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rampant

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

July 2015 in review: part 1

There have been a good number of tweets on the #WDDTY hashtag highlighting bonkers claims in the July 2015 edition of WDDTY, so lets take a quick whistle-stop tour through its pages.

We dealt with the cover stories yesterday. Page 2 is (as usual) a full-page “we’ll never take advertising” advert for Altrient, which appears to …

 Continue reading July 2015 in review: part 1

Homeopathy promotion at its most despicable (and most dangerous) | Edzard Ernst

I thought I had seen everything that is lamentable about homeopathy. When I came across this article, I had to change my opinion. It is a more despicable, unethical and dangerous promotion of falsehoods than I could have imagined.

Strong words? Read for yourself:
There are treatments that can heal vaccine damage, but few physicians in the conventional medical care […]
Read on: Homeopathy promotion at its most despicable (and most dangerous)

Homeopathy experiment, days 26-30, doses 51-60

Well, I finally finished my homeopathy experiment last night. And [sarcasm] much to my surprise [\sarcasm], my symptom journal remained completely empty for the entire duration of the experiment. I accepted this challenge not necessarily hoping that my brain would fry, but perhaps hopeful that there would be some kind of effect. Think of the possibilities if homeopathy could actually work: a cheap, simple, and safe way to cure anything! That’s any doctor’s (and any patient’s) dream!

Yes, despite what homeopaths and other alternative medicine practitioners would have you believe, doctors actually do hope their patients get better and aren’t in this to make a profit. Though I have to say that homeopaths must make a pretty damned good living, selling what amounts to sugar pills with a few drops of water on them for exorbitant markups...

Anyway, that all aside, here are the videos from the last 5 days...

Read more, watch the videos and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, days 26-30, doses 51-60}

July 2015: the firehose of stupid at full blast

The July 2015 issue of WDDTY is out. You can tell from the cover that it’s going to be a cracker. HPV vaccine: new dangers revealed! Why low-cal sweeteners make you fat! Recipe for better breast health! How I beat Lyme disease! Staying sun-safe naturally! And the headline: 10 minutes to stronger bones.

Based on these I predict: an anti-vax diatribe …

Continue reading July 2015: the firehose of stupid at full blast

Monday, 29 June 2015

Many nurses employ alternative medicine but few understand it | Edzard Ernst

In a recent Editorial, I wrote: “Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is popular, and many nurses seem to be embracing it in the hope of helping their patients…But despite its popularity, CAM has remained a highly controversial area: the evidence-base is often unconvincing or non-existent. For most forms of CAM, we thus know too little […]

Read on: Many nurses employ alternative medicine but few understand it

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Common misconceptions about alternative medicine | Edzard Ernst

I just came across a website  that promised to ”cover 5 common misconceptions about alternative medicine that many people have”. As much of this blog is about this very issue, I was fascinated. Here are Dr Cohen’s 5 points in full:

5 Misconceptions about Alternative Medicine Today

1. Alternative Medicine Is Only an Alternative
In fact, […]

Read on: Common misconceptions about alternative medicine

Friday, 26 June 2015

Calling out (in)Clement information

Avoiding cancer is a doddle!

So declareth the esteemed oncologist, George Dryden, on her authoritative medical blog, ‘it shouldn’t happen to a vegan™’. Sorry, wait, strike that; so pontificateth, the Brian Clement-beguiled, Hippocrates Health Institute-certified ‘Health Educator’, George Dryden, on her egregious generator of wind for blowing up her guru’s freshly-flushed jacksy....

[Read more... ]

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Acupuncture for Alzheimer’s? | Edzard Ernst

One could define alternative medicine by the fact that it is used almost exclusively for conditions for which conventional medicine does not have an effective and reasonably safe cure. Once such a treatment has been found, few patients would look for an alternative. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is certainly one such condition. Despite intensive research, we are […]

Read on: Acupuncture for Alzheimer’s?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Homeopathy experiment, days 22-25 doses 43-50

The past four days have been, well, let’s just say uneventful. I’ve been waiting for some dramatic effect to begin, but I’ve been disappointed. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hoping that my brain will fry, but I would at least be encouraged by some sort of symptom. A strange itch, an odd sensation, the feeling that I can smell sound. SOMETHING. But instead there’s been nothing. After all the dire warnings and pleading to try a different remedy because the Psorinum 1M is so devastating, there’s been nothing.

Have I said that too many times? NOTHING

But once again I’m being given excuses, this time by @22VenkateshN...

Read the rest, watch the videos and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, days 22-25 doses 43-50}

A New Podcast: Take That Podcast!

