Fun for the Fourth

Is it OK to laugh when we encounter a ridiculous claim in alternative medicine? This video lecture highlights some hilarious claims and encourages both laughter and appreciation of the human creativity involved.

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Since today is a holiday, I decided to take a holiday from writing my usual posts and instead direct you to the video of a talk I gave in Australia last fall. I hope you will take the time to watch it (36 minutes).  My topic was “Fun with Alternative Medicine.” I describe the whole Vitamin O adventure that got me started writing about alternative medicine, and some of the funniest alternative claims I have ever encountered – many of them laugh-out-loud, rolling-on-the-floor hilarious. I talk about when it is appropriate to laugh, making sure to ridicule only ridiculous claims themselves  and not the individuals who believe the claims or those who make the claims (unless they are obvious con artists; then they’re fair game). My presentation got a lot of laughs, and I think you will enjoy it.

Happy Fourth of July to all!

This article was originally published in the Science-Based Medicine Blog.

Dr. Hall is a contributing editor to both Skeptic magazine and the Skeptical Inquirer. She is a weekly contributor to the Science-Based Medicine blog and is one of its editors. She has also contributed to Quackwatch and to a number of other respected journals and publications. She is the author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon and co-author of the textbook, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions.