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“The S*** Skeptics Say” – Hoofnagle The Science Cat

Have you ever noticed the choice of words pseudoskeptics like to use to describe things they don’t agree with? Well ok, “disagree with” is an understatement. More like belittle, condemn, slam, scoff at… Pick your own synonym. I did some reading and watched a few lectures recently and it was really “interesting” to see these professionals – respected doctors and scientists – sounding less like intellectuals and more like Wayne’s World.

Two words in particular have stood out for me. The first one is “Quack” or “Quackery”. This one is probably the most common and most overused words in their vernacular. David Gorski is a big fan of this word (his last post had over 20 instances)

He even uses some stoner dude variations like “Quackademia” or “Quackaranda”.

Party on Garthski.

The second word they use relentlessly is one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard. Should you happen to believe in something like faith healing or chiropractic or really anything that isn’t evidence based science, it’s called “Woo”. Yes I said “Woo”. Oh but wait it gets better. Some of these guys choose to employ the more serious version – “Woo-Woo”. And apparently this term can also apply to a person! According to the Skeptico blog you can say “homeopathy is woo” or “woos believe in homeopathy.”

Excuse me for a moment. I have to clean up the coffee I just spit across the room…..

So here’s my question: How does a respected professional with multiple degrees, research fellowships, teaching positions at major universities, etc allow themselves to talk like Pauly Shore and act like a 14 yr old rebellious kid with a chip on his shoulder? The two things don’t jive.

Tomorrow I will conclude with my speculation as to why these guys do this.

Here’s a protip for you pseudo-skeptics:

If you’re going to continue to discredit and mock people who disagree with you because they lack the education, training and intelligence required to understand science……then you might want to stop acting like an assclown who thinks people are somehow impressed by the “woo” you point out and the more “quacks” you verbally bash. Seriously dudes. That long resume loses all of its credibility when you act like you jumped off the maturity train at 14.

People will eventually catch on and begin to realize that it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have or how many papers you’ve published. If you want to retain the respect that comes with being a medical or science professional, then try acting like one. You decide what you are.

A Doc or a Dick

P.S. Rick Flair called. He wants his woo back


– Hoofnagle