By @tkthtetymology & @TakeThatGMOs

 From our test run. More shenanigans. Would you like to take something new, all the way into your earholes? Let the upcoming Take That Podcast bang your eardrum and hammer your anvil with skepticism and shenanigans. Our maiden voyage will sail this weekend and be released early next week, featuring TakeThatDarwin, TakeThatGMOs, TakeThatReason, […]


Read the rest at: A New Podcast: Take That Podcast!}

The "Take This" blog is written by a collective of skeptics hunting down misleading, uninformed and sometimes outright insane claims on social media.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

12 bogus arguments about homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

If you talk to advocates of homeopathy, you are bound to hear claims that are false or misleading; in fact, you hear them so regularly that you might begin to doubt the truth. For those who have such doubts or are in need of some correct counter-arguments, I have listed here those 12 bogus claims which, in my experience, […]

Read on: 12 bogus arguments about homeopathy

Monday, 22 June 2015

Harpocrates Speaks: SB277 Opposition: The Smokescreen of Parental Choice

Humans love to have choices. From early on in our childhood, we like to be able to choose what we want to do. Play with this toy or that one. Eat this food or that. And we don't like having limitations placed on our choices, especially if it involves doing something we don't want to do. Our parents try to teach us that while we are able to choose, sometimes our choices have strings attached. "You need to finish your vegetables if you want dessert." We're given the power to choose what to do: eat the veggies so we can have dessert, or choose not to eat the veggies and miss out on dessert. We might not like the options, we might wish we could choose the dessert without any other limits on our choice, but we have to deal with the reality. Depending on our maturity, we may throw a tantrum when we don't get what we want, when there is even the most minor constraint on our choices....

Read on: Harpocrates Speaks: SB277 Opposition: The Smokescreen of Parental Choice

Fran Sheffield on Homeopathy and Autism

The post Fran Sheffield on Homeopathy and Autism by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.

Notorious woomeister Fran Sheffield, caught lying blatantly and unrepentantly by the Aussie authorities and rightfully nicked for it, runs the Homeopathy Plus webshite with her equally deluded husband. He claims his wife’s sugar pills saved his life “more than once” and continue to do so. He provides no evidence for this remarkable and highly improbable assertion. The whole family appears to have bought, or been brainwashed, into the homeopathy cult, which they relentlessly push and profit from.

Sheffield is also thick as thieves with the Australian (anti)Vaccination Network, or whatever they’re calling themselves these days. Almost amusingly, she objects to all these wishy-washy “we’re not anti-vaccine, we’re pro-choice” mouthings and has urged anti-vaxxers to wear the label with pride. She has been seen calling for (usually homeopathic) alternatives to vaccines, which shows how pathetic her grasp of immunisation is, in spite of her claim to have nursing training. You either … Continue reading

Saturday, 20 June 2015

These are your “vaccine experts”: Christina England

Now that I’m done wading into the cesspool of “vaccine experts” found within Facebook, I’ve come to realize that most of them never got any kind of formal training on the science of vaccines. This is no surprise by itself, but it is kind of scary when you realize the number of people who listen to them and take their word as gospel. Even those among them who self-identify as journalists don’t do much journalism, per se. Their brand of journalism is filled with personal opinions and misinterpretation of scientific evidence. Hell, they don’t even consult with anyone who has any kind of scientific training to see if the evidence they have in hand stands up to scrutiny. […]
Read more at: These are your “vaccine experts”: Christina England by Reuben

A ‘ferociously frank’ book | Edzard Ernst

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed: I recently published a ‘memoir‘.

Of all the books I have written, this one was by far the hardest. It covers ground that I felt quite uncomfortable with. At the same time, I felt compelled to write it. For over 5 years I kept at it, revised it, re-revised it, re-conceived the outline, abandoned the project altogether only to pick it up again […]
Read on: A ‘ferociously frank’ book

Homeopathy experiment, days 19-21, doses 37-42

YouTube FINALLY allowed me to upload my videos. I don’t know if it’s a problem with my WiFi, my wireless adapter, or if YouTube just doesn’t like me. Or maybe it’s a Big Homeopathy conspiracy. Who knows.

Regardless, I wish I had something different to say. But I haven’t had any symptoms I could really say are anything different than usual. I had a bit of a headache this afternoon, a squeezing sensation around my forehead, but that’s the typical sort of headache I get in the afternoon every now and then. Nothing new, nothing unique, nothing special. In fact, I haven’t had to take ibuprofen at all since this experiment started. Maybe the psorinum is helping with that, or maybe it’s because I haven’t been drinking so much coffee.

