Woo, quackery and pseudoscience, oh my…

by Grania

This is a poster from 2012 that is doing the rounds on Facebook again, and I hadn’t seen it before so I am glad it’s resurfaced.

It has several familiar faces, who sadly still ply their trade in bamboozling the credulous and the desperate for profit and fame, although Burzynski’s career is is perhaps under threat at last. Maybe.

Click through here to see the original.



by Maki

The last panel gives a perfect opportunity to repost Tim Minchin’s funny and clever beat-poem, Storm.

although, I prefer the original version here.

It’s also a good time to give a shout out to the people at Sense About Science who have created an online resource about various claims and whether they stand up to scientific inquiry.


  1. Posted December 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    “If somebody says that you can have a direct effect on quantum physics, it’s probably Chopra.”

    That, or an actual quantum physicist getting all excited about diffraction gratings and electrostatically levitating oil drops and particle accelerators and….


  2. Mark Joseph
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    This is marvelous!

    And, it provides an opportunity to refer to another great anti-woo presentation, Crispian Jago’s Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense.

  3. marksolock
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  4. Posted December 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on My WordPress Notepad.

  5. Sastra
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this.

    I’ve often pointed out the similarity between atheism and science-based medicine in the fight against irrationality. The other side of each uses very similar tactics, apologetics, tropes, and intuitions. Personal experience is the gold standard. You need to have faith and believe. We were meant for better things because reality cares about us. The world is conspiring to instantiate Evil over Good.

    Belief in alternative medicine and belief in God are signs that one is open-minded and has hope. Their truth shows us that materialists are wrong. Both theism and alt med give Mind primacy over lowly matter.

    “Accomodationists” and “shruggies” are essentially playing by the same book (“what’s the harm/ let the Little People believe/live and let live/as long as it doesn’t interfere with science or anything.”)And a lot of quacks are getting by with falsified claims because they’re riding on the bandwagon of Respect for Deeply Held Spiritual Beliefs. Even if you don’t believe/use the stuff, don’t be so rude as to force your views on others who think they’re being helped.

  6. Randy Schenck
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    The video is very good as well as the music at the finish.

  7. merilee
    Posted December 21, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    love the Tim Minchin!!

  8. Posted December 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    A slightly related comic that I like is this:
    <a rel="nofollow" href="http://xkcd.com/808/&quot;

  9. Posted December 21, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    How about

  10. Posted December 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Well,for some reason I can’t get the HTML link to work. Just go to http://xkcd.com/808/

  11. Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:05 am | Permalink


  12. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    The entry (ahemm) under “Natural” just cried out for an invocation of Rule 34.
    Never having encountered Poison Ivy, I don’t really know how horrifying a prospect this is. For “horrifying”, substitute “entertaining”, as appropriate. I did once make the mistake of not checking for stinging nettles before squatting, which wasn’t exactly a fun experience. But on the other had, the Romans Rule-34’d that one and it has remained a reasonably popular topic since.

  13. gillt
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I get the sentiment, but at least one of these goes too far.

    Take the ‘Toxins’ square: “Imaginary substances invoked to sell a product.”

    They should have stopped there, because the next sentence–“The liver removes any real toxins from your body just fine”–is of a type of insidious propaganda as the snake oil it’s trying to warn you against. First, the liver does not metabolize all toxins/chemicals equally efficiently (see chrysene vs. Benzo[a]pyrene). Second, even if it does, it’s well known that metabolites can sometimes be more toxic than the parent compound (eg, methanol->formaldehyde). Also a byproduct of metabolic activity is reactive oxygen species which can lead to cytotoxicity.

  14. nurnord
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh Grania, that all too common mistake…

    “although, I prefer the original version”
    – Well which is it, the original or a version ?! The first is the original, all others are versions of it, it can’t be original ‘and'(italics, how can I do it here ?) a version !

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