måndag 1 mars 2010

Skeptips 10.03.01

Mats Reimer skriver om antroposofernas mest populära "medicin" - Mistelpreparatet Iscador. Det är märkligt att en produkt med en sådan bakgrund fortfarande omsätter miljoner och används av så många människor.

"Iscar (som det hette från början) togs fram redan 1917, men preparatets upprinnelse är inte en empirisk observation, ett systematiskt testande eller grundat på någon vetenskaplig hypotes om verkningsmekanismer. Iscador blev till för att Rudolf Steiner via klärvoajans fått uppfattningen att cancer beror på att det blivit obalans i människan så att eterkroppen lokalt försvagats och den fysiska kroppen blivit för stark. Misteln ansågs kunna stärka eterkroppen så att balansen återställdes och cancern minskade. Milstelpreparaten är antroposofernas mest sålda produkt, för bortåt en halv miljard kronor per år i Europa."

Martin Robbins skriver i The Guardian om Simon Singh, kiropraktiker och förtalslagarna i Storbritannien. Jag hade hört att många kiropraktiker anmälts för suspekt marknadsföring det senaste året, men jag visste inte hur omfattande denna våg av anmälningar var.

"A staggering one in four chiropractors in Britain are now under investigation for allegedly making misleading claims in advertisements, according to figures from the General Chiropractic Council.

The council, which is responsible for regulating the profession and has 2,400 chiropractors on its books, informs me that it has had to recruit six new members of staff to deal with a fifteenfold increase in complaints against its members – from 40 a year to 600. "

TIME har en intressant och avslöjande artikel om Jenny McCarthy och hennes syn på autism och vacciner.

"Though close to 80% of American children receive the standard battery of vaccinations, skepticism about their safety remains widespread, in part because of the antiscientific clamor of the McCarthy camp. Enough parents are refusing to vaccinate that some long-dormant maladies, like measles and meningitis, have re-emerged. Nonvaccination rates among kindergartners in some California counties have been reported at 10%. To McCarthy's opponents, from the public-health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the pediatricians of the American Academy of Pediatrics, this makes McCarthy much worse than a crank: she's a menace to public health."
...

"But McCarthy says she is speaking the truth — her truth. It goes something like this: in McCarthy's world, there is scientific truth and there is emotional truth. There is the fact of a mother looking into her son's eyes and knowing something has gone very wrong and the fact of about two dozen studies showing no link between vaccines and autism. There is the truth of the parents and the truth of the doctors. And she believes that some truths are more equal than others. "She's a mom," says her boyfriend, actor Jim Carrey. "That's what she is. That's her truth." It all sounds so reasonable, expressed by the charming, gamine Jenny McCarthy. And this is what makes her dangerous."

The Flat Earth Society är en organisation med mål att lära ut att jorden är platt. Organisationen har nyligen fått en ny president. Att det kan finnas en stolle som tvivlar på jorden rundhet förvånar föga men att det finns kandidater till hans presidentpost är värre.

"Daniel Shenton should be the most irrational man in the world. As the new president of the Flat Earth Society, you'd ­imagine he would also think that evolution is a scam and ­global warming a myth. He should ­argue that smoking does not cause ­cancer and HIV does not lead to Aids."
...

"In fact, Shenton turns out to have resolutely mainstream views on most issues. The 33-year-old American, ­originally from Virginia but now living and working in London, is happy with the work of Charles Darwin. He thinks the evidence for man-made global warming is strong, and he dismisses suggestions that his own government was involved with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


He is mainstream on most issues, but not all. For when Shenton rides his motorbike, he says it is not gravity that pins him to the road, but the rapid upward motion of a disc-shaped planet. Countries, according to him, spread across this flat world as they appear to do on a map, with Antarctica as a ring of mountains strung around the edge. And, yes, you can fall off."

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