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rampant

Monday, 30 November 2015

My BMJ interview: more material for ad hominem attacks? | Edzard Ernst

When the British Medical Journal (BMJ) asked me for an interview, I felt very honoured and obliged with great pleasure. The result was published in the BMJ earlier this year. I take the liberty of re-publishing it here on my blog because many of my readers do not see the BMJ, and I think it’s rather fun. Moreover, I hope it might provide my critics with more diverse material for ad hominem attacks – the constant allegations that I am in the pocket of ‘Big Pharma’, that I have never done any original research etc. etc. are getting just too boring.

HERE IT IS […]

Read on: My BMJ interview: more material for ad hominem attacks?

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Homeopathy in Liverpool: finally two homeopaths who don’t tell overt untruths | Edzard Ernst

A recent article in the LIVERPOOL ECHO caught my eye. It is about the possibility that the NHS in Liverpool might stop funding their homeopathy service . Maybe I should read the LIVERPOOL ECHO more often, because the short article is most revealing.

It first cites the chairman of the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Nadim Fazlani […]

Read on: Homeopathy in Liverpool: finally two homeopaths who don’t tell overt untruths

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Dana Ullman, the ‘spokesperson’ for homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

Anyone who has looked into the discussions around homeopathy for more than 10 minutes will have come across Dana Ullman (DU). Some 15 years ago, I had the pleasure to meet him in person during a conference in Boston. After the brief chat, I asked a UK homeopathy who this bizarre person was. “Oh Dana!” he replied “Dana is alright.”

But is he? Let’s have a […]
Read on: Dana Ullman, the ‘spokesperson’ for homeopathy

Thursday, 26 November 2015

WDDTY Bingo

Read the full post at: WDDTY Bingo

We are much indebted to @lennylaw for finding this little gem and for Chris at osric.com for programming it. Ladies an’ ginnelmin, we proudly present: Make your own WDDTY Bingo Cards. This game can be played wherever sane people foregather to read the latest edition of WDDTY (you seriously don’t expect everyone to buy their own, …

WWDDTYDTY scrutinises the claims made by the so-called health magazine What Doctors Don't Tell You

Multifactorial beats ‘pseudo-holistic’ by a mile | Edzard Ernst

One of the most common claims of alternative practitioners is that they take a holistic approach to health care. And it is this claim which attracts many consumers. It also makes conventional medicine look bad, reductionist and inhuman, as it implies that mainstream medicine is non-holistic.

The claim can be easily disclosed to be a straw man, […]

Read on: Multifactorial beats ‘pseudo-holistic’ by a mile

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Crying “wolf”

Remember all those tearful posts and editorials about WDDTY being bullied? Well, here’s a crystal clear explanation of what they consider to be bullying....

WWDDTYDTY scrutinises the claims made by the so-called health magazine What Doctors Don't Tell You

Dental fillings could be causing decay in other teeth

… scream WDDTY on their webshite in a brief post dated Thursday, October 29, 2015:

All very scary. For once, given WDDTY‘s tendency to muck up the references , the journal and abstract are easy to find: they’re here.

So, are dental fillings per se triggering decay in surrounding teeth? Well, in a word: …

Continue reading Dental fillings could be causing decay in other teeth

WWDDTYDTY scrutinises the claims made by the so-called health magazine What Doctors Don't Tell You

Prof Frass’ remarkable studies of homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

Homeopathy seems to attract some kind of miracle worker. Elsewhere I have, for instance, reported the curious case of Prof Claudia Witt who published more than anyone on homeopathy in recent years without hardly ever arriving at a negative conclusion. Recently, I came across a researcher with an even better track record: Prof Michael Frass.

Wikipedia describes […]

Read on: Prof Frass’ remarkable studies of homeopathy

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Ever heard about ‘Shujing Massage’? | Edzard Ernst

I had thought that I know most alternative therapies. However, Shujing massage was new to me. It seems to be a massage technique from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along the Yin/Yang concept; a bit like Shiatsu perhaps.

Does it work? This study might easily be the first to address this question. It was aimed at comparing the […]

Read on: Ever heard about ‘Shujing Massage’?

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Finally a rational, considered defence of homeopathy !*** | Edzard Ernst

Homeopathy has its fair share of lunes who are unable to make a reasonable case for it without telling overt falsehoods; we have seen some of then on this blog, for sure. Therefore I was encouraged to finally find a well-argued, rational defence of homeopathy. It comes from an unlikely source – Christian Boiron (CB) is the General Manager of the world’s […]

Read on: Finally a rational, considered defence of homeopathy !***

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Chiropractic ineptitude camouflaged as research | Edzard Ernst

No, I kid you not!

