Wednesday, August 24, 2016

When NPR Reporting is Horrible Journalism: Naturopathy

here, my criticism of NPR reporting:

001. Patrick Skahill reports, at, in "Should Naturopathic Doctors Be Allowed To Write Prescriptions?" [2016 archived]:

"you’ve probably heard of M.D.s, medical doctors, but what about another type of physician: N.D.s? Now, naturopathic doctors want to be allowed prescribing rights in Connecticut [...]";

is that really a good idea?  Because...

"Connecticut hosts one of only a handful of naturopathic medical colleges in North America at the University of Bridgeport [...]";

because UB naturopathy claims that such FAKE PHARMACY as homeopathy is "science."  And this is so simple to see.  Without such in this NPR report, we are hugely in the land of bad journalism.

"in Connecticut, a naturopath needs to write a referral, which Brady [UB's vice provost] says doesn’t properly serve patients and undercuts the competency level of N.D.s [...]";

the irony is killing me: how is society served by this pseudoscience, and how is this pseudoscience then competent at all?  Oh please, NPR, get your head out of your ass and get some fact-finding chops.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Popular Science on Olympic Pseudoscience!

here, a list of weird stuff at the 2016 Olympics:

001. at, Ian Graber-Stiehl writes in "Why Does Pseudoscience Win At The Olympics?" [2016-08-19]:

"pseudoscience.  The newest sensation sweeping the Games is cupping, an ancient bloodletting practice originally used to purge chi [...] it’s typically extolled as a device to remove 'stagnant blood, expel heat, treat high fever, loss of consciousness, convulsion, and pain' [...] it can certainly have some medical effects, like possibly necrosis [...] it’s not surprising that athletes will look anywhere, including pseudoscience, for that personal edge.  Cupping may be making headlines, but by no means is it the extent of modern Olympic pseudoscience [...e.g.] kinesiology tape [...] acupuncture [...] the paleo diet [...] vitamins [...]";

hear, hear.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

SciAm Scolds Current GOP Presidential Candidate's "Lack of Respect for Science"

here, strong words warning us about antiscience and its threat to democracy:
001. the Editors at Scientific American write in "Donald Trump’s Lack of Respect for Science Is Alarming" [dated 2016-09-01]:

"four years ago in these pages, writer Shawn Otto warned our readers of the danger of a growing antiscience current in American politics. 'By turning public opinion away from the antiauthoritarian principles of the nation's founders,' Otto wrote, 'the new science denialism is creating an existential crisis like few the country has faced before' [...]";

well that interesting because Otto's book "The War on Science" is my current summer reading. 

"Americans have long prided themselves on their ability to see the world for what it is, as opposed to what someone says it is or what most people happen to believe [...] a respect for evidence is not just a part of the national character. It goes to the heart of the country's particular brand of democratic government [...e.g] the Declaration of Independence [...and its] primacy of reason based on evidence [...]";

hear, hear.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Otto's "The War on Science" Excerpt: Naturopathy's Vitalism Is A "Concept Collapse"

here, more bad news for naturopathy-pseudoscience-vitalism:

001. in the recent book "The War on Science" [2016; 9781571313539], Shawn Otto writes:

 "[when] what once appeared as an oasis is really a mirage [...] neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland calls this process concept collapse [...] as examples, she offers the concepts of impetus in physics and vitalism in biology [...] with vitalism, the life force [...] was thought to distinguish living things from nonliving things [...] a living body different from a dead one [...] 'some vital force or spirit [...] that concept too has been revealed as illusory' [...]";

meanwhile, naturopathy posits that a "life force" [.gov] or "vis vitalis" [WNF] runs physiology. Now, generously, Churchland is quoted as dating "life force" to the year 1900.  So, lets be generous and say vitalism finally died-died-died with the discovery of DNA's structure by Watson and Crick in 1953.  That makes naturopathy merely  63 years out-of-date in terms of science.  And yet they pose their contents categorically as science all the time.