Open thread on TAE 786 / GB 2.23

This week on ACA media:

For you Non-Prophets fans, unfortunately I should report that we grudgingly acknowledged at the board meeting this week that NPR is dead for the time being.  The hiatus may not be permanent, but we’re not going to force more episodes for now.


  1. uncleadam says

    I watched the show after it was recorded because it was my son’s birthday and I had family over so I had to miss it.

    I felt like both hosts were tired or something. They were kind of out of it and negative.

    Lately I’ve noticed that. I think everybody is really tired and just needs a good vacation!

  2. Kes says

    I love it when Jen hosts! It was a great show all around, lots of diverse conversations, and no exhausting and pointless metaphysics this time.

    And what is it with That Troll Guy and the Nordic countries? He’s always from Finland or Norway or somewhere. I don’t like That Troll Guy. He should stop calling.

  3. murielsilberstreif says

    When Jeff said “I get libertarians”, comparing us to conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccination folks, I was a little miffed.
    When he said “I just don’t like being threatened” later on, I smiled.
    What else do you need to become a libertarian?

  4. John Kruger says

    Is there any particular reason NP and GB are no longer available on Stitcher?

    I really have no idea at all what the requirements and implications of being part of that network are, but I was a bit saddened when the death of my old iDevice made me resort to Stitcher on my smart phone, thereby excluding me from two of my favorite podcasts.

    Pity about NP. I thought it had found new strength in the convenient Google+ hangout format, but I guess not.

  5. gfunk says

    Funny coincidence- my wife and I ran into a guy at a bar Thursday who pulled the “dot in the middle of a circle” diagram on us. It was the first time I had ever heard the argument from ignorance put that way, and then I heard it on this show two days later. Perhaps it is a sign from non-god? And BTW, what a terrible argument…My wife isn’t even very well versed in theist arguments but she was immediately baffled and dumbfounded by someone arguing FOR a position by saying how little we know.

  6. Lord Narf says

    When he said “I just don’t like being threatened” later on, I smiled.
    What else do you need to become a libertarian?

    Depends which direction you see the threat coming from. I feel far more threatened by uncontrolled, world-wide corporations than I feel threatened by the government, except when it’s the Republican-controlled government, trying to take away my civil rights.

  7. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Caller, AETV #786 36:53

    I don’t mind that you believe that religion is insane. I’d mind if you try to say religion is insane therefore you shouldn’t follow it. And try to force that on somebody else. That would be my only problem.

    Insane Absurd memes shouldn’t be called out, and using words to disuade someone from taking them seriously is force!?

    The skeptical movement must be the stuff of nightmares.

  8. Lord Narf says

    I noticed the same thing. It could just be the onset of winter. A lot of people get a bit tired and depressed, when the amount of available sunlight starts dropping off. I’ve really noticed the shortening days, for the past couple of weeks, myself.

    I initially watched this episode on UStream. When I hit play, I thought the video hadn’t started yet, but then Jen moved a little. For some reason, Jeff’s side of the screen didn’t start the video for 15 or 20 seconds. ^.^
    I think Jeff needed some coffee.

  9. mond says

    I would love to see NP’s return at some point in the future.
    I still listen to some of the archived episodes every now and again.
    Thanks to all those who have contributed over the years.

  10. The Divine Phallusy says

    The Non-Prophets news is such a disappointment… I just and started listening to them during the summer, and I’ve listened to the old shows over and over again since I found them. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to get in on the live chat or even listen live too much; I listened to a grand total of 2 episodes live. I was looking forward to Denis’ sexy ass voice too, but I guess that’s just never gonna happen again.

    I think the least you guys could do for us Non-Prophets fiends is bring Denis on the Atheist Experience every once and a while if he’s interested in that.

    But man, that’s just a huge downer.

  11. mond says

    Sammy from Albany talking about his understanding of the theist idea of creation said “At some point there had to be complete nothing and then God created”

    Is this idea not self contradictory? Complete nothing would also exclude the existence of the deity which would perform creation.

  12. mond says

    How about an animatronic Denis Loubet and he could ‘speak’ his various intros to the NP’s at passing members of the public.

  13. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Gods are a category that, like ‘nothing’, conveniently involves the absence of all physical attributes one might possibly use to determine one exists.

    And gods can’t be a subset of nothing because… arg from incredulity.

  14. gfunk says

    Was there some news I didn’t hear about? I know NPR has been sporadic as hell for the last couple of years, but they had an episode in Oct and a couple in August.

  15. mond says

    That is such cool idea. Just say that the logical contradiction in the idea is part of the nature of the concept you are trying to convey. Just define the craziness as part of the mystery.

    Btw, really liked the joke in the video,. What did I like about the joke?….nothing.

  16. Tomasz R says

    Is AXP changing it’s profile into product advertisment program? “Get your flu shot! They don’t hurt you, they prevent the flu, and nothing bad is going to happen to you!” plus enthusiasm about something like “You may even not get injected with mercury”. This is advertisment. This whole storyline looks like an ad scenario – with a woman telling she got a flu and feeling great about it.

    Is AXP promote freethinking by suggesting that if you disagree with an AXP host on a single use you cannot be her friend (even on facebook)?

    And why this vaccine fetish? AXP is not pro-health, as it contained promotion of sweets, scenes of eating large amounts of junk food (communion wafers) etc. AXP has never been about health – containing no information about excercise, good sleep patterns, vitamins or other important stuff. It’s only about vaccines, which it seems have some special status of a sacred thing on AXP.

    AXP hosts show fundamentalist approach to vaccines, are characterized by unquestioned faith in their safety and efficiency (transitively it means also faith in government and corporations who approve or check this), heavy emotional attachment to them, and have negative emotional attitudes towards people who disagree with them. Basically vaccine faith preachers.

  17. says

    AXP hosts show fundamentalist approach to vaccines, are characterized by unquestioned faith in their safety and efficiency (transitively it means also faith in government and corporations who approve or check this), heavy emotional attachment to them, and have negative emotional attitudes towards people who disagree with them. Basically vaccine faith preachers.

    I don’t know that it’s possible to have a rational discussion with you. You’ve managed to descend into an unfathomably deep abyss of paranoid solipsism where we can’t know anything unless we personally observe it because anyone else could be lying to us at any time.

    Skepticism is not denialism.

    If there’s reasonable evidence that something works, it’s not faith to accept it as true, definitionally.

    I’m detecting a lot of projection here.

  18. Tomasz R says

    It was a diplomatic catastrophe of epic proportions when she was assuming that it’s obvious that “16 year old gamer” is a good example of people everybody has disdain for. Not realizing that Jeff’s salary depends on such people, and perhaps that he even was such a person when he was 16 🙂

  19. Tomasz R says

    You wrote: “If there’s reasonable evidence” – but I haven’t seen any evidence on AXP in the subject of vaccines. I’ve seen a clear advertisment in this episode, and strong emotional attitudes in other episodes.

    And faith is definitely involved – for example in one episode Matt inicated he has not much knowledge in the topic of vaccines, in other he bragged he bragged he got the vaccine.

  20. Tomasz R says

    You are right. There are no vaccines that make people smarter. The effect of vaccines on human brain is not in the direction of making people smarter.

