Homeopathy

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Homeopathy

I always thought that the University of Toronto was a great school, but lately I’ve been starting to have my doubts. My doubts began three years ago, when I noticed that Autism One Canada, which is basically the Canadian version of the yearly antivaccine biomedical quackfest held every Memorial Day week in the Chicago area,…

Genome healing strikes back

Well, screwed up transition to WordPress or not, I think it’s time to get back to the business of doing what Orac does best: Laying down the Insolence, Respectful and Not-So-Respectful. While the remaining bugs are being ironed out, I’ll work on trying to get the blog’s appearance back to the way I like it…

I tend to get lost in complexity from time to time. I know, big surprise to my regular readers, but I suppose it’s a good thing that at least I know that this is a weakness of mine. Indeed, it must be part and parcel of my seeming tendency to produce epic posts of ridiculous…

Periodically, I like to make fun of homeopathy and homeopaths. I realize that to some that might seem like the proverbial shooting of fish in a barrel, but it is amusing and educational. However, it’s not always amusing. For instance, I am not amused when I see The One Quackery To Rule Them All (my…

If there’s one difference between so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and science-based medicine (SBM), it’s the role of anecdotes in each. CAM and SBM each take a very different view of anecdotes. In SBM, anecdotes are relegated to a very low rung on the evidence ladder. They are a starting point in that, if…

Proof. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. That thought kept running through my mind as I perused an article appearing on an antivaccine website. Another thought that rant through my mind is that this was clearly not a scientist of any sort speaking. In science,…

Say it ain’t so, Amy Farrah Fowler!

Like many geeks, I enjoy The Big Bang Theory. I know, I know, you’re shocked to hear that, but it’s true. I’ve seen nearly every episode since the first season. Over the last couple of seasons, the male-centric show has been considerably improved by its move towards more of an ensemble cast that includes two…

It’s amazing how fast six months can pass, isn’t it? Well, almost six months, anyway, as it was five and a half months ago that I wrote about a particularly execrable example of quackademic medicine in the form of a study that actually looked at an “energy healing” modality known as “energy chelation” as a…

If there’s one thing about homeopaths, it’s that they’re indefatigable in their dedication to their unique brand of pseudoscience. They’re also endlessly protean in their ability to induce their explanations for how homeopathy is supposed to “work” to evolve into endless forms not so beautiful. If it’s not the claim that “like cures like” is…

I had been planning on either discussing a study or analyzing another cancer cure testimonial, but things have been (mostly) too serious around the ol’ blog the last few days. What with depressing posts about the return of whooping cough thanks to antivaccine idiocy, more evidence that Andrew Wakefield is a despicable human being, and…

I kind of miss Peter Lipson on ScienceBlogs and wish he were still around. I realize it’s been nearly a year and a half since he departed, but it’s been a bit lonely here being the only physician blogging about quackery, the role of science in medicine, and other skeptical topics related to medicine. This…

A “personal case” for homeopathy, part 2

Given that this is the last weekday before the end of 2011 and this quite probably will be my last post of the year (that is, unless something so compelling pops up over the weekend that it tempts me more than I can resist), I wondered what would be a good topic. Then, readers started…

A “personal case” for homeopathy?

The holidays are now upon us, but I can’t resist having a bit of fun before I disappear for this year’s Christmas weekend to visit family and catch a rare bit of relaxation. Nothing too heavy, but, equally important, nothing too fluffy either. One topic that fits the bill is anything to do with homeopathy,…

I’m a cancer surgeon and have been since I finished my fellowship nearly 13 years ago. That is, of course, one big reason that, after I found myself drifting towards becoming a skeptic, it didn’t take long for me to take an interest in “alternative medicine,” in particular alternative medicine for cancer. Perhaps that’s why…

Echoes of Semmelweis

As hard as it is to believe, I’ve been a physician for 23 years now and a fully trained surgeon for over 15 years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in that time, it’s most doctors really, really don’t like to be told what to do. I don’t know if part of it comes from…

He’s ba-ack. Has it really only been two weeks? A mere two weeks since everybody’s favorite advocate of The One Quackery to Rule Them All promised the woo-friendly readers of the “health” section of that wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post that he would “provide further specific evidence of the unscientific attitude…

The ultimate homeopathic remedy

It’s one of those things that can’t be repeated too many times, but homeopathy is ridiculous. In fact, so ridiculous is homeopathy that I don’t usually write about it all that often. The reason is that, like homeopathic dilutions, a bit of skeptical blogging about homeopathy goes a long, long way (although I’m not sure…

One of the things that distinguishes evidence-based medicine (EBM) and science-based medicine (SBM) is how the latter takes into account prior probability that a therapy is likely to work when considering clinical trials. My favorite example to demonstrate this difference, because it’s so stark and obvious, is homeopathy. Homeopathy, as regular readers of this blog…

On the evolution of quackery

Once upon a time, there was quackery. It was the term used to refer to medical practices that were not supported by evidence and were ineffective and potentially harmful. Physicians understood that modalities such as homeopathy, reflexology, and various “energy healing” (i.e., faith healing) methodologies were based either on prescientific vitalism, magical thinking, and/or on…

What did the poor Haitians ever do to deserve this? Think about it. A year and a half ago, they suffered through an enormous earthquake that will take them decades, maybe even a lifetime, to recover from fully; that is, if they ever do recover from it fully. Since then, they’ve received massive amounts of…

Homeopathy for malaria? Again?

I know I’ve said it many, many times before, but it’s something that, in my opinion at least, can’t be repeated too often. Homeopathy is ridiculous. Arguably, it’s the most ridiculous of “alternative” therapies ever conceived. And that’s saying a lot. After all, among “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (IM), we have…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

Taking the “e” out of homeopathy

It’s been a rough week. No, it hasn’t been rough here on the blog; personally I think I’ve managed to serve up heaping’ helpings of the usual expected Insolence–and then some–if I do say so myself. Rather, it’s been a bit rough at the old job. Ah, well, it can’t all be sweetness and light.…

Naturopathy invades the heartland

Many are the times I’ve referred to homeopathy as The One Quackery To Rule Them All. Because homeopathic remedies diluted greater than 12 C (12 serial hundred-fold dilutions) have been diluted more than Avagadro’s number, they are incredibly unlikely to have even a single molecule of starting compound in them. That makes them water. Given…