Category Archives: woo

“Purpose and Desire”: a misguided biology book that got a starred review on Kirkus

On November 7,  I called attention to a new book by biology professor J. Scott Turner, “Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It,” and how the book got a starred Kirkus review despite its avowed intent to put teleology (goal-directed evolution) back into biology.  Turner works at […]

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 […]

Anti-vaxer denied visa to Australia because his message is “dangerous”

One could, I suppose, make a case that an anti-vaxer speaking in public is more dangerous than a Nazi or white supremacist speaking in public. After all, it’s clear that anti-vaxers have been able to persuade even reasonably intelligent people to stop vaccinating their kids, whereas someone of that ilk hearing a Nazi wouldn’t become […]

Only in Brooklyn

The headline tells it all, but click on the screenshot if you want more details. The sick thing is, besides the total absence of evidence that vaccines cause autism in humans, that there’s no evidence for autism in nonhuman animals. From the Raw Story: “We do see a higher number of clients who don’t want […]

Gwyneth Paltrow’s medical woo gets demolished

Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop site (“Elevated Essentials for Life”) has been promoting pseudoscience and quack remedies for years, but somehow she manages to shake off criticism, like Trump or Deepak Chopra. Most notorious was her $66 “jade vagina egg“, which, inserted into that orifice, was claimed to do these things: harnesses the power of energy work, crystal […]

NPR descends deeper into woo; ineffectually discusses panpsychism

UPDATE: Some of the numinous-o-philia might be explained, as reader Michael noted in the comments, by Gleiser’s possession of two Templeton grants worth a total of $3,7 million. __________ The Republicans are calling for National Public Radio (NPR) to be de-funded because of its liberal bent. Well, perhaps it has one, but—with the exception of […]

Four flat-Earthers write in

After my post on the persistence of flat-Earthism in the U.S. (“Flat Earthers are still with us!“)—a form of delusion apparently connected with religion, anti-Semitism, and other conspiracy theories—I got several comments from what seem to be genuine flat-Earthers. Now there’s no telling if these people’s beliefs are genuine or they’re just trolling (I suspect […]

Gwyneth pushes more expensive woo

A while back, Gwyneth Paltrow, who is among the world’s most disliked celebrities for her hauteur and insouciance, was selling jade “eggs” on her Goop website to insert into women’s vaginas. Unfortunately, the porous stone could cause infections, and doctors strongly warned against this practice. Now she’s back with another quack remedy. Unlike the jade […]

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 […]

More chiropractic shenanigans

I don’t think I’ve ever been so besieged by newbie commenters as I have by chiropractors and their acolytes over the last several days. After I posted a few times on that form of quackery (here, here, here, and here), I’ve had chiropractors, students in chiropractic school, and even chiropactors’ wives try to comment on this site […]