Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Help bring skeptical question to the attention UK conservative party leader

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 6, 2010

I received an e-mail from Tom, a reader from England, with a request for help. The conservative party in the UK is accepting questions over the web about the future of the NHS, and Tom has put in a question about homeopathy which is of a skeptical nature. The questions will be answered by the party leader on 01/08/10.  Here is the question we hope to have talked about publicly:

“Given the lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of homeopathic products, does the Conservative Party have a view on the continued funding of such products by the NHS, or on current labeling policy regarding such products? If so, what is it?”

The way this works is that the question must be voted up high enough, via clicking the check mark, to be one of the ones picked up for answer.  In order to do that you need a Google account. You login with that account and click the check mark. That’s all. Since I have two Google accounts I voted for it twice. And the good news is that someone else has posted a question along the same lines, also pointing out the lack of efficacy. I voted for both. I encourage everyone to take the 30 seconds it takes to do the same. Here are the instructions:

Go to the following website:  http://www.conservatives.com/draftmanifesto/

There is a search box at the middle of the page , on top of the video. To the right of the search box you’ll see a “Sign In” link. Click that and sign in with your Google credentials. After signing in enter “homeopathic” on the search box and hit search. The two questions will come up. Click the check mark on both and you’re done. You’ve thus helped further the skeptical cause. Thank you.

PS: The even is in two days, on  January 8th, so I need to ask you to vote and link to this entry on your blog, Twitter or Facebook, as much as you possibly can.

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Homeopathy webcomic

Posted in Fun, Humorous by Skepdude on December 14, 2009

Funny!

Homeopathy for cats

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on November 20, 2009

As if this nonsense wasn’t bad enough as is, I ran accross the following question and answer in some obscure website (rel=”no follow”-ed of course!), I’d never heard off:

Question 1: I have 2 cats who are great feline companions-unless the weather turns stormy, with lots of lightning and thunder, or they’re about to have their toenails trimmed. Are there any natural ways I can help them calm down?

Friend of Felines

Response: When “meow” turns to “yeeoowwwww,” we all need help with calming crazed kitties. In addition to keeping them in a safe area, like a quiet room or other place where they can be as comfortable as possible, homeopathy offers a potential way to deal with the situation. Homeopathy is based on using diluted versions of a variety of natural remedies, including herbs or other nutrients. Each remedy is diluted thousands of times, resulting in an end-product that no longer contains the original material, only its electromagnetic essence.

Edie Snow, Shiatsu therapist at Pathways to Wellness, is a cat aficionada who has rescued several felines. She recommends using Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic approach to calming people or animals. It is a liquid dispensed from a dropper, and can be applied to a cat’s gums or inner lips. Rescue Remedy helps to relax an animal after any trauma, and can be used to deal with wild kitty behavior, fear, or over-stimulation. Rescue Remedy can also be used on the way to see your veterinarian.

So let me get this straight. First these cats get crancky because of lightning or having their nails clipped. That would be the cause of the crankiness. Since hoemopathy says like-cures-like, I can’t help but wonder just what in the hell would you dilute to calm down a cat that’s freaked by lightning and thunder? Furthermore since this Rescue Remedy can calm both animals and people, does that mean it can only calm people that get scared from lightning or are phobic about cutting their nails? Just wondering out loud here, not trying to be close-minded.

Skepquote of the day

Posted in Skepquote by Skepdude on October 19, 2009

Ullman is notorious as a homeopath and internet lurker, spreading undiluted nonsense as far and wide as his typing fingers can manage.

Steven Novella writing on Skepticblog

Prison time for homeopath parents that let their daughter die of eczema

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on September 28, 2009

People love to use the “its a harmless belief” excuse whenever they find themselves in a corner defending some non-evidence based belief, such say….oh I don’t know, homeopathy? However, it is not true that these beliefs are harmless. It is not true that they have no side effects. Because when such beliefs are adhered to in matters of health, and are preferred over established, science based medicine, death occurs.

You may remember a while ago reading in this blog about the little girl who died of eczema at nine months of age, a non fatal disease if treated with real medicine, because her parents choose homeopathy instead, even as her conditions got worse and even as it became obvious that the homeopathic potions were not producing the desired results. The parents were found guilty and now news comes out that they have been sentenced to prison time, 6 years for the father, 4 for the mother.

