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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience 794

Posted by Soulskill
from the pseudoscience-makes-pretty-good-cakes dept.
__roo writes "Many Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods. It's all pseudoscience — so why are some kinds of pseudoscience more equal than others? That's the question the author of this article tackles: 'From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort ... Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. ... The homeopathy section has plenty of Latin words and mathematical terms, but many of its remedies are so diluted that, statistically speaking, they may not contain a single molecule of the substance they purport to deliver.' He points out his local Whole Foods' clientele shop at a place where a significant portion of the product being sold is based on simple pseudoscience. So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?"
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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

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  • God (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:12PM (#46371073)
    Don't 90% of Americans still believe in God? Why should their believe in any other myth be surprising.
    • Re:God (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moblaster (521614) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:22PM (#46371153)
      Long-story-short-summary: Go to Whole Paycheck, buy the food, skip the ONE WORLD! ONE MIRACLE! DR. BRONNER SOAPS! and you'll narrowly avoid being labeled a vegetarian hippie pagan whose holistic massage business is doing particularly well.
      • Re:God (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:39PM (#46371389)

        I like those soaps. The labels look like something written by Time Cube guy.

      • Re:God (Score:5, Informative)

        by ottothecow (600101) <ottothecow@gma i l . com> on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:41PM (#46371415) Homepage
        For the record--the Dr. Bronner's people write some crazy shit on their soap bottles...but they make a damn good product.

        The crazy ramblings are part of the charm (especially the lemon and vaseline birth control method). I think they just keep it on the bottles in memory of the company's founder.

        If you don't want the crazy, you can buy bars of Kirk's castille soap at whole foods as well, although I don't think they have a concentrated liquid like Dr. Bronner's. Dr Bronner's is a great travel soap--you can do laundry with it, wash your body or hair (if you are not picky about how it rinses out), and even brush your teeth (if you are brave). I spent a month in Europe with just a little bottle of that super-concentrated stuff...and the big bottle I filled it with is still going strong.

        • Re:God (Score:5, Informative)

          by sjames (1099) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:06PM (#46371653) Homepage

          The soap is great. I especially appreciate the scents used. For whatever reason, most of the scents used in nearly anything smell horrific to me but bronners actually smells like what it says on the bottle.

          Some fear the price, mostly because they don't realize it is very strong soap and will last forever.

        • right. the bit from the article "It’s not just the Ezekiel 4:9 bread (its recipe drawn from the eponymous Bible verse), or Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps" is a bit elitist if you ask me. dr. bronner's soaps are fucking awesome. and the bread, it's just multigrain bread. so the label has a bible reference on it, who cares? the bread is pretty good. it's not like they say eating the bread will give you magic powers or anything.

          • Re:God (Score:5, Insightful)

            by denzacar (181829) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @01:18AM (#46373785) Journal

            Read it again.
            The entire article is a "I'm smarter than these sheep ho-ho-ho. Look at how knowledgeated I am." love letter from the writer to himself.

            I'd have to use at least three different colored highlighters and the Wikipedia's list of fallacies to comb through that article.
            He might as well be arguing that all those kids and talking animals on boxes of cereals and candy ARE ONLY PRETENDING TO BE ECSTATIC about those products - ergo, they are as evil as creationists.

            But this is my favorite part.

            " I invited a biologist friend who studies human gut bacteria to come take a look with me. She read the healing claims printed on a handful of bottles and frowned. âoeThis is bullshit,â she said, and went off to buy some vegetables."

            What is? What are you not telling us?! WHAT DID SHE READ!!!? What is it that the magical scientist won't tell us!!? WHAAAAAT!!!?

            You don't go arguing about something being "OMG not scientific" and then build that argument on the fine art of appeal to authority and... well, bullshit.
            Presenting someone calling something "Bullshit" as an argument is a whole list of fallacies of its own.

            Instead, one should say "Product A claims this, this and this. That is false, because this, this and this study either proves it to be false or shows no proof of it being true or having any other provable effect."
            And then give us links to those studies cause if there is one thing we know for sure - JOURNALISTS DON'T UNDERSTAND MATH AND STATISTICS.

