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Friday, 31 July 2015

Joe Gooding wants to smear you at all costs if you even hint at liking the idea of vaccination

UPDATED AT THE END, FOR THE LULZ

Don’t say I didn’t warn all of y’all. When you told me you wanted to defend science and look after the herd, I told you that people would come along and attack you personally, especially when they can’t put 2 brain cells together to come up with a coherent argument against vaccination. I also told you that they would come after your family, friends, and anyone else connected to you […]

Read more at: Joe Gooding wants to smear you at all costs if you even hint at liking the idea of vaccination by Reuben

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Some alternative medicine journals should be de-listed | Edzard Ernst

For ‘my’ journal FACT, I review all the new articles that have emerged on the subject of alternative medicine on a monthly basis. Here are a few impressions and concerns that this activity have generated:
  • The number of papers on alternative medicine has increased beyond belief: between the year 2000 and 2010, there was a slow, linear […]

Read on: Some alternative medicine journals should be de-listed

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Lesson on Homeopathic “Medicine” and Why the Remedies Aren’t Harmless | The Scientific Parent

In the late 18th century, German physician Samuel Hahnemann faced a complex problem. He was dissatisfied with the conventional medicine of his day, which was reasonable considering that pre-scientific medicine was more likely to cause illness and injury than to cure it. He began a search for a better way to treat his patients and eventually had a great idea. That great idea was clear, simple, and also completely wrong. That idea was homeopathy.
What is homeopathy?

 Read  the rest here: A Lesson on Homeopathic “Medicine” and Why the Remedies Aren’t Harmless | The Scientific Parent

Calcium supplements for osteoporosis: more risks than benefits? | Edzard Ernst

Discussions about the dietary supplements are often far too general to be truly useful, in my view. For a meaningful debate, we need to define what supplement we are talking about and make clear what condition it is used for. A recent paper meets these criteria well and is therefore worth a mention.

The review was aimed […]

Read on: Calcium supplements for osteoporosis: more risks than benefits?

Monday, 27 July 2015

A new study of Reiki healing with a (false?) positive result | Edzard Ernst

A new RCT of Reiki healing has been published by US authors from the following institutions: Union Institute & University, Psychology Program, Brattleboro, VT, Coyote Institute, Augusta and Bangor, ME, Eastern Maine Medical Center and Acadia Hospital, Bangor, ME, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Biddeford, ME, Coyote Institute, Orono, ME. The purpose of […]

Read on: A new study of Reiki healing with a (false?) positive result

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Chiropractic: not every crazy claim needs scientific testing | Edzard Ernst

In the realm of alternative medicine, we encounter many therapeutic claims that beggar belief. This is true for most modalities but perhaps for none more than chiropractic. Many chiropractors still adhere to Palmer’s gospel of the ‘inate’, ‘subluxation’ etc. and thus they believe that their ‘adjustments’ are a cure all. Readers of this blog will know all that, of […]

Read on: Chiropractic: not every crazy claim needs scientific testing

Saturday, 25 July 2015

After SB 277, medical exemptions to vaccine mandates for sale, courtesy of Dr. Bob Sears


Dr. Bob Sears (left) smiling happily in a blurry picture posted to Age of Autism with disgraced gastroenterologist and scientific fraud Andrew Wakefield (center) and antivaccine activist Lisa Ackerman (right). This photo was taken at the Autism One quackfest in 2010. But, no, he's not antivaccine at all. He just attends antivaccine quackfests and happily poses for selfies with antivaccine activists and the most famous antivaccine fraud of all...

My topic yesterday was When doctors betray their profession. In my post, I talked about some very unethical doctors representing tobacco companies in lawsuits against them seeking compensation for death and injury due to smoking, as well as to doctors and scientists peddling pseudoscience and quackery representing claimants in the Autism Omnibus action several years ago, in essence supporting the scientifically unsupported idea that vaccines cause autism...

anarchic_teapot's insight:
This is called malpratice and would, in any civilised country, get Sears and his like struck off.



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World's first malaria vaccination approved



European regulators give Mosquirix the green light to be used on babies at risk of the mosquito-borne disease in Africa.




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Aggressive vaccination effort reduces transmission of measles among North American Amish communities


An aggressive vaccination effort in response to the 2014 measles outbreak among North American Amish communities in Ohio significantly reduced the transmission of measles and the expected number of cases, according to a new study, even though...

anarchic_teapot's insight:
Vaccination is effective. QED.



