Sunday, 15 July 2012

Pseudoscience stuff from the week 9-15/7/12

[video] 'Homeopathic Tactics'
Willem Betz accepts his award, at the World Skeptics Congress, and gives a 20-minute lecture outlining the tactics that homeopaths use to peddle their quackery.
- floods of tiny, false-positive trials
- too many papers, with too few skeptics to analyse those papers
- CAM bombard pollies and the public with propaganda, in some cases daily
- claim negative results as if they're positive!
- claim support from the pollies that they con
- statistical gymnastics; cherry-picking, data fishing, dredging, mirroring, cutting, etc
- outright fraud
- employment of popularity fallacy, through surveys, usually with leading questions
- serious criticism not responded to seriously
- referencing studies but claiming the authors' conclusions were different (i.e. favourable)
- claiming victimisation, because shaken water isn't treated like a medicine
- referencing selves as authorities on shaken water
- abusing medically-suggestive terminology such as cardio- osteo- arthero- pneumo- prefixes in brand names
- completely ignore chemical differences implied by names e.g. chloride, chlorite, chlorate, all treated as if equal!
- completely ignore differences in method/ingredients, for same outcome, or same ingredients, with different application
- completely ignore all accusations of the above; frame as conspiracy, without any effort to support claim of conspiracy!
- use global libel laws to suppress criticism of their various, fake, and paradoxical modalities

If you live in the UK, check your local Boots or Holland & Barrett - they might still be breaking the law, by displaying notificatinos for homeopathic products:
"If you see point-of-sale advertising, please email their Customer Services, telling them when and where you saw this advertising and refer to the MHRA's decision."

'Xocai – the nasty tale of a Norwegian chocolate mafia'
A better article than the one posted last week, from the original site

More chiro-quack-tic:
'Chiropractor claimed a blue light laser could cure food allergies'

Stem cells have great potential for genuinely efficacious medical treatments. But currently, the market's swamped by charlatans, claiming they know things about them that they simply do not.
"Stem cells hold great medical promise, but only one treatment is licensed in the US and that is for a rare blood disorder. Others are experimental and offering them commercially is in a legal grey area"

Researchers at the University of Sydney have found that the Join-Up method of training horses, lauded as humane, and employed by specific request from the Queen of Britain, is actually not so.
They found that the results are achieved by intimidation - and not by any synergy of body language, as claimed.

An H1N1 flu vaccine might cause deaths to Guillaume Barre disease in 1 in 2,000,000 recipients, but many thousands of people die to the flu, if contracted. This renders the danger of GB the far lesser of the two, and so this causation does not negate the importance of vaccination against H1N1 flu.

Iron pills cut tiredness in menstruating women by half?
No. Iron pills cut tiredness assessments by 3.5 points, on a 40-point scale. The change in fatigue was double in those on placebo, compared to real pills, so the statement as titled is false.

Oregon's selling the bigfoot myth to draw in gullible tourists!

What's this story doing, here? It's true! Pica is a real condition, and people really do nibble on pebbles, soil, cutlery... whatever you can think of!

What's the harm in traditional Asian medicine? Bears cruelly poached for body parts.

What's the harm in believing in magic? Con man arrested in India for fraud.

Another article with a caveat in the last paragraph.
Most of the way through: cranberry juice works against urinary infections
Last paragraph: there is high variance in the results, so should be treated with caution
LOL. That means "don't believe the above" :D

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