and your electron microscope

Category: Scepticism

McCarthy Madness

Jenny McCarthy is one of the leading lights of Americas anti-vaccination movement (vocal to the extent that some sceptical wag has created this  and her most recent pronouncement relates to the discrediting of the paper that many blame for launching the MMR “controversy” (Or more accurately the Medias MMR hoax). Read the rest of this entry »


Flowchart Friday #2

Ok so it’s Saturday… But better late then never right? Think about your answer and read the whole post before deciding though!

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Homeopathy: the air guitar of medicine

Homeopathy: the air guitar of medicine. (As christened by Peter Harrison)

Homeopaths are notoriously wedded to the idea that giving people water with nothing in it is better than giving them medicine.

Which just goes to show… You can lead a homeopath to science but you can’t make them think.

conversely you can take a scientist to homeopathy but you can’t make them swallow it. (As Andy Lewis of quackometer kindly pointed out although the events of 1023 might make some question that point!) Mainly because scientists require evidence and the like to accept the healing properties of the magic water…

One of the arguments homeopaths like to put forward is that big pharma is a evil and this somehow means homeopathy works…

Well ok there are issues with big pharma but take Nestle for instance. The babymilk debacle didn’t somehow make thin air chocolate does it?

If it did though it could explain the obesity epidemic.

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Flowchart Friday!

Here’s to having insomnia ridden beer addled ideas!

In part inspired by the “debate” on the #ten23 hashtag on twitter and the moronic mewing sprouting up on online articles up and down the land here are a couple of flowcharts. Read the rest of this entry »

Fun for skeptics and believers alike!

There has been some hoohaw over on natural news courtesy of everyone’s favourite healthranger (note that r is but a short keypress away from d…)  Mike Adams (who I have blogged about before here). It seems the twitter based shorty awards disqualification (more here and here and here) and the 1023 campaign may have broken his fragile little naturopath mind.  His ranting here is impressive – it’s scary though to see how quickly not getting ones own way translates into vast and mysterious conspiracies though… How do these peoples minds work? I don’t mean in a general why do they think what they think but literally how does one persons brain cope with so much nonsense and cognitive dissonance?

My mind boggles just trying to conceive it!

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AD hom and on and on and on… AD HOM!

Despite what some folks may think I am not a Nazi and I am a skeptic!

The 1023 campaign is not about restricting freedom of choice, it is not about banning homeopathy rather it is about raising awareness of the scientific evidence that shows homeopathy doesn’t work.

Now I’m very sorry if hearing the scientific fact that “Homeopathy doesn’t work”  causes you some discomfort or upset and you are of course allowed to reject the massive weight of empirical and scientific evidence that suggests there is nothing in homeopathy. You can ignore the laws of the universe as discovered by physicists and chemists that state the memory of water is impossible and that you would need to drink the oceans dry to find an active ingredient in your homeopathic remedy.

Such is your right to freedom of belief.

You can ignore the science and you can ignore the evidence based medicine all you want.

What you don’t have the right to do is engage is baseless ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with you.

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1023: suffering from the Dawkins effect?

Richard Dawkins is a man who, at the least it would be fair to say, divides opinion. For some he is an evangelical atheist with a deep hatred and mistrust of religion and yet others find him tiresome still because of his criticisms of religion and the religious. Now I’m not going to blog too much about Richard Dawkins – though no doubt that could start some reasonably active and impassioned debate…

What I want to blog about is something I’m going to call the “Dawkins effect” this is where what someone says – the content and logic of their arguments seem to be treated as secondary to what people think their motivations and intent is.

Or rather that peoples preconceptions and stereotypes about a person or group of people overrides what they actually say and encourages attribution of motives that may or may not be there to the person/group.

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