Pseudoscience

Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience (wikipedia.org)

Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claims; reliance on confirmation bias rather than rigorous attempts at refutation; lack of openness to evaluation by other experts; absence of systematic practices when developing hypotheses; and continued adherence long after the pseudoscientific hypotheses have been experimentally discredited.

The demarcation between science and pseudoscience has philosophical, political, and scientific implications. Differentiating science from pseudoscience has practical implications in the case of health care, expert testimony, environmental policies, and science education. Distinguishing scientific facts and theories from pseudoscientific beliefs, such as those found in climate change denial, astrology, alchemy, alternative medicine, occult beliefs, and creation science, is part of science education and literacy.

Pseudoscience can have dangerous effects. For example, pseudoscientific anti-vaccine activism and promotion of homeopathic remedies as alternative disease treatments can result in people forgoing important medical treatments with demonstrable health benefits, leading to deaths and ill-health. Furthermore, people who refuse legitimate medical treatments to contagious diseases may put others at risk. Pseudoscientific theories about racial and ethnic classifications have led to racism and genocide.

The term pseudoscience is often considered pejorative particularly by purveyors of it, because it suggests something is being presented as science inaccurately or even deceptively. Those practicing or advocating pseudoscience therefore frequently dispute the characterization.

Source: Pseudoscience (wikipedia.org)

Covid: Twitter suspends Naomi Wolf after tweeting anti-vaccine misinformation

American author Naomi Wolf has been suspended from Twitter after spreading vaccine misinformation. Dr Wolf, well known for her acclaimed third-wave feminist book The Beauty Myth, posted a wide-range of unfounded theories about vaccines.

Baba Ramdev: Doctors furious over yoga guru's insulting Covid remark

Doctors in India have hit out against yoga guru Baba Ramdev over his controversial statements against modern medicine. He recently said that tens of thousands died of Covid after taking modern medicines and mocked patients for trying to get oxygen cylinders.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop series on Netflix slammed by NHS chief

Gwyneth Paltrow's new Netflix series poses a "considerable health risk" to the public, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has said.

Vaccine rumours debunked: Microchips, 'altered DNA' and more

We've looked into some of the most widely shared false vaccine claims - everything from alleged plots to put microchips into people to the supposed re-engineering of our genetic code. The fear that a vaccine will somehow change your DNA is one we've seen aired regularly on social media.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes 'lied and cheated', trial hears

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes "lied and cheated" for money and fame prosecutors alleged on the first day of the former Silicon Valley star's trial. Ms Holmes faces 12 fraud charges over her role at the now-defunct blood-testing firm which was once worth $9bn.

The YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot

A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.

Covid: False and misleading health claims spread in Indonesia

With the surge of the Delta variant in Indonesia, misleading claims about products claiming to be cures and preventions are on the rise.

Go Figure: Watching out for Wimbledon-washing machine links

What's the link between tennis on TV and washing machines? If you suspect a weird connection, ask a statistician, says Michael Blastland in his regular column. "Indeed we do. Wimbledon is it?

Spurious correlations: Margarine linked to divorce?

A website set up by a student at Harvard teaches us to look carefully at statistics. And it's fun at the same time. What if you read a little further and found a compelling graph showing the rates of divorce and margarine consumption tracking each other closely over almost 10 years.

Madhya Pradesh: Minor girls paraded naked in India 'rain ritual'

Six minor girls in central India were stripped and paraded naked as part of a village ritual to summon rains. The incident took place in a drought-parched village in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh state.

The insidious attacks on scientific truth

What is truth? You can speak of moral truths and aesthetic truths but I’m not concerned with those here, important as they may be. By truth I shall mean the kind of truth that a commission of inquiry or a jury trial is designed to establish.

'Kenyan police asked if my husband was a sorcerer'

While Chirindo Chisubi was still mourning her husband, she was shocked by a question asked by the police investigating his death in Kenya's Kilifi County on the Indian Ocean coast. Her husband, Dzuya Chisubi, had been hacked to death over accusations that he practised witchcraft.