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Sergeant Damage | reasonablehank

Christopher William Savage is a former serving sergeant in the Queensland Police Service. We have been following his exploits since 2012 and he has recently come to prominence once again as the darling of the No Jab No Pay anti-vaccine protest movement, for a speech he gave at the Brisbane protest. It is long past time to publish a collection of the innermost, outside-voice thoughts of former Sergeant Savage...

Read the full post at: Sergeant Damage | reasonablehank

Chiropractor of the year 2006 | Edzard Ernst

‘Doctor’ Don Harte is former medical student who prematurely left medical school and currently works as a chiropractor in California. He, has served on the Boards of the World Chiropractic Association and the Council on Chiropractic Practice. He has published extensively; on his website, he offers a list of his articles: July 16, 2015: “CA SB277: Marin Chiropractor Says Power Structure Bigoted Against […]
Read on: Chiropractor of the year 2006

Bohemian Rhapsody is about Galileo

By @ScienceWasWrong

For too long I have been silent on this issue. Queen’s 1975 hit single Bohemian Rhapsody is about Galileo. There, I said it. I’m fully aware of the backlash this post will bring. This is the hill I’ve chosen to die on. You may think I’m crazy, but they said the same thing […]


Read the rest at: Bohemian Rhapsody is about Galileo}

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

Friday, 24 July 2015

Dr Nicholas Gonzalez has died. Was he really a “a strong adherent to sound science” | Edzard Ernst

NATURAL NEWS announced the death of Nicholas Gonzalez with the following words:
It is with great sadness that we report the death of health freedom advocate and individualized nutrition specialist Dr. Nick Gonzalez, who on the eve of July 21 died from an alleged heart attack. Dr. Gonzalez’ contributions to anticancer nutrition protocols and an array of other nutritional therapies have been invaluable, and we would like to honor this pioneering natural healer by recognizing his benevolent legacy…

In contrast to the conventional cancer treatment model, Dr. Gonzalez’s approach was always about helping individuals heal through individualized care. Along with fellow colleague Dr. Linda Isaacs, Dr. Gonzalez helped build a repository of dietary protocols to help patients overcome their specific conditions through advanced nutritional therapies. His methodology centered around detoxification, supplementation with healing foods and nutrients, and specialized enzyme therapy… […]
Read on: Dr Nicholas Gonzalez has died. Was he really a “a strong adherent to sound science”

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Acupuncture research: where is the line between poor quality and scientific misconduct? | Edzard Ernst

The press officers of journals like to send out press-releases of articles which are deemed to be particularly good and important. Sadly, it is not often that articles on alternative medicine fulfil these criteria. I was therefore excited to receive this press-release which seemed encouraging, to say the least:
Medical evidence supports the potential for acupuncture to be significantly more effective in the treatment of dermatologic conditions such as dermatitis, pruritus, and urticaria than alternative treatment options, “placebo acupuncture,” or no treatment, according to a review of the medical literature published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers…
The abstract was equally promising: […]

Read on: Acupuncture research: where is the line between poor quality and scientific misconduct?

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Professor Ernst’s very own POSITIVE trial of homeopathy (oh dear, have I been found out?) | Edzard Ernst

This post is dedicated to all homeopathic character assassins.

Some ardent homeopathy fans have reminded me that, some 25 years ago, I published (OH, WHAT A SCANDAL!!!) a positive trial of homeopathy; I even found a website that proudly announces this fact. Homeopaths seem jubilant about this discovery (not because they now need to revise their allegations that I never did any trials; or the other, equally popular claim, that I have always been squarely against their trade but) because the implication is that even I have to concede that homeopathic remedies are better than placebo. In their view, this seems to beg the following important and embarrassing questions: […]

Read on: Professor Ernst’s very own POSITIVE trial of homeopathy (oh dear, have I been found out?)

Monday, 20 July 2015

Chiropractic therapy for gastrointestinal diseases. Evidence of scientific misconduct? | Edzard Ernst

Chiropractors are back pain specialists, they say. They do not pretend to treat non-spinal conditions, they claim.

If such notions were true, why are so many of them still misleading the public? Why do many chiropractors pretend to be primary care physicians who can take care of most illnesses regardless of any connection with the spine? Why do they continue to happily promote bogus treatments? Why do chiropractors, for instance, claim they can treat gastrointestinal diseases? […]

Read on: Chiropractic therapy for gastrointestinal diseases. Evidence of scientific misconduct?

