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"
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"
Train Track Therapy
There seems to be many uses for the trains in Indonesia. Shown above, the over-crowded locomotive is taken on by “surfers”. I am constantly amazed by the ingenuity of humans in coming up with weird and funny treatments for real and imagined illnesses. One of my favorites is train track… read more "Train Track Therapy"
Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science
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"
Announcing: Video Lecture Course on Science-Based Medicine
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"
Answering Our Critics – Again!
Instead of a new post this week I decided to recycle and revise what I wrote about Answering Our Critics a few years ago, here and here. I thought it was time to visit this issue again, because our critics didn’t get the message. They are still flooding the… read more "Answering Our Critics – Again!"
The Death of Expertise
In Tom Nichols’ new book, The Death of Expertise, he explains how a misguided intellectual egalitarianism is harming our ability to assess the truth and solve problems, and discusses some of the responsible factors and possible long-term consequences. Tom Nichols’ new book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and… read more "The Death of Expertise"
The Riddle of Consciousness
For most of human history, people have assumed that some kind of vitalistic essence had to be added to matter to produce life. The belief in an immaterial soul was pervasive. At one point, scientists even tried to weigh the soul by weighing a body right before and after death,… read more "The Riddle of Consciousness"
On Guard, DōTERRA, Essential Oils, and a Lesson in Reading Research Studies
A study of On Guard, a mixture of essential oils, showed that it reduced the infectivity of influenza virus in dog kidney cells in the lab; but that’s irrelevant to the question of whether the product has any clinical effect in humans. Essential oils smell good, but the claims of… read more "On Guard, DōTERRA, Essential Oils, and a Lesson in Reading Research Studies"
When Richard Dawkins was asked to justify his belief in the scientific method, he answered, “It works, bitches!”1 When the scientific evidence is compelling, one would have to be willfully perverse to reject it. But some people do; they reject findings that don’t fit with their ideology. We call them… read more "Statin Denialism"