Tag Archives: Edzard Ernst

TheESP – Ep. #186 – European Skeptics Congress 2019, part 1

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This week it was Congress time! András and Pontus (unfortunately, no Jelena) spent a wonderful weekend in Ghent, Belgium, at the European Skeptics Congress 2019, where they had a blast!
At the ESC 2019 there were talks by prominent skeptics and plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
The result for the podcast is several interviews recorded on-site, with more to come later on. If you were there and met with us, we thank you for doing so! If not, there will be more opportunities in the future.
Until then, here are this week’s interviews, with even more to come on later episodes.
Enjoy!

Interviews in this episode: Edzard Ernst, Christine Mohr, Ovidiu Covaciu

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interviews; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:13:55 Interview: Prof. Edzard Ernst, emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter

Title of ESC presentation: The battle against SCAM. Are we winning?

Abstract: What do governments and health organisations like WHO do against quackery?
Given the common use of quackery in virtually all countries, one would expect that governments and international organisations like the WHO would have developed effective strategies to limit its prevalence and minimise the harm quackery unquestionably does. Sadly, very few such initiatives seem to exist. Those organisations that actively fight quackery tend not to be run by governments but rely on private, altruistic initiatives. The WHO even has been responsible for several actions that arguably are not fighting but promoting quackery. This lecture will review several recent examples. It is concluded that governments and the WHO have, in the past, turned a blind eye to quackery. In the interest of public health, this situation has to change.

His new book: https://edzardernst.com/2019/08/my-new-book-alternative-medicine-a-critical-assessment-of-150-modalities/

00:22:49 Interview: Christine Mohr, professor in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland .

Title of ESC presentation: When using magicians to study how paranormal beliefs come about

Abstract: Humans belief, in many things. Popular are supernatural beliefs, hotly debated by believers and skeptics alike. Psychologists reported on various variables that correlate with such beliefs (e.g., appreciation of chance, more open to experiences). Yet, these latter studies are correlational unable to convey whether existing beliefs predict the appreciation of chance  (e.g., becoming more associative), or whether being more associative predicts the formation or reinforcement of paranormal beliefs. Over the last years, we performed several series in which we investigated the causality of belief change / reinforcement. In these studies, a magician performed a central event (e.g., a medium talking to a dead person, pseudo-scientific mind reading). Therefore, we could compare psychological variables we assessed before and after the event (tackling causality). Also, we could assess which pre-existing variables (e.g., paranormal beliefs, associative processing) predicted paranormal interpretations. Performing all studies in the classroom, we observed an overall high willingness to accept what the persons had just seen. In one study, around 65% considered that they had witnessed a genuine psychic event. Higher paranormal beliefs and affective reactions predicted a higher endorsement of a psychic explanation. Seeing how easily people are convinced by what they see, we are now starting to “debunking” participants in order to test which pre-performance information we have to provide to render participants more critical as to what is presented to their eyes. We assume that once the magician spells the beans, the belief in what one sees should be gone.

Link: https://applicationspub.unil.ch/interpub/noauth/php/Un/UnPers.php?PerNum=1116121

00:34:51 Interview: Ovidiu Covaciu, Activist against anti-vaxxers, Romania

Title of ESC presentation: The antivaccination activists, misinformation and the damage done

Abstract: Europe is facing a resurgence of preventable disease as anti-vaccine movements from across the continent are growing This talk will focus on the tactics the AV movement uses to gain influence, followers and political power. It will also discuss how to approach, counteract and fight against the AV movement, how to recruit experts by your side, turn the tide and save lives.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vaccinuri/

00:55:15 Farewell

00:59:39 Outro

01:00:54 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #182 – Anthroposophical Ups and Downs

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This week we reflect on the current heatwave and on climate change, we give a shout-out to James Randi who turned 91 this week(!) and Pontus pokes the pope for letting his Archbishops lash out against vulnerable minorities.
In the news it’s confirmed (again) that vaccinations have nothing to do with autism, we hear how Anthroposophy nuts has managed to weasel their way into the University of Basel and how pseudoscience for children is fought by good people in Spain.
Retraction Watch is turning nine years and you should support them and again in Spain there are good forces working against pseudoscience by cleverly promoting policies regarding homeopathy. Finally, we deliver a Really Right award to the Swedish government who as of 1 September has rendered the Anthroposophy-nonsense history in Sweden.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Radio Spots; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:37 Intro

00:01:00 Greetings

There are heatwaves everywhere and guess what? We are to blame. Edzard Ernst has a new boo out and you can bring your copy to Ghent in a couple of weeks to get it signed!

