Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dean Esmay and Orac

A while ago I pointed out that Dean Esmay had not bothered responding to Oracs excellent debunking of the pathology report produced by Dr. Al-Bayati. As it turns out, he probably won't as he has stated over at another analysis of the report at Catallarchy.
I tried reading Orac’s response, by the way, but it was so full of false accusations that I couldn’t get through it.
Of course, noting that Dean doesn't bother trying to support this statement and instead just dodges any of the points that Orac raised. In fact, Dean by accusing Orac of being dishonest repeatedly, never engaging any of his points that he raised just puts on a big hat labelled 'hypocrite'. This from a man who asked his opponents,

I wonder if the Suicide Girls or Orac Knows will show any class, decency or honesty on the subject now that we know the truth?
Which of course invoked the original response by Orac to Deans claims. The only problem was the 'truth' happens to be a little different than what Dean would have others believe. Where did Dean go in terms of actually addressing the arguments put forth by Orac after this point?
The man argues first and foremost through attacks on others’ credibility. I do not, for example, “wave credentials” at anybody, not for my friends or detractors. I note only that credentials do matter, and that in any area of science, a qualified scientist should be respected as having the right to a dissent, even if it’s a minority position, AND, that one shouldn’t treat qualified scientists as kooks or people who can be dismissed with an airy wave of the hand.
But of course Dean does, because he attempts to use Dr. Al-Bayatis credentials instead of if the man is factually correct as the support for the argument. According to Dean, you can be completely wrong on something but because of your credentials it should still be considered as a possibility? This sounds amazingly similar to other kinds of nonsense that gets put out, such as those pushing alternative treatments like crystal healing, the psudoscience of ID/creationists and holocaust deniers. Just because someone has a degree Dean doesn't make them right and neither does it make them credible in any respect. Of course, Dean claims that Orac 'dismissed' the report with an airy wave of the hand. You can go and read what Orac wrote for yourself and make up your own mind. The only person here dismissing anything with an 'airy wave of the hand' is Dean. I'm sure the irony is lost on him however.
Orac’s dishonesty in this leads me to the (admittedly ad hominem) conclusion that he can’t be trusted to be honest on anything else.
More like this is a brilliant way of avoiding having to actually formulate any form of response to Orac. Instead, Dean can claim the high ground first by claiming Orac is being dishonest (without explanation) and then not respond to the substance of any of Oracs points whatsoever. Of course, he still claims that the cause of death was anaphylaxis, even if there wasn't any associated pathology that indicates such a hypothesis except for grasping at straws (see Oracs or Catallarchy for reasons why that is).