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rampant

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Chiropractors, is it not time to abandon SMT? | Edzard Ernst

Amidst the current controversy of chiropractic spinal manipulation for new-born babies, the previous director of Chiropractor’s Association of Australia NSW, Alex Fielding, published an interesting article. In it, he declared:
I do not condone the chiropractic treatment of children for non-musculoskeletal conditions it is simply not our place. There is little to no evidence for […]

Read on: Chiropractors, is it not time to abandon SMT?

Friday, 29 April 2016

Are most chiropractors behaving unethically? | Edzard Ernst

Informed consent is an essential ethical precondition for any therapeutic intervention. This obviously cannot exclude alternative medicine. Yet, one gets the impression that alternative therapists systematically ignore informed consent. Chiropractors in the UK, for instance, have been shown to often take this issue more than a little light-heartedly.

The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) has issued […]

Read on: Are most chiropractors behaving unethically?

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Understanding homeoprophylaxis: it is dangerous nonsense!!! | Edzard Ernst

The current issues of ‘homeopathy 4 everyone’ (April 2016) carries several articles on homeoprophylaxis, the use of homeopathic remedies for the prevention of mostly infectious diseases promoted by homeopathy as a safe and effective alternative to immunizations. They are worth reading – but watch your blood pressure! Here I will give you a flavour by […]

Read on: Understanding homeoprophylaxis: it is dangerous nonsense!!!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Another antivaccine zombie meme: polio vaccine and SV40 and cancer, oh, my! - Science-Based Medicine

This post dates from 2013, but the same vicious lies are still being repeated by antivaccine fanatics.
Now that the World Wide Web (at least as we know it, in its graphically browsable form) is approaching its twentieth birthday, we now have enough perspective to see these things. Steve Novella pointed out one zombie meme just the other day about the MMR, as did a certain person well known to this blog. Just yesterday I noticed another of these zombie memes arising from the dead yet again to feast on the brains of the living and thus make them cranks too. (At least, that is the goal of their continual resurrection.) This one popped up at that online repository of all things quackery, NaturalNews.com, in a post by Mike Adams himself entitled Merck vaccine developer admits vaccines routinely contain hidden cancer viruses derived from diseased monkeys. Other versions of this meme pop up from time to time with titles like CDC Admits 98 Million Americans Received Polio Vaccine In An 8-Year Span When It Was Contaminated With Cancer Virus.
Read the full post: Another antivaccine zombie meme: polio vaccine and SV40 and cancer, oh, my! - Science-Based Medicine

Monday, 25 April 2016

Need a laugh? Read this anti-vax lawsuit.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I’m not a lawyer. My expertise comes from investigating infectious diseases, how they spread, who spreads them, that kind of stuff. So take the following criticism of an anti-vaccine cult’s lawsuit against California over vaccine requirements and just that, random criticism intended to bring out the sheer delusional stupidity of the people filing the suit and, sadly, their lawyer.

The plaintiff is a group calling itself “Revolt, Revoke, Restore” which is attempting to overturn Senate Bill 277 […]

Read more at: Need a laugh? Read this anti-vax lawsuit. by Reuben

Osteopathy revisited | Edzard Ernst

Osteopathy is a confusing subject about which I have reported regularly on this blog (for instance here and here).

Recently, I came across a good article where someone had assessed 100 websites by UK osteopaths. The findings are impressive:
57% of websites in the survey published the ‘self-healing’ claim
70% publicised the fact they offered […]

Read on: Osteopathy revisited

Saturday, 23 April 2016

The eternal search for truth and sanity

This is just a brief reminder that this blog exists to bring skeptical writings to the attention of a wider public. Quacks, often unfettered by any sense of shame, are good at gaming the search engine results, whereas people who actually believe that reality should get some sort of recognition tend to be much more diffident.

This unwarranted shyness must cease! So, once again, this is a call for nominations. Seen or written what you think is a good post on an important subject? Drop us a line and we'll add it to the blog. It doesn't matter where the post comes from; the important thing is that it needs to be read by as many people as possible.

Tech news:
At the end of this month Blogspot/Blogger/whatever the hell you're supposed to call it moves to HTTPS. Completely unrelated to this and just to be contrary - we swear it, honest, guv - we're doing it a week early. So there.

