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Junk Science Judo: Self-Defense against Health Scares and Scams Hardcover – January 1, 2001
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So Steven's objective is to discredit any scientific findings that come to the conclusion that corporate America's pollution has now and will continue to have global effects on the environment. So he criticizes the results of real scientists that are doing objective research and labels them as radical liberals. He calls their science "junk science" .
The only slip in reasoning here is that the scientists that conclude big business pollution is destructive to the environment and our health weren't paid by billion dollar Industries to come to these conclusions.
Steven Milloy and TASSC are funded gratuitously by corporate America to debunk global warming and any other scientific findings that run counter to corporate America's interests.
Originally TASSC was funded by Philip Morris with the goal of debunking the scientific conlusion that second hand smoke is hazardous to your health. Would you believe that? If I was paid a million dollars by Phillip Morris to say second hand smoke is not dangerous to your health would you believe me? I really hope not. But that is just what Steven Milloy does. He gets paid enormously by corporate America to say that environmental scientists (who weren't paid off to come to specific conclusions) are the one's producing the junk science. His original funding came from Phillip Morris but TASSC is funded by the following corporations: 3M, Amoco, Chevron, Dow Chemical, Exxon, General Motors, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lorillard Tobacco, Louisiana Chemical Association, National Pest Control Association, Occidental Petroleum, Philip Morris Companies, Procter & Gamble, Santa Fe Pacific Gold, and W.R. Grace, the asbestos and pesticide manufacturers.
If you think I'm making this all up do a Google search on "Steven J. Milloy Spin doctoring" or "Steven J. Milloy Phillip Morris" and see all of the legitimate resources that expose his true ulterior motives. That is, if you actually do care about the truth more than you care about not being labeled as a liberal radical.
The name calling is how these billion dollar corporations enforce compliance by labeling dissenters as deviants. If you care about the environment you are a bleeding heart liberal, if you don't support the United States occupation and Halliburton's profiteering in Iraq you are unpatriotic and sometimes even considered a terrorist. These God and Jesus spewing billionaires define right and wrong and what is moral according to their own interests. They will pay pseudo scientists like Steven J. Milloy enormous sums of money to make it appear that there is scientific evidence to support their agenda.
Milloy describes the types of people responsible for junk science in his book. The people involved in junk science range from small time con artists to as big as people inside government agencies. Basically anyone could be a potential candidate for posting junk science, because it is so easy to do. One example of junk science is the claim that grapefruit juice is heart healthy. There is no solid evidence that supports that claim. The con artists posting junk science go out of their way to establish a cause and effect relationship with what they are trying to prove. These people are interested in their own succession, and should not be considered scientists at all.
A really captivating point in the book is that news channels, such as CNN, often report pseudoscience. Reporters are not supposed to make up lies, but the information they broadcast is not always true. Milloy brings up a good point that the news does not like debunking there own news. This book teaches you to have doubts about even the most reliable sources. Often times, many studies that back up a claim are done on small sample sizes, which often makes them useless to the population as a whole. Frequently activists put their own desires before the facts, and will say anything to promote their claim. Junk science even gets through the judicial system, and pollutes the courts and juries. Millions upon millions of dollars have been lost due to junk science legislation.
After reading "Junk Science Judo" what you think is true, may not be true to you anymore. You will see the doubt in many of the claims that you have come across in your life. Think about this question for instance, how could you personally tell if eating cereal gave you cancer? You can't. You have to take someone else's word for it, and they could either have reliable or unreliable data. The fact of the matter is that often times you hear of the unreliable data. You will even realize that politicians use pseudoscience to get elected. Although it is wrong in every way, pseudoscience often means an easy route to the top; that is if you don't get caught. After reading this book you will understand the importance of the scientific method, taking an idea from a theory to a scientific law, and how generations builds upon each other's claims.
This book was easy to read in the sense that there was a lot to catch your attention, and never would you feel stuck on one topic or event. There are countless examples of junk science in this book. Each lesson teaches you more and more about how to defend yourself against junk science. The length of the book made it not discouraging to get through. It wasn't too long, or filled with any dull or useless information. Even if you are a person who is stubborn, Milloy's point that you ought to be, "Better safe than sorry." (Milloy 148) will probably end up saving your skin one day.
The book "Junk Science Judo" shows you the key default assumptions in health risk assessments. Milloy teaches you to become aware that many researchers like to skip the testing stage, and get a conclusion with no proof. One fact is that, "Theories, anecdotes, and assumptions aren't proof of anything" (Milloy 225). I really enjoyed how much this book taught me, and prepared me for a world filled with pseudoscience. For instance when you hear big numbers, it often comes with a large amount of falsity. Statistics are not proof of anything, and many people like to use them because they lack the proof they need. As Milloy states, "Statistics are the lingua franca of junk science." (Milloy 212), which is the truth.
If you are a person who is for animal rights, there are some facts that might be upsetting toward the end of the book or in Lesson 9 to be exact. Junk scientists often get societies attention using Bioassays, or animal experiments that are often times wrongly performed. Basically the idea in this part of the book is that rats differ from humans, and what is claimed to be harmful to them, cannot necessarily be claimed to harm people, but often is. The book goes over all of the epidemiologic basic studies, such as clinical trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, and ecologic studies. There are many charts and examples in the book to give you an idea of what goes on.
By reading "Junk Science Judo" you will realize that much of the junk science you retain has been engraved in your mind throughout your life, and it will be a challenge to distinguish the pseudoscience from actual science. I agree with the author that by the end of the book you will be a black belt in junk science judo. I would highly recommend reading this book because of the life lessons it taught me.
I have emailed Mr. MIlloy 4 times over the past week and have received no response to my questions about his claims, which suggests to me that he is not willing to acknowledge criticism. This is possibly the worst trait a scientist can have; and as such I am inclined to cast serious doubt on his scientific credibility. I gave this book a neutral rating because I haven't read it, nor will I read it until Mr. Milloy allows himself to be open to criticism. I eagerly await his response and suggest to other potential buyers that they be cautious in their acceptance of his conclusions (at least until I hear back from him).
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