Category Archives: SCIENCE!

For a Good Laugh: Kent Hovind’s Doctoral Dissertation

Kent Hovind: creationist, owner of Dinosaur Adventure Land, so-called “Dr. Dino”, claimant of four “PhDs” from Patriot Bible University, and currently serving ten years for tax fraud. But you really need to care about the first and the fourth parts.

Patriot Bible University is essentially a diploma mill, and for some reason they won’t release their doctoral students’ dissertations. By contrast, most (if not all) (accredited) universities allow the public to access their students’ dissertations, often times in the university library. And given the fact that Hovid’s a creationist and utterly ignorant on how the theory of evolution (or science in general it seems) works, people have been curious about exactly WHAT said dissertation contains.

So, I finally found a copy of Kent Hovind’s doctoral dissertation for his “PhD” in Christian Education (which, for some reason, somehow qualifies him to teach about evolution? The mind boggles.). It was leaked on WikiLeaks a few years ago, to the horror of Patriot Bible University (and probably Hovind himself), but the last time I tried to access it the URL was down. Today, said link finally worked, and now I’m free to share said document to the world.

This is the dissertation in question. It’s hosted on my blog, so it should be accessible for all eternity (or until WordPress breaks down, or if WordPress decides to suspend my blog without a reason again, whichever comes first),

Anyways, I just want to highlight my favorite parts.

Introduction

My name is Kevin Hovind. I am a creation/science evangelist. I live in Pensacola, Florida. I have been a high school science teacher since 1976. I’ve been very active in the creation/evolution controversy for some time.

As someone once said, “That’s not a thesis, that’s a letter to Santa.”

All seriousness though. who actually starts off a dissertation saying “My name is <nym> and I am a <career/title>. I have been <career> since <year>.”? Are you writing a serious dissertation or are you sitting on Santa’s lap asking for a PhD for Christmas under the tree?

It is my burning desire to help Christians get back to a simple faith in God’s Word. Satan’s method has always been to instill doubt in God’s Word. The first sentence that came from Satan that is recorded for us in the Bible is: “Yea, hath God said?” He started by questioning God’s Word in the Garden of Eden. It worked there so he has used it ever since.

I’m a undergrad college student, and I can write better sentences then that, complete with complicated sentence structures, Oxford commas, advanced vocabulary, and the like. Seriously, the most complicated word in that passage is “questioning”, with three syllables.

Of course, then there’s the “where’s the evidence that the Garden of Eden exists?”, “where’s the evidence that Satan is an actual being?”, “where’s the evidence that the Bible speaks the literal truth?”, and the like. Then again, this IS a dissertation for a PhD in Christian Education, so it does make sense. You’d think Hovind would have cited his work however, even if it IS from the Bible.

Also, I should note that the Jews didn’t believe that Satan was even speaking in Genesis 3:1. In fact, it’s specifically stated to be a serpent (NIV version, KJV version). I’m aware that Christian tradition presumes that the snake IS Satan, but that’s not what it says in the text itself.

In the twentieth century the major attack Satan has launched has been against the first eleven chapters of Genesis. […] I believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant, inspired, perfect Word of God.

So from “God made the earth in 6 days, with plants before man” to “God made the earth, with man before plants” to “serpent convinced Eve to eat forbidden fruit who convinced Adam to eat forbidden fruit” to “kicked out of Eden” to “Cain kills Abel out of jealousy and Abel’s blood calls out to God” to “Noah’s ark and global flood because man is EBIL” to “rainbow covenant” to “lots more babies and names and descendants” to “tower of Babel”?

I mean, they’re nice stories and all, but seriously, they’re just stories. We have absolutely NO evidence that any of this stuff happened. In addition, the story contradicts itself. If God’s word is totally infallible and perfect and whatnot, why does the story contradict itself in it’s FIRST book? Doesn’t God have the power to NOT have the freaking creation story riddled with contradictions and errors?

Also, science is Satan now? Let me go fetch my pitchfork.

I believe that God’s Word is infallible and flawless in every detail.

See above.

If the Bible says that something was created in a certain way, then that is just the way it happened. Now, as a science teacher, I want to keep an open mind […]

> Bible is utterly infallible and that’s final, no questions asked.
> Science: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”

Choose one.

