Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Gary Null can kiss mein tuchas

Posted in Denialism by Skepdude on September 26, 2008

But apparently he’d rather have me fill it with coffee. Really…I mean it. I love coffee, but c’mon now! I can’t stand that this idiot is given time on public television during pledge drives to peddle his woo

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchI stumbled across a website that goes on and on about the supposed vast conspiracy of the medical community to…well, I’m not sure. Anyway, given that you have to buy Gary Null’s quack tomes to get his advice, it’s hard to know exactly what he is selling. The conspiracy theorist from the above-linked site was kind enough to share some of Null’s secrets (at least they are cited that way:
Cervical Dysplasia, Fibroids, and Reproductive System Cancers. Excerpt from The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Natural Healing by Dr. Gary Null.Seven Stories Press, 1997), so that we all may benefit. Here is an excerpt on cancer treatment, and I warn you, poo-woo abounds:

Coffee enemas. “These enemas have been used by thousands of cancer patients, outside the realm of traditional medical care, because they work.

Ok, where is the proof of that? Here is the proof that they don’t work:

  1. Ernst, E. M.D., Ph.d., F.R.C.P. (Edin). Colonic Irrigation and the Theory of Autointoxication: A Triumph of Ignorance over Science. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 24(4):196-198, June 1997. (Make sure to follow the references to the primary sources).
  2. Green, S. A critique of the rationale for cancer treatment with coffee enemas and diet. JAMA. 1992,Dec 9; 269(13),1635-6.
  3. Alison Reed, Nicholas James and Karol Sikora.Mexico: Juices, coffee enemas, and cancer. The Lancet. Volume 336, Issue 8716, 15 September 1990, Pages 677-678.


The Mentalist: review

Posted in Bad Astronomy by Skepdude on September 26, 2008

Last night was the premier of the TV “The Mentalist”, what promised to be a skeptical look at psychics and police work.

Quick summary: it rocked.

More thorough summary:

Simon Baker as The Mentalist

Well, it did rock. It’s a crime/detective drama, but also has lots of humor. Simon Baker, dreamy Aussie, plays Patrick Jane, a man who used to be a relatively famous stage psychic, and is now a police detective. He has an incredible gift of observation, able to watch people’s behaviors, notice small background items, note things that are said, and put them together rapidly to form a picture of what’s happening around him.

“The Mentalist” is a different kind of crime drama. Baker is very engaging (especially, evidently, for my wife), and he does have a quality about him that makes him fun to watch. His character invokes sympathy right away, even if he is a bit of a pain in the butt. He’s confident, even a little arrogant, but funny and endearing. It’s hard not to compare him to the titular character from “House”, though he’s not as grumpy.

I love love love his character. He hates so-called “psychics” — hates them. In one scene, he comes right out and says there are no such things as psychics! When he did that, Mrs BA, The Little Astronomer, and I all threw our arms over our heads, fists pumping the air! W00t!

But to the meat of this: I think a real skeptic is behind this show, someone who knows about the frauds, fakes, and evil people who claim to speak to the dead. Here’s why:


Church Politicking Is Uncivil Disobedience

Posted in FFRF by Skepdude on September 26, 2008

A well-heeled extremist legal outfit is calling on priests and pastors throughout the nation to defy IRS regulations by using their tax-exempt pulpits this Sunday, Sept. 28, to endorse candidates in the presidential race.

The unethical so-called Pulpit Initiative is advanced by the troublemaking Alliance Defense Fund. The Fund seems to be advocating no less than organized crime–uncivil disobedience. The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported some 30 ministers have said they will participate. Rev. Jody Hice, of Bethelehm First Baptist Church in Bethlehem, Ga., told the Journal he will endorse Sen. John McCain: “As a pastor, I have the right to speak biblical truth without being punished for it.” (Just where in the bible can we find that reference to John McCain?)