Tag Archives: email

Fluoride debate – I get email

address-angry-customer-email-200x200From 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.

Dear Ken,

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.

Best Wishes


 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.

See also:

Similar articles on fluoridation
Making sense of fluoride Facebook page

“Climategate” – the smoking gun?

Some of the more extreme climate change deniers, and others who have an anti-science agenda, continue to dredge through the domestic debris of the emails stolen by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia. Their conclusions are, of course, predictable.  Meanwhile, the balanced media summary oif this fiasco is probably well represented by George Monbiot in the Guardian: “The leaked exchanges are disturbing, but it would take a conspiracy of a very different order to justify sceptics’ claims.” (see Global warming rigged? Here’s the email I’d need to see ).

I particularly liked his depiction of the email that the climate change deniers and their allies would dearly love to find. It’s a great satire and portrays some of the silliest conspiracy theories promulgated by deniers. Continue reading

Those “climategate” emails

The current “scandal” erupting around the hacking of servers at the University of East Anglias’ Climate Research Centre is rather predictable. The public release of stolen emails has been seized on by climate change deniers as evidence for their claims of manipulated data and faulty peer-review. Even more dishonestly they have been used to attack the integrity of science, and scientists, in general – quite apart form any climate change issue (see for example WarmingGate, The scientific community and self-criticism, Climate scientists caught lying and How the Global Warming Scientists Really Work at four local religious apologetics blogs). On the other hand, researchers and many newspaper commentators say the emails show nothing more than frank discussion between scientists around the world and details of their collaboration on research projects and journal articles.

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Wave goodbye to email?

wavelogoI recently watched a fascinating presentation on Google’s new application – Wave. It will be available later this year but was launched for developers a few weeks ago. You can see the presentation of its launch in the video below.

It’s certainly impressive. Its developers describe it as the email we would have now if we designed it now from scratch – “intelligently designed” instead of the clunky “evolved” email we currently use!

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