the woo is really, really strong in this one…

There's no pseudoscience or conspiracy Mike Adams isn't willing to defend. His latest cause? Astrology.
teach the controversy stork
Illustration by Amorphia Apparel

Mike Adams wears many hats. Not only is he a professional snake oil peddler aspiring to build the next big anti-science portal, but he also doubles as a conspiracy klaxon, a hypocritical, condescending loudmouth, and now, astrologer. That’s right, if it’s against some sort of scientific consensus and there are skeptics who aren’t swayed by an idea, he’s willing to go out on a limb to fiercely defend it, dripping arrogance from virtually every other sentence as he tries to convince us that a recent study on mice found that personality is somehow shaped by the position of the stars in the night sky. Of course, as pointed out elsewhere, the study itself just noticed that changing seasons have an effect on the circadian rhythms of mice, you know, perfectly ordinary, terrestrial seasons which rely only on the planet’s tilt relative to its parent star. But hey, since when did a little thing like having to read something not from Above Top Secret or stop Adams? Hey Mike, how about writing in support of babies being delivered by storks rather than being born after a nine month gestation? It’s right up your alley since after all, mainstream science considers this idea just a story for overly curious kids.

Just to make this even more hilarious and embarrassing, our supposed health guru decides to tie menstrual cycles to the lunar orbit. Since the Moon swings around the Earth about every 28 days and the menstrual cycle lasts roughly the same amount of time, the two must be tied at the hip, right? Maybe once upon a time, when the ancestors of modern humans timed reproduction by lunar cycles, there was some relationship according to a few speculative papers. But today, women who don’t live with each other don’t exactly have simultaneous periods, and when they do, possibly as an evolutionary trait left by some prehistoric sexual selection, whether it’s a new moon or a full moon says nothing about the timing of their cycles. This is classic cargo cult science in action. Mike saw two things that seem to have some correlation to each other, asked why this is the case, then invented some explanation for the relationship. Isn’t that what scientists do all the time? Well, actually, in the real world, no. Scientists also have to provide evidence for the relationship they think they found, evidence that proves their idea, and evidence for a mechanism that actually makes sense. This is why the idea of past human hunter-gatherers timing reproduction by lunar phases makes sense and randomly equating the two numbers in the modern world, where knowing lunar phases is completely unnecessary, doesn’t.

Really though, how does one become as deluded as Adams? How does one just lose a sense of reason to such an extent that his only criteria for accepting some concept is whether mainstream scientists disapprove, no matter how many flaws with it are cited? He and his followers remind me of hipsters and non-conformists who defend their every action or choice by saying that “they’re not going to follow the sheeple” while slavishly trying to do the opposite of what’s happening in the mainstream. And so, every time Adams decides to tackle another topic he’s woefully unqualified to handle, he tries to zing those skeptics who bow their heads before anything they’re told by scientists and governments, oblivious to just how much time skeptical blogs devote to criticizing politics and government policies, and tearing into scientists’ faulty assertions. Although, I would be amazed to hear that Adams actually reads any skeptical blogs rather than just scans them for keywords he’ll try to derisively mock in his next screed. All the meanwhile, his followers, also with a dedication to ascribing to any opinion that serious scientists don’t think much of to feed their desire to be anti-establishment no matter whether it makes sense to agree or disagree with an establishment on the matter, all nod their heads, praise the man’s attempts at thought, and rail against those evil, nasty skeptics. Lest they be seen as one of the no- good conformist sheeple who actually dare to agree with scientists on something, of course…

# science // antiscience / astrology / cranks / woo

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