calm-and-refrain-from-thinking.html

    The editors seem to have taken up John Baez Crackpot Index as a house style manual .

  14. 164

    M 145: you’ve made the mistake of dividing by 4 again.

    BPL: You failed math, didn’t you, Mack?

  15. 165

    #156, Mack–

    Nothing but a emotionally-based smear on McKibben based on the writer’s subjective impression.

    Well, to be strictly fair, the writer does attempt a couple of substantive points, or at least what are apparently fondly imagined to be such. But auctorial ignorance fells them at once, leaving just the emotive description standing as a monument to ineffective rhetoric.

  16. 166

    #157, KW–

    I’d agree that the “times less” usage is not ideal. Nevertheless, it is a ‘thing’:

    https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/460400/has-n-times-less-become-commonplace

    It makes sense to me because the “times less” intuitively suggests the correct inverse operation, like this:

    1) “A is five times B” = “A = 5B”

    2) Inversely, “A is five times less than B” = “A = B/5”, or alternately “5A = B”

    The thread linked above indicates I’m not alone in seeing it that way, just as it also shows that some folks apparently struggle to interpret the idiom. That latter is why I’d deprecate it; why use the less clear of two formulations? But the usage is not “nonsense”, as for some at least it reliably conveys correct information.

  17. 167
    Jim Eager says:

    For the geometrically challenged, like Mack, who keeps blabbering that incident solar radiation is 1360w/sq.m at top of atmosphere, remember that TOA is a sphere, just like the planet that it surrounds, and that has real implications for the distribution of that 1360 watts: it gets spread over increasingly more than 1m^2 the further you go from the equator at high noon.

  18. 168
    MA Rodger says:

    Keith Woollard @157,
    Perhaps you are due a bit of ‘glory’ from me.
    Being myself a ‘grammar school oik’, I am not familiar with the non-achievement of one who ‘failed English in high school’. It is perhaps quite profound as your arguments @108, @144 & @157 against the use of the phrases “times less than” and “times closer to” have little to do with English and I would suggest that is the nub of your mistake.
    The nonsense writings of the mathematician Dr Charles Lutwidge Dodgson contain the famous passage:-

    ‘But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knockdown argument’,’ Alice objected.
    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

    This passage makes a serious point. The grammar and vocabulary of a language is defined by its usage not by books.
    If English speakers began to mean ‘a nice knockdown argument’ when they said ‘glory’, or (and this a real-world example) if people began to use the word “epicentre” to mean something other than ‘the point on the surface above’, it is then the grammar books and dictionaries which require correcting not the English speakers.

    The pedantry you present is not unique (being also expressed here) but such argument has no merit if it objects to common usage which appears the case for both “times less than” and “times closer to.”
    And perhaps the problem with your suggested alternative phrasing is that, unlike with very very large numbers (eg ‘ten trillions’, and do note this quantity would today this side of the pond still mean ’10 quintillion’ if vocabulary were truly writ in stone) the English language lacks that ‘va va voom’ for very very small fractions (eg the inverse of ten trillions is ‘a hundred quadrillionths’).

  19. 169

    Keith doubles down on the stupid:

    KW 157: The statement “X is 5 times less than Y” Is complete nonsense. The correct statement is “X is one fifth the size of Y”

    BPL: No, it’s not “complete nonsense.” It’s a very common way of saying the same thing. You need to take a math class.

  20. 170
    Mack says:

    @ 165 Kevin McKinney
    “….as a monument to ineffective rhetoric”

    Well, I think the monument to ineffective rhetoric was the interview itself, between the bookwriting, truffle-farmer, crank, Gareth Renowden and Bill McKibbon.
    Did you listen to it?
    Also, my comment?
    ” I think a poor dog is locked in with these nutters and whines every now and again to get out whenever the conversation reaches a point where his intelligence can take it no more”

  21. 171

    What I find most objectionable is letting such people get away with misappropriating the skeptic label.

