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shpalman [userpic]

She burns like the sun...

6th January 2011 (15:27)

... I can't look away

[BPSBD] There's some idiot who started a thread (edit: like this) at called pathological science in astronomy - Stellar Fusion I in which he was wrong about just about everything. This post won't make much sense unless you've read all that, but posting a compilation of responses here will hopefully make it easier to find as that thread descends into Bickering.Read more...Collapse )

shpalman [userpic]


31st January 2010 (08:38)

[BPSDB] Sceptics stage homeopathy ‘overdose’: ‘The society [of Homeopaths]' chief executive, Paula Ross, said: “This is an ill advised publicity stunt in very poor taste, which does nothing to advance the scientific debate about how homeopathy actually works.”’

It. Doesn't. Work.

There's no ‘scientific debate’ to be had about how something works if it doesn't work and it the quality of your science is represented by nonsense like this.

shpalman [userpic]

Another thing Milgrom is wrong about

25th October 2009 (08:01)

[BPSDB] So it seems that Lionel R. Milgrom's legal knowledge rivals his physics for ignorance, delusion, and disregard of reality:

All the while, speaking with a voice of (worthless) authority.

shpalman [userpic]

Another happy customer

25th June 2009 (23:07)

BPSDB There's a plethora of a letter at A Case of Chiropractic Manipulation Immediately Relieving Depression with Chronic Pain:

Patient A, a 41-year-old Taiwanese male, suffered from intermittent dysthymia which presented with minor low mood, insomnia, anxiety, chest tightness, back pain, and subjectively mild occupational difficulty... patient A received a single chiropractic spinal manipulation. The chiropractor noticed a minor deformity in the thoracic spine, and a traction technique was administered. He experienced immediate relief from back pain. The following day he reported complete relief of chest tightness, dysthymia, fatigue, and insomnia, with HAM-D, TDQ, and VAS scores of 0 for all.

“No, no, I'm fine now, no need to do any more chiropractic on me, I'll be off then...”

Reminds me slightly of various Blue Jam sketches. (Meanwhile, proper holistic back-pain suggestions.)

shpalman [userpic]

Attenti alla omeopatia

19th June 2009 (20:56)

Ho appena sentito, sul Radio Monte Carlo, qualcuno (una “farmacista”) che spiegava quale sono le remedie omeopatiche di portare in vacanza. Volgio dire, in italiano (ma non so se i motori di ricerca troveranno comunque) che omeopatia è una grande cagata che non funzione per niente e non ha nessun base nè scientifico nè medico, ed è presente in farmacie solo così che Boiron possono pigliare soldi. Evitalo.Leggi di piùCollapse )

shpalman [userpic]

Experimenting with phenomena...

18th June 2009 (19:58)

... which aren't actually there at all

[BPSDB] It's Homeopathy Awareness Week, and I can think of no better way of stopping people wasting time and money on homeopathy than by making them aware of exactly what homeopathy thinks it is. To this end, we have jdc325, Zeno, APGaylard, AndyD, Zygoma, The Quackometer, David Colquhoun, Orac, and Steven Novella (Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homeopathy Awareness Week) helping to spread awareness of what a great big pile of nonsense homeopathy is. Read more...Collapse )

shpalman [userpic]

Golden Balls

14th June 2009 (11:30)

[BPSDB] I don't want to spend too much time picking apart Lionel R. Milgrom's1 reading of Sir Michael Rawlins's speech in his J. Alt. Complement. Med. editorial which has very little to do with Otto Weingärtner's2 recent defence of the attempts of Shang et al. and Maddox et al. to teach homeopaths about doing experiments properly3,4 instead of craply.5,6 Holfordwatch have already taken apart Patrick Holford's attempt at quote mining it, and Badly Shaved Monkey introduced the subject at JREF and, and I've tried to explain how the DBRCT is just the most reliable way of working out if your intervention is actually doing anything or not, to minimize the errors and converge on the right answer in the way which Weingärtner2 describes (and it wouldn't be necessary to be scrabbling about in the statistical noise if homeopathy worked as well as some of these people claim it does). Read more...Collapse )

shpalman [userpic]

A little bit of what we call... “manipulation”...

10th June 2009 (11:07)

[BPSDB] I haven't really been able to keep up with all the stuff going on with Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association... has anyone linked to yet?

shpalman [userpic]

Let me come with you, I can see... I can see perfectly...

18th April 2009 (14:24)

[BPSDB] Recently I have been mostly reading “Homeopathic Pathogenetic Trials Produce Specific Symptoms Different from Placebo1 and at first sight the result looks very interesting: homeopathic remedies or placebo were given to healthy volunteers in a double-blinded manner, “proving symptoms” were assigned to their remedies by a materia medica expert, and it turned out that the symptoms matched the remedies the participants were taking. In fact they matched very well: out of the 165 symptoms experienced by the 25 participants during the four day trial, on average the participants in the two groups taking different homeopathic remedies experienced five or six symptoms specific to those remedies each while the participants in the placebo group experienced about 10—11 “non-specific” symptoms each. The number of inconsistent symptoms experienced in each group (i.e. non-specific symptoms or symptoms associated with the wrong remedy experienced in the homeopathy groups) was zero. These impressive results even contradict some of the rubbish results in the literature.2,3 Out of the discussion at JREF, where you can find many quotes from the paper which I don't want to reproduce here, I've developed the following thoughts.Read more...Collapse )

shpalman [userpic]

If at first you don't succeed

14th April 2009 (18:30)

[BPSDB] Otto Weingärtner explains, in the latest issue of J. Alt. Complement. Med.,1 that in clinical trials more accurate results come from those trials which have larger numbers of participants, supporting the methodology of Shang et al..2 Shang et al. ranked trials of both homeopathy and proper medicine according to the “quality” and number of participants, and found that better quality trials of homeopathy with larger numbers of participants tended to show smaller differences between homeopathy and placebo. This is in accordance with Bernoulli's “weak law of large numbers” which explains how data scatters randomly about the true value but the mean converges to be as close as you like to the true value as you obtain more and more data. By taking more and more data, by performing trials with many participants and by performing meta-analyses to pool the results of trials, the effects of random scatter are slowly averaged away.

Of course, that's not what Weingärtner thinks that he has explained.Read more...Collapse )

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