Month: December 2016

cranberries-from-khuroshvili-ilya

Cranberries to prevent urinary tract infections: Another alternative medicine zombie that’s impervious to evidence

How much evidence will it take before the idea of cranberries for urinary tract infections is finally dead and buried?

/ December 15, 2016
American life expectancy for 2015

American Mortality Ticks Up

Life expectancy in the US decreased slightly in 2015. While this is a one-year phenomenon, and the long term trend continues to be one of increasing life expectancy, there are some interesting lessons in the data.

/ December 14, 2016
Linda Hazzard (1867-1936)Quack, thief, serial killer

Natural Medicine, Starvation, and Murder: The Story of Linda Hazzard

History is replete with doctors who practiced quackery. Here is the story of one such quack whose fasting therapy resulted in many deaths, a story that is so bizarre and horrific that it's hard to believe it really happened, but it did.

/ December 13, 2016
Yes, it's true that placebos are just as powerful as homeopathy. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean what believers in integrative medicine think it does.

Can the mind really heal the body? The false narrative of placebo “healing” revisited

Placebo effects are inextricably bound to the question of whether the alternative medicine modalities that are being “integrated” into medicine actually have any useful therapeutic effects or not; i.e., whether they are merely placebos. Here, I examine an article in National Geographic that peddles the false narrative that placebo effects have real "healing" powers against diseases like Parkinson's disease.

/ December 12, 2016
Server Migration

Announcement: Server migration this weekend

Our long-needed server migration has begun. While we were at it, we threw in modernization of the SBM template for mobile-friendliness, cooler-looking images, and, we hope, an overall better reading experience. Enjoy.

/ December 9, 2016
capa_do_livro

Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. Compare and Contrast.

What? I’m not on vacation? I have to write a post? Crap. Remember those college essays? Compare and Contrast two topics and fill a Blue Book with your wisdom. Well, let's compare and contrast reiki and therapeutic touch, henceforth known as RATT.

/ December 9, 2016
The Integrative Medicine Wheel: False hope and lies

State Medical Boards should not recognize board certification in “Integrative Medicine”

Integrative medicine is not a real specialty in medicine. Let's not treat it as though it were.

/ December 8, 2016
vegetablesgmo

We still Need Better Communication on GMOs

A new PEW survey has been carried out regarding public attitudes toward genetically modified organisms (GMOs), organic food, and scientific consensus. While the numbers are better than I expected for science, they still indicate a large disconnect between scientific and public opinion on food matters. Scientists need to do better.

/ December 7, 2016
Harriet Hall

Announcement: Harriet Hall will not be posting today, and here’s why

I have bad news to announce to our readers. While traveling in Australia, SBM stalwart and founding editor Harriet Hall suffered a fall and significant injury. Australian skeptic and friend of the blog Eren Segev has the news, and this is all I know other than what Steve Novella told me the other day in an e-mail. It wasn’t any more than...

/ December 6, 2016
What is it with causes like alternative medicine and getting naked except for body paint?

A Rolling Stone gathers no science-based medicine—but does gather a lot of quackery

Say it ain't so, Ron. Say it ain't so that you and your family love homeopathy and that you all believe that apricot pits cure breast cancer!

/ December 5, 2016