Supporters of alternative medicine and purveyors of quack remedies love to criticize conventional medicine and science. They keep repeating the same tired arguments that are easily rebutted. This handy guide will help skeptics answer common criticisms from doctor-bashers. Doctor-bashing is a popular sport practiced by believers in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and purveyors of
Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician and professor of vaccinology at the University of Pennsylvania, codeveloped a rotavirus vaccine that has saved hundreds of lives. His previous books Autism’s False Prophets and Deadly Choices examined the misinformation spread by the anti-vaccine movement following Andrew Wakefield’s infamous vaccine/autism study. Now he turns his attention to the field
In May, 2012, I spoke at the 6th World Skeptics Congress in Berlin on “Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fairy Tale Science and Placebo Medicine.” My talk is now available as a YouTube video. This article was originally published in the Science-Based Medicine blog.
Cancer patients are a uniquely vulnerable group. When patients are diagnosed with pneumonia or appendicitis, they expect to recover and they readily accept conventional treatment with antibiotics or surgery. They are not particularly vulnerable to false claims for other treatments. But when patients are diagnosed with cancer, they fear dying; and they fear it will
Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, is a former homeopath who saw the light and became a tireless advocate for scientific evaluation of alternative medicine claims. He became the world’s first professor of complementary medicine. He wrote (with Simon Singh) the excellent book Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine. He has written innumerable articles
That’s the title of a new book by Melvin H. Kirschner, M.D. When I first saw the title, I expected a polemic against conventional medicine. The first line of the Preface reassured me: “Everything we do has a risk-benefit ratio.” Dr. Kirschner took the title from his first pharmacology lecture in medical school. The professor
I recently chastised the American Family Physician (the journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians) for assigning a high SORT (strength of evidence) rating to acupuncture treatments that did not merit that rating. While the AAFP claims to strongly support evidence-based medicine, I have observed a gradual infiltration of CAM into their journal, their
Oh no! My favorite mischievous monkey, Curious George, has been co-opted to brainwash children with pseudoscience. Is nothing sacred? See http://everydayskeptics.com/psuedoscience-in-childrens-cartoons/ On the DVD, an innocent CG cartoon segment is followed by a “real life” segment where children visit a naturopath. He tells them oregano seems to be helpful for fighting germs, he shows them acupressure points
Sandra Quincy writes from Australia to tell us about her successful anti-quackery activities “down under.” I thought that you might be interested in the success that I have had with getting a magnetic product removed from sale in Australia. It all started when a Century Mail booklet fell out of my October 2008 Reader’s Digest.
We frequently criticize the media for gullible reporting of pseudoscience and inaccurate reporting of real science. But sometimes they exceed our fondest hopes and get it spectacularly right. On December 25, 2008, the Wall Street Journal gave us all a Christmas present: they printed an article by Steve Salerno that was a refreshing blast of