Tag: quackery

Why It’s Worthwhile to Debunk Shivambu

Richard Feynman famously said, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool". This is the most important lesson skepticism has to offer.

/ December 17, 2021

Quack Protection Acts advance in state legislatures

Proposed laws in Wisconsin and Massachusetts would protect quacks who defraud patients with useless, and sometimes dangerous, nostrums, by essentially allowing them to practice medicine without a license. These Quack Protection Acts should not pass.

/ December 2, 2021
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy”

There's a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it's just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It's the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but "medical devices," "gene therapy," or "experimental biologics" and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based...

/ February 8, 2021

All science denial is a form of conspiracy theory

Regular readers of this blog know that many forms of quackery and science denial have conspiracy theories associated with them, but a further examination suggests that all forms of science denial are a form of conspiracy theory. In the middle of a deadly pandemic, science denial represents a form of conspiracy theory with potentially deadly consequences.

/ January 25, 2021

Responding to Dr. Vinay Prasad’s “dunking on a 7′ hoop” criticism of SBM

Last week, Dr. Vinay Prasad decided to resurrect his misguided criticism from over a year ago likening SBM-style criticisms of alternative medicine to "dunking on a 7' hoop". Why he would decide to renew his attack on combating science disinformation in the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans alone we don't know, but Drs. Novella and Gorski...

/ December 13, 2020

FDA and FTC issue more warning letters citing products and services making illegal COVID claims

The FDA and FTC have issued hundreds of warnings to companies selling products and services claiming, without adequate evidence, that they can prevent or treat COVID-19, but the possibility of government action doesn't seem to be a deterrence.

/ November 19, 2020
Stem cells

Dubious stem cell trials for autism and the darker side of quackademic medicine

Despite a lack of evidence, Duke University is all-in on stem cells for autism, thanks to a billionaire benefactor and a highly dodgy for-profit Panama stem cell clinic. How did this come to be and what will be the outcome? Whatever the answers to these questions, it is clear that arrangements like the one between Duke University and The Stem Cell Institute...

/ November 2, 2020
COVID-19 denial and antivaxxers

The confluence of antivaccine beliefs and conspiracy theories in COVID-19 denial

It surprised some people that after the COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores antivaxxers so quickly joined forces with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists. It shouldn't have been a surprise. Antivaxxer beliefs are themselves rooted deep in conspiracy theories.

/ September 28, 2020

A Poorly Conceived Study Fails to Prove Ayurveda Works

Quackery is alive, well, and government-supported in India, as demonstrated by a terrible study of Ayurveda.

/ July 17, 2020

The Questionable Ethics of Medical Grade Nonsense: Chinese Herbal Medicine and Kawasaki Disease

A toddler in China with Kawasaki disease was treated with herbs and potions rather than science, and is extremely lucky to have survived without serious complications.

/ July 10, 2020