Article Archive for January 2008

Drinking water – or bathing in it – can be deadly (not)
By draust
Posted in , syndicated on 31 January 2008
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One of the staples of the Alt Health world is to convince people that all sorts of rather commonplace things are, in fact, bad for you.
The scariest is if something “increase your risk of cancer”. Although heart disease kills more people, cancer tops the list of the diseases people are most scared of, and [...]

Snooze you lose… (and an update on WonderQuack Obi)
By Dr* T
Posted in , syndicated on 31 January 2008
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I was sleeping, hence I lost. Well, not so much sleeping as working and not so much losing as watching excellent stories appear hither and thither that would have been the bread & butter of blog entries here, being blogged more clearly, more cleverly a…

Darwin i jego kontestatorzy w książce
By Modne Bzdury
Posted in syndicated on 31 January 2008
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Zainteresowanych tematyką ewolucji i kreacjonizmu ucieszy zapewne fakt, że rynek wydawniczy uraczył lub uraczy nas kilkoma ciekawymi tytułami.

Ludzie związani z Serwisem Filozoficznym “Nauka a Religia” powołali do życia serię książkową Filozoficzne Aspekty Genezy, z której do tej pory ukazały się dwa tytuły:

  • Kazimierz Jodkowski, “Spór ewolucjonizmu z kreacjonizmem. Podstawowe pojęcia i poglądy”
  • Karl W. Giberson i Donald A. Yerxa, “O gatunkach powstawania. W poszukiwaniu opowieści o stworzeniu”.
Choć cała inicjatywa sprawia wrażenie przychylnej kreacjonizmowi nie powinno to nikogo zniechęcić. Obie pozycje - przynajmniej na pierwszy rzut oka - powinny stanowić doskonałe wprowadzenie do myśli kreacjonistycznej. Jeśli interesuje Ciebie poznanie mnogości odmian antyewolucjonizmu to warto zainteresować się tymi książkami. Najlepiej jest zamawiać je prosto od Wydawnictwa Megas. Tanio i szybko.

Fani Darwina mogą uzupełnić swoją kolekcję zakupując “Podróż na okręcie Beagle” ze wstępem Marcina Ryszkiewicza. W marcu z kolei można będzie nabyć “Darwin. O powstawaniu gatunków” Janet Browne (autorki dwutomowej biografii Darwina). Książka Browne to następna pozycja z serii Książki, które wstrząsneły światem wydawnictwa Muza.

Ryzykowny obiektywizm
By Modne Bzdury
Posted in syndicated on 31 January 2008
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Portal Niepelnosprawni.pl na swojej głównej stronie wita nas wprowadzeniem do artykułu “Ryzykowna dawka”. Sam tytuł i kilka zdań tekstu zapowiadają ciekawą lekturę, choć jednocześnie zdradzają przesłanie całości i pozwalają odgadnąć strukturę i schemat tekstu. Ograniczę się jedynie do kilku ogólnych uwag na temat “Ryzykownej dawki”, bez odnoszenia się do poszczególnych fragmentów (cytowanie obszerniejszych fragmentów artykułu może wymagać zgody portalu).

Wszystko oczywiście jest podane w gęstym i mdlącym sosie dziennikarskiego obiektywizmu i próby przedstawienia racji obu stron sporu (bo jak dowiadujemy się z tekstu szczepienia profilaktyczne to obecnie kontrowersja współczesnej medycyny - skąd ja to znam?). Nikt nie może wtedy zarzucić nieuczciwości i tendencyjności. Nic bardziej mylnego.

Jak się szybko okazuje argumenty nauki otrzymują o wiele mniej miejsca niż twierdzenia przeciwników szczepień. Wypowiedzi prof. Jacka Wysockiego - przewodniczącego Polskiego Towarzystwa Wakcynologii - poprzedzone są niewiele wnoszącym zdaniem, które przypomina stwierdzenie naukowca, w którym porównuje on osoby odmawiające szczepienia do pasożytów. Z lektury artykułu można wywnioskować, że najlepszymi specjalistami od chorób zakaźnych są mamy, prababcie, anonimowi lekarze, mikropaleontolodzy (np. przywoływana w artykule Viera Scheibner, która swoje poglądy na temat szczepień publikuje w magazynie teorii spiskowych “Nexus”), ale także medycy, których poglądy na temat szczepień odbiegają od głównego nurtu nauki.