    Real skepticism is healthy and part of real scientific debate; blind optimism or unwavering belief in an alternative viewpoint isn’t.

    Example: Cover-19 masks. Scientists split two ways on this: those who say the evidence for universal mask wearing is not watertight and those who say it needn’t be, as long as it is strong enough to be worth doing (precautionary principle).

    In my view the first group is wrong because the circumstantial evidence – countries with universal mask mandates had done better – and the growing evidence of pre-symptomatic and even possibly asymptomatic infection means that source control is a really important tool to slow the spread.

    Why this is specially difficult is the mainstream science position is “Trust the WHO” and WHO got this one wrong, being very late to move from the position that masks should only be worn by those caring for the ill and those who knew they were ill. The last part to me supported universal mask wearing when combined with the knowledge the pre-symptomatic and even asymptomatic spread were factors: how do you know you are ill?

    Ironically the ones who least trust WHO are more likely to eschew masking.

    The real lesson here: scientists make mistakes and correction is good. The people not to trust are the ones who are 100% certain and don’t change their position no matter what the evidence.

  22. 172
    Jim Eager says:

    And for those, again like Mack, who like to throw around the phrase “trace gas”, recall that there is more than enough CO2 in the atmosphere to support every green plant on the surface of the planet and in the oceans, and therefore every animal on the planet as well. Not bad for a “trace gas.” But then making consistent, non-contradictory arguments is not exactly a strong suit of those in denial of the green house effect and AGW.

  23. 173
    Radge Havers says:

    Russell @ ~ 163

    Indeed!

    Goya was pretty slick, but your cover may have more impact.

    :-)

  24. 174
    Radge Havers says:

    100 is five times more than 20.
    20 goes into 100 five times, so it is five times less than 100.

    Forget “math.” Work on arithmetic. Before you try to jump to fractions, spend some time with division — you know the inverse of multiplication.

  25. 175

    Ha ha ha ha ha
    Radge at 174 – Really? you can’t even get the simple arithmetic correct.

    100 is NOT 5 times more than 20. And that is the whole problem in a nutshell.

    100 is 5 times as much as 20

    or even more simply
    100 is 5 times 20.

    This all boils down to people trying to use words because they carry more emotion than maths

  26. 176
    Radge Havers says:

    Erm, speaking of nutshells…

  27. 177
    Mr. Know It All says:

    152?? – nigelj
    “….This is not about the numbers of people. It’s about the environment you use to assess the drug. It has to be a controlled environment with double blind trials, to rule out the placebo effect and other factors that may be helping, and so then you don’t need many people. Why do you think the medical community do clinical trials if just informal observations and counting and self reporting worked?…”

    Epidemiologists disagree. This peer-reviewed article in the New England Journal of Medicine says randomized control trials are not reliable:

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMra1614394

    Yale School of Public Health says Hydroxychloroquine is safe, and works well to stop COVID in early phases:

    https://publichealth.yale.edu/news-article/26218/

    Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine had to pull their studies that said HCQ did not help COVID because it was quickly discovered that the data was crap – good article and comments – read ’em and weap:

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/04/lancet-retracts-major-covid-19-paper-that-raised-safety-concerns-about-malaria-drugs/

    Reminds me of some AGW studies that were retracted. I’m sure we ALL remember those, right?

    I win.

  28. 178

    Keith doubles down on the stupid AGAIN:

    KW 175: 100 is NOT 5 times more than 20.

    BPL: I don’t even have to comment. I’ll let this stand on its own.

  29. 179

    KW 175: 100 is NOT 5 times more than 20.

    BPL: There you have it, folks. Dunning-Kruger in a nutshell.

  30. 180

    #170, Mack–

    I think a poor dog is locked in with these nutters and whines every now and again to get out whenever the conversation reaches a point where his intelligence can take it no more…

    Well, if you think that’s reasoned criticism, then you did more to make my point than I ever could have.