I will be quick to point out that “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Okay, first off, WHERE IS THE SOURCE FOR THAT QUOTE? GAHHH

Second of all, what is the point of writing this then? A dissertation is meant to advance our body of knowledge with new ideas, not restate it. If I wanted Genesis restated to me, I’ll go read Genesis myself.

There’s apparently supposed to be sixteen chapters in this dissertation. As someone else noted, there’s only four chapters. And none of the chapters really advance any knowledge at all — instead, it just explains what Hovind has come to learn “through many years of studying both science and the Bible”.

If I wanted to read an interpolation essay, I’ll read Montaigne. At least Montaigne is at a higher reading level AND is more interesting to read than this.

I didn’t go over the entire document (since it’s 102 pages long, and time is short), but RationalWiki did an amusing article on this dissertation here. I recommend you save a copy; I personally use it to make myself laugh.

Accelerated Christian Education: A Program Designed to Brainwash Children into Creationist Nonsense

Today I learned about the existence of an alternative curriculum used in creationist private schools: Accelerated Christian Education. Their goal? By teaching students a curriculum built on the foundation of “the Word of God”, the idea is that these students will be able “to see life from God’s point of view, to take responsibility for their own learning, and to walk in Godly wisdom and character”.

But what exactly are they teaching these students, in order to get them to BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF DA ALMIGHTY LORD?

This is the curriculum laid out for parents as a guideline for teaching their students in the Godly way. The education, as one might have guessed, is intended to teach children about the Bible alongside history, science, English, and math.

Uh oh.

The science curricula is as follows (quoted):

Science 1 (Grade 1) (PACEs 1001-1012)
The student:

  • Pronounces and learns new vocabulary words as they are defined and used in the text.
  • Discovers God’s wisdom as he learns about God creating Earth and Earth’s movements, the four seasons.
  • Learns about the design and care of the human eye and ear; high, low, soft, and loud sounds.
  • Learns about the importance of personal health—clean teeth and hands.
  • Gains a respect for God as he learns about God’s wisdom, goodness, kindness, and that all things belong to God.
  • Reads stories and answers questions about God’s creation.
  • Continues to build eye-hand coordination by drawing shapes, irregular shapes, and directional lines.

Science 2 (Grade 2) (PACEs 1013-1024)
The student:

  • Expands his knowledge of the days of Creation, the first man and woman.
  • Learns about animals, changes in seasons and weather, heavenly bodies, plains, flat lands, valleys, hills, and mountains. 
  • Enlarges his vocabulary with the introduction of new words. 
  • Builds reading comprehension. 
  • Continues to build eye-hand coordination by drawing shapes, irregular shapes, and directional lines . 
  • Learns how God made every person unique through the introduction of fingerprints, etc.
  • Learns about the five senses. 
  • Is encouraged in character development through examples given in each PACE.

Science 3 (Grade 3) (PACEs 1025-1036)
The student:

  • Observes the faithfulness of God while learning about the solar system.
  • Learns about the concept and measurement of time.
  • Learns about animal and plant life cycles.
  • Recalls and continues the study of God’s Creation.
  • Studies Bible topics such as Jesus’ return; sin, death, and the curse; man’s freedom to choose to love and obey God.
  • Read stories using new vocabulary and visual discrimination.
  • Looks at geological changes after the Flood—jungles and hot lands, tundra and cold lands, volcanoes and earthquakes.
  • Is encouraged in character development through examples given in each PACE

[…]

Science 5 (Grade 5) (PACEs 1049-1060)
The student:

  • Explores living and nonliving matter and active, dormant, and extinct volcanoes.
  • Learns about energy—work, force, kinetic, potential, and radiant energy.
  • Studies oceanography, astronomy, comets, and the aurora borealis.
  • Studies the outer, inner, and middle ear; hearing difficulties; and vibration, pitch, and frequency of sounds. 
  • Studies molecular and atomic theories; friction, heat, and gravity; and expansion and contraction.
  • Views dinosaurs and fossils from a Biblical perspective. 
  • Learns the relationship between the Bible and botany, meteorology, and zoology.
  • Discovers the Bible to be the final authority in scientific matters.
  • Learns new vocabulary words in each PACE.
  • Is encouraged in character development through examples given in each PACE

[…]

Science 8 (Grade 8) (PACEs 1085-1096)
The student:

  • Explores the wonders, resources, and cycles of God’s Creation.
  • Searches proofs of Creation and the Flood.
  • Studies astronomy—the stars, familiar and unusual, their purpose and message, and planets of the solar system.
  • Learns about the structure and measurable qualities of Earth’s atmosphere, climates, weather factors and forecasting, and the hydrosphere.
  • Looks at the foundations of the world—Earth’s layers, topography and mapping of the world, soil formation and conservation, and weathering and erosion.
  • Discovers Earth’s buried treasures—understanding, classifying, using, and appreciating our mineral resources.
  • Is encouraged in character development through examples given in each PACE .