Cały artykuł nosi wszelkie znamiona złego dziennikarstwa i powtarza najczęściej spotykane błędy w artykułach dotyczących rzekomej, masowej szkodliwości szczepień:

  • poleganie na relacjach o charakterze anegdotycznym, o dużym ładunku emocjonalnym
  • powoływanie się na wątpliwe autorytety medyczne, które ma na celu stworzenie wrażenia, że w kręgach medycznych nadal debatują nad zasadnością szczepień profilaktycznych
  • powtarzanie niesprawdzonych i mało wiarygodnych informacji o rzekomej wysokiej liczbie lekarzy, którzy nie szczepią swoich dzieci
  • powoływanie się na badania epidemiologiczne bez podania szczegółów, które umożliwiły by zweryfikowanie twierdzeń autora
  • przywoływanie hipotezy mówiącej o związku między szczepieniami a autyzmem bez wzmianki o tym, że liczne i zakrojone na szeroką skalę badania epidemiologiczne przyczyniły się do sfalsyfikowania tejże hipotezy.

Artykuł jednak zadaje też ważne i uzasadnione pytania dotyczące stanu monitoringu niepożądanych odczynów poszczepiennych w Polsce. Rodzice poddający swoje dzieci szczepieniom powinni otrzymywać pełną, fachową informację na temat każdego zabiegu medycznego i mają prawo oczekiwać, że w razie niepokojących objawów otrzymają wszelką pomoc od służby zdrowia. Jeśli polskie władze, środowisko i instytucje medyczne nie przejmą inicjatywy i nie wyjdą w tym względzie naprzeciw potrzebom rodziców, zrobią to szarlatani, pseudomedycyna i antyszczepionkowi ideolodzy.

Amateur Transplants
By pj
Posted in syndicated on 31 January 2008
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Via the badscience forums I was reminded of this video (warning - contains references to paedophilia and the music of James Blunt):Check out some of their others, sad and offensive joke medic songs, nice.

Tiny guns hidden in everything
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 31 January 2008
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Club Littlegun has a wonderful collection of minature (and some not-so-minature) guns that have been incorporated into every conceivable object. Two of my favourite are below.
This one brings a whole new meaning to the term “pistol whipped”.

And the power of Christ compels just about anyone on the wrong end of this awesome crucifix gun! I [...]

Triamazon Cancer Pill Scam Busted
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 31 January 2008
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You know, I do not believe that most of the people that feature on this site are fraudsters. No, the truth is far worse than that - most homeopaths, reiki practitioners and herbalists actually believe what they say and that makes then particularly dangerous. But there are people whose motives are particularly hard to believe are just plain deluded. I fear 2008 is going to feature quite a number

Don’t forget about the News Fart.
By Lave
Posted in syndicated on 30 January 2008
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Rather busy at the mo, what with the final year of my Phd an all, but I’ve a few things in the pipe line, For instance I’ve been meaning to talk about the whole Scientology thing that’s happening at the minute, but I’ve no time.So during this period I’…

False Light
By apgaylard
Posted in syndicated on 30 January 2008
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In late October last year I complained to the BBC about a ridiculous advertorial piece that it ran on a pseudoscientific treatment for SAD, or ‘the winter blues’ as the BBC called it.
This puff-piece ran as part of BBC One’s Breakfast News programme; rather conspicuous billing.
The therapy, Lightwave Stimulation (LWS), is obvious nonsense with absolutely [...]

NHS support for homeopathy evaporates
By gimpy
Posted in , syndicated on 30 January 2008
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According to a study by Pulse, homeopathy is the highest profile victim of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) cost effective approach to NHS resources. According to Pulse only 37% of NHS PCTs still have contracts for homeopathic services while a quarter have stopped or reduced funding over the past two years. Pulse suggest that [...]

