From time to time I get personal email from readers who are upset by articles. I don’t know why they bother – surely it would be more effective to put their arguments in the comments section which are read by others and have more effect. I am certainly not going to get into one-to-one discussions with such correspondents.
As you might expect, emails from irate opponents of fluoridation are not a novelty. However, this one I received today from Bill illustrates some illusions about the debate that need correcting.
Paul has a PhD in chemistry but you appear to think he has just been released from a home for mentally disturbed people. The fact that you reference Slott shows clearly that your mental faculties need a bit of repair work. Slott would not recognise a rational argument if it jumped up and bit him! I have met Paul a few times in the last couple of decades and have no doubts about his rationality. No doubt, from your perspective, that makes my mental apparatus a wee bit suspect by your standards. The longer you carry on this very lop sided discussion with your doubtful arguments, the more anti-fluoride people will disregard your types of arguments.
Read the evidence! There is plenty of it and the scientific literature does not support your position.
So Bill, here are a few points.
1: Why this obsession with mental issues? No, I do not think Paul “has just been released from a home for mentally disturbed people.” Whatever gave you that idea? I certainly wouldn’t be participating in a public exchange with someone I thought has such mental issues. And you are the one raising questions about your own “mental apparatus” – not me.
2: Apparently my use of links to information passed on by Steve Slott is “clear” evidence my own mental facilities need repair! Well that is a very crude attempt to divert attention away from the information contained in those links, isn’t it? Steve appears to be a mine of information on this issue and I think many readers appreciate this.
3: Paul’s PhD in chemistry is of course relevant to our exchange. So is my PhD in chemistry. We do in fact have similar academic qualifications and research background. We are both since retired. Consequently this is an exchange between equals – at least in an approximate sense.
4: Yes there is plenty of scientific literature on this subject and plenty of evidence to consider. You may have noticed that in fact we are referring to this literature and evidence.
5: You claim the literature does not supports my position. Well you are entitled to your view but it would be nice of you to back it up with some sort of evidence. What about you contributing to the ongoing discussion with some comments where you can lay out your arguments with the supporting evidence? Like other people here are doing. It is proving to be a very worthwhile exercise and I am certainly learning from many of the comments.
Bill, you seem to want us to stop this exchange of views and information on the fluoridation issue. I can assure you I see no reason to stop. I enjoy these sort of exchanges and I think the information coming out of it could be useful to others.
Anyone wanting to follow the debate and/or check back over previous articles in the debate can find the list of articles at Fluoride Debate.