Author: Rob Cavanaugh
I am not a scientist, doctor, statistician, academic, or nurse. Far from it.
At an early age I was keen on science. My grandparents only provided me with National Geographic, and flipping the pages of the newest issue was the highlight of my weekend visits. I could tell you the names of countless dinosaurs as a kid. That carried on throughout my life. In my teens I had a passionate interest in Astronomy and Astrophysics. In college I took science classes for electives. The Scientific Method does not escape me. You get the point.
Not so long ago I was just your everyday sheep on Facebook. Sharing pictures and videos of my various board sport activities, my cat and dog, arguing about politics.. all the typical social media activities. But then I started to notice some things.
Certain posts started catching my attention. Memes with lists of vegetables and fruits proclaiming their amazing healing properties for each one. Friends doing their magical cleanses and then inviting others over to sell them the same cleanse, MLM style. Other friends became alarmed at things such as chemtrails and smart meters and glyphosate. Soon, everywhere I looked, the virtues of Organic were being touted. That seemed to be the start of it.
I can’t recall exactly how I stumbled onto the science pages of Facebook, but discovered Credible Hulk first, in some random way. Because the pages share from other pages I found The Dirty Truth About Organic. Then: We Love GMOs and Vaccines, March Against Morons, Insufferably Intolerant Science Nerd, The Questionist, etc. Soon I was following so many science pages that I would compile lists of them and post them onto my timeline in the hopes that my friends might get some science back on their side in this era of online disinformation.
The things I started seeing on a daily basis were shocking and were making me angry. I had never seen much of this stuff, because why would I? I don’t search for “natural alternatives to chemotherapy” or “should I vaccinate my child” or “natural antibiotics.” For me the science was settled on these subjects and there was no reason to question. And thus began my descent into the rabbit hole.
I began learning about the complete lunacy that is going on in private circles. Parents not vaccinating kids. People doing coffee enemas to detox. Chiropractors adjusting infants. Children being made to drink their own urine. The complete turning away from medical science. All of the tinfoil hat conspiracies times 1000! And it all was so crazy, unsettling and baffling.
Somewhere on this journey I found What’s The Harm. I followed them as well. Being a somewhat smaller page, the admins were more available to contact. We had been talking back and forth for awhile, they had seen me commenting on other science pages, and then invited me to become an admin. I jumped at the opportunity. They handed me a rifle and now I am in the trenches of this battle for minds. When I joined in late 2017 we had 1800 followers, now we are quickly approaching 4000, with 11 contributing admins. It’s great being a part of this meaningful movement of pushing back against pseudoscience and reaching those people that are still on the fence.
So, here we are now. I put together this website and absorbed the associated costs. Another admin bought the domain. We are all out of pocket on time, energy and expense to further the cause of evidence based science, and we are still waiting on those damn shillbuck checks from BigPharma and Monsanto. Maybe one day.