Seems I’ve said that before. But clearly my brain isn’t fried yet.

Now for the videos:
Day 19, morning dose...

Wartch videos and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, days 19-21, doses 37-42}

So I friended some anti-vaccine people on Facebook…

…And, Jesus H. Christ, are they nutty. Apparently, there are “thousands and thousands” of children being “injured” daily by “toxic chemicals” in vaccines. Of course.

First, we have Christina England, who wants vaccines to be 100% safe and 100% effective. Only then will she stop misinforming people about them:

Then we have Tristan Wells, who […]

Read more at: So I friended some anti-vaccine people on Facebook… by Reuben

RCVS: a hotbed of quackery?

The post RCVS: a hotbed of quackery? by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is kind of a big deal in the UK. If they don’t like you, you don’t get to practise veterinary medicine. Here’s the blurb on the official website:
The role of the RCVS
We aim to enhance society through improved animal health and welfare. We do this by setting, upholding and advancing the educational, ethical and clinical standards of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.

Activities 
As a statutory regulator we are responsible under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 for keeping the register of veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK, setting standards for veterinary education and regulating the professional conduct of veterinary surgeons. 

All very laudable and ethical-sounding. So, you’d expect vets who engage in dodgy activities that are condemned as quackery by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate since at least 2010 to be persona non grata? You’d expect wrong. Step forward Mark Elliott, … Continue reading

Friday, 19 June 2015

The non-science of Lynne McTaggart | DmitryBrant.com

I was going to do my own post on this, until I found this excellent critique of McTaggart's Intention™ quackery - AT

A friend of mine recommended that I read a book called The Field by Lynne McTaggart, and referred to the subject matter as thought-provoking, if not life-changing. A cursory examination of the book on Amazon.com revealed overwhelmingly positive reviews and similar “life-changing” testimonials. So I obtained The Field for myself, as well as McTaggart’s more recent book, The Intention Experiment.

The moment I read the back cover of The Field, I knew what I was getting myself into...

The non-science of Lynne McTaggart | DmitryBrant.com

Homeopathy Awareness Week special: Proving of Helium

This has not been a good week, what with shrill antivax activists posting and reposting their stupidity and lies everywhere, in order to game search engine results; white supremacists going on yet another shooting spree; the UK Government defending Saudi Arabia’s ISIS-like barbarity; and homeopathy touts being more than usually active because they’ve dubbed this “Homeopathy Awareness Week”.

OK, so be aware: homeopathy is unscientific bollocks. We’ve been over this ground more times than I care to remember. What never fails to fascinate, however, is the stellar out-to-lunchness of their “research” and the poker-faced claims made for it. Fascinating in the same way as those really fucking terrible made-for-TV films that even third-rate channels won’t touch with a bargepole, that is.

One such example is this proving of helium. Homeopathic proving, you will recall, has nothing to do with either proof or evidence: it is an exercise in mental masturbation … Continue reading

The post Homeopathy Awareness Week special: Proving of Helium by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.

Adam Schechner, day 20

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Remove homeopathy from pharmacies: Royal Pharmaceutical Society Chief Scientist challenges profession to act | Edzard Ernst

Today, I came across this intriguing bit of information:
This week is homeopathy awareness week and once again the controversial practice is in the news.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society does not endorse homeopathy as a form of treatment.  In its reference guide on homeopathic and herbal products, the RPS makes it clear that there is […]

Read on: Remove homeopathy from pharmacies: Royal Pharmaceutical Society Chief Scientist challenges profession to act

The UNI-VERSE Meme™

by @SuckItEvolution with @TkThtEtymology 

There’s a pernicious and annoying little theist meme that’s been spread all over Twitter and other social media channels for several years now. Every so often, you’ll see it getting re-cycled and re-tweeted by new enthusiasts encountering it for the first time. I like to call it “The UNI-VERSE Meme”. It has a number of popular variations, but basically goes something like this […]


Read the rest at: The UNI-VERSE Meme™}

The "Take This" blog is written by a collective of skeptics hunting down misleading, uninformed and sometimes outright insane claims on social media.

Adam Schechner, day 19

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Chiropractic: the true ‘mother of invention’? | Edzard Ernst

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. The meaning of this proverb is fairly clear:
  • In the Oxford Dictionary the proverb has been defined as– when the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it. 
  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary, this is “an expression that means that if […]

Read on: Chiropractic: the true ‘mother of invention’?

