The 5 Most Horrible Pseudo-Scientific Things Ever – THaC Guest Videos

Unfortunately this weeks video is taking a little longer than expected. so in the meantime here is a guest video I made for the Top Hats and Champagne channel.

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About Myles Power (569 Articles)
My name is Myles Power, and I run the educational YouTube channel, powerm1985. I spend what little free time I have sharing my love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest, and angrily ranting at pseudoscience proponents. I am also one of the founding members of the podcast 'The League of Nerds' - which I co-host with James from 'The History of Infection'.

4 Comments on The 5 Most Horrible Pseudo-Scientific Things Ever – THaC Guest Videos

  1. I don’t know Myles, NaturalNews says the black salve only targets malignant cells while leaving normal cells alone http://www.naturalnews.com/039803_indian_black_salve_cancer_cure_herb.html and Natural News is the definitive source for natural medicine and news /s.

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  2. Yes Myles, there are some horrific and highly damaging pseudoscientific movements out there, and you correctly include anti-vaxers and HIV/AIDS deniers as examples. They use pseudoscience to undermine important public health initiatives, thereby endangering lives. So why don’t you include another pernicious movement that uses pseudoscience to undermine an important public health initiative, thereby endangering lives? A pseudoscientific movement that is the ugly conjoined sister of anti-vaxers and HIV/AIDS deniers. And a WHO-backed public health initiative that is set to avert 3.4 million new HIV infections and save $16.5 billion in health care costs by 2025 (pubmed/22140367), as well as reducing various other STDs, genital cancers and infections. An initiative that is reckoned to have already saved as many as 8 million lives (pubmed/10752725) but delays in the implementation of which may also have cost millions (according to epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani). Data is now coming in showing that where this intervention is being rolled out, HIV incidence is declining when, previously, the traditional abstinence, be faithful, condoms approach was failing (pubmed/27404186, pubmed/24019763).

    This movement is doing all it can to attack and undermine the intervention. Writing pseudoscientific articles that have been comprehensively rebutted by experts (pubmed/21335254, pubmed/21335256, http://www.health-e.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/931cb3ac18f498761417fdd63c335b75.pdf, http://works.bepress.com/rwamai/9/, pubmed/22452415, pubmed/23156651, http://publishing.rcseng.ac.uk/doi/full/10.1308/rcsbull.2015.378 ) yet still peddling their crap all over the internet, with “sciency”-looking websites, YouTube videos and, alarmingly, websites and Facebook pages specifically targeting Africa where this intervention is most needed. When not undermining this life-saving intervention, they torment men who have undergone it, telling them lies about how sexually damaged they are, missing something vital, unable to fully enjoy sex or satisfy their partners. All in a deliberate and cynical attempt to make such men feel miserable and angry, and draw them into the movement. They have even set a target: 600,000 miserable men, see: https://notyourstocut.com/2014/12/06/the-biggest-risk-factor-and-the-quickest-path-to-change/ The man in the photo subsequently committed suicide because he was so distressed by the lies these people got him to believe. Lies you have told yourself. Lies like, “There are somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 nerve endings compacted into the human foreskin”. Sound familiar?

    This movement, which endangers the lives of millions, and seeks to make 600,000 men needlessly miserable, dominates the internet: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/09/intactivists_online_a_fringe_group_turned_the_internet_against_circumcision.html. Its followers bully mothers on Facebook who give the intervention to their sons, abusing them and sharing their images along with epithets like “I want to smack her face in with a baseball bat” (check-out FB groups like “Mutilation Watch” and “Coq Watch” and their counter-groups like “Watching Mutilation Watch”), issue arson threats to hospitals that provide the intervention, and death threats to doctors who perform it, gloat over the MH17 disaster because some of the victims were on their way to a conference with sessions on the intervention, and wish Hitler had finished the Holocaust because it would mean a reduction in the number of male infants receiving the intervention. They also cyber-attacked the Catalan Institute of Oncology in 2002 after it released a study linking lack of this intervention to HPV in men, and cervical cancer in their female partners. They succeeded in wiping the hard drive of the lead researcher.

