Thursday, September 29, 2005

Central Tenets of Evolution Theory

New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
Pa. Trial Will Ask Whether 'Alternatives' Can Pass as Science

By Rick Weiss and David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 26, 2005; Page A08

When scientists announced last month they had determined the exact order of all 3 billion bits of genetic code that go into making a chimpanzee, it was no surprise that the sequence was more than 96 percent identical to the human genome. Charles Darwin had deduced more than a century ago that chimps were among humans' closest cousins.

But decoding chimpanzees' DNA allowed scientists to do more than just refine their estimates of how similar humans and chimps are. It let them put the very theory of evolution to some tough new tests.

If Darwin was right, for example, then scientists should be able to perform a neat trick. Using a mathematical formula that emerges from evolutionary theory, they should be able to predict the number of harmful mutations in chimpanzee DNA by knowing the number of mutations in a different species' DNA and the two animals' population sizes.

"That's a very specific prediction," said Eric Lander, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and a leader in the chimp project.

Sure enough, when Lander and his colleagues tallied the harmful mutations in the chimp genome, the number fit perfectly into the range that evolutionary theory had predicted.

Their analysis was just the latest of many in such disparate fields as genetics, biochemistry, geology and paleontology that in recent years have added new credence to the central tenet of evolutionary theory: That a smidgeon of cells 3.5 billion years ago could -- through mechanisms no more extraordinary than random mutation and natural selection -- give rise to the astonishing tapestry of biological diversity that today thrives on Earth.

Evolution's repeated power to predict the unexpected goes a long way toward explaining why so many scientists and others are practically apoplectic over the recent decision by a Pennsylvania school board to treat evolution as an unproven hypothesis, on par with "alternative" explanations such as Intelligent Design (ID), the proposition that life as we know it could not have arisen without the helping hand of some mysterious intelligent force.

Today, in a courtroom in Harrisburg, Pa., a federal judge will begin to hear a case that asks whether ID or other alternative explanations deserve to be taught in a biology class. But the plaintiffs, who are parents opposed to teaching ID as science, will do more than merely argue that those alternatives are weaker than the theory of evolution.

They will make the case -- plain to most scientists but poorly understood by many others -- that these alternatives are not scientific theories at all.

"What makes evolution a scientific explanation is that it makes testable predictions," Lander said. "You only believe theories when they make non-obvious predictions that are confirmed by scientific evidence."

Lander's experiment tested a quirky prediction of evolutionary theory: that a harmful mutation is unlikely to persist if it is serious enough to reduce an individual's odds of leaving descendants by an amount that is greater than the number one divided by the population of that species.

The rule proved true not only for mice and chimps, Lander said. A new and still unpublished analysis of the canine genome has found that dogs, whose numbers have historically been greater than those of apes but smaller than for mice, have an intermediate number of harmful mutations -- again, just as evolution predicts.

New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
"Evolution is a way of understanding the world that continues to hold up day after day to scientific tests," Lander said.

By contrast, said Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Intelligent Design offers nothing in the way of testable predictions.

"Just because they call it a theory doesn't make it a scientific theory," Leshner said. "The concept of an intelligent designer is not a scientifically testable assertion."

Asked to provide examples of non-obvious, testable predictions made by the theory of Intelligent Design, John West, an associate director of the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based ID think tank, offered one: In 1998, he said, an ID theorist, reckoning that an intelligent designer would not fill animals' genomes with DNA that had no use, predicted that much of the "junk" DNA in animals' genomes -- long seen as the detritus of evolutionary processes -- will someday be found to have a function.

(In fact, some "junk" DNA has indeed been found to be functional in recent years, though more than 90 percent of human DNA still appears to be the flotsam of biological history.) In any case, West said, it is up to Darwinists to prove ID wrong.

"Chance and necessity don't seem to be good candidates for explaining the appearance of higher-order complexity, so the best explanation is an intelligent cause," West said.

Simple and Hard

The controversy that has periodically erupted around evolution can be attributed at least in part to the fact that it is both simple to understand and hard to believe.

Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, working independently in the early- to mid-1800s, each came up with the concept of "natural selection." Each sought to explain the astounding diversity of life he found in exotic places, Darwin in the Galapagos Islands and Wallace in Brazil.

Their idea was this:

By some accident of nature whose workings neither man could explain, an organism may exhibit a variation in shape, color or body function new to the species. Although most of these new traits are damaging -- probably lethal -- a small fraction actually help. They may make it easier to hide from predators (like a moth's coloration), exploit a food source (an anteater's long tongue), or make seeds more durable (the coconut's buoyant husk).

If the trait does help an organism survive, that individual will be more likely to reproduce. Its offspring will then inherit the change. They, in turn, will have an advantage over organisms that are identical except for that one beneficial change. Over time, the descendants that inherited what might be termed the "happy accident" will outnumber the descendants of its less fit, but initially far more numerous, brethren.

There are two important consequences of this mechanism.

New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
The first is that organisms will tend to adapt to their environments. If the planet's atmosphere contains lots of oxygen but very little methane gas, living things are going to end up tolerating oxygen -- and possibly even depending on it. But do not expect to see many methane-breathers.

This appearance of "perfect fit" makes it seem as if organisms must have been the product of an intelligent force. But this appearance of perfection is deceiving. It gives no hint of the numberless evolutionary dead ends -- lineages that, according to the fossil record, survived for a while but then died out, probably because changes in the environment made their once-perfect designs not so perfect anymore.

The second result of Darwin and Wallace's mechanism is that over time it will create species diversity. As additional "happy accidents" alter an organism's descendants over millions of years, those descendants will come to look less and less like other organisms with which they share a common ancestor. Eventually, the descendants will be able to mate only with each other. They will be lions and tigers -- each a distinct species, but both descended from the same ancient cat.

What is hard to understand about this process is that it is essentially passive. The mechanism is called "natural selection" because the conditions at hand -- nature -- determine which accidents are beneficial and which are not. Organisms do not seek ends.

Giraffes do not decide to grow long necks to browse the high branches above the competition. But a four-legged mammal on the savannah once upon a time was endowed with a longer neck than its brothers and sisters. It ate better. We call its descendants giraffes.

That a mechanism driven by random events should result in perfectly adapted organisms -- and so many different types -- seems illogical.

"Even today a good many distinguished minds seem unable to accept or even to understand that from a source of noise, natural selection alone and unaided could have drawn all the music of the biosphere," Jacques Monod, a French biologist and Nobel Prize winner, wrote in 1970 in the book "Chance and Necessity."

