The Scientific Ignorance of Stasia Bliss – Addendum
Note: This is an addendum to “The Scientific Ignorance of Stasia Bliss” article series. It will sum up some of the most abhorrent cases of pseudoscientific nonsense that Bliss has been spreading, discuss how she has reacted to my series and ponder the future. For all the posts in this series, see the introduction post here.
Stasia Bliss, although lacking the scientific knowledge needed to understand the topics she discuss, is a very prolific writer. During the time it has taken me to write this article series of ten installments were I dissected her claims in detail, she has managed to crank out well over 200 blog posts with scientifically questionable content on everything from chemotherapy to urine. It is possible that she could be approaching the impact of Mike Adams (the owner of the largest website promoting quack treatments and conspiracy theories) in the next five to ten years. Although this outcome may be beneficial to Bliss, it could be enormously dangerous to the people she manages to convince of her pseudoscientific ideas.
Some of her most dangerous claims about human health includes:
(1) encouraging individuals with late-stage cystic fibrosis to take vomiting-inducing substances that can cause them to vomit on and off for up to 8 hours. There is no reason to think this works, and it could make breathing even more difficult.
(2) recommending that people stare into the sun for long periods of time. This can seriously damages the eyes make you go blind even if the staring occurs at dawn or dusk.
(3) rejects the mainstream account of how HIV causes AIDS and recommends quack treatments such as colonic cleansing and hydrochloric acid supplementation instead of mainstream antiretroviral treatment.
(4) asserts that measles is a virtually harmless disease and that the MMR vaccine is dangerous, contrary to well-established medical knowledge and dozens of scientific studies.
In addition, she has promoted pseudoscientific claims on a wide range of topics, including the cause of cystic fibrosis, genetically modified foods, placebo effects, the pineal gland, solar flares, heat, vibrations, frequency, the Flynn effect, supermoons, natural disasters, magnetic fields, microRNAs, Bt crops, the causes of cancer, non-coding DNA, the DNA double helix, gene transcription, epigenetics, evolution, dark matter, dark energy, history of science, panspermia, quantum mechanics, the correspondence principle, quantum coupling, disease, clinical diagnosis, basic hygiene practices, life force, CD4+ T cells, the human digestive system, the basic biology of viruses, oral tolerance, chronic inflammation, immune suppression, the nature of death, pessimistic meta-induction, death, replicative potential, stem cells, scientific models for ageing, the cognitive principle, the complications of measles, Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, Vaccine court, herd immunity and evolutionary arms races.
This is just for the around fifteen or so posts that I refuted in this ten post series. A closer investigation of the other 200 posts that she has written would probably produce a huge list of topics that she misunderstood, butchered and abused.
Bliss has mostly ignored of my criticism, despite sending her the links to each blog post on Twitter. However, there are two exceptions to this.
First, she may have alluded to my criticism in her post on ageing and death when she wrote “I am well aware of the readers who will immediately rejoice in debunking my theories as ‘un-scientific’, and that’s okay with me”.
Second, she posted a comment on the post about DNA and Evolution. Well, it was not so much a comment as a link to a blog that misrepresented a scientific paper. I explained her error in the following way:
The claim you made in your post was that humans have 12 DNA strands.
The claim made in the Nature paper linked in that post is that, on some occasions, a single DNA molecule can form a structure where four segments of the same DNA molecule can bond to each other. This structure is unrelated to “dimension of consciousness”, “ascended masters” or getting a halo or glowing skin, as you claim in your blog post.
So not only have you chosen to ignore the additional criticisms in his post, the criticisms in the other seven installments, you took it upon yourself to link to a website that misunderstands and abuses published scientific research. Better yet, even if your distorted interpretation was true, four strands is far away from the alleged twelve.
Needless to say, her response to criticism was more or less non-existent.
The impact of the “Scientific Ignorance of Stasia Bliss” series
So far, this article series has gotten a little less than 1500 unique visitors. Not a lot, but every person that fails to fall for what Bliss claims because of what I wrote is a victory for me. A Google search for “Stasia Bliss” lists the introductory post on the first page as hit number 7 (the criticism by biologist P. Z. Myers is number 1). That means that many people who performs a Google search for her name might come across this article series.
I do not exclude the possibility of writing more blog posts about the irrational nonsense that she promotes, but this is enough for now (but my fingers itch every time I read another one of her posts).
6 thoughts on “The Scientific Ignorance of Stasia Bliss – Addendum”
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Staring into the sun makes you go blond? I hope you change that so people don’t think it’s a new method for lightening hair color.
I am really glad that other blogs have taken it upon themselves to do in part what you are doing, I appreciate the time and energy that you put into this site. (especially after my roommate subscribed to some of these) I can now explain the actual science and why those “treatments” are not safe. But I do not think she is a denier, I think she genuinely mistook it for actual science.
She uses many of the well-known rhetorical tactics of denialists. If it quacks like a duck…
Consider her latest post “Vaccines – Can We Really Keep Up This Argument?”, chock-full with the usual ignorant tactics such as the toxin gambit, too many too soon, vaccines didn’t save us, claim that vaccines cause death. She even gets herd immunity wrong, calling it “herd mentality” and the entire post is filled by false balance.
In other words, she is an anti-science denialist.
I might even write a complete refutation of that post. Just when I think I am out, she pulls me back in.
Yeah you might want to keep it as a running series, I would definitely read that. Keep up the good work!
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