            That's why they went to study stuff that does not require math AND/OR statistics.

        • Re:God (Score:5, Insightful)

          by excelsior_gr (969383) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:38PM (#46372387)

          You know, we have soap here in Europe as well...

      • Re:God (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mwehle (2491950) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:41PM (#46371417) Homepage
        Yeah, I've been enjoying the produce for years while managing to ignore the hype and tolerating the faux-personal interaction of the checkers. I'm not sure that "many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently" as far as belief systems and evaluation of empirical evidence are concerned. Many of us go to Whole Foods for the food.
        • Re:God (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:34PM (#46371913)

          I'm not sure that "many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently" as far as belief systems and evaluation of empirical evidence are concerned.

          I perceive them differently because Whole Foods isn't trying to shove their beliefs into the public schools. Everyone should have the right to believe silly nonsense, but no one has the right to impose their beliefs on others, and they especially don't have the right to use the instruments of government to do so.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Dr. Bronner's soap is first rate. The peppermint one makes your balls tingle.

    • Re:God (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:36PM (#46371333)

      Homeopathy is bigger in France than it is in the US. So if you're going to make snarky comments about Americans, be sure to throw in a few about the French as well.

      • Re:God (Score:5, Interesting)

        by manu0601 (2221348) on Friday February 28, 2014 @10:41PM (#46373063)
        But homeopathy secret is the placebo effect, and that is real science.When french drug agency allowed homeopathy a long time ago, they wrote that it helped though the placebo effect while having less side effects than real drugs.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:14PM (#46371087)
    Go to Safeway or any other supermarket and take a look around. Or do you really think that post cereals promote heart health? Hell, it took a law suite to stop "vitamin" water from claiming health benefits from their sugar water.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:19PM (#46371137)
      Yeah, but at Whole Foods, this kind of bullshit is at the core of their business model. In comparison, Safeway are just pseudoscience opportunists/dabblers.
    • by ottothecow (600101) <ottothecow@gma i l . com> on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:21PM (#46371149) Homepage
      I always assumed that the aisle of pseudoscience homeopathy crap was just there because it was super high profit margin and likely to be purchased by the customers who will go out of their way to seek out organic products.

      Personally, I shop at whole foods because it is on the way home and it has significantly better selection and quality of produce than the Jewel (which is slightly more out of the way).

      I really hoped this article (when I read it a week ago, thanks slashdot) would have been about some of the questionable restrictions they place on their food. They have decided that nitrates/nitrites are "evil" and must be avoided...as such they won't sell anything that uses sodium nitrate (instacure #1) as an ingredient. Of course, without nitrates, you won't have bacon or a whole host of other cured meat products (such as many hams/salamis/etc). How does Whole Foods get around this? They figure out how to make bacon using celery juice so that they can say "No Added Nitrates" despite the fact that bacon made this way can actually have higher nitrate concentrations than bacon made with curing salt (and can taste a little funny since who wants bacon made with celery?).

      Either they need to admit that nitrates are OK to eat, or they need to stop selling things that defeat the point of their own restriction.

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:35PM (#46371323) Homepage

        Either they need to admit that nitrates are OK to eat, or they need to stop selling things that defeat the point of their own restriction.

        They can't admit that because a lot of their customers are idiots who shop there because of the "no nitrates" stickers.

        Nitrates from celery are obviously more natural than the industrial chemical nitrates used in bacon, right?

        And that's the point of the summary: Why do seemingly-sensible people believe that sort of crap?

        Me? I don't want sea salt. Not with all the mercury and PCBs floating around in the ocean. You think they refine it or anything? Nope, they just evaporate the water and package it.

        I want the stuff that's been underground for millions of years, unmolested by humans until they dig it out. Give me the most refined, chemically pure salt they can possibly manufacture. Sodium and chlorine in equal amounts, that's it (well, maybe a bit of iodine as well).