Natural selection was really hard to accept in Darwin's day. But it has become easier with the discovery of genes, DNA and techniques that have made it possible to watch natural selection happen.

DNA is a stringlike molecule made up of paired beads called nucleotides. It carries the instructions for making proteins and RNA, the chief building materials of life. Individually, these instructions are called genes.

The random changes Darwin knew must be happening are accidents that happen to DNA and genes. Today, they can be documented and catalogued in real time, inside cells.

Cells sometimes make errors when they copy their DNA before dividing. These mutations can disable a gene -- or change its action. Occasionally cells also duplicate an entire gene by mistake, providing offspring with two copies instead of one. Both these events provide raw material for new genes with new and potentially useful functions -- and ultimately raw material for new organisms and species.

Richard E. Lenski, a biologist at Michigan State University, has been following 12 cultures of the bacterium Escherichia coli since 1988, comprising more than 25,000 generations. All 12 cultures were genetically identical at the start. For years he gave each the same daily stress: six hours of food (glucose) and 18 hours of starvation. All 12 strains adapted to this by becoming faster consumers of glucose and developing bigger cell size than their 1988 "parents."

The second result of Darwin and Wallace's mechanism is that over time it will create species diversity. As additional "happy accidents" alter an organism's descendants over millions of years, those descendants will come to look less and less like other organisms with which they share a common ancestor. Eventually, the descendants will be able to mate only with each other. They will be lions and tigers -- each a distinct species, but both descended from the same ancient cat.

What is hard to understand about this process is that it is essentially passive. The mechanism is called "natural selection" because the conditions at hand -- nature -- determine which accidents are beneficial and which are not. Organisms do not seek ends.

Giraffes do not decide to grow long necks to browse the high branches above the competition. But a four-legged mammal on the savannah once upon a time was endowed with a longer neck than its brothers and sisters. It ate better. We call its descendants giraffes.

That a mechanism driven by random events should result in perfectly adapted organisms -- and so many different types -- seems illogical.

"Even today a good many distinguished minds seem unable to accept or even to understand that from a source of noise, natural selection alone and unaided could have drawn all the music of the biosphere," Jacques Monod, a French biologist and Nobel Prize winner, wrote in 1970 in the book "Chance and Necessity."

Natural selection was really hard to accept in Darwin's day. But it has become easier with the discovery of genes, DNA and techniques that have made it possible to watch natural selection happen.

DNA is a stringlike molecule made up of paired beads called nucleotides. It carries the instructions for making proteins and RNA, the chief building materials of life. Individually, these instructions are called genes.

The random changes Darwin knew must be happening are accidents that happen to DNA and genes. Today, they can be documented and catalogued in real time, inside cells.

Cells sometimes make errors when they copy their DNA before dividing. These mutations can disable a gene -- or change its action. Occasionally cells also duplicate an entire gene by mistake, providing offspring with two copies instead of one. Both these events provide raw material for new genes with new and potentially useful functions -- and ultimately raw material for new organisms and species.

Richard E. Lenski, a biologist at Michigan State University, has been following 12 cultures of the bacterium Escherichia coli since 1988, comprising more than 25,000 generations. All 12 cultures were genetically identical at the start. For years he gave each the same daily stress: six hours of food (glucose) and 18 hours of starvation. All 12 strains adapted to this by becoming faster consumers of glucose and developing bigger cell size than their 1988 "parents."

When Lenski and his colleagues examined each strain's genes, they found that the strains had not acquired the same mutations. Instead, there was some variety in the happy accidents that had allowed each culture to survive. And when the 12 strains were then subjected to a different stress -- a new food source -- they did not fare equally well. In some, the changes from the first round of adaptation stood in the way of adaptation to the new conditions. The 12 strains had started to diverge, taking the first evolutionary steps that might eventually make them different species -- just as Darwin and Wallace predicted.

In fact, one of the more exciting developments in biology in the past 25 years has been how much DNA alone can teach about the evolutionary history of life on Earth.

For example, genome sequencing projects have shown that human beings, dogs, frogs and flies (and many, many other species) share a huge number of genes in common. These include not only genes for tissues they all share, such as muscle, which is not such a surprise, but also the genes that go into basic body-planning (specifying head and tail, front and back) and appendage-building (making things that stick out from the body, such as antennae, fins, legs and arms).

As scientists have identified the totality of DNA -- the genomes -- of many species, they have unearthed the molecular equivalent of the fossil record.

It is now clear from fossil and molecular evidence that certain patterns of growth in multicellular organisms appeared about 600 million years ago. Those patterns proved so useful that versions of the genes governing them are carried by nearly every species that has arisen since.

These several hundred "tool kit genes," in the words of University of Wisconsin biologist Sean B. Carroll, are molecular evidence of natural selection's ability to hold on to very useful functions that arise.

Research on how and when tool kit genes are turned on and off also has helped explain how evolutionary changes in DNA gave rise to Earth's vast diversity of species. Studies indicate that the determination of an organism's form during embryonic development is largely the result of a small number of genes that are turned on in varying combinations and order. Gene regulation is where the action is.

Consequently, mutations in regulatory portions of a DNA strand can have effects just as dramatic as those prompted by mutations in genes themselves. They can, for example, cancel the development of an appendage -- or add an appendage where one never existed. This discovery refuted assertions by Intelligent Design advocates that gene mutation and natural selection can, at most, explain the fine-tuning of species.

"The mechanisms that make the small differences between species are the same ones that make the big differences between kingdoms," said Carroll, author of a book, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful," that describes many of these new insights.

Although the central tenets of evolution have done nothing but grow stronger with every experimental challenge, the story is still evolving, Carroll and other scientists acknowledge. Some details are sure to be refined over time. The question to be answered in Harrisburg is whether Intelligent Design has anything scientific to add for now, or whether it belongs instead in philosophy class.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Deepak Chopra v. Michael Shermer

Deepak Chopra and Michael Shermer are debating Skepticism In eSkeptic:

Is Skepticism a Negative or a Positive for Science and Humanity?

This debate was initiated by Deepak Chopra after he and Michael Shermer exchanged blogs on (where they are both bloggers) on the topic of Intelligent Design. Deepak expressed his doubts about Intelligent Design Theory as it is presented for public school consumption, but suggested that there is scientific evidence of intelligent consciousness in the universe, as evidenced by findings from quantum physics.

