Quackademic medicine now reigns supreme at UC-Irvine

It's not infrequently that, whenever I complain about the increasing infiltration of quackery and pseudoscience into medicine, I sometimes lament that skeptics and supporters of science-based medicine are massively outgunned, because we are. Thus, we have the continued growth of what I like to refer to as "quackademic medicine," the infiltration of pseudoscience into medical academia in the form of whole divisions, departments, and institutes dedicated to studying fairy dust like acupuncture, naturopathy, and other "unconventional" treatments that are then "integrated" into medicine. It's not for nothing that I refer to "integrative medicine" as integrating quackery with medicine.

Unfortunately, I was reminded yesterday of what an uphill battle it is to counter the increasing pseudoscience in medicine when I learned that wealthy donors Susan and Henry Samueli just donated a whole bunch of money to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to establish an institute dedicated to pseudoscience:

The University of California, Irvine today announced the largest gift in its history: $200 million from Susan and Henry Samueli, longtime campus supporters, to name a first-of-its-kind College of Health Sciences focused on interdisciplinary integrative health. The far-reaching donation – the seventh-largest to a single public university – positions UCI as a bold, new leader in population health, patient care, education and research. “This gift catalyzes UCI’s belief that human health and well-being requires a science-based approach that engages all disciplines in caring for the whole person and total community,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Susan and Henry Samueli’s dedication, their vision for what is possible and their deep generosity will help UCI set a standard that, over time, other medical centers in the U.S. can follow.”

Thanks to the Samuelis, unfortunately UCI has long been a prominent force in the brave new world of integrative medicine. Now, it appears to be taking this "integration" a step further, by "integrating" the pseudoscience across not just the new institute. Behold:

The Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences will be the first university-based health sciences enterprise to incorporate integrative health research, teaching and patient care across its schools and programs. Integrative health redefines the relationship between the practitioner and patient by focusing on the whole person and the whole community. It is informed by scientific evidence and makes use of all appropriate preventatives, therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, and healthcare professionals and disciplines to promote optimal health and wellness. The existing Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine will become the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and will focus on improving medical care by supporting multidisciplinary research, education, clinical service and community programs. Faculty and students in computer science, engineering, social sciences, business and other areas will collaborate within the institute to study the future of human health.

Of course, the whole paragraph about integrative health "redefining" the relationship between the practitioner and patient by focusing on the "whole person" is the usual blather that quacks everywhere. As I've said so many times before, it is not necessary to "integrate" pseudoscience into medicine in order to take care of the "whole patient." A good science-based primary care doctor takes care of the "whole patient," with no need to resort to appealing to magic like acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, homeopathy, and the like. And if you don't think this is about all of the forms of quackery I just mentioned, take a look at how the Samuelis became interested in "integrative" medicine:

Susan Samueli caught a cold while visiting France more than three decades ago. Instead of the usual medicines, a friend suggested aconite, a homeopathic remedy derived from a plant in the buttercup family. She was cured — and became a lifelong advocate of homeopathy and other alternative healing methods to complement conventional medicine. Her husband, Henry — the billionaire co-founder of Broadcom, the Irvine semiconductor maker — says he was initially skeptical but found the integrative health approach helped him easily shake off colds and flus and kept their children healthy without antibiotics. Now the couple’s passion for integrative health has led to the largest donation ever made to UC Irvine.

As an origin myth, This is just downright silly. Colds are self-limited, and the homeopathic remedy Mrs. Samueli took almost certainly had no effect on the course of her cold. She just got better, as the vast majority of otherwise healthy adults with colds do. As for Mr. Samueli's apparent belief that homeopathy and other "integrative" approaches helped him shake off colds and flus, the same thing is going on. Colds are self-limited. So is the flu for most people, although what most people call the "flu" isn't really the flu but much milder "flu-like illnesses" caused by other viruses. (The real flu can easily knock you on your posterior for a week or even more.)

Basically, this story is a load of confirmation bias and good old-fashioned regression to the mean being confused with therapeutic effect. Yet, that's all it takes for otherwise intelligent people to become believers. Humans are pattern-forming animals. If we take something and then get better we'll say that what we took caused us to get better, whether it really did or not.

