Posts

December 18, 2014

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1:45 PM | Congress polishes the turd that was NCCAM
With the way our dysfunctional federal government works, it’s not uncommon for the end of a fiscal year to come and go without there being a budget for the next fiscal year in place. This phenomenon is particularly common during election years, and this year was no different. September 30 came and went, followed by…

December 15, 2014

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12:30 PM | New York governor must decide today about law that protects doctors offering bogus treatments for Chronic Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is carried by tiny ticks; lower right above.On Monday, the day this article appears, New York will get a new law that protects doctors who offer illegitimate therapies for a non-existent disease—unless Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoes it. The law is written to protect doctors who offer expensive treatments that provide no benefit, and it is being supported by advocacy groups who are thoroughly convinced that these treatments work.What is this about? Lyme disease. A cadre of […]

December 13, 2014

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4:07 PM | Follow-Up on the Hippocrates Health Institute: Lawsuits
Listeners of my podcast and followers of Canadian news in general will probably be familiar with the case of two First Nations girls with leukemia whose parents decided to have treated at a Florida massage establishment called The Hippocrates Health Institute. A judge recently declared that the girls could not be taken away from their parents, … Continue reading →
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4:07 PM | Follow-Up on the Hippocrates Health Institute: Lawsuits
Listeners of my podcast and followers of Canadian news in general will probably be familiar with the case of two First Nations girls with leukemia whose parents decided to have treated at a Florida massage establishment called The Hippocrates Health Institute. A judge recently declared that the girls could not be taken away from their parents, … Continue reading →

December 12, 2014

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2:20 PM | Who knew? My state’s vaccine personal belief exemption rate stinks! (Part 2: What to do.)
After yesterday’s post on the depressingly high (and increasing, apparently) rate of personal belief exemptions to vaccination requirements for entering school in the state of Michigan, I felt the need to pontificate a bit further. The reason is that MLive.com has posted some followup stories. Also, I didn’t have a lot of time last night…

December 10, 2014

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10:45 PM | “Do your own research!”
How many times have I had discussion partners on the internet say to me “Do your own research?” Inevitably they are pushing some pseudoscientific or anti-scientific conspiracy theory – yet claiming science is their friend! Here, one of the members … Continue reading →
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10:45 PM | “Do your own research!”
How many times have I had discussion partners on the internet say to me “Do your own research?” Inevitably they are pushing some pseudoscientific or anti-scientific conspiracy theory – yet claiming science is their friend! Here, one of the members … Continue reading →
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3:52 PM | A feminist mother and science advocate’s response to Vani Hari, the “Food Babe”
Originally published on the Genetic Literacy Project. Vani Hari, better known as “Food Babe,” is a self-proclaimed investigator of food and consumer advocate. Yet, some of her so-called investigations have been based in little to no evidence, while most of the rest of her claims are outright drivel. She has made her mark in an all-too-easy exploitation of public fear of the “unnatural,” distrust of establishment and love for fads. As expected, her opposition has been […]
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12:35 AM | Listen: Dr. Christopher Labos and I on the Rise of Integrative Medicine
This month, Within Reason tackles a scientific topic, so I can publicize it here! Woohoo! Would you like a side of magic with your chemo? Disproven folk remedies used to be the domain of snake oil salesmen; now, they are being integrated into university health centres. Jonathan speaks to Dr. Christopher Labos, a public science educator and … Continue reading →
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12:35 AM | Listen: Dr. Christopher Labos and I on the Rise of Integrative Medicine
This month, Within Reason tackles a scientific topic, so I can publicize it here! Woohoo! Would you like a side of magic with your chemo? Disproven folk remedies used to be the domain of snake oil salesmen; now, they are being integrated into university health centres. Jonathan speaks to Dr. Christopher Labos, a public science educator and … Continue reading →

December 08, 2014

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8:29 AM | Old wine in a new skin: The Society for Integrative Oncology promotes integrating pseudoscience into oncology
Last week, I discussed a monograph published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs entitled Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer. As you might remember, I was completely unimpressed. However, those guidelines were not the only thing in that particular JNCI…

December 05, 2014

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11:35 PM | Brain Games Don't Improve Memory or Cognition
Many companies offer programs to help keep your mind sharp -- but do they work?
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1:18 PM | Exoplanet Astrology: Your Guide to the New Planets
Everyone trusts those great sages of our times, those for whom the intricate secrets of the universe are revealed by the night sky. As wise celestial engineers, the mechanics of the cosmos are obvious to them, the connections between the astronomical and … Continue reading →
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11:45 AM | No, the CDC did not just apologize and admit that this year’s flu vaccine doesn’t work
If there’s one thing about having a demanding day job, it’s that the cranks usually have the advantage. They can almost always hit first when a news story comes out that they can spin to attack their detested science. On the other hand, it usually ensures that by the time I get home, have dinner,…

