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… read more "Shermer Tackles the Big Questions"
You can buy brains from the butcher to cook and eat, but this is not what Mosconi means when she refers to brain food. Lisa Mosconi has a web and media presence and a book Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power. She claims, “There is increasing evidence… read more "Mosconi’s Brain Food Diet"
Last month I wrote about a book on evolutionary medicine that I could not recommend. Now I’ve found one I can recommend. Marlene Zuk, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Riverside, has written a delightful book entitled Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That… read more "Another Kind of Evolutionary Medicine"
Did you know that Samuel Hahnemann, the misguided father of homeopathy, was an accomplished chemist who developed the first chemical test for arsenic? His test was applied in a poisoning trial in England: it was positive, but the color of the sample had deteriorated by the time it got to… read more "A Feast of Science"
Astronomy is science; astrology is superstition, mythology, and pseudoscience. Depending on how surveys ask the question, anywhere from 22 percent to 73 percent of people believe astrology is valid. Horoscopes still appear regularly in newspapers. Over 90 percent of adults know their zodiac sign. It never occurs to some people… read more "Not In Your Stars"
There is a website that reveals “The world’s most dangerous invention.” Care to speculate what that invention might be? I might have guessed nuclear weapons. Others have incriminated guns, cigarettes, genetic engineering, religion, The Web, The Large Hadron Collider, and automobiles. But this website was not talking about any of… read more "Barefoot In Sedona: Bogus Claims About Grounding Your Feet to Earth Promote Medical Pseudoscience"
April 17, 2012 Eric Topol, MD, has written a book about the convergence of the digital revolution and medicine. It is full of fascinating information and prognostication, but I wish he had given it a better title. He called it The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will… read more "The Future of Medicine"
We live in a post-truth, anti-intellectual world where intuition, “common sense,” and fake news are often preferred to scientific evidence and where pseudoscience is often presented as valid science. Assuming that truth exists and is worth searching for, and that science is our most reliable tool in that search, how… read more "Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science"
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!"
Edzard Ernst is arguably the world’s foremost expert on the claims and the evidence (or lack thereof) for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Now he has teamed up with a medical ethicist, Kevin Smith, to co-author a new book, More Harm than Good? The Moral Maze of Complementary and Alternative… read more "The Ethics of CAM: More Harm than Good?"