Of course, supporters of "integrative medicine" will no doubt become indignant at my description of their favored new medical specialty. They will point to how diet and exercise are an important part of integrative medicine, how integrative practitioners emphasize prevention and healthy lifestyle. The problem, of course, is that diet, exercise, healthy lifestyles, and prevention are all part of conventional medicine. There is no need for a separate specialty for them, any more than there is a need for a separate specialty in order to take care of the "whole patient."

The reason "integrative medicine" exists is not to promote science-based prevention, lifestyle, and exercise interventions, but rather to provide a vessel into which quackery can be poured and mixed with the science-based care until it becomes difficult to tell which is which. That's the idea, whether physicians who have become integrative medicine practitioners will admit it to themselves (or others) or not. So here's how this next stage of "integration" will go.

The Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Science will eventually include the existing Samueli Center plus the following schools at UCI:

  • School of Medicine
  • Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing
  • School of Pharmacy (currently the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • School of Population Health (currently the Program in Public Health)

And here's where the money will go:

The Samuelis’ gift will provide $50 million toward construction of a facility to house the college and $5 million for state-of-the-art technology and labs – forming the foundation of a national showcase for integrative health. It also earmarks $145 million to create an endowment for:

  • Up to 15 faculty chairs across the medicine, nursing, pharmacy and population health disciplines for senior, midcareer and junior faculty with expertise in integrative health
  • Integrative health training and mentoring for interested medical school students
  • Scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students planning careers in related fields
  • Innovative curricular development and campuswide interdisciplinary research projects
  • Ongoing clinical services, research and education in the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, including investigations of nonconventional interventions as part of medical treatment and educating medical and lay communities about benefits and risks associated with new healthcare approaches

That last bullet point is critical. The whole point of "integrative medicine" is to integrate "nonconventional interventions as part of medical treatment." That means quackery. There is no other reason for integrative medicine. Just think about the evolution of the naming of integrative medicine. First, it was known as alternative medicine. But "alternative" implied that the "nonconventional interventions" weren't medicine (or weren't good medicine, which they weren't).

So the name evolved to "complementary and alternative medicine," or CAM. However, that wasn't good enough either, because the name mean that the quackery was "complementary" to real medicine. It wasn't real medicine itself (or at least it wasn't as effective or important as real medicine). It was just "icing on the cake." So a new name was coined, "integrative medicine," in which all the quackery was (and still is) portrayed as co-equal with conventional medicine and "integrative medicine" as "the best of both worlds." And here we are. A wealthy couple has donated $200 million to a public university to promote their vision of pseudoscience, and the university has eagerly accepted, even though it will utterly reshape its medical school and all its biomedical sciences for decades to come.

I find it helpful to look at what UCI's Samueli Center already offers. I first took note of the school just shy of 10 years ago, when I added the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine as part of an early version of my Academic Woo Aggregator.Really long time readers of this blog know that for a time I maintained a list of medical schools that had embraced quackademic medicine. I only maintained the list for a relatively brief period of time, not because I didn't think it was a worthwhile endeavor, but rather because there were just too many schools for me to keep track of alone.

Quackademic medicine has become the norm, not an outlier. It's schools like mine, where I'm faculty, that have little or no quackademic medicine that are the outliers. So what does Samueli Center offer? It's basically the same slate of "integrative medicine" that most quackademic "integrative medicine" centers offer:

  • Acupuncture & traditional Chinese medicine
  • Ayurvedic therapies
  • Functional medicine
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Physical medicine & rehabilitation
  • Preventive cardiology
  • Sports medicine & osteopathic manipulation
  • Tai chi
  • Vitamin infusion therapy
  • Women's health
  • Yoga

Of course, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine are prescientific systems of medicine based on mysticism and vitalism. Functional medicine is a bit of "make it up as you go along" quackery that combines the worst of conventional medicine on steroids (e.g., massive overtesting) with quackery. Vitamin infusion therapy, of course, is also not scientifically supported. As for the rest, Tai Chi and yoga are nothing more than exercise. Massage therapy makes people feel better, but specific therapeutic claims are to be treated with skepticism.

