January 1991 +quot;BASIS+quot;, newsletter of the Bay Area Skeptics Bay Area Skeptics Info
January 1991 "BASIS", newsletter of the Bay Area Skeptics
Bay Area Skeptics Information Sheet
Vol. 10, No. 1
Editor: Yves Barbero
DENTON'S STRANGE MISTAKE
by Thomas H. Jukes, Ph.D.
The book "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis", by Michael Denton (Adler
and Adler, eds., Bethesda, MD 1985, 368 pages) is much quoted by
creationists, and there is even a creationist book, "Of Pandas and
People", by P. Davis and D. H. Kenyon that uses its content freely.
Denton writes glibly, and quotes liberally, out of context, from
the scientific literature on molecular evolution.
Cytochrome c is a small protein that is found in many organisms:
molds, yeasts, green plants, insects, vertebrates and even some
bacteria. Its function is to transport electrons during the use of
oxygen in respiration of cells. It contains about 100 amino acids,
so it is easy to analyze. It has long been an evolutionary
showpiece because it changes so slowly and is found in so many
species, that an evolutionary phylogenetic tree can be constructed
that extends from the bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum to mammals.
This is shown in Fig. 1, from Dayhoff's "Atlas of Protein Sequence
and Structure", vol. 5 (1972) and elsewhere.
[Note for the electronic edition: Obviously, the illustrations have
had to be omitted.]
Denton addresses himself (p. 279) to cytochrome c with the aid of
a matrix table lifted from Dayhoff's atlas [Fig 2]. From this, he
constructs (p. 281) a diagram showing descent from bacterial
cytochrome (Fig. 3).
He then discourses as follows:
It means that no eucaryotic cytochrome is intermediate
between bacterial cytochrome and other eucaryotic
cytochromes. As far as the bacterium is concerned, all
eucaryotes are equally distant. All the eucaryotic
cytochromes are as a class isolated and unique. No
intermediate type of cytochrome exists to bridge the
discontinuity which divides the living kingdom into these
two fundamental types. The bacterial kingdom has no
neighbour [sic] in any of the fantastically diverse
eucaryotic types. The "missing links" are well and truly
Unfortunately for Denton, this is all wrong. Dayhoff's
data are for existing species. No cytochrome c sequences
are available for extinct organisms. Denton confuses the
existing Rhodospirillum rubrum with an ancestor that
lived about two billion years ago. This is explained in
Fig. 2-8 of Dayhoff's atlas (Fig. 1).
The existing species have not descended independently and directly
from a single ancestor, as shown in Denton's diagram [Fig. 3]. They
have come from a series of ancestors through a branching process.
The molecular evolutionary clock says that amino acid replacements
take place at a fairly uniform rate for a given protein, which is
about one replacement per 40 million years for cytochromes c so
that the distances are all about the same, average 66; from the
common ancestor to Rhodospirillum and the other organisms.
Denton repeats the same mistake on pp. 282, 284 (with globins), p.
285 with cytochrome c which he calls cyclostome c (a cyclostome is
a lamprey), p. 286 with globins and p. 294 (where his distances are
erroneous). On p. 296, he says that the molecular clock hypothesis
can account for "the observed equal divergence of, say, all
vertebrate cytochromes from those of insects" but "no one has been
able to explain in precise terms exactly how such a time constant
process could work. Rather than being a true explanation, the
hypothesis of the molecular clock is really a tautology..."
He is wrong about this, too. His statement that the molecular
evolutionary clock is a "tautology" rather than a true explanation,
is incorrect. Many scientific articles have been written to supply
experimental information for the clock. An entire issue of "J. Mol.
Evol.", 164 pages, 14 articles was published on the subject of the
clock, vol. 26, November 1987.
The clock depends on two observations. First, DNA replicates ALMOST
perfectly, but the few imperfections in its replication are a major
driving force in evolution. These imperfections become point
mutations, which are substitutions of one base or another, such as
T by C. These substitutions occur essentially at random, and
accumulate in DNA at a rate of about two to five per billion
nucleotide sites per year. The effect of these substitutions on the
genetic code in genes is to bombard proteins with amino acid
changes. This takes place at a steady rate.
