Dennis' Domino Blog

Category: "WooWooSceptic"

WHO warns against homeopathy use

  08/21/09 08:54 am, by , Categories: WooWooSceptic
Via the BBC: (nothing to add to this article from my side)


People with conditions such as HIV, TB and malaria should not rely on homeopathic treatments, the World Health Organization has warned.

It was responding to calls from young researchers who fear the promotion of homeopathy in the developing world could put people's lives at risk.

The group Voice of Young Science Network has written to health ministers to set out the WHO view.

WHO TB experts said homeopathy had "no place" in treatment of the disease.

There is no objective evidence that homeopathy has any effect on these infections

Dr Nick Beeching, Royal Liverpool University Hospital In a letter to the WHO in June, the medics from the UK and Africa said: "We are calling on the WHO to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV.

"Homeopathy does not protect people from, or treat, these diseases.

"Those of us working with the most rural and impoverished people of the world already struggle to deliver the medical help that is needed.

"When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost."

Dr Robert Hagan is a researcher in biomolecular science at the University of St Andrews and a member of Voice of Young Science Network, which is part of the charity Sense About Science campaigning for "evidence-based" care.

He said: "We need governments around the world to recognise the dangers of promoting homeopathy for life-threatening illnesses.

"We hope that by raising awareness of the WHO's position on homeopathy we will be supporting those people who are taking a stand against these potentially disastrous practices."

'No evidence'

Dr Mario Raviglione, director of the Stop TB department at the WHO, said: "Our evidence-based WHO TB treatment/management guidelines, as well as the International Standards of Tuberculosis Care do not recommend use of homeopathy."

The doctors had also complained that homeopathy was being promoted as a treatment for diarrhoea in children.

But a spokesman for the WHO department of child and adolescent health and development said: "We have found no evidence to date that homeopathy would bring any benefit.

"Homeopathy does not focus on the treatment and prevention of dehydration - in total contradiction with the scientific basis and our recommendations for the management of diarrhoea."

Dr Nick Beeching, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: "Infections such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis all have a high mortality rate but can usually be controlled or cured by a variety of proven treatments, for which there is ample experience and scientific trial data.

"There is no objective evidence that homeopathy has any effect on these infections, and I think it is irresponsible for a healthcare worker to promote the use of homeopathy in place of proven treatment for any life-threatening illness."

1 comment »

Video's of Connie Sonne's JREF preliminary test failure

  07/24/09 02:22 pm, by , Categories: WooWooSceptic
For those of you that read Sore loser: Connie Sonne (JREF Challenge at TAM7) the JREF has now posted the video's on youtube.
Watch how closely the protocol is beiing followed by Banachek. How can you still say you where cheated?









Cold Reading & Helderziendheid

  07/16/09 10:13 pm, by , Categories: WooWooSceptic
Voor de mensen die zich willen inlezen in wat een steeds groter deel wordt van dit blog, skeptische posts over helderzienden, mediums, faithhealers en andere types, heb ik het volgende leesmateriaal.

Op het blog van skepsis (hier) wordt uitleg gegeven over een goed boek genaamd: Helderziendheid Bekeken. Lees overigens ook de reacties op deze blogpost.

Zeer verhelderend.

Over het boek het volgende:


Het meest omvangrijke onderzoek naar paragnosten werd uitgevoerd door dr. H.G. Boerenkamp, die verbonden was aan de vakgroep Parapsychologie van de Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht. Hij schreef er niet alleen een dissertatie over, maar ook een verhandeling voor het grote publiek, waarin hij de resultaten in een bredere context plaatst. Een nieuwe digitale versie van dit boek (aangevuld met een samenvatting van het proefschrift) is nu beschikbaar op de website van Skepsis:

HELDERZIENDHEID BEKEKEN (bezoek de download-pagina)

Twaalf paragnosten die in de jaren 1980 tot de besten van Nederland werden gerekend, namen aan het onderzoek deel. Ze hoefden zich niet te onderwerpen aan proeven waarmee ze geen ervaring hadden, maar mochten helderziende uitspraken doen over echte personen. In totaal werden er circa 150 consulten op geluidsband vastgelegd, die nauwkeurig werden geanalyseerd.