Tower of London's 'queen' raven Merlina missing

The Tower of London's "queen" raven is missing and feared dead, according to staff at the fortress. Merlina, who joined the flock in 2007, has not been seen for several weeks.

Why is Hong Kong so superstitious?

On a hot and humid day in Hong Kong, local finance worker Wai Li is visiting Wong Tai Sin, the city’s busiest temple, to use a fortune-telling practice known as kau cim.

Why some Chinese believe a name change could improve luck

One afternoon in April, Mandy Pang’s worst fears came true. She was summoned onto a Zoom with her boss on short notice. Due to the economic downturn from the pandemic, she was being made redundant at her marketing job.  

Gadhimai: Nepal's animal sacrifice festival goes ahead despite 'ban'

Less than five years ago, animal charities heralded the end of animal sacrifice at a religious festival dubbed "the world's bloodiest". But on Tuesday, the Gadhimai festival began with the killing of a goat, rat, chicken, pig and pigeon.

The 'sorcerer' keeping Mali's marionette tradition alive

The people behind Mali's marionette tradition, which has been used to pass on the folklore and culture of a community, are struggling to survive as the recent insecurity has stopped the vital income that came from visitors, as Clair MacDougall reports from Bamako.

Exorcism: Vatican course opens doors to 250 priests

The Vatican has opened its doors for its annual exorcism course amid increasing demand among some of the world's Catholic communities.

Panama: Seven people found dead after suspected exorcism

The bodies of seven people have been found in a mass grave in an indigenous area of Panama where members of a religious sect were believed to be performing exorcisms, officials say. The victims included a pregnant woman, 32, and five of her children, aged one to 11. The sixth was a neighbour, 17.

Woman arrested for naked video on India's Lakshman Jhula bridge

image copyrightGetty ImagesA French woman has been arrested in India for making a video of herself naked on a sacred bridge in the northern city of Rishikesh.The video, shot on the Lakshman Jhula bridge, was posted on social media.

Porn star Nacho Vidal held in Spain after man dies in toad-venom ritual

image sourceGetty ImagesA Spanish porn actor is being investigated on suspicion of manslaughter after a photographer died during a toad-venom ritual, police say.Nacho Vidal, 46, and two others were briefly detained last Friday over the death.

Burundi albino boy 'dismembered'

The dismembered body of a young albino boy has been found in a river on the Burundi-Tanzania border, reports say. The boy, aged nine, was taken from Makamba province in Burundi by a gang that crossed the border, the head of Burundi's albino association said.

Petition · WHO: End the suffering of the Ebola crisis. Test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks. · Change.org

Over 3,000 idiots and counting. This is the intersection of Hanlon’s Razor with Clarke’s third law: any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Homoeopathy's benefit questioned

The Lancet says the time for more studies is over and doctors should be bold and honest with patients about homoeopathy's "lack of benefit". Advocates of homoeopathy maintained the therapy, which works on the principle of treating like with like, does work.

Homeopathy 'no cancer care harm'

Some homeopathic medicines may ease the side-effects of cancer treatments without interfering in how they work, a scientific review has concluded.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy or homoeopathy is a pseudoscientific[1][2][3][4] system of alternative medicine. It was conceived in 1796 by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann.

Don’t laugh too loudly at Homeopathy

The EU Commissioners are ‘mandating’ farmers to use herbal homeopathic methods for treating sick animals. We can reliably say that, because homeopathy requires diluting ‘remedies’ a million or a billion times, it simply does not work.

WHO: End the suffering of the Ebola crisis. Test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.

Homeopathy has a proven track record of treating and preventing serious epidemic diseases. It’s used by governments for dengue fever, leptospirosis, epidemic fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis epidemics, and, historically, for other serious contagious diseases.

Homeopathy 'could be blacklisted'

Ministers are considering whether homeopathy should be put on a blacklist of treatments GPs in England are banned from prescribing, the BBC has learned. The controversial practice is based on the principle that "like cures like", but has been damned as given patients useless sugar pills.

Water memory

Water memory is the purported ability of water to retain a memory of substances previously dissolved in it even after an arbitrary number of serial dilutions.

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pseudoscience junk science superstition alternative medicine homeopathy faith healing

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