Posts

October 20, 2014

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12:20 PM | Australia’s Head Of Science And Industry Research (CSIRO) Gets Dippy Over Dowsing
You might be wondering if it’s some kind of joke: He’s interested in the development of technology that would make it easier for farmers to dowse or divine for water on their properties. “I’ve seen people do this with close to 80 per cent accuracy and I’ve no idea how they do it,” he said.… Source: Doubtful News
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11:43 AM | Read: The Facts on Chiropractic
This is required reading. Questions and Answers about Chiropractic: The Bottom Line by Sam Homola, a retired chiropractor. Continue reading →
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11:43 AM | Read: The Facts on Chiropractic
This is required reading. Questions and Answers about Chiropractic: The Bottom Line by Sam Homola, a retired chiropractor. Continue reading →

October 18, 2014

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12:25 AM | Masaru Emoto, who believed water reacted to positive speech, has died
Masaru Emoto, 71, died of an illness. His odd and unscientific ideas were accepted by some fringe researchers but never scientifically established as valid. Masaru Emoto Passes Away. Dr. Masaru Emoto a renown scientist that had been visually documenting molecular changes in water by means of his photographic techniques, and in doing so, had expanded… Source: Doubtful News
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12:25 AM | Masaru Emoto, who believed water reacted to positive speech, has died
Masaru Emoto, 71, died of an illness. His odd and unscientific ideas were accepted by some fringe researchers but never scientifically established as valid. Masaru Emoto Passes Away. Dr. Masaru Emoto a renown scientist that had been visually documenting molecular changes in water by means of his photographic techniques, and in doing so, had expanded… Source: Doubtful News

October 17, 2014

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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 16, 2014

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10:36 PM | ‘paleo’ diet? or paleofantasy?
The 'paleo' diet story on Campbell Live tonight spurred me to finish my review of one of the most entertaining popular books on genetics that I have read for some time. Entertaining, and informative, in equal measure. I wonder...
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10:46 AM | Just as the H1N1 conspiracy theory machine did in 2009, the Ebola conspiracy theory machine goes into overdrive
Does anyone remember the H1N1 influenza pandemic? As hard as it is to believe, that was five years ago. One thing I remember about the whole thing is just how crazy both the antivaccine movement and conspiracy theorists (but I repeat myself) went over the public health campaigns to vaccinate people against H1N1. It was…

October 15, 2014

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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

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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

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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 12, 2014

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7:06 PM | Errol Denton fined, no longer practicing, bankrupt and acting kooky
In an update to a story from March and our continued following of the trials of U.K. “live blood analyst quack, Errol Denton was fined for breaching trading standards. Bogus doctor claimed he could cure cancer using herbs, avocado and grape seeds | London – ITV News. A bogus doctor who claimed he could cure cancer… Source: Doubtful News
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5:30 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: Resting Bitch Face, Cepheid Stars, The Romance Myth, and Raising Feminist Toddlers
Categories: Meta StuffTags: 50 Shades of GreyAll About That BassartasexualityBaby Gizmoconference behaviorDBT skillsEscepticafeminismgrounded parentsHenrietta Swan Leavitthigher educationhobbiesLGBT representationMad Art LabMartha ChasemusicParentingpseudoscienceQueerekaresting bitch faceschool of doubtstudent financesteachers contractsteachers unionsteachingTeen SkepchickSunday Funny: The Sake of Argument (via xkcd) Teen Skepchick How Best to Be Pleasingly Decorative to Complete Strangers: […]

October 10, 2014

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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 08, 2014

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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 06, 2014

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3:08 PM | Half-baked ideas about diet, autism and fluoride in Australia
If you don’t know who “celebrity chef” Pete Evans is, you’re probably not Australian – or you missed several years of TV shows involving food judging, food eating, more food judging and eventually judging of what the audience considers nutrition by one of the judges. To be honest, you didn’t miss much; these shows all… Source: Doubtful News
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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 05, 2014

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10:01 PM | Chinese herbal product associated with lead poisoning
Another warning by the US Food and Drug Administration that an imported herbal compound meant for children may contain heavy metals in dangerous amounts. They are unregulated, unproven, and you risk your health when using them. Lead In Chinese Cold Remedy Poisons Toddler; Possible Counterfeit?. An herbal cold remedy called Bo Ying Compound has been… Source: Doubtful News

October 02, 2014

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11:25 PM | Are We Alone? Lorne #Trottier Symposium Next Week!
  The question being asked may be “Are We Alone?”, but I don’t think I will be alone Monday and Tuesday night, attending an all-new edition of the Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium. Dr. Joe Schwarcz hosts a two-night event on the subject of life in the universe, with four qualified speakers: Jim Bell, Jill Tarter, Sarah … Continue reading →

October 01, 2014

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8:57 PM | Using acupuncture to treat knee pain–no evidence
Let’s start right from the beginning–there is no evidence that acupuncture has any significant clinical benefit for any condition. And because there is a small, but significant, risk associated with the acupuncture, the risk to benefit ratio is huge (if not infinity, since there is no benefit). There is simply no reason to accept, even a […]Continue reading «Using acupuncture to treat knee pain–no evidence»
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11:18 AM | Western Medicine Is Not Relative
A couple of weeks ago, the McGill Daily, a student newspaper aimed at the McGill University student body, published a mind-bogling article entitled “Decolonizing healthcare”. In it, its author clumsily argues that medicine is culture and that White people should stop imposing our beliefs in diagnostic tools and validated medical treatments on other ethnic groups. My … Continue reading →