Het onderzoek maakte duidelijk dat er geen reden was om aan te nemen dat de paragnosten helderziende ervaringen konden oproepen. Daarmee was echter niet alles gezegd. Boerenkamp behandelt in zijn boek verschillende vragen die vooral op psychologisch terrein liggen. Enkele daarvan zijn:

* Welke kenmerken heeft een spontane helderziende ervaring?
* Wat kan ertoe leiden dat men een ervaring helderziend noemt?
* Hoe raken mensen ervan overtuigd dat ze een helderziende gave hebben?
* Wat doen paragnosten tijdens een consult?
* Hoe raken cliënten onder de indruk van de uitspraken van een paragnost?


Het onderzoek van Boerenkamp is weer actueler dan ooit. Uit een recent opinieonderzoek bleek dat 55 procent van de ondervraagden wel een paragnost zou willen raadplegen wanneer een familielid wordt vermist. De concrete aanleiding om het boek opnieuw uit te brengen was de tv-serie Op zoek naar het Zesde Zintuig. Boerenkamp vond dit programma misleidend en ethisch onverantwoord. Hij had niet verwacht dat een publieke omroep zoiets zou uitzenden. Gelukkig heeft de KRO inmiddels besloten om er niet mee door te gaan, ondanks de goede kijkcijfers. Het programma gaat nu naar RTL4, die ook al een spiritistisch medium en een babyfluisteraar in huis heeft.

Wie zijn of haar kennis van het paranormale aan de tv ontleent, zal moeite hebben om niet te gaan geloven dat de wonderen voor het opscheppen liggen. De universitaire vakgroep Parapsychologie is niet meer in staat om dit beeld te nuanceren, want deze vakgroep is al in 1988 wegens bezuinigingen opgeheven. Gelukkig hebben we het boek nog en bestaat er ook nog een stichting die zich ten doel stelt wetenschappelijk verantwoorde informatie te verstrekken over buitengewone beweringen.

Je kunt het boek hier downloadeden: Helderziendheid bekeken.

Wat definities:
- Cold reading ("koud lezen") is een methode om, zonder werkelijk iets over de gesprekspartner te weten, bij die gesprekspartner de indruk te wekken dat men wel iets over hem weet
-Hot reading houdt in dat een waarzegger van tevoren onderzoek doet naar de persoon die langskomt voor een consult.


Bronnen:

- http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_reading
- http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_reading
- http://www.skepsis.nl/tv-mediums.html
- http://www.skepsis.nl/zesdezintuig-intro.html Analyses van de afleveringen van deze TV Show
- http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Alpha


Ter leering ende vermaeck:

Derren Brown - Cold Reading (mag niet ge-embed worden)





Analyse van Char door James Randi

Verwacht de komende tijd meer posts over dit onderwerp ;)

Sore loser: Connie Sonne (JREF Challenge at TAM7)

  07/14/09 11:21 am, by , Categories: WooWooSceptic
After 1000 people watched her live, and 1700 watched her online via a live stream (I was watching too), she now claims to have been cheated when taking her preliminary test for the 1.000.000 dollar price.
She aggreed to the testing protocol and to the bindingness of the results. Her results where:

[quote]
Hi out there...now I know why Banacheck was "the card handler". I have been cheated. I did find the right cards. And there is one more thing. At the stage, Banacheck said to me BEFORE he even looked in the envelope I had cut...and here is spade ace, the one you looked for!!!! I first hit me now about that ....but maybe you can see it yourself if someone get the video. I don`t care about the money, that wasn`t the reason why I came. So no matter what you think out there......I was CHEATED!!!!!

