Category: History

J.B. Handley versus vaccine science. Again. Not surprisingly, J.B. loses.

Our old friend anti antivaccine activist J. B. Handley invokes the "vaccines didn't save us" gambit. It doesn't go well for him.

/ August 13, 2018
Microscope

Science-based medicine versus other ways of knowing

It has been our position that science is the most effective means of determining medical treatments that work and whose benefits outweigh their risks. Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient knowledge from other cultures and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?

/ June 11, 2018

A Feast of Science

Dr. Joe Schwarcz's new book is a banquet of easily digested, fascinating information about chemistry, history, science, alternative medicine, critical thinking, and current trends. It entertains as it informs.

/ May 22, 2018
Daylight Saving Time

The adverse health effects of the lunacy that is Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time has been around for over 100 years. Why does it still persist when there's little or no evidence that it does what it was intended to do (save energy) and growing evidence of adverse health effects related to the twice a year time change? That's a good question. It's time to get rid of this antiquated practice.

/ March 12, 2018

The Six Month Dental Recall – Science or Legend?

The evidence to support dental cleaning every six months is...less than ideal, but it still may be a good idea for many people.

/ February 23, 2018

Freud Was a Fraud: A Triumph of Pseudoscience

Frederick Crews has written a reassessment of Freud based on newly available correspondence and re-evaluation of previously available materials. He shows that Freud was a fraud who deceived himself and succumbed to pseudoscience.

/ December 12, 2017

Fun with Spanish Flu Myths

There are many myths about the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Some of them are pretty funny.

/ June 20, 2017

Bellevue

Harriet is back! This time, she reviews Bellvue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by Pulitzer-prize-winning history professor David Oshinsky. Bellevue was, and is, a microcosm of American history and politics, as well as the history of modern medicine itself. Highly recommended!

/ January 17, 2017

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

In Pursuit of Patient Safety

[Editor’s note: With Dr. Gorski enjoying a vacation to recharge his batteries, we present a second offering from contributor James Thomas. Enjoy!] Advocates of CAM* (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) have long argued that mainstream medicine is a dangerous undertaking using toxic drugs and invasive interventions that often do more harm than good, while the various quackeries huddled under the CAM umbrella are...

/ August 8, 2016