Category: Critical Thinking

Sneeze COVID

Is COVID-19 transmitted by airborne aerosols?

A recurring debate about COVID-19 bubbled up late last week, when a group of scientists announced an as-yet unpublished open letter to the World Health Organization arguing that COVID-19 transmission is airborne and urging it to change its recommendations. What is this debate about, and, if coronavirus is airborne, should we be more scared?

/ July 6, 2020
Mask exemption

Misinformation and disinformation about facemasks and COVID-19

As evidence accumulates that facemasks work to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19, new myths have arisen claiming that, not only do facemasks not work, but that they are actively harmful. These myths have no basis in physiology or chemistry, but that hasn't stopped anti-mask activists from using them to claim protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

/ June 29, 2020

Don’t Believe What You Think

A new book by Edzard Ernst provides a concise course in critical thinking as well as a wealth of good science-based information to counter the widespread misinformation about SCAM.

/ May 19, 2020

Medical conspiracy theories and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned almost innumerable conspiracy theories, and conspiracists like the antivaccine movement have joined forces with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists. To combat the proliferation of pseudoscience rooted in conspiracy theories, it is useful to step back and examine the nature of conspiracy theories, including ones that are not medical, even ones like QAnon. Critical thinking is the key to inoculating...

/ May 18, 2020
Judy Mikovits on Pandemic

Plandemic: Judy Mikovits and the mother of all COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Judy Mikovits is a disgraced scientist who published a paper claiming that a retrovirus called XMRV causes chronic fatigue syndrome, results that other investigators were unable to replicate. Since then, she's been a regular on the antivaccine circuit, but now she's been reborn as a "Fire Fauci" COVID-19 conspiracy theorist. Sadly, it worked. Her book is #1 on Amazon.

/ May 8, 2020
COVID-19

COVID-19: Out-of-control science and bypassing science-based medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there hasn't just been a pandemic of coronavirus-caused disease. There's also a pandemic of misinformation and bad science. It turns out that doctors today are just as prone as doctors 100 years ago during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic to bypass science-based medicine in their desperation to treat patients.

/ May 4, 2020

Pitfalls in Research: Why Studies Are More Often Wrong than Right

Here is a course guide to episode 9, "Pitfalls of Research", of my YouTube lecture series on science-based medicine.

/ March 3, 2020
James Lyons-Weiler and Del Bigtree discussing coronavirus

No, James Lyons-Weiler did not “break the coronavirus code”

Last week, a new conspiracy theory about the coronavirus outbreak by James Lyons-Weiler went viral (if you'll excuse the term) after antivax conspiracy theorist Del Bigtree interviewed him. Lyons-Weiler strongly implies that the strain of coronavirus behind the outbreak (2019-nCoV) has a SARS-like sequence that came from a laboratory working on a SARS vaccine. Fortunately, Dr. Gorski has the mad molecular biology...

/ February 10, 2020
medical errors in surgery

Are medical errors really the third most common cause of death in the U.S.? (2020 edition)

The claim that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US has always rested on very shaky evidence; yet it has become common wisdom that is cited as though everyone accepts it. But if estimates of 250,000 to 400,000 deaths due to medical error are way too high, what is the real number? A recently published study suggests...

/ February 3, 2020

Reproducibility Follow Up

Let's explore dueling narratives about the reproducibility "crisis."

/ October 16, 2019