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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Ecomodernism - A New Ideology of the Anthropocene

Ecomodernism is a recently conceived movement that's been described as "an environmental philosophy which argues that humans can "decouple" anthropogenic impacts from the natural world."

These ecomodernists are featured often in the media, are part of academic institutions and even receive awards for their work. Their ideas are portrayed as the 'future of environmentalism' in the press, but is their philosophy one that will truly benefit humans and the environment, or is it just a lot of hot air?


The Manifesto

In April of 2015 the 'An Ecomodernist Manifesto' was released. The numerous authors include  controversial characters like Mark Lynas known for his almost religious 'conversion' to an aggressive promoter of conventional agriculture and his creative interpretation of history. Then there's aspiring politician and nuclear energy proponent Michael Shellenberger and Roger Pielke Jr. who was at one time part of a brief investigation by Democratic lawmakers (that never amounted to anything) for potential issues with research funding. And also David Keith who is a strong advocate for geoengineering.

The manifesto starts out acknowledging our impact on the planet, and stating their position on how best to manage it. In it they "affirm one long-standing environmental ideal, that humanity must shrink its impacts on the environment to make more room for nature, while we reject another, that human societies must harmonize with nature to avoid economic and ecological collapse." They argue further that, "Natural systems will not, as a general rule, be protected or enhanced by the expansion of humankind’s dependence upon them for sustenance and well-being."

Few people will argue that humans are having a great impact on the planet, but many would question the wisdom of the Ecomodernists suggested approach to managing it. The idea that we must shrink our impacts on the environment is reasonable, but is that best achieved by rejecting the idea of harmonizing with nature? The Ecomodernists say the solution is "Intensifying many human activities — particularly farming, energy extraction, forestry, and settlement — so that they use less land and interfere less with the natural world is the key to decoupling human development from environmental impacts." The idea that we can 'de-couple' ourselves from the planet we live on is so far from reality that you have to wonder where this level of hubris stems from.

An over-simplified illustration to be sure, but it still provides some much needed perspective.

The Ecomodernists believe that we must reduce our dependence on natural systems yet at the same time recognizing that we are "completely dependent on the living biosphere." We are not able to decouple ourselves from nature simply because we came from it, we are a part of it, and we depend on it for our own survival.

This sort of inconsistency isn't unusual - the Ecomodernists have been called out before on their statements about Al Gore and climate, renewable energy, climate policy, climate scientists, their track record of bad analyses as well as the failures of the manifesto.


The Breakthrough Institute (TBI)

The Ecomodernist's progressive think tank organization founded in 2003 by Michael Shellenberger, describes itself as "a global research center that identifies and promotes technological solutions to environmental and human development challenges." Senior fellows include Pamela Ronald, queen of retractions, the aforementioned Roger Pielke Jr., and Stuart Brand, co-founder of the Long Now Foundation and unrepentant purveyor of played out DDT myths.

TBI has had it's fair share of criticism over the years from its messaging on climate change to the quality of the data they present. Their blatantly technocratic worldview is on display in their magazine The Breakthrough Journal where int heir latest issue they promote technofixes like geoengineering, nuclear energy and even become apologists for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's).

'Science Mom' Jenny Splitter sings the praises of CAFOs.

Under their mission statement they proclaim that "We believe that technology and modernizations are at the foundation of human progress." and "We believe that...long-term government investment is required to accelerate technological progress, economic growth and environmental quality."

TBI is a wet dream come true for industry. At least the ones they promote anyway, like industrial agriculture, nuclear energy and the like. Let's look at one example.

Monsanto's Director of Millennial Engagement praises BTI award recipient Rachel Laudan, who "celebrates technological, industrial, “artificial” food."

Vance Crowe promotes ecomodernism quite often, alongside the other 'tribes' he is trying to connect on behalf of his employer's best interests. He is a member of Stuart Brand's Long Now Foundation (#5454) as he announces on his Twitter bio.

Vance wants to connect the Skeptic tribe with ecomodernism.


The cringey-named Trolling With Logic podcast starring Vance and Vice Chair of the Finnish Eco-modernists.