Interactions between alternative and conventional medicines might be more frequent than previously thought | Edzard Ernst

Many cancer patients use some form of alternative therapy. Most of them combine it with conventional oncological treatments which begs the important question whether the two can interact.

The aim of this new investigation was firstly to assess prevalence of interactions between alternative medicines (AMs) and drugs for comorbidities from a large survey on melanoma patients and secondly […]

Read on: Interactions between alternative and conventional medicines might be more frequent than previously thought

How not to defend homeopathy


The story so far: four years ago, I wrote a post entitled Milk in Homeopathy, a Spiritual Perspective which merrily ripped apart the patronising speculations of one Claudia Dias, aka urbanhealing, aka undercover_homeopath, an especially outrageous and mercenary quack. Apart from a few angry screeches from Dias, nobody rushed forward to defend her and even less to defend homeopathy. Until now, that is. Sort of.

This was sent via the site contact form yesterday:
I was a cynic like you, though not angry and arrogant. I took homeopathy to prove it wrong, and it backfired and healed me …

 Continue reading


The post How not to defend homeopathy by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Homeopathy for cancer? Not again! No no no!!! | Edzard Ernst

The madness of some homeopaths who claim they can cure cancer has irritated me and others repeatedly, for instance here and here. Many apologists of homeopathy say that responsible homeopaths would never make such a claim. They may be right – but the sad reality is than there are far too many irresponsible homeopaths. 

This article by Dr Pankaj Aggarwal, a […]

Read on: Homeopathy for cancer? Not again! No, no no!!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

And here is how I plan to get the Nobel Prizeby copying cutting edge chiropractic science! | Edzard Ernst

For many years, I have been impressed with the high quality and originality of chiropractic research. Here is the abstract of a particularly remarkable, new investigation.
The purpose of this study was to compare characteristics, likelihood to use, and actual use of chiropractic care for US survey respondents with positive and negative perceptions of doctors of […]

Read on: And here is how I plan to get the Nobel Prize…by copying cutting edge chiropractic science!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Are chiropractors about to start comprehending some of the very basics of healthcare? | Edzard Ernst

I just came across this article which I find remarkable in several ways. Here is the abstract:

OBJECTIVE: 
The purpose of this report is to describe 2 patients with coronary artery disease presenting with musculoskeletal symptoms to a chiropractic clinic.

CLINICAL FEATURES:
A 48-year-old male new patient had thoracic spine pain aggravated by physical exertion. […]

Read on: Are chiropractors about to start comprehending some of the very basics of healthcare?

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Naturopaths should not treat children | Edzard Ernst

This is the conclusion Britt Hermes draws in her new blog post about US naturopaths claiming to be competent to treat children.

Britt is a most remarkable and courageous woman. She clearly knows what she is talking about:
“My experience puts me in a unique position to show what naturopathic training looks like from the […]

Read on: Naturopaths should not treat children

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Zika virus prompts homeopaths to potentiate ineptitude | Edzard Ernst

‘Homeopaths without Borders’ have been the subject of this blog before. I repeat what David Shaw, senior research fellow, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Switzerland, wrote about this organisation in a BMJ-article:
Despite Homeopaths Without Borders’ claims to the contrary, “homeopathic humanitarian help” is a contradiction in terms. Although providing food, water, and solace to people […]

Read on: Zika virus prompts homeopaths to potentiate ineptitude

Friday, 15 April 2016

Celebrating homeopathy awareness week – PART 2 | Edzard Ernst

A nice way to conclude this year’s ‘homeopathy awareness week’, I think, is to review some of the more important homeopathy-related events from across the world that have been reported (on this blog) in the past 12 months.

A few weeks ago, it was reported that a master’s degree in homeopathic medicine at one of […]

Read on: Celebrating homeopathy awareness week – PART 2

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Celebrating homeopathy awareness week – PART 1 | Edzard Ernst

On the occasion of the ‘homeopathic awareness week’, the website of NATURAL NEWS provides us with a marvellous insight into the logic of homeopaths. Below I cite some of the text. Unfortunately the authors seem to have forgotten to mention the little detail that highly diluted homeopathic remedies have been shown over and over again to be […]

Read on: Celebrating homeopathy awareness week – PART 1

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Product promotion masquerading as research | Edzard Ernst

