The Mineral-Depleted Food Scandal

20th April, 2006 34

The news (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) has been full of reports about how our food in Britain is becoming less nutritious and that it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain a full set of minerals and vitamins through the food we buy in supermarkets. I have been told by several people that this is the reason why it is so important to take supplements. Can this be true? If [read more…]

UK Hospital HR Manager in ‘Near Death Experience’

12th April, 2006 5

Let’s recap – ‘Cellular Memory’ – the alleged ability for every cell to retain some sort of energy memory about us that can get passed on through organ transplants to the recipients. We saw how Dr Gary Schwartz was showing off his latest art prodigy who had acquired the ability to crayon-in after a heart transplant from an artist. Then we saw that these theories were being backed-up by the [read more…]

‘Cellular Memory’ Fails Memory Test

11th April, 2006 11

After having an argument on a message board about whether Cellular Memory could really exist (see last post), I was offered that the following expert would back up these strange theories of Dr Gary Schwartz. His name is Dr Paul Pearsall and you can see his impressive home page here. Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychoneuroimmunologist. Try saying that drunk. Now, the quackometer gives this result to Dr [read more…]

Heart Transplants and ‘Cellular Memory’

11th April, 2006 14

Once again, the bonkers story of how organ transplant patients aquire the behavioural characteristics of their donors has cropped up in the more gullible papers. So, i thought I would bump up this post. Here’s a story from the Daily Mail. A man gains a miraculous ability to paint after receiving a heart transplant from an artist! Let’s see what the quackometer makes of it… 0 quack points Not too [read more…]

What is Quackery?

11th April, 2006 6

Definitions are hard. You could argue that one person’s quack is another’s health professional. I do not want to limit the definition to just those people who practice Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Your local GP may, on occaisions, resort to quackery. Also, a CAM practitioner may be very diligent in how they present themselves. I shall take a working definition from the excellent Quackwatch web site. This definition appears [read more…]

The Science of Quackometrics

11th April, 2006 5

So, how does the Quackometer work? The quackometer counts words in web pages that quacks tend to use. The more quack words, the more quackery is suspected. That is Quackometrics. The basic problem is that spotting the suspect words that many sites use, such as ‘vibrations’ or ‘energy’ is just not good enough as ‘good science’ sites are quite at liberty to use them. Even spotting these words in close [read more…]

What is the Quackometer?

11th April, 2006 0

The quackometer is an experiment to see if it is easy to spot quack web sites just from the language they use. The idea for this site came about after various discussions on Guardian writer Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science blog. Several people have noted how quack web-sites use similar language and vocabulary and once you can spot the patterns, spotting quackery is easy. Quack words include “energy”, “holistic”, “vibrations”, “magnetic [read more…]

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