Clearly, Monsanto and the rest of the agrochemical industry is not what we'd think of as a leader in sustainability, or planetary health. Their love of all things ecomodernist should give us pause as to the direction the Ecomodernists would like to take us. Their promise of a 'great Anthropocene' is perhaps well-intentioned, but their sheer ignorance of ecology, inconsistent rhetoric, and distortion of statistics is something to be seriously wary of. Ecomodernism seems much more ideologically based than it is grounded in reality.

"Beware of people preaching simple solutions to complex problems." - Steve Herbert


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Whose One-Liner Is It Anyway?

The scientific method is vital to knowledge development. It has helped the human race to save lives and do and discover many amazing things. Science is a hot topic these days. Scientific findings like climate change have been embroiled in controversy and politics, leading to more exposure in the news media also television shows like Cosmos, and events like the March for Science have helped to popularize it.

Sadly, scientific literacy is being diluted down to soundbites and axioms by the pop science Skeptic movement. How often have you heard phrases like these?

The plural of anecdote is not data

Everything is a chemical

Correlation is not causation

The dose makes the poison

Science doesn't care what you believe

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence

These one-liners are designed to make the person delivering them sound sciencey and smart, but when someone is using a phrase like this it often belies a facile understanding of a complex issue.

Sigh. I feel your pain, kid.
This particular quote is often used to dismiss people's observations as having no value. While one anecdote alone isn't concrete proof of something, observational data is in fact very useful. The humorous example in the British Medical Journal of the article entitled Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials reminds us of this. That's even aside from the fact that this commonly used aphorism is being badly mis-quoted. The original version comes from a man named Raymond Wolfinger. In a 2003 email correspondence, Wolfinger relays the story behind his famed quote:

"I said 'The plural of anecdote is data' some time in the 1969-70 academic year while teaching a graduate seminar at Stanford. The occasion was a student's dismissal of a simple factual statement-by another student or me-as a mere anecdote. The quotation was my rejoinder."

Isn't it strangely ironic then that the Skeptic crowd would popularize the exact opposite of what the phrase was meant to convey?

Buy this sticker and you too, can pretend to be science literate.

This one generally gets whipped out when people use the term chemical to refer to a synthetic or manufactured substance, food additives or those products made by the chemical industry...what do they call those things? Oh yeah, chemicals.

Yes, all matter has a chemical structure. No, not all chemicals are bad. Shouting that 'everything is a chemical' in the middle of a conversation is about as helpful as shouting 'the sky is blue' in the middle of a conversation about airplanes. It might be correct, but it doesn't really serve to inform anyone.

The louder you shout it, the more scientific you sound.

Correlation alone is not proof of causation, this is true. But a correlation is also not a claim of proof either. And many times, what is mistaken as simply correlation is actually part of a collection of data that reinforces itself statistically. A correlation is a part of scientific investigation and it is pseudoscience to demand proof before an hypothesis can be fully tested. Imagine where we would be if every time a scientist noticed a correlation in some collected data they just waved their hand and said, 'No need to research this any further, correlation does not equal causation!'

Yes, because PCBs and asbestos are the same as potatoes and pears.

This one is a classic - literally. The axiom comes from the 16th century 'father of toxicology' Paracelsus. The original quote is, "All things are poison and nothing (is) without poison, only the dose makes that a thing is no poison." Does dose matter? Of course, but keep in mind Paracelsus lived before we knew about things like low dose effects and non-monotonic dose responses. Other factors influence toxicity too like individual susceptibility, timing, sequence, and accompanying exposures. The idea that low doses are always too low to be harmful betrays an ignorance of some of the most basic toxicological science. And as in the example above, it is used frequently by the chemical industry to confuse consumers and distract from the science surrounding their products that exhibit worrisome toxic effects.

A phrase so popularized, it even has its own Facebook page. It's all Oprah's fault, I'm sure. 

Science isn't a person, so no, of course it doesn't care what you believe. Don't be a fucking asshole.

Not to be confused with the poster on Mulder's office wall. 
While Sagan has done more for science literacy than he hasn't, we still could have done without his popularization of this one. First it lacks any real context. What defines an extraordinary claim? What would be accepted as extraordinary evidence?  Does this mean the evidence required to prove the existence of a new earth species is different or less than that to prove the existence of an alien life form? It doesn't seem logical that the required scientific evidence for proof of claims should be on some kind of arbitrary Skeptical Sliding Scale.

 Speaking of arbitrary and illogical...

