Okay, so science vs. pseudoscience is something I care passionately about, and I expect at least some PHers to feel similarly. (Or maybe not... lol.)
So here is my general gut instinct on how PH should handle pseudoscience: if you post a question about a book, belief, journal article, or practice that is backed up by bad science or pseudoscience, I expect everyone at PH to chip in and point that out. I don't care if your belief is pro-Paleo, pro-vegan, pro-religious, anti-religious, pro-low-carb, or pro-low-fat. Bad science is bad science.
One common question I've been asked, in response to my very verbose comments in some relevant threads, is "Why do you care? Why can't you just leave us alone to look for pro-Paleo evidence in the Bible? This thread is a valuable resource to me and other Christians."
And my response is: well, I care because you are doing one of several things: looking only for confirmatory evidence of conclusions you already hold; disregarding contradictory evidence; thinking sloppily; or generally espousing ideas that are overwhelmingly contradicted by the data. This is the kind of thinking that plagues much of the medical/scientific literature on nutrition already, and it has caused significant harm in the last several decades. I don't want to see PaleoHacks become a place where those habits are encouraged -- do you?
My general premise is that pseudoscience, bad science, and sloppy thinking are to be avoided. And not just avoided, but rather actively sought out, exposed, and thoroughly criticized (politely!). Look at how Mat Lalonde criticizes the sloppy thinking behind some commonly held beliefs in the Paleo community. That is an excellent critical thinker at work, and that is the kind of standard to which we should all aspire. When we see others falling prey to sloppy thinking, we should be quick to point that out, all the more so when their conclusions are similar to ours.
I think there are some confounding factors here that make a level-headed discussion of this issue difficult:
Some people cross the bounds of civility. Not cool.
Some people interpret legitimate criticism of bad science as being "offensive" and "not respectful" of other people's religious beliefs. I have a real problem with this. I don't think pseudoscience or bad science should be given a free pass just because it's in line with your religious beliefs. If you believe that humans are not the product of evolution, I think it's legitimate for me to say "you have no idea what you are talking about, scientifically speaking, and your conclusions are contradicted by overwhelming evidence." I am not being disrespectful of your religious beliefs (as long as I state my criticisms politely). I am pointing out that you are a bad scientist.
I don't presume to speak for PaleoHacks. So, here is my initial proposal, on which I would love to have some input:
Questions ABOUT pseudoscientific or allegedly pseudoscientific books, beliefs, and practices are fine (in my opinion). For example, I asked a question about oil pulling and someone pointed out that the reasoning behind oil pulling appeared to be pseudoscience (and I agreed).
Actively spreading bad science or pseudoscience in the answers or comments is something that should be downvoted and criticized. For example: if I say that oil pulling makes your teeth cleaner because it's homeopathic or relies on your golden flower nature or because some extra-scientific text supports it, you should rip my argument to shreds (politely).
If someone criticizes your position politely, and on scientific grounds, this is not "bashing someone's faith." It is being a good critical thinker. It is pointing out other people's bad science, pseudoscience, and sloppy thinking. I would criticize bad reasoning whether it came from a theist, an atheist, a vegan, a Paleo-eater, a homeopath, or a Nobel-winning scientist. Or even Stephan Guyenet.
If someone criticizes your position (on any grounds) but not politely, then by all means accuse that person of faith-bashing, slap him or her with warnings and suspensions, and so on.
What say you all? Does anybody else care? Should people who propagate bad science on PH be allowed their discussions in peace? Or should we go after them relentlessly but politely? Or something else altogether? I know how some of you think, but I'm interested in hearing more voices.