Skeptics with a K: Episode #009

Lots about religion, lots about psychics.ย  Emergency telephone numbers and (of course) Jesus’ cock.ย  What else could it be? It’s the latest Skeptics with a K!

  1. #1 by AexMagd on November 25, 2009 - 17:19

    Totally agree with the whole “humanities graduate” thing. Needless sneering! You need good writing and engaging communication to get those ideas across. Nobody outside of the science community reads journals because they’re incomprehensible to non-experts; that’s why if scentific literacy is going to increase, you need people who’ve written essays in the last few years

  2. #2 by Dave The Drummer on November 27, 2009 - 19:52

    Should there be laws that say a medical treatment cannot be sold without demonstrating efficacy ?
    [biggest font you’ve ever seen and no I’m not kidding]
    YES !
    [/biggest font you’ve ever seen and no I’m not kidding]

    This sort of things drives me completely bonkers and is one of the few things that send me from zero to antimatter explosion in the Planck Time.
    Why the hell can’t we prosecute these utter charlatans ?
    Why isn’t there a framework in place to prosecute people who damage public health ? That crass loon Jenni Barnett for example.

    Evidence based policy and evidence based law making.
    The day that happens I will have a moment of rejoicing before I eat my own head in order to prevent damage to persons and property when it explodes with the shock.
    What’s wrong with changing the law in the face of new evidence ?
    As long as there is sufficient hysteresis in the system there’s nowt wrong with it.

    I think Ben Goldacre’s position is perhaps the result of dissillusionment which creates position of apathy caused by the futility of the situation of no progress against the woo.
    I can’t blame him but I don’t agree with his position.
    It has to be fought.
    Fight the woo !

  3. #3 by John David on December 1, 2009 - 12:41

    The emergency telephone number thing amused me – especially since I work in the mobile phone industry and hadn’t heard anything about emergency numbers other than 999 – goes to show what you can learn.

  4. #4 by Derek on December 4, 2009 - 09:12

    Couldn’t afford to hire a sky writing plane, so I did the next best thing:

  5. #5 by lycra man on December 9, 2009 - 23:42

    Blimey not only a nanny state but nanny skeptics as well?

    If some eejits want to spend bucks on magic water let them do it, I would rather have the “practitioner” working doing something other than sitting on the dole…which is as about as much use as they are!!

    Thing is, all the suckers will still pay for it no matter what experts say. I have known the type of fool that goes for this stuff and I only stayed with her because she was a good lay. She would never believe anything scientists say…a belief that efficacy of magic water was disputed only by mega buck pharmaceuticals who were concerned about profits.

    We live in a country where intelligent informed people smoke and drink despite warnings of health risks, even with evidence linking these products to deaths and ill health, there are deniers.

    As I see it, if water gets some delusional people through the day, good show, we accept people will smoke and drink to get through this shitty life….and they pay for their ill health!! LOL

    Taken to a bizarre end, magic water is only likely to kill you if you drowned in vat of it….it is not directly related to death…death like booze and fags.

    Let them have their magic water….and die from undiagnosed, untreated disease…it’s natural selection ๐Ÿ™‚

    It is quite possible that science deniers may even increase the uptake of quackery with the additional publicity. Making clairvoyance and past life regression “therapy” for “entertainment purposes only” hasn’t stopped more quacks offering a service.

    Besides, skepticism has finite resource that is being diverted away from other more pressing issues. Is there a “Marsh”? What is the silence in the podcast between Mike and Colin talking? Could EVP’s of the silence actually reveal the voice of a Marsh from the other side? May I suggest a bit of table tipping or even a seance…

    …”Marsh are you there…knock once for yes and twice for no….”

  6. #6 by Colin H on December 10, 2009 - 13:43

    Problem is, the NHS spends millions on homeopathy which could be better spent on improving hospitals and general ‘real’ medical stuff like saving lives. If homeopathy was completely seperated from proper medicine then it wouldn’t be as much as a problem. If people go into Holland & Barrett and buy homeopathy, then I’m ok with that. It’s not a pharmacy or a hospital and makes no claim to be. But having major pharmacy chains selling homeopathy, and having homeopathic hospitals funded by NHS cash, there is something seriously wrong there.

  7. #7 by Mike on December 11, 2009 - 20:30

    I’m kind of with Goldacre, a bit. The thing is people can go off and buy whatever they want. If I wanted to go and buy some bleach and drink it, there’s nothing stopping me. The same should be true with homeopathic remedies, I don’t think they should be banned by law.

    However if I buy bleach it’ll have in big letters on the side of the bottle that it’s toxic and harmful and that I probably shouldn’t drink it. Similarly homeopathic remedies should say exactly what they are, that there is no scientific evidence that they work beyond placebo. They should not be able to claim effectiveness beyond placebo on the bottle or otherwise. AFAIC that’s just false advertising, and especially with ‘medicinal’ products, it’s vitally important that people know what they’re taking and what’s effective.

  8. #8 by lycra man on December 13, 2009 - 00:21

    I agree the NHS shouldn’t be funding something that has no evidence of efficacy…unless they start up placebo clinics hehe

    Thing is people that know this stuff don’t work usually don’t buy it. All the woo folk will buy the crap no matter what is on the label. They don’t trust science, because it can’t prove their woo and they believe the Emperor of Bullshit Icke, when he says that the Illuminati, in league with the Reptilians, have a human extinction project or whatever. These people may be proof of a parallel dimension, because they sure as hell are not living in mine ๐Ÿ™‚

    All I can see is wasted effort by Woo Fighters. Labeling these ‘woo-remedies’ (woomendies ? lol) as ineffective would mean nothing to these types. Look at ciggies, can it be any more obvious that they are harmful, with all the warnings and pictures of diseased humans, yet people will still buy the ruddy things. I don’t think that Woo Folk are going to stop buying magic water just because a label says it don’t work.

    Have you ever been to these Holistic Fayres? Woo bullshit on a quantum level. I will wager that someone is already working on the patter, that science can’t prove magic water works because empirical, demonstrable science hasn’t caught up with the quantum nature of magic water yet lmao

    TBH the whole water memory thing disturbs me and am glad there is no evidence for it. All that chlorinated, wizzed in swimming pool water over the years, the bath water of walrus woman across the road….eeeeewwwwww There again there is that Costa Rican lass down the road…her bath water I would drink ๐Ÿ™‚

    Any way people, I fear it could be a wasted effort because, of course, all the woo people are going to be taken to the New Earth in 2012…..and leave all us none believers back here…I am counting the days…..:)

  9. #9 by Mike on December 21, 2009 - 16:58

    “I donโ€™t think that Woo Folk are going to stop buying magic water just because a label says it donโ€™t work.”

    I’m not so sure. Whereas there are plenty of people who are convinced of its efficacy and mistrustful of science, there are also lots of people who buy it because the bottle says it works and it’s a bit holistic or something, but will also happily go to the doctor’s.

  10. #10 by Robert on March 13, 2015 - 22:15

    The national lottery is a tax on people with poor maths skills. If we can charge them for some false hope why is homeopathy and different? I used to have moral issues about taxing the uneducated but having seen government education reforms I now accept that it is part of a wider policy agenda (about the only bit of true joined up government I can think of),

    P.S. I am working my way through the old pod-casts

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