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medical quackery

Cracking History: Chiropractic’s Secret Origin

Illustration by Ástor Alexander

The origin of chiropractic medicine has long been under dispute, with most modern chiropractors denying that its purported founder, D.D. Palmer, copied osteopathy. Yet, the two schools of thought were nearly identical at their beginnings, and just a few hours apart by railway. Further, chiropractic was “discovered” the same year—1895—that the first class of the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) was graduated. Chiropractors dismiss the sudden emergence of chiropractic so near in time and space to the ASO as a one-in-a-million coincidence. This article shows why one-in-a-million is not a coincidence.

Steven Pinker on Rationality: What it is, Why it Seems Scarce, Why it Matters

In episode 219, Michael Shermer speaks in person with Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker about his new book Rationality, about how today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding — and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for COVID-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing?

eSkeptic for October 19, 2021

In episode 219, Michael Shermer speaks in person with Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker about his new book Rationality, about how today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding — and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for COVID-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing?

Osteopathy Then and Now

osteopath with patient

What is osteopathy? What is the difference between an MD, a DO, and an osteopath in the US? Why do students choose a DO school? Should the DO degree be abolished? Find out what Harriet Hall, M.D. says in this column from Skeptic magazine 26.1 (2021).

eSkeptic for July 17, 2021

In episode 193, Michael Shermer speaks with Chris Edwards about educational reform and thought experiments. Plus, Harriet Hall, M.D. discusses osteopathy. What is it? What is the difference between an MD and a DO? Should the DO degree be abolished?

eSkeptic for June 29, 2021

Shermer, Sanford, and Novella try wheatgrass juice, with amusing results. PLUS: in a column from Skeptic magazine 26.2 (2021), Harriet Hall, M.D. recounts that Mark Twain was an enthusiastic proponent of “alternative medicine” long before the term was coined — and much of it remains the same as in his time.

Mark Twain and Alternative Medicine

In this column from Skeptic magazine 26.2 (2021), Harriet Hall, M.D. recounts that Mark Twain was an enthusiastic proponent of “alternative medicine” long before the term was coined — and much of it remains the same as in his time.

eSkeptic for August 13, 2019

In Science Salon # 78, Michael Shermer speaks with cognitive scientist Dr. Donald Hoffman about his new book The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth From Our Eyes, which challenges the leading scientific theories that claim that our senses report back objective reality. Plus, Harriet Hall M.D. examines whether laser therapy is more hype than hope.

Laser Therapy: Hope or Hype and Hokum?

Lasers are everywhere and have many applications, from bar codes to printers, surgery to welding, entertainment to law enforcement, DVD players to pointers (great for giving lectures and for playing with cats). However, in this column from Skeptic magazine 24.2 (2019), Harriet Hall M.D. examines whether laser therapy is more hype than hope.

eSkeptic for October 19, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present a podcast double header. Skepticality interviews Angie Feazel Mattke about medical quackery, and MonsterTalk meets Robert Price: The Lovecraft Geek.

eSkeptic for October 5, 2016

A number of scientists and Silicon Valley billionaires think it’s possible to extend the human life span by a century for people alive now. In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer shares his skepticism; plus, INSIGHT guest writer, Robert Blaskiewicz, reports on the early days of the ongoing battle to protect American patients from cynically fraudulent quack “medicine.”

14-05-14

Why, as skeptics, must we continue to fight the same battles against quackery over and over again, long after the nonsense has been debunked? In this week’s eSkeptic, we present one of James Randi ’Twas Brillig… columns from Skeptic magazine issue 10.1 (2003), about the persistence of homeopathy, entitled: “The Great Dilution Delusion.”

James Randi on Quackery: and the Need for Science Education

James Randi addresses congressional representatives at the Rayburn Building, Washington, D.C., March 18th, 1999. This address appeared in Skeptic magazine volume 17, number 1 that year, in his regular column ’Twas Brillig….

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