Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Random act of stupidity

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 31, 2009

Not specifically related to skepticism, but I had to share. A 25 year old Egyptian guy has cut off his own penis to “spite his family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower class family”. Now I don’t know much about Egyptian culture, but wouldn’t going ahead and marrying the girl over his family’s objections a better, and less painful way, of spiting his family? And don’t nobody even try to make this sound romantic, the stupid overshadows any traces of romanticism.

thestupiditburns1

Is the Discovery Institute giving up it’s “we’re not creationists” BS?

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 31, 2009

You and I know that Intelligent Design is in fact nothing but creationism re-branded for the 21st century. The Dover trial showed that unquestionably. But lately it seems that the Discovery Institute has been embracing the God wagon more openly. First they went and opened up their Faith and Evolution website. Now, William Dembski is advertising his new book titled “The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil Worldwhich hits stores soon. Now why would one of the most recognized faces of the Intelligent Design movement, which opposes every claim that they are creationists in disguise, write a book about God? You may think I’m reading too much into this, but I don’t think so. ID is creationism and the actions of the Discovery Institute as of late seem to betray that simple truth. Are IDers moving away from their vehement denial of their creationist nature? Are they finally being honest and accepting that their movement is not about academic freedom, it is not about teaching the controversy, it is not about science, but it is about introducing their specific religion to our school system? Or are they up to new tricks? Is this the natural progression of their Wedge Strategy? Only time will tell.

Cancer cure still eludes homeopathy

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 31, 2009

Simple truth continues to elude homeopathy enthusiasts

So let us do a quick recap: We still have no cure for cancer. Period! There are some treatments that help, but there is no cure. And neither does homeopathy. Let me say this loud and clear: Homeopathy does not have the cure for cancer, regardless what this PhD hopeful says.

Dr Syed Mahboob Alam, a doctor working towards his doctoral degree under the supervision of former Chairman of the University of Karachi (KU) Pharmacognosy Department Dr Mansoor Ahmed, has discovered that various types of cancer could be treated by administering herbal medicines to the patients in the homeopathic system. It was usually perceived before this research that there was no cure for cancer in allopathic or homeopathic system of medicine.

Ok so we have a doctor working towards his doctoral degree (whatever the hell that means!) who thinks he’s figured out the homeopathy can cure some types of cancer. I want more details of course, this could possibly be earth shattering!

Alam has, to date, received 107 patients suffering from different types of cancer including throat, breast, mouth and bone cancer and has successfully treated 104 patients. Two patients withdrew and one died of the ailment. Out of 104 patients, 38 chose homeopathic system without seeking treatment elsewhere, while 66 patients turned to Alam after becoming disillusioned with other systems of treatment.

Successfully cured 104 patients. Out of 107! That translates to a success rate of about 97%! That’s fantastic news. I honestly wish this would be true, since then my close relatives that are living with cancer could be cured.

Alam and Ahmed conducted the clinical studies at Dr Nadir Homeopathic Hospital, Super Highway, Hussaini Institute of Alternative Medicine, Old Hussaini Blood Blank opposite Nishtar Park, and Sindh Medical Centre, Hilal-e-Ahmer, Clifton, Karachi. Ahmed told The News that they have opened Al-Murtaza Homeopathic Hospital in Ancholi Society to treat the patients for research and humanitarian purpose.

What a load of horse shit! So they did their “clinical studies”, and went straight to open their own clinic to treat for “research and humanitarian purpose”? Smells like quackery to me! You know what they say, if they walk like quacks, talk like quacks, they most likely are quacks.

Alam claimed that cardiac disease is number one ailment in the world followed by cancer. “More specifically we can say that there is no complete cure of cancer in the allopathic system of medicine. However, we have the cure of cancer by herbal medicines through homeopathic system. These drugs act when they are administered to the patient in diluted form. They inhibit the cancerous cells and provide immunity against unwanted physiological process. The treatment can be administered regardless of age, intensity and period of disease,” said Alam while explaining the treatment process.

No douche bag you don’t. There is no cure for cancer and you do not have the cure “of cancer by herbal medicines through homeopathic system”. You have no cure, and I challenge you to prove me wrong. For the sake of humanity show a hard headed, naysayer, unbelieving skeptic wrong! You’d be doing me, my family and millions of other people a huge favor by proving that I am an arrogant skeptic. I hope you are able to do that.