Biology (Grade 9) (PACEs 1097-1108)
The student:

  • Views the wonders of the Creator as he studies the structure and function of man’s skin, skeleton, and muscles; the central nervous system; blood and circulation; nutrition and growth.
  • Observes scientific proof for Creation of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.
  • Examines mammals—their characteristics, migration, and hibernation; groups and body structure of birds; characteristics and classification of plants.
  • Learns the system of scientific classification.
  • Uses character stories to apply Scriptural principles to everyday situations

Emphasis mine.

Is this about teaching children the scientific method, or is it about indoctrinating children into never questioning the Bible, ever?

Also, seriously? You’re not going to teach students anything about genetics? AND you’re forcing students to look for “scientific proof” of creationism as described in Genesis 1-2? AND you’re teaching them that despite evidence to the contrary, the Bible is THE FINAL WORD on all things?

How is that science, and how is this in any way acceptable?

Health (PACEs 1-6) 1/2 Credit
The student:

  • Learns the importance of proper nutrition, both spiritual and physical; types of nutrients; a balanced approach to exercise, diet, and weight loss.
  • Examines a Biblical view of tobacco, alcohol, harmful drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and mental and emotional health.
  • Gains valuable information on safety in six basic areas: home, transportation, job, school, personal safety, and safety for children.
  • Learns about basic first aid treatment and care such as bites, bleeding, burns, fractures, and choking, taking a temperature or pulse, and blood pressure reading.

$10 that the “Biblical view of tobacco, alcohol, harmful drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and mental and emotional health” involves abstinence, no premarital sex, AIDS is punishment for gay people, and absolutely NOTHING on birth control methods such as condoms and the Pill.

Just, oh gods. Oh gods, no.

This isn’t science. This is a brainwashing campaign.

And unfortunately for us,

In the United Kingdom, UK NARIC has deemed qualifications based on ACE to be comparable to A-level. Ofsted routinely whitewashes ACE schools in reports, and ACE nurseries teaching creationism receive government funding.

In New Zealand, ACE qualifications are accepted for university entrance.

In the USA, ACE’s Lighthouse Christian Academy is accredited by MSA-CESS. The curriculum is used in government-funded creationist voucher programs in eleven states.

In South Africa, based on HESA’s recommendation, a number of universities have signed up to accept ACE graduates.

ACE says its curriculum is used in 192 countries and 6000 schools worldwide. This is happening nearer than you think.

Oh gods. Please, no. No. This needs to stop.

“I’M TOTES A SCIENTIST NOW!!” or How to Impress People Untrained in Science [NaturalNews mocking]

Mike Adams is showing off his “fancy tech” in a new post on NaturalNews, thinking that having fancy technology a scientist makes.

Hint: it doesn’t.

What you’re looking at in the photo is part of an atomic spectroscopy laboratory with extraordinary capabilities including parts per trillion detection of atomic elements as well as advanced, high-level isotopic ratio analysis capabilities. Somewhere in the background there’s also a collection of Ion-Selective Electrodes with various testing capabilities.

I’m not yet showing you all the instrumentation, but anyone who knows their way around a lab can probably recognize the peri pump in this photo and figure out what it’s attached to. (Hint: It’s worth more than a Lamborghini…)

Wow, I’m supposed to be impressed that you spent a few hundred thousand dollars on a spectrometer? Color me unimpressed.

The red object on the workbench with the open lid is a standard centrifuge. This one happens to be capable of 10,000G.

Oooh, a desktop centrifuge! It’s not like other laboratories have this, right????

The diagram in the center of the board is a simple drawing of an ion multiplier, which is one of the components used in my food science research.

And what are you researching, exactly?