Many replacements are lethal, and so do not persist. Others are
neutral or near neutral so that the protein can continue
functioning. Because the changes are randomly scattered along DNA
molecules, they occur at different sites in different species. As
soon as divergence from a common ancestor starts, this
differentiation between the two species is initiated. The
consequence is the molecular evolutionary clock, which is a real
and measurable process of evolution. The rate of the clock is
fairly constant, for a given protein, especially when measured over
long time intervals.
Denton's mistake is that he does not understand that his table, but
NOT his diagram, is an excellent illustration of the branching
process in evolution. Instead of reproducing Dayhoff's diagram, he
has made up a completely erroneous one of his own.
[THOMAS H. JUKES is professor of Biophysics at UC BERKELEY and has
done extensive research in molecular evolution. He is a long time
advisor to BAY AREA SKEPTICS.]
EXCITING *NEW* PSYCHIC PREDICTIONS! See Page 9
[Note for the electronic edition: The issue ended on page 8.]
PORTRAIT OF AN INTELLECTUAL ABUSER
by Yves Barbero
Some people are gracious enough to only abuse alcohol or drugs.
Their only victims are themselves, their families and those they
mug to obtain the funds necessary to perpetuate their habits.
On the other hand, there is a more sinister class of people who
build little empires (some, not so little as in the case of
Scientology or some of the Creationist outfits) based on an odd
notion of the universe. Most of these people are dishonest and do
it only for the power and money their hoaxes bring in. The smarter
of these keep straight with the IRS and avoid obvious bouts with
the law. These thieves are largely home free. The wide skirts of
the First Amendment protect them. After all, no sane person wants
to re-tailor the Constitution just to catch a confidence schemer.
The occasional skeptical attack is rarely a bother. The skeptic
must rely on truth and long-winded explanations. Few listen. The
con-man can lie and over-simplify through his teeth.
There is another group which is much harder to quantify. They are
sincere, occasionally have genuine credentials in science and
seemingly enjoy no financial benefit from their activities. These
intellectual abusers are, by and large, loners, having only
persistence and mailing lists to sustain them. The vast majority
make only minor waves. As with the substance abuser, it's difficult
to understand why anyone would take such a course. While their
psychology is hard to comprehend, their activities can be
The ones who really make an impact usually have some personal
talent (perhaps they are great debaters or have excellent TV
presence) and an advantage over the rational opposition (time on
their hands due to personal wealth or an income from retirement)
whereas the voice of reason is engaged in research or making a
They take on an issue which most people think is resolved. It is
often obscure and seemingly of minor importance. Suddenly, an
individual intellectual abuser is on every talk show. He's pulled
away from the pack. Organizations promoting science are flooded
with his literature. At some point, he finds some ally in politics
and scientists find themselves in front of a board of supervisors
or a town council trying to recall the arguments they used three to
four decades before when the issue was first resolved.
The scientists have their attention divided. They are worried that
an established public policy designed, for instance, to protect
children from disease will be undermined. They must suddenly
re-configure their arguments so a complex issue will be understood
by a population which is both scientifically under-educated and
constantly reminded of some very real failures of science. This
population doesn't read. Everything must fit in the small space
between a commercial for a foreign car and one for fake Persian
The loner has found an opening. Armed with a righteous cause, as he
sees it, he has dug out every minority report from way back then.
He is relaxed. They are nervous. His political ally has been
thoroughly indoctrinated. He's been fighting the good fight since
the beginning. He knows everything about it. He's alert to every
quarrel among the assembled scholars and carefully exploits them.
All his life, they've ignored his warnings and treated him with
contempt and even laughed at him. Him, a healer and lover of
humanity. His reasoned arguments had been, years before, shattered
by Doctor So-and-So of Ivy League University. But that was then.
