When: Thu, Feb 18, 2010 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines (aka the Big House), 81 Lime Street, Liverpool
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances our booked guest speaker Andy Lewis is unable to make this event. However, all is not lost – in honour of the first anniversary of the Merseyside Skeptics Society we’ve decided to replace Andy’s talk with a number of short talks on a variety of topics:
- Emotional Freedom Technique, by Allan Callister – a look at the latest craze for face-tapping therapy
- Bad Logic, Mike Hall – examining logical failures, with examples from the world of religion
- PR and the Media, Michael Marshall – how PR gained control of journalism, and where we go from here
- How Science Works, Tom Williamson – what is science, how do we do it and how do we know it works?
Plus, a live recording of the Skeptics with a K show.
The Persistence of Delusion
by Andy Lewis
The late eighteenth century was a very creative time for inventing new forms of quackery and many became quite wealthy on the back on their invention. Of these creations, it is perhaps only homeopathy that has survived virtually unchanged into the 21st century. The majority of alternative medicines available today have been invented and developed within living memory, despite claims of their origins in antiquity. What makes an alternative medicine successful? Why should homeopathy survive when the very popular tractors of Perkins have long since been forgotten? Could you have predicted this in 1800? Today, we have a new industry of quack devices protecting us from mobile phones. Should you invest in such enterprises? In this talk, Andy will look at the factors that make pseudo-medicines thrive and why consumers and practitioners latch onto them. Importantly, we shall explore the implications of these views for regulation and protecting the public from delusional or fraudulent claims.
Andy Lewis developed the web site quackometer.net that explores the pseudo-medical claims of alternative medicine web sites and their impact on society. Despite his detractors claims, he does not own a yacht in the South of France paid for by Big Pharma. He has yet to secure a single penny from such sources for his work.