PZ Myers wants you to know…

…about Christopher Maloney, and about how WordPress is treating Michael Hawkins and his blog, For The Sake of Science.

Michael Hawkins has/had a blog called For the Sake of Science, which has been shut down by WordPress for violation of terms of service.  This interests me because – like Michael Hawkins – I have a WordPress blog, and I like to express irreverent views on topics such as alternative medicine and “controversial” science.  And since I don’t have 1/100,000th of Michael Hawkin’s proported readership, my teensy blog would have no problem being shut down if I were to offend the wrong wack-a-loon.

But I get ahead of myself – you need background.

I read about the situation on Pharyngula, and have copy-pasted a relevant section below.  Please visit PZ Myer’s incredible blog for the entire post, including more ripping on Christopher Maloney and his quack-ishness.

There’s another way you can tell he’s a quack. When a student, Michael Hawkins, dared to criticize him, pointing out that “Naturopathic medicine is pure bull” and stating that naturopaths are underqualified and do not deserve the title of “doctor,” Maloney took action to silence him. After all, we can’t have people questioning quacks — that just makes them look even more ridiculous, which could lead to a loss of business.

So Maloney complained to WordPress, where Hawkins blog was located, and got them to shut it down. This does not speak well of craven WordPress; if you’re using WordPress hosting, you might want to reconsider it and move elsewhere. You know, to someplace that respects reality.

Now not only is Maloney a quack, but he’s a stupid quack. Shutting down blogs that criticize him? That never, ever works. In fact, it tends to backfire rather severely — because now a much bigger blog is going to spread the word that Christopher Maloney is a quack. I’m also going to ask all of you out there who reads this to echo the message: Christopher Maloney is a quack. Won’t that be fun? Poke the net, and the net pushes back.

Share the message. Let the whole world know that Christopher Maloney is a cowardly quack.

He’s also tasteless. This is possibly the ugliest youtube video ever.

I don’t know much about Christopher Maloney, except that he’s a naturopath, and supports the use of black elderberry and garlic over more efficient, conventional flu vaccines to confer resistance to flu viruses.  *shudder*  So I looked him up, and found his response to Michael Hawkin’s original article.  reading response….and done! Yup, still not liking the jump to prescribing berries and garlic from the reasearch he’s provided.  And thank you, Mr. Maloney, ND…we don’t need any more fear-mongering about the flu vaccine.

If Mr. Maloney indeed has had a hand in the closure of FTSOS, shame on him.

***************
2/18/10 – 13:30 CST
There’s now a rousing response to PZ Myers from Christopher Maloney!
Also, here’s a great write-up on the subject from another blogger-hero of mine – Steven Novella on Neurologica.

***************
2/19/10 – 15:40 CST
Update: Andreas Moritz did it!

The interwebs respond!
Pharyngula
Respectful Insolence
Ionian Enchantment
horsegoeswest
Stuck Somewhere in the Middle
Thinking is Real

Obviously not a comprehensive list, but I’m calling it quits at page 6 of the google search.  BTW – There are a TON of awesome science-minded blogs out here!  Yeah!

And it appears that FTSOS is back up at a new host: “For the Sake of Science – Because Christopher Maloney is a Quack”  Michael Hawkins is also updating us with some info about the status of the Wordpress shutdown of FTSOS  at Without Apology.

***************

2/23/10 – 07:33 CST

FTSOS is back up!  Thank you WordPress for giving Michael his blog back!

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2 Responses to “PZ Myers wants you to know…”

  1. Michael Hawkins Says:

    I didn’t realize I had made Maloney’s website. Now, I wonder why he doesn’t allow commenting…

    I specifically refuted all of Maloney’s claims in his original letter, but it was worded much too strongly for the tastes of the paper. Once this issue is resolves, I will put that letter back up.

  2. Hubby Says:

    I remember all the optimism about the world wide web when it was new. At the time it was believed that the web would fulfill the promise of free speech for all. It is wonderful that the web met and exceeded all expectations. The small amount of censorship that exists is thankfully met with consequences for the censor.

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