Saturday, 18 July 2015

BMJ: Should doctors recommend homeopathy? Was it worth it? | Edzard Ernst

The BMJ is my favourite medical journal by far; I think it is full of good science as well as entertaining to read, and I look forward to finding it in my letter box every Friday. It is thus hard for me to criticise the BMJ, and this is not made easier by the fact that I am the author of one of the two pieces in question. However, the current ‘HEAD TO HEAD’ entitled ‘SHOULD DOCTORS RECOMMEND HOMEOPATHY’ does, in my view, not mark the finest hour of this journal. Let me explain why […]

Read on: BMJ: Should doctors recommend homeopathy? Was it worth it?

Friday, 17 July 2015

Homeopathy: a position statement by the ‘Homeopathy Action Trust’ | Edzard Ernst

The ‘Homeopathy Action Trust’ (HAT) is a charity that claims to encourage and support public understanding of homeopathy. They believe that homeopathy is invaluable to many people and plays an important role in maintaining their health and wellbeing. The HAT advocates that patients have a right to choose homeopathic treatments and access to it on the NHS or privately. Many of HAT’s projects are about promoting to use of homeopathy in Africa, for instance, where they advocate homeopathy as a treatment for all sorts of serious diseases […]

Read on: Homeopathy: a position statement by the ‘Homeopathy Action Trust’

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Beth Landau-Halpern: Coming Out – as a homeopath

The post Beth Landau-Halpern: Coming Out – as a homeopath by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.

There’s offensive and then there’s offensive. It’s unpleasant enough that homeopaths such as Landau-Halpern take others for idiots, pushing their ridiculous and pointless nostrums for all kinds of malaise, real or imagined. It’s downright out of fucking order that she should try to hijack the problems of a minority group in an attempt to portray herself as a martyr and hero.

Witness this raging brainshite:
This blog is my “coming out” statement – my coming out of hibernation, where I retreated for safety after a long year of being pilloried for being a homeopath, talking about homeopathy, being involved in research in homeopathy, and teaching about non-conventional paradigms of medicine. My antagonists were a small, but vocal and nasty minority from print media, social media, and the scientific community. 

You might be tempted to a tiny feeling of pity for her. Don’t give in to it. This is not some … Continue reading

Gardasil HPV Vaccine Safety Assessed In Most Comprehensive Study To Date


The largest review of the available evidence on the quadrivalent, or four-strain, HPV vaccine Gardasil, has found no evidence of any serious short-term or long-term safety issues. Bringing together the findings from clinical trials, post-licensure studies and data presented at scientific meetings but not yet published, the researchers focused particularly [...]

anarchic_teapot's insight:
Notr that the anti-vax loons will pay any attention.



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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Debating with the Queen’s homeopath | Edzard Ernst

The last time I had contact with Dr Fisher was when he fired me from the editorial board of his journal ‘Homeopathy’. He did that by sending me the following letter:
Dear Professor Ernst, This is to inform you that you have been removed from the Editorial Board of Homeopathy.  The reason for this is […]

Read on: Debating with the Queen’s homeopath

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

 An Interview with TheoryFail

By @TakeThatGMOs & @TheoryFail 

A while ago we published an interview with @TakeThatDarwin which provided some interesting insight into the origins of the TakeThat™ Crowd and more details and information on @TakeThatDarwin and the whole TakeThat Family in general. This time, I’ll be asking @TheoryFail, a “handsome Brit” and the Prince of the TakeThat throne. Oh, and […]

Read the rest at:  An Interview with TheoryFail

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

Many European chiropractors are active in quackery | Edzard Ernst

I will state my position up front: THERE IS NO CHILDHOOD CONDITION FOR WHICH  CHIROPRACTIC SPINAL MANIPULATION GENERATES MORE GOOD THAN HARM. What is more, I have published evidence (published here, here, here, and here, for instance) to support this statement. If you disagree with it, this is the place and time to do so – and please don’t forget to […]

Read on: Many European chiropractors are active in quackery

Patrick McGean threatens violence against vaccine supporters

Patrick McGean is someone who needs help. Let me tell you why, then I’ll show you why.

Mr. McGean is a self-described “researcher” who has been conducting a “study” on whether or not “organic sulfur” is a miracle drug:
“While researching this cancer, it became obvious that the sulfur cycle plays an important role in […]

Read more at: Patrick McGean threatens violence against vaccine supporters by Reuben

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Podcast is Here!

After weeks of delays and problems, I would like to introduce the first ever TakeThatPodcast!

Click here for the video and subscribe for more podcasts.

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

Read the rest at: The Podcast is Here!}

Placebo effects: at the core of all health care | Edzard Ernst

Placebo effects are important and often misunderstood. This is perhaps nowhere more true than in the realm of alternative medicine. Here they are often used to justify bogus treatments with the argument ‘I DON’T CARE HOW IT WORKS AS LONG AS IT DOES HELP PATIENTS, EVEN IF THIS SHOULD BE VIA A PLACEBO EFFECT’.