People worshipped science then. It had bought an end to a war. It
promised a bright future. Since then, scientists have been exposed
as faking research. There have been melt-downs and everyone had
seen "Dr. Strangelove." The Sputniks have been forgotten. The Salk
vaccine sits quietly on the shelf next to the aspirin.
Like everyone in the last four centuries who's had a unique
scientific claim laughed at by the establishment, the intellectual
abuser goes directly to the political power base to find
vindication. He has a complete list of the few oddballs who where
right in defying the scientific establishment and is happy to make
it generally available. There is no mention of the fact that this
establishment has cleaned up the procedures and opened up the
debate so real developments are less likely to be ignored.
In going to the power base, he's learned to use the media and even
to trick normally upright public policy scientific groups into
amplifying his claims. He's no longer the forgotten voice in the
wilderness. He's arrived. There's no stopping him so long as the
media needs something to feed on or the obscure politician finds
his coat tails handy. His only real danger is of a rival using the
same technique who's better at it than he is. But its a small
danger. There are plenty of talk shows and even more office
He'll often ally himself to the willing and unwilling. He'll call
himself a skeptic challenging the overfed establishment unwilling
to look at new evidence. Maybe, he'll become a religious individual
defying godless scientists or he'll become a humble citizen who's
accidently stumbled onto the truth while checking out the academic
bureaucrats. He knows how to get the goat of the true believers who
hang around skeptics groups. These individuals, he recognizes, are
ready to step into the breach to mindlessly defend sacred science.
He's learned which buttons to press to get himself attacked by them
so as to bring his cause public sympathy.
Challenged, he becomes enraged, ready to sue at the drop of a hat
while crying to the media that the giants of the establishment are
unfairly picking on him. Whenever attacked, it's always personal,
not at all the issue. It's difficult for him to lose since the
scientist cannot call himself a skeptic without explaining what it
If the scientist is an atheist, he prefers to keep it to himself.
After all, his research grants come from the public treasury. If he
has religion, he is careful to compartmentalize his life least his
beliefs interfere with his research. Nor can the scientist adjust
his arguments to suit the audience. And all his statements are
trimmed by a series of procedures developed to make language truly
well defined so other scientists understand him with precision.
Precise language is not necessarily colorful or powerful. On top of
all this, the scientist does not know how to handle personal
attacks, either aimed at him or attributed to the scientist by the
The intellectual abuser is under no restraints. There is no peer
review. Illogical connections are valid if they make for powerful
public pronouncements. He doesn't have to separate his personal
beliefs from his alleged science. His claims can be absurd. He can
treat intellectual attacks as personal attacks. His only possible
problem is that as the novelty wears off, his pronouncements have
to become stronger to keep in the limelight.
The scientist, meanwhile, has made a decision (perhaps through a
professional association) to ignore the intellectual abuser,
figuring that he can't win in such a climate and that the fringe
element, in one form or another, is here to stay. While this saves
him valuable time and irritation, it contributes nothing to public
education on scientific issues.
The real fight, the scientist reasons, is not the occasional loose
screw but with well-organized groups which pose a threat to
secondary education by insisting that biology textbooks print
patent falsehoods. Grudgingly, he'll sign a petition placed in
front of him by his colleague from the history department to
prevent a revision of an historical event by a fascist academic.
But that's as far as he'll step out of his field of interest.
The intellectual abuser wants attention. He's passionate, genuinely
believes what he says and truly has no financial interest in what
he does. In fact, it often costs him deep in the purse. He rarely
tries to create an organization beyond the infrastructure for the
newsletter he puts out. As an amateur, he intuitively knows how to
manipulate social communications. He may be well-trained in some
scientific discipline (and may even hold important prizes in his
own field) but that is not usually the discipline he challenges.
And the scientists are correct about one thing. He is here to stay.
The intellectual abuser, like the drug addict, initially gets
pleasure and is then trapped in the lifestyle. That he is wrong is
inconsequential. Without checks and balances, the social process
KLASS TO SPEAK
PHILIP J. KLASS will speak before a meeting of the Eastbay
Astronomical Society at 8 p.m., Friday, January 4, 1991 at the
Chabot Observatory, 4917 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland.