This abstract was actually published in the leading chiro-journal. The authors include three professors from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Research, Toronto, Canada. Its title is impressive but made my alarm bells ring a bit:

A Randomized Pragmatic Clinical Trial of Chiropractic Care for Headaches With and Without a Self-Acupressure Pillow.

And the actual texts does not disappoint those looking for of pure pseudo-science […]

Read on: Chiropractic ineptitude camouflaged as research

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Will Stanislaw Burzynski finally face real justice? – Respectful Insolence

The other day, I suddenly realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve written about the Polish expat doctor in Houston who treats patients with advanced brain cancer with a concoction that he dubbed antineoplastons (ANPs). I’m referring, of course, to Stanislaw Burzynski who, despite the fact that he has no training in medical oncology, has treated thousands of cancer patients with ANPs beginning back in the late 1970s. Somehow, despite the fact that he’s never even come close to showing that ANPs are effective and safe against the cancers for which he uses it, the FDA has, with a brief interruption, continued to let him do his clinical trials, and the Texas Medical Board, despite trying every several years to do so, has failed to strip Burzynski of his medical license. Indeed, when I did a search on this blog to see when the last time I wrote about Burzynski was, I was shocked to discover that it was over a year ago, when one of his patients died...

Read the full post: Will Stanislaw Burzynski finally face real justice? – Respectful Insolence

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A homeopath talks shite

... I freely confess that I didn’t know what meconium is. But Wikipedia (from where ‘DrPaul’ nicked the photo) soon enlightened me. Though as to what exactly he did with ‘The sample [he] derived from the drug free home birth of a friend of mine… ‘ (so why could he not take his own photograph?), I remained mystified. As such, I perhaps ought to qualify any statements I’m making by declaring my ignorance, thus leaving him retaliation room should he take the opportunity to lambast my admission that I do not wholly comprehend his ‘triturating’ and ‘proving’ of foetal faeces. Because he has not, I consider, made himself very clear...

Should homeopathy be blacklisted in general practice? Doctor Michael Dixon’s profoundly misleading comments | Edzard Ernst

We could have expected it, couldn’t we? With so much homeopathy in the press lately, Dr Dixon (we have seen him on this blog before, for instance here, here and here) had to comment. His article in yesterday’s NURSING IN PRACTICE is far too perfect to abbreviate it; I just have to cite it in full (only the […]
Read on: Should homeopathy be blacklisted in general practice? Doctor Michael Dixon’s profoundly misleading comments

Monday, 16 November 2015

Is the Queen’s homeopath telling the truth? | Edzard Ernst

Not long ago, Peter Fisher fired me from the editorial board of ‘his’ journal ‘HOMEOPATHY’. I thought that this was a surprisingly daft move, particularly as we used to have respect for each other and even published together as co-authors (for instance here). But perhaps I should not have been surprised because, already in 2007, he published an important, potentially libellous falsehood about me.

In this article which he published as Dr. Peter Fisher, Homeopath to Her Majesty, the Queen, he wrote […]

Read on: Is the Queen’s homeopath telling the truth?

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Electro-pollution sensitivity and computer mice | WWDDTYDTY

Now this is an interesting situation. We found two posts entitled “Electro-pollution sensitivity” on the WDDTY webshite that start with the same question. Even more curious: both posts are incomplete.

Notorious quackery promotion site Healthy.net to the rescue! We leave you to savour their presentation of the merits of WDDTY and the fuckwittery therein contained on a regular basis...

Full story: Electro-pollution sensitivity and computer mice | WWDDTYDTY

Friday, 13 November 2015

More very bad news for homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

A friend alerted me to this website: Hungarian Academy of Sciences statement proposing the same scientific standards for homeopathic drug registration as for normal drugs 

 Members of the Section of Medical Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) voted unanimously on 9 November 2015 for supporting the earlier proposal of the Royal Swedish Academy of […]

Read on: More very bad news for homeopathy

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Minimising the risks of quackery: A simple classification of charlatans | Edzard Ernst

Having just finished reading an ‘satirical esothriller’ entitled ‘VIER FRAUEN UND EIN SCHARLATAN’ (it’s a good book but it’s in German, I’m afraid), I have been thinking more than usual about charlatans. A charlatan is defined as a person who falsely pretends to know or be something in order to deceive people. In the book, the charlatan character […]
Read on: Minimising the risks of quackery: A simple classification of charlatans

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Nonspecific neck pain: Alexander technique or acupuncture? Probably neither! | Edzard Ernst

The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture versus usual care for persons with chronic, nonspecific neck pain.

Patients with neck pain lasting at least 3 months, a score of at least 28% on the Northwick Park Questionnaire (NPQ) for neck pain and associated disability, and no serious […]
Read on: Nonspecific neck pain: Alexander technique or acupuncture? Probably neither!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Alternative logic in alternative medicine: popular, fallacious and dangerously wrong | Edzard Ernst

Whenever I or anyone else conducts a debate about problems in alternative medicine with advocates of this type of health care, the following argument is bound to pop up in one form or another: NO NEED TO POINT OUT MINOR FLAWS WITH MY FAVOURITE THERAPY; LOOK AT THE ENORMOUS PROBLEMS IN CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE!