Homeopathy day 17 and 18, doses 33-36

We may have our first evidence of a fried brain – I thought I had recorded last night’s video, but apparently I hadn’t actually hit the button to record. Either that or my laptop is a piece of #)(*&%#$ and is slowly dying. Two of the USB ports no longer work, the wireless adapter died, and the touchpad only mostly works. I don’t think any of that is the fault of the psorinum, but one never can tell. But I did get my days mixed up, so perhaps that’s further evidence that something is happening.

Regardless, here are the videos from the past two days...

Watch videos and comment at: Homeopathy day 17 and 18, doses 33-36}

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Blog post number 500 | Edzard Ernst

Would you believe it? This is the 500th post on this blog!

When I started this blog less than three years ago, I would have never thought that I would have fun doing this; and I would not have expected to get hooked on it. In fact, it needed even a bit of arm twisting to try it, and I have to thank Alan for doing it and everything else. Without him, this blog would surely not exist […]

Read on: Blog post number 500

Monday, 15 June 2015

Horner Syndrome after chiropractic spinal manipulation | Edzard Ernst

If you ask a chiropractor, you will probably be told that chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe treatment. Unfortunately this is not quite true, as regular readers of this blog will appreciate. About half of all patients suffer mild to moderate adverse effects after chiropractic treatments and, in addition, many instances of much more serious complications have been documented, including rare cases of Horner syndrome. It results from an interruption of the sympathetic nerve supply to the eye and is characterized by the classic triad of miosis (ie, constricted pupil), partial ptosis, and loss of hemifacial sweating (ie, anhidrosis) […]

Read on: Horner Syndrome after chiropractic spinal manipulation

Are women still at a disadvantage in science?

There can be no doubt that the situation for women has improved hugely since I started at UCL, 50 years ago. At that time women were not allowed in the senior common room. It’s improved even more since the 1930s (read about the attitude of the great statistician, Ronald Fisher, to Florence Nightinglale David).

Recently Williams & Ceci published data that suggest that young women no longer face barriers in job selection in the USA (though it will take 20 years before that feeds through to professor level). But no sooner than one was feeling optimistic, along comes Tim Hunt who caused a media storm by advocating male-only labs [...]



Read the rest at: Are women still at a disadvantage in science?  on DC's Improbable Science: Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Scientists Have Found A Way To Kill HIV in vitro



A newly created "can opener" molecule is capable of opening HIV and allowing the body's own immune system to kill the infection.

anarchic_teapot's insight:
Usual caveats apply. The molecule has yet to be tested in a living being.



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Homeopathy experiment, day 15 doses 29 and 30

Ok folks, I’m officially half done with my homeopathy experiment. I’ve taken 30 of the required 60 doses, and nothing remotely close to a fried brain has happened yet. I was again advised that I should be supervised by a homeopath:
I’m unclear what a homeopath would have to offer, other than a bill. Chris Wilkinson, a homeopath from Bristol, UK, had this advice...
Read, watch videos and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, day 15 doses 29 and 30}

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Dr. Eisenstein: An Anti Vaccination Warrior


infowars video on Eisenstein
Chicago based Dr. Mayer Eisenstein passed away on December 22, 2014. Infowars pays tribute to the man who didn't bend to the will of the goliath ...
anarchic_teapot's insight:
Now here's interesting. If there's one thing anti vaxxers hate being called, it's "anti vaccination". They will angrily deny this and maintain, usually in ALL CAPS, that the are "PRO SAFE VAX". Which to them means 100% risk free (not even an ouchie or slight fever post-jab) and 100% effective.

In other words: in order to try and put a positive spin on their campaign, they demand the impossible.

So here's a video cobbled together and just up on Youtube, produced by notorious conspiraloony site Infowars in praise of a complete dick who hated vaccines. And they cheerfully admit it.



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Baby contracts measles, father hits out at anti-vaccination parents


A FATHER whose five-month-old daughter has been diagnosed with measles has written a scathing letter aimed squarely at anti-vaccination advocates....




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Gardasil: a new TGA safety update


First-year results of the TGA school-based HPV vaccine surveillance program suggest no safety concerns in either boys or girls after immunisation with the HPV vaccine, Gardasil.




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An alternative treatment that could actually be integrated into clinical routine !?!? | Edzard Ernst

On this blog, we have discussed many different alternative treatments. As it turns out, hardly any of them fulfil the criteria for being used routinely in clinical practice. But here I present one that might be the exception.

The Feldenkrais Method (FM) aims to reduce pain or limitations in movement, to improve physical function, and […]

Read on: An alternative treatment that could actually be integrated into clinical routine !?!?

