Category: Critical Thinking

Ebola conspiracy theories: Same as it ever was

Does anyone remember the H1N1 influenza pandemic? As hard as it is to believe, that was five years ago. One thing I remember about the whole thing is just how crazy both the antivaccine movement and conspiracy theorists (but I repeat myself) went attacking reasonable public health campaigns to vaccinate people against H1N1. It was truly an eye-opener, surpassing even what I...

/ October 18, 2014

Yahoo News spews NaturalNews anti-vaccine (and other) propaganda

Yahoo News appears to have confused NaturalNews with actual news. It’s not. NaturalNews is the in-house propaganda organ for Mike Adams, whom I’ll introduce in a minute (although he needs no introduction for most readers here). A couple of recent examples:     A recycled story, over a year old, from NaturalNews, appearing on Yahoo News last week. It starts out as...

/ October 2, 2014

The Human Mold: Another Example of Self-Deception

José Jarimba believes that our bodies are physically molded into an asymmetric form by our mothers’ sleeping positions during pregnancy, that this has lifelong adverse impacts on health, and that shoe inserts can eliminate pain and other health problems by realigning the body. This is a silly untested hypothesis by a single individual. As such, it would be too minor to merit...

/ September 16, 2014

The Unpersuadables

We would like to believe people are rational. We would like to believe that if they have formed a false belief based on inaccurate information and poor reasoning, they will change that belief when they are provided with accurate information and better reasoning. We are frequently disappointed. An example of what should happen I recently talked with a college professor who believed...

/ September 2, 2014

The false dichotomies of CAM and “integrative medicine”

A lot of medical specialties have throwaway newspapers/magazines that are supported by advertising and somehow mysteriously managed to show up for free in the mailboxes of practitioners. In my case, I’ve found myself on the subscription list for such papers about oncology, but also general surgery (I’m Board-certified as a general surgeon). When I have to recertify in about three years, it...

/ August 17, 2014

How “they” view “us” revisited: Mike Adams goes off the deep end

Internet crank and quack Mike Adams recently likened Monsanto and its supporters to Nazis, as he so frequently does when it comes to people and companies he hates. This time he went too far, echoing the sentiment that "“it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of...

/ July 27, 2014

Why People Continue to use SCAMs

I remain curious as to why people use, and continue to use, useless pseudo-medicines. I read the literature, but I find the papers unsatisfactory. They seem incomplete, and I suspect there are as many reasons people choose a pseudo-medicine as those use them. There are numerous surveys on what SCAMs people use. Designing and offering these surveys to every possible medical condition...

/ July 25, 2014

NY federal court hands triple loss to anti-vaccination ideology

The state of New York allows religious and medical (but not philosophical) exemptions from school vaccination mandates. New York City has a policy of excluding unvaccinated schoolchildren from classes when there is an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease reported in a particular school. Two sets of parents whose children had religious exemptions sued New York City and the state in federal court when...

/ June 26, 2014

More Dialogs

There is no alternative medicine. There is only scientifically proven, evidence-based medicine supported by solid data or unproven medicine, for which scientific evidence is lacking. JAMA Just just because there are flaws in aircraft design that doesn’t mean flying carpets exist. Ben Goldacre Wiser heads than I have commented on “Invitation to a Dialogue: Alternative Therapies” in The New York Times. So...

/ May 16, 2014

The false dilemma of David Katz: Abandon patients or abandon science

Dr. David L. Katz is apparently unhappy with me. You remember Dr. Katz, don’t you? If you don’t, I’ll remind you momentarily. If you do, you won’t be surprised. Let me explain a bit first how Dr. Katz recently became aware of me again. Last week, I posted a short (for me) piece about something that disturbed both Steve Novella and myself,...

/ May 5, 2014