Connie
[/quote]

Now there's a sore loser.

Repeat after me: dowsing is just a slight of hand technique. Watch here and here (a really good one ;) ) (test results show it's just as good as statistical chance
2 comments »

The Amazing Meeting nr 7 (TAM7)

  07/11/09 12:39 am, by , Categories: WooWooSceptic
For those of you wondering what TAM7 is, I'll explain: it is the biggest and most rational gathering on the planet: The Amaz!ng Meeting 7, a conference on critical thinking.

Some of the speakers are: (list here)
- offcourse the amazing randi himself, Mr James Randi
- Penn & Teller. They don't need an introduction ;)
- Adam Savage of the Discovery Show Mythbusters.
- and many many more


You can watch the livestream here

JREF: Quacking like a duck

  05/08/09 09:00 am, by , Categories: WooWooSceptic
In the current flu-mania, I'd like to add this story from the James Randi Educational Foundation.

I'm a strong opposer of what James Randi like to call "Woo-Woo", and these things just prove my point.

People want to be fooled.

If you feel sick, and have been to mexico recently, go see a doctor.
(Emphasis in the story is mine)



Quacking Like a Duck
Written by Jeff Wagg
Thursday, 07 May 2009 00:00

One of the oft heard complaints about modern medicine is that it's dominated by "big pharma," that is greedy, soulless corporations who lie to us and suppress less expensive and more effective treatments for monetary gain. While it's true that corporations are out for monetary gain, and there have been irregularities as with any big business, let's take a look at the pot that's calling the kettle greedy here.

Consider a single product: Oscillococcinum.

Their site never actually says that the "FDA regulated drug" does anything... really, read carefully. It doesn't. They do claim it is a "Flu Medicine." And they claim studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing flu symptoms. We'll save examining the studies for another time, for the purpose of this article, let's focus on the ingredients.

Pharmaceuticals such as Tamiflu and Zithromax are tested for years before they're released to the public. Teams of chemists, lawyers, doctors, nurses, clinical researches, and study subjects go over every conceivable side effect or quality control issue before the drug is released to the market. These procedures cost an incredibly large amount of money, and while it may, in fact, be ridiculous to charge $5 for a pill, there is at least some basis for them being expensive. Part of that basis, is that they have active ingredients.

Not so for Oscilloccinum.

Each capsule is 1mg, and it contains a 200X preparation of muscovy duck heart and liver, .15mg of lactose (milk sugar), and .85mg of sucrose (table sugar). For those unwilling to do math, the sugars add up to 1.00g. Er.. where's the duck liver? Well, a 200x preparation of anything is past Avogadro's limit. It's chemically impossible for there to be even one molecule of duck liver in an Oscilloccinum capsule. That means... there is exactly no duck liver in it. In fact, it's a capsule of sugar, more suited for sweetening tea than reducing your flu symptoms. The tea might help though.

What does the company have to say about this? Gina Casey, manufacturer Boiron's spokesman says "Of course it's safe: there's nothing in it."

So how much is this product that's basically less than 1¢ worth of sugar? $21.59 will buy you 6 dosages, which are to be taken up to three times a day. At $3.60 a capsule, that's a pretty tidy profit, wouldn't you say? Oh, I failed to mention... it's available in over 50 countries.

I was in a "health" food store today, and their very prominent displays of Oscillococcinum were nearly depleted. Why? Fear of H1N1 or "Swine Flu." Not even Boiron says the stuff will do anything to prevent the flu, but people are buying it in droves.

Greed did someone say? I'd say selling something with no active ingredients is the very definition of greed. In fact, there's another word for it: snake oil. Maybe we can find some tar to go with all those duck feathers their factories must produce. Oh wait, never mind. A single duck would have provided far more than enough liver and heart for every single capsule ever made. And it would still be quacking to boot, just like the people who promote this stuff.

 

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