Weekend Reading

If you like the content at Science-Based Pharmacy, you may like these articles and posts:

From the Science-Based Medicine blog, which has a new post weekdays on science in medicine:

What exactly does “plausibility” mean, and how should we apply it in science? This post, on plausibility, distinguishes between science-based medicine and evidence-based medicine. Highly recommended reading.

Prostate Cancer Dilemmas: To Test or Not to Test, To Cut or Not to Cut – a good overview of the risks and benefits of screening for prostate cancer.

Chiropractic gimmickry – Summary of chiropractic pseudoscience, written by a former chiropractor. And here’s an update on strokes associated with chiropractic neck manipulations.

Many believe that oriental medicine has a long history of effective and safe use. But even in 1934, it was called a “weird medley of philosophy, religion, superstition, magic, alchemy, astrology, feng shui, divination, sorcery, demonology and quackery.” The idea that these practices have any scientific credibility is largely a postmodern construct.

Acupuncture doesn’t work, but regulators continue to give it the imprimatur of legitimacy.

Are berries the new snake oil? Probably.

Fears of fluoride in the water supply continue to emerge as regional issues. The antifluoridation movement is a disingenuous as the antivaccine movement, unfortunately.

From Orac at Respectful Insolence

Naturopathic cancer treatments versus reality. Cancer quackery is probably the most heinous quackery of them all. And watch for claims of “integrative” medicine, as what is usually being integrated is pure pseudoscience.

Alternative medicine as religion. Highly recommended.

Dietary supplements: Scary substances manufactured under scary conditions.

Other posts

A chemist asks some scientific questions about homeopathy, and the results are hilarious.

Altmed advocates that promote quack remedies for cancer may suggest that “you can always have the conventional treatment later”. That’s a bad idea.

Via Yoni Freedhoff, “One Grain More” a musical tribute to food allergies and “sensitivities”.

On quack cancer cures, and “alternative medicine” as religion, this time from a cancer patient.

The BMJ published a series of seven articles on the “science” lacking for sports drinks. Yoni Freedhoff sums them up.

A superb post from Derek Lowe on the cost of developing drugs, a response to a BMJ paper by Donald Light and Joel Lexchin. Light responds to Lowe’s evisceration, and fails. These posts are highly recommended.

Horrifying and infuriating. Traditional Chinese Medicine is driving the rhinoceros extinct: AK-47s, Quack Medicine, and Heaps of Cash: The Gruesome Rhino Horn Trade, Explained.

Think that the homeopathy industry (“Big Placebo”) is above dirty tricks? Professor Edzard Ernst is an outspoken critic of homeopathy. Guess who is funding an online smear campaign about him?

Eggs and Atherosclerosis – Should we fear eggs? Probably not. Dr. Novella dives into a recent study from Dr. David Spence in London, Ontario, and finds lots of problems with the analysis. Also see this post by Colby Vorland.


In Vancouver, on Monday, August 27: The UBC Students for Science Based Medicine club is hosting a night of short presentations on evidence concerning complementary & alternative medicines (CAMs) for the public and interested students.

Something Completely Different

In case you’re the last person on earth that hasn’t seen this yet, don’t miss Star Wars Call Me Maybe.

Photo from flickr user Kevin McShane used under a CC licence.

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