I know I’m probably way late to the game on this one but I just learned about Jock Doubleday and his despicable faux-Randi-like $75,000 Challenge (though he’s now claiming that it’s up to $205,000).
Of course, Doubleday wouldn’t be the first to steal James Randi’s challenge idea and corrupt it by deliberately rigging it with pseudoscience to make it unwinnable. Evolution denialist Ray Comfort has his own $10,000 challenge for anyone who can present a single “genuine living transitional form”. But of course, while there are thousands of transitional fossils, conveniently, none of them are good enough for Comfort’s challenge, which defines a transitional form as. . .
. . .a lizard that produced a bird, or a dog that produced kittens, or a sheep that produced a chicken, or even as Archaeopteryx–a dinosaur that produced a bird
And since that’s not what a transitional form is, the challenge is impossible to win.
But back to Jock Doubleday. So what is his great challenge?
. . .$75,000.00 to the first medical doctor or pharmaceutical company CEO who publicly drinks a mixture of standard vaccine additives ingredients in the same amount as a six-year-old child is recommended to receive under the year-2005 guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (In the event that thimerosal has recently been removed from a particular vaccine, the thimerosal-containing version of that vaccine will be used.)
The mixture will be body weight calibrated.
And according to Doubleday:
14 doctors, or persons claiming to be doctors, have contacted me about publicly drinking the vaccine additives mixture. None have followed through.
So what’s wrong with the challenge (besides of course that if he’s trying to show doctors are afraid of “the toxins” in vaccines, this challenge doesn’t actually demonstrate that because it demands an action that’s not even close to being the same thing as receiving an inoculation).
Well first off, according to Autism Blog, in order to even begin the challenge, one is required to jump through tons of hoops by undergoing lots of unnecessary and totally irrelevant evaluations and filling out an obscene amount of paperwork.
Then there’s the little detail that this “challenge” lacks anything resembling appropriate scientific protocols and illustrates a total lack of scientific understanding. And a REAL study was already done in 1996 that Doubleday’s supposed refutes point.
Now I have a challenge for Doubleday. If he can prove that thimerosal causes autism, he should enter the James Randi Educational Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge. Although the JREF challenge primarily calls for paranormal challenges, they do also allow medical claims to be tested as well. And given the enormous evidence against Doubleday’s position I’m sure they’d consider accepting Doubleday at least into their priliminary challenge. Because unlike Doubleday’s bogus challenge, the JREF challenge does really accept challengers, tests them fairly and under properly controlled scientific conditions, and as this weekend proved, they’re willing to conduct the entire test in front of a live audience of 1000 people.
So I’ll ask again, what are you afraid of, Jock?
Move aside John Edward. Someone deserves to be awarded greatest douche in the universe far more than you do.