  21. Ross says

    It makes me really really sad to hear that the non prophets is ending. It wasn’t explicitly stated, but I can only assume that the problem is
    1) Matt has so many obligations these days that he can’t make time.
    2) Matt moved so there is no more Dillahunty International Studios and doing a show over Google handout doesn’t work.

    I love Matt as much as the next guy, but you don’t absolutely need him for every show. Has there been any discussion of bringing back Glasser Internation Studios, and just having the show with Denis, Russell, Lynnea + insert ACA guest?

    If Non-Prophets really is dead, I would also love it if Denis could get a chance to be on the Atheist Experience. Has anybody asked him?

  22. jdog says

    There is no effect of vaccines on the human brain. They work on the immune system. I realize you don’t believe that, but you’re simply out of touch with reality on this issue (as well as others).

  23. FromHereOn says

    My favorite shows are when the hosts are having fun. Even if some of the bits stray from the beaten path, work that chemistry baby!

    I don’t expect the show to go comedy all of the sudden, but I think all of the immortal AXP moments are ones we can look back on and smile for one reason or another.

    If the callers aren’t nuts enough, keep having fun out there with or without em, guys! We all love seeing you every week, so knock us dead. We’re begging for it.

  24. Nathan says

    Have they tried interacting with him after he goes off.

    I think if they do, they might be surprised about him.

    If not then it might take away his enjoyment of it.

  25. mike says

    What I thought was funny was not just the ‘gamer’ reference but the fact that he’s a ’16yr old living in his Mom’s basement’ as an insult! He’s 16! That’s where he’s supposed to be lol ! Now, if he were 35 and living in mom’s basement, that would be sad

  26. Daniel G says

    His first few calls were ‘serious’ discussions, and following calls became more and more beligerant.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why the call screeners can’t seem to figure out when it’s this guy calling and not put him on air – you can tell it’s him from the first few words out of his mouth.

  27. N. Nescio says

    If I had to deal with the kind of people who call into TAE, I’d be pretty fucking grumpy too.

  28. Dark_Monkey_316 says

    I don’t see why Matt couldn’t let someone borrow the equipment to do the shows. I thought some of the equipment was donated as well. It seems like a waste if the equipment isn’t being used.

  29. says

    Uh, dude?

    Smallpox and polio were wiping people out. Vaccines wiped out smallpox and polio.

    It’s fucking history. Look it up and learn something. This ain’t hard. (Or perhaps, for you, it is.)

  30. murielsilberstreif says

    See? See?
    That’s anti-vaccination conspiracy people for you.
    Libertarians look quite reasonable by comparison, don’t we?

  31. Matrim says

    I must say that I’m very disappointed about Non-Prophets. It was my favorite podcast, and is what got me active in the atheist movement. Honestly, while it has great moments, I’ve never much cared for TAE. I find myself either irritated by people who have no experience in media trying to meander their way through a thought, or I end up bored because they’re discussing something I either don’t particularly care about or feel is already self-apparent. I like the way NPR worked, I seriously hope you bring it back in the Spring.

    Oh well, at least I still have GB…assuming the podcast feed gets updated. *taps foot impatiently*

  32. Jed Deemer says

    @ Tomasz R. :

    Speaking of evidence, we have plenty (See Martin’s post above) that the smallpox and polio vaccines work. The simple fact that wherever there is a regimen of public vaccination for these diseases, they cease to infect those vaccinated.

    Now, could you meet your own criteria for providing evidence and give some for:

    A–the allegation that the MMR vaccine is the cause of autism?

    B– that a vast cabal of doctors, researchers, chemists, journalists, bureaucrats, etc. have been gathered together by BIG PHARMA (that just screams out to be all in caps) so as to cover up the “fact” that vaccines cause autism, homosexuality, abortion, (insert your own crasy-ass assertion to the list.)?

    Or, does your demand for evidence stop at your doorstep?

  33. codemonkey says

    Google scholar is available, and contains all of that and more. No, it is not our responsibility to educate you on matters easily available by google, nor find specific citations of studies, especially when it’s off-topic to The Atheist Experience, especially when it’s as fringe and silly as this.

  34. says

    It is indeed a downer, but let’s be honest: The show has been going on life support for a while. I much appreciate the hard work and the attempts to keep it going, but maybe it’s not a bad idea with a hiatus and a rethink.

    I hope you can revive it in the future and bring back the feel from the older episodes. And hey, the Godless Bitches, while a different style of podcast, has shown itself to be a worthy successor. Good quality, good hosts and good mood.

    Anyway, many thanks for the many hours of unpaid (!) work you’ve all put in over the years. Hope to hear from you again at some point.

  35. says


    No evidence? Small pox has been known since 1000 BC and outbreaks have been recorded all through history. Though obviously exact death counts are difficult to establish in ancient times, we have numbers from the 50s that suggest 2 millions deaths every year and tens of millions infected.
    Polio is not quite the same level of killer, but still in 1952 over 3,000 children died and over 20,000 had permanent damages from polio. In that year, in the US alone.

    Unless you can document deaths or crippling injury on a similar scale from vaccines, I’d say we’ve got a pretty good case for continuing vaccine treatments.

    And I’m not talking about handwaving about various conditions that you personally think might have been caused by vaccines.
    Facts on the table, not conjecture.

  36. says

    Depends which direction you see the threat coming from. I feel far more threatened by uncontrolled, world-wide corporations than I feel threatened by the government, except when it’s the Republican-controlled government, trying to take away my civil rights.

    Libertarianism is ‘pro-business’ but that does not mean it supports corporatism.

  37. jdog says

    He’s claimed in other threads to also be a liberterian. We need hellbans (a given poster can reply all they want, but noone else can see their replies) here.

  38. Skeptical Jackal says

    I should report that we grudgingly acknowledged at the board meeting this week that NPR is dead for the time being.

    Can we be informed of the reason, or is it a Great Dark Secret that nobody should know, lest the ACA disappear into a crack in the space-time continuum?

  39. says

    Was listening to the podcast version tonight at work and I don’t know if the caller from St. Paul ever reads the threads, but I wanted to say that Minnesota Atheists is a group that operates largely in the Twin Cities area. They put on a local cable TV show every week (day/time varies by city) and three podcasts. If the caller has more questions about atheism and wants to talk to local people about them, or if there are local people here that weren’t aware of the group, the website is and there is plenty of info there.

  40. murielsilberstreif says

    Damn, I should have seen that one coming.
    Sorry. I’m gonna be in that corner over there, crying.

  41. Sonorus says

    For those suffering from “Non-prophets” withdrawal, I would suggest checking out the Cognitive Dissonance podcast. A different tone but a nice weekly dose of skepticism with a big side dish of snark and inappropriate humor.

  42. Sonorus says


    If you have evidence of specific problems with vaccines, then present that evidence. Perhaps it’s possible to make the current vaccines safer and more effective. No one would object to that. In fact, since many vaccines are no longer under patent protections, wouldn’t it behoove “Big Pharma” to come out with newer, better vaccines? If they found problems with them, wouldn’t there be a financial incentive to change them?

    There are a lot of diseases, not just polio and smallpox, that are rare now in the west thanks to vaccines. People used to die from them or be permanently scarred or disabled as a result of those diseases. Talk to anyone over 70 about polio, measles, whooping cough of diphtheria.

  43. Tomasz R. says

    You seem to have a reading comprehention. I’ve written that Martin, and the whole AXP TV program is not providing evidence, but just doing advertising or having an opinion, coupled with visible emotional attitude.