This segues nicely into our last one-liner from my favorite sourpuss. "That which can be asserted with out evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." How the hell can anyone take this nihilistic shit seriously? You can't just make up your own rules as you go along and pretend it's somehow evidence-based to absolve yourself from presenting any evidence at all. This is the height of intellectual laziness, and we should pity any person who repeats this rubbish.

Science literacy is more than memorizing a series of catchy phrases, and skepticism is a discipline of thinking which cannot be accomplished by oversimplifying complex issues which is exactly what these expressions do. Make sure not be seduced by this flashy style fake skepticism - there are no shortcuts here. Learning about science takes time and effort, but it's worth doing right.










Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sham News Sites Promote False Narrative


If you've been following the controversy over the world's most popular herbicide active ingredient  glyphosate, you know things have been getting increasingly heated since the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified it as probably carcinogenic to humans back in 2015.

During this time, a series of reports have come out of Reuters by a reporter named Kate Kelland. These 'exclusives' can all be traced back to Monsanto, the agrochemical company that made glyphosate famous with their lucrative product Roundup. As a result of this reporting, and perhaps some lobbying efforts, the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee has launched an investigation into IARC, threatening to cut funding to the independent organization. Three of Kelland's stories were cited in letters to IARC by House Science chairmen Lamar Smith and Andy Biggs. The first letter was sent in November 2017 and a follow-up in December 2017. 

Most recently, the House Science committee has held a hearing titled "In Defense of Scientific Integrity: Examining the International Agency for Reasearch on Cancer (IARC) Monograph Program and Glyphosate Review" wherein Andy Biggs refers to glyphosate as "glyphosphate." It was just as appalling as it sounds. But then, this is that House Science committee.

NBC reports: The article claims the science behind global warming is “in its final death rattle.”
And if you think they learned after that first go-around...well, you'd be wrong.


Despite their name, the House Science committee needs some serious work on their science literacy. The criticisms made by Chairman Smith, who has accepted thousands of dollars in contributions from the agribusiness industries, have been thoroughly rebutted by IARC Director Christopher Wild in several written responses, and yet the 'investigation' continues to drag on - much like their tweets featuring rock solid sources.

ACSH is American Council on Science and Health - a notorious front group.

While this circus has been going on, Monsanto has been rolling out their "Preparedness and Engagement Plan for IARC carcinogen rating of glyphosate." In one section of this plan, they state their first objective is to "Protect the reputation and FTO (acronym for 'freedom to operate') of Roundup by communicating the safety of glyphosate." One of the first actions in the plan is "Engage Henry Miller." The finished product of that engagement was an article on Forbes' website, which has now been removed along with all of Miller's articles. It turns out Henry submitted a draft written by Monsanto. Ghostwriting, for obvious reasons, is in direct violation of Forbes' contract with contributors. Oops.

Another part of the plan specifies "Share SM messages (Twitter, Facebook)." This is interesting considering a number of ads that people have been seeing on the social media platforms from anonymous and fictitious news sites.



The Facebook page Science News Today with posts dating back to March 18th 2015, (two days before the IARC monograph 112 was released) have since removed their reviews because so many people called them out - they had a rating of 1 star with 124 reviewers as of October 2017.


In addition to that Facebook page there are at least two more that people have noticed, In The News and Facts of Science.

This was in my news feed not long ago.
Reviews are still up.
The only three star review was an accident.
I think it's fair to say people are noticing something fishy about these accounts. They are painfully obvious.

This tweet, now deleted, was being promoted on Twitter by Facts of Science in January.


The account is really bizarre, it was created in May 2017 with a creepy-feeling focus on single mothers along with some awkward replies to certain tweets.



The Facts of Science account on Facebook has posts going back to October 2017. It has no reviews but you can still see what people are saying about this page.



Bottom line, someone is creating these accounts in an attempt to look like multiple independent sources, and are using them to buy ads on social media to promote the narrative that glyphosate the wonder chemical is being unfairly maligned by those fraudulent scientists over at IARC. This is a bunch of bullshit, straight out of the tobacco playbook and you have to wonder who is behind it.

If I had to give it a guess, I'd say, oh I don't know, someone in the chemical industry?




