Video of the day: John Oliver on climate change and false balance

Fine. If you must dispute debate something that is an established fact, such as: is anthropic global warming, aka climate change, real and a threat? (or: is homeopathy quackery? Is evolution more than “just a theory”?), then you should do it honestly, especially if you’re doing it in the media. John Oliver, who is fast becoming one of my intellectual heroes, shows us what a genuinely balanced debate on a topic where no room remains for reasonable doubt really looks like. Enjoy So the next time you hear phrases like “X uses homeopathy”, or “Y doesn’t believe in global warming”, or “Z used acupuncture to speed recovery”, or even “A Doughball ate her baby’s placenta”, remember the only correct response is: “Who gives a shit?” Have your opinion by all means. Just don’t imagine that it trumps science. Science exists to describe reality, whereas your opinion describes only your own … Continue reading

Nancy Malik Strikes Back! Homeowatch and Quackwatch abusing HONcode?

It’s the silly season all right. So much fuckwittery queuing up to be eviscerated that I’m going to have to aim for shorter posts. Following Nancy Malik’s self-pitying rant about losing her HONcode certification through not complying with the requirements, an update has just been published to that post in her blog. Oddly enough, that update does not mention that the HONcode certification has been withdrawn and that the agreement requires she remove all reference to it from her site. Which, of course, she hasn’t done. No, the update is a tu quoque-style attack on two pro-science websites run by the same person: one Stephen Barrett, M.D, with the help of a number of volunteers. According to Malik, Barrett is abusing the HONcode certification in the same way she did. Which, it would seem, exonerates her – in her own dreams, at least. Well, being a skeptic doesn’t excuse you … Continue reading

Robert Eau Young and the Murderous Miracle Cure

It seems incredible that somebody could actually write this, in the 21st century rather than the 13th, but perhaps the biggest WTF of all stems from the fact that there are woo-prone idiots out there who are ignorant enough to believe this weapons-grade quack and enthusiastically promote the expensive pile of deadly fuckwittery that he sells: Articles of Health are the writings of Robert O. Young D.Sc., Ph.D., based upon his theory that the human organism is alkaline by design and acidic by function. He suggests that there is only one sickness and one disease which is caused by an over acidification of the blood and then tissues due to an inverted way of living, eating and thinking. There is no way to have health and acidity — health and alkalinity is the way! We’ve examined this virulent piece of walking Stupid before. He has an intellectual midden on Blogger … Continue reading

“Has WDDTY Ever Helped You?” – Well, Lynne…

Lynne McTaggart, spin witch-doctor for the Self-Centred Raving Loonies, a one-policy party that wants to make lying in advertising legal again, has done us proud. Her latest blog post is entitled: Has What Doctors Don’t Tell You Ever Helped You? Yeah, well, depends on what you mean by that, Lynne. Cue a certain old Monty Python sketch. It’s certainly provided a lot of bloggers with an amazing amount of weapons-grade fuckwittery to rip apart on a distressingly regular basis. It’s seemingly alerted a lot of people who thought the old lies about HIV, cancer, and New Age “energy” had dropped out of circulation and into folklore long ago. It has provided many a simultaneous outburst of anger and hysterical laughter at the rampant dumbfuckery in its pages. What it hasn’t provided is balanced analysis and advice. Not ever. Not a bleedin’ sausage. We really searched for it, but the prize … Continue reading

Answers in Genesis on Biblical climate change

In a despairing attempt to cleanse my mind of the insanity propounded as fact by homeopaths, I have gratefully seized upon a link tweeted by @PHSJonas containing, er, a prime example of the insanity on climate change, aka global warming, propounded as fact by creationist Christians. This particular sample of Stupid dates from 2010 and was detected on the outrageously moronic Answers in Genesis webshite. AiG is run by a smug, simpering bampot called Ken Ham, who self-identifies as a “global warming skeptic”. He and his cronies promote young-earth creationism, because the Bible. The Bible is, they say, solid scientific fact – despite all the very solid evidence to the contrary (see some of Dragonblaze’s posts for examples). All AiG’s arguments stem from that untenable premise. There’s even a hilariously fuckwitted rant by Ham in sour grapes mode over Bill Nye – US TV’s “Science Guy”, who comprehensively wiped the … Continue reading

