The Hall of Shame

A very special place for all the worst comments I get on my blog.

I’ve decided to stop censoring comments. I think it is a terrible thing to do and have only had to censor a handful of comments in the lifespan of this blog. But, starting from today I will be showcasing the worst comments, instead of covering them up. I just feel better about it this way.

Please feel free to express your opinion about these comments.

Number 1: Skeptics caused the Inquisition by Patrizia Mariani

The first entry in the hall of shame is by someone called Patrizia who earns this esteemed position for stating outright that skeptics caused the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and other horrendous things. She is factually incorrect and excruciatingly ignorant both of the position of scientific skeptics and the terrible acts she blames us for.

Patrizia's disgusting comment

Number 2: Ignorance by Ronny Finch

It has been a long time since Patrizia fired the first salvo in the Battle of the Braindead that is the Skepticdetective Hall of Shame. But today I have a brand new piece of dumb-assery to load onto this page (yay!).

I received this email last night:

On 18 July 2012 01:21, Ronny Finch <ronfinch87@yahoo.com> wrote:

I don’t see why you have to prove that everything is wrong with everything.  Have you ever conducted your own experiments about memory water? im guessing no….you seem like an ignorant little child who has to make sure that everything is wrong.  I’m sure your being paid by some pharmaceutical or corporate giant to disprove that anything all natural, organic or homeopathic is a scheme.  You are truly misguided, ill will pray for you and hope you choose a better way to spend your time other than trying to disprove inexpensive remedies or cures that work.

Well done Ronny! You earn a place in this list because your email is yet another repetition of the baseless accusations that skeptics and critical thinkers receive all the time. You couldn’t even come up with an original insult.

I don’t have to do my own experiments to know that water memory is bullshit – if that was how science worked we’d all still be carving our own wheels.

I’d love it if Big Pharma could send me my cheque… Any day now, I’m sure it’s in the post.

I don’t think that anything all-natural or organic is a scheme. But I do know that homeopathy is not medicine. The scientific establishment has tested it and shown it to be no better than placebo. It wouldn’t be, because there’s nothing in it.

Have a lovely day, Ronny Finch.

Number 3: Skepicism by Rick

I love this “you’re not a true skeptic if you don’t believe stupid bullshit” argument by Rick:

One can have a skeptical attitude and still believe in God (I find it offensive, but more importantly, I am sad for you, that you defame His good name by calling Him ‘That Wizard in the Sky’: may you turn around your mind before you meet your Maker) In fact, I am a Christian because I am skeptical: I am skeptical about a lot of absurd things these days and that is including the most absurd, evidence-defecient, and multi-flawed theory of them all: Evolution. Half the scientists do not believe in this theory; the rest, who believe, are split in half as to the controlling agency for Evolution. Anyone who says something like this is, to my mind, not a totally consistent and honest skeptic and shouldn’t be listened too. In short, I am skeptical about you.

Can we get one thing straight? Rick is wrong. OK? There is a metric fuck-ton of evidence for evolution. It has flaws, like every theory, but not nearly as many as intelligent design or creation.

Which half of ‘the scientists’ don’t believe it Rick? The half you made up?

What a dumb-shit thing to say.

Number 4: Illuminati Conspiracy!

The shattering stupidity of this comment, by Alan, speaks for itself:

Clean your liver and you can drop your allergies over a couple of weekends. Sulfite is a poison and so is GMO. GMO shuts down your organs and slowly kills you…Stress is caused by a toxic acidic body that is mal-nourished.
This Blogger I suspect works for the Illuminati and is promoting the interests of toxic terrorism in food, water, air. This Blogger is quick to shrug off Conspiracies which lurk in every isle of a grocery store (proof). Organic food has close to 1000% more nutrients in them when you look at the cross-section of each element of source of nutrition that makes up the fruit or vegetable. Example Spinach has 1000% more Iron in it than non-organic Spinach. GMO is mal-nutrition on steroids :(

First of all, the liver doesn’t cause allergies by being unclean. If it did, my newborn son wouldn’t have been born with a milk allergy. Your liver is very good at cleaning itself, a fact the detox industry does not want you to know.

