Alternative Medicine

Published on December 5th, 2014 | by Rayne


Love/Hate mail: Insulting someone’s penis for pseudoscience

So I woke up this morning to find this in my inbox:

I’ve saved this picture in my hate mail folder as “pencil”. Sometimes I take great pleasure in my hate mail but I am a masochist.

This is my response:

Dear <name retracted>,

I appreciate the time you have taken out of your day to write such an articulate email to me, though it has left me quite confused. I showed your email to my wife who responded with a shake of her head while reassuring me I don’t have a pencil penis – all of our penises are large and live in a chest at the foot of our bed. We’re both women you see. I’m certain you were talking about penises when you referenced wanking, it seems to be a popular insult for men towards other men, though I wonder why straight men would care about the size of other straights men’s penises. I should tell you I have never attempted to wank with a pencil however there is no doubt in my mind you could make millions from selling porn of it. I certainly wouldn’t recommend wanking with a pencil – butt plugs, bondage, big tits and big cocks are more my style.

You’re right though, nature has to offer many things including arsenic, feces and bears but I’m certain only one of those things have been made into porn. Nature has also given us the willow bark tree which has allowed us to create this great medication called, what was it again – ah yes, Aspirin.

Aspirin has many uses, it is used as a blood thinner to make sure heart surgery patients don’t get blood clots, it is an excellent pain-killer and is in general a very fun word to say and it is an excellent example of how science can use nature to create safe effective medication to help people like myself who get headaches when reading emails like yours.

The point you’re missing in regards to nature is the way we should be using nature for our own benefit. Aspirin has been derived from the willow bark tree by extracting the active ingredient to synthesise a product that can be monitored and regulated while excluding all the nasties within the willow bark. All the pain killing benefits with the added bonus of having a highly regulated and measurable medication. The dosage – as I suspect you don’t know – makes the poison.

Pharmaceutical companies with the aid of science and the scientific method have also devised this clever concept called clinical trials. The creation of a new medication can take up to a decade and millions of dollars to complete the trial process. The clinical trial process has four stages – all focused on ensuring the medication is safe and effective.

You know what else nature has to give us? Almonds, specifically two types – bitter and sweet. Bitter almonds have kernels that produce cyanide, eating a handful of bitter almonds will be fatal whereas sweet almonds are not fatal. Both types of almonds are found in nature – I suggest you familiarise yourself with both types if you get stuck in the forest. Almonds are a prime example of another thing I suspect you don’t realise – nature isn’t synonymous with safety.

So in short – nature can give us many things but science, medicine and technology makes those things safe and effective.

Your letter was most uplifting to me. For an articulate person such as yourself to be bothered by my writing so much that it inspires you to send a rushed email poking fun at my non-existent penis – I must be doing something right. Keep up the good work inspiring the scientifically literate community to continue to fight against harmful and misleading pseudoscience.



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4 Responses to Love/Hate mail: Insulting someone’s penis for pseudoscience

  1. Geoff says:

    I’ve only one thing to add: “tosspot” is a synonym for “lush”, or “drunkard”, or “Geoff”. It has nothing to do with wanking, despite the fact that I do quite a lot of that too.

    I am so much a fan of the inarticulate.

    • D says:

      Where I live in the UK, “Tosspot” definitely means “wanker”. (Though I agree that the origin lies in boozing – what the link should be is unclear to me).
      Excellent reply email. I shall never be able to look at a pencil in the same way again.

  2. Lisa says:

    Lol that’s got to be the best reply to hate mail I have ever read anywhere. Totally cracked me up.
    Brilliant. (I’m still laughing}.

  3. Aloha! This might be a repost as I do not see my prior comment. Aloha from Maui, Hawaii! As a Medical Physician I want to thank you very much for setting up the Facebook page. Should you be interested in reading about Gluten Sensitivity potentially being a Nocebo efffect and Leaky Gut being a non-medical diagnosis and a money maker for ‘Alternative Individuals and a money loser for their clients’ please visit my Facebook page. Mahalo, Madhup Joshi, MD. Be Well!

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