Shermer posted a response in which he employed the philosopher Daniel Dennett’s evolutionary metaphor of cranes and skyhooks (in his book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea), where cranes build from the bottom up (natural selection) and skyhooks are invoked to explain design from the top down (intelligent design). Shermer suggested that Deepak’s intelligent consciousness is just another form of skyhook.
The following essay was submitted to Skeptic by Deepak:

Gadflies Without a Sting - The Downside of Skepticism

Shermer responded at the end of Deepak’s essay:

The Power of Positive Skepticism - A Reply to Deepak Chopra

Shermer also replied that positive skepticism is a way of thinking that leads to deeper understanding, and it is a vital tool in the science kits of practicing scientists.

Intelligent Design on Trial

On day 1 Dr. Miller said about intelligent design:

Intelligent Design is a new anti-evolution movement that has been presented as an alternative to an older formulation known as "creation science." It argues that an unnamed "designer" must have been responsible for much of the process, although it presents no evidence for the actions of such a designer. Theological explanations may be correct, of course, but they cannot be tested by methods of science and are therefore not science.

On day 2 Callahan, one of the plaintiff in the case, explained the school didn't order biology books because the originally chosen was "laced with Darwinism." She felt as though the school board was placing religious ideology in the schools and trying to influece her daughters religion.

Todays coverage of the Dover Case:

Witness in evolution trial slams school board - MSNBC
The Dover school board showed a clear bias against teaching Darwinian evolution before it voted to require students to be exposed to “intelligent design” in science class, a former board member testified Tuesday.

Former Teacher Testifies in Evolution Case -
A former physics teacher testified that his rural school board ignored faculty protests before deciding to introduce the theory of "intelligent design" to high school students.

"I saw a district in which teachers were not respected for their professional expertise," Bryan Rehm, a former teacher at Dover High School, said yesterday.
Evolution teacher testifies - Boston Globe
Robert T. Pennock, a professor of science and philosophy at Michigan State University, testified on behalf of families who sued the Dover Area School District. He said supporters of intelligent design don't offer evidence to support their idea.

"As scientists go about their business, they follow a method," Pennock said. "Intelligent design wants to reject that and so it doesn't really fall within the purview of science."

Witness in Pennsylvania 'intelligent design' trial says school board... - WSVN-TV Miami Beach
Witness in Pennsylvania 'intelligent design' trial says school board ignored science teachers' protests

Anti-evolution bias cited at trial - The Olympian
Aralene "Barrie" Callahan, who was once on the Dover school board and now is among the challengers, said she believed the policy to teach intelligent design was religion-based.

Former teacher sues over 'intelligent design' in school; reporters subpoenaed - Star Tribune
In October 2004, the Dover school board voted 6-3 to require teachers to read a brief statement about intelligent design to students before classes on evolution. The statement says Darwin's theory is "not a fact'' and has inexplicable "gaps,'' and refers students to an intelligent-design textbook for more information.

Prof Testifies in Evolution Debate - SF Gate
The concept of "intelligent design" is a form of creationism and is not based on scientific method, a professor testified Wednesday in a trial over whether the idea should be taught in public schools.

Speaking Freely is the new blog of the ACLU of Pennsylvania with daily updates on the Dover Case.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Kevin Trudeau in

Gene Weingarten wrote a piece on Kevin Trudeau that is worth reading:

It's Enough to Make You Sick
But this health book will cure you of gullibility

By Gene Weingarten - Sunday, September 25, 2005; Page W64

I just finished reading the No. 1 national best-selling advice book in America: Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, by Kevin Trudeau. I think I can safely say it is not a "good book," though I admit my standards may be a little high. I am defining a "good book" as one that is not actively trying to kill you.

Trudeau argues that most doctors are idiots, puppets of the evil pharmaceuticals industry. Together they are engaged in a shocking conspiracy with the FDA and FTC to keep you ignorant about simple, inexpensive natural cures that exist for virtually all diseases and that could keep you alive well past 100. It's all a fraud, says Trudeau, whose expertise appears to be that he, himself, has been convicted of fraud. (Don't look to the book for details about this last item. It involved a credit-card scam.)

Gene Weingarten on Trudeau, read the rest and enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Intelligent Design in Court

Pennsylvania school has to defend its policy at requiring students to hear about ID in biology lessons on evolution. Court has to decide the fundamental question: Is ID religion or Science. If they come up with the right answer, it could finish the long lasting "Teach both side"-discussion. Intelligent Design is by definition religion and it has nothing to do in science classes.

Intelligent design faces first big court test
Parents sue after alternate to evolution added to science curriculum

By Reporter Alex Johnson - MSNBC - Sept. 23, 2005

A federal judge in Pennsylvania will hear arguments Monday in a lawsuit that both sides say could set the fundamental ground rules for how American students are taught the origins of life for years to come.

At issue is an alternative to the standard theory of evolution called "intelligent design." Proponents argue that the structure of life on Earth is too complex to have evolved through natural selection, challenging a core principle of the biological theory launched by Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” in 1859. Instead, contend adherents of intelligent design, life is probably the result of intervention by an intelligent agent.

Intelligent design has been bubbling up since 1987, when the Supreme Court ruled that public schools could not teach the biblical account of creation instead of evolution, because doing so would violate the constitutional ban on establishment of an official religion.

Critics deride intelligent design as creationism gussied up for the courts; advocates say it is an explicitly scientific construct that makes no supposition about the identity or nature of the designer.

The disagreement has led to anguished public debates and hearings before local school boards for almost 20 years. While judges have considered smaller questions barnacled to the issue, the trial that opens Monday is believed to be the first time a federal court has been asked to decide the fundamental question: Is intelligent design religion or science?

Finally, a chance for a definitive ruling
The Pennsylvania case "is probably the most important legal situation of creation and evolution in the last 18 years," said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which opposes challenges to the standard model of evolution.

"This will be the first legal challenge to intelligent design, and we’ll see whether they have been able to mask the creationist underpinnings and basic orientation of intelligent design," she said. Regardless who wins, "it will have quite a significant impact on what happens in American public school education."

The suit, brought by 11 parents, challenges the Dover Area School District’s adoption last year of an addition to the science curriculum directing teachers — in addition to teaching evolution — to tell students about intelligent design and refer them to an alternative textbook that champions it. Three opposing board members resigned after the vote.

The parents contended that the directive amounted to an attempt to inject religion into the curriculum in violation of the First Amendment. Their case was joined by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation for Church and State, with support from Scott's organization.