Thanks for pointing out my Illuminati affiliations Alan, I was wondering where all the extra money was coming from. Now that you’ve made it clear to me, it all makes sense.

Alan’s whole thing about organic food having more nutrients is pure, free-range bullshit. As far as I am aware, ever such claim made by organic food proponents has been proven to be false. He clearly has no idea what Genetic Modification actually is.

Well done, you poorly-informed-conspiracy-promoting-GM-ignorant dumbass, you have won a place in the Hall of Shame.

42 responses to “The Hall of Shame

  1. Angela! LOVE your blog!! Just found it last week when looking for something for a relative who was duped into spending thousands of dollars on Beamer treatment. That person is now critically ill and could have better spent those precious funds. Bookmarked and saved, I am now a big fan. I like the tough love you hit them with!! Go get em and THANKS for all you are doing!!!

  2. Angela, I love your no BS style. Please keep it up. Can you explain to me exactly how much a ‘metric-fuck ton” weighs in pounds and ounces. I don’t have a conversion table handy. -)

  3. I just discovered your blog. It is wonderful. You debunk these various myths quite eloquently and comprehensively (and still idiots argue against you). I can understand neither how some people become honestly deluded, nor why so many people who are smart enough to know better continue to peddle them. Do you have any hypothesis on those two points?

    • Thank you for your compliments 🙂

      I think the answers to your questions are that 1) people are gullible and raised in a culture that frowns upon questioning what you are told and 2) other people are unscrupulous conmen who take advantage of the gullible.

  4. Oh man… the water memory thing!!! They even use this as a basis in Homeopathic medicine. It is one thing if someone is being a complete idiot, but using this ignorant, lack of evidence type thing they call science to trick people and sap money out of them is just immoral and cruel.

    I just discovered this site, and i am really impressed! well done!

    • Thank you for the compliment, and I couldn’t agree more about how people can be misled with the deliberately fraudulent use of pseudoscience.

  5. Angela, this Dave fella is trying to escape the debate in a well-known trick of the alarmist school – blame your stance on being in the pay of Big Oil, Big Pharm, Big Biz, Big this that and the next. I quote from James Delingpole’s book “Watermelons” (a must read for anyone with a thinking mind and perception beyond the ‘watermelon skin’!)

    “What we see being employed here, in fact, is a classic technique beloved by left-liberals, greenies, and greenie liberal-lefties alike. It’s known as ‘closing down the argument’. Rather than engage their opponent in a debate they probably cannot win, they instead duck the issue by impugning their opponent’s motives. The technique says; “This right-wing person in the pay of Big Oil is so unspeakably vile that his despicable views cannot be taken seriously.”

    • Hi Robin, I think you nailed it. That’s why I asked him to provide specific examples of where he thinks I am presenting misinformation.

      I don’t expect to hear from him again.

  6. I’m just curious Angela. How much do you get paid by big business to give half truths, and outright lies? Or is it that you are just a drama queen who loves to live on mis-information?

    From a healers standpoint, it is quite clear that cleansing the liver can help reduce and eliminate the majority of America’s health issues. But obviously, you have no clue what health is. I do. I had to get rid of severe arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and years of migraines on myself.

    If you are not willing to listen to you body, you are not willing to heal. I feel sorry for you, because you are promoting yourself as a fool online, since you lack obvious practical experience in slamming those who know what works. Just as you do with people like Morry Zelcovitch. How would you know it’s a scam, since you’ve never tried it?

    I have done things many Americans would believe is preposterous, simply because they’ve grown up brainwashed, to believe certain things are not possible. Just as you obviously do. That, or you’re being paid to slam others. No way will I give you my website. I give truthful information only. You’re just another quack, just like Stephen Barrett, who runs 26 sites all slamming health professionals as frauds, when in fact, most, if not all, are true, legitimate helpers of the public. He is paid by the drug cartel. Who are you paid by? Just curious

    I won’t tell you what I’ve done that would seem impossible, because there’s no point in having someone lying to the world about me. Lie all you wish. All things come full circle.

    Do yourself a favor. Be honest. Is this too much to ask?

    • I’m not getting paid by anyone Dave, and I have repeatedly refused requests to host advertising on this site because I don’t want to have any conflict of interest.

