Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Henci Goer refuses public debate. What does she have to fear?

From Henci Goer's blog:
"Well, at least we agree on something: The true spirit of science does, indeed, include willingness to defend one's position publicly, as I have been doing here and have said I am willing to continue doing. To repeat what I have written before, you are welcome to post a criticism to any analysis of mine. I will respond. That will make our positions both clear and public. Readers will then have everything they need to decide which one of us suffers from a case of "my mind is made up; don't confuse me with the facts." But I won't be baited. Your posts on this Forum--including this one--and the Lamaze blog make it abundantly clear that you want a fair, fact-based debate on birth issues about as much as Bill O'Reilly wants one on political issues. I won't play that game. You have your own blog for your rants. You will get no platform for them here or from me."
So let me get this straight. The woman who makes her living wondering why her "side of the story isn't being told", now refuses the opportunity to publicly debate with a medical professional? Ms. Goer lamented in her 2002 article, The OB Disinformation Campaign:
Have you wondered, as I have, what is going on? Why is our side of the story nowhere to be heard? ... Why are mainstream media rife with the grossest misinformation about cesarean section, VBAC, induction, epidurals-you name it-with nothing, nothing coming from our side other than an occasional tidbit tacked on in the name of balanced reporting, but clearly not meant to be taken seriously?
So, Ms. Goer, why are you suddenly backing down? Why are you withdrawing? Why have you publicly announced that you won't participate in any debate unless it is rigged to favor you? What do you have to fear?

I know what you have to fear: the exposure of many of your claims as nothing more than misinformation, half truths and in some cases, outright lies, and the inability to defend the shoddy scientific papers on which they are based. Ms. Goer, your claims are "junk science". You use the veneer of scientific language and statistics to mislead women who are looking for accurate information. As you said yourself: "If you "talk the talk," few will look behind the facade to see the weaknesses in logic or reasoning."

You can continue to deny it, but your reply is nothing more than a refusal to publicly debate your claims. You will hide within the safety of your own blog where you can delete anything that makes you look bad.

In conclusion, I find your reference to Bill O'Reilly quite ironic. Bill O'Reilly is a bully who can only "debate" within the safety of his own show, where he is free to rig the debate and silence opponents. He never "debates" anywhere where he is not explicitly in control. I have offered you a public opportunity to debate a medical professional in any neutral forum of your choosing. You have refused and you have offered no counter proposal. You will not come out from behind the electronic protections that allow you to rig the debate, silence unwelcome criticism, and delete information that shows you are wrong. In a way, I don't blame you. Your claims would be eviscerated in short order, and that must be prevented, even at the cost of publically acknowledging that you are afraid of any debate that you can't control.


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