Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! posting the first comment on the new and improved quackometer site!

Looks really good - and easier to find what you're looking for - excellent!

just a teeny comment. the head profile on the title bar bears passing relation (shudder) to a certain broccoli-for-brains logo....

June 12, 2007 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know the ICR website ( gets no canards?

Love the new look BTW

June 13, 2007 9:06 AM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

The ICR gets no Canards because they are cranks not quacks. Big difference (usually)

June 13, 2007 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, so what about scientology? some kind of cross-breed - cracks perhaps?

June 18, 2007 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Journals, such as Homeopathy in Practice, look like they do not apply the same standards of refereeing as might be found in real scientific journals. Mastrangelo's paper contains elements of pharmacology, surface and solid-state physics, cosmology, quantum physics and the philosophy of science. Surely the best test of whether Mastrangelo had succeeded in showing homeopathy was a part of science would be to have real scientists in appropriate fields peer review this paper. What I would like to know is how many of the referees for the paper (if it was peer reviewed at all) were suitably qualified in the above subjects.
My guess is none. I shall be writing to find out."






July 7, 2007 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[trying not to smirk]

re: the comments from the aggrieved author of that homeo paper.

Well yes, I know it's an ad hom, but really, you'd think by now people would know what the 'caps lock' key does ...

... and you'd also think that if he wanted to create the impression of "heavyweight academic researcher" he'd start by trying to create an aura of *quiet* dignity.

July 16, 2007 5:25 AM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...


Hadn't been checking these comments for a while. Glad to see you have turned up, but you really ought to buy new keyboard.

Whilst you are doing that, perhaps you would like to tackle my criticisms of your article rather than trying to start a qualifications war.

Typical of homeopaths. Resort to ad-hom in the face of fair criticism.

August 5, 2007 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your Quackometer may be too sensitive to "quartz" or "quartz crystals". I searched on my name and got a 7 Canards because of some publications on quartz crystals (which have legit uses in electronics). For example, this symposium from the IEEE (and very non-quarkery organization) .

August 13, 2007 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Janusz Z. Byczkowski, Ph.D. said...

When I learned about this tool, I was very excited: "Wow! Finally those who cannot figure out themselves, will have some standard way to check for BS on Web". Unfortunately, I got disappointed when I checked a couple of web sites posting list of published peer reviewed scientific papers (including my own CV ;-( E.g., a list of publications of certain Nobel Prize winner scored 7.
Also, a Web site that posts computer codes of physiologically based pharmacokinetic models scored 8! Sorry, the Quackometer does not work - but the idea is grrreat!
Best wishes. Janusz

August 22, 2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous SciencePunk said...

I'm still experiencing rendering problems with your site. I'm using FF Plus the counter about the overdue observer apology doesn't display correctly. And IMHO you should stick a link to the About page where you mention reading the FAQ before commenting.

I don't mean to be all down on you, but I thought you might not be aware of this little nags.

Otherwise, keep up the awesome work! Can't believe I've overlooked adding and RSS feed to your blog until now. LCN kicks ass.

August 31, 2007 2:44 AM  
Anonymous wendyk said...

Just signed up to your excellent site(via email).
I have emailed a protest to Holland and Barrett
Had no idea this was going on;disgraceful.
Tried to email but couldn't get a link.

October 8, 2007 7:33 AM  
Blogger quacknet said...

dear CN,
why not take a look at

I have an academic and did have a commercial interest in the science of innate immune priming (via U Louisville), and I can tell you that it is an intellectually thrilling and strategically important area. I hate to see the concept being degraded and buzz-words misused to sell a mishmash of unfounded junk (for the most part). A few years ago I would not have objected as there did not appear to be anything substantially useful in this area, but the situation has changed dramatically and as a result selling unproven (and unsubstantiatable) materials to a vulnerable public has become a much more serious offence.
paul clayton

October 15, 2007 7:13 AM  
Blogger Persiflage said...

I wouldn't normally come on here and post a plug for anything, but I thought this might amuse the li'l black duck. And, of course, I could do with input from the sort of folks who hang out here...

Yup, it's just what it sounds like ;)

October 15, 2007 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a really tough CPA Test Review

December 5, 2007 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

le canard I don't know if you ever read this page but could I suggest you add a latest comments section to the front page of your blog. I've noticed that there is often a lot of comment activity on your archived threads, particularly DUllman posting to threads mentioning him. I think it would be useful to be able to see on the front page what new comments have been made.

January 4, 2008 5:37 AM  
OpenID le canard noir said...