The school board is being defended pro bono by the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian law firm in Ann Arbor, Mich. The case is being heard without a jury in Harrisburg by U.S. District Judge John Jones III, whom President Bush appointed to the bench in 2002.

Science organizations have generally turned their backs on forums in which they have been challenged to defend Darwinian evolution, on the theory that engaging the intelligent design school in any way is to take its ideas too seriously. For example, when the Kansas Board of Education held hearings this year on new science standards that criticized evolution, science groups boycotted.

The Pennsylvania case, however, gives scientists the chance to go on the attack, forcing intelligent-design advocates to defend their beliefs. But because local school boards have almost complete latitude to set the content of the curriculum, the plaintiffs must navigate a narrow path.

It isn't enough for them to discredit intelligent design — indeed, that is almost irrelevant to the legal question. Instead, what they must do is show that the school board’s decision would have an unconstitutionally religious purpose and effect, Scott said.

Even so, Scott and others make no bones about their principal motivation: Intelligent design as science is bogus, they insist, and teaching it is a grave disservice to students.

"Intelligent design is simply the most recent version of creationism, which is admittedly a religious concept," said Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and publisher of the journal Science. "There is no scientific basis to intelligent design."

Debating the terms of the debate
This is where things get sticky, because it all boils down to a basic argument over just what is evolution and what is religion.

Advocates have labored for years to have intelligent design be taken seriously as science. Although many of the leading thinkers in the movement openly acknowledge their Christian faith, they also sport Ph.D.s in hard science and maintain that their suppositions are rooted in principled observance of the scientific method.

And they generally have no problem with much of evolutionary theory, which can — in part —be stated as the change of species over time. Evidence, they agree, amply bears out this observation, which is known as micro-evolution.

Where they dissent is in what's known as macro-evolution — the transformation over time of a species into another species. The distinction is drawn in "Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins," the alternative text endorsed by the Dover school board:

"Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact — fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings. Some scientists have arrived at this view since fossil forms first appear in the rock record with their primitive features intact, rather than gradually developing."

In other words, their argument is not so much with evolution per se as it is with what they see as the failure of evolution to account for how it all started. It is perfectly reasonable as science, they believe, to explore whether an outside agent triggered diversity of complex biological structures seemingly engineered to sustain life on Earth.

Intelligent-design supporters are careful to say they don't know who or what that outside agent was, but to the large majority of biologists, that’s beside the point: Science is concerned with the natural world, while intelligent design supposes an agent independent of the natural world.

You can teach such concepts, Leshner and Scott say; indeed, you should — just do it in philosophy and religion and literature classes. Don't do it in science classes, because, by definition, that's religion. It isn't science.

"If we human beings evolved as a result of natural cause, are we special to God? Does life then have some sort of purpose?" Scott asked.

They’re legitimate questions, but "these are issues that are outside of science," she said. "These are not issues that should be part of the science curriculum."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pseudovidenskabeligt ernærings-FUP

Godt gået til Ekstrabladet for denne artikel:

Slankeguru giver forkerte råd

Lene Hansson vejleder hver uge fede danskere på TV3 - men der er ingen dokumentation for hendes principper
- Ekstrabladet d. 19.09.05 af Lisbeth Langwadt - 10:47 - 19. sep. 2005

På plakater i hele landet kan man se kostvejleder Lene Hansson give en hotdog og en kakaomælk et lag tæsk som reklame for TV3-programmet 'Du er, hvad du spiser'.

Men måske burde deltagerne og seerne i stedet give Lene Hansson en i skallen for at trække dem gennem ulideligt mange fanatiske og forkerte råd om, hvordan de kan tabe sig. Et vægttab de kunne opnå uden Lene Hanssons selvbestaltede metoder blot ved at følge sund fornuft.

Med tarmskylninger, syre-base-forhold og adskillelse af stivelse og protein må deltagerne finde sig i en ny livsstil, som bygger på decideret forkerte koncepter. 152.000 seere følger 'Du er, hvad du spiser', og over 10.000 har sikret sig Hanssons bog af samme titel.

Deltagere bliver vildledt
Camilla Udsen, ph.d., fødevarepolitisk medarbejder i Forbrugerrådet supplerer:
- Hun giver ingen dokumentation i sine bøger eller programmer. Hun konstaterer bare, at sådan er det.

- Hendes principper er udelukkende baseret på hendes egne værdier, siger Per Brændgaard Mikkelsen, cand.scient. i human ernæring og leder af Suhr's Slankeskole.

- Hendes kostråd baserer sig helt grundlæggende på forkerte principper. Det er et stort problem, for så får deltagerne i programmerne og hendes læsere ikke en bedre forståelse for kost. De bliver snarere vildledt, supplerer Camilla Udsen.

Lene Hansson er uddannet receptionist, har arbejdet som stewardesse, er aerobicinstruktør, reiki-healer og Bach-terapeut. Hendes ernæringsvejlederuddannelse er en kombination af amerikanske studier og forskellige alternative uddannelser.

Det er pseudovidenskab
Lene Hansson mener, at man altid skal spise protein og stivelse hver for sig - de må ikke indgå i samme måltid. Stivelse er den slags kulhydrat, som findes i kornprodukter og kartofler.

- Det passer simpelthen ikke. Kroppens systemer kan sagtens klare protein og stivelse samtidig. Ellers ville alle, der spiser kartofler til en bøf, blive syge og fede. Faktisk er der store fordele ved at spise det sammen - så udnytter man proteinerne bedre, siger Brændgaard Mikkelsen.

Morgenmad er også bandlyst af Lene Hansson. Indtil kl. 12 er kun frugt tilladt. Og det på trods af, at utallige undersøgelser har vist, at de fleste mennesker føler mindre sult i løbet af dagen og dermed spiser færre kalorier samlet set, hvis de får et solidt morgenmåltid.

- Hendes koncept er pseudovidenskab. Men hun bruger et ordforråd, der lyder videnskabeligt og rationelt. Det er med til at gøre folk forvirrede og skeptiske over for, hvad de skal tro på. Og så holder de også op med at lytte til de fornuftige, officielle råd, siger Camilla Udsen.

Jeg synes, beviset ligger i resultaterne
- Lene Hansson, eksperterne siger, at mange af dine teorier er forkerte. Hvad siger du til det?

- Ingen af dem har siddet med klienter i 20 år, som jeg har. Hvorfor skal alting bevises videnskabeligt? Jeg synes, beviset ligger i resultaterne. Ud af deltagerne i de seks første programmer, er der kun en, som ikke stadig lever efter det.

