Word of wisdom, and otherwise

Dara O’Briain and Frankie Boyle on religion and creationism

The comedian Dara O’Briain is a real gem. I was pleased to see him mentioned in this weeks NZ Listener – with some of his great sayings. How is this for words of wisdom about science:

Dara Ó Briain

“Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.” NZ Listener issue 3835

Now just for contrast – here is something from a local leader of an anti-fluoridation group:

Mary Byrne

“Why would you rely on the so-called experts when they have already been proved to be wrong? and if you rely on the experts then what are you promoting? just someone else’s views, what is the point in that. Plus that sounds like religion to me.” Facebook comment.

Funny thing about these people who dislike science so much – they are always cherry picking a little bit of science, removing the context and qualifications and then presenting it as their alternative. As Dara would say – their “fairy tale.”

8 responses to “Word of wisdom, and otherwise

  1. How true, Ken!

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  2. Kurt Ferre DDS, Portland, OR USA

    Dara O’briain does a great You Tube piece on “Homeopathy” with the same theme as you have posted, Ken. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Darryl, you seem to want to have a go at us over fluoridation, but in the wrong place. You are also antagonistic. Consequently I will not approve this specific comment.

    We are tring to maintain a good level of discussion in the comments on articles in the exchange between me and Paul Connett. We both agreed on strong moderation because this subject is well know for abusive and angry comments often containing screeds of copypasta.

    Please feel free to make comments on the appropriate articles. Provided they are respectful and presented in good faith they will be approved.


  4. Trevor Ex Nutter

    Please to discovered that Ken considers “Science knows it doesn’t know everything” as words of wisdom. He should impart that wisdom on to Sir Peter Gluckman who recently stated that the science around fluoride is settled. Or is it just certain elements of science that have in your opinion achieved wisdom while the rest is still catching up?


  5. Trevor, you should stop believing the propaganda you and your mates promote.

    Gluckman actually said:

    “The science of fluoride in water is effectively settled. It has been one of the most thoroughly worked questions in public health science over some decades. There is a voluminous scientific and lay literature that needs to be considered.”

    There is a lot of significance in the word “effectively” – and that is why you guys consistently omit it, isn’t it. Hardly honest.

    Gluckman’s article can be seen in full at What is in the water?

    My comment on the misrepresentation at the time can be see at Poisoning the well with a caricature of science

    And I notice, Trevor, you avoid even acknowledging that incredibly arrogant statement by Mary Byrne. Embarrassing, isnt it?


  6. Why do people think it’s a good idea to lie?
    Shame on you, nutter.


  7. Trevor Ex Nutter

    I apologise for my honest oversight in omitting “effectively” although that hardly changes the thrust of my comment significantly. In regard to Mary Byrne’s comment I think it speaks for itself and you should have the courtesy to at least spell her name correctly. That I find embarrassing.
    Perhaps you could tell me what ‘porpaganda’ and ‘miusrepresentation’ means, so I can in future avoid inadvertently transgressing.
    Where are you getting your daily dose of fluoride from?


  8. I apologise for my honest oversight in omitting “effectively” although that hardly changes the thrust of my comment significantly.

    The most honest thing to do is directly quote somebody. That’s an objective way to avoid any possible misrepresentation. Just quote them. In context. In detail. If you’re not comfortable doing that then you’re doing something very wrong.
    Ken has no problem quoting Gluckman directly and giving the appropriate reference.
    That’s the way to do it.

    The “Straw Man” Fallacy


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