Category Archives: woo

Two celebrities start a book club and choose a “proof of heaven” book

One might expect Kim Kardashian (but perhaps not Chrissy Teigen, whom I thought was smart) to read a book like this, but when these people with their millions of followers decide to start a book club, that means that their followers will read what the celebrities recommend. How sad, then, that, as Mashable reports, these […]

Your resource: the definitive collection of vaccines-don’t-cause autism papers

Peter Hotez is co-editor-in-chief of the journal PLOS NTD (Neglected Tropical Diseases), is an expert in vaccination. Here are his qualifications: Prof. Peter Hotez MD PhD is professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where is also Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics, and Dean of the […]

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 […]