If you want to get an idea of the level of pseudoscience going on here, it's useful to look at what UCI says about various modalities. For instance, "functional medicine" turns out to be all about naturopathy as well:

Functional medicine, which is based on naturopathic principles, takes a more comprehensive approach. At the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, our highly trained naturopaths:

  • Identify and treat the root causes of illness
  • Harness the healing power of nature
  • Treat the whole person
  • Emphasize disease prevention
  • Encourage self-responsibility for health
  • Explore alternatives to drugs and surgery

And, based on functional medicine, UCI might offer:

Based on your individual needs, we develop a treatment plan which may include:

  • Detoxification
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes
  • Exercise therapy
  • Herbs and dietary supplements
  • Homeopathy
  • Manipulative therapies
  • Psychotherapy and counseling
  • Stress reduction

There you go. "Detoxification" is virtually always the purest of quackery. Then, of course, there's homeopathy, or, as I like to call it, The One Quackery To Rule Them All. If you don't know why that's the case, I refer you to any of a number of my previous posts, like this one. Of course, one aspect of "integrative medicine" is bias. Basically, its adherents don't ask whether it will help patients and result in better outcomes. Rather, they confidently predict that they will be vindicated in their beliefs:

“As a preventive cardiologist and researcher, I cannot stress enough the critical need for society to adopt a truly integrative approach to health, whether we are talking about community health, nutrition, prevention or appropriate medications. It must start with those who provide care and guidance,” said Dr. Shaista Malik, director of the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine and the endowed chair of integrative medicine. “Through this exciting new college, we will demonstrate to everyone involved in the health system – from patients to providers to policymakers – the value of an integrative approach.”


Fundamental change in thinking about healthcare and how it’s delivered will take time, a steady stream of new evidence and strong academic leadership. The Samuelis’ transformational gift is the first step toward creating an expanded health sciences campus, integrating the affiliated schools and programs of the college as well as new teaching, research and clinical spaces. “Susan and I have supported healthcare research for nearly 20 years, and over that time, we have seen a significant expansion of the scientific evidence demonstrating the value and efficacy of integrative health. This evidence base is critical as UCI – a young, innovative institution – takes this big and influential step,” said Henry Samueli, Ph.D., an engineer and co-founder of Broadcom Corporation. “We are very excited for the UCI College of Health Sciences to become a national model for integrative health. We believe this model will eventually become the standard approach for promoting health and well-being in our society.”

That's right. Adherents of "integrative" medicine "believe" that it will eventually become standard of care. What evidence do they base this belief on? Certainly not on evidence. I do note that advocates of integrative medicine are quite honest about their goals, as you can see from this article in the the LA Times:

The Samuelis said they hope their financial support for research will help build evidence for alternative therapies that would convince insurers to pay for them, thus letting more people benefit. Acupuncture, for instance, has been widely documented to ease migraines, according to Howard Federoff, a specialist in neurodegenerative disorders and UC Irvine’s vice chancellor for health affairs. But not all health plans cover the treatment.

No, acupuncture is nothing more than a theatrical placebo. When I say that skeptics and supporters of science-based medicine are at a profound disadvantage, this development at UCI is exactly what I'm talking about. What we have is a ragtag band of physicians and skeptics alarmed at the infiltration of pseudoscience into medicine versus very wealthy believers like the Samuelis willing to donate far more money than we can imagine.

Sure, we have science on our side, but will it matter? We have to make it matter.


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"Quackademic Medicine now reigns supreme at UC-Irvine"

But aren't you an "Assistant Professor" in Michigan?

By kcauqasiiksrog (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

Oh, Travis, you're several years behind the times. I was promoted to full professor last year and had been an associate professor for several years before that. You must be reading J.B. Handley.

I would like to think there are faculty at the UC Irvine School of Medicine who are upset about this--because if there are not then things are much worse than feared. Why do these faculty not speak out against this pseudoscience? Some of them must be tenured, which should grant the ability to speak openly on such nonsense. Then again when I was doing my residency at the University of Arizona, I never saw anyone openly oppose Andre Weil and his nonsense, which has openly infiltrated many of the residency training programs there since I finished my training.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

It has to be said that to some extent, physicians have nurtured this entire movement--not because they don’t care or are ignorant of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, but because the truth of these thing just isn’t what people want to hear. I am as guilty of this as anyone else. When I ask my doc about some diet-related thing and she gives me a half page blurry handout on her way out the door, I am grossly offended, but because I know that there is no magic, I accept it. Had she been a naturopath, the interaction would have gone very differently and if I weren’t so steeped in skepticism, I would tend to be much happier with the naturopath, even more so if I were not a skeptic.