Updates

3/31/18

I was sent a screen shot today of another fake news outlet, sponsoring this tweet. Shared News Story have both a Twitter and Facebook account fitting the same pattern as the others.



4/26/18

The promoted tweets from Shared News Story continue...








I think it's fair to say there's a pattern here...


5/1/2018

But wait - there's more!

A new promoted tweet showed up in my feed the other day, this time it's a survey offering the chance to win a free Apple iWatch.

So, before I took the survey I decided to look at the privacy policy.


LoudDoor, LLC? What's that? I'll have to look that up in a bit. I went ahead with the survey...

I answered yes. I wonder where they are going with this???

Exactly where I thought...and I answered no to this one.
No Apple iWatch for me, I guess! Better see what's up with LoudDoor...


LoudDoor was clearly hired by someone. Do you think it's someone who manufactures and sells Roundup brand weed killer perhaps?  






Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jesus Christ Poseurs (or Jesus Christ, Poseurs!)

I don't generally write about me, because that's not what this blog is about. But today, I'd like to talk about a personal experience and how it relates to what I observe within the fake skeptic movement.

I am a cult survivor. I was raised from the age of three in a fundamentalist religious cult. At about the age of 19 I made a full exit from the religion that I will refer to in this blog as The Cult, not to be confused with the band, which I absolutely adore. It took me a little time to side step out the back door, but I did, successfully, and have not ever regretted it. I credit my rebellious nature for helping me to hasten my exit. I always felt miserable and suffocated by The Cult and its oppressive rules about what to wear, how to speak, whom to socialize with, and the like. In true cult fashion, the punishment for breaking these myriad soul sucking rules is excommunication or shunning by all family and friends in The Cult. Though I was careful to make my exit on the sly, and not get caught doing all the sinning I was doing (oh so much sinning) I exited alone and without the one family member who was inside with me. Though I am not officially marked by The Cult for shunning, my close family member still practices a modified form towards me by attempting to emotionally blackmail me to reform my sinful ways and return to The Cult.

Well, it ain't gonna fucking happen.

I am gloriously free of the oppressive control of the elitist group of men who deem themselves (and only them) to be speaking for God. I won't ever give that up for anything. This feeling might be difficult to understand for someone who has never been in the clutches of a high control cult. To this day, I bristle at anyone who takes an air of authority and attempts to tell people what is true, whether they hide behind religion or science while they are doing it.

No amount of smirking or magic tricks can hide the fact that you're a nihilist in an atheist dress, Penn. 

No, you arrogant motherfucker, this life, and my beliefs or lack of is for me to figure out - it's not up to you to tell me what is true or what to think. This is of course entirely different from someone teaching people how to think by giving them practical tools. But we have among us those that say they are doing one while doing the other, much like the leaders of The Cult have been doing for decades. I don't like people's controlling bullshit and dogmatic teachings, and I would think that my comrades who also grew up alongside me in The Cult would be on the same wavelength as me here.

Sad to say, I see some of them not just gravitating towards, but enthusiastically embracing the celebrity pundits of what is known as New Atheism, which is really just nihilism in sheep's clothing. Nihilism, on a spectrum of belief and non-belief is at the opposite end of theism, but it is still belief. In between rest the agnostics and atheists like me who lack belief. From my vantage point, the two ends of the spectrum give me the same uneasy feeling bordering on total revulsion at times, depending on who is doing the speaking.

*shiver*

The thing about being and becoming a non-believer is I didn't need any guidance from the 'atheist community' to get where I am. I left the cult and I concentrated on living my own life! I gave myself a much needed break from even thinking about religion. The last thing I wanted to do was to join a club where all they do is talk about fucking religion, and more than half of them can't even articulate to me what the religion I escaped from believes with any type of accuracy! Why the fuck would I want to learn about other religions from these asshats when they can't even accurately describe the beliefs and practices of the cult I left?

This is why for the life of me, I can't understand why anyone, let alone someone making a cult exit would slobber and fawn all over guys like Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris. They're dicks! All they're doing is feeding you another set of beliefs - they aren't helping you to become a critical thinker, they aren't helping you to learn science, and the kicker is you don't need them. No one on this planet holds any special truths that you aren't able to find for yourself. Always remember that.

