A skeptic encounters psychics, astrologers, and other strange creatures and discovers firsthand how they react to science and reason. Included: a fable about testing the Tooth Fairy. A couple of years ago, I saw an announcement for an astrology presentation to a local discussion group called Mingling of the Minds.… read more "Teaching Pigs to Sing: An Experiment in Bringing Critical Thinking to the Masses"
Book review of Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-care for Optimum Health. By Andrew Weil. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004. ISBN 0-618-47903-1. 432 pp. Softcover, $14. Andrew Weil’s Natural Health, Natural Medicine is a dangerous book. The preface states: “All the information is consistent with the… read more "Andrew Weil: Harvard Hatched a Gullible Guru"
A book review of three books on longevity: Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D. Rodale, 2004. 400 pp. $24.95 ISBN: 1579549543. Anti-Aging Medicine: The Hype and the Reality, edited by S. Jay Olshansky, Leonard Hayflick, and Thomas T. Perls. The Gerontological… read more "Three Perspectives on Longevity: Fantasy, Reality and Confusion"
“Space Age technology cures back pain without surgery – 86% success rate.” Ads like this have been inundating my local newspaper. I wanted to know more. I am a medical doctor, and I wondered why my medical journals had neglected to tell me about this wonderful new discovery. I… read more "Fix Your Ruptured Disk Without Surgery? The Truth Behind the Ads"
In case you hadn’t noticed, snake oil is alive and thriving under the shield of alternative medicine. As the Baby Boomers approach retirement age and develop health problems, we can expect an even greater boom of quackery, pseudoscience, and misinformation. Even the most critically thinking scientist may think less critically… read more "Keeping an Eye on Alternative Medicine"
Several hundred practitioners, mostly chiropractors, are offering a simple paper-and-pencil test that they say can tell how your brain is functioning . They call it “blind spot mapping,” “brain function testing,” “brain mapping,” or “cortical mapping.” They claim that this test can detect an enlarged blind spot in one eye,… read more "Blind Spot Mapping: A Dubious Aspect of “Chiropractic Neurology”"
Book Review of LIVING PROOF: A MEDICAL MUTINY By Michael Gearin-Tosh 334 pp. New York: Scribner, 2002. ISBN 0-7432-2517-1, $25.00. The author, an Oxford professor of English literature, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and advised to have chemotherapy. He rejected that advice because of the toxicity of chemotherapy, the uncertain… read more "LIVING PROOF: A MEDICAL MUTINY"
Review of HANDS OF LIFE: An Energy Healer Reveals the Secrets of Using Your Body’s Own Energy Medicine for Healing, Recovery, and Transformation, by Julie Motz, 309 pp. New York: Bantam Books, 1998. ISBN 0-553-10714-3, $24.95. Energy healer Julie Motz was once a troubled young film student with a history of bulimia,… read more "HANDS OF LIFE: An Energy Healer Reveals the Secrets of Using Your Body’s Own Energy Medicine for Healing, Recovery, and Transformation"
A review of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis by James L. Oschman. London: Churchill Livingstone, an imprint of Harcourt Publishers Limited, 2000. 274 pp. ISBN 0-443-06261-7 “ENERGY MEDICINE” INCLUDES therapeutic touch, craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, and numerous other alternative medicine practices. It usually implies a vitalistic philosophy: something immaterial produces… read more "Energy Medicine"
The God Code: The Secret of Our Past, the Promise of Our Future, by Gregg Braden, Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, California, 2004. Seek and you will find. You can find prophecies in the Bible and Nostradamus – they are surprisingly accurate (at least in retrospect). Children find animal shapes in… read more "The God Code"