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rampant

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Vote for 2015’s Douchebag of The Year

Thank you all for your nominations in the comments, Twitter, Facebook and via email. It’s time to vote. Voting will be open until January 1, 2016, at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

GO VOTE NOW. VOTE EARLY. VOTE OFTEN. Or you can use the form below:


Read more at: Vote for 2015’s Douchebag of The Year by Reuben

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

10 things that did NOT happen in 2015 [but should have happened] | Edzard Ernst

At this time of the year, journalists like to review what has happened during the previous year. I am not a journalist, just an alt med researcher, and I don’t want to review the 10 most important events but the non-events, that is 10 relevant things that should have happened in the realm of alt med […]
Read on: 10 things that did NOT happen in 2015 [but should have happened]

Saturday, 26 December 2015

2015 Pseudoscience Douchebag of The Year Nominations

It’s that time of the year again when we give the “Pseudoscience (formerly Quack) Douchebag of the Year” award to our favorite anti-science loon. Last year, the lucky winner was Dr. Robert “Bob” Sears, an anti-vaccine pediatrician. Who will it be this year? Because he holds the title, Dr. Bob is automatically nominated this year. […]



Read more at: 2015 Pseudoscience Douchebag of The Year Nominations by Reuben

Merry Christmas

There have not been many opportunities for me to post on the blog. I’m back in the nation’s capital for a special assignment, and it’s taking more of my time than I had originally planned. Still, I wanted to thank you (yes, you) for reading this year. Here’s hoping that 2016 brings with it new […]


Read more at: Merry Christmas by Reuben

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Medical emergencies over Christmas: yet again, homeopaths prevent the worst | Edzard Ernst

It is Christmas time – one cannot possibly fail to realise it, if only by listening to the perennial reports about our hospitals and GP surgeries being over-stretched to breaking point.

Will we cope?

Sure we will – after all, we can rely on our homeopaths! Yet again, they are at the ready to help out and […]
Read on: Medical emergencies over Christmas: yet again, homeopaths prevent the worst

Monday, 21 December 2015

The sickening story of an ‘alternative cancer test’ | Edzard Ernst

Researching and reporting shocking stories like this one can only make me more enemies, I know. Yet I do think they need to be told; if we cannot learn from history, what hope is there?

I first became aware of Sigmund Rascher‘s work when I was studying the effects of temperature on blood rheology at the University of […]

Read on: The sickening story of an ‘alternative cancer test’

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Breaking news: the critics of homeopathy are either ignorant or corrupt !!! | Edzard Ernst

The US homeopath Alan V Schmukler has been the subject of one post on this blog already. Here, to remind everyone, is his fascinating background again:
He attended Temple University, where he added humanistic psychology to his passions. After graduating Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa and President’s Scholar, he spent several years doing workshops in […]
Read on: Breaking news: the critics of homeopathy are either ignorant or corrupt !!!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

How to promote the notion that the earth is flat | Edzard Ernst

If the Flat Earth Society (FES) really exists at all, I must confess I know nothing about it. Here I use the term ‘FES’ merely as an analogy; you might replace FES with SoH or BHA or BAA or BCA or with most of the other acronyms used in my field of inquiry.

What I do know about is alternative medicine, particularly […]

Read on: How to promote the notion that the earth is flat

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Vertebral artery dissection after chiropractic manipulation: yet another case | Edzard Ernst

While some chiropractors now do admit that upper neck manipulations can cause severe problems, many of them simply continue to ignore this fact. It is therefore important, I think, to keep alerting both consumers and chiropractors to the risks of spinal manipulations. In this context, a new article seems relevant.

Danish doctors reported a critical case […]

Read on: Vertebral artery dissection after chiropractic manipulation: yet another case

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The prime assumption of homeopathy is based on… a misunderstanding | Edzard Ernst

In 1790, as Hahnemann was translating the Scottish physician’s, Cullen, ‘Treatise on Materia Medica’, he came across the passage where Cullen explains the actions of Peruvian (or China bark, [Cinchona officinalis]) which contains quinine, an effective treatment of malaria. Hahnemann disagreed with Cullen’s explanation that Cinchona worked through “a tonic effect on the stomach”. Therefore he decided to […]

Read on: The prime assumption of homeopathy is based on… a misunderstanding

Monday, 14 December 2015

Homeopathic remedies: some are highly effective, and some are very unsafe | Edzard Ernst

Some time ago, when we published our systematic review about the adverse effects associated with homeopathic remedies, there was an outcry of critics stating that it is not rational to claim, on the one hand, that homeopathic remedies are so dilute that they contain nothing and therefore do nothing and, on the other hand, that […]
Read on: Homeopathic remedies: some are highly effective, and some are very unsafe

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Medical Medium – junk medicine with psychic reading

Every time I think I’ve read it all, apparently I haven’t. I was pointed in the direction of someone – the Medical Medium – who pushes pseudoscience online. Worse yet, he mashes together alternative medicine and psychic readings.

Yes, you read that right. Using psychic readings, he then recommends alternative medicine.