        You try telling one of the people in the store that sea salt may not be better. They'll chase you out of the shop with a slab of tofu!

        • by Spazmania (174582)

          I don't want sea salt.

          Hate to burst your bubble but most "Sea Salt" comes from the exact same mine as your table salt. You have to understand: it *was* a sea back when the salt was deposited there, so it's not even slightly disingenuous to call it sea salt.

          The only difference between sea salt and table salt is that they skip the last step of the refining process and deliver it crushed but otherwise unchanged from when they dug it out of the ground.

      • by mythosaz (572040) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:39PM (#46371373)

        Whole Foods, and in my part of the world, Sprouts, are fantastic places to find in-stock fresh vegetables at a fair price, as well as spices in bulk well under the price that a bottle of Shilling or McCormick will cost me. Similarly I can get some deli items (cheeses, specifically) and microbrews my normal grocery store might not carry.

        For that, I love them.

        ...and then there's the homeopathy aisle, and the gluten-free-because-it's-trendy-not-because-I-have-an-allergy aisle.

        For that, I hate them.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:09PM (#46371677)

          Meanwhile my friend with Celiac's (diagnosed by a real medical doctor, not some homeopathic nutjob) doesn't care who else shops in that gluten-free aisle, just as long as it stays profitable enough to continue to exist.

          I see those people as a willing tax-base to subsidize my friend's medical bills. It works better than any controversy-soaked healthcare laws that will ever be passed.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:21PM (#46371787)
            As a celiac, it's been a mixed blessing though - on one hand getting gluten-free foods has gotten insanely easier in the last 5 years. On the other hand "Gluten-Friendly" has started popping up everywhere where people want to cater to the fad, but don't want the work of having to deal with people with real diseases.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:27PM (#46371221)

      I agree. And this is stupid.

      From the summary:

      So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?

      Maybe it is because the stuff the author finds objectionable is just a segment of the stuff available there? But the Creation Museum is 100% about creationism.

    • by Shoten (260439) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:51PM (#46371511)

      Go to Safeway or any other supermarket and take a look around. Or do you really think that post cereals promote heart health? Hell, it took a law suite to stop "vitamin" water from claiming health benefits from their sugar water.

      Bingo.

      I go to Whole Foods regularly...but I don't give a shit about whether something is "organic". The produce is better, for the most part...both in diversity and in quality. The meat...holy balls, the MEAT...it's incredibly tasty. I don't get the grass fed beef (I find it tough) but the regular stuff. Yes, it's expensive, but if you want a NY strip that's literally almost 2 inches thick and will taste better than what you can find at most restaurants, Whole Foods is the place. Oh, and yes...we are yuppie DINK scum with both foodie inclinations and the money to indulge them...and for that Whole Foods is like a playground.

      On the other hand, things like sugar, aluminum foil, paper products...we get those at Giant. I don't feel like paying extra just to have my paper towels be gluten free. (Yes, that's an exaggeration, but just barely.) But that brings to mind another thing...if you're gluten-sensitive, gluten-intolerant, allergic to gluten, or just one of those assholes who thinks that gluten is like eating AIDS, Whole Foods is a much better place to look. Though it does get out of hand sometimes; I watched a woman go totally nuts at a guy in the beer and wine section (diagonally opposite from the meat section within the store) over the fact that they didn't carry (I shit you not) "gluten-free bacon." Which of course leads into the fact that Whole Foods caters to that niche for the self-entitled, of which that screaming cunt is just one excellent example.

      But yeah...try their steak sometime. WOW, is it good :)

  • Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by engineerErrant (759650) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:16PM (#46371107)

    While Whole Foods does sell a lot of homeopathy items, that is *hardly* its entire character as a store. I, along with no doubt many others, go there because it's a specialty grocery store that has a lot of interesting foods that you can't find other places, including (and especially) a big variety of craft beers and vegetarian stuff. Their produce and bulk sections are also hard to beat for variety and freshness, and the prepared-foods section is great when you're on your way home and don't feel like cooking.

