Category Archives: woo

Gwyneth Paltrow sells a jade vagina egg

I have no use for Gwyneth Paltrow, her hauteur, and the ridiculously overpriced merchandise at her “goop” store, but I couldn’t resist highlighting one item, a jade “yoni [vagina] egg” that, claims goop, has all kinds of miracle properties. And it’s only $68! Sadly, you can’t get one as they’re all sold out.  Here’s what, according to the ad […]

More Trumpish anti-science: The Donald reportedly asked anti-vaxxer to head panel on vaccine safety

I’m not quite sure what these articles from the Washington Post and Scientific American mean, but they augur yet more anti-scientific attitudes from the incoming Trump administration, which will take over in (horrors!) only nine days. (The words “President Trump” still stick in my craw.) From Sci Am we hear about a position reportedly offered to […]

Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s January 3, 2017 (how many of you are still writing “2016,” as I did yesterday?), and it’s National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. If there’s a reader out there who is going to eat one of these dire sweets (they can be good, but usually aren’t), let me know. And it’s still only the tenth of […]

Complaints about homeopathy and determinism

I continue to get comments and emails from readers defending homeopathy (many come from India), but they all sing the tired old song: “It helped me, so I know it works.” They know little, I guess, about the self-healing of the body or about placebo effects. But I must say I’m surprised at how common faith […]

The Credentials Canard, and readers write in defending homeopathy

Very often I get emails or posts from readers incensed that I dare post about anything other than evolutionary biology. This first person, a professor who will remain unnamed to protect the benighted, has, as I recall, written this same email to me a while back. Apparently he thinks I have no credential to post about Islam when I […]

CVS’s non-response about their sale of homeopathic “medicine”

This morning I wrote about the Federal Trade Commission’s new requirement that homeopathic “medicines” (i.e., expensive water, sometimes with a bit of something else like ethanol or a non-efficacious substance) be tested for efficacy before they could be sold. I tweeted this finding to both the CVS Pharmacy chain and Whole Foods,  both of whom […]

Orac on homeopaths’ response to the FTC ruling against homeopathy; major retail chains still sell the expensive water

On November 19 I reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that homeopathic “medicines”, to be advertised as efficacious, must have been scientifically tested, like all drugs, to show that they are indeed useful. (See the FTC statement and link to longer report here). Well, of course the quacks couldn’t let that one rest, […]

Does God answer prayers? Spectator contributors vote “yes”

Along with 12 others, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has weighed in at the Spectator, giving examples of how their prayers were answered (there are also some Village Atheists who scoff at the idea): The problem with this whole thing is that there’s no control group: no survey of whose prayers weren’t answered. It’s pure confirmation bias. The one […]

More osculation of religion in National Geographic

  I’ve noted that, over time, National Geographic has gotten more and more fond of religious topics, and is actually sympathetic to faith. I’ll put the cover of this December’s issue here and move on, as I haven’t read any articles (it’s not online, and I’m sure as hell not going to buy it). But it doesn’t look […]

FTC debunks homeopathy; medical water on the way out

When I was in Hong Kong, I drove to the Literary Festival Dinner (a fantastic Chinese banquet) in a van with four educated, well-off, and well-traveled women who were on the Festival’s board of directors. Once on our way, they all proceeded to go after me for saying, in my conversation on faith versus science, that Chinese traditional […]