Category: Science and the Media

Bowling Green Police investigate Dr. Gonzalez's murder.

“Chemotherapy is for losers”: A tragic tale of cancer, naturopathic quackery, and murder

When a patient and her family trust a naturopath rather than oncologists and oncologic surgeons, the result is often tragic. In this case, Fikreta Ibrisevic trusted naturopath Juan Sanchez Gonzalez instead of real doctors to treat her rhabdomyosarcoma in 2015. The results were as tragic as expected, and she died. What happened next was not expected and amplified the horror of the...

/ March 13, 2017
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Robert De Niro at the antivaccine "challenge."

Prove the scientific consensus and win a prize: A time-dishonored PR ploy used by cranks, quacks, and pseudoscientists (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. edition)

Last week, antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. teamed up with Robert De Niro to issue a challenge to provide one scientific study that proves thimerosal in vaccines is safe, with a cash prize of $100,000. They thus joined a long line of antivaxers, creationists, and climate science denialists offering money to "prove" the scientific consensus. Science doesn't work that way.

/ February 20, 2017
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

The Medical Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute spewed antivaccine misinformation last week. Why is anyone surprised?

A social media firestorm erupted over the weekend after Dr. Daniel Neides, Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, posted an article full of antivaccine misinformation. The Cleveland Clinic promptly disavowed it, but shouldn't have been surprised that one of its "integrative medicine" leaders is antivaccine. If you "integrate" medicine that teaches that "toxins" cause disease and "detoxification" is the cure, antivaccine...

/ January 9, 2017
nof1book2c

Myths integrative medicine sells us: “We never advocate alternative medicine without conventional medicine”

"Integrative medicine" (IM) effectively integrates quackery with real medicine. The main talking point by advocates of IM meant to deflect this criticism is that IM practitioners always use alternative medicine with conventional medicine and never advocate the use of alternative medicine alone. A new book by a prominent advocate of IM suggests that this talking point is at best self-delusion among academics...

/ January 8, 2017
The Infinite Bridge to Nowhere

The Never-Ending Unchanging Story

NaturalNews.com is one of the most highly trafficked alternative medicine websites in existence. Even though its owner, Mike Adams, has become a rising star in the alt right and has also gone full conspiracy theorist à la Alex Jones, that doesn't mean he's given up promoting medical pseudoscience. He's still at it, this time continuing to make unsupported claims about fluoride in...

/ January 3, 2017
Money down the drain

Son of (the unethical and unscientific) Trial To Assess Chelation Therapy rears its ugly head to the tune of $37 million

First, the NCCIH and NHLBI spend $30 million on a clinical trial of quackery for cardiovascular disease that produces predictably negative to at best equivocal results. Then that result, apparently, is enough to justify wasting another $37 million on a followup study—while dozens of other deserving studies go unfunded. Meanwhile STAT News lionizes the principal investigator of both trials as a brave...

/ December 28, 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
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
Trump is OK with pseudoscience

“Donald Trump’s presidential election win stuns scientists”

Scientists in the U.S. and from around the world are weighing in on Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the most powerful country on earth: Trump will be the first anti-science president we have ever had . . . The consequences are going to be very, very severe. Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society in...

/ November 10, 2016
Will this help me live longer?

Positive Psychology and Health

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Gorski is on a brief vacation this week; in his place we offer new guest contributor Michael Booth’s inaugural post. Enjoy!] The belief that positivity can prolong life or improve health seems ubiquitous. It is a claim that is repeated often in popular media, and fills countless pages of self-help books on happiness, thriving, optimism, and so on. But...

/ November 7, 2016