    Yes, perhaps now, when challegned, Martin intensively searches Internet for papers supporting his preexisting beliefs about vaccines. Perhaps he can even find some. But the clue is that he should do it before he made an opinion, and present it before he expects people to believe his views on vaccines. He’s just not acting like a sceptic, but as a person who practices emotional conditioning and arguments from authority.

  44. says

    You’re right, Tomasz. I do have reading comprehension. That’s probably the first accurate thing you’ve said in your whole history of commenting here.

    So what did eradicate smallpox and polio, if not vaccines, you projecting idiot?

    This is not a thing you have to “intensively search” the internet to learn about. It’s pretty common knowledge, and easily accessible, to anyone whose willingness to be educated hasn’t been kneecapped by paranoid anti-science hysteria.

    Prediction: you will snarkily proclaim everything at the links I provided was false, without bothering to read them, and without (of course) presenting your evidence for what amazing “alternate” treatment you think actually did eradicate smallpox and polio.

  45. says

    It’s not practical for us to cite mountains of evidence every time we make a simple statement. The benefits of vaccination are as uncontroversially obvious as the validity of evolution. I’m not going to cite evidence every single time I mention evolution. I cite it when necessary; when somebody’s dim-witted or uneducated enough to question it.

    What you’re proposing is hideously impractical and an utter waste of time. The only reason you’re even mentioning it is because it’s your personal hobby horse that got gored.
    We cite evidence “as necessary”. We don’t carry around lists of citations to back up every single thing we say. Neither do you, I suspect. When asked, we should be able to provide evidence and what do you know, when you asked, people started providing it.

    So, what are you complaining about? That they didn’t provide it before you asked? Are we supposed to be able to read your mind and know what you will object to before you object?
    Are we supposed to be able to do this with everybody who might be tuning in to a public access TV show or is it just you?

    I seem to recall several instances where the hosts have made fun of Bigfoot or UFOs without citing papers. Did you write angry posts about those, too? If not, why not?

  46. Tomasz R. says

    If you had read my post for example in the thread “Texas Freethought Convention, with political thoughts” one of the things I stressed is that people are not consistent in their base values, but opportunistically derive their views from different values for different situations.

    For example when it comes to abortions then some pro-choice guys may say that we should value bodily integrity above all, and derive freedom of abortion from it, while when the topic is about vaccines or military draft they say that some badly defined concept of public good is what we should value above all and from this they derive the rule that the vaccinations or draft should be mandatory. Similarily when it comes to abortion some people say that we should value life above all, thus ban abortions, but during debates on gun rigts say that we should value property rights above all, so they can shot dead anyone walking on their property without permission.

    Some of people who hold inconsisten base values even notice incosinstent base values in OTHERS, eg. say to scientist who are religious that it means they are deriving their views from two contradictory base values.

    Some of the members of AXP crew are examples of this. They cry “EVIDEEENCEEE!!!” when talking to the callers about religion, are proud to be “Skeptics” but when it comes to speaking of other things like vaccines themselves they just do adverisment, do emotional conditioning on viewers, say claims or opinions without showing any evidence whatsoever. Watch the beginning ot the episode again – where is the evidence for Jen claims about vaccines shown? Copmare this to the negative emotional attitude which is clearly visible.

    Same with Martin in this thread: he makes bold claims, but doesn’t provide any evidence. I’m not even sure if he knew some a’priori, maybe he’s searching for some now?

  47. says

    Same with Martin in this thread: he makes bold claims that are common knowledge, but doesn’t provide any and I am a dishonest clown who is ignoring the evidence.


    So what did eradicate smallpox and polio, Tomasz?

  48. Tomasz R. says

    Guys, we have completly switched topic. My first post had some questions like “Should an Atheist Experience TV program be about advertising products?”. Your answer is: “The products we advertise are great, and if you don’t agree with it you are a projecting twat”. This is not the answer to what I asked.

    The second question was: why to single out a particular product for a heavy advertisment? Why omit all other products that are in the category your chosen product is (category: health, products: excercises, vitamins, sleep etc.).

    Is it consistent to promote a product from “health” category, and at the same time promote a product from opposite category (Oreos)?

    This was left without any answer. As if you don’t care. As if it’s only vaccines that count.

    Basically the topic was not vaccines, the topic was about AXP program and AXP hosts, and AXP attitudes, and AXP choices of topic.

    Jasper of Maine was close to actually staying on topic, but unfortunately he quickly got into insults: ” You’ve managed to descend into an unfathomably deep abyss of paranoid solipsism”. He probably didn’t notice what the contents of the show. I’m just a viewer, who turns on the strem. What I see first? An advert for vaccines. Strong claims about vaccines without showing any evidence. Various strong emotion projections (not only about vaccines). Without any backing up with evidence, on this show.

    The answers on forum for that were not good arguments: “The benefits of vaccination are as uncontroversially obvious”, “It’s pretty common knowledge”, “What you’re proposing is hideously impractical”, “I cite it […] when somebody’s dim-witted or uneducated enough to question it.”, “It’s fucking history.”, some shifting of burden of proof: “So what did eradicate smallpox and polio, if not vaccines” etc.

    Going back to the approach to vaccines. There seems to be a great fads for and against them. People spend irrationally large amount of time and energy on the subject. And credibility, like poisoning a pretty good atheist show with vaccine advertisment.

    Considering rating of hosts, I don’t consider either Martin or Jen as high-quality hosts. It’s an amateur and free show, so I don’t have complaints about it.

  49. says


    The benefits of vaccines are uncontroversially obvious. If you deny that, please address the argument I made earlier. You know, the one that you’ve been studiously ignoring:
    The smallpox vaccine alone has saved millions of lives. Unless you can document a detrimental effect of the same scale from vaccines, then we can accept it as established that vaccines are a net benefit.

    As for “advertising”, mentioning a relevant, current topic is not advertising. People like you have been spreading lies about vaccines, so now vaccination conspiracies are a regular part of skeptical topics. There’s nothing wrong with the hosts addressing it.
    The reason Jen even brought it up (time code 2:20 on the mp3) was that somebody started blabbing anti-vax bullshit on her personal facebook page. It wasn’t brought up in a vacuum. It was brought up because somebody like you was talking shit.

    If you really think there was any “advertising” going on, answer me this: What’s the name of the manufacturer of the flu-shot that Jen got? Well?
    That’s right. It was never mentioned! You know why? Because it wasn’t freaking advertising, you lying moron.

    If they were actually advertising a specific product, you would be the least of their concerns. I expect that, as a public access show, there are probably a load of rules they have to follow about such things.

    If you want to discuss the subject that the hosts raised, then let’s discuss it. If you want to discuss the evidence, then let’s discuss it. If you just want to complain about how your sacred cow got its ass kicked, then go find someone who gives a shit.

  50. says

    got it. vaccin is good. it can’t do no harm. i believe in vaccin. all vaccins are good. no harm can be caused by any vaccins. Jen is our lord and saviour. halleluya…

  51. says

    not sure they are trolls. they are just people who are tired of all the dogmas whether they are religious, scientific, moral, politic, etc. they want to tell you as atheist you do a good job of being skeptic but on the other areas it seems you have dogmas that you don’t want to question and you search for an easy path: approved ideas by the majority of atheist community…to be approved.

