Category Archives: quackery

The downfall of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes

Many of you will know about the downfall of Theranos, the Silicon Valley company started by Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed to have devised a machine that could do multiple physiological tests on just a single drop of blood. It never really worked, even though investors (including Rupert Murdoch) pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into […]

Woo from Dr. Oz and Everyday Feminism

Dr. Mehmet Oz was launched into public celebrity via promotions by Oprah Winfrey and Larry King. He still has a daily television show on Fox, “The Dr. Oz Show,” which I blessedly haven’t seen. But I have read about his various promotions of pseudoscience, including weight loss nostrums, alternative medicine, and even “reparative therapy” designed to […]

Chopra and Tanzi: Exercise will reprogram your genes in 60 days

While eating my ribtips (I see the termites have already descended on that post), I turned on the PBS channel on t.v. (WTTW in Chicago, if anybody there is listening.) On the show, to my chagrin, appeared Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi, On a show called “Brain, Body, Mind”, they were dispensing health advice to […]

Evolutionary biology student discovers that UK water companies engage in dowsing

What is it with the UK? The National Health Service still subsidizes homeopathy in some parts of England, and now there are reliable reports (here and here) that a substantial number of British water companies—10 out of 12!—use dowsing (if you don’t know it, look here) to find water, in particular pipes and mains. I’m […]

I have landed. . . to find quantum quackery

. . . in Houston, that is. The George Bush airport is HUGE and not pleasant. Next I have a 2-hour flight to Puebla. I have no time for posting, but here’s something to examine very critically. The famed physicist Roger Penrose, over at the Daily Galaxy, says he has a reliable physical mechanism for producing […]

Dara Ó Briain on science, quackery, and creationism

I’m sure I’ve posted this video at some time in the past, but it must have been long ago, and it’s worth seeing again.( Besides, I just watched it.) Here Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain defends science against various species of quackery. He reminds me a bit of George Carlin, and I love the “get […]

Britain’s National Health Service about to ban homeopathy

Reader Barrie called my attention to an article in The Independent  that offers some good news: Britan’s NHS, based on a 48-page document about items that shouldn’t be prescribed in primary care medicine, seems set to stop prescribing Magic Water, otherwise known as homeopathic medicine. The motivation for the whole document was to eliminate, as […]

Dr. Bronner’s soap labels vs. defenders of chiropractic

When I got the latest attempted comment defending chiropractic “medicine” on my website, I had a déjà vu moment, as if I’d seen that kind of language before. And then I remembered—it was on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap! I don’t know how many people use this wonderful liquid soap, which comes in varieties like […]

How spinal manipulation could cause a stroke

After my denunciation by chiropractors and their advocates over the last few days—opprobrium that I welcome—Reader Pliny the in Between, whose website is The Far Corner Cafe, put together a series of drawings showing how spinal manipulation, such as that practiced by chiropractors, could produce a stroke. This, for instance, is what a real doctor, Orac, thinks […]

Three advocates of chiropractic write in

I have to say that I’ve gotten more pushback from readers on chiropractic “medicine” than I expected, especially given that there’s no good scientific evidence for its efficacy. If it’s benefited you, ask yourself whether you might have gotten better without treatment (this often happens), or whether some more qualified or experienced person, such as a […]