Category: Critical Thinking

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

Professor Gives Grades to Alternative Medicine

Edzard Ernst assigns a grade to 150 alternative medicine modalities, evaluating plausibility, efficacy, safety, cost, and risk/benefit balance. A very useful reference.

/ September 17, 2019

The Scientific Attitude, Not the Scientific Method, Is the Key

A philosopher of science argues that science is not characterized by a specific scientific method but by the scientific attitude. Scientists value empirical evidence and follow the evidence wherever it leads. They are open to changing their mind rather than stubbornly clinging to an ideological belief system.

/ May 7, 2019

Pseudoscience in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

This new book addresses the neglected field of research on child and adolescent psychotherapy and does an excellent job of distinguishing treatments that have been proven to work from treatments that are based on pseudoscience.

/ April 30, 2019

Great Courses: Skeptic’s Guide to Health, Medicine, and the Media

Dr. Roy Benaroch's course offers a toolkit of six questions we can use to evaluate the truth behind the often misleading media reports on health topics. It is a valuable companion to the Science-Based Medicine blog.

/ April 2, 2019

Soothing Your Heart: Does practicing self-compassion have physical and mental health benefits?

Does a recent study demonstrate that being kind to yourself has benefits for your mental and physical health?

/ April 1, 2019