  52. says

    From other posts on this site I know you’re capable of writing something coherent (and with proper capitalization, too).
    Why don’t you try that now.

  53. says

    you are critisizing my formal writing. sorry I am not good in English…You don’t answer though my philosophical critisized…

    why don’t you try to be skeptical in other areas then religion?
    it might made you a free thinker after all…

  54. Whisker says

    But why there is a different standart for all the god stuff and all the other stuff? We don’t have any evidence that the god exists , so it’s unreasonable to think that it does. But for example, we have evidence and information that makes seriously question what happened on 911 and whether what the government said is true. I can agree that the evidence is not suficient to say that Cheney planned it, but it also insuficient to claim that everything the government said about what happened that day is true. So, what i don’t like about this is when people from one side call the other side idiots or claim that what they believe is 100% true, while automaticaly dismising other sides arguments. Same thing with the flue shot…

    Of course, I will still watch the show, because I like it and because it’s not about 911 or other stuff, it’s about god and the hosts do a great job, but when they talk about other stuff withouth the same standart for what’s true and what’s not, I think it’s understandable that some viewers are unhappy, they have that right and they have the right to say why they are unhappy on this forum. I don’t think they should be attacked and called names for that.

  55. Jed Deemer says

    @ Tomasz R.:

    First, I suppose I should address your non sequitur response, before moving on to other matters: Yes, people hold inconsistent beliefs. They have biases. We all do. Since you’ve brought this matter up, are you implying that you don’t? That your beliefs are rigidly, one might even say, dogmatically consistent? If so, then I’d have to agree.

    However, are dogmatically consistent beliefs good or bad? Let’s just take a look at the statements you’ve made: AE is “selling” pro-vaccine propaganda. Others in this thread have addressed your ludicrous implication that every statement of opinion must be accompanied by an exhaustive appendix of citations before you’ll accept it, so I won’t go into that further. But, when I put forward evidence (admittedly sparse, but understandably so, considering the venue), you simply ignored any point I made and went wildly flying off on a tangent.

    It’s obvious that you have a bias so pronounced on this subject that you’ll simply ignore any and all evidence presented. So, to paraphrase the incomparable Hitchens: “Those who ignore evidence without compunction, can be dismissed without compunction.”

    So, reply to this if you want; you’re simply not worth any further response.

  56. says

    This is the clumsiest attempt to backpedal I’ve seen on this blog to date. You might be a Republican trying to explain Tuesday’s losses.

    You made the claim that we were uncritical cheerleaders for vaccination without any science to back up the idea that they help people.

    I pointed out that vaccines eradicated two of the biggest scourges of the last century, smallpox and polio.

    You went, “Nyah nyah, see, there goes Martin, offering claims without evidence.”

    Not only did I provide some (because the eradication of smallpox and polio by vaccination is not exactly obscure, suppressed history or anything), I challenged you to explain what you thought eradicated those two diseases, if not vaccines.

    And now you’re doing this: “Guys, we have completly switched topic…”

    No, what happened was you got owned, and haven’t got the integrity to put your ego in a box and admit it.

    As for your bizarre and nonsensical insistence on trying to frame a discussion of vaccines as “advertising,” I’ll defer to LykeX. For my part, I don’t consider you a high-quality thinker of any kind.

  57. says

    Your posts don’t contain anything to criticize beyond your writing. You make no arguments and present no facts. You simply state your opinion and you do so in a way that’s neither clear nor nuanced.

    For example, you accuse people of being dogmatic. Yet, you never mention exactly who you’re talking about or what they’ve said that is dogmatic. You make some vague references to vaccines and abortions, but with no specifics.
    What makes you think I’m not being skeptical? What have I said that sparked that comment? I don’t know because you didn’t say.

    Your posts are entirely devoid of content. If you’ve got something to say, then say it. Otherwise, shut up.

  58. Tomasz R says

    So from what you write here anyone can easily conclude that AXP TV program and AXP forums are about making claims. Without showing evidence during the program, as everybody can look it up by themselves anyway.

    It’s basically like saying that out there there are sources of information that a one can trust, as they provide evidence, just you are not one of them. That people should look up for such sources, rather than listen to you.

    Considering my claims, that were not about vaccines, but about AXP, and AXP hosts:

    “have negative emotional attitudes towards people who disagree with them.” – proven by Martin, excessively using insults, slur, derogatory words, and showing contempt for me. His attitude is clearly negative. This issue was visible when Jen, told people to “unfriend” her on Facebook because they disagreed with her on a single issue. What’s sad is that these people don’t see their flaws.

    Considering advertisment – thanks to LykeX I was reminded that it was not an advertisment of a product, but of a product category. Like those “eat fish!” ads, that don’t mention particular producer, but promote a category of food.

    Considering standards of evidence – when it was pointed out that there’s an evidence missed for some claim Martin provided yet ANOTHER CLAIM, this guy thought that making a claim is an evidence! This is supposed to be “evidence” according to Martin:

    “I pointed out that vaccines eradicated two of the biggest scourges of the last century, smallpox and polio.” Looks like a claim – doesn’t it?

    Only when heavily pressed: “Yes, perhaps now, when challegned, Martin intensively searches Internet for papers supporting his preexisting beliefs about vaccines. Perhaps he can even find some.” he actually bothered to look up. The strongest thing he was able to provide was… Wikipedia.

    LykeX on the other hand shown some stats about dropping diesease rates. Without actually showing anything to associate it with vaccines. It’s because “The benefits of vaccines are uncontroversially obvious.” Which means “The smallpox vaccine alone has saved millions of lives.” is an evidence for greatness of vaccines, not a claim.

    The other type of evidence offered: “People like you have been spreading lies about vaccines”, ”

    Then came classic shifting of burden of proof:

    “I challenged you to explain what you thought eradicated those two diseases, if not vaccines.”
    (no response provided, so:)
    “No, what happened was you got owned, and haven’t got the integrity to put your ego in a box and admit it.”

    “Unless you can document a detrimental effect of the same scale from vaccines, then we can accept it as established that vaccines are a net benefit.”

    Then came circular logic. I asked a question why is there a fad about vaccines that makes them getting so much attention and emotional engagement? The answer was that it is because the topic is frequently discussed in the skeptic circles. Which is because it is frequently “lied about”. So basically the answer to the question “why is X popular” was “because X is popular”.

    There’s something to be explained here. We live in a world of large numbers. There are billions of people, hordes of corporations. They regularly make either good or bad or crazy statements, decisions, ideologies. For examle the whole area of economic rationality is an endless source of fun, wisdom and tragedy. Yet it’s somewhat vaccines that are priviledged when it comes to attention given.

    My bet (notice – I’m not claiming it’s certain) would be it’s because of the influence of government mandates or use of force in applying vaccines. This is what makes the topic special compared to other. It’s like protests against mandatory military draft gaining a lot of attention, and when military is profesionalized it goes out of the radar.

  59. says

    don’t have time and envy to debate a dogmatic fundamentalist…what I had to say it is already said in previous posts. if you think it doesn’t fit you, then don’t wear it.

  60. says

    LykeX on the other hand shown some stats about dropping diesease rates. Without actually showing anything to associate it with vaccines

    Seriously? No, SERIOUSLY?

    Do you understand how crazy you sound? What’s next? Penicillin: The TRUE Cause of Cancer! Or maybe Breathing: Necessity of Life or The Biggest Scam EVER?

