The latest issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPANDS) has attracted the attention of Eli Rabett and Lauredhel. Rabett notices that JPANDS has published an updated version of the paper used to mislead folks into signing the Oregon Petition, while Lauredhel looks at a dodgy study they published arguing for an abortion breast cancer link. (It just looks at aggregate data and is obviously trumped by studies that use individual data.) This issue even has a favourable review of Tom Bethell’s Creationist tract.

Kathleen Seidel has the definitive examination of all the different kinds of pseudoscience published by JPANDS. It’s been mentioned here a couple of times: as a source by Milloy for misrepresentation of Kellermann’s firearms research and because Andrew Schlafly, of Conservapedia fame is their legal counsel.


  1. #1 Orac
    October 6, 2007

    Oh, JPANDS has been a right wing crank journal for a long time. It’s full of antivaccinationists, rabid Libertarians who, unlike real Libertarians, are not for reproductive freedom and hate illegal immigration.

  2. #2 PalMD
    October 6, 2007

    JPANDS, AAPS, and Schlafly are all a bunch of cranks. AAPS is a pseudo-libertarian group that publishes wacko position statements that no competent physician would touch with a ten foot forceps.
    Amusingly, Schlafly’s pet wacko project has a reprint of that link on his article about his own organization.

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    October 6, 2007

    The latest issue has a dodgy abortion causes breast cancer article just to round out the circle.

  4. #4 Eli Rabett
    October 6, 2007

    Sorry, missed that you had already noted it. OTOH, I am marking papers, so I probably am missing everything. Marking papers on Saturday night being a sure sign of no life.

  5. #5 Harald Korneliussen
    October 7, 2007

    “Evidence-based medicine” confuses me. It seems people use the word very differently. Some people just use it as a synonym with scientific (rather than pseudoscientific) medicine, but not always.
    A physician at a Norwegian blog I read, for instance, seemed to use the word to describe a form of medicine where theories don’t really matter, only statistical results – so if homeopathy seemed to help against this or that, you’d prescribe it, even though the theories behind don’t stand up to scrutiny for a moment.
    So although evidence-based medicine sounds like something good, I’d look at what is meant by it in the specific case before passing judgement.

  6. #6 stewart
    October 7, 2007

    The book reviews also look,…
    The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American
    Health Care (David Gratzer)
    Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder (Michael Savage)
    The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science (Tom Bethell)

    Harald, I think the term you are looking for is ’empirically-supported’ medicine, conducted in the absence of any theory (making this name up by analogy to the ’empirically-based’ personality/psychopathology measures, like the MMPI). However, taking note of accepted theory and plausible means of action is often a supporting piece of evidence for a treatment, while empirically-based approaches can be confusing/misleading, due to unidentified third factors (again, looking at the MMPI as a prime example)

  7. #7 jre
    October 7, 2007

    JPANDS is a scholarly Potemkin village — but even a fairly shabby false-front can fool someone who doesn’t look past the surface. Last year, the unlikely[1] person of Dwight Meredith cited approvingly a study from JPANDS. Why? Well, the study was by the detestable Geiers, and purported to show a link between mercury in childhood vaccines and autism, “despite government’s previous claims to the contrary.” When a plausible bit of pseudoscience comports with one’s hopes and expectations, it’s easy to overlook a little Andrew Schlafly in the soup.

    [1] Meredith conducts the respected Koufax awards for liberal blogs, and is as far from JPANDS on the political spectrum as it’s possible to get.

  8. #8 Hank Roberts
    October 8, 2007

    > Dwight Meredith cited … JPANDS. Why? … a plausible
    > bit of pseudoscience….soup.
    > [1] Meredith … is as far from JPANDS on the political spectrum as it’s possible to get.

    Good, and sad, point. Politics isn’t a ‘spectrum’ — it’s some sort of complicated surface.

    A couple of centuries ago when travelers in the US often shared a single bed in an inn, “politics makes strange bedfellows” was a better understood image. At the low points on the surface, people may find they’ve rolled together.

  9. #9 jre
    October 8, 2007

    And your point, in return, is well taken. The extreme left and extreme right do seem to agree on some things, usually having to do with the secret, evil well of unplumbed depth that is the GubMint.

    Dwight actually got a little huffy with me when I mentioned “bedfellows”, so I apologized. Guess I need a new cliché for these cases.

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