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Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Science denial: A form of conspiracy theory

Regular readers of this blog know that many forms of quackery and science denial have conspiracy theories associated with them, but a further examination suggests that all science denial a form of conspiracy theory. In the middle of a deadly pandemic, it is a form of conspiracy theory with potentially deadly consequences.

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Bad science Integrative medicine Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

UC-Irvine update: Quackademic medicine continues its takeover

Over two years ago, UC-Irvine announced a massive $200 million donation from Susan and Henry Samueli, to be used to “integrate” quackery into its entire structure. The fruits of that donation are now apparent.

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Bad science Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery

An NCCIH survey on “complementary” health approaches

The NCCIH recently published a study examining the percentage of US physicians who had recommended “complementary health approaches” to their patients in the last year. The percentages are far higher than they should be.

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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”?

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Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

A bait-and-switch study of acupuncture in stable chronic angina

This week, JAMA Internal Medicine published a clinical trial purporting to find that acupuncture helps stable angina. Here’s a hint: It doesn’t. It’s a bait-and-switch study that used “electroacupuncture” instead of acupuncture with poor blinding and lack of consideration of prior plausibility.