In most cases the patients are unaware that they have been victim of cancer. It only comes to light when they (patients) grudgingly come to the doctors to get treatment. By that time it is already very late. “Herbal medicines work like magic,” Ahmed said. He hinted that in this clinical study, 106 diagnosed cases of cancers of different types were studied and in majority of the cases, the standard allopathic treatment that is surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy had failed; homoeopathic treatment was then compared to surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Ahmed let me share a secret with you: Herbal medicines are magic. Yep, because when the herb actually works it is made into a medicine, it does not remain herabl for too long. There is not alternative versus conventional medicine, there is only working medicine and non-working medicine period.

Conclusion

Dr Syed Mahboob Alam has not presented anything to substantiate his claims. He has not shown the homeopathy works at all, let alone cure cancer.  His so-called, clinical studies have not been presented, all this seems to be is a couple of quacks, who want in to the sCAM money train, who make fantastical claims to lure people into their newly opened clinic. I predict that the famed study of theirs will never see the light of day, it will never be published in any reputable medical/cancer journals, it will never be replicated, and that these two bozos will continue making their claims so long as people keep coming through their clinic’s front doors. We’ve seen this happen too many times before to hope it will play out any differently. But, as I said, there is nothing that will please me more than these guys showing my armchair skepticism to be wrong.

Psychic fail of the day!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 30, 2009

Psychics keep failing over and over, especially when trying to “help” the police with unsolved cases, where their cold reading skills are less helpful. This case was no different than other hundreds and thousands we’ve seen before.

DETROIT – As the search continues in Monroe County for Nevaeh Buchanan, there are hearts aching for another little girl. She has been missing since October and police have little to go on. Recently, a psychic claimed to know where they would find Tangena Hussain.

Investigators combed an area near I-94 and Harper on the east side of Detroit with a cadaver dog looking for the little girl’s remains. This is where a psychic from California told police they would find the child.

Detroit Police Commander Paul Wells says they only found a dead pit bull after coming acres of land. “The dog really worked hard for us and no luck,” he said.

Psychics, shut your face and stay out of police business!

2nd Stupid quote of the day

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 29, 2009

If toothpicks work, does that mean acupuncture’s effect is all in head, just a placebo effect? There may be another explanation: the toothpicks may stimulate acupressure points. .

So for now, there’s no answer to how the needles work, or even if they do anything more than toothpicks, but just that toothpick touching itself may be healing.

ABC

Skepdude says-This is what passes for science reporting in the media today.  And these words were writen by a “doctor”. A doctor in what I might ask? Stupidity? ‘Cause with these statements this guy deserves a PHD in stupidity!

thestupiditburns1

Stupid quote of the day

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 29, 2009

Alternative Medicine can also be referred to as unconventional medicine because it is medicine in a way that a lot of people are not used to. It is medicine that works for a lot of folks though, and it could be medicine that works for you if you open your mind and body to it.

The thing about alternative medicine is that it emphasizes therapies that also form the basis of treatments carried out in conventional healthcare. The difference is that it stays basic without any of the fanfare and fancy of modern medication. If you ask me, I’d say that is why it is the better option of the two.

The thing about alternative medicine is that it able to address conditions in ways that conventional medicine is unable to. To date, people have begun to express more faith in the alternative than in the conventional. And this has led many more to subscribe to it.

Some douche bag

On the status of science in society

Posted in Shirley Who by Skepdude on May 29, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “SHIRLEY WHO”

As the daughter of two scientists, it never occurred to me growing up that science as a profession or a method of inquiry could be controversial. How else were we to discover life-saving treatments, develop better technologies, or advance our understanding of the natural world? I took for granted the fact that science is the foundation of modern civilization and makes improved standards of living for more people possible.

My recent forays into blogging, however, have shown me that nearly everything is debated, even things that should not even seem debatable. Evolution is one of them, and, apparently, so is vaccination. My open letter to Oprah sparked an unexpected flurry of responses from many scientists, parents, and concerned citizens, giving me a taste of the kind of “discussions” people have on issues near and dear to them. I realized that people on both sides genuinely care about improving health, but also that productive conversation is elusive when the assumptions and objects of trust are different.