      As for the rest of your comment, I’m not lying, I’m not in cahoots with a drug cartel or any one. I am simply a skeptical person trying to prevent other people from being taken advantage of.

      If you can’t appreciate that, then you are the one with a hidden agenda.

      If you can point out an example of a lie, I will be happy to correct it.

      • But as an “amateur” scientist, you believe you know it all!! You are incredibly judgmental and extremely rude to those who don’t think the same way you do. And, really, you know nothing at all! I have been using homeopathy for the past 40 years; I don’t take antibiotics (unless they are given to me after an operation in a hospital, where I have no choice in the matter!). I recover much more quickly when I get flu or similar illnesses. I have much, much more evidence to show that YOUR statements are pure BS, but no space or time to include it all here.
        Your blog about Jenny Shone, animal healer and communicator, is pathetic. I have personally attended one of her courses; have implemented her methods and successfully communicated with mine and friend’s animals – to the amazement of my skeptical friends. Funnily enough, even before I showed what could be done, they didn’t in their skepticism resort to slating me or Jenny.
        Karma is waiting for you, young woman! Oh sorry – you don’t believe in Karma. It’s too New Age! Do you believe in “what goes around, comes around”? Yours is coming.

        • Firstly, I do not believe that I know it all. In fact, I am well aware of how little I know and that is why I am always looking for ways to improve my knowledge with tested, well understood scientific facts.

          There is a huge amount of evidence to show that psychics, of the human or pet variety, are conscious frauds. These people are lying to you and taking your money and they KNOW that what they are doing is wrong.

          That’s why you respond so strongly, because deep down, you know it to. Or you would if you had done a fraction of the study into the matter that I have.

          And then you threaten me with Karma. Yeah. I’m kinda glad you posted this comment in the Hall of Shame so that I don’t have to duplicate it here for you.

          • Are these Actions by the United States FDA any different than Your Elitest attitude?

            Yes, Angelia, Skeptics Do Kill people & Burn Books.

            in 1947, following a series of critical articles about Reich’s “psychofascism” in The New Republic and his “dubious professional standing” in Harper’s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into his claims, and won an injunction against the interstate sale of orgone accumulators. Charged with contempt of court for violating the injunction, Reich conducted his own defense, which involved sending the judge all his books to read, and arguing that a court was no place to decide matters of science. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA. He died of heart failure in jail just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.

            Peer Reviewed Graduate Research Paper on Reich, who was sent to a Federal insane asylem and died.

            James DeMeo, PhD, formally studied the
            Earth, Atmospheric, and Environmental
            Sciences at Florida International University a
            nd the University of Kansas, where he earned
            his PhD in 1986. At KU, he openly undertook the gr
            aduate-level natural scientific research
            specifically focused upon Wilhelm Reich’s co
            ntroversial discoveri
            es, subjecting those
            ideas to rigorous testing, with positive verification of the original findings.

          • In defense of Angela, as a former stock broker and Las Vegas dealer among other things, I notice most of her critics and in fact most people in the world, have yes or no, black or white mindset. God forgid we put the bible out for discussion we would get thousands of people arguing with both the people on their side and the ones who arent to prove their point. But I being someone who believes in probabilities and odds as the very best way to form an opinion on something you havent the time to completely research, I would say that the odds of the bibkle being the word of God ia a ___% chance. Not yes or no. You see, until Jesus comes back or….a group of people step forward to admit fabricating the book…THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW! How does Angela know about Binaural beats? Its just common sense that if people are coming out of the wood work with no credentials to sell you something they cannot prove….the odds are it doesnt work. It is that simple! Every week they take tax out of our paychecks. Do we really know if Uncle Sam is getting that money? No…but the odds favor that no one can scam the govt out of all that money so we believe it…we cannot know it. Just like people were put to death for thinking the earth was round not that long ago.

        • Susan, you react quite harshly without evidence to support your claims, only your word. Please, if you are going to participate in constructive debates instead of scathing comments, supply evidence to back up your claims and explain why you disagree with Angela. There is no need to get threatening and rude.