It is one thing to acknowledge that “there are problems in medicine” but it is time to offer some real solutions to them instead of bemoaning the success of the quacks in addressing people’s need to interact with their health provider on a more personal level. And don’t say there’s no time because I’ve had providers who achieve a level of care that addresses “the whole person” in the same amount of time that most utterly fail. I accept a level of care that falls short of better experiences because I am an informed skeptic, but most people aren’t and that’s why they respond so well to the woo.

We have done well at outlining the problem, but very little to address it on our own side. My favorite example is that my PCP, a lovely woman who has been my doctor for seven years, has not ONCE asked me how I am--something the dietician (my fave provider) always does. If I bring up mental health (just everyday type of mental health, not serious impairment), she stiffens, mumbles about a psychiatrist or a psychologist (ack!) if I “just need to talk”. This is not an isolated example; I have been through a number of providers at this medical center and it’s all pretty much the same. I’m currently seeking a smaller institution, but that is difficult in my state. My friends find various integrative quacks instead. I used to argue, but I’ve become somewhat of a shruggie these days, given my own state of dissatisfaction with the system. Mind you, I’m not seriously ill or anything, but isn’t that the demographic that is so ripe for the picking by the quacks?

Don’t misunderstand my horror at the goings-on at UCI, but we have to do more than bemoan it. If diet and exercise are “part of medicine”, more needs to be done to make regular people aware of that. Saying “30 minutes a day” or “25 grams a day” and a handout with stick people for back pain are not enough, even though that may be the actual truth of things.

I’m sorry if this comment relies too heavily on personal experience, but I use it to amplify interactions that I have on an almost daily basis over many years. Although I am educated, I don’t travel in academic circles anymore, and as you all know, that is no guarantee anyway that one will not encounter woo--hence today’s sad tale of UCI.

By darwinslapdog (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

Clearly you need a new primary care doctor. No, I'm serious. The one you have clearly isn't meeting your needs. I haven't had that problem with my last two PCPs; so I'll counter your anecdote with mine.

A bit off topic, please.

I noticed that someone (maybe Mike Adams?) has changed the referenced image in comment #70 of Orac's post titled, "Does the Flu Vaccine cause miscarriages?"

Orac and Mike Adams are matter and antimatter, I appreciate both!

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

Chris@3: Never mind the faculty, what do the accreditation people think of this? From where I sit, it looks as though UCI is in thrall to a couple of big dollar donors who are encouraging the medical faculty to practice a form of medicine that the donors themselves, let alone the faculty, either know or should know does not work.

I can understand the reluctance of soft money faculty to speak up. They may be dependent on the university for things like bridge funding and lab space, and are therefore not as free to speak their minds as faculty should be. But the accreditation board is designed to be independent of a university's donors. They have no excuse for not pushing back at the first opportunity.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

I am a PCP, and have been for 25 years (damn, that is hard to type!) What I have found is that in order to counter this movement you need to be familiar enough with the woo to discuss it with some knowledge. If your patent asks your opinion on massage or chiropractic and you roll your eyes and tell them they are idiots, the interaction will not go well. It does require time spent reading sites that reek of stupid so you know of what they speak, but if you can build a relationship, it is possible to counteract a lot of this. The major drawback is that it takes time, both in reading and talking, and most of us are very pressed for time. Nonetheless, I have a fairly huge antivax population and have been successful at getting the majority of them to get at least some shots. Is that a win? I think so. The latest is everyone needs lip and tongue ties lasered. (!) No clue where this came from, but with research I have talked several down from that ledge. It's all about knowing your patient and your stuff.

"$5 million for state-of-the-art technology and labs" State of what art? And of course they need labs to conduct imaginary tests to produce imaginary results that require imaginary interventions to treat imaginary symptoms, no doubt.

Looking into the accreditation process and registering complaints is a good idea. Also, mingling state and federal funds with these donations should be investigated as well. Contacting your California congress member about your taxes going to support this kind of nonsense if you live in California is a good place to start.

