Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Do You Have Biblical Morals?

Posted in Unreasonable Faith by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

Old BibleChristians love to claim that their morality comes from the bible. And they do — to an extent. But they often forget about or ignore the evil examples and commands of their holy book.

Here’s a quiz to see if you have biblical morality. It asks questions like:

Two strangers visit your home, and you are kind enough to provide them with accommodations for the night. They tell you they are angels appearing on behalf of the Lord. However, later in the evening, an angry mob turns up seeking to sodomize your guests. What do you do?

If you buy a Hebrew servant, how many years must he serve?


Final proof that ID is not science

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

And this comes at the hands of that great ID “think tank” Uncommon Descent via this entry. Here’s the cracker (emphasis added):

But after 150 years of the hard sell, why is it that so many people haven’t bought into the Darwin myth I wonder? Perhaps because that is how they perceive it – as a myth – some real evidence, instead of the empty rhetoric might help their cause. It is true that most people haven’t studied science in depth, but they do know when someone is trying to sell them a dodgy motor. But what of the arrogance of the militant Darwinists. Clearly ID is tapping into a broad stream of public opinion, but is under sometimes vicious attack from sections of the acedemic community that tolerates no dissent. It would seem that Darwinian science is shaped by an emotional devotion to Darwin that is semi-religious in nature – having left true science outside the door.

So why is this final proof that ID is not science? Because science cares not about people “buying” or not into it’s theories. The “buying” has no effect on truthfulness. It is irrelevant to the question “Is X true?”. Because the truthfulness of a scientific theory is not tested by it popularity in the general masses, or if it taps “into a broad stream of public domain”. When was the last time a scientist proclaimed his hypothesis to be true because lots of folks like it? ID is a big, not so complex argument from Ignorance. When did you ever come across an ID argument that did not take the shape of  “I cannot explain the complexity of X; my imagination cannot perceive of a process that could create such complexity, therefore it must have been designed by an intelligent designer”?

And don’t you just love it when they say that the academic community tolerates no dissent? How hypocritical or ignorant to claim that when the theory of Evolution was met with such skepticism when it was first introduced and it took a lot of work and evidence for scientists to be convinced by it. How ironic given the struggles needed to get Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity accepted by the then academic community. But guess what, both Darwin’s theory and Einstein’s theory were accepted once sufficient evidence was deemed to have been gathered. It is this evidence part that bother the ID crowd. They don’t have any.

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Skepquote of the day – 02/03/09

Posted in Skepquote by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

Unfortunately, age and popularity are not valid criteria for judging medical ideas. Yes, the idea of “qi” is thousands of years old, but a thousand years ago, people didn’t live very long. A thousand years ago, our understanding of the human body and its diseases was limited to vague ideas of spirits, curses, gods, and other superstitions that did not rely on any understanding of anatomy or physiology. People didn’t know causes, and couldn’t prevent or cure disease (but some physicians had made inroads into properly describing diseases). In fact, these ideas have been largely abandoned in their countries of origin. People in China who have access to proper health care choose the same “western” medicine that we use here in the States every day.


Amish Home Burn Treatment: B&W Salve and Burdock Leaves

Posted in Science Based Medicine by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

People in the Amish community have been using “The New Concept in Treating Burns” and their experience is recounted in a little booklet by that title. It is a compilation of articles, testimonials, and letters to the editor of a monthly newspaper Plain Interests, published in Millersburg PA.

The treatment, involving B&W ointment and dressings of scalded burdock leaves, was developed by John Keim, an Amish farmer and natural healer. The Amish have a tradition of taking care of their own, and they try to avoid hospitals whenever possible. In the booklet, they even recommend treating hip fractures at home without surgery. (Which, after all, is what we did before we had hospitals and surgery).

They claim that with the B&W burn treatment:

  • Painful burns are rendered non-painful.
  • Healing is faster.
  • Painful debridement is not necessary.
  • Skin grafting is not necessary.
  • Scarring seldom occurs.
  • Iatrogenic harm from hospitals is avoided.
  • Patients can be treated at home at much less expense.