The glasses on my head are lab safety glasses. I’m also wearing protective gloves, but you can’t see them in the photo. Unwisely, I sometimes conduct R&D in the lab wearing a short-sleeved shirt instead of a long-sleeved lab coat. (I’ve decided the lab coat is just too cumbersome…)

You know you’re a real scientist when you say “screw it, I’mma go COMMANDO in a LAB FULL OF FREAKING CHEMICALS, MANY OF WHICH THAT CAN BURN MY SKIN OFF!”. </sarcasm>

The important thing to note here is that this lab is not theater. This isn’t a green screen setup, and it’s not a bunch of fake props. In fact, at the moment this photo was taken, some of the systems in the background were actually running.

“Dudes, this lab is totes legit! Really! See, some of them actually work and actually do things, see?”

Throughout 2013, I’ve been heavily engaged in high-level analytical chemistry and atomic spectroscopy training and research. On January 7, 2014, I will begin announcing a series of food science breakthroughs that, as promised, will reshape the food industry and absolutely revolutionize personal health. Based on what we are about to announce, every individual who seeks outstanding health, amazing cognitive function, healthy offspring, longevity and freedom from chronic disease will now have a powerful, transformative new science-based paradigm from which to accomplish those goals with clarity and consistency.

This research completes my own transition from activist to scientist, and it also signifies a radical reshaping of the editorial focus of NaturalNews.com onto transformative solutions for personal and planetary health.

“High level”? “Transformative”? “Breakthroughs”? “Reshape the food industry and revolutionize personal health”?

Is this an advertisement or an article? And why are we supposed to be impressed about the fact that it’s “high level” (in mother freaking BOLD)?

I think I can wait a month to see what happens next.

The Night Sky: Bigger, More Beautiful, and In Real Color

PRETTY. Credit to PetaPixel

OHMAIGAWDSSOPRETTY. Credit to PetaPixel

One of my friends (an astrophysicist if I remember right) showed me this link just now, and I think it’s worthy to share, since finals are coming up and I need a little bit of just plain awesome. Don’t you?

LINKY for the news article as well as the interactive interface.

Basically, this amateur photographer traversed from the US to South Africa, taking over 40k photographs and putting it together to make a star map of awesome.

Now all I need to know is how the hell am I going to get a larger version of that image for my desktop wallpaper, because SCIENCE IS AWESOME.

STOP THE PRESSES! WE CAN PERMANENTLY CHANGE OUR GENES BY EATING GM FOOD!

I’m supposed to be doing homework at the moment, but I just needed to post this.

Okay, so there is this “documentary” about GMOs made by anti-GMO groups called Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs. I’m probably going to listen to this video while I struggle with nuclear chemistry, but there’s this quote that I HAVE to show you.

“And of course what happens is when their genes are changed, our genes are changed by consuming them, just as the super weeds and the super bugs are genetically altered by consuming them. The bug eats the plant, its genes change. The animal eats the plant, its genes change. We eat the animal or the plant, our genes change. Our babies’ genes change and the change is permanent.”

(Clip; this is about 20 minutes into the original documentary.)

WHUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.

Are you serious?

You have GOT to be kidding—nope, wait, you’re not.

Someone should TOTALLY let me know if after eating some spinach whether we get the ability to photosynthesize.

Anti-GMO groups: where basic science and common sense are not allowed.

From NaturalNews: We Should Totally Tell Cancer Patents to Use DMSO!

There is so much cancer quackery in the world, I swear. I don’t think it’s ever possible to get to the bottom of the barrel, since it’s like everywhere.

That and autism quackery, but that’s its own little can of worms.

The article: “Whatever Happened to DMSO for Cancer and What Is It Anyway?”

But before the mocking, let’s do a little science lesson.

DMSO (dimethyl sulfide) is an organosulfer polar solvent, a byproduct of the paper production process. It is mincible (i.e. it can easily create solutions) with numerous solvents and can easily tolerate strong bases due to its acidity, which makes it useful for chemical analysis.  It is also used to preserve frozen tissues in cyropreservation, in order to prevent cell rupture due to the formation of large ice crystals. It also can easily penetrate cellular membranes without damaging it, and transport chemicals along with it. For this reason, it is used as a drug vehicle in experiments.

Because of the latter property, it was the subject of experimentation in the 1960s. However, these experiments were soon stopped when people began to worry about possible side effects. Damage to the eye, headaches, a burning sensation at the application site, itching, and a strong garlic odor/taste in the mouth have been reported. Furthermore, because it can easily dissolve numerous substances, there is a risk of absorbing unwanted contaminants into the skin along with the drug(s) desired. For these reasons, the FDA has not approved the use of DMSO in humans for any condition exempting interstitial cystitis (i.e. a really, really, really painful bladder). The FDA also has put DMSO products on a list of fake cancer “cures” to avoid.

