Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions

January 31, 2012 Note: The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is publishing a new series of e-books. The first two offerings are an excellent new book on critical thinking by Bob Carroll, Unnatural Acts, and the first in a planned series of republications of classic skeptical works, Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions, by Oliver Wendell

Electrodermal Testing Part I: Fooling Patients with a Computerized Magic Eight Ball

Remember the Magic Eight Ball toy? You could ask it a question and shake it and a random answer would float up into a window: yes, no, maybe, definitely, etc. There is even a website where you can ask an Eight Ball questions online. I have been meaning to write about bogus electrodiagnostic machines for

The Montagnier “Homeopathy” Study

A recent study is being cited as support for homeopathy. For instance, the Homeopathy World Community website says Luc Montagnier Foundation Proves Homeopathy Works. Dana Ullman cites it in the comments to this blog And I assume that you all have seen the new research by Nobel Prize-winning virologist Luc Montagnier that provides significant support

Delusions About Dilutions Never Cease

In “Challenging Challenges” (Swift, Oct 17), Jeff Wagg posted a video with weird sounds and the voice of John Benneth, who is challenging Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge. I recently had an e-mail exchange with Benneth that was very illuminating. A former unsuccessful applicant for the MDC, he is considering re-applying.  He thinks he can distinguish between

Homeopathy – Still Crazy After All These Years

Homeopathy is a fascinating phenomenon. Oliver Wendell Holmes recognized that it was nonsense back in 1842 when he wrote “Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions.”  We long ago gave up the nonsense of trying to balance the four humours by bloodletting and purging, but the homeopathy Energizer Bunny is still marching on. What makes it so

Homeopathy: How It Really Works

Book Review of  Homeopathy: How It Really Works, by Jay Shelton, published by Prometheus in 2003 This will not be the last book written about homeopathy, but perhaps it ought to be. It says everything that needs to be said unless homeopaths can succeed in supporting their claims with better evidence than they have produced in the

Energy Medicine

A review of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis by James L. Oschman. London: Churchill Livingstone, an imprint of Harcourt Publishers Limited, 2000. 274 pp. ISBN 0-443-06261-7 “ENERGY MEDICINE” INCLUDES therapeutic touch, craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, and numerous other alternative medicine practices. It usually implies a vitalistic philosophy: something immaterial produces life and health in a