I Was Wrong (and I Bet You Were Too)
For me, one of the great pleasures of skepticism is finding out I was wrong about something. Rather than feeling guilty about my error, I feel proud that I have learned something and have a better understanding of reality. When skeptics encounter a questionable claim, they do some fact-checking. But what if they don’t realize …
Science Envy in Alternative Medicine
One definition of alternative medicine is medicine that is not supported by good enough evidence to have earned a place in mainstream medicine. Comedian Tim Minchin asked, “What do you call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.” That’s a simplistic answer good for laughs, but the truth is a bit more complicated. Alternative medicine embraces many …
Clínicas Ambulatorias para Inyectarse Intravenosas – Una Mala Idea
Solo tiene que entrar. No podría ser mejor. No se necesita turno ni orden médica — simplemente ingrese a clínica ambulatoria y aplíquese la infusión de nutrientes vía intravenosa (IV) a elección. Es una moda pasajera. Hay salones IV, bares de goteo, negocios de boutiques de vitaminas, puestos de rejuvenecimiento, incluso servicios IV móviles que …
Walk-In Clinics for IVs—a Bad Idea
Just walk in. It couldn’t be more convenient. No appointment needed, no order from a doctor—you just walk into a storefront clinic and get the IV nutrient infusion of your choice. It’s a popular fad. There are IV lounges, drip bars, boutique vitamin drip shops, rejuvenation stations, even mobile IV services that come to you. …
Cuidado y Nutrición de la Vagina
Según lo visto en Skeptical Inquirer Volumen 42, Número 5. En nuestra sociedad, el estatus de las mujeres continúa mejorando. Como dice la publicidad de cigarrillos, “Has recorrido un largo camino, muchacha”. Ciertamente, parece que ahora tenemos Igual Oportunidad de Charlatanismo. El sexo vende. Siempre fue un objetivo popular para el charlatanismo, pero éste solía …
Too Many Medical Tests
Doctors order too many tests. Some are useless, some are harmless (except for the cost), but some can lead to serious bodily harm. Misconceptions about Tests Many people, including doctors, tend to think of tests as giving consistent and reliable yes or no answers. They think a test can make a diagnosis, but that’s not …
The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not. By Abby Hafer. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books. 2015. ISBN: 9781620329412. 244 pp. Paperback, $31.00. Intelligent design (ID) maintains that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent cause (presumably God?) rather than by the natural process of …
Measles Was Gone, but It Came Back
Measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000. It could have stayed gone, but it didn’t. As of April 19, 626 cases had been reported to the CDC so far in 2019 in multiple states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, …
El Dr. Oz Vende Chatarra
Con su entusiasta autobombo y sus embustes al aire, el Dr. Oz siempre me asombró por sonar más a un vendedor de automóviles usados que a un respetado cirujano cardiotorácico. Un vendedor de automóviles usados le dirá a usted que el automóvil está en condiciones impecables, que siempre estuvo guardado en un garaje climatizado, y …
Tratamiento Facial “Vampiro”
Artículo traducido por Alejandro Borgo, Director del CFI/Argentina. Hay una nueva moda para las celebridades: los tratamientos faciales vampiro. ¿Ha visto usted la foto de Kim Kardashian West luego de su tratamiento-vampiro, mostrando su rostro salpicado con sangre y cubierto con pequeñas heridas? Si no la ha visto, haga clic en el link y mírela …
Lou Gehrig’s Disease Was Named for the Baseball Player—but Was He Misdiagnosed?
Lou Gehrig, the famous New York Yankees first baseman, was known as the “Iron Horse” for his batting skills and stamina. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and voted the greatest first baseman of all time, he set records that stood for over fifty years. In 1939, on his thirty-sixth birthday, he was diagnosed …
Beber sangre de murciélagos es una mala (y loca) idea
En la medicina tradicional china (MTC), uso médico generalizado de productos animales tales como bilis de oso, cuernos de rinoceronte, huesos de tigre y escamas de pangolín ha devenido en la práctica de la crueldad animal y ha amenazado a varias especies respecto de su extinción.
Dr. Oz Sells Lemons
I was not at all surprised to learn that Dr. Oz is selling the other kind of lemon, the kind that grows on trees.