Needless to say, I trust those who use the scientific method to probe and learn about the world. Science is an iterative cycle in which we observe phenomena, make testable hypotheses concerning the phenomena, devise experiments to test these hypotheses, evaluate and draw conclusions from the results using rigorous statistical analysis, and form new hypotheses based on our improved understanding. The experiments, including controls, should be devised to help ensure that 1) the procedures we’re using to gather data are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and 2) other hypotheses or explanations aren’t responsible for the outcome we observe.

There is inherent uncertainty built into this process – for one thing, we can’t definitively rule out all other possibilities because there are, in theory, infinitely many possibilities (but only a few that are reasonable). Then there is the fact that science can never disprove anything, it can only collect evidence supporting a hypothesis or not. If twenty independent and methodologically sound studies all produce the same finding and no other studies show the opposite, we are confident that the finding is accurate. But all it would take is a few studies (again, independent and sound) showing the opposite to make us modify our confidence. As more studies accumulate, the weight of the evidence usually tilts definitively towards one side or the other, and this – the accumulation of evidence – is what should form the basis for technology development, policy, and future science.

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “SHIRLEY WHO”

How To Fail At Atheism

Posted in Atheist Blogger by Skepdude on May 29, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT THE “ATHEIST BLOGGER”

Well this is quite an amusing story, so I thought I’d share it with you. Earlier this month, I received a message on Facebook from a girl named Jennie.

I just have to thank you. In ways you may never understand, you helped me to become a Christian.

I used to be very much like yourself. Then, two weeks ago, as a result of reading your blog, I became one of those people you hate. Thank you so much. You are probably at least a little offended by this, but I felt I needed to let you know.

Obviously I was a little confused (and concerned) about her predicament. Confused because she seemed to think I hated Christians, and concerned because she had become one. I asked her to explain, and we sent a few messages to each other. She said I came across as very angry in some of my posts; I said I was only angry at justifiable things (like parents murdering children, or newspapers lying about students). She even prophesied this blog post, saying, “I’m sure you’ll be making fun of me on your blog eventually”. Of course such a prophecy was self-fulfilling, because her final response to me, where she finally explained how I was responsible for her Christianity, was just too funny not to post.

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT THE “ATHEIST BLOGGER”

Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology

Posted in News by Skepdude on May 29, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “THE REGISTER”

Exclusive In an unprecedented effort to crack down on self-serving edits, the Wikipedia supreme court has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.

Closing out the longest-running court case in Wikiland history, the site’s Arbitration Committee voted 10 to 0 (with one abstention) in favor of the move, which takes effect immediately.

The eighth most popular site on the web, Wikipedia bills itself as “the free encyclopedia anyone can edit.” Administrators frequently ban individual Wikifiddlers for their individual Wikisins. And the site’s UK press officer/resident goth once silenced an entire Utah mountain in a bizarre attempt to protect a sockpuppeting ex-BusinessWeek reporter. But according to multiple administrators speaking with The Reg, the muzzling of Scientology IPs marks the first time Wikipedia has officially barred edits from such a high-profile organization for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the site.

The Church of Scientology has not responded to our request for comment.

Officially, Wikipedia frowns on those who edit “in order to promote their own interests.” The site sees itself as an encyclopedia with a “neutral point of view” – whatever that is. “Use of the encyclopedia to advance personal agendas – such as advocacy or propaganda and philosophical, ideological or religious dispute – or to publish or promote original research is prohibited,” say the Wikipowersthatbe.

Admins may ban a Wikifiddler who betrays an extreme conflict of interest, and since fiddlers often hide their identity behind open proxies, such IPs may be banned as a preventative measure. After today’s ruling from the Arbitration Committee – known in Orwellian fashion as the ArbCom – Scientology IPs are “to be blocked as if they were open proxies” (though individual editors can request an exemption).

According to evidence turned up by admins in this long-running Wikiland court case, multiple editors have been “openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities.” Leaning on the famed WikiScanner, countless news stories have discussed the editing of Scientology articles from Scientology IPs, and some site admins are concerned this is “damaging Wikipedia’s reputation for neutrality.”

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “THE REGISTER”

Go get your Galileoscope now!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 29, 2009

It’s cheap, at $15 plus $9 for shipping in the US, you can have you own little telescope for under $24 total price. A great deal to support a great cause, the International Year of Astronomy. I’ve always wanted to own a telescope but they don’t come cheap. Thanks to the Bad Astronomer for the reminder. My order is in and I should be getting it soon so I can start spying on my neigh….I mean look at the moon!

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