Klass' topic will be "UFOs: Fact or Fantasy". Weather permitting,
free observing through the telescopes follow this program. To
inquire about dinner with the speaker at a local restaurant the
same evening, call BETTY NEALL at 415-533-2394 by Thursday morning,
Klass is well known to skeptics, having written four books on the
subject of UFOs. A retired senior avionics editor of "Aviation Week
and Space Technology" magazine, Klass' most recent book is "UFO
Abductions: A Dangerous Game". He is a founding fellow of Committee
for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
(CSICOP), a member of its Executive Council and chairs its UFO
This and all EAS meetings are free and open to the public.
To reach Chabot Observatory, take I-580 to the Seminary Avenue
exit, and follow the little blue signs to the observatory.
| THE PSYCHIC ADVISOR |
| by Jean Lorraine |
| My girlfriend thinks it's dishonest for me to show a |
| picture of a thin woman in a turban with eyeballs upwards |
| and hands hovering over a crystal ball in my newspaper |
| column, since I'm really a fat, balding man with a beard, |
| and a cigar hanging from my mouth. WHAT SHOULD I DO? |
| -- Lost in the Stars |
| Dear Lost in the Stars, |
| ...and if that doesn't change her mind, read my new |
| book, "The Psychic's Image: It's All in the Mind" for |
| more tips. |
A PSEUDO-SCIENCE/ART FORM FOR AMUSEMENT
by Dennis R. Burke
About eleven years ago I was at a party in Berkeley and was asked,
"... and what do you do?" Being evasive, I answered that I read
fingerprints for a living. This delighted the people with whom I
was talking and they asked me if I could read their palms? To their
disappointment I had to admit that the only palms I read where
those of criminals. (I'm a police officer whose expertise is in
Latent Print Analysis.)
The subject of palm reading had sparked my curiosity and I decided
to do some self study on the subject. As a skeptic, I believe that
palm reading is a fake science and has no basis for predicting
future events or exposing personality traits. At best, it is an art
form for amusement; and at worse, a sham to perpetuate fraud.
AN EXPERIMENT: Using willing subjects, I took ink impressions of
their palms and finger prints, and placed them on a "chart" (see
photograph). I then applied a set of twelve stock statements to
"characteristics" that I found in the prints. I had the subject
rate them and give an overall evaluation of how well the statements
evaluated them. The first two readings produced a score of 85 and
95 percent correct, and I received additional requests to do charts
for their friends. This caused me to develop additional statements
because I couldn't use the same chart for the friend. They would
discover that the statements were the same.
The new set of statements was developed using ideas from HARRY
BROWN's book, "How I found Freedom in an Unfree World". The
statements were less successful but had a 75 percent or better
rating. I knew that some of the statements were not general enough
and identified them before giving the chart to the subject. When
the subject stated that some of the statements did not fit, I would
identify the statement as probably being the pre-identified
statement and replace it with the stock statement: "You pride
yourself on being an independent thinker and do not accept other's
opinions about satisfactory proof." This would validate the
"reading" and the subject was left with an impression that his or
her palm held the key to his or her personality.
After having great success as a palm reader, I began to experience
what RAY HYMAN described in his article for "The Skeptical
Inquirer", 1977, "Cold Reading: How to Convince Strangers that You
Know All About Them." Hyman was convinced, for a time, that he had
a genuine power to read palms, except that he one day said the
opposite of what he thought to test his powers. To his surprise,
the subjects believed and validated the mis-information as being
true. Somehow, he contended, people find more meaning in any
situation then is actually there. I also found this to be true and
saw people find more meaning in the statements then is actually
there. The human mind has a tendency to make sense out of nonsense.
This can be seen in the way we dream. We take bits and pieces of
information and put it together to make a story.
I found that people want to hear things about themselves that they
would like to be true, or perceived to be true. Most palm readers
use the fishing approach: They get the subject to tell a little
about themselves, what they want, and then feed it back to them. A
psychologist in a family counseling session uses similar techniques
to get his clients focused on their problems.