00:11:19 This Week in Skepticism

On 7 August 1928 James Randi, ‘Grandfather of Skepticism’, was born. Happy birthday and many happy returns!

00:15:14 Pontus Pokes the Pope – In Poland, ‘Rainbow plague’ is the new threat replacing communism.

00:27:08 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: A new study reinforces the conclusion that autism is primarily genetic

SWITZERLAND: A chair of anthroposophical medicine at the University of Basel

SPAIN: Position Statement From The Spanish Association Of Paediatrics Medicines Committee Concerning The Use Of Alternative Medicine And Pseudo-Science In Children

INTERNATIONAL: Retraction Watch turning nine years

SPAIN / EUROPE: Spain wants EU law changed that classifies homeopathy as medicine, and you should help!

00:45:33 Really Right: The end of Anthroposophical ‘medicine’ in Sweden!

00:51:33 Radio Spots

00:53:45 Closing remarks, Quote and Goodbye

Seven games to teach kids Fact-checking

Quote:
“Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. In days gone by, there were people who said to us: ‘You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to; now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so.’ Nothing could be more convincing. Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”
/ François-Marie Arouet, AKA Voltaire, French writer and philosopher/

00:59:21 Outro

01:00:36 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #159 – Fake News by Orban, German court vs Heilpraktiker 1-0 & Brian Bashing the Bishop

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In the abscence of Pontus, Jelena and Andras are joined by Brian Eggo to bring you a new show full of news and interesting topics including two events coming up (SkepKon 2019 in Germany and the 3rd Symposium on Science and Pseudoscience in Elche).
We also talk about the British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee’s milestone Evidence Check documents that is now part of skeptical history, then we move on to discussing Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban and how EU leaders now simply call his anti-migration and anti-Soros propaganda “Fake News” while he continues to break down the institutions of science in the country. We also chat about Edzard Ernst’s recommendation for a skeptical analysis in general and then bring the good news of a German court ruling against a SCAM practitioner for using false claims in their advertisements.
The Really Wrong price goes to the Catholic Church for being sloppy in their investigations regarding miracles performed by their saints.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Wrong; Radio Spot; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:11:16 This Week in Skepticism

The British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee published its damning Evidence Check on homeopathy on Feb. 22, 2010.

00:15:11 Skeptical News

HUNGARY: High-ranking EU politicians call out Viktor Orban on his “Fake News” propaganda.

INTERNATIONAL: What can consumers do when they are confronted with confusing or contradictory evidence? Advise fromEdzard Ernst.

FRANCE: French Judge Refuses to Block Catholic Sex Scandal Movie

GERMANY: German consumer association stops alternative Health Practitioners from treating cancer

00:44:34 Really Wrong

John Henry Newman: Second miracle approved as sainthood looms – and the Catholic Church claims to have them confirmed

00:53:40 Radio spot

00:54:49 Quote
“It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.”
/Dame Hilary Mary Mantel, English writer/

00:56:13 Outro

00:57:28 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #156 – Edzard Ernst, Click to Pray, deaths by pseudotherapies and vaccination news

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This week we bring you lots news and topics from across Europe including Annika Merkelbach’s interview on Skeptical Inquirer’s website with Natalie Grams, whose book has just been published in English, Edzard Ernst‘s birthday, a praying application issued by the Vatican called “Click to Pray“, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to deal with reported non-reportings of clinical trials, a great achievement by Ben Goldacre and the AllTrials campaign (one of the great projects of Sense about Science), how 1 on 20 adults in Britain do not believe the Holocaust actually happened, a Spanish report estimating deaths by pseudotherapies, BARF – special food for your pets as part of the raw food movement, a dangerous book just published with the title ‘Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach’, the Ministry of Health in Ukraine finally taking action to tackle the measles epidemic in the country and the Swedish government deciding to finally include Chicken pox vaccinations in the national program.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Guerilla Skepticism; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:26 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:03:51 This Week in Skepticism

Edzard Ernst, born 30 January 1948.

