October 24, 2014

12:00 PM | Your Friday Dose of Woo: Just what acupuncture needs. Holograms. And more quantum.
It’s been a bit of a depressing week. I suppose it’s not any more depressing than usual, with the usual unending stream of pseudoscience, quackery (particularly of the Ebola type), and, of course, antivaccine nonsense to deal with. Then, as I’m writing yet another in a long line of unfunded grants, I find out that…

October 23, 2014

6:00 AM | Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield send a complaint to the CDC about its vaccine research. Everyone yawns.
The antivaccine movement and conspiracy theories go together like beer and Buffalo wings, except that neither are as good as, yes, beer and Buffalo wings. Maybe it’s more like manure and compost. In any case, the antivaccine movement is rife with conspiracy theories. I’ve heard and written about more than I can remember right now,…

October 22, 2014

9:14 AM | An anonymous Canadian foundation grants $4 million to study “integrative oncology”
Supporters of science-based medicine and keeping pseudoscience out of medicine have a few years to prepare for an onslaught of crappy studies “proving” the value of “integrative” oncology. No doubt at this point you’re wondering just what the heck Orac is talking about. I will tell you. It involves an institution we’ve encountered before and…

October 21, 2014

11:00 AM | The Science of Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. In the Western world, acupuncture has been a highly controversial therapy, mostly due to the lack of scientific explanations for its mechanisms of action. Nevertheless, acupuncture has become increasingly accepted, having spread worldwide and having become a frequently sought-after alternative therapy. In 1997, […]
10:00 AM | Oh goody. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is fast approaching.
A mere couple of weeks ago, I was beginning to “celebrate” a week designated to celebrate the sheer quackiness of the quackery that is naturopathy. True, that’s not what the woo-friendly Senators and Representatives who imposed Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014 on a disinterested world that didn’t need, want, or understand it. They represented it as…

October 20, 2014

7:05 AM | An old “friend” thinks Ayurvedic “auto-urine therapy” can cure Ebola
I’m beginning to feel that I’m flogging a topic a bit too hard again. Usually, this happens primarily when I’m on a roll over some particularly tasty ridiculous tidbit of antivaccine nonsense. This time around, it’s not so much antivaccine nonsense (although some did manage to slip its way into the discussion) but rather Ebola…

October 17, 2014

1:45 PM | How “they” view “us,” Ebola edition
I realize that yesterday’s post was even longer than my usual post (and, given who I am, that’s saying something), but there was a thought that popped up last night about the Ebola conspiracy theories that I discussed that I can’t resist finishing the week on with a (hopefully) much more concise post. (I know,…

October 15, 2014

1:20 PM | The victims of Andrew Wakefield
Things got a bit hectic the other day; so if this seems familiar, forgive me. On the other hand, I do believe that this material is probably more suited to this blog rather than other blogs, given the history here and how long I’ve been covering the quackery spawned by Andrew Wakefield, arguably the most…

October 14, 2014

10:00 AM | Quackademic medicine in Connecticut
A common topic that I’ve written about since the very beginning of this blog is the infiltration of quackery into what were formerly bastions of science-based medicine. Most recently, I lamented just how far this process has progressed at the Cleveland Clinic, as evidenced by its recent opening of a clinic devoted to the quackery…

October 13, 2014

7:00 AM | Antiperspirants: Not a cause of breast cancer
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post in which I explained why wearing a bra does not cause breast cancer. After I had finished the post, it occurred to me that I should have saved that post for now, given that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The reason is that, like clockwork, pretty…

October 10, 2014

10:45 AM | Sh*t naturopaths say, part 2: Naturopathic education and science
Well, Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014 (or, as I like to refer to it, Quackery Week) is fast drawing to a close; so I figured I’d end it with one last post. Since several of you liked my post a couple of days ago Sh*t naturopaths say and agreed with me when I suggested at the…