This blog is run off blogger which is a bit shit at a few things - like recent comments. Does anyone know a good widget for latest comments off all entries?

January 4, 2008 6:34 AM  
Anonymous triamazon said...

Hello Andy Lewis, my name is Andrew Harris, i am the owner of
Firstly i have not been busted regardless of what the daily mail states (Law suit for defamation pending) Secondley i have no criminal record whatsoever!
Your defamation regarding my product is without doubt as bad as the daily mirror, pure unfounded allegations, i have not been charged with any offences, the product is being tested by the MRHA and the results will end up with egg on theire faces as i will be suing them also, my medical records are testimony along with people who have purchased triamazon, please do not slander me or my product that the PRESS HAVE DONE, READ THE DAILY MAIL STORY fully and you will see the MHRA claim herbs can not cure cancer, this statement makes a mockery of their facts along with the fact that they openly state, the do not know whats in triamazon!so why the heavy tactics? because i have realy exposed the government for failing in its duties of care by denying the information on a superior cancer killer thats non toxic, the government the mhra get paid handsomely by big pharmaceuticals, i know your intentions are for the good of everyone but you realy have fell short on your factual evidence supplied by a corrupt treasonous labour government controlled press and media propaganda machine. my solicitor has the truth all about the product triamazon, call him Keith Dyson Solicitors tel 0161 832 9933 and ask him, and he will confirm it all, any more slander and i will have a private investigator to locate you via your IP ADDRESS AND tell me who you really are and then we will see how you liked being stalked and defamed, you owe me a huge apology you are damaging my name and a good truthfull business with your slader carry on and we will see what your actions will cause you to lose legally.
Call my website tel number and speak with me, i have nothing to hide or be ashamed off, regards, Andrew Harris For and on behalf of

February 1, 2008 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely site - quacks are up there with priests in my (not so good) book. Do you ever feature Life coaches - i know at least two who have made a complete balls up of their own lives and families, but who have the nerve to sell their words of wisdom for quite outrageous sums of money....

February 7, 2008 5:28 AM  
Anonymous Big Mick said...

Dude, you really need to disable caps on these comments ! just a quick note to say YAY FOR QUACKOMETER AND IF SOME LOSER TRIES TO SHUT YOU DOWN THEY'LL HAVE ME TO DEAL WITH !!!

February 27, 2008 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Hi Andy

After doing some extensive research of my own into Joseph Obi (who lives painfully close to me, i.e. in the same country!), I've filed a lengthy complaint (and copious supporting evidence) about RCAM to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

More details at .
I'll let you know how I get on.


March 3, 2008 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm having all sorts of confusion in the banner at the top of the page. Lots of things overlaying each other. I'm using XP and Opera. Please sort! Great site otherwise.


April 11, 2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Fonto' said...

I was wondering if you know where I could find this surveys negative twin, since this one doesn't give you a choice of a negative option (huge shocker LOL)

Great site, I wandered on it during a search to back up my posts in a debate about cellular memory in tranplant patients and I have spent more hours than I actually have free reading up and nodding madly.

April 14, 2008 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Keith Scott-Mumby said...

So Andy, You're pretty shadowy. I searched the whole site to see what medical school you went to. Please tell me.
You seem pretty selective in your "science", leaning only on what supports your prejudice.
You clearly don't like homeopathy. Are you aware of this study in the Lancet, which showed very clearly, double blind etc that it DOES.
[Lancet Dec 10, 1994:344, p 1585]
In fact it was so conclusively favourable the editor could only bleat that "... we must ask if the technique of randomized controlled trials is fundamentally flawed, and capable of producing evidence for effects that do not exist, by, for example, the effects of clinicians' expectations of outcome transmitting by subtle effects that circumvent double blinding?"
[Lancet 1994;344;1601- 06]
It seems odd that ignorant people (I would not exclude you) say that homeopathy does not meet scientific criteria and when it does, the official view is that there must be something wrong the standard scientific method!
I think it's just slander on decent homeopaths (I'm not a homeopath).
You also attack the human energetic aura and maintain there is no way to measure it. Are you aware of SQUIDs which show a clear EM energetic shell out to 15 feet or more? Or that these devices show clear detectable energy fields emanating from the hands of "healers"? No you wouldn't know that, I suppose.
It's nice to have a "balance" but not a balance of all crap!
Try and be the champion of truth you claim to be.
Keith Scott-Mumby
BTW if you call the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital (0141 211 1600) they'll tell you about the diphtheria epidemic in which 100% of children survived, while mortality raged at 50% in the conventional world you espouse so uncomplainingly.