  7. Unfortunately the bodies of skeptics and independent thinkers have filled mass graves,dungeons and gas chambers as adequately as anyone else who didn’t deserve to be there. People who resist blind faith and reject dogma have always been a target for fascist institutions. The Nazis and the Inquisition held their beliefs above question and crushed those who wouldn’t play the game. Science and medicine arrive at their conclusions through experimentation and observation,their opinions are provisional subject to new information. People who burn books are not scholars, they are politicians and ignorance is their ally.

    • Reich was investigated by the FBI when he arrived in the U.S. because he was an immigrant with a communist background. The FBI released 789 pages of its files on Reich in 2000; a State Department press release stated:
      This German immigrant described himself as the Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, Director of the Orgone Institute, President and research physician of the Wilhelm Reich Foundation and discoverer of biological or life energy. A 1940 security investigation was begun to determine the extent of Reich’s communist commitments. A board of Alien Enemy Hearing judged that Dr. Reich was not a threat to the security of the U.S. In 1947, a security investigation concluded that neither the Orgone Project nor any of its staff were engaged in subversive activities or were in violation of any statute within the jurisdiction of the FBI.
      On May 26, 1947, an article appeared in The New Republic entitled “The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich” by Mildred Edie Brady. The subhead was “The man who blames both neuroses and cancer on unsatisfactory sexual activities has been repudiated by only one scientific journal.”
      Brady wrote:
      Orgone, named after the sexual orgasm, is, according to Reich, a cosmic energy. It is, in fact, the cosmic energy. Reich has not only discovered it; he has seen it, demonstrated it and named a town — Orgonon, Maine — after it. Here he builds accumulators of it which are rented out to patients, who presumably derive ‘orgastic potency’ from it.
      Sharaf writes that the implication was clear: the accumulators gave orgastic potency, the lack of which causes cancer. Therefore, the claim for the accumulators was that they cured cancer. Brady argued that the “growing Reich cult” had to be dealt with.
      On July 23, Dr. J.J. Durrett, director of the Medical Advisory Division of the Federal Trade Commission, wrote to the FDA asking them to look into Reich’s claims about the health benefits of orgone. The FDA assigned an investigator named Wood to the case, who learned that Reich had built 250 accumulators; the FDA concluded that they were dealing with a “fraud of the first magnitude”. Sharaf writes that the FDA suspected a “sexual racket” of some kind; questions were asked about the women associated with orgonomy and “what was done with them”.
      In November, Reich wrote in Conspiracy. An Emotional Chain Reaction : “I would like to plead for my right to investigate natural phenomena without having guns pointed at me. I also ask for the right to be wrong without being hanged for it … I am angry because smearing can do anything and truth can do so little to prevail, as it seems at the moment.” Sharaf writes that Reich came to believe that Brady was a Stalinist acting under orders from the Communist Party, a “communist sniper“, as Reich called her.
      On February 10, 1954, the U.S. Attorney for Maine, acting on behalf of the FDA, filed a complaint seeking a permanent injunction under Sections 301 and 302 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, to prevent interstate shipment of orgone-therapy equipment and literature. Reich refused to appear in court, apparently believing that no court was in a position to evaluate his work. In his cover letter for the response he submitted to the court, he wrote to Judge Clifford:
      My factual position in the case as well as in the world of science of today does not permit me to enter the case against the Food and Drug Administration, since such action would, in my mind, imply admission of the authority of this special branch of the government to pass judgment on primordial, pre-atomic cosmic orgone energy. I, therefore, rest the case in full confidence in your hands.
      Because of Reich’s failure to appear, Clifford granted the injunction on March 19, 1954. His ruling ordered that all written materials that mentioned “orgone energy” — including papers and pamphlets, and ten of Reich’s books — were to be destroyed. It further stated that additional copies of his books, including revised editions of The Mass Psychology of Fascism , could not be published unless all references to “orgone energy” were deleted.
      Imprisonment and death
      In May 1956, Reich was arrested for violation of the injunction when an associate moved some orgone-therapy equipment across a state line. Reich was charged with contempt of court. Once again, he refused to arrange a legal defense. He was brought in chains to the courthouse in Portland, Maine. Representing himself, he admitted to having violated the injunction and arranged for the judge to be sent copies of his books. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
      Dr. Morton Herskowitz, a fellow psychiatrist and friend of Reich’s, wrote of the trial: “Because he viewed himself as a historical figure, he was making a historical point, and to make that point he had conducted the trial that way. If I had been in his shoes, I would have wanted to escape jail, I would have wanted to be free, etc. I would have conducted the trial on a strictly legal basis because the lawyers had said, ‘We can win this case for you. Their case is so weak, so when you let us do our thing we can get you off.’ But he wouldn’t do it.”
      On June 5, 1956, FDA officials traveled to Orgonon, Reich’s 200-acre (80-hectare) estate near Rangeley, Maine, where they destroyed the accumulators, and on June 26, burned many of his books. On August 25, 1956 and again on March 17, 1960, the remaining six tons of his books, journals and papers were burned in the 25th Street public incinerator in New York’s lower east side (Gansevoort incinerator). In March 1957, he was sent to Danbury Federal Prison, where a psychiatrist examined him, recording: “Paranoia manifested by delusions of grandiosity and persecution and ideas of reference.”
      Reich died in his sleep of heart failure on November 3, 1957 in the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, shortly before he was due to apply for parole. Not one psychiatric or established scientific journal carried an obituary. Time Magazine noted on November 18, 1957:

