Aug 192014
Woo and orthogonality

I have an idea that complex numbers are a way of understanding woo. Every treatment has real (chemical and biological) and imaginary (placebo etc) effects; one source of conflict between the reality-based community lies in the fact that quacks look only at the magnitude of the effect vector, and ignore how much is real versus [...]

Aug 152014
Complex numbers as a way of understanding woo

Mathematicians and engineers are familiar with the concept of complex numbers. Electrical engineers, for example, use them to represent in-phase and out of phase loads. A complex number has a “real” component and an “imaginary” component. Actually both are equally real, but the imaginary component is represented as a factor of the square root of -1, [...]

Jun 202014

Courtesy of my Sinister Agents, I have received the latest Freedom4health newsletter. It is, predictably, batshit insane and loaded with fallacies, delusions and falsehoods. It’s worth remembering that the Health Fooldom lobby is basically the astroturf marketing arm of Big Herba, an exercise in special pleading to give commercial advantages to those who know their [...]

Dec 162013

A group of loons promoting “energy psychology” (a form of woo roughly as intelligible as Time Cube and infinitely less entertaining) have started a petition to demand: Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia: Create and enforce new policies that allow for true scientific discourse about holistic approaches to healing. There are one or two problems with this. [...]


 Natural woo  Comments Off
Nov 102013

A repeatable factor in debates with advocates of quackery is the assertion that skeptics are “ill-informed”. Usually the stridency with which this is asserted rises the more obviously well-informed the skeptic is, especially in areas where the quacks know they are vulnerable. A recent newsletter from the Australian Traditional Medicine Society is a good example: [...]

Nov 092013

Recent developments in Texas offer an intriguing test case for commentators on woo. Six months ago a series of three documents were obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act which even seasoned Burzynski-watchers could scarcely believe. The first of these has already been released some time  ago; this was the report on the Institutional [...]

Oct 252013
Junk Science? Number 62: Skeptic pawns of Big Pharma out to silence WDDTY

Every now and then, Chris Woo – sorry, Chris Woollams – sets the old WTF-o-meter off with another rant. And sometimes those rants reference other rants, and sometime those other rants positively beg for a good fisking. This is one of those. Junk Science? Number 62: Skeptic pawns of Big Pharma out to silence WDDTY [...]

Oct 142013
Skeptics - profits before patients?

“Skeptics – profits before patients?” is the latest incoherent rambling wibble from Chris Woo – sorry, Woollams, the self-styled “UK’s number 1 cancer researcher”, founder and driving force behind the execrable CANCERactive, abuser of the libel laws and careless idiot. It is characteristic of Woollams: a mix of paranoid conspiracy theories, straw men, ad hominem [...]

Sep 242013

I love a good rhetorical question. Spamming germ theory denialist homeopathy whacknut Ellen Kramer (@EllenKramer) of the “College” Of Practical Homeopathy (above Santander in Finchley High Road) poses the question: “Is Allopathy Healing Or More About Power, Profit & Control?” Healing, Ellen. Thanks for asking. Oh, but wait: Ellen has an alternative answer from her [...]

Sep 112013
Homeopathic Potencies Identified By A New Magnetic Resonance Method: Homeopathy "An Energetic Medicine"

Another day, another pseudoscientist. Summary: Credulous believer puts homeopathic remedies into a perpetual motion machine and proves that the laws of conservation of energy are bunk, thanks to the miraculous powers of Hertz waves. Whatever they might be. Caveat: This may only work if you (a) believe in Tesla conspiracy theories; (b) ensure you know [...]

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