Pseudo-Scientific Nonsense

"what counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we would like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence rigorously and skeptically examined.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"  Quote from Carl Sagan. 

Again, this section of the website is essentially mine; that is, William's, and expresses my views and opinions alone. 
I present the evidence against various forms of quackery and nonsense.  I know that, if you are a true believer, this will not sway you from your opinion.  But at least take a look and see if anything, at the very least, makes you think about it. 

I have no wish to insult anyone's intelligence or beliefs, but how anyone can believe in pseudo-scientific, quack-medical, psychic and mystical nonsense is, to me, beyond belief.  No where, ever, has there been a shred of evidence that any of these phenomena has any basis in fact.  True; some "studies" conducted by the practitioners themselves or sympathetic researchers have shown positive results.  Once scrutinized, however, it is clear that they have not followed proper experimental protocols.  James Randi has $1,000,000 in escrow with Goldman-Sachs that will be awarded to anyone who shows evidence of any psychic phenomenon under controlled conditions.  Many have tried, and failed, but virtually all have been amateur practitioners.  The "professionals" have more sense than to step up.  Randi appeared with Sylvia Browne twice in 2001 on the Larry King Live show, and both times she agreed to a controlled test for the million dollars.  To date, she has refused to be tested claiming she does not need the money.  Hmm. 

If a medical treatment works, it is medicine.  If it does not work, it is quackery.  The term "alternative medicine" means nothing.  It either works or it does not work.  My biggest beef is with homeopathy, but I include subjects like reflexology and chiropractic, along with visceral and cranial osteopathy, under quack medicine.  Note that pure manipulative osteopathy is not quackery but an accepted part of medicine, and has been shown to be effective particularly for lower back pain. 

Creationism, or intelligent design or creation "science", or whatever they call it, is NOT science.  It has no basis in science, and has no evidence to support it.  Whether you like it or not, evolution is an established fact; get used to it.  It has been observed in numerous plant and animal species.  The Universe is around 13.7 billion years old, that is 13,700,000,000 years.  The Sun, and the rest of the Solar System, including the Earth, is about 4.5 billion years old, not 6,000 or 10,000; get used to all that too.  The supporters of creationism, particularly those of an evangelical bent, distort facts and spout the most amazing nonsense.  Again; belief is fine, but do not pass it off as evidence. 

One last point.  Do not tell me to be more open minded about "things we do not understand".  I am extremely open minded, but when there is absolutely no evidence at all for a "phenomenon", I see no point in looking further until there is some evidence.  "Believers" are far less open minded.  Having made up their minds that, say, astrology is true, they refuse to listen to any evidence to the contrary.  So; present ANY evidence for any of the nonsense discussed here and I will look at it.  But there is none; not a single shred of real evidence except the belief of believers, and the word of people who, generally, make a lot of money out of other peoples belief.  I bet John Edward does not drive a 24 year old pick-up truck like me! 

Here are a few links to websites that do a great job debunking various forms of nonsense:

  •  The Skeptic's Dictionary, and the section on Tooth Fairy Science in particular.  But the whole website is excellent. 

  •  Quackwatch, your guide to quackery, health fraud, and intelligent decisions, is an excellent resource written by a doctor; a REAL doctor!  It is
    affiliated to the National Council Against Health Fraud

  •  Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy page is a wonderful resource for debunking all things pseudo-astronomical, including astrology. 

  •  Debunking Quantum Mysticism, as preached by Deepak Chopra for example, is very important, so take a look at Matt Leifer's website

  •  The Centre for Unintelligent Design

  •  The skeptical medicine website is excellent and highlights many examples of pseudo scientific medical nonsense.