M. LAMAR KEENE, who spent thirteen years as a spiritualist medium,
wrote from first hand knowledge that he believed that virtually all
spirit readings, seances and medium messages from the dead are
conscious deceptions by the nedium.
Skepticism is probably as unfashionable today as in any other age.
The "New Age" exploration of claims that we have a vast, untapped
powers; or that unseen forces are about to save us from ourselves;
or that there is an unacknowledged pattern and harmony to the
Universe; has become for some, a new religion.
If you think you have the power, you may be ready to take up palm
reading. If so, always give the impression that you know more then
you are saying, and flatter your subject every chance you get. Body
language will give you a good clue as to the acceptance or denial
of what is being presented. Attitude, posture, mannerisms, and tone
of voice will help you explore the subject, or allow you to decide
whether to go in another direction. According to one book, the
purpose of hand reading is for, "people who want to know success,
money, love, and sex." They [palm readers] refer to themselves as
disciples of an ancient science and are appealing to basic human
WHAT I LEARNED: First, I had fun being a palm reader. People like
to hear positive things about themselves and this process opened a
door for self-examination for both the subject and myself. As far
as it being an ancient science, it is not. It is merely a mirror
for the mind to see what it wants to see. As an example, I was
viewing photographs of the planet Venus and noted that the pattern
formed on the surface was similar to the creases in the worn part
of the palm, near the area below the thumb. By chance, the pattern
on the palm chart for this area was labeled -- Venus. Of course
this was a coincidence and lends no scientific basis for the art of
palm reading. The human mind unconsciously conspires to produce a
biased response to this type of coincidence, and tries to make it
into something that it is not.
[DENNIS R. BURKE is a sergeant with the BERKELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT
and is a twenty-five year veteran. He holds a degree in Business
Administration from the State University at Hayward and a Master's
Degree in Public Administration from John F. Kennedy University.]
ANOTHER SHAMELESS PLUG
William N. Eschmeyer's "Catalog of the Genera of Recent Fishes",
ISBN 0-940228-23-8, all 697 pages, has been released after years of
preparation by our own California Academy of Sciences.
This masterpiece of taxonomy can be gotten for $55.00 plus tax by
California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
Why the plug? Your editor had an extremely minuscule role in
outputting the final drafts using the same computer program that
puts out this newsletter. So there...
A HORSE'S HIND QUARTER IN THE TILTED WASTELAND
by Earl Hautala
In the Vast Tilted Wasteland of TV talk shows, Rick Stack, author
of "Out-of-Body Adventures" (Contemporary Books, Chicago, Ill.,
1988) appeared on People Are Talking, KPIX-TV San Francisco, on
Stack offers to teach others how to have out-of-body experiences,
including the program's groin grabber, astral sex. Appearing with
him were two other voyagers who journey through not only space, but
time, and Loyd Auerbach, a Bay Area parapsychologist.
An audience composed mostly of believers and seekers, supplied
questions designed to fan the flames of imagination. That's
entertainment! A lone voice for skepticism came from Bob Steiner,
founder of the Bay Area Skeptics. Steiner may not have gotten equal
time, but his analysis of the subject more than made up for the
difference. Steiner quoted from the preface to Stack's book, "This
book is designed to take the study and practice of out-of-body
experiences out of the realm of research laboratories and esoteric
mysticism and into the living rooms and bedrooms of the world where
With no rebuttal from the author, it would appear that Mr. Stack
makes no scientific claims. He sells books! All you have to do is
believe, right? WRONG! Steiner quoted from Stack's book (page 31).
"Nothing accidental ever happens .... If you have ever been robbed
or otherwise `victimized,' it is your own fears, feelings of
worthlessness, or negative imaginings that have brought these
unpleasant experiences into your life."