- Men eksperterne har vel ret i, at vægttab handler om at spise sundere og få færre kalorier?

- Jeg er ikke helt enig. Jeg går ind for en ændring af livsstilen, som så fører til vægttab. Jeg bruger syre-base-teorien, fordi det illustrativt viser folk, at deres kost indeholder for meget af det forbudte. Hovedbudskabet er, at man skal spise frugt og grønt, dyrke 30 minutters motion hver dag, spise varieret og være positiv.

Tarmrens og syre-base
- Hvis det er hovedbudskabet, hvorfor skal man så ud i alt muligt med syre-base og tarmrens?

- Tarmrens ligger i det koncept, TV3 har købt fra England. Syre-base-kosten er noget, jeg har valgt at tage med.

- Men forbrugerne bør vel støtte sig op ad kostråd, som bygger på fakta?

- Det er jo det, man har gjort fejlagtigt i mange år. Der er kommercielle interesser blandet ind i det. Så hvor neutrale er de officielle råd?

Tykkere og mere syge
- Men hvem skal forbrugeren så tro på? Dig?

- Der er ikke én retning, der virker for alle. De budskaber, Ernæringsrådet og Suhr's er kommet med gennem årene, har ikke hjulpet os. De har tværtimod gjort os tykkere og mere syge. Det, Suhr's underviser i, har ikke fornyet sig i 70 år.

- Det kunne jo være, fordi der er noget om det?

- Nej, for så ville folk jo ikke blive mere overvægtige og syge.

Volapyk og få kalorier
Selv om eksperterne ikke giver meget for Lene Hanssons metoder, kan du godt tabe dig ved at følge hendes råd:

- Man taber sig, når det samlede kalorieindtag er lavere, end det antal kalorier man forbrænder. Og med Lene Hansson får man - foruden en masse volapyk - faktisk få kalorier, siger Per Brændgaard Mikkelsen.

- Deltagerne i programmerne lever ekstremt usundt, så det er klart, de taber sig, når de får færre kalorier og begynder at dyrke motion. Men de ville også have tabt sig uden at gå op i syre-base-balance osv., supplerer Camilla Udsen.

Lene Hansson: Du skal opretholde din 'indre pH-værdi' ved at spise en rigtig kombination af syre-base-fødevarer.
Sundhedspanelet: Det er en gammel myte inden for alternativ ernæringsteori. Fakta er, at kroppen har et særdeles effektivt justeringssystem. Den eneste måde, du selv kan optimere det, er ved at være fysisk aktiv.

Lene Hansson: Du må kun spise frugt indtil kl. 12, og spis det altid på tom mave.
Sundhedspanelet: Vrøvl. De fleste mennesker har brug for et solidt morgenmåltid med havregryn eller groft brød. Frugt mætter ikke nok, så det kan forårsage, at man overspiser senere på dagen.

Lene Hansson: Din fordøjelse bliver bedre, hvis du ikke blander kulhydrat og protein, fordi hver fødevaregruppe kræver forskellige fordøjelsesenzymer, der kan ødelægge hinanden, hvis de blandes.
Sundhedspanelet: Forkert. Kroppen kan sagtens fordøje kulhydrat og protein samtidig -det bliver du ikke tyk af.

Lene Hansson: Kroppen har en døgncyklus. Mellem kl. 04-12 må du kun spise frugt og saft. Fra 12-20 kan du indtage fast føde. Fra 20-04 må du kun få frugt og saft.
Sundhedspanelet: Sludder. Man optager mad, efter man har indtaget det. Så man kan ikke sige, at døgnet er delt op i en 'indtagelses-' og 'optagelsesproces'.

Lene Hansson: Faste og tarmskylninger kan afhjælpe forskellige sygdomme.
Sundhedspanelet: Det er en myte, at kroppen ikke selv kan komme af med gift- og affaldsstoffer. Fedme forsvinder ikke af fanatiske tarmskylninger eller faste. Den eneste vej er sunde kostvaner og færre kalorier.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pseudoscience by Deepak Chopra

The Huffington Post is delivering the opinion by Deepak Chopra about Invisible Neurology: "Why Does Pain Hurt?"

This invisible neurology answered the question of why pain hurts very easily: If everything is conscious at a deep level, then there is no "raw" or unconscious data. The transformation of neural impulses into thoughts and sensations was just a twist from object to subject. Consciousness penetrates both observer and observed.
and more...
This is one area where we have the best chance of bringing consciousness into science, because the invisible neurology that underlies acupuncture and Ayurveda -- not to mention many forms of hands-on healing -- produces results. This is demonstrable,...
Can anyone explain to me how we can block pain by local anaesthetic if everything is conscious?

I am no "psychic", but I risk predicting that Mr. Chopra will not accept the 1-million dollar challenge offered James Randi. Mr. Deepak already has millions of dollars earned by spreading pseudoscience.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Science museums live by the rules of science

Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back
Published: September 20, 2005

ITHACA, N.Y. - Lenore Durkee, a retired biology professor, was volunteering as a docent at the Museum of the Earth here when she was confronted by a group of seven or eight people, creationists eager to challenge the museum exhibitions on evolution.

They peppered Dr. Durkee with questions about everything from techniques for dating fossils to the second law of thermodynamics, their queries coming so thick and fast that she found it hard to reply.

After about 45 minutes, "I told them I needed to take a break," she recalled. "My mouth was dry."

That encounter and others like it provided the impetus for a training session here in August. Dr. Durkee and scores of other volunteers and staff members from the museum and elsewhere crowded into a meeting room to hear advice from the museum director, Warren D. Allmon, on ways to deal with visitors who reject settled precepts of science on religious grounds.

Similar efforts are under way or planned around the country as science museums and other institutions struggle to contend with challenges to the theory of evolution that they say are growing common and sometimes aggressive.

One company, called B.C. Tours "because we are biblically correct," even offers escorted visits to the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Participants hear creationists' explanations for the exhibitions.

So officials like Judy Diamond, curator of public programs at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln, are trying to meet such challenges head-on.

Dr. Diamond is working on evolution exhibitions financed by the National Science Foundation that will go on long-term display at six museums of natural history from Minnesota to Texas. The program includes training for docents and staff members.

"The goal is to understand the controversies, so that people are better able to handle them as they come up," she said. "Museums, as a field, have recognized we need to take a more proactive role in evolution education."

