The latest issue of the official journal of the European Atherosclerosis Society features a credulous article on traditional Chinese medicine. TCM is presented as a system of medicine whose use should "spread to Western societies." Sadly, the editors failed here, as the article consists of revisionist history, pseudoscience, and false equivalence.
Orac discovers the Luminas Pain Relief Patch. He is amused at how how quacks confuse the words "quantum" and "energy" with magic.
Melinda Wenner Moyer published an article in The New York Times arguing that fear of how antivaxers will react to scientific findings is leading scientists to indulge in self-censorship. I’m not convinced that this is the case.
A clinical psychologist named Shannon Kroner invited Orac's alter-ego to a "panel discussion" on vaccines. Let's just say Orac knows a trap when he sees one and didn't fall for this one. However, he thought it wise to write this post to warn other science advocates about traps for the unwary—like this one. Heed Orac's advice!
Richard Jaffe was Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski's lawyer. For nearly two decades, Jaffe defended this cancer quack from the FDA, Texas Medical Board, and the government in the name of "health freedom" and even invented Burzynski's business model of having over 70 clinical trials open that allow him to treat any cancer patient he wants. More recently, he's been a defender of for-profit quack stem cell clinics. Last week, he shocked me by finding one stem cell clinic so quacky that he thinks the government should shut it down, even going so far as to use criminal prosecution if necessary. Basically, …
Anke Zimmermann is a naturopath in Canada who treats autism who's quackier than the usual naturopath. When last we saw her, she was using homeopathic rabid dog saliva to treat a fear of werewolves. This time around, she presents a "case report" in which she spent two and a half years treating a cranky child with various homeopathic remedies and concluded that her problems were due to the neonatal vitamin K shot. Naturally, that means to her, like any good homeopath, that the correct treatment is vitamin K diluted away to nothing.
Thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect, many antivaxers think they know more about vaccines than doctors, scientists, and other experts in infectious disease, immunology, and vaccines. It is this arrogance of ignorance that fuels their antivaccine activism and makes them resistant to disconfirming evidence.
Earlier this week, the New York Times ran a fascinating feature about Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop. In it, we learn—surprise! surprise!—that Gwyneth Paltrow does not like fact-checking. We also learn that the criticism of Goop's selling of pseudoscience and quackery has reached the point where Paltrow has given in and plans to hire a fact checker. Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that it will do no good and that skeptics will have as much work to do refuting Goop's quackery after the fact-checker is hired as we do now.