Fake News about Health Products
One of my biggest pet peeves is advertisements for bogus health-related products deceptively presented as news stories. These appear regularly in many newspapers, including my own local paper the Tacoma News Tribune, and they typically fill a half page. They usually include the words advertisement or paid advertisement in small print that is easy to …
Un exceso de tonterías
El mundo se está volviendo más loco? Parece que sí, pero quizá es que yo estoy más consciente de la estupidez. He aquí solo unas pocas cosas estrafalarias con las que me he cruzado recientemente.
A Surfeit of Silliness
Is the world getting crazier?
Revolviendo el contenedor de basura del VAERS La realidad es la mejor medicina
Sin duda, las vacunas son uno de los más grandes triunfos de la medicina moderna.
Drinking the Blood of Bats Is a Bad (and Batty) Idea
Now humans are turning the tables. They are drinking the blood of bats in the misguided belief that it has health benefits.
Better Than Dumbledore
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could actually meet a character from fiction and chat with him over dinner? Who would you choose? One character I would enjoy meeting is Dumbledore, the kindly wizard who is the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books. Here are some of his …
Is Acupuncture Winning?
When I first heard of acupuncture in medical school in the late 1960s, I became convinced that it worked.
Human ingenuity is endless. People are always looking for the next secret that will improve their health and appearance.
Diving into the VAERS Dumpster
Fake News about Vaccine Injuries
How We Believe
Beliefs guide all our thoughts and behaviors, from brushing our teeth to voting for a particular political party.
Creencia: qué significa creer y por qué nuestras convicciones son tan persuasivas. Por James E. Alcock, Amherst, NY, USA: Prometheus Books.
A 500-Pound Amoeba: Psychiatry from the Inside
Psychiatry is arguably the least science-based of all the medical specialties. There are no objective blood tests or imaging studies to diagnose mental illness, medications are often not very effective and have bad side effects, and it’s hard to do good controlled studies on talk therapies. No wonder people are skeptical.
Colorpuncture applies various colors of light to acupoints with a small flashlight-like instrument with a colored quartz rod.
The Case That CAM is Unethical
CAM exploits patients, including physical damage, mental distress, financial loss, and harm to third parties.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on Vaccination
Today’s anti-vaccine arguments echo the same words that were used in 1887.
Tackling the Big Questions
Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia. By Michael Shermer. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2018. ISBN: 978-1-62779-857-0. 320 pp. Hardcover, $30.00. In 1997, Michael Shermer wrote one of the classics of skepticism, Why People Believe Weird Things. He has continued to produce skeptical books at regular intervals, with topics …
Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fear
The headlines say things like, “Best Non-Toxic Cookware Options: Don’t Let Your Cookware Kill You” and “Cookware is a scary toxic minefield.”
Did Salt Water Supplement Regenerate Baby’s Heart Valve?
If a missing part of the heart was actually regenerated by ASEA, it would have been trumpeted in the headlines and someone would be in line for a Nobel Prize.
Train Track Therapy
People in Indonesia lie down on the tracks with their head on one rail and their legs on another. When a train comes, they get up and move away; after it passes, they lie down again.
Book about Quackery Is a Hoot!
In addition to colorfully describing quackeries I was already aware of, the book covers many that were new, along with providing obscure facts and tidbits about celebrities.
The Riddle of Consciousness
Consciousness is not a nonphysical phenomenon. It is an evolved user-illusion, “a system of virtual machines that evolved, genetically and memetically, to play very special roles in the ‘cognitive niche’ our ancestors have constructed over the millennia.”
Pulseras de cobre y cócteles: ¿el cobre te curará o te matará?
Las pulseras de cobre se usaron durante siglos en la medicina folcórica. Supuestamente reducen el dolor de las articulaciones y la rigidez asociada a la artritis, y usando cobre en la muñeca presuntamente beneficia a todas las articulaciones en el cuerpo.
Copper Bracelets and Moscow Mules: Will Copper Heal You or Kill You?
Copper bracelets have been used for centuries in folk medicine. They allegedly reduce the joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, and wearing copper on the wrist supposedly benefits all joints in the body.
Recent Developments in ‘Eastern’ Science
Science from the Koran and the Vedas? Who knew?
Ayurveda: Ancient Superstition, Not Ancient Wisdom
Ayurveda is basically superstition mixed with a soupçon of practical health advice.
Would You Drill Holes in Your Head for Science?
The information that can be obtained from sham surgery trials is invaluable, but it doesn’t always change clinical practices, and many have questioned the ethics of subjecting sham surgery patients to the risks of sham surgery knowing there is no possible benefit to their health.