April 25, 2008 5:35 PM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

So, Dr Scott-Mumby, one-time Professor of 'Energy medicine', what is your best, best evidence for the existence of a 'human energetic aura' and how healers can manipulate it. Please give full references to studies or reviews.

April 28, 2008 4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do some really great work on this site BUT the comments on the Hypothyroidism medication is ,to be polite.utter drivel! I have contacted three eminent Harly St doctors they ALL agree that the blood test does not always show up the problem.If someone displays the symptoms they can be given the lowest dose of Thyroxine and see whether it results in improvement.

May 14, 2008 1:47 PM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

Ahhh. harly [sic] street. The quackiest street in the UK. Please reference what you say and leave a comment on the thread you are talking about.

May 14, 2008 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi i am replying to the mmr debate,i am no doctor just a layman with little knowledge.has anyone thought about the future concequences of the mmr jab, what happens in say ten generations time when no one is given the mmr jab because it is not needed,what happens to these children who are not immune to measles or mumps and there is an outbreak,how seious will this outbreak be?could it be potentially deadly?when we where kids if someone in our street caught these diseases all the kids where sent to play with that person,then we where all ill for a week and that was that ,i also think the seriosness of this infection is highly exagerated ,so a few more people can make a few million quid out of it.i know some people become very ill from these but it is not that many.

March 4, 2009 4:18 AM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

Thanks you for your uninformed opinion. Most enlightening.

March 4, 2009 4:38 AM  
Anonymous Helper Passion said...

"Thanks you for your uninformed opinion."

How concomitant with your content is your tone and presentation.

Your attack on my personal website was clearly not written by a man of letters.

Unlike you, I take nothing but pleasure from the internet, and the knowledge that my work empowers people to empower themselves.

Not a credit card in sight or in-site on any of my many and huge websites because, unlike you, I recognize that the third-largest cause of death is iatrogenic, not stroke-related.

I feel sorriest for people who accept your unfounded opinions, wherein the whole of your commentary is always that which supports your preconceived notions.

This commentary is meant to encourage those who come to this site to remember that you should NEVER, EVER believe any one individual or source. The more you learn, the more you know, and the better your decisions tend to be.

When you find ten and fifty or a thousand people doing something successfully, that's when you have patterns sufficient to give some respect to.

Above all, remember that in an eight-year course of study, medical doctors receive a maximum of seven hours of training in nutrition and healing. All the rest is anatomy and learning to match symptoms with patented medicines. MD's are magnificent for traumas, and lethal for everything else.

PS: When your pH in kept in the green, even if you have to force it with appropriate alkaline support, you will NOT be able to develop or sustain disease of any kind, for all disease is acidic, all disease is inflammatory. When you neutralize the acidity, you wipe out most every bug known to Mankind. This is one of the sweetest shortcuts you will ever learn and love.

Be well.

March 24, 2009 3:28 PM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

Magnificent delusion. All of it.

pH? True quackery. Substantiation please...

March 24, 2009 4:10 PM  
Anonymous mmackay40 said...

You might want to play with your Quackometer model.

I put this blog entry by Jim Carrey in and it came up zero.

Of course, part of it might be that the quacks are getting very artful in moderating their language through rhetorical tricks to appear more rational than they are.

April 22, 2009 4:58 PM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

Jim Carey? Quack or Crank?

April 23, 2009 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can they say this? (from Viva Mayr Clinic site web - which incidentally scores 0 canards......)

* Hyperthermia treatment destroys cancer cells by raising the tumour temperature. This is similar to the way the body uses fever to fight infection.

When normal body tissue is heated the blood vessels open up (dilate) to allow the blood to flow more freely. This helps to cool down the area and prevent damage. The blood supply to cancer cells is different. The blood vessels cannot dilate as well and blood flow is generally slower. When heat is applied to a cancer, the cells are less able to cool down and are more likely to be damaged by the high temperature. The effect of the heat damages the cancer cells and can deprive them of the nutrients they need to survive."


May 1, 2009 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think chiropractic is bogus, you want to take a look at "Zero Balancing" - which is increasingly being offered as a "therapy" by chiropractors. Should you decide to indulge in a session or two, you will be reassured to know that "The touch used in Zero Balancing has a characteristic clarity, which engages the body's structure and energy simultaneously in a way that harmonises the relationship between them. Finger pressure and held stretches are focused on the bones and joints so as to create repeated points of stillness around which the body can relax and reorganise." So that's OK then. RJF, Stroud

June 25, 2009 3:28 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I'm looking for support from the skcptis on the web. My idiot neighbour, with help from the preist and the media has created "new mini-Lourdes" on the dirt track where I live. 15,000 people arrived today. I have blogged what happened and what people can do to help, we are a tiny community now trapped in our homes by traffic that a small city couldn't cope with let alone a hamlet of 8 families. all for "holy magic healing water" that is the same well water I use on my garden.

