Monday, May 14, 2012

#326: David Prentice

David Prentice is a member of the Family Research Council and used to be science advisor to the terminally moronic denialist Sam Brownback. Prentice is most famous as a stem cell research opponent who (against his better judgment) has attempted to claim that we don't need to fund embryonic stem cell research because adult stem cells can do so many things. The claim was backed up by the claim that adult stem cells have treated at least 65 human diseases. Scientists were curious about the number, so when checking the list (if you have access), they found that one was included because of an anecdote in a newspaper article, others only because of statements of personal opinion in Congressional testimony, and of the cited references few if any actually support any claim of a treatment. It is discussed here, among some of Brownback’s antics. Karl Rove (and others) nevertheless repeated the claim, of course. Clearly, being a science advisor to a reality- and reason-hating fundie like Brownback is no easy thing, but Prentice hasn’t really even been trying.

Diagnosis: Another utterly dishonest, fundamentalist denialist. There are lots of them, but we should at least expose a couple – Prentice caused some stir in the looney-bin of the hardcore wingnuts, but his lasting impact is unknown.

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