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James Randi Educational Foundation
Last Week on Science Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.

Did a high ranking whistleblower really reveal that the CDC covered up proof that vaccines cause autism in African-American boys? (David Gorski)
Anti-vaccine sources erupted over reports that a whistleblower had confessed to fraud in the CDC, saying that when he and his co-authors published a study 10 years ago, they covered up a link between the MMR vaccine and autism in a subgroup of African-American boys. Anti-vaccine activist Brian Hooker published a flawed, questionable re-analysis of the data. We don’t yet know the whole story, but this appears to be just an ideological tempest in a teacup; and it does nothing to change the scientific consensus on vaccines.

Diet Cults vs. Science-Based Healthy Eating (Harriet Hall)  
In his book Diet Cults, Matt Fitzgerald argues that science has established quite definitively that there is no one healthiest diet: humans evolved to adapt and thrive on a variety of diets. He debunks the Paleo and other popular diets and shows that their advocates are swayed by emotional and moral influences. He proposes an informal diet guide consisting of a hierarchy of healthier-to-less healthy foods that is flexible, accommodates individual preferences, and that most nutrition experts would endorse based on the best available evidence we have at this point.

Bad Science Journals (Steven Novella)  Open-access online journals charge the author to publish. Some of them are fraudulent, falsely representing themselves as peer-reviewed and trading on the reputation of journals formerly published in print. Half of the dubious journals accepted a bogus nonsense article for publication.

Naturopathy vs. Science: Facts Edition (Scott Gavura)  A comparison of naturopathy websites and Wikipedia entries on subjects like homeopathy, adrenal fatigue, candidiasis, and black cohosh is illuminating. Naturopaths claim to base their practice on scientific principles; but it is obvious that they endorse many non-science-based diagnoses and treatments and are often openly antagonistic to science, even saying the scientific method is not applicable to what they do.

A Touch to Fear: Chiropractic and the Newborn Baby (Clay Jones)
Some chiropractors treat newborns and consider themselves qualified to act as pediatric primary care providers. A chiropractor described what he did when called by a midwife to treat a fussy baby right after a home birth. His incompetence was obvious, and the outcome could well have been disastrous. Chiropractors do not have the training to evaluate newborns; chiropractic “adjustments” of newborns are never indicated and could be dangerous.  

 
Martin Rundkvist Reports on Randi PDF Print E-mail
European Tour
Written by Jeff Wagg   

Martin Rundkvist, speaker at TAM 5.5, archaeologist and friend of the JREF, spent some time with Randi during his European tour. He reports:

I spent Tuesday in the charming company of James Randi and his assistant, journalist Brandon Thorp. Myself and P.J. Råsmark had taken it upon ourselves to act as native guides and gophers for Randi during his days in Stockholm at the invitation of the Swedish Skeptics. So in the morning we went cane shopping together, though none of the canes we found were sufficiently antique-looking for our guest, and he seemed to manage effortlessly without one. And then we checked out the Vasa 17th century warship museum, since this is Stockholm's one truly unique attraction as far as I'm aware. (You'll recognise my M.O. from Massimo Polidoro's and Manuel Paz-y-Mino's visit a year ago.) Randi uses the Vasa, which sunk on its maiden voyage due to unrealistic royal demands incorporated into its design, as one of the test cases in his upcoming book Wrong!. In the afternoon there were interviews with Lars Björkvall of Vetenskap & Historia and Christer Sturmark of Humanisten, the latter periodical being a publication of the Swedish Humanist Association.

You can read more at scienceblogs.com.

 
More TAM videos released PDF Print E-mail
Amazing Meeting
Written by Sharon Hill   

More talks and panels come your way from The Amazing Meeting 2014

Sally Satel - Fifty Shades of Gray Matter: Healthy Skepticism and the Illuminated Brain

Donald Prothero - The Mind of the Science Denier

Jamy Ian Swiss - A Year of Skeptic Win

Junk Science, Neuroscience and Psychological Science Panel - Featuring Scott Lillienfeld, Sally Satel, Carol Tavris, Robert Kurzban. Moderated by Sheldon Helms

Elizabeth Loftus - The Memory Factory

See the entire TAM2014 playlist so far on the JREF YouTube Channel. More to come!

 
Two days left to save $50 on the biggest skeptics' event of the year. PDF Print E-mail
Newsflash

// YOU KNOW WHAT IS AMAZ!NG?

Saving $50 on the biggest skeptics' event of the year! But the special early registration pricing ends this Sunday, March 31 so register now and lock in the savings. »

Read more...
 
Where have we gone? PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Sharon Hill   

Yes, the updates are few these days but I wanted to post to let you know that we are working behind the scenes to improve the current website to make it more user friendly and easier to read. 

We decided not to add new content to the existing layout but take a bit of an online rest to plan out new content for the site. 

If you are interested in being a Swift blog contributor, send your proposal to the Editor (that would be me) at Editor@randi.org. I will start lining up contributors and articles regarding critical thinking education, skeptical activism, investigations, commentary and news. Also note that Doubtful News content will be coming to the JREF. 

Thanks for your patience.

Sharon
Content Editor

 
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