I've mentioned Dr. Paul Thomas before as a rising star in the antivaccine movement. A month and a half later, it occurs to me that I haven't given proper due to his co-author, Jennifer Margulis, as an equally prominent rising star in the same crank movement. Here, I rectify that oversight.
The overwhelming scientific consensus is that it is incredibly unlikely that cell phone radiation causes cancer or other health problems. That doesn't stop The Nation from constructing a conspiracy theory inn which cell phone companies are likened to tobacco companies in their campaign of denial designed to hide evidence of harm while disingenuously claiming to be neutral regarding the science and saying that scientists should determine whether radiation from cell phones is hazardous.
Yesterday, Orac discussed a widely hyped new scientific finding of a "new organ" known as the interstitium, , in which the Neil Theise and his co-authors suggested that their findings might "explain" acupuncture. Today, Orac realizes that the woo goes much, much deeper. Deepak Chopra, anyone?
Last week, the media were awash with reports of the "interstitium," which was dramatically described as a hitherto undiscovered "organ," a narrative that was definitely a triumph of PR over science that went beyond what even the investigators claimed in their paper. Worse, the investigators themselves even speculated that their discovery could "explain" acupuncture and other kinds of alternative medicine, thus providing an opening for quacks to run wild with their discovery, something I expect to see very soon.
One of the central myths of the antivaccine movement is that vaccines cause autism. Consequently, researchers looked at vaccination rates in children with autism spectrum disorder and their younger siblings and found both groups were significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated. Thanks, antivaxers.
ICD-10 is a standardized system of alphanumeric codes for diagnoses maintained by the World Health Organization used throughout the world for billing, epidemiology, research, and cataloging causes of death. Its successor, ICD-11, is nearing completion, and unfortunately appears to be taking the “integration” of traditional medicine to a whole new level by integrating quack diagnoses with real diagnoses.
If you want yet another piece of evidence that quackademic medicine, where once science-based medical schools embrace quackery, is triumphant, is needed, look no further than a fallacy-filled blog post on the Harvard Health Blog in defense of acupuncture.
In pseudoscience, appeals to nature are everywhere. It’s not surprising, then, that there is profit to be made selling “raw” (i.e., untreated) water at very high prices for its nonexistent health benefits, those benefits all claimed to be due to the “naturalness” of the water. I can’t help but note that cholera, Giardia, amoebic dysentery, and a wide variety of waterborne illnesses prevented by modern water treatment techniques are all very, very “natural."
Last week, I wrote about a truly execrable bit of science by Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic purporting to show that aluminum adjuvants cause brain inflammation, which causes autism. Since then, I've learned that, not only is it bad science, but that there are red flags about several of the figures to raise the specter of fraud. This might not be just bad science. It might be fraudulent science. The only way to resolve this would be for the authors to release the original full resolution images of their blots.