Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of Pseudoscience

What What Doctors Don't Tell You don't tell you

There's an alternative health magazine here in the UK called "What Doctors Don't Tell You" (actually, I think "alternative to health" might be a better description). It peddles all sorts of pseudoscientific nonsense, such as antivaccinationism and similar. When people are selling pseudoscientific nonsense, I think it's always interesting to wonder whether they genuinely believe the stuff they're selling, or whether they know that it's nonsense and are cynically seeing an opportunity to make money.

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Burzynski Q&A

Followers of the Burzynski saga will be aware that the release of the latest Burzynski movie has been delayed. Apparently this movie has an associated Q&A, but for some reason the maker of this movie does not want anyone to see what's in the Q&A until the movie is officially released.

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AVN: Australian Vaccination Network or Anti-Vaccination Network?

Opposition to vaccines is nothing new. In fact, it's as old as vaccination itself. I have always found it puzzling how anyone could oppose vaccines, given that they have made a truly miraculous contribution to public health. The eradication of the killer disease smallpox by vaccination is, in my humble opinion, a serious contender for the greatest ever achievement of medical science. And, of course, many other previously common killer diseases are now extremely rare, thanks to vaccines, as this handy little infographic shows:

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NHS Choices puts special interest groups ahead of accurate information

This is going to be a very brief post, because this story has been told in full elsewhere. But it's an important story, and I wanted to draw your attention to it.

The NHS Choices website is supposed to give impartial information on health that consumers can trust. There is a real need for such a site: the internet is littered with downright dangerous health information from people pushing various quack remedies. Where is the average person supposed to go to get good quality, unbiased advice?

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Misleading statistics from Sense About Science

I'm normally a huge, huge fan of Sense About Science. They do fantastic work in raising public awareness and understanding of scientific issues. In a world where people are bombarded with pseudoscientific nonsense from politicians, pedlars of quack 'alternative' treatments, and the like, their work is necessary, important, and usually very well executed.

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The Green Party and homeopathy

One criticism that has often been levelled at the Green Party is that they are anti-science. It's my understanding that they are aware of that criticism and are keen to embrace a more scientific mindset, so I was very interested to listen to James O'Malley's interview with the new Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, on today's Pod Delusion.

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Cancer quackery at the snooker update

I wrote yesterday about my disappointment that former world snooker champion Peter Ebdon was advertising Gerson Therapy at the current world snooker championships. Since then, there have been developments.

I saw a lot of activity on Twitter when Ebdon's choice of sponsor first emerged, most of it critical. Some of this was directed at the BBC, who televise the event, and some at World Snooker, who organise it. It appears that this criticism had an effect, because World Snooker acted quickly to make Ebdon remove his logo. I applaud World Snooker for this swift and sensible decision. This seems to be a fantastic example of grassroots skeptical activism at work.

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Cancer quackery infests snooker

I don't have a great deal of interest in watching sport, on the whole. The only sport that I would ever willingly watch is snooker. So it is with great dismay that I have discovered that the former world champion, Peter Ebdon, is being sponsored by Gerson Therapy in the world snooker championship that's currently being played in Sheffield.

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The harm of homeopathy

I wrote about a year ago about how some homeopaths, rather than living up to the nice friendly all-natural image they like to present, are actually hugely irresponsible and act in bad faith.

I've seen a shocking example of the behaviour of a homeopath today. But first, some background.

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Why hasn't Burzynski published his trials?

I've written before about the Burzynski Clinic. Just to refresh your memory, it's a clinic based in Texas that claims to have a remarkably effective treatment for cancer, antineoplastons. The marketing of the clinic is based on the idea that Burzynski is a maverick lone researcher who has discovered the cure for cancer, but the medical establishment don't want you to know about it because it would threaten their business model. I'm never entirely clear whether the medical establishment are acting on their own or in collaboration with our Lizard Overlords, but you get the idea.

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