It is depressing to see friends from The Cult trading one set of men bearing beliefs for another set of men bearing beliefs. It feels to me like they haven't truly broken free of their indoctrination, and that in wanting to do so in their vulnerable state they have embraced another belief system pretending to be atheism or science-based with promises of truth, rationality and critical thinking being made by these poseurs.

My friends from The Cult aren't the only people to buy into this belief set masquerading as science and atheism, the so-called New Atheists have a fairly large following. My hope is that people will question their beliefs - no matter what end of the spectrum they happen to land on - and learn to recognize both the high control groups out there, and the groups pretending their nihilist religion is atheism in order to have real freedom of mind.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Stand Up For Critical Thought

It's likely you've heard this popular quote from celebrity astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."

But is science really just a collection of incontrovertible truths? Or is there more to it than Tyson's clever sound bite?

Science is a method of gathering knowledge. Through the scientific method we collect information about the world around us. Sometimes conclusions about this information change or are challenged as we continue to compile more data and make new observations. Sometimes we are only partway through investigating a subject, or an observation has not yet been investigated at all. Just because there is little or no evidence for something, does not mean we can draw a conclusion that it is false or does not exist. This would be pseudoscience. An ethical skeptic applies a philosophical approach called epochè when this is the case. This means they would suspend judgement on the topic while it has a chance to be investigated via the scientific method. An ethical skeptic asks what step is next, in contrast to a fake skeptic who uses a lack of evidence to dismiss things he or she dislikes while using a flawed methodology to enforce favored conclusions. This does not mean that all of their conclusions are wrong, nor is this an excuse to employ denial of evidence regarding established knowledge like that of evolution or climate change. Critical thinking and skepticism is about how we think not about what we conclude.

It is the fake skeptic's method that is the pseudoscience, not necessarily the conclusion itself although there are examples of where they have been wrong in the past. See the story behind the father of hand washing, Ignaz Semmelweis for a cautionary tale about dismissing an observation before the scientific method can be fully applied. "Doctors are gentlemen, and a gentleman's hands are clean." This chilling quote from one of Dr. Semmelweis' colleagues, Charles Meigs parallels the hubris and incompetence we see demonstrated today, especially regarding some of the misunderstood medical issues of our time.

Plenty of examples of dogmatic conclusions abound in what I've observed as a popular pastime for fake skeptics - list making.









Also available as a mug!

It's vitally important that science literacy be taught to the public, and made as accessible as possible. This is how we move beyond fringe ideas like flat earth and the like, but also how we make progress against serious threats like climate change denial. Saturating people with lists of conclusions, calling them truths, and treating them as dogma is not going to accomplish this. It may make some people feel better about themselves to share or wear things like this, but we must realize that standing up for science is about protecting the integrity of the method, and using it to help others and solve urgent problems.



“There is a conflict in the heart of science between science as a method of inquiry based on reason, evidence, hypothesis, and collective investigation, and science as a belief system, or a world view. And unfortunately the world view aspect of science has come to inhibit and constrict the free inquiry which is the very lifeblood of the scientific endeavor.” – Rupert Sheldrake

Friday, November 24, 2017

Science Moms Documentary: A Review

I've been observing the behavior of the Skeptic movement for many years. Those observations led to my starting this blog several years ago. One Skeptic group I've been openly critical of call themselves the 'Science Moms'. Just recently their documentary by the same name became available for purchase. I thought it only fair that I watch the film and see what they have to say.

They open the documentary with a quote from Gwyneth Paltrow - who has now joined Vani Hari as a Skeptic community soft target du jour.

Science Moms director Natalie promotes the film on Twitter.

The first segment introduces us to the Science Moms and gives them a moment to tell the audience what led them to their respective role in this group. Three of the five Moms featured have science degrees. Anastasia Bodnar is a plant geneticist and describes herself as an 'ecomodernist'. Layla Katiraee is a GMO Answers contributor, has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and works for a biotech company. Alison Bernstein aka Mommy Phd is a neuroscientist who describes herself as "committed to promoting science and destroying pseudoscientific claims" on her Twitter profile.

Kavin Senapathy, is referred to in the film as a 'science communicator'. She is a co-founder of March Against Myths (MAMyths) and an author of The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari's Glass House. She is also employed by a company founded by her father called Genome International specializing in bioinformatic technologies.