    I'm no Whole Foods shill, and it does have its share of silliness. But comparing it to the Creation Museum is completely ridiculous and has no place in serious discourse.

    • Re:Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Catbeller (118204) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:28PM (#46371229) Homepage

      Homeopathy is not silly; it is a lie. If you sell it, you're lying to people. So it matters that Whole Foods sells it, as it casts doubt on their grasp of science, which indicates their "healthly" foods are just marketing to the credulous.

      • by Kenja (541830)
        Lets assume you're right. How does their grasp of science effect the freshness of their kale? Cause I really don't care about the former when compared to the later.
        • Re:Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mythosaz (572040) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:46PM (#46371457)

          Lets assume you're right. How does their grasp of science effect the freshness of their kale? Cause I really don't care about the former when compared to the later.

          It's not their grasp of science that Catbeller calls into question, it's their ethics.

          Everybody with an IQ above room temperature knows that homeopathy is complete and utter bullshit. If they sell homeopathic items, they are, undeniably, participating in wholesale fraud. If they're willing to take your money in exchange for vials of water (priced like toner cartridges!) which they profit from, then why would you possibly believe that their kale hasn't been doctored to remain fresh - exposed to chemicals to keep its color, picked by slave labor, whatever.

          tl'dr? Anyone who'll sell you homeopathic crap is a liar and should be treated as such.

      • Re:Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pavon (30274) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:52PM (#46371531)

        Homeopathy is not silly; it is a lie. If you sell it, you're lying to people. So it matters that Whole Foods sells it, as it casts doubt on their grasp of science, which indicates their "healthly" foods are just marketing to the credulous.

        Products in regular supermarkets are also filled with lies, and both have products that better than the other in some way or the other. Solution: make your own decision rather than expecting a corporation to base their decisions on science rather than on what sells best.

      • Homeopathy is not silly; it is a lie. If you sell it, you're lying to people. So it matters that Whole Foods sells it, as it casts doubt on their grasp of science, which indicates their "healthly" foods are just marketing to the credulous.

        Why do you hate homeos? You sound very homeophobic.

      • by sjames (1099)

        They're giving the customer what he wants. Just like a general interest bookstore that sells bibles and korans. Amazon sells Bibles, Korans, the Satanic Bible, books by Whitley Streiber (the alien abduction guy), probably every kooky fad diet book, Various works by Dawkins, and on and on. What does that make them?

    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      You're right, but recall that the article had a much longer list of pseudoscientific bullshit that sells at Whole Foods. Homeopathy is just one really obvious instance. Credulity in that stuff is at the core of their business model. The thing is, they also have lots of stuff that I like to buy, but I don't appreciate the deeply cynical nature of their marketing strategy. When you absolutely know that your products do not do what they claim to do, and you sell them anyway because you count on your customers
    • Re:Troll (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nemesisghost (1720424) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:01PM (#46371611)

      But comparing it to the Creation Museum is completely ridiculous and has no place in serious discourse.

      You can't relate the entire store & it's patrons to the bogus claims of the homeopathic medicines any more than you can claim that the Westboro Baptist Church is the mouth piece of the entire Christian faith or that Al Qaeda speaks for every Muslim. But you can question why unscientific claims from 1 place are any different than from another. Why does Whole Foods get a pass on selling things of dubious nature, but a religious museum does not? If you are going to impose a high standard of scientific proof on what people are allowed to believe, then shouldn't it be imposed on everything?

  • ahh homeopathy. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:17PM (#46371115) Homepage

    so diluted that, statistically speaking, they may not contain a single molecule

    ...but THAT is what makes it so effective!
    Looks like Dice and _roo are in teh pockets of big pharma and big grocery !!!1!

    Here's another alarming trend: people are starting to use "homeopathy" to mean "holistic, nature-based, alternative medicine". When you tell them what homeopathy really means you will get "well that's not what it means to me! i mean in the more general sense" or "meanings change over time!".