Homeopathy experiment, Day 14 doses 27 and 28

I know I sound like a broken record, but here’s my symptom journal:

*tumbleweed*
I have nothing in it. Still. I got 30 minutes of sleep last night from 6:05 until 6:35 this morning, and that was it. I’m exhausted. It was another rough call night, but I can’t credit or fault the Psorinum with anything yet. I’m still being patient, though. I’m almost halfway done with this experiment, though I have nothing to show for it.

Morning video...

wtach and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, Day 14 doses 27 and 28}

Homeopathy experiment, Day 13 doses 25 and 26

Still no symptoms to report. This is getting repetitive.

Morning video:

Watch videos and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, Day 13 doses 25 and 26}

Homeopathy experiment, Day 12 doses 23 and 24

I apologize for the delay, but YouTube seems to enjoy torturing me and not uploading my videos properly.  I finally got them all to upload.  I wish I had something to report, but sadly my symptom journal still looks like this:

Morning video...


Watch videos and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, Day 12 doses 23 and 24}

The dumpster dives and fuzzy math of RFK Jr. and friends | Epidemiological

Do you remember Robert F. Kennedy? I don’t. I was born way after his assassination in the 1960s. The only reason I know who he was is because I studied history and learned that he was the brother of President John F. Kennedy, serving as the US Attorney General in that and the subsequent administration, and then becoming a Senator. They also named a stadium in DC after him, and several games of the 1994 World Cup were played there. That’s it. That’s all I know.

Now, do you know who Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is? [...]

Read the full post here: The dumpster dives and fuzzy math of RFK Jr. and friends | Epidemiological

Friday, 12 June 2015

Integrative oncology = paradise for pseudoscience and quacks? | Edzard Ernst

A new study has shed light on how cancer patients’ attitudes and beliefs drive the use of complementary and alternative medicine. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings may help hospitals develop more effective and accessible integrative oncology services for patients […]

Read on: Integrative oncology = paradise for pseudoscience and quacks?

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Good news from the University of Exeter: alternative medicine is alive and kicking | Edzard Ernst

It is now about three years that I retired from my Exeter post. Sadly, my unit was closed down under circumstances that were not all that happy. But my university is doing its very best to keep up the good work, I am proud to report.

The university’s website informs us, for instance, that, during the ‘staff festival, alternative […]

Read on: Good news from the University of Exeter: alternative medicine is alive and kicking

Homeopathy experiment, Day 11 doses 21 and 22

Well this is thoroughly boring. I have been sleeping fine, not remembering my dreams, and not having any headaches. I still haven’t been drinking my usual afternoon coffee, so there’s a very good chance I’ve gotten over my caffeine withdrawal headaches. But maybe it’s the Psorinum. Maybe?

My chairman during my residency would tell me I was being dumb, and that common things happen commonly.

Anyway, here are the videos for day 11:

Morning...
Read the full post and comment at: Homeopathy experiment, Day 11 doses 21 and 22

Shingles Vaccine May Cut Odds of Long-Term Pain - WebMD


Findings support immunization of older adults

 TBD, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Even when shingles vaccination does not prevent the disease, it reduces the risk of long-term pain that can occur as a complication of the condition, according to a new study.

Although the U.S. Advisory Council on Immunization Practices recommends shingles vaccination for people 60 and older, vaccination rates remain low, the researchers say...



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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Widespread Vaccination Fights Serious Stomach Infection in Kids: CDC



TUESDAY, June 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread use of a vaccine against a germ that causes gastrointestinal infections in infants and young children has been a resounding success in the United States, a new study suggests.

A team led by Dr. Eyal Leshem of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a big drop in the number of young children hospitalized with gastroenteritis since routine immunization against rotavirus was launched in 2006.

“Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe acute gastroenteritis — vomiting and severe diarrhea — among children across the world,” said one expert, Dr. Roya Samuels, a pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Hospital of New York in New Hyde Park...




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Survey to shine light on vaccination fears

A NEW national survey aims to expose the fears that drive parents to reject or delay vaccinating their children.

THE survey, the first of its kind in almost 20 years, could lead to more effective education campaigns to improve vaccination rates.

University of Queensland researcher Cassandra Dittman says little is known about attitudes held by the current generation of Australian parents. She suspects many parents are probably best described as vaccine hesitant.

anarchic_teapot's insight:
Australia is of course the primary infestation zone for that especially virulent band of anti-health activists led by Meryl Dorey.

However, the disinformation disseminated by the Usual Suspects on Internet (and boy, do they know how to game the search engine results) must have a lot to do with it.

