In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the widespread medical use of animal products such as bear bile, rhino horn, tiger bone, and pangolin scales has resulted in cruelty to animals and has threatened several species with extinction. All kinds of animal parts have been proposed as medicines or as magical charms,… read more "Drinking The Blood Of Bats Is A Bad (And Batty) Idea"
En el clásico artículo de James. E. Alcock, que se publicó en el Skeptical Inquirer en 1995, The belief engine (La máquina de creencias), el autor escribió: “Nuestros cerebros y sistemas nerviosos constituyen una máquina generadora de creencias, un sistema que evolucionó, no para asegurar la verdad, la lógica y la razón,… read more "Cómo creemos"
[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] There is a new celebrity fad: vampire facials. Have you seen the pictures of Kim Kardashian West after her vampire facial, showing her face spattered with blood and covered with tiny puncture wounds? If… read more "Vampire Facials"
[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] Hay una nueva moda para las celebridades: los tratamientos faciales vampiro. ¿Ha visto usted la foto de Kim Kardashian West luego de su tratamiento-vampiro, mostrando su rostro salpicado con sangre y cubierto con pequeñas heridas? Si no la… read more "Tratamiento Facial “Vampiro”"
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… read more "How we believe"
Reflex integration therapy claims to relieve a variety of symptoms of a wide range of neurologic conditions including autism, ADHD, brain injuries, pain, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, and more. I touched on the subject in a previous article, but there are new developments. Now we have Quantum Reflex Integration… read more "Reflex Integration Therapy"
Correspondent Lorne Oliver is highly skeptical of acupuncture, but faced cognitive dissonance because he believed acupuncture saved his life. He describes the experience on his blog at http://www.filletofseoul.com/2008/10/acupuncture.html Briefly, he developed itching after eating a dried persimmon, broke out in hives, developed a rapid pulse, then shallow, rapid breathing and… read more "Acupuncture miracle"
A couple of years ago, the James Randi Educational Foundation commissioned me to develop a series of 10 video lectures on Science-Based Medicine. After a lot of work and many vicissitudes, it is now available. The lecture titles are: Science-Based Medicine vs. Evidence-Based Medicine What Is CAM? Chiropractic Acupuncture Homeopathy Naturopathy and… read more "Announcing: Video Lecture Course on Science-Based Medicine"
Lydia Kang, MD, and Nate Pedersen have written a delightful new book, Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything. Histories can sometimes be a bit dry and boring; this is anything but. It’s a page-turner. The authors ferreted out some of the most disgusting and ridiculous… read more "Book about Quackery Is a Hoot!"
I frequently get emails asking whether I think a certain treatment is supported by evidence or is quackery. I recently got one from an elderly man who was wondering whether he should take a friend’s advice to consult an Ayurvedic doctor. That was the first time I’d ever been asked… read more "Ayurveda: Ancient Superstition, Not Ancient Wisdom"