August 2, 2009 4:52 PM  
Anonymous editroidium said...

This is an interesting site that only gives 7 quacks but an exciting development.

Go to Ebay and try distant reiki, for £15 you can have healing energies sent to you even when sleeping. Perhaps the NHS could use it in a mass sense to save money :)

September 9, 2009 3:23 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Thought you might like this alert sent out by the MHRA – a wonderful tacit admission that homeopathic products actually contain nothing of the substance after which they’re named:

Consumers are warned not to take any product containing aconite (except homoeopathic products)

We are aware of recent media reports that a celebrity has taken aconite as a ‘herbal valium’. Aconite (sometimes known as monkshood) is a poisonous plant, toxic to the heart, and has been associated with deaths and serious illness. This is a clear case where natural does not mean safe.

There is no evidence of risk from the use of homoeopathic aconite products which may be identified by a number on the product packaging prefixed with the letters 'HR' that indicate it is a registered product manufactured to assured standards of safety and quality.”


September 23, 2009 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Jenny L said...

Dear Mr Lewis

My brother Martin wrote you this email on 7.10.09. You may have been too busy to reply as yet.

[ Dear Mr Lewis,

I love the little black duck and even link to it on my web site at, however the duck has upset my sister whose web site is at

Although the black duck gives keyhypnotherapy 10 canards I do not find the web site "full of scientific jargon that is out of place." I quote below a typical passage from the web site:

"The vast majority of physical conditions have an emotional element that can exacerbate symptoms. If the emotional element is addressed symptoms may be ameliorated and sometimes even completely eradicated with hypnotherapy. Even conditions such as diabetes can be adversely affected by stress so reducing stress levels can only be a good thing.

"Clients will always be encouraged to follow the advice of their GP or hospital consultant and must never stop medication without consulting their doctor."

In fact Jenny (my sister) would like to produce something more scientific than the admittedly wonderful testimonials she gets (yes, I know anecdote is not data), but as you know research is difficult for a sole practitioner. She has searched Cochrane and found very little positive or negative.

More disturbing is the fact that when I hover the cursor over the keyhypnotherapy URL in the quackometer results (and indeed my own web site, which scored zero) I get not only a snapshot of the page but also random links to detox, ear candles and Q-link among others. While I do not much care about this, Jenny definitely does not want to be associated with any of this junk.

Is the black duck making money out of advertising links to dodgy 'medical' products? For shame! I think you better go check on the little fella as (s)he appears to be making a fast alternative buck behind your back.


Martin ]

I have since read your ‘How the Quackometer works’ page and found this comment:

[  Sedgewick Demetrius said...
I see a flaw (only because I've just used the quackometer and was concerned by it's result).

The problem occurs in this situation:
A reputable person (in this case Ursula James - Visiting Teaching Fellow at Oxford University Medical School) is listed on an index site, but that index site has a long list of therapies offered by other members including some quackery, all down one side.

Because the quackometer sees the names of all the other therapies it associates them with the subject of the search (Ursula James) and decides that she is a quack.

This is clearly a flaw so I pass it over to you guys to investigate.
July 17, 2009 3:11 AM  ]

Does le Canard Noir have a Mallardy? Could the Ruddy Duck be a Bufflehead?

I think the idea of a Quackometer is fab and I heartily subscribe to your basic principles. I have recently read Ben Goldacre’s ‘Bad Science’ and will be giving at least one as a Christmas present this year.

Your Quackometer is liable to throw up a lot of false positives by accidental juxtaposition of sound with flakey. If you do not review your methods this will discredit le petit canard noir.

Please find the time to review my website ( and let me know where you find the ‘quacks’. I will certainly edit anything you find that is out of order and if you sort out the Quackometer I will put a link on my site.



October 14, 2009 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Le Canard Noir. Could you make work properly on Safari on the Mac please?

November 4, 2009 10:18 AM  
Anonymous iwinc said...

$100 for the Homeopathy challenge?Wow-is that the best you can do?I predict you'll be waiting 100 years for that.No offense,but if i was a Homeopath who believed in Homeopathy, i wouldn't even spell Homeopathy for $100

December 3, 2009 7:11 AM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

No Offense. But if you actually bother to read my challenge you would see that $100 is the expected cost - no the prize.