September 30, 2014

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12:17 AM | Pseudoscientific technology for Australian rugby team
This piece that appeared in the Australian media is full of errors, false assumptions and credulity. Just awful! A National rugby team is using controversial new technology to up their game. Or not. Revealed: Sports science secrets of the South Sydney Rabbitohs as they head into grand final. THIS is the top-secret sports science technology… Source: Doubtful News
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12:17 AM | Pseudoscientific technology for Australian rugby team
This piece that appeared in the Australian media is full of errors, false assumptions and credulity. Just awful! A National rugby team is using controversial new technology to up their game. Or not. Revealed: Sports science secrets of the South Sydney Rabbitohs as they head into grand final. THIS is the top-secret sports science technology… Source: Doubtful News
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12:09 AM | A Cure for AIDS that Big Pharma Doesn’t Want! Sounds Familiar?
I was sent a link to the following story by someone who wanted my opinion on it. The article is in French but I will highlight its claims. “Son remède contre le sida, les labos n’en veulent pas” Translation: “Labs don’t want his AIDS remedy.” This is yet another David-versus-Goliath “news” report on a maverick … Continue reading →
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12:09 AM | A Cure for AIDS that Big Pharma Doesn’t Want! Sounds Familiar?
I was sent a link to the following story by someone who wanted my opinion on it. The article is in French but I will highlight its claims. “Son remède contre le sida, les labos n’en veulent pas” Translation: “Labs don’t want his AIDS remedy.” This is yet another David-versus-Goliath “news” report on a maverick … Continue reading →
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12:07 AM | FDA cracks down on essential oils distributors and other “natural health” peddlers
If you can think of a disease or medical condition, somebody somewhere out there will declare it can be treated or cured with an essential oil. Athlete’s foot, candida, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s, depression, cystic fibrosis, cancer, MRSA, ringwork, staph, anxiety, tuberculosis, sinusitis, shingles, pertussis, flu, lupus, ADHD, pneumonia, herpes, high cholesterol, measles, arthritis, bronchitis, inflammation, […]
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12:07 AM | FDA cracks down on essential oils distributors and other “natural health” peddlers
If you can think of a disease or medical condition, somebody somewhere out there will declare it can be treated or cured with an essential oil. Athlete’s foot, candida, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s, depression, cystic fibrosis, cancer, MRSA, ringwork, staph, anxiety, tuberculosis, sinusitis, shingles, pertussis, flu, lupus, ADHD, pneumonia, herpes, high cholesterol, measles, arthritis, bronchitis, inflammation, […]

September 28, 2014

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6:00 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: Numismatic Quilling, Names on Facebook, Atheist Rosh Hashanah, Life Before Disability
Categories: Meta StuffTags: anxietyartatheismbook reviewscollege professorsDBTdisabilityEscepticafacebookfootballgrounded parentsLGBTQMad Art LabMaryam Mirzakhaninamesneil degrasse tysonNFLParentingpersonal storiespseudonamespseudosciencePUAsQueerekaquillingRedefining GirlyReligionRosh Hashanahschool of doubtSkeptabilitysocial skillsteachingTeen SkepchickSunday Funny: Being a woman at an atheist convention. (via Medium) Teen Skepchick The Not So Beautiful Game: In Which Our Intrepid Narrator […]

September 26, 2014

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6:15 PM | “GMO” Foods (Once Again) Proven Safe
GMO, I shudder every time I hear someone talk about the “dangers”. It’s one of the new buzzwords that doesn’t actually mean anything, but still manages to scare people. Well […]

Van Eenennaam AL & Young AE (2014). Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations., Journal of animal science, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25184846

Hirschberg, J. (2001). Carotenoid biosynthesis in flowering plants, Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 4 (3) 210-218. DOI: 10.1016/S1369-5266(00)00163-1

Paine JA, Shipton CA, Chaggar S, Howells RM, Kennedy MJ, Vernon G, Wright SY, Hinchliffe E, Adams JL, Silverstone AL & Drake R (2005). Improving the nutritional value of Golden Rice through increased pro-vitamin A content., Nature biotechnology, 23 (4) 482-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15793573

Ahloowalia, B., Maluszynski, M. & Nichterlein, K. (2004). Global impact of mutation-derived varieties, Euphytica, 135 (2) 187-204. DOI: 10.1023/B:EUPH.0000014914.85465.4f

Brian P. Forster et al. (2001). Mutation genetics of salt tolerance in barley: An assessment of Golden Promise and other semi-dwarf mutants, Euphytica, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-015-9996-2_1

Citation
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5:56 PM | It’s not magically harmonized water – just snake oil
From the company who brought you nonsensical “drinkable sunscreen” comes more pseudoscience: “harmonized water”. They claim it is done with newfangled technology and mystery waves that people didn’t learn about in school and that their products are able to produce beneficial effects. Firm denies quackery claims. A New Zealand company selling bottles of water it claims… Source: Doubtful News
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