This type of ‘alternative logic’ has emerged after nearly […]

Read on: Alternative logic in alternative medicine: popular, fallacious and dangerously wrong

Sunday, 8 November 2015

An early critique of Osteopathy and Chiropractic | Edzard Ernst

This is a true gem which I found on Medline. The article was published 91 years ago by Holburt Jacob Waring (1866 – 1953) in the BMJ. I hope you enjoy it. This article does not need a comment, I think. Its author was one of the most prominent surgeons of his time. Apparently he was known and […]
Read on: An early critique of Osteopathy and Chiropractic

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Craniosacral therapy: wild assumptions, flimsy science and wrong conclusions | Edzard Ernst

Alternative medicine encompasses many bizarre treatments, but one of the weirdest must be craniosacral therapy (CST). The assumptions underlying CTS are: light manual touch of the head moves the joints of the cranium; this movement stimulates the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid; the enhanced flow has profound and positive effects on human health. None of […]

Read on: Craniosacral therapy: wild assumptions, flimsy science and wrong conclusions

Thursday, 5 November 2015

THE JOHN MADDOX PRIZE 2015: first reactions | Edzard Ernst

Yes, I got an award – and a very prestigious one at that! Thanks to everyone who supported me in often difficult times and made this possible. Here are some details from the website of Nature: Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Professor at Peninsula Medical School, and Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at the University […]Read on: THE JOHN MADDOX PRIZE 2015: first reactions

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A Quack Miranda Warning Will Not Save Heather Dexter From The Consequences of Allowing Her Children To Suffer Through Pertussis

Ren wrote a blog post the other day that had my blood boiling. He told us the tale of a naturopath named Heather Dexter. Heather Dexter is a naturopath in Michigan, and she allowed her children to live through Whooping Cough (Pertussis) for more than six months. Any child with pertussis needs to immediately see a physician and be put on antibiotics. Why? Because pertussis coughing is so bad that it leaves the child blue in the face from anoxia […]

Read more at: A Quack Miranda Warning Will Not Save Heather Dexter From The Consequences of Allowing Her Children To Suffer Through Pertussis by Reuben

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Testing Homeopathy - Part 3: Research Evidence?





You want truth in advertising? Let's see how homeopaths score on this. The ASA goes through the Society of Homeopaths like the All Blacks going through a third-rate village scratch team.


The Delusional Mr. Lord

If you’ve been fighting anti-vaccine nonsense as long as I have, there are really few things that will impress you. (And I don’t mean “impress” in a good way.) There’s not a lie or conspiracy theory that anti-vaccine activists won’t adhere to. Their own delusions of grandeur come through when they call themselves “vaccine experts” and then display a woeful ignorance about basic biology. This is the case with one Mr. Joel Lord from Vancouver, Canada. He is the founder of the “Vaccine Resistance Movement,” a “grass roots” movement to try and bring down vaccine programs everywhere […]

Read more at: The Delusional Mr. Lord by Reuben

Monday, 2 November 2015

Testing Homeopathy - Part 2



(Mild profanity warning)

Zeno's too shy to put himself forward, but nevertheless we recommend his take on the infamous "Swiss Report" in addition to the excellent analysis in today's video: That ‘neutral’ Swiss homeopathy report

Standing up for science? Yes, but not at any cost! | Edzard Ernst

Anyone who has read ‘A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND’ will know that I stood up for science more than once in my life. In fact, I strongly believe that this is what scientists ought to do, and I frequently get irritated to see that some of my colleagues seem to disagree [if not even we scientists can stick our necks out for science, how can we expect others to do it?]. Being thus convinced, I surprised myself recently when […]

Read on: Standing up for science? Yes, but not at any cost!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Naturopath lets her kids suffer with Whooping cough, child abuse? - Naturopathic Diaries

I was not planning on writing today. But then I read a blog post about naturopathic “cures” for Whooping cough, and I got mad. There must have been significant backlash, as the post has been taken down from www.LikeMindedMamas.com and the group’s Facebook page, Like-Minded Mamas. I took a screenshot of the post though, which you should read before continuing. It is shocking...


Read on: Naturopath lets her kids suffer with Whooping cough, child abuse? - Naturopathic Diaries

Testing Homeopathy - Part 1: Plausibility




I'll be posting a series of videos by CoolHardLogic on the subject of homeopathy over the next few days. Free publicity for them and useful (I hope) educational tools for you.

Warning: language is mildly NSFW, depending on how uptight your colleagues are. If colloquial references to The Goon Show's ancient butler upset you, move along.