The Textbook of Natural Medicine reveals what students of naturopathy are taught. It claims to be a scientific presentation, but it reveals just how unscientific naturopathy is. It mixes good science with bad science, pseudoscience, outright errors of fact, vitalism, philosophy, ancient history, superstition, gullibility, misrepresentations, metaphysics, religion, hearsay, opinion, and anecdotes. Note: This is
Various websites repeat the myth that trans fats are slowly metabolized, with a 51-day half-life. There is no evidence for that claim. There is good reason to limit trans fats in the diet, good enough reason that many countries have passed legislation to restrict trans fats in products and restaurants. The good reason is
I recently came across Round the Red Lamp, a delightful volume of medical-themed short stories and other medical writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a medical doctor and the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Among its many treasures are two of his letters that were printed in newspapers in 1887 on the subject of compulsory
A hospital in India offers to cure cancer in 11 days with Ayurveda and cow therapy, giving patients a drink of desi cow milk, yogurt, ghee, urine, and dung. It’s very unlikely that cow therapy can cure cancer; but in another sense, the author of the book Holy Cancer says it “healed” him. You have
NES Health claims to scan the human biofield, detect imbalances, and correct them with infoceuticals. It’s not science, it’s clever marketing based on fantasy. Kirlian photography is said to show auras or biofields. It doesn’t. It shows a coronal discharge and is seen with inanimate objects like these coins. NES Health offers scans of the
Many claims are made for the health benefits of aloe vera, used both topically and orally. The scientific evidence is lacking. This home remedy may be soothing on the skin, but scientific claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. I had heard of aloe vera. I’ve seen it grown in flowerpots in the home and broken
Naturopaths claim to excel at preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. Their claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. They co-opt from mainstream medicine, add non-evidence-based treatments, and fail to use effective drugs. Herb Garden at Bastyr University The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website explains what naturopathy is and has a webpage with FAQs. Number 15
A review of Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia, By Michael Shermer, Henry Holt and Co., 2018. $30.00. 320 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-62779-857-0. In 1997, Michael Shermer wrote one of the classics of skepticism, Why People Believe Weird Things. He has continued to produce skeptical books at regular intervals, with topics
In James Alcock’s classic 1995 article “The Belief Engine“, he said, “Our brains and nervous systems constitute a belief-generating machine, a system that evolved to assure not truth, logic, and reason, but survival.” Now he has expanded that thesis into a book, Belief: What It Means to Believe and Why Our Convictions Are So Compelling.
I recently got an email from a woman who said she was losing her mind trying to find out the truth about frying pans. Many articles say dangerous chemicals are released from various types of frying pan. We already have enough things to worry about; now I’m supposed to be afraid of my frying pan?