Right Royal College of Pompous Quackery – Dublin

28th September, 2006 7

I had to share this with you. Following on from my recent Quack Word ‘Doctor’ blog, I came across the Royal College of Alternative Medicine (RCAM) , a Dublin based – well, I’m not sure quite what it is… What caught my eye was just the shameless aggrandisement of the site. It is quite hilarious, if not a little repetitive at times. Calling yourself ‘Doctor’ is somewhat pompous when all [read more…]

Quack Word #3: ‘Doctor’

5th September, 2006 28

UPDATE 12/2/07 Congratulations to Ben Goldacre and the crew at Bad Science for getting Dr Gillian McKeith banned from using the title ‘Dr’. In today’s Guardian she is fully exposed as a Menace to Science. The Advertising Standards Authority have agreed that her use of that cheaply acquired title is thoroughly misleading. One down…************************************************************ Yes, I know. This is surprising quack word, but let me explain. I’m not really writing [read more…]

Boots the Quack

29th August, 2006 11

I have recently been accused of working for the ‘drug industry’ and just picking on the ‘little guys’ who are using gentle, more human, and less capitalist healing methods. Well, as I say in my definition of quackery, quack thinking can come from all quarters and all sides of the orthodox/alternative medicine camps. ‘Big Pharma’ is a word that is pejoratively used to criticise drug companies in their pursuit of [read more…]

Quack Word #12: ‘Organic’

25th August, 2006 18

I believe that organic food is a con, is not necessarily more healthy for you, tastes no different, and is damaging to the environment. There, I have got that off my chest, but unfortunately I now feel like I have just admitted to being a child murderer, a racist or even a supporter of George Bush’s foreign policy. Let me explain… The word organic is now synonymous with everything good, [read more…]

Quack Word #37: ‘Holistic’

11th August, 2006 3

As you know, the quackometer works by counting words, or combinations of words, that strongly suggest the web site is full of quackery. I thought I would write about a few of those words and why they are dead give-aways. So, ‘Holistic’ – not in itself necessarily anything to do with medicine, but this word is often used with medicine when quackery is at work. Why is this and what [read more…]

Do Hedgehogs Give My Cat Acupuncture?

31st July, 2006 3

I thought my post on Reiki Healing for Hedgehogs was going to be a one-off. But a recent trip to the garden centre has opened up a whole new compost heap of prickles. Now, I live in hedgehog country. I have a hedgehog hospital within feather spitting distance of my pond, and I see them around me all the time. I am fond of them. My prickly, vespertine friends come [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…]

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