According to Keim, with his method it seldom takes more than seven days to get a completely new skin cover on second and third degree burns, and in over two decades he never had an infection. He saw only 2 cases of scarring, and they were minimal. He does not charge for his services.


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Keep your prayers to yourself, Nurse

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

A nurse on a home visit decided to offer her services as a personal intermediary to a deity and pray for her patient. The patient objected and complained to the health organization — after all, the patient may not like her nasty bronze age god, and may feel put upon that a presumed professional is proposing to waste her time on chanted magic spells. It’s also a matter of courtesy: when I’m teaching, I don’t hector my students on matters outside the course content, like atheism, and when I’m being treated by a nurse or doctor, I expect them to leave irrelevant superstitions out of the examining room.


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Credulous news – 02/02/09

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

12 year old girl puzzled by UFO sighting – but then 12 year olds are puzzled by simple math equations so go figure.

Huge, triangular shaped UFO sighted in Chicago – I wonder if these guys have been reading Scott Siglers “Infection”?

Homeopathy can treat infertility – In both men and women apparently. I cringe at the thought of just what they are diluting in the water. While I know that there would be basically nothing of the substance left, I still wouldn’t want to drink that thing.

Blatant lie of the day – “Therapeutic aromatherapy is a recognized medical profession“. I am unaware of any medical school that offers a degree in aromatherapy, at least in the USA. Please, if I am wrong in this assertion point me to the right place.

Ear accupuncture galore – Did you know that the ” ear is the record for past and present and future problems in the body” Holy cow! And all this time I thought it was the foot! Silly me! And look at the list of ailments it can help you with: infertility, asthma, allergies, insomnia, headaches and even weight loss.Isn’t that great you can become pregnant and not put on the pregnancy pounds? How fabulous!

Who Is Behind The Medicines Information On The Internet?

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on February 3, 2009

[Originally posted at: Medical News Today]

Pharmaceutical companies are tapping into online social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and using new media forms to reach wider Australian audiences.

Writing in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber, health journalist Melissa Sweet discusses how the internet is helping to globalise and change pharmaceutical marketing, and how this poses challenges for regulators.

The article gives examples of evolving marketing practices such as using overseas blogs and websites in countries where pharmaceutical marketing is less regulated than in Australia to promote and sell products.

“Safety concerns have been raised about the purchase of prescription, non-prescription and complementary medicines over the internet,” Ms Sweet writes. “Company websites can link to other sites that may not meet regulatory requirements.”

Ms Sweet claims companies are using blogs and websites to develop customer relationships which may enable companies to gather patient stories and feedback for use in positioning their products, though consumers are often not aware of their involvement.

“It is not always clear from a website name who is behind it … and it can be extremely difficult to identify who is responsible for the content spread through [social] networks,” Ms Sweet writes.

“Drug companies are increasingly turning to electronic methods to market their products. [This] includes diverse strategies, is cheaper than traditional sales representatives and can result in a significant return on investment.

The article discusses how pharmaceutical companies are seeking to capitalise on medical social networking sites. One site earns money by letting clients such as hedge funds monitor doctors’ anonymous online conversations and thus gain insight into, say, the popularity of certain treatments.

“Apart from disseminating company-generated content, social networking sites also offer opportunities for companies to insert themselves into conversations between site users through postings and comments on blogs.”

“On the other hand, such networks are also being used for public health purposes, including promoting messages about the quality use of medicines,” Ms Sweet writes.

She acknowledges Medicines Australia’s efforts to police the promotion of medicines, but concludes that such regulation is going to become increasingly harder as technology evolves.

Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals, particularly doctors in general practice. It is published by the National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS), an independent, non-profit organisation for Quality Use of Medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Australian Prescriber is distributed every two months in hard copy to health professionals, free of charge, and online in full text at

[Originally posted at: Medical News Today]