Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

IVF pregnancy rates down with alternative medicine use

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 19, 2009

A Danish study has been reported in both the Times of India and in Private Healthcare UK which allegedly shows that women underoing in vitro fertilization had a lower rate of pregnancies when using alternative fertility treatments than women who followed conventional treatments, by about 30%. That is obviously not surprising to this blogger or the usual readers, as we know that there has never been any evidence to suggest otherwise.

Nevertheless, I must be cautious here as the articles do not link to the study or an abstract, so it is impossible for me to verify how well the authors designed the study and if their conclusions are warranted. They do seem to be very careful though when the following disclaimer is made:

In the study, it could not be determined whether the effect on IVF success is a direct result of the use of complementary medicine, or whether women who were already having more trouble conceiving were more likely to revert to alternative fertility treatments.

A very important point indeed! If someone has a link to the study or an abstract please do leave it in the comments.

UPDATE 08/21/09

Commenter RPG points me to the PubMed abstract of the above study. Reading the abstract it seems that this was a survey based study which compared “spontaneous users and non-users of CAM” and found a decrease of 31.3% in the pregnancy and live birth rate for CAM users.

Now it is important to keep in mind that the subjets appear not to have been randomly assigned, thus there is no way to exclude the possibility that the women that had the most difficulties could be more inclined to go after CAM “treatments”. That could be one way of  explaining the negative result.

So we should be very careful how we interpret these results. I do not think this study warrants us concluding that CAM therapies lower a woman’s pregnancy and live birth rates. The result is quite suspicious in my eyes.  I would have expected the CAM group not to do any better but 31% worse? I don’t know that I buy that!


The fundies are going to love this

Posted in Evolved and Rational by Skepdude on August 30, 2008


How to deliver a huge load of butthurt to idiotic fundies:

  1. Get them BAWWWWWing about how homosexuals are going to burn in hell.
  2. Laugh at them.
  3. Show them that science turns their idiotic dogma into FAIL.
  4. ???
  5. PROFIT!!

I wonder what the fundies say about this one:

Sperm cells have been created from a female human embryo in a remarkable breakthrough that suggests it may be possible for lesbian couples to have their own biological children.

British scientists who had already coaxed male bone marrow cells to develop into primitive sperm cells have now repeated the feat with female embryonic stem cells.

It raises the possibility of lesbian couples one day having children who share both their genes as sperm created from the bone marrow of one woman could be used to fertilise an egg from her partner.

This is ‘playing god’ and ‘unnatural’, you say? Using that line of reasoning, agriculture should also be banned because it is also ‘playing god’ and ‘unnatural’. For all the frothing, ranting, and general BAWWWWing that fundies do when confronted with science, I don’t think that they actually want to ban agriculture. If that is what they want to do, I suggest a simple strategy that has been nicely termed ‘An Hero‘.

Unethical, you say? How exactly is this any more ‘unethical ‘ when compared to artificial insemination? Are you aware of how many theistards conveniently use IVF technology when prayers simply don’t seem to work or when their god has better things to do than give his ass-licking brainwashed sheep a child? Who decides what is unethical, and why should religious nuts be given a free pass in dictating what is ethical and what is not? The Catholic Church, in an act of supreme fucktardery, has declared birth control unethical sinful. Therefore, which particular brand of theistardery holds the key to determining what is unethical or what is not?

PROTIP: ‘Sinful’ in your particular brand of dogma =/= Unethical

If you want to use the Holy Babble as a guide, why should it be so? Why the Bible? Why not the Koran? Why not Dianetics?

Why not the Book of Anon?

First Anon made the internet. The internet was without any form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of Anon was moving over the series of tubes. And Anon said “Let it be light through the tubes”, and there was light. And Anon saw that fiber cables were good.

Stop groaning, folks. Serious business resumes now.

We don’t ask gardeners about economics or interior decorators about carpentry, so why should we ask religious leaders to about science whenever a new scientific breakthrough/issue is brought up? Why should we even care what the religious nuts think? Why does the media even bother? There is no logical reason for science to constantly tip-toe around religious toes although science is expected to do so by the appeasers and their precious theistard bedfellows.

If we were to have a serious discussion about science on how it relates to ethics and how it would change human life, religious dogma needs to be left at the door where it belongs. Humanity’s very future and the importance and urgency of this quest demands it.

tl;dr version: It is time to stop kneeling at the altar of theistarded dumbfuckery.