homeopathy

Respectful Insolence

Tag archives for homeopathy

The “success” of NCCAM grants on homeopathy

One of the great benefits of having been a blogger for nearly eight years now is that I now have a rich history of thousands of posts. True, there are the occasional posts that I wish I hadn’t written and even the occasional post that I consider to be not particularly good, but for the…

It wasn’t so long ago (less than a week, actually), that I noticed what I referred to as a paean to the quackery known as naturopathy. It appeared—where else?—on that wretched hive of scum and quackery known at The Huffington Post. It was even entitled My Love Affair with Naturopathy. Not unexpectedly, this very article…

“Holistic.” How often do we hear that word bandied about by practitioners of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or, as it’s increasingly called, “integrative medicine” (IM)? Lots. The reason is that CAM/IM practitioners seem to think they own the word. They’ve so utterly co-opted it that it has become meaningless, in the process perverting it.…

Homeopathy is what I like to call The One Quackery To Rule Them All. Depending upon my mood, I’ll use more or less of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous poem about the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings, but the point is usually made. Homeopathy is major quackery. And it is, too. On the off…

One of the overarching issues, if not the overarching issue that makes so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM)—or, as it’s now more commonly called, “integrative medicine”—so problematic is prior plausibility. It’s also one of the most difficult to explain to the lay public, because to someone not trained in science it can sound like not…

Medical therapies should be based upon science. That is a recurrent theme, indeed, the major theme, of this blog. Based on that simple thesis, I’ve spent the last decade examining “unconventional” treatments and evaluating the scientific basis (or, much more usually, the lack of a scientific basis) for various treatments. Yes, I’ve looked at other…

Remember California Bill AB 2109? I’ve written about it at least a couple of times before. In fact, for some reason, the comment section of this post on AB 2109 suddenly come alive again a couple of days ago, with antivaccinationists infiltrating it, much to the annoyance of my regular commenters. It turns out that…

No matter how you slice it, I’ve been at this blogging thing a long time. it’s been over seven years now. It’s been even longer than that, though, because before that cold gray Saturday afternoon in September when I started farting around with Blogger and ended giving birth to the first iteration of Respectful Insolence,…

I’ve lost track of how many times over the last 7 years I’ve mentioned that naturopathy is not science-based. The evidence is overwhelming. All you have to do is to took at the wide variety of quackery that fits comfortably into naturopathic practice to realize that most of naturopathy is quackery. Traditional Chinese medicine? Check.…

A homeopathic counterattack

Homeopaths are funny. Really, that’s the best description of them that I can think of right now. And I don’t mean “funny ha-ha,” either. An example of this popped up over the weekend in an attack on Dr. Joe Schwarcz of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. “Dr. Joe,” as he likes to be…

Remember Dr. Jay? Regular readers know about whom I speak. I’m talking about Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician to the stars’ children. Dr. Jay has been a fixture on this blog on and off for seven years, first having popped in as a commenter way back on Respectful Insolence, Mark 1, when I first noted him…

Over the last three weeks, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has been publishing a multipart expose by investigative journalist Brian Deer that enumerated in detail the specifics of how a British gastroenterologist turned hero of the anti-vaccine movement had committed scientific fraud by falsifying key aspects of case reports that he used as the basis…

I’m tired. Well, not exactly. I think I’m just suffering a case of what I like to call “anti-vax burnout.” It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the antivaccine front, given the new set of revelations about Andrew Wakefield, including even more detail about the nature of the scientific fraud he committed and previously…

Homeopathy in Cuba?

Homeopathy is among the most ridiculous of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine therapies.” I realize that I’ve made this point over and over and over again, but it bears repeating because, no matter how often homeopathy is shown to be utter and complete woo, homeopaths always seem to bounce right back, Gish galloping between the…

Every so often, real life intrudes on blogging, preventing the creation of fresh Insolence, at least Insolence of the quality that you’ve come to expect. This is one of those times. I happen to be sitting here in Palm Beach, Florida, but I’m not chilling at the beach or pool. Rather, I’m attending “leadership training.”…

A nonsensical attack on Stephen Barrett

About three weeks ago, fresh after having experienced my own attack by anti-vaccine activists who tried to get me fired, I noticed that Doctors Data was doing what cranks and crank organizations can’t resist doing when they face scientific criticism, namely to lash out. Such lashing out can take many forms. In my case, as…

The history of homeopathy in cartoon form

First, there was the history of Andrew Wakefield and the MMR vaccine in cartoon form. Now there’s the history of homeopathy (click on the image): The cartoonist, Darryl Cunningham, says this is a first try at such a history, a beta version, if you will. It’s definitely a good start, particularly the part about how…

A homeopath unplugged from reality

Yesterday’s post made me sad. It always makes me sad to contemplate a 14 year old boy facing the loss of his father to an aggressive form of leukemia, as Danny Hauser is. The kid just can’t catch a break. First he himself develops Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because he happens to live in a family that…

Fear the homeopathic bomb

Oh, no. I think we have another reason to be afraid–very afraid–of homeopathy/ Apparently New Agers have developed a homeopathic bomb: The world has been placed on a heightened security alert following reports that New Age terrorists have harnessed the power of homeopathy for evil. ‘Homeopathic weapons represent a major threat to world peace,’ said…

I tell ya, I go away for a few days, let the blogging slow down, decrease the usual logorrhea. Heck, I even go for the lazy blogger trick of an open thread. In the meantime, while I was busy learning about real science at the 2010 AACR Meeting, the forces of pseudoscience have not been…

As I pointed out yesterday, World Homeopathy Awareness Week began yesterday. One common question that’s asked about homeopathy goes something like this: If homeopathy is just water, then what’s the harm? Here’s the harm: Part 1 Part 2 Homeopathy is magical thinking, far more religious or superstitious in nature than medical or scientific. And this…

Today, April 10, is the first day of World Homeopathy Awareness Week (WHAW), or, as I like to call it, World Sympathetic Magic Awareness Week. Now, given my dim view of homeopathy, in which I view it as nothing more than, well, sympathetic magic, you’d think I wouldn’t want people to pay attention to WHAW.…

Remember John Benneth? He’s a homeopath who runs a website called The Science of Homeopathy and produced a woo-tastic video claiming to show us how homeopathy works. Steve Novella also took on his video. For his trouble, he was rewarded with one of the most hilariously off-base attacks I’ve ever seen, even from anti-vaccine loons.…

I’m envious of Steve Novella. No, the reason isn’t his vastly greater influence in the skeptical community than mine, his podcast The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, or the fact that he gets called a lot more for commentary when something involving quackery versus science-based medicine comes up. He’s earned that, having been at this…

Homeopathy vs. science?

I have a hard time arguing against the proposition that this is the perfect metaphor for homeopathy. Well, not exactly. The homeopath and homeopathy user are both far too rational in this example.