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”?

Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Quackery

Is there such a thing as the “placebome”?

As results from randomized clinical trials show that alternative medicine is nothing more than placeboe, quacks like to argue that they are “harnessing the power of placebo” with their methods and that placebos have real healing effect. They’ve even gone so far as to make up a genomics-based concept: The placebome. But is there such a thing as the placebome?

Homeopathy Medicine Naturopathy Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

An unholy combination of methodolatry and quackery apologia—with jade eggs

Meet Dr. Jason Fung. Dr. Fung is unhappy with skeptics and thinks they’re hypocrites behaving like religious fanatics. Unfortunately for him, his arguments are a combination of the worst methodolatry of evidence-based medicine combined with rants against conventional medicine and a defense of quackery.

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

Does thinking make it so? The placebo myth rears its ugly head again.

Blogging is a funny thing. Sometimes the coincidence involved is epic. For instance, as I do on many Mondays, yesterday I crossposted a modified and updated version of a post from a week ago from my not-so-super-secret other blog. This time around, it just so happened to be a post about what I like to […]

Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

The placebo narrative: Justifying integrative medicine through exaggeration

I write quite a bit about placebo effects. Of course, part of the reason is that placebo effects are just plain interesting from a scientific perspective. After all, if one can relieve symptoms with inert sugar pills or other ineffective interventions because of the power of expectation, that’s something we should want to understand. Also, […]