    • NOTE: Reich was also Jewish, as I am, so Obviously the Government Burned His Books! There are people Today that want to burn the Talmud & Torah, and Burn Jews with it, as they know not that , Torah, although Vital to Judaism, is also the Old Testament, anf Talmud is merely wtitings on how to live in a World full of Rabid Jew Haters.

      Please excuse me, Angelia, your Treatment of dissent is atypical of a Angelic Person. I suggest you change your name to “lilith.”

  8. “I don’t have to do my own experiments to know that water memory is bullshit – if that was how science worked we’d all still be carving our own wheels.”

    Interesting. So, you just take the words of so an so science journals, and promote them here. Nothing wrong with it, but, considering the quite simple nature of the experiment, in this particular case, you could do it! I mean, you could find it out for yourself!

    In any case, I am sure you know that there are so many instances in the history of science when scientific discoveries were dismissed by prestigious scientist, just because they felt uncomfortable with them. Example? Albert Einstein dismissed the Quantum Theory – in his own words, he could not believe that God throws dice…

    My point: water memory may as well be a false theory. Or it may be true. YOU do not know. You only assume. Until that time you actually start experimenting with it, the only thing you do is repeating what others have said before you.

    Food for thought: do you know how the Egyptian pyramids were built? Or why?

    • It seems that someone named Andy doesn’t know how Science works. Science is incremental and it builds on each brick by each brick. There are no facts in science, only observations that can run models to predict outcomes. People deny that a scientific theory accurately predicts an outcome all the time. But if that theory accurately predicts that outcome a whole bunch of times then nothing is wrong with reasonably expecting that theory to be an accurate representation of how stuff works, your “assumption” belief. And that “assumed” belief is typically used to discover the next brick in discovery. Now the question might be, if one of these foundational bricks are removed, does it discount all of the discoveries afterwards. And of course the answer is maybe or maybe not. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that it must discount those future discoveries.

      • Oh but Yes, we know how Science works, “Publish or Perish.” And “Peer Reviewed” means “Orthodoxy or Damned.”
        I am not a Climate Denier, I am certain the Earth is being destroyed, by Man, but the Scandelious way the IPCC has attacked those who question is causing irrededial damage to the case. Of course, the Charlitans, like Al Gore, who want’s to “Cash In,” are worse!

    • How were the Egyptian pyramids built? Each block is pretty much a crude geopolymer made from a slurry of rock and disaggregated limestone, poured and tamped down over and over in crude wooden molds by the ancient equivalent of a bucket brigade. Margaret Morris, Joseph Davidovits, and Michel W. Barsoum collectively make a very compelling case, backed by a large amount of data, that the pyramids aren’t really as special as people make them out to be.

      As for why they were built, it was just the Pharaohs trying to show up other rulers by building bigger and grander tombs. Happens over and over throughout history, and indeed led to the collapse of many civilizations strapped for resources. Hubris is a bitch.