December 04, 2014

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1:43 PM | There shall be no mocking of astrology in India!
I disagree fully. Therefore… commence mocking. Astrology is like astronomy, says BJP MP Ramesh Pokhariyal Astrology is like astronomy, claimed a BJP member in the Lok Sabha, drawing protests from some opposition members. While making references to traditional practices such as astrology and ayurveda, Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank said that among others, concept of atom, was… Source: Doubtful News
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1:43 PM | There shall be no mocking of astrology in India!
I disagree fully. Therefore… commence mocking. Astrology is like astronomy, says BJP MP Ramesh Pokhariyal Astrology is like astronomy, claimed a BJP member in the Lok Sabha, drawing protests from some opposition members. While making references to traditional practices such as astrology and ayurveda, Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank said that among others, concept of atom, was… Source: Doubtful News
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1:30 PM | A cancer cure testimonial for “traditional healing” of leukemia
Cancer cure testimonials due to alternative medicine have been a staple of this blog since its very inception. Unfortunately, another staple of this blog since very early on has included stories of children with cancer whose lives have been endangered when their their parents refuse effective cancer therapy for their cancer, in particular chemotherapy. The…

December 02, 2014

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11:37 PM | Marijuana and pregnancy–again hitting that bong of science
There’s an old rule that one should never make excuses about what they write or state publicly. But I feel that I should here–as I stated in my post that I updated and republished recently, I’m not in any way opposed to the consumption of marijuana. It should be completely decriminalized, not in the haphazard […]Continue reading «Marijuana and pregnancy–again hitting that bong of science»
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9:10 AM | Vaccines will not be “made from human tumors”
Every so often there’s an article that starts making the rounds on social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, that cries out for a treatment by yours truly. Actually, there are more such articles that are constantly circulating on social media that I could work full time blogging and still not cover them all. So…
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9:10 AM | Vaccines will not be “made from human tumors”
Every so often there’s an article that starts making the rounds on social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, that cries out for a treatment by yours truly. Actually, there are more such articles that are constantly circulating on social media that I could work full time blogging and still not cover them all. So…

December 01, 2014

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1:06 PM | Read: Making “Quackoncology” Respectable
I hate to start the week with a depressing article, but I must pass this along. From the fantastic blog Science-Based Medicine, David Gorski reports on the latest development in a horrifying trend: integrative oncology, in which otherwise respectable medical bodies end up promoting Reiki and naturopathy to their medical and scientific audience. “Let’s just put … Continue reading →
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1:06 PM | Read: Making “Quackoncology” Respectable
I hate to start the week with a depressing article, but I must pass this along. From the fantastic blog Science-Based Medicine, David Gorski reports on the latest development in a horrifying trend: integrative oncology, in which otherwise respectable medical bodies end up promoting Reiki and naturopathy to their medical and scientific audience. “Let’s just put … Continue reading →

November 30, 2014

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6:15 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies! PUA Name–Dropping, Quantum Healing, Facts and Education, and Putting People with Food Allergies at Risk
Categories: Meta StuffTags: Escepticafood allergiesgrounded parentsknowlege synthesisphysicspickup artistspregnancypseudosciencequantum healingschool of doubtteachingtechnologyTeen Skepchickthe gameSunday Funny: Optimist vs. Pessimist vs. Opportunist (via SMBC) Teen Skepchick The Physics Philes, lesson 121: Mountains Out of Mole Hills Mindy only briefly confuses mole the animal with mole ...(Read more...)

November 29, 2014

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8:43 PM | World AIDS Day – Science & Pseudoscience of AIDS
In the early 1980s, the emergence of a previously unknown and fatal disease, raised concern amongst medical professions and fear in the general population. Those suffering from this new disease presented with a range of opportunistic infections, including rare forms of pneumonia and cancer – suggesting the cause was a failing immune system. Thirty years [...]

November 28, 2014

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3:10 PM | The invasion of well-meaning quacks into West Africa continues apace, part three
I hope my U.S. readers have all had a happy Thanksgiving. Today has been known at least since the mid-1970s as Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Whether it’s still true or not, given the relentless proliferation, progression, and metastasis—yes, the use of terms related to cancer is intentional—of holiday sales right…

November 26, 2014

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11:00 AM | Can you destroy a meter other than an irony meter?
I don’t think I mentioned this, but I’m on a bit of a staycation this week. I figured, what the heck? After coming home from Skepticon I could do with a little R&R. Of course, fool that I am, I still can’t resist blogging a bit. On the other hand, the day before Thanksgiving I…
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11:00 AM | Can you destroy a meter other than an irony meter?
I don’t think I mentioned this, but I’m on a bit of a staycation this week. I figured, what the heck? After coming home from Skepticon I could do with a little R&R. Of course, fool that I am, I still can’t resist blogging a bit. On the other hand, the day before Thanksgiving I…

November 24, 2014

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7:47 PM | This just in: Pterosaurs are STILL dead, maybe even more so
Dr. Donald Prothero exposes the myth of the ropen, a pterosaur-like flying animal claimed to have been observed in Papua New Guinea. It has even been suggested it is a self-luminous creature. It’s a story well-known to cryptozoologists (the same stories get recirculated repeatedly to make up for no new evidence to fill a book). Turns… Source: Doubtful News
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