Steiner pointed out that Rick Stack was "Just one more in a long
list of misguided philosophers who blame the rape victim for the
rape." Steiner's logic failed to stir the faithful. Questions about
out-of-body experiences continued as if no one had said anything
contrary to the author's words. Even the promised titillation
passed without comment when Mr. Stack allowed that "astral orgasm"
was five to ten times better than the ordinary kind. There you have
it, straight from some part of the horse. This slice of life drama
suggests additional food for thought.
This audience of adults represented some portion of the gullible
public. They would rather spend their time trying to escape
astrally, than attempt to sort out their problems rationally. If we
have some problems in this society, we need to bear in mind that
most adults have the right to vote. Part of our collective future
will be determined by people who have no interest in hearing, let
alone examining, evidence of any kind.
TALBOT NAMED TO BOARD
Kate Talbot, a long-time supporter of BAY AREA SKEPTICS, has been
named to the board of directors. She first involved herself by
folding, stapling, and mailing this newsletter, but was soon
promoted to meeting coordinator, and will continue in that
She replaces astronomer John Lattanzio, PhD, who is returning to
Australia to teach mathematics at the university level.
Bob Steiner, a founder of BAY AREA SKEPTICS, said, "We appreciate
Dr. Lattanzio's interest in and contributions to the group, and
wish Kate much luck and success. We all know she'll do a fine job."
THE SKEPTIC'S ELECTRONIC BULLETIN BOARD
=> 2400 Baud, 415-648-8944
=> 24 hours, 7 days a week
=> Rick Moen, Sysop
ANTI-FLUORIDATION -- A LITMUS TEST FOR SKEPTICS
by Bob Steiner
JOHN R. LEE, MD, will address the BAY AREA SKEPTICS meeting this
month on the topic "The Role of Skepticism in Science and in
Understanding the Fluoride Problem." Dr. Lee's position is that
fluoridation of our water supply does not help our teeth, and is
otherwise dangerous to our health.
Please see flier describing the talk, as well as information about
date, time, and location elsewhere in this issue of "BASIS".
I have taken more heat on this speaker and topic than on any
speaker and topic in the nine year history of BAY AREA SKEPTICS.
At the suggestion of many people, and with the able assistance of
EARL HAUTALA, we attempted to locate a knowledgeable
pro-fluoridation health professional to appear on the platform with
Dr. Lee. Our quest included contacting The Centers for Disease
Control, the American Dental Association, and the University of
California at San Francisco Dental School. These sources, as well
as others, would not or could not field someone to appear with Dr.
Lee to oppose his views.
Many of the people contacted strongly urged that we not allow Dr.
Lee to address our group at all. We replied that BAY AREA SKEPTICS
provides an open forum for many points of view on many topics.
Some skeptics felt it was critical that we have an opposing speaker
on the platform with Dr. Lee. When I explained that we could not
obtain one, some of these people, otherwise intelligent and
open-minded skeptics, implored me not to allow Dr. Lee to address
Upon my reply that Dr. Lee was indeed going to address BAS, one
person urged that we set ground rules for him. I inquired, "What
kind of ground rules?" The answer was that we must restrict Dr.
Lee's talk to the scientific aspects of the fluoridation question;
we must not allow him to address the personalities involved in
getting fluoride into our water, and he must not address the
political aspects of this subject.
I replied that, in the nine-year history of BAS, we have NEVER set
ground rules for our speakers. I assured this person that, if Dr.
Lee were to enter the audience for the purpose of punching someone
in the nose, I would most assuredly step in. Short of that, there
will be no ground rules.
Are you a skeptic? Do you have an open mind? Do you believe that
a speaker who opposes fluoridation of the public water supply must
be censored? Do you believe that it is the proper function of BAY
AREA SKEPTICS to protect the public from hearing ideas that differ
from the prevailing bureaucratic opinion in this country? Are you
REALLY a skeptic?
[BOB STEINER is a founder of BAY AREA SKEPTICS and knows how to
take and dish out the heat.]
CREATIONISTS TO HOLD CONFERENCE
Billed as a Christian Conference, "Back to Genesis", the Redwood
Chapel Community Church will host the heavy hitters of Scientific
Creationism, DUANE GISH, KEN HERN and JOHN D. MORRIS in Castro
Valley January 11th and 12th.