Laurie J Willberg exposes the skeptic agenda

It’s looking remarkably like the brains – if you’ll excuse the expression – behind the Extraordinary Medicine webshite is none other than Laurie J Willberg (1). She certainly writes a helluva lot for it: long rambling posts that any other blogger would split up into several separate ones. An extreme example of this is the would-be satirical exposé entitled Media Skeptics : A Popcorn Gallery, which would provide enough material for 3 or 4 normal posts, even for Orac. It’s got her name on the byline in the middle of it, so I assume the whole purulent screed is hers. Now, remember: Ms Willberg claims to be a journalist. Therefore, the quality of her research and writing are both very much under scrutiny. Feel free to snigger in the comments, as there’s so much literary incompetence there’s no way I can encompass it all. To compound this, the meta info … Continue reading

Laurie J Willberg on the rebound effect

Homeopaths are great ones for a complete lack of self-awareness. Recently, a couple of notorious yapping dogs on Twitter gave us their considered legal opinions on this post about Ellen Kramer and her College for Practical Homeopathy: @BrownBagPantry @anarchic_teapot @JeromeJB It's the vile and libellous rant on his blog that's even more outrageous and slimy. — Laurie J. Willberg (@LaurieJWillberg) June 18, 2014 Hermann-Courtney, you’ll recall, is the unpleasant bit of work who tweets that homeopathy can cure rabies and cancer, and then complains bitterly about nasty bullying sceptics asking for evidence. Laurie J Willberg crawled out of the woodwork a few months ago. As I recall, her first tweet to me was an insult. Not complaining, you understand; I don’t give a used anal condom over the opinion of the likes of them. Just setting the scene. That’s Laurie J Willberg there, from her Homeopathy World Community profile (HWC … Continue reading

Nancy Malik isn’t even trying to feign good faith

While the Blessed McTaggart shrieks “VICTIMISATION” and publishes the names and addresses of random people, because Tesco have reportedly stopped stocking her monthly ill-spelt and worse-written compendium of criminal Stupid – not so much because of skeptic complaints, but because it wasn’t selling – other quacks are also quietly telling large porkies. Take that old favourite Nancy Malik, for example. She’s in fine form right now. To recap: Nancy Malik claims to be a medical professional and proudly displays her qualifications here. Unfortunately, all her qualifications are in witch-doctoring, aka homeopathy, and therefore not only is she not a medical professional, her diplomas aren’t worth a monkey’s. Her blog is entitled Science-based Homeopathy, a clear attempt to ape the far more prestigious and reputable Science-based Medicine. The latter is a group blog, with a number of  contributors who are internationally respected for being bloody good at what they do in … Continue reading

Lynne McTaggart and the botched smear campaign

It’s no secret that those who turn a dishonest buck by peddling fuckwittery to the bewildered masses are not above the ad hominem attack, sometimes coming close to outright libel. However, it takes a special kind of Stupid to smear people using doctored copies of images that are not in the public domain. WDDTY, get your arses up here to the front of the class. Do you deny that you recently produced this little gem of puerile whingeing? Here is the only health information you’d be able to get if Simon Singh & co. http://t.co/7g0nEImESi #supportus pic.twitter.com/kYQcAiOsbc — Lynne McTaggart (@LynneMcTaggart) June 25, 2014 Which is a clumsy ‘shop of the photo here. You will notice that the photographer has reserved full copyright and has not activated licensing. Did you even try to contact him before using his work in a manner I suspect he would not have approved? I … Continue reading

The questionable marketing of the Saatchi bill

There’s been a lot of noise on Twitter and elsewhere about the so-called “Saatchi bill”, reportedly a backdoor into legalising quackery on the NHS. There’s a big campaign to get the whole thing voted out on its arse, just click on the link in the image to the left, and you’ll have access to a lot of info, including the reactions of many of the professional organisations and cancer charities likely to be affected by the Bill if ever it passes into law as-is. Not having the right to vote in the UK, I hadn’t been paying too much attention, as I have plenty of my own troubles at the moment, mostly in big cardboard boxes waiting to be unpacked. Yesterday, someone tweeted a link to Saatchi’s speech to the House of Lords starting off the second reading of the bill in that House. I started to read it, then … Continue reading