The prize is proving to the world, for the first time, that there might be something in homeopathy.

December 4, 2009 2:12 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Dear Mr Lewis, I was interested in the article in the Sunday Times about the use of a form of osteopathy used by a Mr Robert Delgardo. Are you aware that Mr Delgardo is not on the current Osteopahic register and should not be calling himself an osteopath? For what it's worth although an osteopath myself I feel that the is no place for the law in scientific debate and think the action by the chiropractic council most unfortunate. Tom Cree

December 4, 2009 9:36 AM  
Blogger Jenny Lineham said...

Hello Dr Lewis

I am still hoping for a response to my comment made Oct 14th. Will I get one? I really want to know what you think of my website.

December 5, 2009 9:35 AM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

Jenny - what evidence do you have that hypnotherapy can cure diarrhoea, hayfever, asthma? And improve sales performance or sports abilities?

December 5, 2009 10:00 AM  
Blogger Jenny Lineham said...

Would anyone like to review my website and tell me why I get 10 canards?

Come on... I really want to know!

Happy Christmas me ducks.

December 22, 2009 3:57 AM  
Blogger Jenny Lineham said...

Ooh, I've only just found this bit and seen your comment. Sorry - I was looking in the wrong place.

As I say in my website, any condition that has an emotional component can be improved by sorting out underlying stress (I never claim to cure, though many of my clients have achieved complete freedom from their symptoms). Obviously infectious diarrhoea would need antibiotics etc. but some people have diarrhoea which only occurs when they are about to leave the house for instance. It is clearly possible that this could be related to some anxiety. Asthma is well known to be exacerbated by stress and an allergic reaction can, sometimes, (although I know this may be more contentious) be triggered by a forgotten episode from childhood.

I would have thought that sales performance and sports improvement were self evident. Much comes down to confidence and self belief. A sportsman will sometimes develop a block with regard to a specific move and it is common knowledge that innate ability is enhanced vastly by the right mental approach.

I have recently started to use the PHQ-9 forms (used by the NHS as a mood gauge) and wish I had done this from the start. I intend to ask clients to complete one at the beginning and end of treatment (usually 5 sessions) and will follow up 6 and 12 months later. My problem is that there has been so little proper research done on hypnotherapy - I am up for a challenge if anyone has a suggestion!

I only do this work because I seem to have excellent results with most of my clients - I could not take their money if I did not think they were getting good value and I have never had a complaint in 8 years of practice. Of course you only have my word for this.

If I could explain to you, face to face, my understanding of hypnotherapy and how it works it would be much easier. I always give my clients a comprehensive explanation and I had a very positive response from GP trainees and specialist registrars on a pain management study day in City Hospital, Nottingham. I trained as a nurse in Oxford and have my feet firmly on the ground. I don't do 'wishy-washy-airy-fairy'. I don't understand crystals, reiki, ear candles etc. and thoroughly agree with you on homeopathy and such-like. I do things that seem logical to me. If you can suggest a way for me to investigate the benefits (or otherwise) of hypnotherapy, that would be accepted by the scientific community, I am all yours!

Sorry this is so long winded. I am good at what I do and keen for more people to understand what can be achieved.

May your Yuletide be full of precious things.

December 22, 2009 4:41 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

I was reading an old post about about homeopathy that mentioned a dilution of 1 part in 10^60. How can one achieve such a dilution when the number of atoms on the planet is less than 10^60?

mass of earth: 6x10^24 kg

6x10^27 grams

3.6x10^51 molecules (That is, if the earth were completely monatomic hydrogen. The real answer is lower) as 1 gram of monatomic hydrogen has 6x10^23 atoms.

In fact, a liter of aqueous solution will only have about 3.3x10^25 water molecules; hence, to get a solution of dilution 1 part in 10^60 would require 3x10^34 liters, which is 3x10^31 m^3. This is the volume of a cube that is 3x10^10 m on each side, or 3x10^7 km on each side. which is 20 times the diamter of the sun.

December 28, 2009 8:30 PM  
Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

Such dilutions can in principle be easily obtained by serial dilution, as homeopaths do. In practice, they are meaningless.

December 28, 2009 11:24 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

No. The serial dilution will simply result in not having any "active" ingredient left. Now (some) homeopaths admit this, but why go through the charade of dilution? Is it just to draw in the customers?

December 29, 2009 3:24 PM  

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