There is some evidence that DMSO might be useful as a drug carrier for the treatment of bladder cancer. However, further testing is needed.

Now for the mocking.

The initial excitement during the 1960s and ’70s for a wide variety of uses with natural, inexpensive DMSO […]

DMSO is “natural” now even though it’s an industrial byproduct? *raises eyebrows*

SCAM proponents have a weird definition on “natural”.

[…] was eventually suppressed by the Medical Mafia and followed by obligatory disinformation campaigns.

Because there was evidence of glaucoma when we were using it in animal models. That’s not suppression, that’s saying that the risk is too great.

The unofficial explanation for the Camelot raid and shutdown was that the clinic was using vitamin B17, or laetrile, an FDA-banned substance for treating cancer. Laetrile was banned even after it was proven safe and efficacious against cancer. Because as a natural substance, it wasn’t patentable for huge profits.

I went over the story of laetrile in a previous post. Needless to say, laetrile has been linked to cyanide poisoning, is not effective for anything, and is not safe to consume.

Also, just saying, but you don’t need to patent something to make huge profits. Acetaminophen isn’t patented, and yet it still brings large profits to the companies that sell it. In addition, much of the medicines that we have come initially come from natural sources (e.g. aspirin, digoxin).

(I really need to finish that series. Note to self.)

Instead of the chemo destroying everything in its path as usual, the DMSO escorted the chemo to cancer cells only, thus greatly reducing the amount of chemotherapy needed for a result.

DMSO can read minds? And it somehow intuitively knows to only go towards the cancer cells, and not to the eye or whatnot? And it’s smart enough to not transport chemotherapy drugs to surrounding cells?

The scientist in me finds it really, really, really hard to suspend belief.

Using only 10% of any chemotherapy drug and getting positive results adversely affects Big Pharma’s profits.

See: Damage to the eye, headaches, a burning sensation at the application site, itching, and a strong garlic odor/taste in the mouth have been reported.

Also, uh, if it worked, scientists would happy embrace the treatment and we’d call it medicine. If there was something better, and it worked, why would pharmaceutical companies NOT want to market it? And why would doctors NOT use it? After all, the goal of medicine is to treat and help patients—if there was something better that we can use for a treatment, we’d totally use it.

DMSO has been used by itself for anecdotal success with cancer.

Anecdotes =! data.

Now, NaturalNews was nice to us, and threw us a bone with a study done in India. This is the study in question. The actual text is behind a pay wall, so I can’t actually go over the methodology and see if it’s valid.

But let’s say it is. Let’s say that it actually does what it says it does.

One study isn’t enough. We still need to be able to replicate it, see if the results in rats can apply to humans, etc. So while it is promising, this is by no means the end of the controversy. That’s how it works.

The FDA requires DMSO to be sold only as a solvent. Please research thoroughly with the sources provided before purchasing DMSO.

Industrial DMSO is not pharmaceutical grade. There’s a huge chance that there’s contaminants (both chemical and bacterial, since it’s not sterile) inside industrial DMSO, and these contaminants might kill you. DO NOT DO THIS.

Needless to say, I don’t recommend you actually purchasing DMSO and using that to treat cancer. At least not at this time. More research is needed to see if it works.

Happy Saturday!

BIG PHARMA! BIG CANCER! BIG BUSINESS! CONSPIRACY! NaturalNews Mocking!

ETA: I’M A TERRIBLE SPELLER! THIS IS WHY I NEED TO PROOFREAD TITLES!

Happy Veteran’s Day people! Today, another serving of woo, mocked up to your taste.

Woo NEVER gets old, does it?

The article: “Raw Organic Fruits and Vegetables Can Cure Cancer, So Why Don’t Oncologists Tell Their Patients?”

The presumption: raw foods will cure a cancer patient.

Someone want to explain to me how that works?

There is a 75-year “CON” known as Western Medicine, but it’s a hush-hush topic in the news and in newspapers and magazines. Although medical doctors and surgeons are experts at fixing broken bones or removing animal fat from clogged arteries, the “pharmaceutical nation” known as the USA is caving in on itself, but nobody is allowed to talk about it on TV, or they lose all their sponsors.