I do not know how to feel about this story. I am a bit torn, because obviously these parents did what they thought was best for their daughter. I do not think there was an intention to hurt her in their part. But they were negligent when the choose to ignore many warnings and advice to seek real medical help which could have easily saved this little girl’s life. They were taken in by the woo woo, the father was himself a homeopath who really believed in his “craft” to the point of letting his little girl die instead of getting help. But they did make choices that resulted in a young life ending prematurely, so….

I am not happy that this is happening, I’d much rather prefer this sort of thing never happened.

Homeopathy and First Aid

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on September 23, 2009

So the British Homeopathic Association is advertising a talk by some homeopath called Sue de Lacy, who will be giving a seminar about homeopathy and first aid in 09/22/09. If you happen to be in the Liverpool area, I recommend you skip it. Nonsense is sure to abound for the only sensible advice one can give about homeopathy and first aid is to never commingle the two. However, I doubt Sue will be dispensing that sort of reasonable advice. So if it’s a weekend and Liverpool is playing, I suggest you go enjoy the game!

The Pro-Homeopaths Strike Back! (or, Charlie Bit Me!)

Posted in Oot and Aboot with some Canadian Skeptic by Skepdude on September 22, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT OOT AND ABOOT WITH SOME CANADIAN SKEPTIC

Remember the other day when I posted about the Straight.com advocating homeopathic preparations to contain the H1N1 virus? Remember how I pointed out that the article was written by a practicing homeopath? I didn’t want to point it out at the time of writing because I was a little unsure of the veracity of the claim, but it turns out that the author of the article, homeopath Sonya McLeod is indeed the daughter of the the paper’s owner, Dan McLeod.

I so far see at least 2 conflicts-of-interest: 1) The financial conflict of having a homeopath advocate that everyone should protect their health with homeopathy and 2) The blatant nepotism of allowing the owner’s daughter (who has no medical expertise) to dispense medical advice about a very serious health issue. An anonymous commenter on my previous post offered a great idea: we could issue a complaint to the British Columbia Press Council because of these breaches of journalist ethics. But hold off on that until you have read the rest of this post.

Well, we got their attention, because the Straight.com has responded. The response was written under their “Blog-Politics” heading, and was written by one ‘Charlie Smith’, whose other articles seem to be otherwise regular news/commentary. Charlie, it seems, is rather unhappy with the response received by the skeptic community. Charlie blames medical science for more deaths. Charlie wonders if skeptics would be so outraged if we knew how many people died on a hospital bed.

Charlie, is mad.

Let’s deconstruct. I’ve got my baloney-detection-kit ready for this one.

The study also reported that 9,250 to 23,750 preventable deaths occurred.

You read that correctly: up to 23,750 preventable deaths took place in acute-care hospitals in Canada in a single year, according to the CMAJ study.

Well, not exactly. The numbers 9250 to 23,750 were an extrapolation, not a confirmed body count. So yeah…a little dishonest, Charlie. Not as bad as having a homeopath advocate homeopathy instead of medical science, but still….a little dishonest. More to the point, science-based medicine knows of its flaws. That’s why that report was launched in the first place: to look into the ways to improve healthcare in Canada. Have homeopaths ever done a look into the deaths caused by homeopathic-exclusive care?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT OOT AND ABOOT WITH SOME CANADIAN SKEPTIC

New low in homeopathy!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on September 6, 2009

At least new to me. I had never heard (as far as I can recall, but we all know how it is with memory) of Energy Homeopathy. Wow! This is low even for homeopaths.

Homeopathy Totally Shown To Work

Posted in Fun, Humorous by Skepdude on August 22, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT THE SPOOF

A top scientist at a real university has done some really clever research, with numbers and everything, that totally proves homeopathy works and is not in fact a made up load of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.

A spokesman from the Society of Homeopaths said “This scientist is really clever and an expert in his field, despite nobody else having ever heard of him. His research, which most definitely wasn’t funded by the Society of Homeopaths, totally proves everything we’ve ever said. It was money well spent.”

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT THE SPOOF

Homeopathy gets trashed again…this time by the WHO

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 21, 2009

The WHO has had enough of the magical water “treatments” and it is warning people to stay away from it.

People with conditions such as HIV, TB and malaria should not rely on homeopathic treatments, the World Health Organization has warned.

This seems to have been started by a group called Voice of Young Science Network which seems to be part of, or affiliated with, Sense About Science the good folks fighting it out in Simon Singhs corner about his troubles with chiropractic woo woo! What’s the response of the homeopathetics?

However practitioners said there were areas where homeopathy could help.

No shit!