Sunday, January 11, 2015
How many liars?
That's odd. So many Australians who seem to have attitudes that advocate vaccination, science, medicine, skepticism and the pursuit of truth have been demanding that an anti-vaccination speaker have her visa cancelled and be prevented from doing a speaking tour of Australia, on the basis that she is regarded as being a liar. But I don't recall any similar fuss and bluster in response to last year's Australian tour by James Randi. Randi has been a major figure in the skeptics movement for many years and is still regarded by many as a hero of truth-seeking, but one doesn't need to look too far to find claims and evidence that appears to indicate that Randi is a lair and a bully:
Randi is a male who endorses a world view that is very much compatible with the interests of those who are in power in developed countries, while the anti-vax speaker is a woman advocating ideas that question the authority of the medical profession and also the government of Australia, which punishes parents who do not vaccinate by cutting off one welfare payment. Both speakers appear to be liars, but clearly they appeal to quite different sections of society and quite different interests.