Jenny Splitter's backstory is definitely the most enthralling of the five. She is described by the filmmakers as a science communicator and story teller. "I didn't have any interest in science until probably a couple years ago, just, you know, getting involved in the Skeptical movement as a parent. But I was not doing science experiments in my garage or anything like that,"she states at the beginning of the documentary.

This can't even is brought to you by Kavin.

For all its production value - it is well filmed and edited, and nicely scored - the content is what I have come to expect from Social Skeptics. There was nothing in this film I hadn't heard before, there are no new revelations or profound ideas to mull over. They mention the hard hitting issue of vagina steaming, homeopathy, and 'fear based marketing' along with some of the common misleading catch phrases employed by SSkeptics - 'everything is made of chemicals', 'all our food is genetically modified'. Senapathy, the co founder of MAMyths, ironically enough repeats a common myth about the holy grail of genetic engineering, golden rice. "Because of anti-GMO ideology and lobbying and over regulation, this rice has not reached the people who need it. Tragic!"

While some of the points made by the Moms have merit, like criticism of marketing techniques for instance, they feel misplaced. Organic food becomes the fall guy here, but what about junk food advertising to our kids? Have they never been in a cereal aisle? Rising autism rates are brushed off as just 'better diagnosis' and the dumbfounding claim that "30 years ago, a diagnosis didn't even exist" is made. Leo Kanner aside, thirty years ago was when the movie Rain Man was made. Did they miss it? Cancer statistics are badly misrepresented as people simply 'living longer' and they fail to mention declining fertility, increases in autoimmune diseases, celiac, obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions. They present things like choosing organic or avoiding BPA as 'fear based' parenting.

All in all the Science Moms present a rosy view of the future, where technology in all its forms and uses can and should be embraced unequivocally simply because it's 'science'.

Life, and especially parenting really does get overwhelming at times and so I can see the appeal in this hakuna matata attitude towards food, medicine, and chemical exposures. But in reality these topics are so much more nuanced that it couldn't begin to be covered appropriately in a 30 minute documentary film. For all their talk about evidence, the Science Moms don't actually provide anything to back their claims made in the film, and upon my investigation many of their stated opinions turn out to be false, cherry picked or even just logically fallacious, as one of the Moms states in the film, "Personal research is not science!"

Mind blown.

I believe that these women came together for the reason they state - because Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other celebrities supported labeling of genetically engineered foods. I do not think that this film or this group was created by Monsanto or any other company as has been suggested by some, but between what I have observed and what they themselves state, I cannot feel confident that their message is fully independent of some level of industry influence. I also feel like Moms 4 GMOs would have been a more accurate title for the film and the group, seeing that this technology is their main focus.

It's no secret that the Skeptic movement is targeted by industry public relations people. Some of the Science Moms themselves have what can be considered a conflict of interest (COI) as they work in the biotech industry and therefore their message may be influenced by their source of income. One of the Science Moms, Layla Katiraee is listed as an expert on the Ketchum PR biotech funded website GMO Answers - as is one of the producers, Mary Mertz. In fact, amongst the list of producers we have quite a diverse array of people, many with connections to the biotech, agriculture and food industries.

Frieda A. Custodio, a nutrition researcher based in St. Louis, MO shares the producer credits on Instagram.

Peggy Greenway is a pork producer, Bill Price is Director of Statistical Programs in the College of Agriculture at the University of Idaho, Kim Bremmer founder of AgInspirationsJoan Conrow from the Cornell Alliance for Science and Montserrat Benitez, currently with Syngenta, formerly with Monsanto and PepsiCo. Cami Ryan, Social Scientist for Monsanto Company is listed as a one of the many Kickstarter donors and unsurprisingly, Vance Crowe is amongst the names receiving special thanks at the end of the film. The director Natalie Newell counts him among her friends.

Of course this makes people wonder about the level of influence these friends have, and I think it's fair to question whether the opinions expressed in the film are truly impartial.

Choosy moms choose Jif! 

All in all, the Science Moms documentary is on par with the type of content being disseminated by most Social Skeptics. I don't see this as being a vehicle to enhance further discussion of parenting topics, science or technology. It's not a film that goes beyond pushing conclusions and facts to its audience, and does little to promote science literacy or critical thinking.

A wise man once said - "I am not impressed by the correctness of your regurgitations, rather the insight and power of your ideas."