Dr. Allmon, who directs the Paleontological Research Institution, an affiliate of Cornell University, began the training session here in September with statistics from Gallup Polls: 54 percent of Americans do not believe that human beings evolved from earlier species, and although almost half believe that Darwin has been proved right, slightly more disagree.

"Just telling them they are wrong is not going to be effective," he said.

Instead, he told the volunteers that when they encounter religious fundamentalists they should emphasize that science museums live by the rules of science. They seek answers in nature to questions about nature, they look for explanations that can be tested by experiment and observation in the material world, and they understand that all scientific knowledge is provisional - capable of being overturned when better answers are discovered.

"Is it against all religion?" he asked. "No. But it is against some religions."

There is more than one type of creationist, he said: "thinking creationists who want to know answers, and they are willing to listen, even if they go away unconvinced" and "people who for whatever reason are here to bother you, to trap you, to bludgeon you."

Those were the type of people who confronted Dr. Durkee, a former biology professor at Grinnell College in Iowa. The encounter left her discouraged.

"It is no wonder that many biologists will simply refuse to debate creationists or I.D.ers," she said, using the abbreviation for intelligent design, a cousin of creationism. "It is as if they aren't listening."

Dr. Allmon says even trained scientists like Dr. Durkee can benefit from explicit advice about dealing with religious challenges to science exhibitions.

"There is an art, a script that is very, very helpful," he said.

A pamphlet handed out at the training session provides information on the scientific method, the theory of evolution and other basic information. It offers suggestions on replying to frequently raised challenges like "Is there lots of evidence against evolution?" (The answer begins, simply, "No.")

When talking to visitors about evolution, the pamphlet advises, "don't avoid using the word." Rehearse answers to frequently asked questions, because "you'll be more comfortable when you sound like you know what you're talking about."

Dr. Allmon told his audience to "be firm and clear, not defensive." The pamphlet says that if all else fails, and docents find themselves in an unpleasant confrontation, they excuse themselves by saying, "I have to go to the restroom."

Eugenie C. Scott, who directs the National Center for Science Education and is conducting training sessions for Dr. Diamond's program, said that within the last year or so efforts to train museum personnel and volunteers on evolution and related topics had substantially increased. "This seems to be a cottage industry now," Dr. Scott said.

Robert M. West, a paleontologist and former science museum director who is now a consultant to museums, said several institutions were intensifying the docents' training "so they are comfortable with the concepts, not just the material but the intellectual, philosophical background - and they know their administrations are going to support them if someone criticizes them."

At the Denver science museum, the staff and docents often encounter groups from B.C. Tours, which for 15 years has offered tours of the museum based on literal readings of the Bible. The group embraces young-earth creationism, the view that the earth and its plants, animals and people were created in a matter of days a few thousand years ago.

"We present both sides from an objective perspective and let the students decide for themselves," said Rusty Carter, an operator of the group.

Mr. Carter praised the museum, saying it had been "very professional and accommodating, even though they do not support us." A typical group might have 30 or 40 people, he added.

Kirk Johnson, a paleontologist who is the chief curator at the museum, was philosophical about the group. "It's interesting to walk along with them," he said.

Participants pay the admission fee and have as much right as anyone else to be in the museum, Dr. Johnson said, but sometimes "we have to restrain our docents from interacting with them."

John G. West, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, whose researchers endorse intelligent design, said he was not aware of organized efforts to challenge museum exhibitions on evolution. He added, "It is not unheard of for museum exhibits to be wrong scientifically."

Dr. Scott, who trained as a physical anthropologist, said that in training docents she emphasized "how the public understands or misunderstands evolution and some of the misconceptions they come in with." She hopes to combat the idea that people must choose between science and faith - "that you are either a good Christian creationist or an evil atheist evolutionist."

"It's your job," she told docents, "not to slam the door in the face of a believer."

At the American Museum of Natural History, which is about to open what it describes as "the most in-depth exhibition ever" on Darwin and his work, curators and other staff members instruct volunteer "explainers" on the science behind its exhibitions, according to Stephen Reichl, a spokesman. If visitors challenge the presentations, the explainers are instructed to listen "and then explain the science and the evidence."

Sarah Fiorello, an environmental educator at the Finger Lakes State Parks Region who took part in the Ithaca training session in August, said she was now prepared to take the same approach. When she describes the region's geological history on tours of its gorges, visitors often object - as even a member of her family once did - that "it does not say that in the Bible."

Now, she said, she will tell them, "The landscape tells a story based on geological events, based on science."

Dr. Durkee also said she found the session helpful. "When you are in a museum, you can't antagonize people," she said. "Your job is to help them, to explain your point of view, but respect theirs.

"I like the idea of stressing that this is a science museum, and we deal with matters of science."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A collection of selected skeptical links. Enjoy!

I've collected some interesting links on my way, that I would like to share:

Skeptical websites:

Superstition Science Fact or Fiction

This website is maintained by Mario Di Maggio and his TOC is worth reading.

He defines himself as a bright - I'm an atheist and I don't believe in God, but it's actually not the same as a bright:

A "Bright" is someone whose worldview is free from supernatural or mystical elements. "Atheist" is someone who denies God's existence, or one who doesn't believe in God. While "Atheist" is the negation of "Theist" (sounding like it starts from the "max position" and then disproves God), "Bright" doesn't involve the word "Theism" at all.
(explained here)

A skeptic moment with Tim Kammer

Tim Kammer has been asking questions and questioning answers from childhood. It was when he saw a PBS documentary debunking Bermuda Triangle myths that Kammer realized adults don’t always tell the truth.
His schedule is astro on monday, Psychic on tuesday, Mythical on wedneysday, Quack on thursday and Space Alien on friday. Enjoy!

Better Avoid That Black Cat -- It's Friday The 13th

Tim Kammer is a member of the Seattle Society for Sensible Explanations, check out their Web site. They promotes science, critical thinking and sensible explanations for alleged paranormal events.

Mystery Investigators

Using the Method of Science to Investigate the Strange and Mysterious.

Audio and Video Clips:

James Randi

Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer

James Randi Multimedia

An ABC News Special examines the supernatural and our willingness to be deceived. James Randi is the guest.

Richard Dawkins Multimedia

About Richard Dawkins

Michael Shermer Multimedia

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New York Ad agency

This piece was written by Tim Bolen:

University of Virginia "Drug Whores" attack Echinacea...

I had a good laugh this last week. The University of Virginia Medical School showed the world how easy it is for "Big Pharma" to buy the appearance of science, from a University, with their so-called "Echinacea study."

