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On Mon, 26 Jul 1999, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > While there may be a lot of useful information at
> > http://www.quackwatch.com
> > one of the underlying themes there seems to be that all nutrients and drugs
> > should be controlled by terrocrats, and that terrocrats should require
> > medical licensing and have the authority to approve or deny the sale of
> > certain substances...
> Yes, quackwatch.com is overly regulation-friendly. Many libertarian
> sites are quack-friendly. While neither of those is a great combination,
> both nonetheless contain valuable information. I don't think extropians
> will have any trouble ignoring the political undertones of Quackwatch.
> As a libertarian, I would not choose to use state force to shut down a
> naturopath or a supplement seller or even a psychic--but that doesn't
> mean I approve of them or would want my daughter to marry one. I would
> not call the cops on a homeopath, nor would I prevent neo-Nazis from
> publishing a newsletter, but I would not allow either one in my house.
> Libertarian politics do not preclude moral judgment.
...or rational evaluation of the homeopath's or neo-Nazi's claims.
I guess that nicely summs up our predicament. This list is founded by and for people who believe in using the tools of traditional science to acchieve radical results. Unfortunately, that makes us magnets for anyone who believes in radical anything. If we are to ever be taken seriously, establishing a memetic immune system is a high priority. In the long run, kooky assertions are thoroughly debunked here. However, that wastes a lot of energy which could be put to use refining non-kooky assertions. Perhaps if we came up with some memetic, organizational, or technical means for discouraging charlatans from joining the list in the first place...
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