A recent article published in […]

Read on: Placebo effects: at the core of all health care

Does Donald Trump believe in evolution?

By @TakeThatScience 

Donald Trump has declared his presidential candidacy. He has given many interviews but the topic of evolution hasn’t come up yet. A Google search doesn’t reveal any insights into Trump’s opinions about evolutionary biology either. So I went straight to the man himself and asked him: Do you believe in evolution? Here is his […]

Read the rest at: Does Donald Trump believe in evolution?}

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

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Making Waves: A WDDTY disinfobox

As part of an article promoting the non-existent chronic Lyme disease, and the quack cures that charlatans sell to those suffering from something else (quite what, they have no idea),  WDDTY includes one of its infoboxes full of disinformation. We call them disinfoboxes. The Scalar Wave Laser is one alternative treatment that helped Wendy, especially …

Continue reading Making Waves: A WDDTY disinfobox

You Can Do Your Research About Vaccines on the Internet.

Folks who are vaccine-hesitant, pro-vaccine choice, anti-vaccine, or whatever they like to call themselves often say that they have done their research. More often than not though, they have done it all on anti-vaccine websites.

If you really want to do your research and make the best decision for your family, in addition to spending that time on anti-vax sites, you should also talk to your pediatrician and...

Read more: You Can Do Your Research About Vaccines on the Internet.

What’s the Next Battle Against Pseudoscience on GMOs? 

By @TakeThatGMOs   

The ‘War on Science’ as it is called, is an endless ‘war’ that will last with us humans however ling we live. The main objectives, should they exist, can never be fully fulfilled. As Steven Novella puts it – and as some wars go – when it comes to the War on Science, the only focus should be on the next battle, and not the whole war, as this is one of the most unpredictable and unstable wars. When it comes to GMOs, what should that next battle be? […]


Read the rest at: What’s the Next Battle Against Pseudoscience on GMOs?}

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

The effect of vaccination on health

Here's a nice graphical representation of the positive effects vaccination has on health. The infographics are by Leon Ferrant and use data taken from CDC statistics.


There's a brief commenary on what these graphs show - if for some reason it still doesn't leap to the eye for you - here.

Osteopathy for migraine? | Edzard Ernst

Osteopathy is a difficult subject. In the US, osteopaths are (almost) identical with doctors who have studied conventional medicine and hardly practice any manipulative techniques at all. Elsewhere, osteopaths are alternative healthcare providers specialising in what they like to call ‘osteopathic manipulative therapy’ (OMT). As though this is not confusing enough, osteopaths are doing similar […]

Read on: Osteopathy for migraine?

Friday, 10 July 2015

July 2015 in review: Part 4

So far we’ve reviewed the cover stories, pages 1-10, pages 11-21 and pages 22-39.  We’re nearly at the staple, without a hint of any remotely credible advice that doctors don’t give you. Lots of adverts, though.

Page 40  is the start of an article titled “sweet not-so-nothings”. (it runs on pp. 41, 43, 44, 47, and a listicle …

Continue reading July 2015 in review: Part 4

Woman who died from measles had been vaccinated

The Holy Trinity of anti-vaccinationists runs thus:
  1. Vaccines are dangerous. 
  2. Vaccines don’t work. 
  3. Vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t serious anyway. 
And when one is rebutted they move to another, and so in rotation, perennially moving the goalposts.

Still, deaths from preventable disease are the anti-vaccinationist’s worst nightmare. Their narrative can only succeed in an atmosphere where the realities …

Continue reading Woman who died from measles had been vaccinated

Myths of the Flu Vaccine


In this episode, we cover the myths of the flu vaccine. Myth 1: The flu shot can give you the flu. Myth 2: The flu is just a bad version of the cold. Myth 3: I am ...




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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Dad whose son died urges meningococcal vaccinations - The Columbian


EUGENE, Ore.— While half of University of Oregon undergraduates skipped the recommended vaccination against the deadly type B meningococcal disease, one Oregon father drove his son to Canada to get t...

anarchic_teapot's insight:
That the vaccine hasn't even been available in the USA is staggering.



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There are powerful currents whipping up the metric tide. The HEFCE metrics report

This is very quick synopsis of the 500 pages of a report on the use of metrics in the assessment of research. It’s by far the most thorough bit of work I’ve seen on the topic. It was written by a group, chaired by James Wilsdon, to investigate the possible role of metrics in the assessment of research [...]