Only a few sentences in and we’re already getting ZOMG CONSPIRACY!!!11!!. It’s like BOOM! CONSPIRACY! IN YOUR FACE!

And of course the media’s in on it. And the doctors, and Big Pharma.

How many people were bribed again?

There is also a world of medicine known as organic food, but some people want to cook it, fry it, boil it or broil it, or even worse, grill it out, and that LIVE food becomes DEAD food, useless to the body, which needs nutrients for immunity, cellular health, vitality and sustainability.

Because it’s so terrible to want to eat something warm and soft rather than something cold. And because obviously we were much better off before the invention of fire, when we had to risk diseases.

And of course, because by the time the food gets to your stomach, it’s not already dead/denatured/whatever from the stomach acids.

So why don’t oncologists talk about RAW foods, which are full of nutrients, oxygen for the cells (the cure for cancer) and the RAW REGIMEN when people are on their “death beds” or “sent home to die” with pancreatic cancer, liver cancer or cancer of some other organ that you have to have to survive?

Because

  1. More nutrients =! cancer cure?
  2. You get more oxygen through breathing than by eating (besides the fact that your gut doesn’t actually absorb oxygen)?
  3. We have evidence that chemotherapy can help treat/cure people, and we have evidence that people who forego conventional cancer therapy just so that they can eat vegetables 24/7 die?
  4. Giving false hope to patients is really unethical?

Are these “Western Medicine” practitioners evil, money-grabbing cons or are they just ignorant, miseducated and unknowing? How could that be? How could you be trained to do surgery or read lab results and not know ONE THING about nutrition? Do some of them know but are not saying because their income would drop to about 25% of what they make now, using dangerous chemicals to treat a chemical-driven disease?

False dichotomy much?

Of course doctors know about nutrition. They also know that we don’t actually have evidence showing that ODing on micronutrients is going to treat/cure cancer.

Also, the fact that this author thinks that cancer is chemically-driven shows how much this author actually understands cancer.

(Hint: although hazardous chemicals can increase your risk for cancer, cancer is, first and foremost, uncontrollable cell division due to screwed up DNA).

No oncologist in the world suggests medicinal mushrooms, and take a big guess why!

Because eating a whole bunch of mushrooms isn’t going to treat/cure cancer?

(For a second there I thought the author meant psychedelic mushrooms. Uhhh.)

I mean, I know that oncologists do recommend people to eat healthier, but uh, that’s pretty much the same advice your physician gives you as a matter of point.

The answer to every one of the questions above is to just listen to the people who DO KNOW about RAW foods and can tell wonderful stories of their own recovery from deadly cancer and why they chose nutrition over chemo, surgery and radiation. Learn from honest souls who share their most personal journeys, through and past the “cons” of the cancer-industrial complex.

Because obviously anecdotes are the same as data if you have a lot of them.

Consider the fact that even scientists have found a natural cure for cancer, and people TESTIFY in court that it works, even for children with “terminal” cancer

Because court testimony is the same thing as a randomized clinical trial.

Check out Fooducate – the free phone app that scans the barcodes of foods and drinks, tells you if it’s GMO and rates it for quality!

Except that GMOs don’t cause cancer. And the scientific consensus agrees that GMOs are perfectly safe.

[…] if you don’t “eat” cancer, it doesn’t “eat” you.

Wait. Why were you even considering going down on Cancer anyhow?

I don't think going down on Cancer's very comfortable.

No, seriously. Why were you considering going down on this? It boggles the mind.

Onions: Some Sort of Magic Germ Sucking Portal Thingy

A friend of mine posted this in an online community that I frequent. Apparently this had been making the rounds on Facebook, and she posted this in a thread I started on said online community mocking SCAM and other pseudoscience.

Let me reproduce it in full, so that you can see that I’m not quote mining. It’s been reproduced online, see here, here, and here.

Wow- very interesting….Everyone should read

ONIONS! I had never heard this!!!
PLEASE READ TO THE END: IMPORTANT

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu…
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn’t believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story…but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill… I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs…sure enough it happened just like that…the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don’t know what to blame. Maybe it’s the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.

LEFT OVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS

I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed’s answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.

“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it’s not the mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It’s probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it’s the POTATOES.

