Alternative/Complementary Medicine

Towards a quantum Theory of Everything (including dirty dishes)

Perhaps few words in contemporary science have been abused as much as “quantum”. Simply put, a quantum is the minimum amount of an entity that can actually do anything. One example is a photon, which is the minimum amount of light that can be involved in an electromagnetic interaction. The […]

The Babel Fish Dilemma: Talking Science with Non-Scientists

Last night I gave a public lecture in Dublin for the Irish Skeptics Society, entitled “The Babel Fish Dilemma: Talking Science with Non-Scientists“. The Irish Skeptics, under the leadership of psychologists Paul O’Donoghue and Nóirín Buckley, have been organizing a public lecture series on science engagement, critical thinking, and skepticism […]

Reiki, cancer, and the problem of informed consent

Reiki is a complementary therapy in which a therapist’s hands are placed on — or simply near — a patient’s body, with the intention of redirecting what are purported to be vital energy flows in order to enhance the patient’s physical health and well-being. The main problem with Reiki is […]

The Irish Times: Promoting homeopathy, endangering children?

The Irish Times is the so-called “newspaper of record” in Ireland. It has a reputation for being Ireland’s leading print source of intellectual commentary and political analysis. It is widely regarded as maintaining impeccable journalistic standards and of being one of Europe’s leading newspapers. However, when it comes to alternative […]

The BMA’s dodgy claim about British GPs and CAM

Providers of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are always absolutely thrilled whenever real medical doctors claim to support their activities. Such support from authentic physicians constitutes a highly persuasive form of community advertising. Therefore, the fact that an entire organization of medical doctors is willing to lend its corporate support […]

“Pregnant thanks to acupuncture”

One of the most troubling aspect of this newspaper story — “I’d lost my baby then somehow fell pregnant thanks to acupuncture”– is knowing quite where to begin discussing it (although I know I should start by thanking @johnbirrane for tweeting it to me). The story appeared in the “Mothers […]