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Saturday, 31 October 2015

The remarkable ‘Alternative Medicine Zone’: can I sue them for breaking my BS-meter? | Edzard Ernst

I am probably more used to nonsensical statements by promoters of alternative medicine than the average person. But the ‘ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE ZONE’ just broke my BS-meter. Here are a few samples from their most remarkable website, all relating to homeopathy: There has always been a debate whether allopathic treatment methods of the modern age are more beneficial or are the natural homeopathic treatment […]
Read on: The remarkable ‘Alternative Medicine Zone’: can I sue them for breaking my BS-meter?

Friday, 30 October 2015

Nut at the Museum - Armoured Skeptic



These ranting loons are all over Twitter, as @TakeThatDarwin can confirm. A fairly comprehensive round-up of the moronic claims that flow from the cherished ignorance of the typical creationist.

Armoured Skeptic's highly infotaining YouTube channel is here.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Stop backing ASA faulty judgements, alternative medicine bodies urged

WDDTY is apparently hell-bent on encouraging a mass suicide mission among quacks. The editors consistently urge quacks and charlatans to openly defy the Advertising Standards Authority:
Alternative health practitioners are being urged to lobby their associations to stop recognising the judgements of the Advertising Standards Association (ASA), which has consistently ruled against practitioners’ advertisements and websites. 
Why … Continue reading Stop backing ASA faulty judgements, alternative medicine bodies urged

Renita Herrmann, Homeopath

The post Renita Herrmann, Homeopath by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.
Yes, I know. More fucking homeopathy. Look, it’s not my fault if it’s the most widespread and persistent form of fuckwittery outwith organised religion, ok? I’ve got a new one for you today: Renita Herrmann, aka @sfhomeopath on Twitter.

Renita Herrmann’s idea of making an honest living is telling the good people of San Francisco that she can cure “acid reflux, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, autism – CEASE Therapy, behavior problems, colds and flu, constipation, depression, diabetes, dietary issues (IBS, Crohn), eczema, headaches, indigestion, menopause, menstrual irregularity, mononucleosis, panic attacks, PMS, psoriasis, PTSD, rheumatism, sleep problems, weight problems.”

Mostly, you will note, self-limiting conditions or chronic diseases subject to flare-ups. However, at least one death has been attributed to treating eczema with homeopathy. Cease therapy, which I have so far been incapable of eviscerating without feeling the perfectly understandable urge to interrogate the local homeopaths with the aid of a … Continue reading

Homeopathy and the US Federal Trade Commission: double standards might soon be a thing of the past | Edzard Ernst

On this blog, we have already discussed the good news that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering whether advertisements for homeopathic products have any evidence to back the numerous claims that are being made for them. A meeting took place on 21 September, and now the first details are emerging.

Michelle Rusk, senior staff attorney in the FTC […]

Read on: Homeopathy and the US Federal Trade Commission: double standards might soon be a thing of the past

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bach flower remedies – too good to be true? | Edzard Ernst

Bach flower remedies (BFR) are amazingly popular. They have been the subject of posts on this blog before (see here and here, for instance). They are as dilute as most homeopathic remedies and just as implausible. All the rigorous trials that have tested BFR have so far been squarely negative. Here is a truly surprising new study […]

Read on: Bach flower remedies – too good to be true?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Silly Bobby Junior wants to get sued

Over the weekend, a group of anti-vaccine activists gathered outside CDC headquarters to protest the manufactured controversy of the “CDC Whistleblower.” They had all of the usual anti-vaccine tropes. “Vaccines cause autism.” “There are too many vaccines given too soon to too many babies in too many places.” “Andrew Wakefield was right.” And so on.

Some of the conspiracy nuts there went as far as to say that a maintenance man who was cleaning a nearby wall was “literally” spraying them with water. No, seriously […]

Read more at: Silly Bobby Junior wants to get sued by Reuben

Monday, 26 October 2015

And I thought homeopaths have no humour! | Edzard Ernst

Having been in contact with homeopaths most of my life, I had almost come to the conclusion that they tend to be more than a little short of a sense of humour. Well, I was wrong! I first realised my error when I came across this website. Under the heading ‘WHY USE HOMEOPATHICS?’, it lists 6 reasons which are undeniably full […]

Read on: And I thought homeopaths have no humour!

The dangerous game played by Hooker and Wakefield

When Brian S. Hooker and Andrew Jeremy Wakefield decided that they were going to play the “CDC Whistleblower” game, they and their minions decided to lie and misinform African Americans with the idea that the MMR vaccine was causing more autism in African American children than in other groups. They have gone so far so as to line themselves up with the Nation of Islam, and so we have these statements from NoI leaders saying that CDC “poisoned” Black and Hispanic children.