He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It’s already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you’ll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you’re asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

Please pass this on to all you love and care about.

Got it? Good.

Now to get down to the mock/debunking.

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu…
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn’t believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Some questions:

  1. Who was this doctor in question?
  2. Why are you speculating on how many rooms this supposed farmer’s wife had?
  3. Who was your biology teacher? Or did you not pay attention in biology class, given the fact that influenza is caused by viruses and not bacteria. And viruses are too small to be seen under a regular microscope. Electron microscopes weren’t even invented until 1931, so while we did know that viruses can cause disease since the late 19th century, we didn’t even know what they looked like.
  4. Why couldn’t the bacteria be just plain old bacteria? Bacteria are everywhere, and it’s quite likely that there was already bacteria on the onion naturally. If you took an orange peel and studied it, you can find bacteria under the microscope too. But does that mean that oranges absorb bacteria?
  5. Are you even 100% sure that it’s bacteria and not onion cells?

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Because one data point is enough to draw a conclusion. Because testimonials are the same as data. Because herd immunity from flu vaccines wasn’t what kept you from getting the flu. Because it had to be the onion and not because you were washing your hands more or got lucky or something. Because post hoc ergo propter hoc.

I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs…sure enough it happened just like that…the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Because you wouldn’t have gotten better without the onion. Because onions don’t go through decomposition naturally.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

[citation needed]

Also, I still don’t see how that’s like possible. At all. My knowledge of science says “nope, nuh uh, nope, does not work like that”. Does yours?

Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don’t know what to blame. Maybe it’s the onions that are to blame. 

Or maybe you have food poisoning. Maybe you had some spoiled milk. Maybe you ate too much. Maybe you ate too little. Maybe you have an ulcer.

I can play the speculation game too!

LEFT OVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS

LOLOLOLOLWAT

People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed’s answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.

“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. 

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, no. If you opened a jar of mayo, that goes in the fridge. Mayo has raw eggs in it, and you don’t want to have that sitting in the counter.

The reason why you see jars of mayo on the supermarket counter in the open? Because the jars are prepared in such a way that it’s as sterile as possible inside. But once you open it, bacteria can come inside and multiply. That’s why you have to refrigerate an open jar.

He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

I made a lentil salad a while back, and it had cut, uncooked onions in it. I was still eating it a week later, and I’m perfectly okay.

And while my story definitely isn’t data, given the fact that the magic bacteria sucking portal mechanism isn’t explained and no source is provided, I’m going to conclude that it’s perfectly safe to eat uncooked onions, even if they’ve been sitting in the fridge for a few days.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Well, yeah, dogs shouldn’t eat onions because there’s compounds in onions (and garlic and shallots and the like) that can harm their red blood cells.

But this doesn’t actually prove anything. Dogs can’t eat chocolate either, and yet we can eat chocolate and not die.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

Wait, so onions can spontaneously generate bacteria? Didn’t science debunk spontaneous generation like a long time ago?

Conclusion: onions will not prevent you from getting the flu. Go get your influenza shots. Wash your hands. Eat onions to your hearts delight, even if it’s been sitting in the fridge for a few days. And science!

Hey, Guys, Did You Know That According to Kenneth Copeland, Abortion Causes Climate Change?

So apparently, the reason why we’re suffering the effects of anthropogenic climate change is because of the United States legalized abortion.

See, the fact that a woman might be getting an abortion somewhere makes God angry, and when God’s angry, he throws a temper tantrum that consists of floods, hurricanes, droughts, the melting of the ice caps, the warming of the oceans, and other extreme things to punish us.

One might wonder why God hates women so much, and also why God’s acting like a two year old. After all, God could have made it so that the women seeking abortions didn’t have to (e.g. not let them get pregnant, or make it so that it’s not lethal, or give them money so that they can afford another kid), but instead he throws a tantrum because screw you woman without funds to feed another mouth. And screw you woman with an ectopic pregnancy, screw you woman with a partial miscarriage, screw you Beatriz, and screw you Savita Halappanavar.

Does Copeland think that we’re burning dead fetuses and that’s what offending God? Or does he think that the instant a woman decides that she’s going to abort, God automatically gets a popup notification so that he can increase punishment on us?

I mean, that does say a lot about the so-called “merciful” God if he gets pissed off that women have choices and aren’t human incubators. Or at least it says a lot about Copeland and other anti-choice ilk such as he.