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Posts

April 24, 2014

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12:18 PM | Ernst on Homeopathy
Edzard Ernst is one of my intellectual heroes. If you are a skeptic, you need to know who he is. He began his career amenable to the claims of alternative medicine. He became the world’s first professor of complementary and alternative medicine, and set about to do the one thing that no other CAM proponent [...]
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7:50 AM | An herbal medicine clinic at the Cleveland Clinic: Quackademia triumphant
I don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned my connection with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). I probably have, but just don’t remember it. Longtime readers might recall that I did my general surgery training at Case Western Reserve University at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Indeed, I did my PhD there as well in the Department…
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7:50 AM | An herbal medicine clinic at the Cleveland Clinic: Quackademia triumphant
I don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned my connection with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). I probably have, but just don’t remember it. Longtime readers might recall that I did my general surgery training at Case Western Reserve University at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Indeed, I did my PhD there as well in the Department…

April 17, 2014

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5:00 AM | What Whole Foods Markets Doesn’t Tell You
Whole Foods Market is a relentlessly hip American supermarket chain which prides itself on organic fruits and vegetables, gluten-free just-about-everything, and high-end touches like wine bars and exotic take out items (roasted yucca, anyone?). The health products aisle is stocked with Bach Flower and homeopathic remedies. For example, in-house brand Flu Ease: “an established homeopathic […]

April 15, 2014

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6:17 PM | Pox Parties for Dogs: Brought to You by Veterinary Homeopaths
When I first heard of Pox Parties, I found it amazing, and frightening, that people actually fear vaccines so much that they will deliberately expose their children to infectious disease to avoid them. Such parents take their children to play … Continue reading →
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10:00 AM | CRTKL: Homeopathy and Ritalin
If you missed my talk entitled “CRTKL: The Critical Reasoning Tool Kit Lecture”, here’s a clip from it: Continue reading →

April 14, 2014

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12:19 PM | Homeopathy Awareness Week: how do you approve a course for something known not to work?
Homeopathy[1] uses solutions diluted until the active ingredients are no longer present—water basically[2]—to treat illnesses.[3] The premise of homeopathy is so absurd, it opens itself to parody.[4] More seriously, homeopathy has been examined and found to be ineffective with several formal reports saying so. Fellow blogger Siouxsie mentions one such report from the Australian National [...]
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10:04 AM | Homeopathy Awareness Week
April 10th-16th is World Homeopathy Awareness week, organised by the World Homeopathy Awareness Organisation. April 10th is the birthday of the originator of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann. In case you need reminding what homeopathy is, it is based on Hahnemann’s bizarre doctrine that substances which cause disease symptoms in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in [...]

April 11, 2014

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1:35 PM | Homeopathy awareness can make the world a healthier, happier place | Michael Marshall
As anyone who has explained homeopathic dilution to an incredulous colleague will attest, raising awareness of homeopathy is the quickest way to dispel any belief in itWorld Homeopathy Awareness Week the annual promotional campaign organised by homeopaths around the world kicked off on Thursday. This year, rather than ignore it, moan about it or condemn it, scientists and sceptics alike should join in.This may seem somewhat perverse especially given the comprehensive evisceration of […]
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11:00 AM | Faith healing everywhere in medical academia
When I’m trying to demonstrate the utter implausibility and mystical pseudoscience behind so much of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), which is now more commonly referred to (by its advocates, at least) as “integrative medicine,” I like to point to two examples in particular of modalities that are so utterly ridiculous in concept that anyone…
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11:00 AM | Faith healing everywhere in medical academia
When I’m trying to demonstrate the utter implausibility and mystical pseudoscience behind so much of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), which is now more commonly referred to (by its advocates, at least) as “integrative medicine,” I like to point to two examples in particular of modalities that are so utterly ridiculous in concept that anyone…
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8:29 AM | Friday Links
1. A nice talk on category theory 2. Reevaluating electroshock therapy 3. It’s world homeopathy awareness week! I’ll quote @mocost on twitter: It’s World Homeopathy Awareness Week, apparently. Are you aware that homeopathy is pseudoscientific bullshit? 4. Angst in Germany over English invasion. I liked this … Continue reading →

April 10, 2014

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9:47 PM | CRTKL Follow-up: The Videos You Didn’t Get to See
First of all, I want to thank everyone who came to the “Critical Reasoning Tool Kit Lecture” last night at McGill University. I received great feedback from the people who came to see me afterwards and it was particularly stimulating for me to be talking about critical thinking to people outside of the usual local … Continue reading →

April 09, 2014

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6:53 PM | Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Review Concludes Homeopathy Doesn’t Work
When I reviewed the case against homeopathy as part of the debate over the AVMA resolution to acknowledge it as a placebo therapy, there were many previous reviews to refer to. In addition to the numerous systematic reviews of the … Continue reading →
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6:22 PM | Of course it doesn’t work, there’s NOTHING IN IT
Homeopathy fails. Again. And again. And again… A Major Australian Health Study Has Concluded Homeopathy Is A Total Joke, Doesn’t Work The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a draft information paper which says there’s no evidence that homeopathy is an effective health treatment. The review by the research council found there’s… Source: Doubtful News
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11:55 AM | Another Damning Homeopathy Report
What will it take? That is the lingering question, one that has significant implications for the legitimacy and effectiveness of our professional and regulatory institutions. Homeopathy is 100% pure nonsense. It is one of the so-called “alternative” medical systems that has absolutely no basis in reality. It is magic-based medicine. It is based on two-centuries-old […]

April 04, 2014

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7:03 AM | Completing a trio of antivaccine-sympathetic California pediatricians
I appear to have fallen into one of my ruts again. Or maybe it’s not a rut. I just feel as though I’ve been doing too many posts on the antivaccine movement, to the point where I wonder if I’m starting to fall into a rut. In actuality, it doesn’t really matter. If I feel…

April 01, 2014

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2:02 AM | April’s Fool or just plain Fool?
The number of people who have died in Guinea from Ebola virus infection is now at 78, and Médecins sans Frontières says the country faces an unprecedented epidemic. Two sisters have died in neighbouring Liberia, one of whom had recently returned from Guinea, and Senegal has closed its borders with the west African country. Despite [...]

March 27, 2014

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5:15 PM | Homeopathic remedy contains actual medicine? Stop selling it!
We threw this story into leftovers a few days ago but the idea of an active ingredient in homeopathic preparation (not on purpose) was just so hilarious that it’s making the round in mainstream media today. The joke is “Homeopathy – there’s nothing in it!” Oops… Homeopathy product recalled over fears it may contain actual… Source: Doubtful News
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1:51 PM | Homeopathic remedies recalled for containing real medicine
They actually contain ingredients for a change, and that could be harmful.
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11:00 AM | A disturbing example of quackademic medicine at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center
Note: I was busy doing something last night that left me no time to compose any fresh Insolence, which will become apparent by this weekend. In the meantime, however, I’m betting quite a few of you haven’t seen this before, and those who have might want to discuss it further in a different environment. Quackademic…

March 25, 2014

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11:29 PM | Wikipedia founder calls alt-medicine practitioners “lunatic charlatans”
Wales to activists who want new rules for Wikipedia: "No, you have to be kidding me."
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7:34 AM | An excellent response to complaints about medical topics on Wikipedia
After the last couple of days of depressing posts about the utter failure of the FDA to do its job protecting cancer patients from the likes of Stanislaw burzynski, it’s time to move on. Given how utterly demoralizing it was to see the FDA, in essence, pass the buck when it comes to protecting cancer…
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