The fact that some science based medicine practitioners are not communicative is not the fault of science based medicine, it is the fault of those practitioners, but yes, we do need to be more proactive towards people that pursue peudo-medical solutions. It won't make you any friends, though. A friend of mine has a little local paid ad service and he regularly allows ads from other friends who advertise the whole spectrum of pseudo-medicine, but he won't allow me to run ads that debunk pseudo-medicine, citing the controversy that would result for him. I think it is mainly because, he too, is a believer. He suggested a juice fasting book to me and said I just didn't want to face the unpleasantness of fasting when I told him it was bull$hit. He's right to an extent, I really don't want to face the unpleasantness of starving myself by consuming just vegetable juice for one or two weeks, especially since it has no positive effects on one's body other than dramatic although temporary weight loss.

@ Eric #9: good point. I have wondered this as well. I suspect the accreditation folk look more at a school meeting the requirements of what they want taught and turn a blind eye to the rest . I don't know if there's a "things you can't teach and get accreditation list" out there, but there ought to be.

What really upsets me is that as the pseudoscience gets embedded over time, the physicians being graduated--unless they have a solid background in science prior to medical school--are going to take all this pseudoscience at the same level of truth as their lectures on anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. That is not good. Not good at all.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

Oddly enough, I just saw an ad here at RI for "relaxation, meditation" as tools in " your arsenal" and clicked it in order to see which woo-fraught institution was advertising its wares and lo! and behold! it was
the AIRFORCE. trying to get health care professionals.

Because I live in an area with money ( mostly) I notice how much regular doctors ( MDs. DOs) as well as DCs advertise all the usual woo ( acupuncture etc) as well as newer ( possibly SB) options like
Is this just a way to make potential clients feel that their so-called individual needs will be addressed or a way to earn more?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

Heh. Vinu cites an article he wrote himself, that contains references to articles he wrote him self, that contains references to articles he wrote himself, that contains references to articles he wrote himself... and there I grew tired of the exercise, but it's Vinu all the way down.

When you cite your own work more than all other people cite your work, I would think professional help may be indicated.

Funny - the only person he ever cites is himself.....

Oh, come on, Johnny. How is Vinu supposed to gain any credibility unless he's referenced in other articles? So by referencing himself in more articles he's written and then repeating it ad nauseum , the impact factor on his articles goes WAY up...or at least rises above zero.

@Vinu: when no reputable person (outside of yourself, for all I know you are reputable in other parts of your life) references your writings, maybe you should take a look at the reason.

MJD: " In a Forbes article titled, “The Largest U.S. Charities for 2016” a quick calculation indicates ~ 7 billion dollars donated to medical organizations that are predominantly science-based."

And? Why do you care about this? You don't even care about science.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

the whole person, the whole person, the whole person... magic, wishful thinking, wooly bullshit... the whole person, the whole person.. blah de bah.. behhhe, sheep noise, behhhe.. gobble, gobble.. grovel, grovel.. GI'Z THE BLOODY MONEY!!!

By Leigh Jackson (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

Is this just a way to make potential clients feel that their so-called individual needs will be addressed or a way to earn more?

These options are not mutually exclusive. It's probably both: a floor topping and a dessert wax.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

@ #14 Denice Walter.

I suspect it is both revenue enhancement and virtue signalling of some sort. I first encountered the "revenue enhancement" term in connection to use of certain devices and procedures related to some surgeries I was checking on. The links were to sites directed to hospitals and physicians. Sort of chips away at one's faith in the profession.

PGP (#17) writes,

And? Why do you care about this? You don’t even care about science.

MJD says,

I knew you'd be the first minion to initiate a conversation with a personal question. :-)

For the record, I care about science.

For example, I think vinu arumugham (#13) is a creative and well-respected vaccine-safety-advocate who is science-based.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

A bit off-topic but of great concern because of the misleading post above about $7 billion going to science-based medical organizations.

Who says they are science-based? You? The 501 (c) 3 structure for charities in the US is highly porous and has almost no meaningful oversight. I suspect there are many, many fake charities and science-y-sounding front groups set up by supplement manufacturers and vitamin/quackery hustlers who have figured out either how to get phony IRS charity status or qualify for it under even more porous state charity laws as a tax dodge for their profits.