      Water memory is bullshit in its plainest form. It flies in the face many of the most fundamental and well-established principles of chemistry and physics, and the experiments that come out in favor of the idea are so poorly done and so full of holes that it’s a wonder anyone with a functioning brain could take it seriously at all.

      Here’s how science works in a very brief nutshell, Andy. Researchers look at a body of evidence and look for holes, then formulate a problem to solve and lay out their predicted solution to that problem. They then perform an experiment, meticulously writing down the methods they followed and the materials they used in precise quantities. (The important part is that the scientists follow exacting methods and control as many variables as possible; if they get sloppy, factors beyond the variable they’re studying can have an impact, and therefore confound the results.)

      Once the experiment is done and over with, the results are analyzed and conclusions are draw, a paper is written in excruciating detail, and submitted for peer review. It is at this stage that other scientists in the field voice criticisms and concerns, and may offer alternative interpretations of results. It’s also at this stage that junk science gets, for the most part, weeded out — if the experiment was crap and the results are meaningless, the paper gets rejected.

      Following peer review, the paper gets published, and other scientists perform the experiment to confirm the results. If their results differ significantly, new papers are written challenging the original study. If they’re results confirm the original study, odds are, the experiment will go unpublished, but would likely serve as a starting point for further experimentation.

      Scientists don’t just blindly take someone’s word on a matter and run with it, but they also don’t waste time doing the same handful of experiments over and over again. The scientific method and the process of getting published in a peer-reviewed journal were established to ensure human knowledge can reliably expand at a steady pace, and ideas that can stand on their own legs are the ideas that consistently stand up to scrutiny.

      • Grr! I meant “their results” and not “they’re results”. It’s too bad I can’t go back to edit errors.

      • Based upon your assumptions, Global Warming is Not Science- show me a Truely In Lab Experiment that has been replicated, just one.
        Your little Nut Shell is Obviously Simplistic & totally Wrong. Apples & Green Frogs, you are a enemy of Science.
        !

        Here’s how science works in a very brief nutshell, Andy. Researchers look at a body of evidence and look for holes, then formulate a problem to solve and lay out their predicted solution to that problem. They then perform an experiment, meticulously writing down the methods they followed and the materials they used in precise quantities. (The important part is that the scientists follow exacting methods and control as many variables as possible; if they get sloppy, factors beyond the variable they’re studying can have an impact, and therefore confound the results.)
        Once the experiment is done and over with, the results are analyzed and conclusions are draw, a paper is written in excruciating detail, and submitted for peer review. It is at this stage that other scientists in the field voice criticisms and concerns, and may offer alternative interpretations of results. It’s also at this stage that junk science gets, for the most part, weeded out — if the experiment was crap and the results are meaningless, the paper gets rejected.
        Following peer review, the paper gets published, and other scientists perform the experiment to confirm the results. If their results differ significantly, new papers are written challenging the original study. If they’re results confirm the original study, odds are, the experiment will go unpublished, but would likely serve as a starting point for further experimentation.

  9. Others in the same ilk that occupy my ‘specials’ shelf are: Rose Shapiro’s “Suckers”, Francis Wheen’s “How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World”, Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science, Michael Schermer’s “The Borderlands of Science” and “Why People Believe Weird Things”, and Christopher Wanjek’s “Bad Medicine”……… then there are a dozen or more on the anti-Church of Gore theme! 😉
    Waiting for a Lottery win to buy more good books!
    Keep up the good work Angela (et al),.
    Robin

  10. Homoeopathy not a medicine?? According to my understanding it is the principle of tiny amounts of “substance” producing similar symptoms to the ones to be “cured” thereby stimulating the natural immune responses. As opposed to the more usual allopathic (I think that word is correct) system of administering a susbstance to act against the symptoms thereby relieving the immune system of some effort. Many homoeopaths are also conventional medical doctors and use the system appropriate in a particular case. As far as I know there are some perfectly good, fully documented studies of homoepathic systems which show that they appear to work in some instances and not in others – rather like most other medicines.