Then the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) ran a pompous editorial on the subject by one of the best known, and laughable, CRACKPOTS in the US, Wallace Sampson MD.

Then the New York Ad agency (the one that runs the "quackbusters" ), sent out, to every media outlet in the US and Canada the story that "Echinacea had been discredited."
I think that one, or more, American manufacturers of Echinacea will be raided by the FDA - with guns drawn - and the whole "raid" will be covered on TV network news. The story will be run for at least three days. The owners, and employees, of the companies will be dragged out in chains from their offices, and "child pornography" and "automatic weapons" will be found in someone's home - just to set the "tone" of the story in the people of America's mind.
The whole story can be found here.

I haven't heard of the New York Ad agency earlier, so I made a google search on the subject to learn more.

All the articles about New York Ad agency which I found was written by Tim Bolen, who compares himself to Dwight Eisenhower:
I'm a strategist, and a tactician like Dwight David Eisenhower. "Ike," as he was popularly known devised and executed the plan to take back Europe from the Nazis, and shut them down, for all time. I devise and execute plans to take back health care from Big Pharma, and its minions. Like "Ike," I play to win.

Sepp Hasslberger seems to be fighting against the New York Ad agency too.

It seems that Tim Bolen often talk about the New York Ad agency and maybe he's right about it:

This letter OFFLIST and 4YEO written to Peter:

I'm somewhat worried about this one. What happens if Ron Law and Tim Bolen (or, god forbid, pests like Judith Alta, Ilena Rose, and Betty Martini) find out? Bolen always talks about the "New York ad agency". I was certain I could call his bluff on that one, because he simply *couldn't* know about our real connections with "Big Pharma".....but now I'm beginning to worry. Maybe he does have some proof! If Icke knows about QBOTI, then he's got connections in the NCAHF. I don't see any other way it could happen. Have you covered your tracks well? I live as usual, so no one would suspect that my monthly paycheck is padding a rather large bank account....;-) Even my wife has no idea. (This email gets deleted from my PC as soon as it's sent.)
I didn't find any evidence to proof the existence of the New York Ad agency.

I've got the impression that it's all opinion and conspiracy in the battle between Science and Quackery.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bad Chinese Morality in Skin Cream

Would you like to smear your face with a dead chinese? An investigation by the Guardian has discovered that a Chinese cosmetics company is using the skin of executed Chinese prisoners in their beauty products. Having a dead chinese in your skin cream is bad chinese morality and sickening!

Agents for the firm have told would-be customers it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot. The agents say some of the company's products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is "traditional" and nothing to "make such a big fuss about".

With European regulations to control cosmetic treatments such as collagen not expected for several years, doctors and politicians say the discovery highlights the dangers faced by the increasing number of Britons seeking to improve their looks. Apart from the ethical concerns, there is also the potential risk of infection.
MPs on the Commons select health committee are to examine the regulatory system and may launch an investigation and question ministers about the need for immediate new controls. "I am sure that the committee will want to look at this," said Kevin Barron, its Labour chairman. "This is something everyone in society will be very concerned about."

Plastic surgeons are also concerned about the delay in introducing regulations to control the cosmetic treatments industry. Norman Waterhouse, a former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: "I am surprised that we are taking the lead from the European commission, because this is bound to delay action on this important area which is increasingly a matter for concern. It seems like a bit of a cop out to me."

It is unclear whether any of the "aesthetic fillers" such as collagen available in the UK or on the internet are supplied by the company, which cannot be identified for legal reasons. It is also unclear whether collagen made from prisoners' skin is in the research stage or is in production. However, the Guardian has learned that the company has exported collagen products to the UK in the past. An agent told customers it had also exported to the US and European countries, and that it was trying to develop fillers using tissue from aborted foetuses.
The beauty products from the skin of executed Chinese prisoners

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Flying Spaghetti Monsterism - All you need to know

I first saw this parody over at Boing Boing here and here.

Now you can read all you need to know here:

Flying Spaghetti Monsterism is a satirical parody religion created to protest the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to allow intelligent design to be taught in science classes alongside evolution.
To be continued....

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Kevin Trudeau's book is still on Best-Seller lists

Kevin Trudeau has made a long-running career as sales representative for memory products and homeopathic cancer remedies. He turned a book containing such claims as deodorants cause breast cancer and magnetic toe rings reverse the aging process into one of the biggest bestsellers of the year.

Kevin Trudeau's top bestseller might have you looking for a rip tide to throw it into. Worried about too much sun? "The sun does not cause skin cancer, sun screens do." This sort of logic is on every page. "Scientists in secret laboratories are developing chemicals that are added to our food, but not included on the label." These "secret poisonous chemicals" are specifically designed to make people hungry so they buy more food, make them fat because fat people eat more, addict them to the product and cause disease. The food industry, the drug companies, the government, and the scientists are in cahoots to keep you sick and profits up. What's the evidence? Kevin Trudeau doesn't do "evidence." A 42 year-old ex-convict and infomercial guru, he preys on the most vulnerable among us, the sick and elderly. The FTC fined him $2 million and barred him from selling products with infomercials - except for his book. He wears his convictions like badges of honor - proof that the establishment is trying to silence him.
Kevin Trudeau's criminal past includes a credit card fraud conviction for which he has already spent some time in prison. He has been banned from television by the Federal Trade Commission and he was taken to court by FTC who tried to prevent his Shop America firm from selling the "Coral Calcium" supplement.

Nevertheless, neither jail nor discredited products seem to stop Kevin Trudeau from misleading consumers.

February 10, 2003:
"Coral Calcium" Claims Debunked

June 10, 2003:
Coral Calcium Promoters Face Federal Charges

June 3, 2004:
Supreme Greens, Coral Calcium Daily Give FTC Indigestion

September 10, 2004:
Kevin Trudeau Banned from Infomercials

August 5, 2005:
The CPB’s report on the misleading advertising by Trudeau is available

August 8, 2005:
Consumer Agency Trashes Trudeau's "Natural Cures" Book

August 22, 2005:
Best-seller 'Natural Cures' sparks court battle

August 26, 2005:
Would You Buy A Used Cure From This Man?
Crimes and clowns: A look at pitchman Kevin Trudeau's shady past

August 31, 2005:
Judge Refuses to Gag Trudeau Critics

September 9, 2005:
Trudeau is still king of late-night infomercial pitchmen.

Randi's website:

Trudeau sails ahead.