  61. says

    it is because the topic is frequently discussed in the skeptic circles. Which is because it is frequently “lied about”.

    There isn’t a “fad” about vaccines. The only reason people are talking about them at all is because of this insane increase in anti-science hysteria that has given birth to an anti-vax movement — led by a vapid celebrity model and fringe doctor who’s since been exposed as a fraud and barred from practicing medicine — that has killed literally hundreds.

    You’re beyond the point where anything you post deserves instant dismissal, but I will ask again, if only to prove that your ongoing long-windedness is all in aid of covering for the fact you haven’t got an answer.

    If not vaccines, what do you think eradicated smallpox and polio?

  62. says

    Btw, Asking for your alternative hypothesis is not shifting the burden of proof. When you say that, you’re simply demonstrating your complete ignorance of how science works.

    Note: I’m leaving out all other possible evidence. I’m focusing just on the stuff that I’ve brought up right here and which is accessible to anyone. I don’t need anything else right now. This is plenty to make the point.

    We have a hypothesis; vaccines work. This hypothesis explains some data; the fact that smallpox, which has existed for over 3000 years, disappeared completely right as large-scale vaccination programs were set up.

    This alone makes a preliminary case for accepting the hypothesis. It’s now up to you to:
    1) Present another hypothesis which can explain the same data better,
    2) Present another hypothesis which can explain more data in addition to this,
    3) Present data which is not explained by the current hypothesis

    Either way, the ball’s in your court. If you can’t do one of these, we’re quite justified in accepting the hypothesis for the time being. We need no further evidence.

    Not to mention the fact that an honest person probably wouldn’t have a problem presenting their view of things. I can’t help but wonder why you’re so reluctant to take a clear position.

  63. says

    Right. You make vague accusations about not being skeptical with absolutely zero support and not one single concrete example; that’s totally reasonable.

    I ask you to clarify and I’m being dogmatic.


  64. jdog says

    If you’re refering to people dogpiling on the anti-vaxxer, then you can buzz off. He’s repeated demonstrated he’s out of touch with reality on a multitude of issues (including vaccinations) and continues to try to bring them up time and time again in various threads.

    We have evidence that vaccines work. We have so much evidence that vaccines work that they’ve become the accepted medical practice in an age where we’re able to rigorously test these things (as opposed to the horrors of mid-19th century medical practice, for example) and have remained so for a very long time. What we don’t have is evidence to the contrary that has survived investigation.

    Peddle your 9/11 conspiracy crap elsewhere. It’s not credible, either. No, we don’t wish to discuss it.

  65. says

    1. I don’t attack you personaly. My problem is as I already mentioned is that Atheist Experience should be about Atheism (agnosticism, theism) and not about military, politic, etc. It seems reading the regular posters here that they are dogmas outside the non-religious roam that “approved” atheists have to follow…

    2.My issue about Medicine is that not because some drugs or medecine works that it works for everyone and everyone has to take it. People can be really allergic to some medecine (penicillin) and other drugs bring side effects that are more dangerous that what it wants to cure (zyban works for some people to stop smoking, but for other causes suicidal thoughts and actions, palpitations, insomnia, cardiac arrests, paranoia,etc.)

    3. My issue about abortion: there is always a danger to where we can draw a line when we can stop the life of a human. When is it acceptable to stop the life? After 2 months of pregnancy? 8 months? when the baby is 2 years old? The danger of eugenism is always near when we discuss about that abortion topic.

  66. says

    My problem is as I already mentioned is that Atheist Experience should be about Atheism

    Where did you mention this? Was that in another thread? I don’t see it here.
    Either way, I simply disagree. The show would be dry and boring if the hosts could never make a personal comment or draw on their own experiences. Apparently, you think the entire show should be replaced by a recorded message going “Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Gave a nice day.” Would that be sufficiently on message or was the last part too frivolous?

    Once again, I didn’t hear you complain when it was Bigfoot believers that got laughed at. The only reason you’re complaining about this is because it was your irrational bias that was ridiculed. Well, suck it up.

    It seems reading the regular posters here that they are dogmas…

    Short comment: I don’t think you have any clue what “dogma” actually means.

    …outside the non-religious roam that “approved” atheists have to follow…

    you don’t “have to follow” anything. Fell free to believe that vaccines are a grand conspiracy by our lizard overlords. However, if you say so out loud, I’ll disagree with you out loud.
    Next, if you want to disagree with something the hosts said, you’re more than welcome to do so. However, in doing so, you should have your arguments in order. don’t expect others to roll over the moment you open your mouth.

    …and everyone has to take it.

    And when did Jen say any such thing? She expressed her personal opinion. Last I checked, that didn’t constitute coercion.

    People can be really allergic to some medecine (penicillin) and other drugs bring side effects that are more dangerous that what it wants to cure

    Which is why you should talk over such things with your doctor, relying on the actual medical facts, not random conspiracy theories from half-baked loons on the internet.

    Are you seriously delusional enough to think that I would have a problem if you refused a vaccine because you were allergic to it?
    Of course, I wouldn’t, That’s a perfectly reasonable, medically valid, evidence-based decision.

    What I have a problem with is hinting at “side effects” of “other drugs” without ever being specific about what side effects and what drugs, thus preventing anybody from countering your not-quite-claims, while still leaving the reader with the emotional effect of the allegation.
    That I have a problem with.

    When is it acceptable to stop the life? After 2 months of pregnancy? 8 months? when the baby is 2 years old?

    Whenever the continuation of the life would require the violation of another person’s rights. That’s why a fetus is aborted at 12 weeks; because the mother cannot be forced to carry it. That’s why some people die from kidney failure at 40; because nobody else can be forced to donate a kidney.
    This is the same bodily rights argument that has already been discussed in the other thread. I guess you haven’t read that.

    And don’t mention eugenics if you can’t back it up. It just makes you sound even more paranoid than you already do.

  67. says

    you really think you are omniscient, right? that you are the ultimate judge of everything. you seem a theist worshipping yourself…

    thanks for the advice, doc. i don’t need more appointments. i am cured. send me the bill.

  68. says

    You’re not even going to try to address anything I said, huh?

    Too bad. Your first attempt to actually say something of substance and you give up so easily. I guess you went back to your strength; random insults and baseless accusations.

  69. says

    “What I have a problem with is hinting at “side effects” of “other drugs” without ever being specific about what side effects and what drugs,”

    I gave you one exemple: (zyban works for some people to stop smoking, but for other causes suicidal thoughts and actions, palpitations, insomnia, cardiac arrests, paranoia,etc.). But you are so full of yourself and in what you have wanted to say that you overlooked it. If you need other examples, ask your own pharmacist or do some serious research.

    “You’re not even going to try to address anything I said, huh?”

    why I would do that, you think that you are right and you have fixed ideas? we will both loosing our time.

    “Too bad. Your first attempt to actually say something of substance and you give up so easily.”

    well you don’t need substance from someone else for you think your substance covers all.

    go try to control the minds of others or try to read books of philosophy that could challenge your fixed ideas. but I guess you won’t dare for you think you cannot learn from others that don’t think like you…

  70. says

    I gave you one exemple: (zyban…

    An example entirely unconnected with the actual subjects being discussed. I’m sorry if I was unclear; I’d like a relevant example. Better?