One of the things about alternative medicine that I find most regrettable is the fact that researchers in this area abuse science for their very own promotional aims. This phenomenon is so very common, in my view, that many of the individuals involved in it are no longer aware of it. Science, they seem to think, is a tool for marketing products or […]

Read on: Product promotion masquerading as research

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

US chiropractors want to be recognised as primary care physicians | Edzard Ernst

On their website, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recently updated its members on their lobbying activities aimed at having US chiropractors recognised as primary care physicians. The president of the ACA posted the following letter to ACA members:
Last February the ACA House of Delegates passed a formal resolution directing ACA to make achieving full physician status […] 

Read on: US chiropractors want to be recognised as primary care physicians

Monday, 11 April 2016

‘The best advice on alternative, holistic, natural and integrative medicines’ | Edzard Ernst

The ‘ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE SOCIETY’ claims to be a ‘a global network of medical practitioners and contributors who scour the best research and findings from around the world to provide the best advice on alternative, holistic, natural and integrative medicines and treatments for free.’

Sounds great!

They even give advice on ‘7 common diseases you can treat through […]

Read on: ‘The best advice on alternative, holistic, natural and integrative medicines’

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Homeopathic duck liver prevents common colds…in your dreams! | Edzard Ernst

TODAY IS ‘WORLD HOMEOPATHY DAY!!!

Let’s celebrate it by looking at the latest ‘cutting edge’ research on the world’s most commercially successful homeopathic remedy, Oscillococcinum®, a preparation of duck organs that are so highly diluted that not one molecule per universe is present in the end-product. It is therefore surprising to read that this new investigation finds it to […]

Read on: Homeopathic duck liver prevents common colds…in your dreams!

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Charity wastes money on Reiki healing | Edzard Ernst

The website of the Brighton and Hove News informs us that the Brighton charity Rockinghorse is paying for a Reiki healer to treat young patients at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Kemp Town. They claim that studies suggest that Reiki can relieve symptoms of chronic and acute illness, manage stress levels and aid relaxation and sleep. Rockinghorse […]

Read on: Charity wastes money on Reiki healing

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Homeopathy on the NHS: at Death's door - NIghtingale Collaboration

Homeopathy on the NHS falls for the eighteenth consecutive year

New figures released today show that homeopathy on the English NHS has fallen to a new low. The number of NHS prescriptions for homeopathy in England, fulfilled in community pharmacies, dropped by a further 13% in 2015 from the previous year and is 95% down from its peak nearly 20 years ago.
The data are compiled by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) — the official source of data for the NHS — and published as their Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) data set.*

Read the full post

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The telling tale of the ‘PLACEBO BANKER’ | Edzard Ernst

One argument I hear over and over again; it could be called ‘the fallacy of the benign placebo’ and goes like this:
  • Alright, I accept that the evidence for xy isn’t brilliant. 
  • I might even accept it is a pure placebo therapy. 
  • But that is not important. 
  • What counts is that it helps suffering patients. 
  • Who cares […]

Read on: The telling tale of the ‘PLACEBO BANKER’

Monday, 4 April 2016

“Homeoprophylaxis, the homeopathic vaccine alternative, prevents disease through nosodes.” | Edzard Ernst

Yes, this is exactly the claim I found on this website entitled ‘ALL NATURAL IDEAS. WAYS TO LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE NATURALLY. Here we learn that “All Natural Ideas is a site is designed to provide simple ideas on how you can live a more natural and healthy life. Lisa is the mastermind behind All Natural Ideas. […]

Read on: “Homeoprophylaxis, the homeopathic vaccine alternative, prevents disease through nosodes.”

Sunday, 3 April 2016

The fantasies of the anti-vaccine crowd

I really feel bad for people who are deep into the anti-vaccine cult. It has got to be a horrible existence to have to explain away reality day after day. Vaccines do not cause autism, but they have to go to enormous lengths to try and convince themselves (and others) that vaccines do cause autism. […]



Read more at: The fantasies of the anti-vaccine crowd by Reuben

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Chiropractic megalomania | Edzard Ernst

‘Megalomania’ of a clinician is (for the purpose of this blog-post) defined as a practitioner claiming to cure everything. It seems to me that this dangerous condition is endemic in the realm of alternative medicine, and particularly in chiropractic. Perhaps they catch it at chiro school, I don’t know, but an awful lot of them seem to […]
Read on: Chiropractic megalomania