The Futility of Finding Physical Explanations for Homeopathy

10th October, 2010 52

From the very first decades of homeopathy’s existence in the early 19th Century, mainstream scientists have dismissed its claims for one simple reason: the extremely dilute nature of the remedies. As Oliver Wendell Holmes remarked in 1842 “So much ridicule has been thrown upon the pretended powers of the minute doses”. Today’s modern understanding of the atomic nature of matter makes the homeopathic principle of dilution appear nonsensical. Many remedies [read more…]

John Benneth, Brian Josephson and an Absurd Talk at Cambridge

9th October, 2010 82

On the 1st of October, a rather unusual talk was held at the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge, entitled “The Supramolecular Chemistry of the Homeopathic Remedy”. The talk was at the invite of Nobel laureate Brian Josephson and was to be given by a chap named John Benneth. Josephson is a known supporter of parapsychology, telepathy and homeopathy. Now Benneth may well be known to critics of homeopathy as he is [read more…]

Medical Astrology – Forseeing the Future of Regulated Alternative Medicine

8th April, 2008 13

Part of the wonderful new world of regulated alternative medicine is the insistence that all registered practitioners undergo Continuous Professional Development. Just like in real professions, quacks will be expected to attend a certain number of hours per year in keeping their skills up to date and learning about the latest developments in their field. The Prince of Wales and his new Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council are right behind [read more…]

Should Cochrane Call for More Research Into Homeopathy?

1st March, 2008 14

The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent network of volunteers, funded only by donations, that collate systematic reviews of the evidence base for healthcare interventions. You can go online and view for yourself the current best thinking on how effective various treatments are. It is an important resource. (And you can help making it free throughout the EU by signing here.)Cochrane does not just cover conventional treatments, but also reviews alternative [read more…]

Begging the Question for Homeopathy

19th June, 2007 7

As my own personal tribute to Homeopathy Awareness Week, and as promised in my last post, I would like to critique a paper that has appeared in this Summer’s edition of the journal, Homeopathy in Practice. The article is entitled “Hormesis, epitaxy, the structure of liquid water, and the science of homeopathy” and is by Domenico Mastrangelo. The paper has appeared elsewhere but is obviously so important that HiP sees [read more…]

Dr Ann Walker and Her Neanderthal Theories

12th June, 2007 22

In this story, a supplement industry spokesperson resorts to Creationist ‘Science’ for their evidence to support the ‘crucial’ nature of supplement pills, shows how we should eat like Inuits, without the messy business of catching fish (or dying young), and has a pop at one of the UK’s most respected academics when he dares to point out some herbal gobbledegook. A quackometer refrain is that where you find people saying [read more…]

Wi-Fi, Quackery and the MPs

21st May, 2007 12

Well, today’s news has had lots of Wi-Fi scares being reported. Tonight’s Panorama is going to look at the ‘dangers’ of bringing Wi-Fi into schools. Let’s wait to see what they have to say, but early reports do not bode well as they are claiming that their ‘independent tests’ showed WiFi produces EM levels three times higher than mobile phone masts. It is difficult to think up a more meaningless [read more…]

The Dilemma of Finding Reliable Health Advice Online

7th March, 2007 4

A press release today from the Economic and Social Research Council talks about recent research on how the public evaluates the information on health websites. The concluding message is simple: When searching for health advice online, consumers often reject websites with high quality medical information in favour of those with a human touch. This is not good news for NHS sites, drug company sites and other sites that might try [read more…]

The Daily Mail: An Apology

12th December, 2006 4

Those of you who have read my last blog entry might be under the impression that I believe the Daily Mail is a deeply ignorant and offensive paper that panders to its bigoted readers’ prejudices and does nothing but promote its right wing individualistic nonsense. Furthermore, I may have left the impression that the Daily Mail is little more than a conduit for alternative medicine fraudsters who use the rag [read more…]

The First Annual Quackometer Awards and Year Review

8th December, 2006 0

The Quackometer has been up and running for just about a year and has seen some serious traffic increases over the past six months. Starting off with just a few hits per day, the daily unique visits now stand in the many hundreds, with a peak recently of several thousand. Cripes! What started off as a bit of a bored joke has now grown into a proper web site. So, [read more…]

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