I want to bring some attention to Michael Siegel, a physician and proffessor who writes the weblog The Rest of the Story. Siegel is an advocate for smoking bans, but he writes critically of many other smoking-ban activists, analyzing their logic and science and often finding them badly wanting. Why does he do this? Because he believes that supporting a cause is not sufficient reason to distort the facts, make misleading statements, or ignore contrary evidence. In other words, he is that rarest of creatures: an intellectually honest advocate.

If all activists held themselves to Siegel’s high level of intellectual integrity, debates would be much more civil matters, and my blood pressure wouldn’t be nearly as high.

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