Homeopathy funding increasingly diluted
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 30 January 2008
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It seems homeopathy is undergoing a bit of a ‘crisis’ at the moment as NHS Primary Care Trusts move funding away from witchcraft and into evidence-based treatments. From healthcare magazine Pulse:
Homeopathy is becoming the highest profile victim of the Government’s drive to promote cost-effective use of NHS resources, with PCTs across the country stopping [...]

Holford’s Health Products for Life breaches ASA rules on truthfulness and substantiation
By jonhw
Posted in syndicated on 30 January 2008
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Today, the ASA have ruled against Health Products for Life (HPFL): a supplement company that Patrick Holford (Head of Science and Education at Biocare) sold to Biocare, and which has a website - and sells pills - with a picture of Holford’s face on. Responding to a complaints about a Health Products for Life [...]

Coming Soon, the McA-Level
By kelvinthroop
Posted in syndicated on 28 January 2008
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Today’s media oulets all seem to be carrying the story that McDonalds is going to be offering A-level equivalent courses. See here, for example.

Are Dore in deep finanical doo doo? *updated*
By gimpy
Posted in syndicated on 28 January 2008
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Dore, the dubious dyslexia people, have recently come under criticism from brainduck and holfordwatch for publishing their research claiming to successfully treat Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in the mighty Leamington Courier rather than a peer reviewed journal. Holfordwatch and Brainduck are very critical of the research methodology, the sample size and the ethics of [...]

Holford uses “crazy” as a diagnostic term for schizophrenic people
By jonhw
Posted in syndicated on 28 January 2008
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Prof Patrick Holford of Teesside University presents himself as an expert in mental health and nutrition, and a number of bona fide mental health charities - including Mind - are affiliated
with his Food for the Brain charity. I was therefore surprised to hear Holford on BBC London, referring to a schizophrenic client as “crazy”. [...]

An Open Letter to JABS
By jdc325
Posted in , , syndicated on 28 January 2008
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Dear Moderators,
Someone posted on your forum last week asking for advice. Their child had been seen by a doctor, who had diagnosed an ear-and-throat infection and prescribed antibiotics. The first response to this post is reproduced below. I’m saddened that moderators of this forum allowed such an ignorant and potentially dangerous response to be posted without making any kind of comment.
We have [...]

Miscellanea: DRM and Your Computer
By Grey
Posted in syndicated on 28 January 2008
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Miscellanea: DRM and Your Computer. This design is also available in the store.

Dolphins play with bubble rings (video)
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 27 January 2008
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You’ve all seen someone blow smoke rings, even if it was only in a movie. Well, the same physics seem to apply underwater. This video appears to show dolphins blowing bubbles underwater, and then using a jet of water to turn them into bubble rings - donut shaped bubbles (or torus-shaped, if you [...]

Dore releases news of groundbreaking autism treatment in the prestigious medical journal The Leamington Courier
By jonhw
Posted in , syndicated on 27 January 2008
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A quick break from your usual Holford coverage, to note how excited I was when I saw Wynford Dore claiming a number of breakthroughs in understanding and treating of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). However, when I followed the link he gave - expecting to find an article in a journal like Nature Neuroscience or [...]

Patrick Holford and Andrew Wakefield’s Discredited Findings: Part 2
By dvnutrix
Posted in , , syndicated on 26 January 2008
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Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University frequently upbraids professionals and researchers for what he perceives as their lack of up-to-date research. Yet, he reaffirms that he has concerns about the MMR vaccine-he raises scientific concerns that have been comprehensively debunked for some time.

Holford recommends that you should consult a nutritional therapist before vaccinating children and should consider a recovery programme based on supplements and tests for which there is no scientific support.

In Related News, the Pope Criticised Badly Drawn Boy for Having a Silly Hat
By andrew
Posted in syndicated on 25 January 2008
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It’s a bit old now, but it’s something I’ve been meaning to blog as part of my apparently ongoing project to document and mock everything the new, crazy Pope says and does wrong from the moment of his appointment to shortly after the moment of his death, after which (much as he thinks otherwise) he [...]

