The skeptical cardiologist reserves the exclusive and unimpeachable right to censor reader comments he deems inappropriate, nasty or unhelpful.
There’s a good chance if you attack me personally, I won’t post your comment. On the other hand, if I find your attack particularly amusing there is a good chance I’ll include it in a blog post.
Here’s an ad hominem attack I really enjoyed:
You may be an MD, but you are no doctor. That requires a doctorate, which I have, and I can smell the bias from the other side of the Earth. Your “skepticism” is a front for your cynicism, and you yourself are the very thing you hate when denigrating people like Esselstyn as “evangelists”. Get a doctorate degree and learn science before attempting to analyse it.
There is so much to unpack and ponder in this paragraph! I love it.
The reader says that I am “no doctor.” This, it appears, requires a doctorate (which, coincidentally my reader has). The reader advises me to “get a doctorate degree” before attempting to analyse science.
The Cambridge English dictionary defines doctorate as “the highest degree from a university” whereas Merriam-Webster defines it as “the degree, title, or rank of a doctor”
If we assume the reader is going by the Cambridge English definition, and my title of doctor of medicine doesn’t count as a doctorate, let’s see what does.
Wikipedia lists a ton of different types of doctorates. My reader didn’t specify what kind. Would a Doctor of Music qualify me to analyse science? If so, sign me up for the coursework.
My newly-minted mother-in-law has a doctorate in English, is she more qualified than me to analyse science?
The reader left his comment on my post about the death of Robert Atkins, so I’m not even sure what bias I am accused of, but I love this sentence:
“I can smell the bias from the other side of the earth”.
In my defense it should be pointed out that the entire Robert Atkins post is a precise analysis of his medical history and doesn’t really touch on science. Perhaps the bias my reader smells from so far away is my bias to seek the truth.
Finally, I have to say the killer sentence in my reader’s comment is the most brilliant ad hominem attack I have ever encountered:
Your “skepticism” is a front for your cynicism, and you yourself are the very thing you hate when denigrating people like Esselstyn as “evangelists”.
It is so deep and piercing that I am incapable of defense and I can only say “mea culpa” and I yield to your doctoral brilliance.
By the way, this whole PhD versus MD debate brings up the burning question of who one should be referring to as doctor. Should I address my mother-in-law as Dr. Perkins since she has a Ph. D. in English Literature? And, by the way, although she is my go-to person for questions about D.H. Lawrence, Hemingway and Shakespeare, I don’t think her scientific analytic skills are up to mine even with her doctorate.
Photo by Adrien Converse on Unsplash
N.B. I have deduced my reader is from Australia based on his use of analyse and his smelling my bias on the other side of the earth.
(Also, his email address ends in au)