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Empty arguments; empty words

Stating the results of a poll is not an appeal to authority but a statement of fact: 93% of scientists support the use of animals in biomedical research.   That does not mean we are necessarily right, but clearly puts the opinion of those that oppose research based on scientific considerations in the minority...  the very tiny minority.  

Opponents of research just do not want to face this simple fact.  When Dr. Greek is presented with examples of how animal research contributed to human health he calls them ‘anecdotes’; discoveries that one (he?) could have easily come up with by simply watching the clouds go by.  

Dr. Greek also stated that many (most?) scientists actually agree with him; that the reason we do not hear such voices is because they are afraid to speak in public.  I then pointed out that the Pew Research poll was anonymous and the results unequivocal.  As a consequence he has now changed the tone and argues he does not contest the result of the poll, but that if a different question had been asked scientists would have supported his views.  He based this statement on a sample of n=1 (one of his friends).  Truly pathetic argument.  So much for basing statements on anecdotes.   

Once again, to make sense of the poll’s results, Dr. Greek has resuscitated the argument that scientists and the government agencies that fund them, such as the National Institutes of Health, must be conspiring to kill animals for the only purpose of making money.  A conspiracy theory without any basis whatsoever.   Of course there is a more parsimonious explanation of the poll's outcome: Dr. Greek’s views are wrong.   Maybe it is time to start considering this alternative hypothesis as well?

Finally, Dr. Greek now admits associating with radical elements of the animal rights movement.  He is “guilty as charged”.  What do I mean by ‘radical’?  I mean individuals that actively incite to violence and justify the killing of scientists as a valid method to advance the objectives of the animal rights movement.   Somewhat surprisingly he justifies these associations and that there is no reason for him to cease these friendships.  He feels that it is Ok for friends not the share the same views.

It seems to me it might be fine for friends to disagree on what wine goes best with what food, or who is going to win the NBA championship.  But can someone that is truly opposed to racism seek the friendship of a member of the Ku-Klux Klan?   Can anyone believe in the possibility of such friendship?

When Dr. Greek participated in the UCLA panel he categorically condemned the violence against scientists by animal rights extremists.  By now, it is apparent those were nothing more than empty words. 


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