Debating on God: The Ground Rules

Edit: Apparently WordPress doesn’t like YouTube’s embedding code any longer. Watch this video.

Major blow for homeopathic ‘medicine’

Doctors in the UK have called for a ban on homeopathic medicine, the cessation of the NHS paying for it, and they have demanded that over-the-counter homeopathic medicine be labelled as having no proven worth.

Dr Tom Dolphin, from the BMA’s junior doctors committee, said that he had previously described homeopathy as witchcraft but now wanted to apologise to witches for making the link.

“Homeopathy is not witchcraft, it is nonsense on stilts,” he said.

“It is pernicious nonsense that feeds into a rising wave of irrationality which threatens to overwhelm the hard-won gains of the Enlightenment and the scientific method.

“We risk, as a society, slipping back into a state of magical thinking when made-up science passes for rational discourse and wishing for something to be true passes for proof.”

I love the unapologetic tone.

Doctor’s Data is a fraud

Doctor’s Data is a quack group that quacks around with data it produces for patients. That information is then used to create unjustified fears in healthy patients.

PZ has a post on this I’m going to copy and paste. I normally wouldn’t do this for an entire post (mostly for aesthetic reasons), but I know how much charlatan Christopher Maloney hates when people do that. I mean, I get it. Exposure isn’t good for alternative woo medicine business.

I don’t envy Stephen Barrett at all, but this is going to be good. Barrett is the doctor behind QuackWatch a wonderful resource for exposing bogus medical claims. Among the many subjects of common charlatanry he’s taken apart, one is the use of invalid tests to justify useless treatments, like chelation therapy, which is a goldmine for quacks. Do the doctory thing of drawing a little blood while wearing a white lab coat, send it off to a ‘lab’ that does a few tests and sends back a very official looking mass of data, and then the quack gazes into it and announces that you need powdered newts’ eyes, or whatever nostrum he’s peddling that day.

Barrett explained in thorough detail how the reports of one such ‘lab’, called “Doctor’s Data”, were jiggered to create unnecessary fears in patients.

Now Doctor’s Data is suing him.

This is going to be such a hassle for Barrett—a pointless, frivolous suit by con artists who don’t like the fact that he has publicly exposed their scam. But it is also deliciously ironic, because the suit will also make Doctor’s Data more widely known as a fraud. Everyone should go read the relevant articles on QuackWatch:

* How the Urine Toxic Metals Test Is Used to Defraud Patients
* CARE Clinics, Doctor’s Data, Sued for Fraud
* Be Wary of CARE Clinics and the Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (CASD)
* Three brief articles in Consumer Health Digest:
o Slate article blasts the urine toxic metals test
o Shady clinic and lab under legal assault
o “Autism specialists” sued
* Laboratories Doing Nonstandard Laboratory Tests

Spread the news far and wide. Make sure everyone knows Doctor’s Data is a fraud.

And if you want to help out monetarily, Quackwatch accepts donations.