    And, again to be clear, I’m not disputing that drugs have side-effects, even serious ones. What I’m saying is that it’s unreasonable to tar drugs in general just because some have side effects. If you have a problem with a specific drugs (preferably a vaccine, since that is the subject that started this), then feel free to mention it.
    If you don’t, then stop trying to play this game. Say what you mean, clearly and up front or just shut up. It’s not that difficult.

    you think that you are right…

    Of course, I do. If I didn’t, I’d have a differnt opinion.

    …and you have fixed ideas?

    Why? Because I don’t instantly accept everything you say and worship at the altar of Eric? Because I’d like to have a discussion about the subject before surrendering to your awesome intellectual might?

    It’s been hell just trying to get you to clearly say what your position is. I can see it’s now going to be a similar battle to get you to argue for it.

    You don’t want to talk to me and I’m getting tired of trying to get you to engage in actual conversation. I’m fine with leaving it at that.

  71. Tomasz R. says

    I’d give yet another argument. In debates you usually have more than one point of view having a representative. But when you are on an atheist show, then callers are usually talking about gods, religions, evolution.

    So basically this gives hosts an opportunity to sneak in statements about their their dogmas about other subjects with little probability of being challenged, as callers are going to talk about gods/religions/evolution anyway.

    Non-honorable people would use such opportunity to its fullest, and we have just witnessed this.

  72. says

    ya, you let me think of something…
    there is a TV show about medecine, and then one of the host said at the beginning: on my facebook some people said they believe/don’t believe in god…screw you those people…don’t believe in god/go to the church….
    Jen was really unprofessional and we don’t need anyone to tell us what to do or what to believe or not believe when it is outside the atheist/theist question on an Atheist show.
    I can’t wait to see a baseball game when the descriptor will tell us to whom we should vote for…

  73. Tomasz R. says

    @Martin – you and Jen have betrayed a basic value hold by the AXP show – you are using a using concepts and names without providing any definition. This is a hyporcisy if you ask poor callers for an extremaly difficult task of defining of complicated thing like god, at the same time not even bothering to define simple concepts, like what you mean

    So right now I demand from you a well-defined definition of the following concepts:
    1) anti-vaccine
    2) anti-science

    The “anti-vaccine” definition should be clear enought to allow to classify as anti-vaccine or not anti vaccine the following groups:

    a) People who are against the government mandating or forcing vaccinations, and that the individuals have the right to access vaccines.
    b) People who say that a subset of vaccine products (eg. Gardasil) are not good products, a subset of vaccine products are good products, a subset of vaccine products are ordinary products.
    c) People who disagree with the methods of judging vaccines – which tends to be made by comparing risks of a vaccine against the risk of non-vaccinating. It’s because they notice such method allows to introduce very DANGEROUS products if they have very large benefits. Rather than that vaccines should be judged by filling a strict, constant safety standards, idependantly of its benefits, thus motivating producers to have 100% of their products safe.
    d) People who think that not taking vaccines is a default positon, and to take a vaccines one should be convinced by the producers or promoters (rather than insulted etc.)
    e) People who think current current standards for vaccine safety are too low, that this should be stricter.

    And happy work on anti-science definition. Notice that I & others may use it to verify if the use of the term by you and on this forum is consistent with the definition or is it just used as an unjustified insult!


    In previous threads I’ve noticed some voices that it would be good replace hosts of AXP with some new, fresh people. My candidates for firing are Martin and Jen, as I rank them as lower quality than other hosts.

    I also find it inconsistent that some people from ACA promote Atheism+, which implies “diversity”, not noticing a problem among themselves. Consider age diversity – the AXP hosts are aging, there are no young people on the show. Consider racial diversity, and especially that people of East Asian ethnicity are the biggest group of atheists on the planet, yet they have no representation on the show. Consider diversity of political views – atheist conservatives and libertarians are not rare, but they are not represented in the show at all.

    So if you do support the goals of Atheism+ you should make the necessary corrections for the show. If you don’t support the goals of Atheism+ you don’t have to make any changes, you may stay with status quo.

  74. Tomasz R. says


    You wrote:: “He’s claimed in other threads to also be a liberterian.” What’s your evidence for this?

  75. says

    Oh Christ, are you still here? Okay then…

    So right now I demand from you a well-defined definition of the following concepts:
    1) anti-vaccine

    Someone who denies that vaccines have medical value in preventing disease, and in extreme cases, insists that they are a plot by “Big Pharma” to poison and kill us. See: Andrew Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey.

    2) anti-science

    Someone who denies scientific conclusions supported by a body of evidence and research. See: creationists, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers.

    If there’s any more common English I can help clarify for you, don’t hesitate to ask. “Hesitate” means “pause before saying or doing something, esp. through uncertainty.”

  76. mike says

    Whats going on here? Is TomaszR & ericvon some sort of crazy ant-vaxxer tagteam? TomaszR is resting while ericvon is in and appears in trouble, might be time to ‘tag’ TomaszR back in. Its two against one and LykeX is slapping you both around the ring!

  77. mike says

    Ya either that or the hospital ward where everyone is delirious, a side effect when suffering from the flu…

  78. says

    i don’t believe those conspiracies around vaccins, but I won’t go blindly get a vaccin because a girl in an atheist show tell me to do so…if she wants herself to have the vaccin, good for her. but if anyone gets a vaccin and something wrong happen to that person or to many folks, will she takes the responsablity for it? I don’t think so…

  79. says

    Non-honorable people would use such opportunity to its fullest, and we have just witnessed this.

    I hardly think that a two minute comment in one show constitutes some sort of grave injustice.
    If Jen really has some dark vaccination agenda, why don’t you document it by showing how she mentions vaccines in every show she’s on? Oh right, she doesn’t.

    If you’re concerned about the hosts abusing their mighty powers of persuasion to convince the public of all sorts of things, how come this is the first time we hear about it?
    I know you wouldn’t be as irrational as to make broad sweeping statements about people based off of one single case, so let’s hear about the rest.

    In fact, by your own standards, you should have predicted that I would ask for other examples and provided them already. You should have presented this evidence up front, before anyone asked for it. That’s how we’re supposed to do things, right?

  80. says

    @Tomasz R

    Why do we have to answer any of your crap? You’ve been dodging since day one. The moment we start to get to something specific, you jump away and change the subject.

    How about we just finish one point before getting into a big discussion about word definitions. After all, it’s quite clear that the only reason you’re asking is that you hope for someone to make a mistake that you can pounce on.
    You want to take a big detour to talk about various opinions about vaccines so that we all forget that you never actually answered to question that was on the table:

    Why did smallpox and polio disappear right as the vaccines were developed, if not because of the vaccines?

  81. Tomasz R. says

    Jed – it’s you who is not worth talking to. Consider what you have written to me – your point B from the previous post.

    “Now, could you meet your own criteria for providing evidence and give some for: […] that a vast cabal of doctors, researchers, chemists, journalists, bureaucrats, etc. have been gathered together by BIG PHARMA (that just screams out to be all in caps) so as to cover up the “fact” that vaccines cause […] homosexuality, abortion, […]”.

    This is a strawman argument. And quite ridiculous one. Usually when someone does a strawman argument he asserts his disputant hold a position X, that at least looks similar or is related to positions that a person holds. For example a normal quality strawman argument against atheist would be that they claim that there is no god. Against evolution defender – that he claims that evolution created life on Earth from no-life. Your strawman is of extremaly low-quality as it accuses a person you disagree with of holding a ridiculous position that vaccines cause homosexuality or abortion.

