Biology Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

Germ theory denialism and the magical mystical microbiome

Whenever I point out that a very common thread of “thought”—if you can call it “thought”—in alternative medicine is nothing more than germ theory denialism, the usual reaction is incredulity. Newbies who haven’t encountered quacks before invariably do a double take when I inform them that germ theory denialism is a thing, particularly among antivaccine […]

Clinical trials Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Choosing Wisely three years on

I like to point out from time to time that arguably the most striking difference between science-based medicine (and the evidence-based medicine from which we distinguish it) and alternative medicine, “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), or (as it’s called now) “integrative medicine” is a concerted effort to change practice for the better based on science […]

Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Medicine Quackery Religion

What’s the harm? A child dies a preventable death from an ear infection

A common question, rhetorical or otherwise, that skeptics are asked about alternative medicine is, “What’s the harm?” It’s seemingly an effective ploy for some modalities, so much so that years ago Tim Farley felt obligated to try to answer the question on a website ( that catalogues examples of the harm alternative medicine, supernatural and […]

Humor Medicine Music

Beware the Clostridiapocalypse!

C. difficile is an enormous clinical problem to which, unfortunately, we physicians can contribute, as ZDoggMD tells us in Dawn of the C. Diff: You go to the doctor to talk ‘em in To givin’ antibiotics for your coughin’ thing They explain that the pain in your throat’s a virus “Antibiotics are not desirous!” But […]

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