Newborn Babies Don’t Have Sex, So Why Do We Vaccinate Them for a Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Vaccination is arguably the greatest accomplishment of modern medicine; vaccines have saved millions from death and disability, and smallpox has been eradicated forever. But vaccines are not without their critics. Since Jenner first experimented with cowpox, there have been people who have rejected vaccinations for various reasons, usually appallingly wrong-headed ones. A strong anti-vaccine movement

Screening Tests and Primum non nocere

Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase meaning “first do no harm.” It is commonly attributed to Hippocrates, but if he ever said any such thing, he certainly didn’t say it in Latin. He lived in ancient Greece from 430 BC to 370 BC and presumably spoke Greek. The phrase, in English and in Latin,

Zombie Criticisms of Conventional Medicine

Alternative medicine, by definition, is medicine that is not supported by good enough evidence to have earned it a place in mainstream medicine. Some people insist that modern medicine is not evidence-based either! Not long ago I got an email from a man who said that and tried to prove it with a series of

“Biomagnetism Therapy”: Pseudoscientific Twaddle

In a television interview, a practitioner of biomagnetic therapy claimed she had cured her own breast lump and the metastatic cancer of another person. I wonder how many viewers believed her. On the “official website” of biomagnetism therapy, http://biomagnetism.net/, they claim it is “the answer to ALL your health problems… an all-natural, non-invasive therapy proven

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Didn’t Win a Nobel Prize, Scientific Medicine Did

Tu Youyou, a Chinese researcher, was awarded half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of , a malaria drug. This has been touted as a victory for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and herbalism. It is anything but. Treatment of malaria had become problematic; there were a number of effective medications, but

Superfood Silliness

Someone is always trying to tell us what to eat. It’s like religions: they can’t all be right, and they might all be wrong. One of the most pervasive food myths is the idea of “superfoods,” the belief that certain foods are particularly good for us. Obviously some foods have more of certain nutrients than