Anthony Wiliam, who calls himself the Medical Medium, not because he’s right in the middle of medicine, but because he believes he’s a medium, that is, someone who can speak with spirits. I’m sure he has a Ouija Board...

Read on: The Medical Medium – junk medicine with psychic reading

Saturday, 12 December 2015

New evidence on chondroitin/glucosamine for osteoarthritis | Edzard Ernst

The two dietary supplements chondroitin and glucosamine have been around for some time. They are being promoted mostly for osteoarthritis; some claim that they reduce pain, others even believe that they restore the damaged cartilage and thus reverse the disease process. But neither for a symptomatic nor causal therapy has the evidence so far been truly […]
Read on: New evidence on chondroitin/glucosamine for osteoarthritis

Friday, 11 December 2015

Placebo effects are weak: regression to the mean is the main reason ineffective treatments appear to work

DC's Improbable Science: Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science

“Statistical regression to the mean predicts that patients selected for abnormalcy will, on the average, tend to improve. We argue that most improvements attributed to the placebo effect are actually instances of statistical regression.” “Thus, we urge caution in interpreting patient improvements as causal effects of our actions and should avoid the conceit of assuming that [...]


Read the rest at: Placebo effects are weak: regression to the mean is the main reason ineffective treatments appear to work

Thursday, 10 December 2015

‘Ernst’s Razor’ | Edzard Ernst

A ‘RAZOR’ is an argument for “shaving off” unlikely or implausible explanations or arguments. Who would, in this context, not think of alternative therapies and the explanations provided for them? And who could deny that homeopathy, in particular, is crying out for its very own razor?

I am, of course, inspired by 4 existing razors:
  • Occam’s Razor: Among competing hypotheses, […]

Read on: ‘Ernst’s Razor’

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

If you don’t want to get the flu…consult your chiropractor urgently! | Edzard Ernst

We have heard often, here and elsewhere, that chiropractic is neither effective nor safe. But now I found that it is not useless after all!!! It is an effective preventative measure against infections like the common cold and the flu.

You find this hard to believe? But it must be true!

It is the message given to chiropractors on this website: […]

Read on: If you don’t want to get the flu…consult your chiropractor urgently!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Six prominent proponents of homeopathy and 12 remarkable qualities | Edzard Ernst

Recently I have focussed several posts on well-known homeopaths and proponents of homeopathy; they include 6 prominent defenders of this therapy:
  • Dr Peter Fisher, the Queen’s homeopath, 
  • Dr Michael Dixon, GP, chair of the NHS Alliance, the College of Medicine and holder of many other posts, 
  • Prof Michael Frass, intensive care physician at the University […]

Read on: Six prominent proponents of homeopathy and 12 remarkable qualities

Monday, 7 December 2015

Spinal manipulation/mobilisation for neck pain: caution is warranted | Edzard Ernst

Chiropractors and osteopaths have long tried to convince us that spinal manipulation and mobilisation are the best we can do when suffering from neck pain. But is this claim based on good evidence?

This recent update of a Cochrane review was aimed at assessing the effects of manipulation or mobilisation alone compared with those of an inactive control […]
Read on: Spinal manipulation/mobilisation for neck pain: caution is warranted

Sunday, 6 December 2015

What is the value of this blog? | Edzard Ernst

Now, here is a surprise, at least for me it was one: I just came across a website claiming that the estimated value of this blog is $21,928.77.

How on earth do they calculate this?

What does it mean?

How can you put a monetary value on a blog like mine?

I have to admit, I fail to […]
Read on: What is the value of this blog?

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Reiki = evidently bogus; Self-Reiki = self-evidently bogus | Edzard Ernst

The authors of a recent paper inform us that
Reiki is a Japanese system of energy healing that has been used for over 2 500 years. It involves the transfer of energy from the practitioner to the receiver, which promotes healing, and can be done by either contact or non-contact methods. Both the receiver and the practitioner may feel the energy in various forms (warmth, cold, tingling, vibration, pulsations and/or floating sensations). Reiki can also be self-administered if one is a Reiki practitioner. Reiki is mainly used to address stress, anxiety, and pain reduction while also promoting a sense of well-being and improving quality of life.

Such statements should […]

Read on: Reiki = evidently bogus; Self-Reiki = self-evidently bogus

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

HIV-AIDS and the deadly denialists at WDDTY - Plague of Mice

A friend sent me a copy of the latest issue of that collection of outrageous and mercenary lies legally registered under the title of What Doctors Don’t Tell You. It looks like we can expect some especially deadly fuckwittery in the near future. This somewhat transparently fake “letter” (read: an obvious plant) appears in the “Have Your Say” letters page.

Keep up the fight—and now onto AIDS

Dear WDDTY After reading your excellent November 2013 issue, I felt I must write to you all to congratulate you on your achievements. It’s fabulous that this type of information is available in supermarkets...
Read on: HIV-AIDS and the deadly denialists at WDDTY - Plague of Mice

Originally posted on 1st December 2013. Happy World AIDS Day.