Disingenuous Nonsense
By apgaylard
Posted in syndicated on 25 January 2008
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It’s not just bad clinical CAM trials that can mislead; it’s also the positive spin put on good ones with negative outcomes.
In some recent correspondence R. Barker Bausell, author of the compelling “Snake Oil Science - The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine“, provides an instructive example.
It’s a bit of a retrospective: this study and the [...]

Patrick Holford and Andrew Wakefield’s Discredited Findings: Part 1
By dvnutrix
Posted in , syndicated on 25 January 2008
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Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University frequently upbraids professionals and researchers for what he perceives as their lack of up-to-date research. Yet, he reaffirms that he has concerns about the MMR vaccine-he raises scientific concerns that have been comprehensively debunked for some time.

Holford recommends that you should consult a nutritional therapist before vaccinating children and should consider a recovery programme based on supplements and tests for which there is no scientific support.

Snake Oil Science - Reviews
By jdc325
Posted in , , , syndicated on 25 January 2008
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Former director of the University of Maryland’s alternative medicine centre, R Barker Bausell (featured in the Baltimore Sun on 24th January) has a book out called Snake Oil Science.

Joseph Chikelue Obi is a quack, a fantasist guilty of serious professional misconduct, unfit to practice medicine and he hates the Quackometer
By gimpy
Posted in syndicated on 25 January 2008
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Joseph Chikelue Obi MD MPH FRIPH FRCAM FACAM MICR is very obviously a fantasist quack who has been sacked for professional misconduct and suspended by the GMC, taken advantage of a poor widow and is in charge of an imaginary college amongst other misdeeds. So why bother with such an obvious charlatan? [...]

Food for the Brain: Child Survey: Review Part 3
By dvnutrix
Posted in , syndicated on 25 January 2008
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Holford Watch makes a critical appraisal of the literature review in the Food for the Brain Child Survey September 2007. Holford and Fobbester claim that there are studies that indicate that food and chemical sensitvities are more common among children with ADHD or behavioural difficulties. However, the references that they give can not support these assertions. There are presently no grounds to justify the generalisation of research findings for very specific groups of children to the wider population.

The results of this FFTB report and its literature overview do not put forward a robust scientific case for a change in public policy or dietary recommendations that affect the general population of children.

Joseph and Andrew Obi: International Men of Mystery
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 24 January 2008
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So, another vague and preposterous legal threat and my web hosts have caved like bullied ginger children. Pages have been taken down and then immediately duplicated to over 30 (at last count) web sites all over the world. The web tends to react like that.

This situation will not last. The Society of Homeopaths did not get away with it and nor will more minor bullies. To be told to remove a web

The Amazing ‘Professor’ Joseph Chikelue Obi MD MPH FRIPH FRCAM FACAM MICR
By apgaylard
Posted in syndicated on 24 January 2008
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‘Professor’ Obi is, in my book, amazing for two reasons: first the extensive claims he makes for himself; second that he thought it was a good idea to threaten the quackometer blog when it made some wholly legitimate critical comments.
So, what does this man claim?  Here is a selection of the ‘information’ available on the web.

He [...]

The Gentle Art of Blog Killing, Episode 2
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 24 January 2008
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Andy Lewis at the Quackometer clearly seems to be skilled at infuriating dodgy ‘doctors’. His ISP, Netcetera, has caved in to ridiculous threats to sue to the tune of $1 million dollars a day(!) from one Mr Joseph Chikelue Obi, a fraudulent, disgraced ex-doctor. In the spirit of freedom of speech on [...]

The Gentle Art Of Whatever It Is That Joseph Chikelue Obi Does, Exactly
By andrew
Posted in syndicated on 23 January 2008
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You may recall, some time ago, a blog called Quackometer had to remove a page about the Society of Homeopaths because the Society of Homeopaths* threatened his hosting company with legal action. Well, he’s in trouble again. Just the other day, his godawful web hosts, Netcetera (you may have noticed some more Google- than user-oriented [...]