Sunday, November 20, 2005

The kids decided not to teach Intelligent Design in U.S. Schools

I found this unintelligent piece over at fantasy world – the author George Konig predicts science will remove from the schools within ten years. He does not mention any names of the scientists who have given up and any reasonable person would consider his claim to be nonsense.

I propose his article to be something like this (short version):

The kids decided not to teach Intelligent Design in U.S. Schools

There are several excellent articles on Evolution and Intelligent Design to mention like evidence for evolution and Survival Of The Flimsiest.

Most creationists’ and believers of ID have already given up on the hypothesis of Intelligent Design because of lack of proof. Researchers did not know what to look for, and because the hypothesis was not testable, they made no research published ever.

They finally had to accept evolution as a fact because of scientific findings in the last twenty years and because of evidence for historical evolution like genetic, fossils, anatomical etc.

Due to the unwillingness of religious people in the education field to accept Evolution - for their own personal reasons - the debate have and will continue until the court in Pennsylvania put and end to all the nonsense.

In fact, many people of faith accept evolution as the scientific explanation for biodiversity.

End of article!

Proponents say Intelligent Design provides scientific answers for gaps and inconsistencies in the theory of evolution. They think an unnamed "designer" or "Goddidit" fills in the "gaps" and "problems" in Darwin’s Theory of evolution.

However, problem with science has always been that a new discovery will lead to thousands of new questions.

With Intelligent Design, we do not need to find out and we could stop learning.

On the other hand, we could accept that "Science is hard."

The scientific community will not accept teaching pseudoscience in schools, and they will fight back unintelligent arguments like Goddidit with reasonable arguments, I think.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Side effects caused by Chinese medicine

Chinese medicine are promoted as natural and safe, but some may contain harmful substances not declared on the label like sibutramine and methylphenidate.

There is a great article over at BBC about the potential side effects of using Chinese medicine:

It is estimated that 6,000 stores across the country offer treatment for conditions ranging from eczema to the menopause.

But the industry, although growing in popularity, is largely unregulated.

At the Herb Garden store in Leigh on Sea, Essex, an undercover reporter from the Five Live Report was two weeks ago sold a herbal slimming pill and told it contained rhubarb and honeysuckle.

Tests showed it contained fenfluarmine - an illegal pharmaceutical considered to be so dangerous that it is banned in most countries worldwide, including the UK.

The owner of the store, Anna Yang, was prosecuted earlier this year for illegally selling the same drug.

She was fined £30,000 with another £20,000 in court costs.

The maximum sentence for selling an illegal medicine is two years imprisonment.


The BBC reporter was also sold two other prescription-only drugs - Danthron - a specialist laxative which has cancer causing properties and is only recommended for use with terminally ill patients, and Sibutramine - prescribed in cases of extreme obesity.

Ms Yang said that she was concerned about the BBC's allegations.

She said she was reliant on assurances from suppliers as to the contents of the products and had been in touch with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

She added that the products had now been withdrawn from sale.

Danny Lee-Frost, head of enforcement at the MHRA, said: "There are huge amounts of money to be made in this area.

"The main motivation is money."

He said unscrupulous traders were putting patient's lives at risk.

The BBC has learned that several practitioners are currently facing prosecution, and another 63 stores are being investigated.

David Woods visited Ms Yang in 2000 for acupuncture on his painful knees.

He said: "She said I should lose a bit of weight and it would help my knees.

"She said she had these new pills, really good pills and would I like some? So I said yes.

"It ended up to be the equivalent of a class A drug."

Heart problems

Since taking fenfluarmine David Woods has had a permanently damaged heart.

"My heart used to slow down and speed up. I honestly thought I was dying. I have nothing to thank her for. Nothing."

Dr Karl Metcalfe, a consultant physician at Southend hospital said he has treated nine of Anna Yang's former patients but fears there may be more as some people may not have reported symptoms to their GPs.

"For a medically qualified person to be issuing these drugs would be reprehensible.

"For a non medically qualified person to be doing it is well very alarming and quite clearly criminal."

Kidneys removed

In a separate case, Sandi Stay, of Hove, had to have both her kidneys removed after taking Aristochlia, a cancer causing herb which is banned across the UK.

Mrs Stay said she went to a Chinese medicine store and was given the herb to treat her psoriasis.

In her case the store which she claims sold her the drug was found not guilty because the jury accepted the store had taken measures to ensure its medicines did not contain Aristochlia.

Dr Mark Thursz, a consultant physician at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington said he had seen a huge rise in the number of patients being referred to him with liver failure or hepatitis after taking Chinese herbal medicine.

He said: "Many people believe herbal remedies are safe, but they should be seen in the light as conventional remedies in that they can adverse reactions.

"When you get a box of pills you get a long list of potential side effects.

"You don't get that with herbal remedies because practitioners try to make you believe they are safe."

Under current regulations Chinese medics are treated as shop keepers rather than traders, so in the same way a butcher prosecuted for selling bad meat would be allowed to continue trading so are they.

Dr Jidong Wu, of the Association of Traditional Chinese medicine is calling for tighter regulation.

He said "dodgy and fake" practitioners were damaging the image of Chinese medicine.

Monday, November 14, 2005

What kind of humanist are you?

