Saturday, May 8, 2010

But What Are They Thinking About?

Emily from A Life Less Ordinary?, one of my favorite blogs, recently had an email conversation with Kelly Barnhill of Thoughtful House then she blogged about it. Here's the money quote:

I'm deeply skeptical of using approaches to address disorders of an undefined etiology that result in promotion of a cottage industry of opportunists who take advantage of desperate parents willing to try anything--and spend almost anything--to see some change in their children.

Hell, yes.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Simon Singh Wins Appeal in Libel Suit

Yes! Sometimes common sense shines through: From Casewatch.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yeah, what he said...

Dubito Ergo Sum has a recent post that I wish I'd written. So I'll just link to it and pretend I did.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Serious new acupuncture infection risks described

From the always awesome Consumer Health Digest

Microbiologists at the University of Hong Kong are concerned that the threat of infections associated with acupuncture may be much greater than previously thought. In a British Medical Journal editorial, the researchers warned that bacterial infections, hepatitis B and C viruses, and possibly even HIV may be transmitted through the use of contaminated equipment and lack of adequate skin disinfection. They expressed particular concern about mycobacteria that can grow rapidly where needles are inserted and lead to large pustules, abscesses, and ulcers after several weeks to months. Two outbreaks involving more than 70 patients were reported in 2006, and a case of methicillin resistant Staph aureus (MRSA)was reported last year. [Acupuncture transmitted infections. British Medical Journal 340:c1268, 2010]

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Autism Specialists" Sued

From Quackwatch's Consumer Health Digest:

A couple of seriously harmful quacks are being sued by the parent of a client for damages related to negligence, lack of informed consent, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, battery, and civil conspiracy.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sometimes The Good Guys Win

From The Rogues Gallery: Psychic Charged With Fraud


Why I Continue to Like Ben Goldacre

Read When is it okay to ignore people you don’t trust?

Her's my favorite bit:

First they found all the papers ever published on smoking and alzheimers, using an explicit search strategy which they describe properly in the paper – because they’re scientists, not homeopaths – to make sure that they found all of the evidence, rather than just the studies they already knew about, or the ones which flattered their preconceptions.

Because that's how science works.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hey, it was true 150 years ago, too!

My favorite thing that Scientific American does is reprint articles from their earlier issues. Given how long they've been in publication, this means they can go back 150 years. Here's my favorite one so far:

Gas [for interior illumination], it is supposed, is a powerful disinfectant, and hence there is no contagion within the circle of its influence.’ We copy the above sentence for the purpose of disputing the inference that gas will protect people from the small-pox. Small-pox is doubtless uncommon among that class of people who burn gas for light in our cities, because they generally have sufficient intelligence and forethought to attend to the vaccination of their families, and its ravages are almost wholly confined to that improvident class who make no provision against the small-pox, or anything else in the future, and who live by the light of burning fluid.

Here's the rest.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010