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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking

The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine

Molecular biology has a “central dogma,” so why not alternative medicine. Here, I argue that the central dogma of alternative medicine is The Secret.

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Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery Religion

The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine

I happened to have a busy day yesterday, and in addition today’s a deadline to submit a letter of intent for a grant application, as well as to write a response to some criticism in a letter to the editor of my recent Nature Reviews Cancer article. (Trust me, it’s fun.) Never one to let […]

Categories
Biology Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Pseudoscience Quackery

Fabrizio Benedetti asks: “Does placebo research boost pseudoscience?”

Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks, in which placebos represent the “power of the mind to heal the body”?

Categories
Bad science Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Quackademic medicine, COVID-19 edition, part 1: Magic amulets

“Quackademic medicine” is a term coined to describe the increasing infiltration of pseudoscience and quackery into medical academia. Unsurprisingly, we’re starting to see quackademic medicine turn its attention to COVID-19. In this case, traditional Chinese medicine is invoked to claim that magic amulets might prevent COVID-19,

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Bad science Computers and social media Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking

“Metabolic optimization” probably won’t save you from COVID-19

A favorite claim by those favoring “holistic” therapies is that using diet to “optimize metabolism” can prevent or treat COVID-19. These claims are of a piece with similar claims for many other diseases and are just as exaggerated.