Tag: pseudoscience

Of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy, Bayes, the NIH, and Human Studies Ethics

An experiment is ethical or not at its inception; it does not become ethical post hoc—ends do not justify means. ~ Henry K. Beecher A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Josephine Briggs, the Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), posted a short essay on the NCCAM Research Blog touting the results of the Trial to Assess Chelation...

/ May 30, 2014

Measles gets a helping hand

In a recent post I shared a bit of my personal, near-death experience with measles during the US epidemic of 1989-1991. As I describe in that post, I contracted a very serious measles infection at the end of medical school, and was highly infectious when I interviewed for a residency position at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Like others my age who received an...

/ February 28, 2014
Chris Wark didn't beat cancer

Yes, Chris beat cancer, but it wasn’t quackery that cured him

Chris Wark is a young man who was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2003 at age 26. He underwent appropriate surgery for his cancer but declined adjuvant chemotherapy in favor of quackery. Now promotes his testimonial, in which he tries to convince people that it was the quackery, rather than the surgery, that cured him. He even claims that surgery...

/ October 15, 2013

Antivaccine versus anti-GMO: Different goals, same methods

Countering ideologically motivated bad science, pseudoscience, misinformation, and lies is one of the main purposes of this blog. Specifically, we try to combat such misinformation in medicine; elsewhere Steve and I, as well as some of our other “partners in crime” combat other forms of pseudoscience. During the nearly five year existence of this blog, we’ve covered a lot of topics in...

/ October 1, 2012

ASEA: Another Expensive Way to Buy Water

ASEA is an expensive way to buy salt water, backed up by an enormous number of sciencey-sounding buzzwords and no meaningful evidence, all wrapped up in a multi-level marketing scheme designed to separate the credulous from their money. Don't buy it.

/ August 7, 2012

Steve Novella vs. Julian Whitaker on vaccines at FreedomFest

While I and some of the others in the SBM crew were at The Amazing Meeting (TAM) in Las Vegas, our fearless leader Steve Novella got an interesting challenge: To debate Dr. Julian Whitaker about vaccines at a libertarian confab known as FreedomFest, which just so happened to be going on up the strip a piece at the same time TAM was....

/ July 16, 2012

Foolishness or Fraud? Bogus Science at NCCAM

Voodoo science is a sort of background noise, annoying but rarely rising to a level that seriously interferes with genuine scientific discourse… The more serious threat is to the public, which is not often in a position to judge which claims are real and which are voodoo. Those who are fortunate enough to have chosen science as a career have an obligation...

/ June 8, 2012

Update: Homeopathy in Brazilian Scientific American

Last week I wrote about a regrettable piece on homeopathy that was published in Scientific American Brasil.  There have been gratifying developments. Within hours, the editor in chief of Scientific American, Mariette DiChristina, appeared in the Comments. She said that Scientific American does not condone the pseudoscience of homeopathy, that the piece clearly should not have been published, that it would never have...

/ April 10, 2012

SANE Vax adopts Dr. Hanan Polansky’s “microcompetition” as its own. Hilarity ensues.

One of the hallmarks of science as it has been practiced for the last century or so is that scientists share their discoveries in the peer-reviewed literature, where their fellow scientists can evaluate them, decide if they’re interesting, and then replicate them, usually as a prelude to building upon them. While the system of publication and peer review in science is anything...

/ February 20, 2012

Bravewell Bimbo Eruptions

This is yet another response to the recent “Integrative Medicine in America” report published by the Bravewell Collaborative. Drs. Novella and Gorski have already given that report its due, so I won’t repeat the background information. Inevitably, I’ll cover some of the same points, but I’ll also try to emphasize a few that stand out to me. Most of these have been...

/ February 17, 2012