When I write about a treatment that has been inadequately tested (or that has never been tested or has been tested and shown not to work), someone always asks if I have tried it myself. Apparently, they believe it really works, and if only I would try it for myself, I would… read more "Why ‘Trying It For Yourself’ Is A Bad Idea"
Acupuncture, the Navy, and Faulty Thinking
A Navy neurologist, Capt. Elwood Hopkins, has posted a 3-part article on “The Power of Acupuncture” on Navy Medicine Live, the official blog of Navy and Marine Corps Health Care. It can serve as a useful lesson in how not to think about medicine. It is a prime example of… read more "Acupuncture, the Navy, and Faulty Thinking"
Popular Fallacies: Ancient Wisdom, It Works for Me, and Natural is Good
Advocates of so-called alternative medicine (i.e. unproven treatments) don’t always use the best critical thinking skills. False assumptions and logical fallacies abound. Three that I encounter constantly are (1) “ancient wisdom,” (2) “it works for me,” and (3) “it’s natural.” Ancient Wisdom The argument usually goes something like this: Our… read more "Popular Fallacies: Ancient Wisdom, It Works for Me, and Natural is Good"