What we don't know is: why do apparently reasonable and educated people listen to these often transparently mendacious quacks, profiteers and quasi-religious fanatics?

See it on Scoop.it, via Vaxfax Monitor

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Oscillococcinum

Homeopathy: is it tenacity, chutzpa or something else? | Edzard Ernst

You may feel that homeopaths are bizarre, irrational, perhaps even stupid – but you cannot deny their tenacity. Since 200 years, they are trying to convince us that their treatments are effective beyond placebo. And they seem to get more and more bold with their claims: while they used to suggest that homeopathy was effective for trivial conditions like a common cold, they now have their eyes on much more ambitious things. Two recent studies, for instance, claim that homeopathic remedies can help cancer patients  […]

Read on: Homeopathy: is it tenacity, chutzpa or something else?

Painkillers are behind most murders and mass killings, say researchers

Painkillers are behind most murders and mass killings, say researchers.

Researchers, eh. What are they like?
Pharmaceuticals are often behind the mass horror killings in schools and public places, a new study has confirmed. But it’s not the antidepressants that are likely to make you a killer, as everyone suspected: the real culprits are painkillers …
Continue reading this Hollywood Z-movie scenario here: Painkillers are behind most murders and mass killings, say researchers

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Act to prevent Tredinnick becoming Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee for Health – again


The Select Committees are disbanded when Parliament is dissolved for the general election. Now, post-election, process is underway to establish the next incarnations of Committees, with voting on nominations for respective Chairs to take place on Wednesday 17th June.
Though not surprised that Tredinnick is making another bid to exert his perverse influence on government policy, I find alarming the list of his nominators...

[Read more... ]

Homeopathy experiment day 10, doses 19 and 20 | adamschechner

My Psorinum 1M experiment is now officially 1/3 over. And I can honestly say I haven’t experienced a single effect that I could possibly attribute to the remedy. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with any symptom, feeling, oddity, or sensation that feels abnormalMy Psorinum 1M experiment is now officially 1/3 over. And I can honestly say I haven’t experienced a single effect that I could possibly attribute to the remedy. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with any symptom, feeling, oddity, or sensation that feels abnormal...

Read on: Homeopathy experiment day 10, doses 19 and 20 | adamschechner

Osteopathic manipulative therapy for chronic neck pain is not an evidence-based approach | Edzard Ernst

Nonspecific neck pain is extremely common, often disabling, and very costly for us all. If we believe those who earn their money with them, effective treatments for the condition abound. One of these therapies is osteopathy. But does osteopathic manipulation/mobilisation really work?

The objective of a recent review was to find out. Specifically, the authors wanted to […]

Read on: Osteopathic manipulative therapy for chronic neck pain is not an evidence-based approach

Monday, 8 June 2015

Anti-Vaxxers Are Using Twitter to Manipulate a Vaccine Bill | WIRED

n recent years, the United States has been confronting a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases—most notably, a measles outbreak that began in California’s Disneyland in December, spurred on by the state’s low vaccination rates. Fed up with the altogether avoidable outbreaks, several states have introduced legislation to eliminate the philosophical opt-out, a way for parents to get around public schools’ vaccine requirements for their kids. As early as Tuesday, the California State Assembly will vote on SB-277, a law that would ban the so-called personal belief exemption. School boards, medical associations, and community leaders support the law...

Read the full analysis here: Anti-Vaxxers Are Using Twitter to Manipulate a Vaccine Bill | WIRED

Homeopathy experiment day 9 doses 17 and 18 | adamschechner

Well, still no symptoms at all to report. I know this is getting a bit repetitive, but there are only 21 more days to go!

According to one website I saw, the psorinum can take 9 days to start working. So maybe my brain will fry tomorrow?

Morning dose...

Watch videos: Homeopathy experiment day 9 doses 17 and 18 | adamschechner

The Independent’s anti-vaccine scaremongering | The Stats Guy

Last weekend The Independent published a ridiculous piece of antivaccine scaremongering by Paul Gallagher on their front page. They report the story of girls who became ill after receiving HPV vaccine, and strongly imply that the HPV vaccine was the cause of the illnesses, flying in the face of massive amounts of scientific evidence to the contrary.

I could go on at length about how dreadful, irresponsible, and scientifically illiterate the article was...

Read the rest: The Independent’s anti-vaccine scaremongering | The Stats Guy

The Australian ‘Blackmore Chair in Alternative Medicine': an open letter to the dean | Edzard Ernst

Dear Professor Robinson,

Please forgive me for writing to you in a matter that, you might think, is really none of my business. I have been following the news and discussions about the BLACKMORE CHAIR at your university. Having been a professor of complementary medicine at Exeter for ~20 years and having published more papers on […]

Read on: The Australian ‘Blackmore Chair in Alternative Medicine': an open letter to the dean

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Homeopathy experiment day 7, doses 13 and 14 | adamschechner

So I had a rather strange dream last night that I was having dinner at a chefs-only dinner with Barack Obama. I can’t remember what I said (or what he said), but it was a rather strange dream. I typically remember my dreams perhaps once every 1-2 weeks, and when I do they are odd. I never have dreams where I am just sitting and doing a crossword puzzle or something normal...

Read on: Homeopathy experiment day 7, doses 13 and 14 | adamschechner

Prince Charles and the basic laws of stupidity | Edzard Ernst

All this recent attention to Charles’ amazing letters and unconstitutional meddling made me think quite a lot about STUPIDITY. Thus I came across the writings of Carlo Maria Cipolla who seemed to have thought deeply about human stupidity. He described “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity” and viewed stupid people as a group of individuals who are more powerful by […]

Read on: Prince Charles and the basic laws of stupidity

Friday, 5 June 2015

Homeopathy experiment day 6 doses 11 and 12 | adamschechner

I’ve decided to only do one post a day with both of the day’s videos. I still have nothing to report. I have a slight tension headache at the moment, but it isn’t bad enough for me to take ibuprofen yet. I haven’t actually taken any ibuprofen since this experiment started.I’ve decided to only do one post a day with both of the day’s videos. I still have nothing to report. I have a slight tension headache at the moment, but it isn’t bad enough for me to take ibuprofen yet. I haven’t actually taken any ibuprofen since this experiment started...

Read on: Homeopathy experiment day 6 doses 11 and 12 | adamschechner

The ‘spider memo’ which the press forgot | Edzard Ernst

Prince Charles’ meddling beyond his constitutional role is yet again in the press today. I was sent the 2nd batch of ‘spider memos’ yesterday, studied them and commented as follows:
The letters demonstrate yet again that Prince Charles relentlessly meddles in UK health politics and thus disrespects his constitutional role. His arguments in favour of CAM, and […]
Read on: The ‘spider memo’ which the press forgot

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Suffering from low back pain? See a physiotherapist and not a chiropractor! | Edzard Ernst

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of early and guideline adherent physical therapy for low back pain on utilization and costs within the Military Health System (MHS).

Patients presenting to a primary care setting with a new complaint of LBP from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2009 were identified from […]

Read on: Suffering from low back pain? See a physiotherapist and not a chiropractor!

Homeopathy experiment Day 5, dose 10 | adamschechner

STILL no symptoms to report. This has to be the most boring experiment ever. Only 25 more days to go. Yeesh.

And YouTube isn’t uploading again. I’ll upload it as soon as this glitch is fixed.

EDIT: The uploading seems to be working. Maybe...

Watch the definitely-uploaded video: Homeopathy experiment Day 5, dose 10 | adamschechner

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Homeopathy experiment Day 5, dose 9 | adamschechner

Good morning. Still nothing to tell you. Nothing at all. I had an itch on my thigh last night as I was going to sleep, and my right ear itches a bit right now, but I’m no itchier than I usually am (which is no more than normal)...

Watch the video: Homeopathy experiment Day 5, dose 9 | adamschechner

Chiropractic quackery is not appreciated by real doctors | Edzard Ernst

Not much is known about the interactions of real doctors (by this I mean people who have been to medical school) and chiropractors who like to call themselves ‘doctors’ or ‘DSs’ but have never been to medical school. Therefore this recent article is of particular interest, in my view.

The purpose of this paper was to […]

Read on: Chiropractic quackery is not appreciated by real doctors

Homeopathy Experiment Day 4 dose 8 | adamschechner

I took my second dose today. I fortunately have no symptoms to report. Well, unfortunately actually. It would be nice if I had something different to say. I feel like I’m getting a bit repetitive.

This evening’s video: Homeopathy Experiment Day 4 dose 8 | adamschechner

Homeopathy improves fatigue and pain of cancer patients ten-fold

Few fields demonstrate the exercise of the pseudoscientific method more consistently than homeopathy. Any half competent editor of a health magazine will be well aware of the red flags, and will steer clear of the junk studies that define the field.

You’ve already spotted the problem, haven’t you? Yes, the editor would have to be …

 Continue reading Homeopathy improves fatigue and pain of cancer patients ten-fold

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Homeopathy experiment day 4, dose 7 | adamschechner

I slept well last night and got 8 hours of sleep (which is incredibly rare for me). Here is my updated symptom journal:

Still blank. I’d like to report something, but there’s just nothing. Video for this morning’s dose...