    Note than in this thread I’m not even talking about vaccines, but about the quality of messages that AXP tv program and AXP forum sends out, and also quality of hosts and posters.


    Going back to the topic. What Jen did was basically propagating a propaganda about vaccines. Consider her statement about the flu vaccines: “nothing bad is gonna happen to you if you get them”. Basically meaning “for each viewer there for sure will be no negative consequences of a flu vaccination”.

    This is actually much more than what producers of vaccines officialy state. At max their story is something like that:

    1) There are negative side effects of a vaccine. They are listend on the leaflet attached to the product.
    2) These negative effects are statistically rare.
    3) The risk of negative effects is lower than the risk difference of getting a particular diesease while not vaccinated and vaccinated.

    Which basically means that even in this official best case something form the list of negative side effects can happen to you. This puts what Jen said – “nothing is gonna happen to you” in the non-truth category.

  82. Tomasz R. says

    What is strange is this uhealthy fetish about vaccines, a fad-like coming back propaganda on the topic. Singling-out this one topic in the whole category of health, in other categories doing things like promoting bad diet – Oreo cookies.

    If the hosts want to legitimately include health as one of the topic of the show, then the whole range of topics related to health should show up. In preventive health category – topics about prevention of cancer, prevention of diabetes, prevention of Alzheimers and other. Since the topic is for general audience, rather than people having specific ailments, then the health information should include things that are lacking in general population – the need for excercise, good diet, good sleep patterns.

    Besides information shouldn’t be shown as a propaganda. Like X is great, and everyone who disagrees with it is an anti-science quack. Rather than propaganda format this should be in a review format: introducing a product (as product I mean also things like excercise regiment, or vitains, or diet etc.), showing what features it has, what are the pros what are the cons, how does it stack to the competition, is the price/results ration good.

    It looks that hosts like Jen are unable or unwilling to follow such objective, proven review format. Instead they choose to follow what religious preachers do – moralize, demonize, insult people who disagree with them, play emotional games, introduce tribalism of pro. vs. anti. groups.

  83. says

    ” Instead they choose to follow what religious preachers do – moralize, demonize, insult people who disagree with them, play emotional games, introduce tribalism of pro. vs. anti. groups.”

    Well said. No wonder why many people prefer to be called Free thinkers instead of atheists. The most verbal atheists seem stuck with fixed dogmas that they want to defend at the price of renoncing to be real skeptics. they pretend to be skeptic but they are being skeptic on only (let’s say) the black side and not (let’s say) the white side. Kind of a neo-manichaeists.

  84. says

    and if it is not as perfect black as they wish, then they considered it being on the white side (the wrong one for them). That is fundamentalistic and extremist..not free thinking.

  85. Tomasz R. says

    @Martin Wagner

    Your definition is very fuzzy and not exact. It specifically fails to answer some specific test cases I’ve given.

    Consider what you have written:

    Anti-vaccine: “Someone who denies that vaccines have medical value in preventing disease” What does your sentence mean? Is it about:

    1) Denying that all possible vaccines (including future ones) have no medical value, derived from the way vaccines work or are created.

    2) Denying that all vaccines currently on the market have no medical value, but accepting the possibility that future vaccines might work well, as the vaccination-as-a-metod is OK, just contemporary products are bad.

    3) Denying that a subset of vaccines has medical value, while affirming that an another subset of vaccines has medical value.

    As I get from your definition the following groups cannot be classified as “anti-vaccine”:

    a) People who demand higher safety and efficiency requirements for vaccines.

    b) Those who are just against government mandating vaccines, but are OK with individuals choosing to use vaccines.

    c) Those who just don’t get vaccines, despite not denying their medical value.

    d) Those who recommend against getting vaccines, despite acknowledging their medical value.

    “[…] see Andrew Wakefield”. Isn’t this ignorant? On what basis do you classify Andrew Wakefield as anti-vaccine? Because Jen told you so? Perhaps you shouln’t trust her… (or any fanatics in general).

    Listen to an example interview with Andrew Wakefield.

    The conclusions of the interview (at 1h 23min): “It’s clear that dr Wakefield is not opposed to vaccination, but he is opposed to unsafe vaccine practices”.


    Going to your definition of “anti-science”.
    “Someone who denies scientific conclusions supported by a body of evidence and research”

    So basically any scientist with a hypothesis or theory (supported by evidence) that has conflicting conclusions than any other hypothesis or theory (supported by evidence) is “anti-science”.

    Consider dietetitians and their multitude of conflicting theories about what’s the good/bad/best way to prevent/fight obesity. All backed up by scientific evidence. All are anti-science?

    And what is the scientific diet that you have chosen for yourself, how does the experiment work for you?

    Rest of your definition:
    “See: […] climate change deniers”. It’s it great when someone defines an important concept by using another undefined concept! This makes things so much easier to understand!

    So who are the “climate change deniers”?

    I) Those who claim that climate will always be the same (non-changing), eg. it’s neither going to be hotter or colder in the future? (this would be common, colloquial meaning of the phrase: climate change deniers).

    II) Those who claim that climate may be colder in the future, that we are heading into mini or full glaciation?

    III) Those who claim the climate is unpredictable, it may change in the future, but we are not able to determine in which direction it’s going to go, because of the chaotic nature of the climate itself, or because of limitations of our contemporary climate models?

  86. Tomasz R. says

    In this thread I’ve assumed the role of a Quality Controller for what’s happening on the program (starting from Jen’s advertisment) and on the forum.

    In this thread I’m not avocating any fixed position.

    As such, I’m only judging what others said, and strangely according to the rules they have established themselves: the need to provide a definition, an evidence for the claim, not shifting the burden of proof etc.

    As a Qality Controler I don’t have a responsibility to answer questions about subjects outside of the quality control. And especially to provide alternative hypothesis (as LykeX required) or provide an analysis of the behavior of Big Pharma, as you demand.

    What are my preliminary opinions resulting from my amateur attempt at quality control?

    Personal affairs:

    1) It would be beneficial to replace 2 hosts of the lowest quality of the set of hosts (Jen and Martin) with someone nicer, and more competent.

    2) There’s a need for younger people on the program. So it would be good if the replacements were of the younger age.

    3) If ACA/AXP values diversity, then 2 large atheist groups should be represented (currently underrepresented in media): people of East Asian ethnic origins, conservative atheists. So there might be a try to find such people for replacement. I guess you might find a talented young conservative atheist in Texas, I’m not sure about East Asians.

    Approach to dealing with non-atheist/non-religious stuff:

    a) Has to be objective, obligatorily. My proposed format was to use something like a product review.

    b) The topics should span whole important range of subjects. That is no single pet topic (like vaccines now) should be singled out for getting lot’s of air time, while other important topic in the same category go unmentioned (eg. health category, important topics not mentioned: cancer prevention, diabetes prevention etc.).

    Of course you may not agree with such results. People tend to stick to status quo. But maybe it’s because they don’t know what they loose by not making changes?

  87. jdog says

    What question did you have about vaccines that hasn’t already been sufficiently answered? If you think they don’t work or that they have harmful side effects, then you’re completely at odds with the established body of scientific research. The only “study” done that produced contradictory results had a ridiculously small sample size (meaning there was a huge margin of error), no other researcher has been able to verify its conclusions, and has been exposed as fraudulent.