October 09, 2014

7:00 AM | Quackademic medicine marches on: George Washington University and the University of Toronto
Quackery has been steadily infiltrating academic medicine for at least two decades now in the form of what was once called “complementary and alternative medicine” but is now more commonly referred to as “integrative medicine.” Of course, as I’ve written many times before, what “integrative medicine” really means is the “integration” of quackery with science-…

October 08, 2014

12:30 PM | Sh*t naturopaths say
I mentioned yesterday that this week is Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014, or, as I like to call it, Quackery Week. At the time, I wasn’t sure when or if I was going to do another post about the quackery that is naturopathy this week. I was going to play it by ear and see what…

October 07, 2014

7:00 AM | Time for Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014, a.k.a. Quackery Week
In my eagerness to note that Brian Hooker’s “reanalysis” of a ten year old study that failed to find a correlation between vaccines and autism had been retracted, I forgot to write about what I was originally planning on writing about yesterday. It actually would have been more appropriate a topic for yesterday, because it…

October 06, 2014

4:05 AM | It’s official! Brian Hooker’s “reanalysis” of MMR data is retracted.
These things always seem to happen on Friday. Well, not really. It’s probably just confirmation bias, but it seems that a lot of things I’d like to blog about happen on a Friday. That leaves me the choice of either breaking my unofficial rule not to blog on the weekend or waiting until Monday, when…

October 03, 2014

1:20 PM | When the outbreaks occur, they’ll start in California, 2014 edition
Countering the misinformation regularly promulgated by the antivaccine movement, be it antivaccinationists who are completely off the deep end, like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the crew at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, or that epitome of the Dunning-Kruger effect mixed with an annoying self-absorption and coffee klatch vibe (that is when it’s not…

October 02, 2014

1:00 PM | And so it begins: Breast Cancer Awareness Month brings out the cancer quacks
As I mentioned yesterday, here it’s that time of year again: October. Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While the topic of my post then was how antivaccine activists have tried to glom on to the attention that Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets in order to create their fake “awareness month” known as “Vaccine Injury Awareness Month,”…

October 01, 2014

4:00 PM | Antivaccine cranks try to create Vaccine Injury Awareness Month. Everyone either yawns or laughs.
Normally, these days I greet the month of October with a mixture of anticipation and dread. The anticipation stems from October’s position as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Now that somehow I’ve managed to have a variety of responsibilities with respect to how breast cancer is managed at our cancer institute, suddenly I find that I’m…
12:45 PM | The annals of “I’m not anti-vaccine,” part 12: What’s the worst vaccine analogy you’ve heard from antivaccinationists?
Orac is feeling a little under the weather. I appear to have caught some respiratory crud that’s going around, which, fortunately, isn’t so bad that I can’t go to work, particularly given that today is a lab/office day, but unfortunately made me feel too tired last night to create one of my usual peerless examples…

September 30, 2014

7:00 AM | The annals of “I’m not anti-vaccine,” part 11: Vaccination portrayed as rape
One of the things you can say to someone who is antivaccine that will really tick them off is to “call it like you see it” and call them antivaccine. Sure, there are a few antivaccine activists who are antivaccine and unashamed of it, but most antivaccinationists, sensing that society in general quite correctly takes…

September 26, 2014

12:30 PM | The Food Babe and Rob Schneider: When companies choose poorly
It’s been a bad week for celebrity quacks; that is, after starting out looking as though it would be a good week. For example, as I discussed a couple of days ago, contender for the title of world’s most brain dead antivaccine conspiracy theorist, washed up comedian Rob Schneider, having somehow managed to land a…

September 25, 2014

1:00 PM | The FDA cracks down on Ebola quacks, and Mike Adams loses it
Ever since the latest outbreak of Ebola viral disease in West Africa, there has been panic that’s metastasized to the US, even though the risk of a major outbreak here is very low. Unfortunately, whenever there’s panic over a disease, whatever the disease is, there soon follows quackery in response to that panic, from quacks…
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