    • Yes, homeopathy is NOT medicine. It is absurd pseudoscience. The 10:23 campaign has a great website that outlines some of the basic facts of just exactly why this is so: http://www.1023.org.uk/

      Here is Professor Edzard Ernst, a researcher and physician specialising in the study of ‘Complimentary and Alternative Medicine’, talking about why he changed his mind about how homeopathy works: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/apr/03/homeopathy-why-i-changed-my-mind

      And here is a very informative booklet produced by Sense About Science, which deals with systematic reviews of homeopathy: http://www.cochrane.org/sites/default/files/uploads/SenseAboutSystematicReviews.pdf

    • First off, “allopath” is a pejorative term cooked up by those quacko-paths of various prefixes (homeopaths, naturopaths, osteopath, whatever-path; take your pick, if it’s got “-path” in the name, it’s a big red flag that you’re dealing with pseudoscientific bullshit). “Allo-” meaning other, and “allopath” is a doctor that treats everything other than the disease itself. It’s bullshit really, and deeply insulting to anyone with the mettle to make it through a legitimate medical school at that.

      Modern medicine (as in real, legitimate medicine, practiced by a licensed medical doctor) has numerous strategies for dealing with health issues at its disposal. Preventative treatment (which ranges from vaccinations to just teaching patients how to take care of themselves), etiological treatment (which attacks the root cause of an ailment), and symptomatic treatment (which seeks to mitigate the symptoms experienced by a patient, used when a disease is mild or when no cause can be found).

      Homeopathy is utter bullshit for one very simple reason: a homeopath is essentially prescribing pure water. The substances used in homeopathic remedies are so diluted that they physically cannot have any measurable impact on the body. It’s a placebo basically. You can buy deionized water from Wal-Mart and you’d be getting basically the same thing.

      And, since it’s not like there’s any way to test whether it came from Big Box Mart or from Quack Labs, Inc., there’s a very wide door open for scammers; since homeopathic remedies are unregulated and completely legal in the US, and basically amount to just water, you can sell little phials of water for truly vicious prices and claim it’s a heal-all panacea with zero side-effects. Needless to say, I take a very dim view of people who are aware that homeopathy is junk, but choose to sell it anyway; at that point, they’re basically preying on peoples’ desperation. At least homeopaths that go through the motions of diluting chemicals to oblivion are well-meaning idiots.

      Take care not to conflate homeopathy with a likely real phenomenon known as hormesis, wherein small — but significant! — environmental stressors have an apparent beneficial effect on an organism. The mechanism isn’t understood, but it has been hypothesized that it prompts an organism to kick in its repair mechanisms without experiencing much initial damage, thereby leaving those mechanisms to go further and patch up smaller bits of wear-and-tear.

    • Intentionally giving someone a placebo that you know does nothing else, while claiming it produces other actual results, is lying and wrong. It’s fraudulent and unethical. If a lot of these homeopathy / new age con artists / “alternative” medicine scam artists told clients honestly that their procedures didn’t produce any real changes and merely created a placebo effect, they likely wouldn’t make much money that way. Standard swindlers. They are selling fake results using lies.

      Worse, these frauds divert sick people with illnesses that could be legitimately treated with legitimate medicine, away from proper treatment. There are holistic suckers out there who have waited too late to get cancer treatment because they relied on homeopathy, coffee enemas, and other useless placebos, while the cancer advanced. It can be deadly, and is certainly very wrong.

  11. How exactly can you blame skeptics for the burning of books? Are you unaware of the doings of the Catholic church? Or of how many books of your precious and “unchanging” Word of “God” were burned by the people who claimed to believe it? Tell me how that is the fault of men of intellect?

  12. Wow. Really. The holocaust? Anyway… someone needs to get a copy of the OED and look up the damn word. Ask if they know what credulous/credulity mean… here is a hint… accusing someone of being credulous is not a compliment.

    On the other hand:

    Skeptic

    noun
    1.
    a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
    2.
    a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
    3.
    a person who doubts the truth of a religion, especially Christianity, or of important elements of it.

    I would bet dimes to donuts that it is Number 3 that really pisses the commenter off.

    You could point out that philosophical skepticism which is where the modern terms derives its meaning started in ancietn greece… long before Christianity. Though philosophical skepticism is very different from what we are discussing.

    Their comment is hyperbole.

    Give me 1 skeptic over a truck load of credulous fools any day.

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