    Disgusting, don’t you think? That all seems pretty horrible, does it not? Surely this litany of horror merits a comment? So why the silence? But then you support these people’s cause don’t you Myles? In fact you even peddle their propaganda for them. You produced an absolutely execrable video in which you get nearly all the science either dead wrong, or presented in a way that is highly misleading (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71ToUO1knhE ). You uncritically copy their own propaganda: “There is somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 nerve endings compacted into the human foreskin” you parrot, and a whole bunch of other shite about enhancing pleasure, protecting the “gland” (it’s “glans”, you can’t even get that right), ejaculation reflex, keratinisation etc. All pseudoscientific bull-crap copied straight from some intactivist source somewhere without any hint that it even occurred to you to fact-check it first.

    As I have said elsewhere (and you have steadfastly ignored all my posts) the 20,000 nerves lie came out the arse of an HIV/AIDS denying quack called Paul Fleiss who was the “paediatrician” who cared for Maggiore’s daughter Eliza who died of an AIDS-related illness (he got sued by the AAP over this, and lost). He published it in “Mothering”. And you know all about Maggiore and “Mothering”, and even go on at length about Maggiore and HIV/AIDS denialism in your video above. I just can’t get over the irony! How did you do it? How could you, the great expert on HIV/AIDS denialism, allow yourself to be totally suckered by a HIV/AIDS denying side-kick of Maggiore, who pulled a bullshit number out of his arse and published it in “Mothering”? A few minutes of fact-checking would have swiftly exposed this piece of crap for what it is. You would not even have had to go back to source. I had already done it and published my findings. My debunking in J. Med. Ethics was already freely available at the time (Google “Sloppy scholarship and the anti-circumcision crusade”), having been published a full year before your video.

    Yet you ignored it. Just as you have ignored my postings debunking the garbage in your video, and your inadequate “Nega Myles” video in which you scarcely touch on the many errors you make. And all the while you allow your awful video to carry on attracting views, misleading people, and undermining a life-saving intervention. When will you either withdraw the video, or make a full-length one properly correcting the numerous errors you made, and apologising to the many people you have deceived? And it would need a full-length one. Or perhaps you want to make circumcised males depressed and suicidal by getting them to believe the intactivist lies you enthusiastically peddle, whilst deterring Africans from availing themselves of an intervention that could well save their lives? If so then you are no better than the other purveyors of woo you so rightly condemn.

    I note you will be at QED in a few weeks. So will I. Hopefully I will have a chance to speak to you there.

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    • Have you even watched the video? 3:30, 5:34
      He is only saying that circumcision, like all medical procedures, has pros and cons. Since the pros are mostly limited to a hypothetical decreased male-to-female HIV transmission rate and a reduced UTI risk, he says there is no reason to circumcise every child in developed countries where the risk of HIV infection is already low

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      • I have watched it several times and debunked it extensively in posts following it. Myles has ignored every one. The video does not treat the topic accurately, he gets nearly everything either completely wrong, or presented in a misleading way. As do you. There is no decreased male to female HIV transmission associated with circumcision. It is female to male transmission, and a 70% risk reduction (according to the latest meta-analysis: pubmed/25942703) is not “hypothetical” but massively life-saving. Nor are the pros limited to this and UTIs, but extend to many other conditions, some life-threatening. His whole video is rubbish from start to finish (he even begins it with a logical fallacy – the genetic fallacy). His treatment of the medical benefits is ignorant and superficial, and he has uncritically copied intactivist bullshit off the internet without bothering to fact check it first. The result is a dangerously misleading propaganda piece that seems calculated to make circ’d guys miserable (all that rubbish about nerve endings etc) whilst undermining an important life-saving public health initiative in high-HIV countries. And all he has done about it so far is a token “Nega Myles” presentation that (inadequately) addresses his howler about UTIs and acknowledges that circumcision might be useful in high-HIV settings. Meantime his original video continues to clock up views on YouTube, misleading people, and possibly deterring those who really would benefit from the procedure whilst making needlessly miserable those who have already received it. That is irresponsible and reprehensible, and makes him no better than the purveyors of woo he debunks himself. I will be looking out for him at the QED conference in under a fortnight. He won’t find it so easy to ignore me then.

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