A systematic review of research into organic foods and conventional alternatives by Smith-Spangler et al has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, discussed at Science-Based Medicine in a post by Steven Novella and attacked as “flawed” by the the Natural Society website. There is now a change.org petition, apparently authored by Mike Adams, The Health Ranger & Anthony Gucciardi. The claim that the study is flawed is, um, interestingly argued. Read the rest of this entry »
A recent article in the BMJ attracted comment from the drearily ubiquitous John Stone (known to some as “the Pope of Jabs”). This comment on competing interests reminded me of Patrick Holford’s foray into the rabid responses section. Read the rest of this entry »
Some fields seem to attract quackery. Energy production is an obvious one (I predict that the idea of perpetual motion machines will never die – the idea is too attractive and there will probably always be sufficiently gullible/ignorant people in the world), but there are certain fields which seem to attract medical quackery more than others. I thought I’d list a few of the apparent similarities between some of the areas that I see as attracting quackery or, at best, dubious claims. Read the rest of this entry »
[BPSDB] Those promoting Counterknowledge are winning. Possibly because the public actually don’t really care that much*. (Damien Thompson’s book Counterknowledge is available from local libraries in my area, yet I am the first person in the 14 months since it has been in the library catalogue to borrow it.) It is also possible that Counterknowledge is spreading at least partly because people with a measure of influence in society are among those who promote it. Members of the British royal family, politicians, the mainstream media, celebrities, Alternative Medicine practitioners posing as authority figures, members of churches, and even universities have helped to promote Counterknowledge. Not to mention maverick scientists such as Andrew Wakefield. Those with less authority are playing an important part too, though. For example, full-time conspiracy theorists such as the owner of the whale.to website are disseminating bullshit that is reproduced on forums such as What Doctors Don’t Tell You, or JABS. Read the rest of this entry »
Briefly: I’ve come across a website that claims that:
The Number 11 Mysteriously Dominates the Events of
the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks in the USA.
Now, obviously it is easy to find links to a number if you try hard enough. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr John Briffa has a blog. His latest post is about fluoridation. I think I agree with Dr Briffa on some points: for one thing, it seems to me that the benefits of fluoridation are often overstated; there is also the issue of informed consent. I’m uncomfortable with the idea of “mass medication” where those being medicated have not been given a choice. If people wish to avoid fluoride-supplemented water then, ideally, I think they should be free to do so. Read the rest of this entry »
Hudson Bay, 9/11, the New World Order, anything on the Whale.to website… conspiracy theories are all around us. Read the rest of this entry »
As Dr* T told us on Tuesday, the Science Museum has some dodgy info on MMR on its website. They quote leading lights of the anti-vaccination movement, such as Jackie Fletcher of JABS, and provide an email address for worried parents. The email address is for the JABS anti-vaccine pressure group. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone who has been slated by John Scudamore on Whale.to. The pharma gang and shill pages are my favourites. Frankly, I’m a bit gutted that I don’t get a mention – I’ll have to be more vocal in my criticism of JABS and Whale in future. Richard Doll is a shill (as are Ernst and Goldacre) so I don’t think it would be appropriate for someone of my limited talents to be listed on that page, but how about a mention on the ‘pharma gang’ page John? Honestly – it would be like a badge of honour for me. The really interesting thing is that one name on the pharma gang page is John Stone. Is it a mistake or are there ideological differences (and perhaps even ‘trust issues’) in the JABS camp? Just in case it is a mistake and John Scudamore realises his error, I’ve JKN’d the page here.