This is a very dangerous game that the anti-vaccine high priests are playing […]


Read more at: The dangerous game played by Hooker and Wakefield by Reuben

Saturday, 24 October 2015

The money behind the antivaccine movement

The post The money behind the antivaccine movement by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.
This is good. Oh, this is good. A CNN journalist follows the money.

You are a killer because of your false information | Edzard Ernst

If you ever receive an email from ‘edzardernst@yahoo.com’, please be aware that it is not from me. It comes from some clown who seems to want to pretend to be me.

How do I know? I received a short email from that very person. Here is its full text in all its beauty:
“You are the most bullshit person i know who claim to be a good doctor […]

Read on: You are a killer because of your false information

Friday, 23 October 2015

Alternative therapies: do they really improve the quality of life of cancer patients? | Edzard Ernst

Alternative medicine (AM) use has become popular among patients with cancer. I find this very easy to understand: faced with such a grave diagnosis, who would not be tempted to try everything that is being promoted as being helpful. And, by Jove, promoted it is! But does it do any good?

The evidence clearly shows that […]

Read on: Alternative therapies: do they really improve the quality of life of cancer patients?

If this is Thursday, this must be somewhere

Okay, I have a serious question for you:

Did you? Did you miss me?

Life has gotten so complicated in the last few weeks that I really have had little time to write. When I do, I usually do it as a collaboration with someone and for publication in some journal. If you look hard […]



Read more at: If this is Thursday, this must be somewhere by Reuben

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Chiropractic: sincerity renders quacks not less but more dangerous | Edzard Ernst

The ‘INTERNATIONAL CHIROPRACTIC PEDIATRIC ASSOCIATION’ (ICPA) is, according to their website, ‘a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance chiropractic by establishing evidence informed practice, supporting excellence in professional skills and delivering educational resources to the public. It fulfills this mission by engaging and serving family chiropractors worldwide through research, training and public education.’

It fulfils its mission by, amongst other things, tweeting links to other pro-chiropractic activities. It is via such a tweet that I recently […]

Read on: Chiropractic: sincerity renders quacks not less but more dangerous

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Writing systematic reviews of TCM has just become a whole lot easier | Edzard Ernst

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against systematic reviews. Quite to the contrary, I am sure they are an important source of information for patients, doctors, scientists, policy makers and others – after all, I have published more than 300 of such papers!

Having said that, I do dislike a certain type of systematic review, […]

Read on: Writing systematic reviews of TCM has just become a whole lot easier

How To Disprove The Flat Earth

By @ScienceWasWrong

While retweeting flat earthers, as a Take That account, I was much struck with certain facts about the positions of the heavenly bodies, and in their relation to the geographic coordinates of the observer. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the shape of the earth — that mystery of mysteries, as it has been […]


Read the rest at: How To Disprove The Flat Earth}

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

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Finally, a slimming aid that actually works? | Edzard Ernst

The search for an effective treatment of obesity is understandably intense. Many scientists are looking in the plant kingdom for a solution, but so far none has been forthcoming – as we have already discussed on this blog before (e. g. here, and here). One herbal slimming aid is currently becoming popular: Yerba Mate also called Ilex paraguariensis, a […]

Read on: Finally, a slimming aid that actually works?

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Homeopathy in Bristol: from bad to dismal | Edzard Ernst

On the website of the Bristol University Hospital, it was just revealed that UK homeopathy seems to have suffered another blow:
“Homeopathic medicine has been available in Bristol since 1852, when Dr Black first started dispensing from premises in the Triangle. During the next 69 years the service developed and expanded culminating in the commissioning […]

Read on: Homeopathy in Bristol: from bad to dismal

Friday, 16 October 2015

Fib, fib Hurairah, the Black Seed Scammer

The post Fib, fib Hurairah, the Black Seed Scammer by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.

It’s often said that, if you’re going to tell a lie, make it a big ‘un. The logic behind this is: the more outrageous it seems, the more likely you are to be believed, or at least get away with it for long enough to make a getaway.

I’ve never bought into that. It certainly doesn’t wash on t’Internet, as it’s far too easy to check the facts. This is something people like “the Black Seed Expert aka Barbi or Barbara Trejo, aka Samantha Davis, aka Maria or Um Hurairah, aka Andrew Huff, and many many more” would do well to remember. Hurairah calls herself the Black Seed Expert and I got very angry over her vicious lies and bullying attitude here: Black seed oil: A Cure For All Disease Except Stupid. It is not a pretty read.