The church is located at 19300 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA
94546 and the registration fee is $20.
=> FRIDAY'S session will be between 7-9:15 p.m.
=> SATURDAY'S session will be between 9-11:45 a.m. and 1:30-5:30
STANFORD COURSE IN MEDICAL FADS
Wallace Sampson, M.D., a founder and long-time advisor to BAY AREA
SKEPTICS, has announced the first four lectures of the annual
course in medical fads.
=> Jan. 8: Analysis of Anomalous Claims -- Wallace Sampson, M.D.
=> Jan. 15: Visual Foolery and Magic -- Richard Goode, M.D. (and
=> Jan. 22: The Physics of Firewalking and other Miracles --
Bernard Leikind, Ph.D.
=> Jan. 29: Perseverance of Beliefs -- Lee Ross, M.D.
For information regarding the exact location and possible course
changes, call Dr. Sampson at 415-961-5548, or The Skeptic's Board
BBS at 415-648-8944. Future classes will be announced in these
A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS?
Is it an example of the "Lone Crusader" taking on an unwilling or
unwieldy scientific establishment? Is it a crackpot theory making
a comeback after decades of sleeping quietly as a footnote to the
history of public health?
A sigh of exasperation has escaped the lips of the scientific
community as JOHN R. LEE, M.D. single-handedly (nearly) takes up
the cause of anti-fluoridation. Armed with reams of studies and
minority reports, he will address the BAS January meeting,
insisting that the debate, which everyone else thought long closed,
Does fluoridation cause cancer? The mainstream scientific community
doesn't think so, but Dr. Lee does.
Come and hear JOHN R. LEE speak on his challenge to the "scientific
establishment." Dr. Lee had a family practice in Mill Valley for
thirty years and chaired the Marin Medical Society Committee on
Environmental Health in 1972 which was charged with reviewing the
pros and cons of fluoridation.
BAS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chair: Larry Loebig
Vice Chair: Yves Barbero
Secretary: Rick Moen
Treasurer: Kent Harker
Yves Barbero, editor; Sharon Crawford, assoc. editor;
Wilma Russell, distribution; Rick Moen, circulation
Kate Talbot, meeting coordinator; John Taube, media watch
William J. Bennetta, Scientific Consultant
Dean Edell, M.D., ABC Medical Reporter
Donald Goldsmith, Ph.D., Astronomer and Attorney
Earl Hautala, Research Chemist
Alexander Jason, Investigative Consultant
Thomas H. Jukes, Ph.D., U. C. Berkeley
John E. McCosker, Ph.D., Director, Steinhart Aquarium
Diane Moser, Science writer
Richard J. Ofshe, Ph.D.,U. C. Berkeley
Bernard Oliver, Ph.D., NASA Ames Research Center
Kevin Padian, Ph.D., U. C. Berkeley
James Randi, Magician, Author, Lecturer
Francis Rigney, M.D., Pacific Presbyterian Med. Center
Wallace I. Sampson, M.D., Stanford University
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D., Anthropologist
Robert Sheaffer, Technical Writer, UFO expert
Robert A. Steiner, CPA, Magician, Lecturer, Writer
Ray Spangenburg, Science writer
Jill C. Tarter, Ph.D., U. C. Berkeley
Opinions expressed in "BASIS" are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect those of BAS, its board or its advisors.
The above are selected articles from the January, 1991 issue of
"BASIS", the monthly publication of Bay Area Skeptics. You can
obtain a free sample copy by sending your name and address to BAY
AREA SKEPTICS, 4030 Moraga, San Francisco, CA 94122-3928 or by
leaving a message on "The Skeptic's Board" BBS (415-648-8944) or
on the 415-LA-TRUTH (voice) hotline.
Copyright (C) 1991 BAY AREA SKEPTICS. Reprints must credit "BASIS,
newsletter of the Bay Area Skeptics, 4030 Moraga, San Francisco,
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank