Posts Tagged “columbia university”

Dr. Oz at ServiceNation 2008I’ve blogged a couple times about the woo and nonsense spewed by the famous “Friend of Oprah” Dr Mehmet Oz. The insipid nonsense he reels off has been questioned both by journalists and by US Senators. But he’s been able to keep his TV show and his jobs at Columbia University … feathers in his cap which grant him more apparent credibility than he deserves (WebCite cached article). The Associated Press reports a number of physicians have petitioned Columbia to remove him due to his pseudomedical advice (cached):

Columbia University has not removed TV celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz from his faculty position as a group of top doctors has demanded, citing his “egregious lack of integrity” for promoting what they call “quack treatments.”

“Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine,” said a letter the 10 physicians sent to a Columbia dean earlier this week. They say he’s pushing “miracle” weight-loss supplements with no scientific proof that they work.…

The doctors wrote that Oz, for years a world-class Columbia cardiothoracic surgeon, “has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.” They said he has “misled and endangered” the public.

But Columbia clearly has no problem with one of its faculty peddling pseudoscience and gibberish, and refuse to heed this petition:

The New York Ivy League school responded Thursday, issuing a statement to The Associated Press saying only that the school “is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion.”

Yes, Columbia University thinks “academic freedom” is a license to dole out lies and misinformation. I don’t see those in any definition of the phrase that I’ve been able to find, but they’re the ones who run an ivory tower, so I have to assume they know more about it than I — or the doctors who signed the petition — do.

Let’s face it, the man makes a shitload of money and has a daily nationally-syndicated TV show; he probably attracts a lot of attention for the college. That must be a lot more important than valid science.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Husité - Jenský kodexAs a counter-point to this past weekend’s staggering expression of violent Islamist immaturity, another attack, of a different sort, happened elsewhere. As (NY) Newsday reports, a violent mob ganged up on and attacked a lone Sikh in New York City this past Saturday night (WebCite cached article):

Columbia University professor Dr. Prabhjot Singh, recalling the Saturday night attack in which his jaw was broken by assailants yelling anti-Muslim slurs at him, asked Monday: “Did they know what they were doing?”

Singh, an East Harlem physician who provides health care to low-income families, said at a news conference at Columbia: “This does not represent Harlem or this city. Someone gave these 14-, 15-year-olds the green light to act this way.”…

Singh said the assailants pulled his beard and tried to tear off his turban on Lenox Avenue and 110th Street in Harlem. The professor, whose lower jaw had to be wired, said he heard his attackers yell “Get him!” and “Osama.” Several witnesses chased the attackers away as Singh ran, he said.

These raging juvenile brigands picked the wrong target — on several counts. First, Singh is a Sikh, not a Muslim. Although most furious Neocrusaders (like this gang) are unaware of it, Sikhism and Islam are two separate religions. The former is a Dharmic faith, the latter Abrahamic. Sure, male Sikhs wear turbans, and some Muslims do as well, and both faiths are monotheistic, but they’re more or less unrelated.

Second, these attackers thought they were “getting Osama.” I guess they never heard the news: Osama bin Laden is already dead, and he has been for over two years now.

Third, the guy is a physician and a professor, fercryinoutloud. He’s no threat to anyone! In fact, I’m sure he does a lot of good for people. What’s the point of breaking his jaw just because he was walking around with a turban on? Seriously!?

Misplaced fury at Sikhs over the actions of Muslims is nothing new. They have, unfortunately, been targets of Neocrusaders’ anger ever since the September 11, 2001 attacks. A white supremacist shot up a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and killed 6 people, just over a year ago. Being a Sikh in America can be deadly … and for no valid reason. Can we all finally just fucking grow up already before anyone else is hurt or killed, for nothing?

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