On the Trudeau Matter - two perceptive executives

November 2, 2005:

Kevin Trudeau on Skeptics Dictionairy

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Finding my Religion

Kabbalah scholar Daniel Matt takes the mysticism back to the Aramaic
By David Ian Miller, Special to SF Gate, Tuesday, September 6, 2005

For centuries, the study of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, was considered off-limits to anyone but the most mature scholars. Some believed you could go crazy if you weren't ready to take its powerful truths about the nature of God and reality.

That was, of course, before a wave of Hollywood stars became entranced with the teachings of esoteric Judaism. Now, it seems, anyone can study Kabbalah, even Madonna and Britney Spears.

Noted Kabbalah scholar Daniel Matt was 19 when he read his first few lines of the Zohar, the ancient text that is the foundation for Kabbalah. He's been fascinated by it ever since and is now one of the world's leading Zohar translators.

Matt, 54, spent more than 20 years as a professor, most recently at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and is the author of "Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment," "The Essential Kabbalah" and other popular guides to Jewish mysticism. He is working full time on the first complete English translation of the Zohar based on the original Aramaic text.

Matt recently finished the third of volume of that translation, "The Zohar: Pritzker Edition" (Stanford University Press). The first two volumes are available now, and the third volume, which completes the Zohar's commentary on the book of Genesis, will come out in December.

I understand there's some controversy about when the Zohar, the ancient text that you are translating, was actually written. Can you tell me about that?

Traditional Kabbalists believe that it dates back to early rabbinic times, to the second century, because the main figure in the Zohar is a rabbi who lived then, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. But most scholars think it was actually composed 1,100 years later in Spain in the 13th century. And there is strong evidence for that.

What kind of evidence?
Read the rest of the article and see if you'll find any evidence....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

GrandRoundsL50 is up - Visit The Corpus Callosum

As explained over at The Corpus Callosum the original Grand Rounds used to get a little stuffy as a part of the medical education.

In the Blogosphere Grand Rounds always start with a boring introduction but as the important part, it also includes Medical and Science posts written by doctors, nurses, scientists and a variety of others.

I recommend you to visit The Corpus Callusum; -this week’s edition of Grand Rounds is very educating and valuable to anyone of interest.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Dragon in my Garage

The principle that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" seems to sort out a lot of "anecdotal evidence" and get to the point at once.

An extraordinary claim is one, which is outside what science has discovered. The natural laws are connected. The evidence in one field is supported by evidence in another, take evolution as an example.

If an extraordinary claim were true, we would have to re-evaluate large parts of our worldview. To accept such a claim, the evidence for it must be at least as good as the evidence on which we constructed our worldview. The more extraordinary the claim the more evidence is required.

The difference between an ordinary an a "normal" claim is illustrated by Carl Sagans The Dragon in the Garage, a story from "The Demon Haunted World". Carl Sagan points out that believing an invisible dragon lives in my garage, doesn't make the claim to be true.

What does it mean to say that a Dragon exist if you aren't able to explain what is meant by that. Claims that aren't falsifiable - they cannot be proven wrong - are worthless, whatever value they might have to magical thinking.

In this article from Red Nova called Do Extraordinary Claims Really Require Extraordinary Evidence? they mention Humes argument about the proportionality between the extraordinary claims and the evidence:

Humes argument about the proportionality between the extraordinariness of claims and the evidence necessary to back them up can be interpreted as saying that the a priori probability we attach to miracles is much lower than the a priori probability we grant to any natural phenomenon, because we have daily experience of phenomena that can be explained naturally, and rarely, if ever, do we even need to consider supernatural causes.
Hume’s argument illuminates important points about the relationship between evidence and hypothesis in both science and pseudoscience. Sagan (and other scholars before and after him) was right: extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence.
Maybe it's the process that needs to be extraordinary and not necessarily the final evidence.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Homeopathy exposed - again

I found this interesting link over at Mystery Investigators:

Richard Saunders attended the "World Homeopathy Awareness Week" to se what's going on and this is what he was told:

"Homeopathy can vaccinate your baby against any disease and it's completely safe"

"Well, we have to be careful what we say, you know....but yes, homeopathy is a far better way to vaccinate babies and much safer than what the goverment is doing. Those vaccinations actually cause diseases!"

They were also confronted with chiropractors recommending homeopathic vaccinations over conventional ones, -no big surprise.

Homeopathy is based on the belief that like cures like and vaccination is based on on imperial facts regarding bacteria, viruses and the immune system.

The difference is explained here:

The difference between homeopathy and vaccination is best illustrated by a comparison with nosodes, which are made from active (not deactivated) pathogens, are applied after the onset of a disease to cure it (not before to prevent it), and are administered at zero (not merely low) dosage in a chemical sense.
So Homeopathy and vaccination isn't based on the same principle and they are not to be compared.

No matter how many times homeopathy has been knocked down - it's coming back again and again.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dr. Buttar and his skin cream

I have seen Dr. Buttar mentioned several places on the net, but I didn't know about him until lately. I made a Google on him and found he has a skin cream that he uses to treat autism.

Visiting this web-page I found that he is one of the speakers together with David Kirby (the author of "Evidence of harm") at the 5th casd autism medical conference held in Houston 9/3,4/2005.

DR. RASHID BUTTAR, D.O. - Dr. Buttar is going to address about the safety and effectiveness of TD-DMPS vs. other Chelation methods. Dr. Buttar will announce physician's treatment statement!
Dr. Butter doesn't provide any evidence at his webpage, except from testimonials - I consider them to be anecdotal. If DMPS is not able to pass through skin then it will not damage anyone like chelation in general, which can be deadly.

Therefore, Autism is the result of thimerisol in vaccinations (no study proved this). Then if Autism isn't caused by vaccinations, it could be due to pasteuerized milk or eventually aspartame. If it isn't none of the above then autism could be caused by absence of skin cream. Fortunately, Dr. Buttar figured that out and now offers skin cream. I have no idea, why skin cream would cure autism.

Some excellent writing I found about Dr. Rashid Buttar:
Letter to Dr. Rashid Buttar, Chelationist
Dr. Rashid Buttar on Heavy-Metal Detoxification
Pat Sullivan Blog and
Avoiding scientific delusions

More links:
Diagnostic Chelation Challenge with DMSA: A Biomarker of Long-Term Mercury Exposure?
CBS Autism Report Irresponsible (PLUS CBS REPLY)
Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories
Dubious Mercury Testing

See who links to your web site.