Category: Science and the Media

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

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 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

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

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

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

“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

The stem cell hard sell, Stemedica edition

Stemedica Cell Technologies, a San Diego company that markets stem cell treatments for all manner of ailments, likes to represent itself as very much science-based. There are very good reasons to question that characterization, based on the histories of the people who run the company, as well as the company's behavior.

/ September 26, 2016

The stem cell hard sell

There are, unfortunately, a lot of clinics in the US that offer stem cell therapies for indications ranging from heart disease to anti-aging to even autism without good evidence that these therapies are actually efficacious. Real stem cell scientist Paul Knoepfler attended an informational seminar on stem cell therapies offered by a major clinic. Not surprisingly, it was more marketing than informational....

/ August 22, 2016

Deconstructing Homeopathy Propaganda

The definition of “propaganda,” like so many things, is a bit fuzzy. The dictionary definition is: “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.” There is no sharp demarcation line, however. Speech occurs on a spectrum from obsessively objective, fair, balanced, and scholarly at one end, to deliberately deceptive...

/ August 17, 2016