I discovered this test over at Be Reasonable and here are the results:


You are an atheist, a rationalist, a believer in the triumph of science and of reason over libido. You can’t stand mumbo jumbo, ritual, spiritual nonsense of any kind, and you refuse to allow for these longings in others.

Astrologers, Scientologists and new–age crystal ball creeps are no different in your view from priests, rabbis and imams. They’re all just weak–minded pilgrims on the road to easy answers. Nature as revealed by science is awesome enough for you, but it’s a nature that needs curbing and taming by us on our evolutionary journey to perfection.

Your heros are Einstein, Darwin, Marx and — these days — Gould, Blakemore, Watson, Crick and Rosalind Franklin. Could you be hiding a little behind those absolutist views, worried that, if you let in a few doubts and contradictory ideas, the whole edifice might crumble? Loosen up a bit and try to enjoy the amazing variety of human belief systems. Don’t worry — it’s unlikely you’ll end up chanting your days away in some distant mountain cult.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The anti-MMR campaign dismissed by Science

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick wrote an excellent article called When quackery kills available over at Spiked.

It is about the death of a five-year-old autistic boy in the USA following mercury chelation and how campaigners continue to blame medical and scientific authorities for poisoning children with vaccines. Journalists endorse the anti-MMR campaign without critically examining the claims of its promoters and the scientific evidence against the autism link. Or could it be, that they just don't understand science

The false belief in the MMR-autism link has caused parents to feel guilt over giving their children the vaccine, and it unfortunately made some parents decide not to have their children vaccinated. Instead they believed in anecdotal evidence delivered by fellow parents, who saw with their own eyes that their children became autistic after receiving the MMR vaccine. I will give you one good example why anecdotal evidence is unreliable:

Galileo presented the view that the Earth revolved around the sun and rotated around its own axis, but people could see with their own eyes that the sun rose in the east and set in the west. They believed what they saw, and concluded the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around the earth and not opposite. However, their observation did not prove Galileo was wrong. The people were not aware that association does not prove causation. Scientific research is required, and what you see is not always evidence of truth.

MMR protects children against three potentially serious diseases and now this Cochrane review concludes that the truth about MMR is that it does not cause autism. How much more research do we need?

The entire review (PDF):
Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Kevin Trudeau accused of violating customer privacy.

This week Consumer Health Digest has a new matter on Kevin Trudeau:

The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) has warned that consumers who purchase Kevin Trudeau's book, "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About," may have their contact information sold to telemarketers, junk mailers, and other direct marketers. In a news release, CPB's chairman said that consumers were not notified that this might happen. [Without notice to consumers, Kevin Trudeau is selling customer names & addresses from infomercial orders: Consumers also being hit with unexpected charges for Trudeau newsletter and discount purchase programs. CPB press release, Oct 27, 2005] Trudeau's attorney (David Bradford) stated that Trudeau didn't promote the idea that buyers can "opt out" of their information being used, but they can be excluded by notifying the Trudeau's company. [Agency: Natural cures guy selling names. Associated Press, Oct 27, 2005]

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Interview With Kevin Trudeau

This interview with Kevin Trudeau stress that Trudeau's book is based only on his opinions. He is a non-expert and a sales representative with no medical skills.

From the interview with Kevin Trudeau:

ZAHN (voice-over): Ironically, Trudeau says its his lack of medical training that allows him to reveal these natural cures, cures some readers say aren't actually in the book.

(on camera): But, Kevin, even you have to concede you haven't won a legion of fans.

Let me read to you something a reader, Christina Miller (ph), had to say about your book.


ZAHN: She contacted the FTC to say -- quote -- "I recently purchased the book and feel like the whole thing is a huge scam. The book has vague information urging the reader to join the Web site for a fee for specific information. However, when you join the Web site, after you give your credit card info and your order is processed, then you get the disclaimer stating brand names cannot be mentioned, as promised. Also, the things that are promised upon joining are not available."

TRUDEAU: One person.

ZAHN: Well, I got a whole bunch of them.

TRUDEAU: Now, hold on.

ZAHN: Respond specifically to what...


ZAHN: ... Christina Miller (ph) is saying.

TRUDEAU: Let's -- let's not mislead the public, Paula. Don't mislead the public. Three million people bought this book. The majority, overwhelming majority, of people that read my book are writing me letters by the tens of the thousands, thanking me.

ZAHN: What you're saying, I'm sure, is true. But there are enough of these letters, that we have been given copies of it. I just want you to respond to specific criticism that these people feel hoodwinked, that, once they pay a fee...


ZAHN: ... to get on the Web site, they don't feel that the information that you promise in the book is there for the taking.

TRUDEAU: How do you respond to the criticism from somebody who goes to the movies, sees an Academy Award-winning picture, and says, unwatchable? How do you respond to that?

ZAHN: But it's not a question of people saying that they don't like what they read. They don't think the information you have promised...

TRUDEAU: No. You're misleading...

ZAHN: ... in the book is there.

TRUDEAU: You're misleading people. The majority of people, Paula, believe that the information I promise is in the book.

ZAHN (voice-over): On Internet book-seller, "Natural Cures" averages two-and-a-half stars out of five in reader reviews, with some readers satisfied, others, clearly not.
More here.

See who links to your web site.