The house organ publications and "research" entities I've seen at some of these quackpot web sites strongly suggest they are gaming the system in some very sophisticated ways to evade financial oversight and confuse the gullible about their wonderfully magnanimous efforts to advance public health and conduct legitimate research--all the way to the bank.

"She was cured — and became a lifelong advocate of homeopathy and other alternative healing methods to complement conventional medicine. Her husband, Henry — the billionaire co-founder of Broadcom, the Irvine semiconductor maker — says he was initially skeptical but found the integrative health approach helped him easily shake off colds and flus and kept their children healthy without antibiotics."

As emphasised, Mrs S was not 'cured' of anything by homeopathy - and neither were their children spared 'antibiotics', which of course have no effect on viruses.

Surely it shouldn't be possible for a billionaire to influence the progress of medicine in the US in this way? Surely he would be laughed out of the consulting room? Whatever next? A billionaire with bizarre ideas as President? Surely not.

By Richard Rawlins (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 #permalink

Lots of acupuncturist were put in jail before Dr Lok Yee Kung in 1973. It was so unfair . It was an unhill battle fought in Nevada. Finally Dr Lok Yee Kung and his supporters won the decisiive battle. Since than Acupunctuirist recognized. Many states soon follow to open up and recognized Acupuncturists as health professionals. Lots of evidence shows Acupuncture works and it is matter. The patients became their own judge.

"Oh, Travis, you’re several years behind the times."

Wrong again, duck.

Then again, it's not really at all surprising.

By kcauqasiiksrog (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

"Oh, Travis, you’re several years behind the times."

Wrong again, duck.

Then again, it's not really at all surprising...

By kcauqasiiksrogdivad (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

"Oh, Travis, you’re several years behind the times"

Wrong person yet again, oh duck. It's really not surprising; not in the least bit.

It must so terrible being such a paranoid quack.

By kcauqasiiksrogdivad (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

Heads up for Orac: Check the spam filter, and tell other ScienceBloggers to do the same. The disappearing post issue is back.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

For the record, I care about science.

For example, I think vinu arumugham (#13) is a creative and well-respected vaccine-safety-advocate who is science-based.


That would be your own version of science.

This inquiring mind here want to know how your version of science is in accordance with:

1-: Scientists' definition of science?

2-: Philosophers of science definition of science?


"Interdisciplinary" in this context also really rubs me wrong. Which disciplines are being combined?

And what will happen if the research shows these other methods don't work?

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

Perhaps MJD has a point, and I may have been a bit harsh in my response to Vinu.

Vinu was complaining about medical quackery, and, unlike many commenters, offered up a prime example of quackery. He pointed us to a quack paper, written by a quack, full of quack ideas.

I appreciate when people provide examples, references, and citations, and wish to encourage such behavior.

I do disagree, however, that Vinu is 'science based', and believe that MJD's endorsement of those ideas proves PGP's point quite nicely.

I like when universities accept money to promote blatant quackery, otherwise people are unable to judge how corrupt they are.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

MJD: "For the record, I care about science.
For example, I think vinu arumugham (#13) is a creative and well-respected vaccine-safety-advocate who is science-based."

How can you not see how contradictory those sentences are? As others have pointed out, Vinu's got nothing. His so-called research is pulled, whole cloth, out of his rear end. So are your 'theories.' You wouldn't know science or writing skills if they BIT you.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

I, too, laughed out loud when I read MJD's comment.

PGP (#24) says,

Vinu’s got nothing.

MJD says,

Mathematics was stagnant before the initial conceptualization of zero (e.g., nothing) was discovered.

Therefore, nothing can lead into something amazing.

Keep up the outstanding work Vinu (#13).

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

What a long article to say UCI got a lot of money and I'm jealous. The Samuelis can do whatever they want with their money

The only time mjd seems to care about science is when he needs to look its spelling up in the dictionary. The rest of the time he doesn't think about it.

Mathematics was stagnant before the initial conceptualization of zero (e.g., nothing) was discovered.

Well no, it wasn't. Apparently you are as ignorant of mathematics as you are science. I'd say you should take some of my classes but I wouldn't be able to tolerate your dishonesty.