In fact, the situation is far worse. She’s not just a gibbering …

 Continue reading

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Homeopathy – where the truths are diluted even more than the remedies | Edzard Ernst

Recently an interesting article caught my eye. It was published in the official journal of the ‘Deutscher Zentralverein Homoeopathischer Aerzte’ (the professional body of German doctor homeopath which mostly acts as a lobby group). Unfortunately it is in German – but I will try to take you trough what I believe to be the most important issue. The article seems […]

Read on: Homeopathy – where the truths are diluted even more than the remedies

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

ACUPUNCTURE: poor evidence, poorer journalism | Edzard Ernst

Today the GUARDIAN published an article promoting acupuncture on the NHS. The article is offensively misleading, I think, and therefore deserves a comment. I write these comments with a heavy heart, I should add, because the GUARDIAN is by far my favourite UK daily. In the following, I will cite key passages from the article […]

Read on: ACUPUNCTURE: poor evidence, poorer journalism

Monday, 12 October 2015

Therapeutic Touch – time to stop taking such rubbish seriously! | Edzard Ernst

Therapeutic touch (TT) is a popular ‘energy therapy’ which is based on the use of hand movements and detection of ‘energy field congestion’ to correct alleged imbalances that, in turn, are postulated to stimulate self-healing. The effectiveness of TT during radiotherapy for breast cancer is unknown, and this study was aimed at shedding some light on it. Women undergoing […]

Read on: Therapeutic Touch – time to stop taking such rubbish seriously!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Chiropractic: beware the promotion masquerading as research | Edzard Ernst

If you start reading the literature on chiropractic, you are bound to have surprises. The paucity of rigorous and meaningful research is one of them. I am constantly on the look-out for such papers but am regularly frustrated. Over the years, I got the impression that chiropractors tend to view research as an exercise in promotion […]

Read on: Chiropractic: beware the promotion masquerading as research

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A NOBEL PRIZE for TCM ??? | Edzard Ernst

The Nobel Prize committee has just awarded this year’s prize to a Chinese researcher from the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Beijing. To be precise, the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given jointly to three scientists from three different institutions, William C. Campbell, Satoshi ┼îmura and Youyou Tu, for their work on new anti-malaria drugs. A small […]

Read on: A NOBEL PRIZE for TCM ???

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The perils of P values, in Chalkdust magazine

Chalkdust is a magazine published by students of maths from UCL Mathematics department. Judging by its first issue, it’s an excellent vehicle for popularisation of maths. I have a piece in the second issue

You can view the whole second issue on line, or download a pdf of the whole issue. Or a pdf of my [...]


Read the rest at: The perils of P values, in Chalkdust magazine
DC's Improbable Science: Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science 

Monday, 5 October 2015

Homeopathic chain opens 1st clinic in London … by publishing bogus claims | Edzard Ernst

An Indian chain of homeopathic clinics, Dr Batra’s, has just opened its first branch in London. The new website is impressive. It claims homeopathy is effective for the following conditions:
  • Hair Loss 
  • Acne (Pimples) 
  • Hay Fever (Flu) 
  • Eczema 
  • Psoriasis 
  • Vitiligo 
  • Depression 
Hair loss? Are they serious? Have they not seen pictures of Samuel Hahnemann? I decided to look into the psoriasis claim […]

Read on: Homeopathic chain opens 1st clinic in London … by publishing bogus claims

Saturday, 3 October 2015

TIME TO CELEBRATE – it’s national chiropractic health month! | Edzard Ernst

Hurray, I can hear the Champagne corks popping: this month is national chiropractic months in the US. A whole month! This has depleted my stock of the delicious fizz in three days.

Now that my bottles are all empty (is there a chiropractic cure for a hang-over?), I must find other ways to celebrate. How about a […]

Read on: TIME TO CELEBRATE – it’s national chiropractic health month!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Why patients choose homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

The question why patients turn to homeopathy – or indeed any other disproven treatment – has puzzled many people. There has been a flurry of research into these issues. Here is the abstract of a paper that I find very remarkable and truly fascinating:
Interviews with 100 homeopathic patients in the San Francisco Bay Area show that for the […]
Read on: Why patients choose homeopathy

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Alternative treatments of pain = mega business, huge waste | Edzard Ernst

Some people seem to believe that the field of alternative medicine resembles a quaint little cottage industry where money hardly matters. A new analysis shows how far from the truth this impression is.

In the 2007 US National Health Interview Survey, use of complementary health approaches, reasons for this use, and associated out of pocket (OOP) costs were captured in a […]

Read on: Alternative treatments of pain = mega business, huge waste