    • Re:ahh homeopathy. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by msauve (701917) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:50PM (#46371499)
      How do homeopathic purveyors stay in business? One could buy a single bottle, and keep diluting it, making a both stronger (so you'd use a smaller dose) and longer lasting at the same time. If you bought a bottle, how would it ever run out so you'd need to buy another?

      (...and if one dumped one of those tiny ml bottles into a public swimming pool, would that constitute a terror attack, due to the obvious overdose everyone in the pool would get?)
  • Food. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Noryungi (70322) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:17PM (#46371117) Homepage Journal

    AFAIK, Whole Foods main business is not quack snake oil - it's organic produce. (Or is it? I mean, it's been so long since I entered one of these over-priced supermarket...)

    Here is another example: a lot of newspapers have an astrology/horoscope section - or even a religion section - does that make them entirely anti-science? Nope.

  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:17PM (#46371119)

    Whole Foods has many products that regular grocery stores do not. I go there, buy the product I want, and leave. Yes, there are some aisles full of oddness, but I just skip those ones. In the end, it's just a store; buy what you want, leave what you don't.

    It's kind of like Best Buy; just because Monster cables are such a stupid overpriced quasi-religion doesn't mean I shouldn't go to Best Buy; it just means I shouldn't buy those cables.

    • just because Monster cables are such a stupid overpriced quasi-religion doesn't mean I shouldn't go to Best Buy

      There are many, MANY reasons not to go to Best Buy...

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:23PM (#46371163)

    ... no one, even well educated people, have the time to sift through all the bullshit. Many well meaning people confuse terms marketers came up with to purposefully obfuscate the product with "healthy food". If you don't keep up on that stuff (which most people dont), it would be trivial to be mislead by healthy sounding words through relentless advertising and association.

    When you name yourself something like "Whole foods" you give yourself a different aura, you project "healthy food" not pseudo-science. Not to mention we've had vitamin/mineral half pseudo-science for a while that kind of gave hucksters an in to sneak their bullshit in under "healthy foods". The science for a lot of stuff is difficult/vague and takes a long time to do studies and companies can't wait to exploit the health conscious aspects of peoples brains by confusing them with marketing speak and over promoting the benefits of marginal "health aiding" products.

  • Class definitions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Catbeller (118204) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:25PM (#46371187) Homepage

    Creation museum: customers tend to be poor, relatively uneducated, and don't understand basic science.
    Whole Foods: customers are almost exclusively well-off, expensively educated, and don't understand basic science.

    Everyone's stupid about something.

    • Re:Class definitions (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus,slashdot&gmail,com> on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:17PM (#46372241) Homepage Journal

      Creation museum: customers tend to be poor, relatively uneducated, and don't understand basic science. Whole Foods: customers are almost exclusively well-off, expensively educated, and don't understand basic science.

      Everyone's stupid about something.

      Creation museum: customers tend to believe in everything the museum present.
      Whole Foods: 95% of customers don't even set foot in the homeopathy aisle, and are just there because they have fresher and better looking produce, locally-farmed meat, wild caught fish, fancy cheeses, etc.

      I guess the article writer is stupid about believing that the 5% in the homeopathy aisle represent the majority.

  • by Midnight_Falcon (2432802) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:26PM (#46371205)

    So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?"

    It's easy -- because in many ways "science" has become a religion to many. However, many people lack a firm understanding of scientific principles and methods. So, if something looks "science-y" with Latin words, molecular drawings and other intelligent-sounding but hard-to-understand descriptions.

    These days people have "faith" in "science"..and if that so-called science goes along with their worldview (which Whole Foods is self-selecting in that a certain worldview makes someone more likely to become a shopper there), then they may blindly accept it. Very few people have the skills and motivation to actually analyze the claims of these manufacturers and just go with their biases when making a decision.

    • by the gnat (153162)

      It's easy -- because in many ways "science" has become a religion to many. However, many people lack a firm understanding of scientific principles and methods. So, if something looks "science-y" with Latin words, molecular drawings and other intelligent-sounding but hard-to-understand descriptions.

