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Bioethics Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine

The justification for NCCAM: “What can be done to generate a better placebo?”

It’s probably an understatement to say that I’ve been critical of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Indeed, I consider it not only to be a boondoggle that wastes the taxpayers’ money funding pseudoscience, but a key promoter of quackery. Worse, its promotion of highly implausible (one might even say magical) modalities […]

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine Quackery

Brian Deer responds to Andrew Wakefield

Two days ago, I deconstructed Andrew Wakefield’s clumsy attack on Brian Deer, the investigative journalist whose investigations uncovered Wakefield’s massive conflicts of interest and, most recently, his scientific fraud. Now, right here in the very comments of this blog, Brian Deer has responded: Obviously, because Our Andy’s statement purports to be a complaint to the […]

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine Quackery

When the outbreaks occur, they’ll start in California

I may have been deluding myself when I talked about 2009 shaping up to be a bad year for antivaccinationists. It turns out that the antivaccine movement is succeeding. That’s right, a cadre of upper middle class, scientifically illiterate parents, either full of the arrogance of ignorance or frightened by leaders of the antivaccine movement, […]

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Antivaccinationist activism versus measles in the U.S.: Are the chickens coming home to roost?

Over the last few years, depressingly, we’ve witnessed a rise in antivaccinationist activism. Beginning with the highly unethical activities of Andrew Wakefield and his bogus study in 1998 that set off a scare over the MMR vaccine supposedly causing autism that led to declining vaccination rates and skyrocketing measles and mumps rates in the U.K., […]

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine History Hitler Zombie Humor Medicine Quackery

From a crypt in Berlin, it returns to decimate the anti-vaccine movement

SETTING: A NONDESCRIPT CLINIC IN AUSTIN, TEXAS TIME: AFTER DARK It had been a long, hard day at the clinic. The man trudged to the back of the building and plopped himself down on a large, cushy leather office chair, causing it to spin around. He was fiftyish, but still boyish in appearance, possessed of […]