  31. 181
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @177

    “Epidemiologists disagree. This peer-reviewed article in the New England Journal of Medicine says randomized control trials are not reliable:”

    Five epidemiologists disagree out of tens of thousands of epidemiologists so that is not hugely compelling. And the article didn’t say randomised control trials are unreliable, it just highlighted some of the limitations.

    And they did not suggest we substitute observational data for clinical trials, rather that we make use of both, and they specifically highlighted that in mass vaccinations the bar would have to be set very high regarding observational data. The same would have to be applied to Hydroxychloroquine, and there isn’t really enough good quality observational data.

    “Yale School of Public Health says Hydroxychloroquine is safe, and works well to stop COVID in early phases:”

    No they don’t. It’s just one professors informal opinion.

    We now have several good quality clinical trials of Hydroxychloroquine and it doesn’t work to treat covid 19, and isnt safe for people with the virus. I was optimistic about it at first, but its a fizzer. Why are you still going on about it when other drugs have shown promise, that I gave you a link to?

    I think the only reason you go on promoting this drug is because Donald Trump promotes it. The same guy who suggested drinking disinfectant. The man has so much credibility (sarc)

  32. 182
    nigelj says:

    Five times less, one fifth, same thing. By analogy, its like we have many words that mean the same.

  33. 183
    Mr. Know It All says:

    179 – BPL citing KW:
    100 is NOT 5 times more than 20?

    I’m going to get my money back on my calculator! ;)

  34. 184
    jgnfld says:

    @183

    (5 * x) where x is defined as “more than 20” must always be greater than 100.

    …Well unless you have a very strange calculator.

  35. 185
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA: “Epidemiologists disagree. This peer-reviewed article in the New England Journal of Medicine says randomized control trials are not reliable:”

    Really? That’s what you took from that article? Good Lord, I’m starting to understand why you are such an ineducable idiot. It starts with reading comprehension!

    Keith Dullard: So is 20 2 times more than 10? Is 2 two times more than 1?

  36. 186
    Keith Woollard says:

    100 is 5 times as much as 20, not 5 times more.
    If you all are correct, then..
    100 is 5 times more than 20
    80 is 4 times more than 20
    60 is 3 times more than 20
    40 is 2 times more than 20
    20 is 1 times more than 20

  37. 187
    William B Jackson says:

    #183 You need a calculator for that…why am I not surprised?

  38. 188
    Radge Havers says:

    Keith Woollard @ 186

    I see that you think you’re making a Very Important Point. In fact it may be right up there with whether or not your bowl of breakfast cereal can be considered soup.

    You’ve now convinced me that I should give this Very Important Matter the attention it deserves.

  39. 189

    Keith clings to his stupidity like it was the love of his life:

    KW 186: 100 is 5 times as much as 20, not 5 times more.

    BPL: Classic example of militant ignorance. He might as well be insisting that 2 + 2 = 5, and defending it to the death.

  40. 190
    Mr. Know It All says:

    185 – Ray Ladbury
    “Really? That’s what you took from that article? Good Lord, I’m starting to understand why you are such an ineducable idiot. It starts with reading comprehension!”

    Maybe, but what do you think about this article – a good read for a real scientist:

    https://drsircus.com/coronavirus/icu-doctors-know-best/

    Does anyone know if, as claimed, 5G interferes with O2, Fe, etc in the blood? Could there be something to it?

    How many have heard the latest COVID death stats? Updates by the CDC indicate 9,210 have died of COVID while having no other co-morbidities:

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/08/shock-report-week-cdc-quietly-updated-covid-19-numbers-9210-americans-died-covid-19-alone-rest-serious-illnesses/

    Are we about to get it under control? Scroll down to the pretty CDC graph:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR2-muRM3tB3uBdbTrmKwH1NdaBx6PpZo2kxotNwkUXlnbZXCwSRP2OmqsI

  41. 191
    Mack says:

    Will somebody please put up that picture of the 3 stooges…
    Congratulations 2+2=3

  42. 192
    William B Jackson says:

    #190 Your ignorance remains unabated, your amusement factor however is abating. Almost everyone has some “comorbidity” factor even I suspect you! If doctors were to do a full autopsy I suspect every one of those 9,210 would be found to have one or another such. From the day you are born til you leave this realm tiny imperfections re developing. This line has way less meaning then you in your “wisdom” seem to think it possesses. If ever a clue you can be shown to have many here will be greatly surprised!