      Hmmm, I don't think the attraction to homeopathy has anything to do with an affinity towards science, since scientists and doctors are in nearly universal agreement that homeopathy is complete nonsense. If anythi

  • by EMG at MU (1194965) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:26PM (#46371211)

    So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?"

    1) Whole Foods is a grocery store, the Creation Museum claims to be a museum.

    2) Certain states aren't trying to teach children the "controversy" surrounding dandelion root extract supposedly curing my ailments. There isn't a national debate surrounding gluten-free pancake mix. Politicians don't get elected to office by appealing to the "this organic sea salt is only 4000 years old" crowd.

  • by gQuigs (913879) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:28PM (#46371235) Homepage

    It's the entire existance of the Creation Museum. To be fair I would like to see them get rid of that one aisle.

    Whole Foods is doing a lot of really good initiatives, see:
    http://www.wholefoodsmarket.co... [wholefoodsmarket.com]

    And they don't just say blindly yes God said so to questions like "Is Organic better for you?:
    http://www.wholefoodsmarket.co... [wholefoodsmarket.com]

    And probiotics after taking antibiotics makes logical sense.... I remember a study that showed that our natural bacteria wasn't at the same level 1 year after taking antibiotics (please don't use this as an excuse to not take antibiotics). If we have the right probiotics available to us is a different story. My wife just got antibiotics and the hospital recommened probiotics...

    *Disclaimer: I own a small bit of Whole Foods stock. I'm sure this post will greatly increase it's value....

  • by mschaffer (97223) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:28PM (#46371239)

    Look at who is vehemently perpetuating this pseudoscience. People like Orrin Hatch have neutered the FDA in regard to dietary supplements.
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicin... [sciencebasedmedicine.org]

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      To be fair Orrin Hatch neutered the FDA on supplements because a LOT of people in Utah got very very rich on them. Chance are if you are buying supplements of ay sort someone from Utah is making money on it. He played to his constituency in this regard. Keep in mind the Mormons have no problem with Evolution or any other aspect of science, they tend to take the point of view that science reveals how God did it. (Disclaimer, I was raised Mormon and have had that exact explanation of evolution taught to me in

  • by Camel Pilot (78781) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:28PM (#46371241) Homepage Journal

    If whole foods was pushing to include their advertising/propaganda into the Health Education school curriculum under the banner of teach the controversy I think you see an equal reaction.

  • by judoguy (534886) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:29PM (#46371251) Homepage

    Everyone and I mean EVERYONE simply believes what they want. No, really. We all have a world view that makes sense to us.

    Hate Republicans? Then you believe in socialism, you know, for the children. Hate commie bastards? You probably believe that God gave the deed to Israel to Jews.

    Purely rational? Not like those other dumbasses that believe in that goofy shit? Then you probably believe you really see the world completely, no limitations, no illusions, no misunderstandings.

    If so, you're the most obnoxious of them all.

  • Selection (Score:5, Funny)

    by Copid (137416) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:32PM (#46371285)
    If the Creation Museum starts stocking the same selection of beer and cheese that Whole Foods does, I might swing through from time to time if I'm in the neighborhood.
  • by GlobalEcho (26240) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:34PM (#46371313)

    Dumb question: it's about the actions of the believers. That's why the anti-vax kooks (whotends to skew left) gets a similar reaction to the creationists and climate wackos.

    Granted that homeopathy stuff is ridiculous pseudoscience, but the difference is that nobody is trying to push it as a driver of public policy. When I shop at Whole Foods, it's for the tasty, tasty bread and local salsa and nobody minds that I walk right past the snake oil. I don't have a problem with creationism, I have a problem with it being forced on others. That's why we perceive it differently.

  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:37PM (#46371349)

    What is really repugnant is people with medical degrees hawking snake oil and "alternative" therapies. I cringe every time I see Dr. Oz legitimizing some quack idea posited by a guest and he never challenges them on their BS. Then there's the MD quack Dr. Richard Becker who's show is effectively infomercial for his noni juice and vitamin supplements. These type of doctors are even more evil than traditional snake oil salesman because, rather than outright lying, they string together a series of unrelated/uncorrelated facts to influence their viewers into believing something that isn't true. You can't assail them on any one statement because taken piecewise everything is true.

