20 December 2009

‘The trouble with skeptics’, ‘illiberal liberals’ and skeptic projection

I appreciate jdc325’s piece on inappropriate skeptic attitudes and behaviours, having been subject to them on this blog.  I’m pleased to say however that generally the skeptic tone is much better than two years ago: Skeptic insults to homeopaths daily count: December 4th 2007.  I’d like to add a skeptic fail of my own: making up facts based on logic, or ‘flact’ for short.

Also of interest this week is Brendan O’Neill’s piece in Spiked online on the illiberal, anti-free speech treatment of Johnny Ball’s scepticism of man-made climate change at a ‘religious style get together of rationalists’ including freedom-of-speech-for-scientists and anti-homeopathy campaigners. Further evidence that science or scientism is the new orthodox fundamentalist religion.  Update: even Randi is being subject to the same treatment

And finally I agreed with homeopathyblogs that Goldacre et al are projecting onto homeopaths their own unscientific and biased approach as detailed by William Alderson’s review of Ernst and Singh’s Trick or Treatment.  The printed version of  Goldacre’s notorious anti-homeopathy piece in the Guardian contained cartoons projecting pharma’s love of its pills and forcefeeding them to innocent patients.  Given that Goldacre is involved in psychiatric work you would think that he would recognise this, unless of course he was wilfully using it to influence.

28 December 2007

Sleep medication to treat a sleep-like state – treating like with like

The word ‘homeopathy’ is derived of two words: homeo denoting ‘similar’ and ‘pathy’ denoting ‘suffering’. Its principle is that of giving a substance which causes you to suffer from similar symptoms to your ailment, which you react against and cancel out your own symptoms.  It is reported this week that sleep medication has been found to rouse patients in a coma: it may be a simple case of homeopathic action.

Sleep medication offers hope to families of comatose patients « Health Sense

5 December 2007

Ineffective medications call the double blind placebo controlled clinical trial into question

Freetochoosehealth weblog : Conventional medicines ineffective for sinus infections

So our suspicions may be correct about prescription medicines being ineffective.  But surely these medications have been subject to double blind placebo controlled trials for effectiveness before being released to the public?  Does this mean that these trials are not a good indicator of how drugs will perform out of the laboratory?   How much are people paying out for these ineffective treatments?

And how on earth do doctors decide what is an effective treatment with conflicting trial data?

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