  43. 193
    russell says:

    It’s time to say bedtime for Gonzo and give KIA a life subscription to The American Thinker before sending him back down the Bore Hole whence he came.

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2020/06/keep-calm-and-refrain-from-thinking.html

    Bon Voyage

  44. 194

    KIA 190: Does anyone know if, as claimed, 5G interferes with O2, Fe, etc in the blood? Could there be something to it?

    BPL: No.

  45. 195
    jgnfld says:

    @190 kia

    Ah…I see he’s read the nice, completely out-of-context, mis/disinforming factoid about comorbidities talking point making the rounds recently in fright wing sources.

    Now let’s have kia do some actual science: Can you also report the average zero comorbidity rate for other related and unrelated conditions expected across a whole sample of death certs?

    If kia couldn’t eat cherries, I think he’d starve.

  46. 196

    #190, KIA–

    Are we about to get it under control? Scroll down to the pretty CDC graph…

    No, we are not. Death reporting has significant built-in lags.

  47. 197
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA,
    OK, see that is why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. They start with the hypoxia observation–and that is true. And then they work their way into 5G conspiracy theory territory which is utter, complete bullshit of the purest ray serene.

    We are starting to see how COVID kills. It is NOT a pulmonary disease. It is a circulatory disease. It attacks the capillaries. 5G only has effects on the surface, and most of the studies that claim health effects have been pretty much meaningless. Do I want to stand next to a 5G transmitter? Probably not, but the 1/r^2 law is your friend.

    And then you post some other bullshit–the absurd idea that COVID isn’t deadly because it mostly kills you if you have comorbidities. Dude, we all have comorbidities–at least if we are over 30 years old. COVID is a strange disease–it seems to exploit weaknesses already present in the body. However, even when it doesn’t kill, it can leave you virtually incapacitated. Please, please, please. Listen to news sources other than Faux News, Breitfart and OAN (which is a source of Russian propaganda). These sources are demonstrably broadcasting utter bullshit wrt COVID. NPR is doing a pretty good job with the science. Or if you want something a bit more right of center, read The Economist.

  48. 198
    Ronald Manley says:

    #7 Susan Anderson

    Some years ago I designed an irrigation reservoir in a part of England which was close to a pipeline carrying gas from the North Sea. Before construction could start I and an engineer from the Contractor had to meet a representative of British Gas to dig down and actually reveal the pipeline. I had expected that the representative would come with large-scale maps and a steel tape measure. Not a bit of it – he had two welding roads bent at 90 degrees. He walked across the field where the pipeline was with the two welding rods held loosely and when they swung toward each other pronounced where it was. I and the engineer were skeptical and both ‘had a go’. We closed our eyes walked across the general area of the pipe and stopped when the other saw the rods moving. The three locations were in a straight line over the, admittedly rather large, pipe. Not, of course, proof but intriguing none-the-less.

  49. 199
    nigelj says:

    KIA @190

    “How many have heard the latest COVID death stats? Updates by the CDC indicate 9,210 have died of COVID while having no other co-morbidities:”

    The co-morbities make people weak, but they often live a long time. The virus makes their conditions non survivable. Such an obvious, simple thing to grasp.

  50. 200
    Al Bundy says:

    KW: I failed English in high school and
    AB: it shows. Just because you like a particular wording doesn’t render other forms meaningless.
    Even if a phrase can be misinterpreted it can still have meaning. In fact, it can improve utility. For example, it can expose a whiner who failed English so folks can save time by disregarding everything he subsequently says.

    “This is a clearer and cleaner way of conveying that idea” Yep.

    “There is one and only one way”. Uh, learn to write, dude. It’s all about flavor.