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Antivaccine nonsense Bad science Medicine Popular culture Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

COVID-19: A magnet for medical conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories are at the heart of nearly all medical pseudoscience, be it antivaccine beliefs or quackery. COVID-19 has been a magnet for conspiracy theories.

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Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Paranormal Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Teaching critical thinking to combat fake news and bullshit: You have to start young

Thanks to social media, fake news, conspiracy theories, and health scams spread faster and farther than ever. The world is in need of critical thinking skills now more than ever. Fortunately, there is hope. Critical thinking can be taught, but teaching these skills works best if you start young.

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Biology Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Science Skepticism/critical thinking

The Galileo Gambit: Just because your quackery is rejected by the establishment does not make you Galileo or Semmelweis

Quacks love to invoke experts who made predictions that turned out to be wrong or point to Galileo or Semmelweis as examples of scientists whose findings were rejected by the scientific or medical establishment of the time, as though poor prediction or rejection by the establishment means there must be something to their science. Guess what? As Michael Shermer put it, heresy does not equal correctness.

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Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

How popular is quackery? A Harris Poll answers: Very, particularly among Millennials!

One of the central messages that apologists for the use of alternative medicine and, particularly the integration of the unscientific and mystical treatment modalities of alternative medicine with real medicine—a phenomenon known as “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or, more recently, “integrative medicine”—is that it’s popular. Oh. So. Popular. If you believe the promoters of […]

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Clinical trials Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Fixing peer review

I’ve frequently noted that one of the things most detested by quacks and promoters of pseudoscience is peer review. Creationists hate peer review. HIV/AIDS denialists hate it. Anti-vaccine cranks like those at Age of Autism hate it. Indeed, as blog bud Mark Hoofnagle Mark Hoofnagle, pointed out several years ago, pseudoscientists and cranks of all […]