Anecdotal Evidence

July 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm (Anecdote, Evidence, Placebo) (, , , , , )

As is pointed out in the Wikipedia article on anecdotal evidence, such evidence is considered to be dubious support of a claim. Not only because it may be unrepresentative of a “typical” experience, but also because anecdotal evidence consists of casual observations rather than rigorous analysis. It is inevitable that casual observations will be subject to bias. Rigorous analysis is subject to bias too – but less so. Attempts are at least made to reduce the influence of biases. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Rough Guide to Evidence-Based Medicine

May 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm (Evidence, Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , )

On the unimpressiveness of personal anecdotes and the usefulness of clinical evidence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Evidence: Government Policy and Homeopathy

February 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm (government, Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy, Politics) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

The Science and Technology Select Committee’s report [PDF] on homeopathy and the accompanying press release are rather critical of some of the individuals and groups referred to in the report. Here is just a sample of the targets for criticism: Read the rest of this entry »

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My Bad Science Reading List

January 16, 2009 at 8:43 pm (Bad Science, Books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Well, first up are the Bad Science blogs. These people, in my opinion, are providing a public service in fighting against the ignorance and bullshit promoted by anti-vaccinationists, the mainstream media, and homeopaths with healer fantasies (among others). Issues as important as Aids in Africa and MMR vaccines in Britain are addressed by these bloggers. Then there are the books available online – from Trish Greenhalgh’s How to Read a Paper [free registration required] to Chalmers, Evans and Thornton’s Testing Treatments. [You can download this as a free PDF.] Read the rest of this entry »

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Heal All Illness – By Thinking. Why do people assume AltMed is safe?

October 10, 2008 at 11:48 am (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Big Pharma, Dangerously Wrong, Placebo, Woo) (, , , , , , , )

Here’s the story, via Ben Goldacre’s miniblog, and it’s about a new therapy that professes to heal all disease, including AIDS and advanced forms of cancer. By thinking. Dr Claude Sabbah teaches that cancer and other diseases are formed in the brain first, and must be deprogrammed. He also claims that up to 90 per cent of all illnesses are caused by messages from the medical community. The mind-body link is fascinating, particularly in terms of how the placebo effect can aid recovery, but this is going way too far. Read the rest of this entry »

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