Watch the video: Homeopathy experiment day 4, dose 7 | adamschechner

Feverfew: hope for migraine sufferers? | Edzard Ernst

Lots of alternative therapies are advocated for migraine. Few of them are supported by good evidence. An exception could be the herbal remedy FEVERFEW.

This review is an update of a previously published review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews on ‘Feverfew for preventing migraine’. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) extract is a herbal remedy, […]

Read on: Feverfew: hope for migraine sufferers?

Homeopathy experiment, day 3, dose 6 | adamschechner

I’ve now taken 6 doses of the Psorinum 1M, and I’ve noted no changes at all. I did have a very mild headache earlier today, and I typically take ibuprofen for my headaches, but this wasn’t even bad enough for that. It resolved in a few hours.

Here is my revised symptom journal...

 Read on: Homeopathy experiment, day 3, dose 6 | adamschechner

On the Origin of Take Thats: An Interview with Take That Darwin

by @TakeThatGMOs and @TakeThatDarwin

What inspired you to start, what gave you the idea of making a Twitter account and RTing creationists?
I’d been posting on creation/evolution discussion boards like CARM and Christian Forums since I was twelve years old, but, when I first discovered Twitter, I had no intention of creating an account that revolved around that […]

Read the rest at: On the Origin of Take Thats: An Interview with Take That Darwin}

The "Take This" blog is written by a collective of skeptics hunting down misleading, uninformed and sometimes outright insane claims on social media.

The Independent claims HPV vaccine unsafe. Science says The Independent is wrong. | Dr. Jen Gunter

The Independent is the latest newspaper to do a hack job on the safety of the HPV vaccine and stoke false concerns about safety by publishing this poorly researched and alarmist piece on Sunday written by Paul Gallagher.

Readers of this blog might notice the similarity in titles between this post and another response of mine to a newspaper botching a story on the HPV vaccine – Toronto Star claims HPV vaccine unsafe. Science Says the Toronto Star is Wrong. This is because The Independent and the Toronto Star pieces are almost identical in format. The well-known standard format for a journalist completely missing the boat on the HPV vaccine is as follows...

Read on: The Independent claims HPV vaccine unsafe. Science says The Independent is wrong. | Dr. Jen Gunter

Monday, 1 June 2015

A(nother) Twitter on homeopathy: shameless propaganda and ‘trolling’

Though I might have previously been aware of her activity here and there without taking much notice, I think I first ‘directly’ encountered arch homeopathy propagandist Sandra (Hermann-)Courtney when she once turned up at my blog here, and posted a compendium of family/friend/pet anecdotes. After I replied with my objection to her homeopathy-promoting opportunism, she returned in a bit of a seemingly hissy fit. I was being nasty, apparently....

Integrative oncology is but a smokescreen for quacks | Edzard Ernst

The principal aim of this survey was to map centres across Europe that provide public health services and operating within the national health system in integrative oncology.

Information was received from 123 (52.1 %) of the 236 centres contacted. Forty-seven out of 99 responding centres meeting inclusion criteria (47.5 %) provided integrative oncology treatments, 24 from Italy […]


Read on: Integrative oncology is but a smokescreen for quacks

Homeopathy experiment Day 3, Dose 1 | adamschechner

YouTube seems to be working just fine today. I took today’s first dose of Psorinum 1M.

Varun Gupta (@eyevarun) started warning me on the dangers on Psorinum...

Read on: Homeopathy experiment Day 3, Dose 1 | adamschechner.

Trigger warning for hate speech and viciousness by certain homeopathy fanatics.

On engaging with the specimens, or the laws of interaction. 

By @TheoryFail

I’ve been doing this for a little while now, and along the way I’ve established some unwritten rules on how to engage with what @TakeThatDarwin would called ‘the ‘specimens.’

Unwritten, that is, until now…

I present you with @TheoryFail’s Laws of Interaction*.

  • 1. Don’t be a dick A.k.a Wheatons Law, and the first […]


Read the rest at: On engaging with the specimens, or the laws of interaction.}


The "Take This" blog is written by a collective of skeptics hunting down misleading, uninformed and sometimes outright insane claims on social media.

Homeopathy experiment Day 2, Dose 2 | adamschechner

I would have posted this last night after I took the dose of Psorinum 1M, but YouTube was having problems uploading videos. Anyway, here it is (finally)...

Watch the video: Homeopathy experiment Day 2, Dose 2 | adamschechner