Oprah abdicated – HALLELUJAH!
You cannot have failed to notice one of the top stories these days: Oprah Winfrey has held her last talkshow…ever(?). Everywhere there is praise for her talkshow, her style, her persona…basically nice and good praise. We’ll miss her etc.
I beg to differ, and know that I’m in sync with skeptics around the world. She’s been #1 on the most wanted list of celebrities who promote pseudoscience.
Why? Because Oprah has been the single most powerful source of communication of pseudoscience babble, ranging from anti-vaccine proponent Jenny McCarthy, praising scientology, healing, alternative medicine, non-proven diet schemes, and obscene tweaks of positive wish-yourself-healthy-and-prosperous psychology. Some warnings of this can be found here and look specifically here.
I mean, listen to this:
Wish Away Cancer! Get A Lunchtime Face-Lift! Eradicate Autism! Turn Back The Clock! Thin Your Thighs! Cure Menopause! Harness Positive Energy! Erase Wrinkles! Banish Obesity! Live Your Best Life Ever!
Newsweek did a good job in both presenting the ridiculous claims made by Oprah, her style of argumentation and reasoning (and lack thereof) and they evenmade it to their front page (see image above).
So now Oprah has decided to step down, the show will not go on. Should we cheer? Or should we fear and loath what’s and who’s next? As studies of aversion and the brain have demonstrated, ambiguity/uncertainty is among the worst fear of them all. This is the time for being up no the beat, reclaim rationalism, lobby for skepticism and science!
Today’s morale: keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out!