Obviously, homeopathy is a bunch of bs. However, in the "origin myth" she talks about taking homeopathic aconite for a cold, and mentions that it's related to buttercup. Buttercups are pretty, right? What she took (suggesting there were theoretically any molecules of it in the preparation to begin with) is wolf's bane. It's also known as the queen of poisons. I will never understand how these people can be terrified of vaccine adjudivants, but will willingly take poison.

Mathematics was stagnant before the initial conceptualization of zero (e.g., nothing) was discovered.

Well no, it wasn't. Apparently your denial of science extends to unfamiliarity of mathematics.


Zero in math does not equal nothing. Zero is a discreet point on a number line. Because a number line is infinitely long any point maybe considered the zero point.

When we get to real life yes, zero has taken on the meaning of nothing in a material sense.

Not to mention that the ancient Egyptians, who had a concept of zero, would beg to differ. They left us the pyramids as proof.

MJD: Unsurprisingly, you know about as much about math as you do everything else. I hope you didn't pay for that 'education.'

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

I just want to know what this purported "stagnation" is supposed to comprise. Coordinates are enough of a nuisance as it is.

Therefore, nothing can lead into something amazing.

Um, no.

Add or subtract nothing to something, you don't get anything more or anything less - you aren't lead anywhere.
Start with nothing, multiply or divide it by something, and you lose everything. Despite popular belief, deux fois rien ('twice nothing') is still nothing.
Take something, pull it up to the power of nothing, and you go back to step one.
In the rare case when you start with nothing and put it to the power of nothing, you end up staring at oneself. It's a bit navel-gazing.
Have something, divide it by nothing, and now you are contemplating not infinity, but insanity.
And despite your best wishes, it doesn't get better when nothing is applied to imaginary numbers.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 20 Sep 2017 #permalink

Throughout history the rich have patronized their favorites causes. Sometimes society wins like when Carnegie funded libraries. Unfortunately it can also lead to legitimization of quackery such as this.

Mathematics was stagnant before the initial conceptualization of zero (e.g., nothing) was discovered.

Well no, as others have pointed out, that is not at all true. But I'm not sure whether you mean the concept of zero as (roughly) "no amount" or its use as a place holder for large number. Symbols in cuneiform exist in numerals that play the same role as 0 in our numerals like 640002.

Either way, it's clear you don't have any understanding of the issue, which is consistent with your lack of understanding of science and the related statistical issues. I'd suggest you should study to catch up, but you've shown no interest in learning anything, so that won't work.

And if you subtract something from nothing, you are now either in debt or in the basement.

I agree more with #6 darwinslapdog. A lot of this reflects MSM failures, often hubristic and massively profitable. Failures to achieve, retain, extend, parse out, or at least accurately explain in many areas, often old. You guys don't even have the vitamin C and D stories remotely correct.

However manifold the faults of various integrative practices, it is the ongoing failures of medicine that largely have brought this about. Perhaps analogous to "those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it".

The cynical parts of me certainly worry about the medical versions of Willie Sutton going where the money is, as well as MSM exploitation of charlatans to establish even more repressive Medical Authority and exploitation of the public, again.

Wow, with PRN here, we've got almost the full cadre of armchair, rear-based scientists. I wonder if NWO or Thingy want to chime in.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 21 Sep 2017 #permalink

oh good lord, that is my alma mater. Some anteaters died at this news. Zot. Sigh. I am appalled. Just appalled.

I have to add that this does not surprise me about Orange Co California. There is are a reason Bob Sears has his practice there and that is pretty much antivax central. A lot of OCers are completely ignorant of science and rational thinking. I grew up there. I moved north for a reason!

Turf wars!!! Science have been killing off people for a few decades now. LMFAO. How do you justify that? Moron!!

I misspoke. Evidently we were missing a Fendlesworth chimp.

Kathy: I thought the creators of BC were hard-core rightwingers and allergic to facts.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 22 Sep 2017 #permalink

dean (#42) writes,

Apparently your denial of science extends to unfamiliarity of mathematics.

MJD says,

Maybe you can add this to your teachings.


Provide a brief summary of this article dean and I'll grade it with total objectivity.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 24 Sep 2017 #permalink