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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Reiki improves pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and well-being … OH NO, IT DOESN’T!!!

Amongst all the implausible treatments to be found under the umbrella of ‘alternative medicine’, Reiki might be one of the worst, i. e. least plausible and outright bizarre (see for instance here, here and here). But this has never stopped enthusiasts from playing scientists and conducting some more pseudo-science. This new study examined the immediate […]

Read the rest here: Reiki improves pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and well-being … OH NO, IT DOESN’T!!!

American Loon #2001: Barbara Mikulski

Barbara Mikulski served as Senator (D-Maryland) for some thirty years between 1987 and 2017 – and was ten years in the House of Representatives before that – and is currently a professor of public policy at John Hopkins University. For our purposes, Mikulski is notable for her support of...

Read the full lunacy: #2001: Barbara Mikulski Encyclopedia of American Loons

Saturday, 21 April 2018

2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #16

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week.

Editor's Pick

Earth Day and the Hockey Stick: A Singular Message 

Hockey Stick 

When the hockey stick was first attacked in the late 1990s I was initially reluctant to speak out, but I realized I had to defend myself against a cynical assault on my science and on me. I have come to embrace that role. What more noble cause is there than to fight to preserve our planet for our children and grandchildren?

There is great urgency to act now if we are to avert a dangerous 2- degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) planetary warming. My own recent work suggests the challenge is greater than previously thought. Yet I remain cautiously optimistic we will act in time. Along with many other Americans, I have been inspired by the renewed enthusiasm of our youth, who are demanding action now when it comes to the societal and environmental threats they face. Indeed, I have committed myself to helping insure a future in which we avoid catastrophic climate change. So let me conclude with this exhortation from the epilogue of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars:

“While slowly slipping away, that future is still within the realm of possibility. It is a matter of what path we choose to follow. I hope that my fellow scientists—and concerned individuals everywhere—will join me in the effort to make sure we follow the right one.” 

Earth Day and the Hockey Stick: A Singular Message, Opinion by Michael Mann, Observations, Scientific American, Apr 20, 2018


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Friday, 20 April 2018

Osteopathy in surgical care? Surprise, surprise: no good evidence

Osteopathy is an odd alternative therapy. In many parts of the world it is popular; the profession differs dramatically from country to country; and there is not a single condition for which we could say that osteopathy out-performs other options. No wonder then that osteopaths would be more than happy to find a new area […]

Read the rest here: Osteopathy in surgical care? Surprise, surprise: no good evidence

American Loon #2000: Harry Mihet

Liberty Counsel (LC) is an organization created (ostensibly) to defend religious freedom. In reality, they do no such thing, of course. Instead, LC is an extremist, at least borderline dominionist hate group for whom “religious freedom” means the freedom of fundamentalist, radical...

Read the full lunacy: #2000: Harry Mihet Encyclopedia of American Loons

Thursday, 19 April 2018

American Loon #1999: Christina Michas

Christina Michas is the head of the Palm Springs chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. Like so many associated with the organization, Michas is a conspiracy theorist, and has putatively rigorously researched the Satanic connection between Common Core education standards, Agenda...

Read the full lunacy: #1999: Christina Michas Encyclopedia of American Loons

Chiropractic: a truly remarkable and excellent review by chiropractors

I have often criticised papers published by chiropractors. Not today! This article is excellent and I therefore quote extensively from it. The objective of this systematic review was to investigate, if there is any evidence that spinal manipulations/chiropractic care can be used in primary prevention (PP) and/or early secondary prevention in diseases other than musculoskeletal […]

Read the rest here: Chiropractic: a truly remarkable and excellent review by chiropractors

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Alternative treatments for diabetes: I strongly advise caution

Most diabetics need life-long medication. Understandably, this makes many fed-up, and some think that perhaps natural remedies might be a less harmful, less intrusive way to control their condition. They don’t have to look far to find an impressively large choice. This article in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes was aimed at reviewing CAM, including natural health […]

Read the rest here: Alternative treatments for diabetes: I strongly advise caution

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Science cannot explain it yet, but my therapy does work!!!

I hear this argument so regularly that it might be worth analysing it (yet again) a bit closer. It is used with the deepest of convictions by proponents of all sorts of quackery who point out that science does not know or explain everything – and certainly not their (very special) therapy. Science is just […]

Read the rest here: Science cannot explain it yet, but my therapy does work!!!

American Loon #1998: David Michael

David Michael is an Ohio-based writer for the website The Journal of Natural Food and Health, which is of course not a medical or scientific journal but is likely to confuse precisely their target audience: those who wouldn’t know the difference. Michael is a supporter of all things woo...

Read the full lunacy: #1998: David Michael Encyclopedia of American Loons

Monday, 16 April 2018

A new Cochrane Review of homeopathy: “no evidence to support the efficacy of homeopathic medicinal products”

Generally speaking, Cochrane reviews provide the best (most rigorous, transparent and independent) evidence on the effectiveness of medical or surgical interventions. It is therefore important to ask what they tell us about homeopathy. In 2010, I did exactly that and published it as an overview of the current best evidence. At the time, there were […]

Read the rest here: A new Cochrane Review of homeopathy: “no evidence to support the efficacy of homeopathic medicinal products”

Sunday, 15 April 2018

American Loon #1997: Daryl Metcalfe

More lunacy in the state legislatures. Daryl D. Metcalfe has been a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (12th district) since 1999 and is currently majority chairman of the House State Government Committee. “I was a Tea Partier before it was cool,” says Metcalfe. He has also...

Read the full lunacy: #1997: Daryl Metcalfe Encyclopedia of American Loons