  88. jdog says

    Why do you assume AXP needs a quality controller or that you have any qualifications to be one that anyone here would consider accepting?

  89. says

    Tomasz, are you still talking?

    Because I think most of us long ago twigged to your whole dull rhetorical schtick: No “definition” you get will ever be good enough, no matter how specific it is. You’ll continue to split hairs and split hairs, because your whole end of the discussion has been about your ego for quite a long time, and defending that ego of yours has involved doing everything in your power to avoid answering a simple question I put to you ever since your initial dismissal of vaccines:

    If not vaccines, what do you think eradicated smallpox and polio?

    Until you answer this conclusively, with citations, I have no further interest in you.

    In fact, I’m going to go a step further, since none of this is going anywhere and you just keep repeating your moronic mantra about “advertising” and “propaganda” and “unhealthy fetishes” and whatever else your cracked clay pot of a brain pan comes up with: In your very next comment, I expect you to answer my question about smallpox and polio, or you will be banned. You’ve had enough time to rant here ad nauseam, and you really don’t get to make demands here without some substance to support your own position. (Actually, you don’t get to make demands here period.)

    As for Wakefield, he was found to have committed fraud in his research, he was barred from practicing medicine in the UK, and he was forced to resign from the Texas children’s clinic he ran (and no, not because of some “Big Pharma” conspiracy, but because he committed fraud in his research). To continue to promote him as someone who was only ever concerned about vaccine safety is nakedly dishonest, as he outright lied about a vaccine/autism link, and his influence led to the upsurge in cases of measles and whooping cough that have killed kids when idiots like McCarthy and Carrey took the anti-vax ball and ran with it in the media.

    And the only reason anyone here is discussing this topic at all is because you’ve got an obsessive hard-on for it. If you’re looking for “fanatics,” you’ve been looking at the wrong people.

  90. says

    what is that fetish with vaccins? are they are going on the show to tell us to wash our hands Xtime per day? to wear comdoms? to take a shower x-time a day? to stop smoking? to walk x-hours a day? to drink water?

    my problem with what Jen did is that she is not there to do the promotion of vaccination. maybe she did say that for they are conspiracies about it in Texas or in USA, but it is so important the numbers of people who buy those conspiracies to be so agressive about it?

    anyway, me I don’t want to be vaccined and that has nothing to do with big pharma or stuff. I prefer the nature as much as it is possible.

    hope in the USA one day they won’t trade the “good approved vaccin” with other stuff…

  91. says

    We’re talking about this because you brought it up. You’ve even brought up vaccines before in an earlier thread. How is that we have a fetish about a subject you keep bringing up?
    And don’t try to tar it off on Jen; she only mentioned it because someone whined about how horrible vaccines are on her facebook page. Again, someone else brought it up, she responded.

    I think it’s quite clear who has the fetish.

  92. says

    Hypothetical question:

    Let’s say that Jen had quit smoking and someone had said to her that she was being stupid and now she would surely get lung cancer. As a result, Jen mentions on the show that smoking is bad and she encouraged people to stop smoking or at least stop spreading lies about the dangers of smoking.

    Would you have a problem with that?

  93. says

    fair question

    well I would have the same problem about her giving medical advice on that show, giving moral on how cigarettes gives cancer ,exhortation of following her because she quited smoking.

    the other part that stopping smoking gives cancer…hmmm I would check researches, etc. I would be surprised at first but I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility that it could be true. Like if someone is smoking a lot for a long time, it could be possible…Ya, I guess I would have problem with her being agressive about it and persons who thinks that way. She could inform us that some people thinks a contreversial thing as such, but to give medical prescription it is not her mission, furthermore not in a preachy way. Anyway she wouldn’t be neutral on the topic for herself would have stop smoking, she would be in conflict of interest, so would be better a neutral person that informs us on the new contreversy of stop smoking gives the cancer.

    Of course I would be skeptic but as a smoker I wouldn’t stop not because I am affraid to get the cancer in stopping but because I like to smoke even with the risk….so i guess if I am tired of smoking I would take also the risk of stopping even if they are rumours (true or false) that it gives the cancer to stop for anyway I was smoking with the treat of cancer.

  94. Tomasz R. says

    Martin – viewers and readers are your quality controllers, whether you like it or not. Calling people idiots lowers your score substantially.

    In fact very substantially. People who lack personal manners do harm if they are put on the spotlight as representatives of atheist community. Such representation sends a message to the world that there’s a problem with high verbal aggression, a plague of inappropriate behavior, generally lack of morality, among atheists.

    Insults and slur like yours should be clearly condemned, and those characterized by such behaviors taken down from any representative positions.

  95. says

    Crumbled into tone trolling now, have we?

    Rule of thumb in life: if you don’t like being called an idiot, don’t act like one. Projecting is usually bad policy as well.

    Anyway, you’re done.

  96. says

    I’m still not sure why you think it’s a problem. Jen’s not trying to force people to do anything. She’s voicing a personal opinion. She’s not giving out professional medical advice. She doesn’t pretend to be a doctor. She speaks as a private person and made that quite clear.
    Is it your opinion that the hosts should not voice their personal opinions? If so, does this only cover medical issues or also other subjects?

    Do you have the same problem when the hosts discussed the fact that they had voted early? Remember, they talked about the benefits of voting early; avoiding lines and such. Jeff even said that more people voting was a good thing. I notice you haven’t complained about that.

    Also, what exactly did you think was “aggressive” about what Jen said? You’ve said that twice now and I don’t know what you’re referring to. I just listened to the bit again and she sounds quite calm and reasonable.

  97. says

    I have listened again the intro as well. You are right, I haven’t complained about Jeff and his political views and Jen is calm when she talks about her vaccination stuff. I guess it is me who have a problem with women giving medical advice (and it has nothing to do with Jen) for in my real life women bug and tired me in giving me to often medical advice aggressivly when I don’t ask any advice from them.

  98. Jed Deemer says

    Tomasz, I meant what I wrote about it being pointless to waste time responding to you (though I will admit that the post you sent to me was a good deal more apposite than some of your previous efforts–you actually addressed some of the points I made! Kudos.) But, I don’t want you laboring under a misapprehension: what I wrote was not a straw man argument; it was sarcasm; mockery; ridicule. I merely took the most ludicrous examples of anti-vaxer arguments (yes, some do claim that vaccines cause homosexuality) in an attempt to make fun of you. I am well aware that the argument was silly; that was the whole point of it. Now, if only you could realize that your own arguments are equally as silly, if not sillier, then we might actually be well on our waye to ending this stupid colloquy.

    I hope this has clarified matters.

    I remain your humble servant.

    Jed Deemer, esq.

  99. jdog says

    They probably have good reason to. You’re an anti-vaxxer, which means in at least one area of your healthcare, you’ve made a remarkably poor decision; it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if there were others.

  100. Robert Delaney says

    I’m glad someone else noticed that. I just caught up and heard the show yesterday, he referred to her as Tracie 3 times throughout the show. The first time I assumed it was an honesty mistake, the second time it was embarassing. But by the third time I started thinking “wait, is that really Tracie?” (since I was listening to it on my ipod). Thought I was going crazy for a second there.