Hey angry people, don’t lash out at the silly mum who thought that homeopathy would protect her child.
She obviously genuinely thought that living a “simple and healthy way of life”, avoiding ‘toxins’ and eating organic food was an actual alternative to scientifically proven vaccinations.
(The father of the girl is probably justified in a little righteous rage, though; it’s his child, after all. )
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Welcome to the latest edition of I Call Bullshit. For those of you who only ever read the first line, here’s the take-home message from this ICB column: Homeopathy cannot prevent or ‘treat’ domestic violence.
There. Now hopefully most of you are thinking something along the lines of: “What kind of deluded moonbat would think that it could? Crikey, this Shepherd bird really is shooting fish in a barrel.”
But here’s the thing: Millions of people believe homeopathy can do all sorts of things despite a complete lack of evidence and the fact the entire practice is predicated on a magical foundation of mumbo jumbo.
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A few days ago, a group called the Friends of Science in Medicine wrote to the Vice Chancellors of Australian universities, speaking out against the teaching of complementary and alternative medicine in the curriculum. This group consists of more than 400 Australian professors, academics, researchers and scientists who work in biomedicine. I’m one of them – a very junior one.
The strength of the reactions has been fascinating. In the last 48 hours alone, I’ve been a fascist, an elitist, arrogant, narrow-minded, a shill for sociopathic corporate interests, viciously protective of my orthodoxy and a generally morally reprehensible crusader for the intellectual interests of old, white men.
I wonder how I have the time, to be honest. However, in the middle of all the noise and mutual disdain between both sides of the alternative medicine divide, what I think is the central point is being lost. And that central point is this: Magic is an insufficient basis for university teaching.
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Welcome to a new regular Punch piece – I Call Bullshit!
(We’ve used this one before, but it really is supremely funny)
It’ll be dedicated to all the quackery, bullshenanigans and bogus science out there, everywhere.
Today’s was going to be all about psychics. Then I saw this piece in The Australian about a homeopathy clinic offering remedies for radiation sickness. They thoughtfully spruiked their wares at a time when so many people in Japan are scared out of their wits as the radiation threat worsens.
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It’s World Homeopathy Awareness Week, and homeopaths around the world are celebrating their craft and reflect on the 255th birthday of their creator, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
Homeopathy was invented 200 years ago by the German physician, and is based on a ‘like-treats-like’ concept: that the symptoms of an illness can be treated by minute quantities of the same substance that caused it.
This is known as the ‘Law of Similars’ and means that a homeopathic medicine for insomnia may include miniscule amounts of coffee or a homeopathic medicine for hay fever may contain tiny traces of grasses, pollens or animal hair.
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Marketing gurus around Australia have embarked on a whole new strategy. No more two-for-the-price-of-one, or 20-per-cent-extra-free deals. Now it’s all about giving the people less of what they want. Genius.
First they shrank chocolate bars. Now they’re cutting the amount of alcohol in booze – not in the designated driver-oriented “lite” products, but in your everyday lager.
Detergents come in ever smaller containers. It’s concentrated, but what’s the bet most people use the same amount?
But the worst case – particularly in light of swine flu – is cold and flu medicine.
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