How Not To Do Science

According to research methodologist R. Barker Bausell, “CAM [complementary and alternative medicine] therapists simply do not value (and most, in my experience, do not understand) the scientific process.” They have seen their patients improve, and that’s all the “evidence” they think they need. They don’t understand that they may have been deceived by the post hoc ergo

Luminas: Unbelievable Claims About Pain Relief

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. The claims for the Luminas pain relief patch are not just unscientific; they defy common sense. It’s quantum quackery. This will be a short post about a product that doesn’t deserve even this much attention. Recently my Facebook feed has been bombarded with

Science Envy in Alternative Medicine

One definition of alternative medicine is medicine that is not supported by good enough evidence to have earned a place in mainstream medicine. Comedian Tim Minchin asked, “What do you call alternative medicine that works?” His answer: “Medicine.” That’s a simplistic answer good for laughs, but the truth is more complicated. Alternative medicine embraces many

The Magic Feather Effect: Placebos and the Power of Belief in Alternative Medicine

In her book The Magic Feather Effect, journalist Melanie Warner covers placebo research, shows that alternative medicine is placebo medicine, takes a “try it yourself” approach, and gives belief and anecdotes more credit than they deserve. In the movie Dumbo, a little elephant with large ears can fly by flapping them like wings, but he refuses to

Naturopathy Textbook

The Textbook of Natural Medicine reveals what students of naturopathy are taught. It claims to be a scientific presentation, but it reveals just how unscientific naturopathy is. It mixes good science with bad science, pseudoscience, outright errors of fact, vitalism, philosophy, ancient history, superstition, gullibility, misrepresentations, metaphysics, religion, hearsay, opinion, and anecdotes. Note: This is

NES Health: Tooth Fairy Marketing

NES Health claims to scan the human biofield, detect imbalances, and correct them with infoceuticals. It’s not science, it’s clever marketing based on fantasy. Kirlian photography is said to show auras or biofields. It doesn’t. It shows a coronal discharge and is seen with inanimate objects like these coins. NES Health offers scans of the

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 Herbal Medicine Energy Medicine Miscellaneous

Ayurveda: Ancient Superstition, Not Ancient Wisdom

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 about Ayurveda. I knew it

Preying on the Vulnerable: Electrodiagnostics, Bach Flower Remedies, and Sound Therapy for Autism, ADHD, and Learning Problems

Karyne Jeanne Richardson offers a ridiculous program of electrodiagnosis, flower remedies, and fractal sound to treat autism and other disorders. There are science-based autism programs that work; it is unfortunate when parents subject their autistic children to onerous, expensive, time-consuming, useless treatments based on pseudoscientific claims and false promises. When children are diagnosed with autism

Amino Neuro Frequency: Just More “Embedded Frequencies” Silliness

Amino neuro frequency treatment uses one-inch stick-on patches with embedded “frequencies” that the body recognizes and directs to the proper area to treat pain and inflammation. The concept of “embedded frequencies” is bogus and ANF is nothing but a theatrical placebo. What is ANF? Amino Neuro Frequency is a treatment system being taught mainly to