Read the rest at: There are powerful currents whipping up the metric tide. The HEFCE metrics report - DC's Improbable Science: Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Family launching enquiry into mysterious death of anti-vaccine doctor

WDDTY is part of the counter-factual counter-culture that is the anti-vaccination movement. An antivax doctor kills himself as the feds move in on his fraudulent empire? It must have been black helicopters.
Mystery surrounds the sudden death of Dr Jeff Bradstreet, a high-profile anti-vaccine campaigner who treated autistic children. His body was found in a … 
Continue reading Family launching enquiry into mysterious death of anti-vaccine doctor

(de)Romanticising energy

... re-reminded of my perennial confusion at the term ‘energy medicine’, as freely resorted to by the CAM-ites, in particular those who claim to be all things to all people – the homeopaths. What exactly is it, this energy, that its proponents so enthusiastically espouse without explaining what it is they mean? Is definition deemed superfluous? Because arming the pseudoscientifically gullible with the mere terminology is enough to satisfy not only their limited critical faculties, but also those of potential converts? Because for the advocates/disciples/apostles of homeopathy et al, no further information or explanation is necessary?

[Read more... ]

If you think that homeopathy is harmless, read this | Edzard Ernst

Many people seem to believe that homeopathy is harmless. It is a belief that can easily be shown to be wrong, and this blog has repeatedly done just that. Perhaps the best researched issue here is the stance of many homeopaths against vaccination. But this is by no means all.

There are uncounted books, articles and websites which mislead consumers into believing that they can cure their illnesses with homeopathy […]

Read on: If you think that homeopathy is harmless, read this

Monday, 6 July 2015

Do regular chiropractic ‘adjustments’ stimulate the immune system or just the chiropractors’ cash flow? | Edzard Ernst

Many chiropractors try to tell us that vaccinations are not necessary, if we receive regular spinal adjustments. This claim is based on the assumption that spinal manipulations stimulate the immune system. Take the text published on this website, for instance:
The nervous system and immune system are hardwired and work together to create optimal responses […]
Read on: Do regular chiropractic ‘adjustments’ stimulate the immune system or just the chiropractors’ cash flow?

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Jim Carrey’s meltdown is the perfect microcosm of the anti-vaccine mindset

I was running up and down an unpronounceable neighborhood yesterday but still managing to check in with friends and colleagues in the USA. As they all celebrated the 4th of July, I was reminded of the spectrum of beliefs about everything that we humans have. Yesterday’s social media postings went from people who didn’t care […]

Read more at: Jim Carrey’s meltdown is the perfect microcosm of the anti-vaccine mindset by Reuben

‘Real World Research': the paper that broke my BS-detector! | Edzard Ernst

A paper entitled ‘Real world research: a complementary method to establish the effectiveness of acupuncture’ caught my attention recently. I find it quite remarkable and think it might stimulate some discussion on this blog. Here is its abstract:
Acupuncture has been widely used in the management of a variety of diseases for thousands of years, and many relevant […]
Read on: ‘Real World Research': the paper that broke my BS-detector!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

July 2015 in review: Part 3

We’ve seen the cover stories, pages 1-10 and pages 11-21.  Thus far, most of the content has been adverts, followed by things doctors do tell you and falsehoods from previous issues of  WDDTY. A bit of a swindle, the first quarter, and not even much of the lunatic nonsense for which WDDTY is famed. All that is about …

Continue reading July 2015 in review: Part 3

Friday, 3 July 2015

A pharmacist’s defence of homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

I have always wondered how pharmacists might justify useing or recommending or selling homeopathic remedies. So far, I have not come across a pharmacist who would want to stick his/her neck out for homeopathy. Many pharmacists earn money by selling homeopathic preparations – but most seem to be embarrassed by this fact and don’t want to defend it. […]
Read on: A pharmacist’s defence of homeopathy

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Integrated/integrative medicine: a paradise for charlatans? | Edzard Ernst

The Americans call it ‘INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE'; in the UK, we speak of ‘INTEGRATED MEDICINE’ – and we speak about it a lot: these terms are, since several years, the new buzz-words in the alternative medicine scene. They sound so convincing, authoritative and politically correct that I am not surprised their use spread like wild-fire.

But what is INTEGRATED MEDICINE? […]

Read on: Integrated/integrative medicine: a paradise for charlatans?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

July 2012 in review: part 2

So far we’ve looked at the cover stories and the first ten pages. Brace yourselves, there’s more to come.

Page 11 is a full page advert for Cytoplan, who claim that their Wholefood Cherry C contains only pure, powdered acerola cherry because, as they say, “food supplement nutrients in the same form as those in …

Continue reading July 2012 in review: part 2