  • by Dega704 (1454673) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:38PM (#46371361)
    But he spread his fire much too wide, and seems to make a lot of assumptions himself. I wonder if, in the part about bread processing, he could have confused organic bread with gluten free bread. Mere crumbs of regular bread can indeed make people with Celiac disease sick. I have a few friends and relatives that shop at health food stores specifically for gluten-free products; and the last time I checked, autoimmune disorders are very real and not just cooked up by a bunch of hippies.
  • by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:40PM (#46371395)
    I have never heard of Whole Foods. If people want to eat some organic stuff, why would I care?
  • Double Standards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by floobedy (3470583) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:01PM (#46372127)

    Whole Foods is treated differently because of the moral and intellectual double standards which prevail on the left. Leftists and rightists both treat things differently when they are done by people on "our side" and so practice double standards. The left, however, is particularly bad in that regard.

    One example of this was the extremely widespread holocaust denial (or something akin to holocaust denial) which is rampant on the left and has always been. I am not talking about the mass murder in Germany. I am referring to the mass murder in the Soviet Union in the 1930s through the 1950s and even after; the mass murder in Cambodia in the 1970s; and the ongoing mass murder and severe political repression in almost all explicitly "socialist" countries which until recently were the darlings of far leftists everywhere. Those mass murders were denied or disputed by considerable numbers on the left. What's more, the denial of mass murder is ignored by a great many other leftists who do not deny that those murders occurred. There is a double standard. Whereas most leftists would vehemently protest (and rightly so) when someone disputes the Holocaust, they are strangely silent when one of their own disputes the mass killings of leftist regimes.

    The denial was especially severe with regard to Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge murdered 1/4th of the population of that country within a few years. A whole industry of professors and leftist figures exist to deny the mass-murder there. Even Noam Chomsky tried hard to deny the killing fields, and tried hard to dispute the reports of massacre emanating from that country. The reason for this denial (I suspect) is because the mass murders followed a socialist revolution and were orchestrated by far leftists who had been educated in Paris, and who had been supported enthusiastically by the far left. The fact that it resulted in mass murder is difficult to accept for people who are convinced of their own ethical superiority. Thus, a double standard evolved.

    If Noam Chomsky had been a Nazi sympathizer and had denied the Holocaust, he would be a forgotten figure by now, as he deserves to be, for various reasons. However, he spent his time denying the mass murder in Cambodia, so it was forgotten.

    These double standards prevail everywhere. My leftist friends cannot stop laughing at young earth creationism, but are in thrall to pseudoscientific nonsense which makes creationism look sophisticated in comparison. There are all kinds of T-Shirts meant to mock creationism, with a "Teach the Controversy" byline beneath a Triceratops attached to a plow. There are not, however, T-Shirts worn by my leftist friends mocking homeopathy, or all kinds of ancient medical quackery, or "energy medicine", or "multiple chemical sensitivity", or the recent widespread belief that vaccines are dangerous and aren't worth it. Granted, these things are not practiced by most people on the left. However, they are ignored by people on the left who have a scientific understanding, who reserve their vitriol for the pseudoscience of the other side.

    There are also double standards with regard to doomsday groups. Each side of the political spectrum mocks the doomsday groups of the other side. People who are waiting for "the end times" are mocked by those on the left. However, peak oiler doomers (almost all of whom were on the far left) who assured us that civilization certainly would collapse before 2008 are largely exempt from that mockery.

    I suppose double standards are easy to fall into. It's difficult to condemn one of your own.

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:18PM (#46372243)

      Cognitive dissonance is a human trait. You are engaging in it yourself when you try to cast the left as engaging in it more than the right.

      Your whole argument is itself simply an expression of a double standard when you try to claim the left engages in this more than the right.

      It's simply something that arises out of our own human limitations.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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