00:10:25 Pontus Pokes the Pope

God comes on-line: Francis launches “Click to Pray“.
Plus what to look out for before the Bishops meeting in February.

00:16:23 Skeptical News

UK: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on board with AllTrials done by universities to be reported

UK: Holocaust remembrence day: New poll finds one in 20 adults in Britain do not believe it happened

SPAIN: Estimation of how many deaths could be traced back to pseudotherapies

DENMARK / GERMANY: BARF for your pets!

INTERNATIONAL: Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach

UKRAINE: Finally, actual action plans by the Ministry of Health to tackle disaster

00:47:47 Really Right:

SWEDEN: Chickenpox vaccinations to (finally) be included in national program

00:52:03 Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

00:53:34 Quote
“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”
/ Immanuel Kant,German philosopher

00:54:34 Outro

00:55:49 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #155 – Bacon, probiotics, the danger of acupuncture and the rise of anti-fluoridation

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This week we’re back to bring you news and info about a wide range of topics including Francis Bacon and his importance in the development of #science, how the ‘good pope’ John Paul II was a misogynist, why we admire the works of Sense about Science so much and how they came up with yet another campaign that deserves much attention (the ‘Evidence Hunter Activity Pack’), how facilitated communication is a thing in Sweden despite all the evidence that suggests it does not work at all, why we should be cautious with consuming #probiotics (thanks to Prof. Edzard Ernst for the heads up), plus Skepkon 2019, the German annual conference for skeptics organised by gwup | die skeptiker is coming up, while a Swedish acupuncturist is on trial for almost killing two patients and the county of Killarney in Ireland calls to remove #fluoride from drinking water, despite the lack of any indications that it could be harmful (while its benefits are many).

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:04:33 This Week in Skepticism

Francis Bacon: English philosopher and Statesman, born on 22 January 1561.

00:09:54 Pontus Pokes the Pope

John Paul II once refused to shake Irish President’s hand because she was not a man, and Cardinal Arborelius threatens to leave Swedish Missionary Council because of abortions.

00:16:28 Skeptical News

UK: New educational material developed by Sense About Science: Evidence Hunter Activity Pack

SWEDEN: Facilitated communication

INTERNATIONAL: Probiotics are not risk free

GERMANY: Tickets released for SkepKon 2019

SWEDEN: Acupuncturist on trial for almost killing two customers

00:38:28 Really Wrong: IRELAND: Killarney Council wants to ban water flouridation

00:41:07 Farewell

00:43:04 Quote
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
/Francis Bacon

00:43:54 Outro

00:45:09 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #153 – New year resolutions, dating the World and standing up for Science

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Two weeks into the new year, our first episode of 2019 is finally hear and we can only hope it was worth the wait.
With the whole team together again, we are bringing you topics related to the New Year, including resolutions and hangovers, plus some science history and how James Ussher determined the age of the world (incorrectly), how Pope Francis tries to talk about families when the church is in turmoil over sex abuse scandals, a design company standing up for science in Italy, where the resigning head of the National Institute of Health slams the anti-science government, organ donation becoming opt-out in Ireland, Natalie Grams getting a nomination for the Golden Blogger award with her Twitter account, a new petition to sue French government over inaction on Climate change, Edzard Ernst‘s new book SCAM coming out in German, a new Spanish award for standing up for Science, an update on Measles and Vetenskap och Folkbildning announcing winners of the Enlightener and Bewilderer of the Year awards.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:16:08 This week in Skepticism

00:24:09 Pontus Pokes the Pope
The (52nd) “World day of Peace”

00:28:01 Skeptical News

00:51:42 Really Wrong

SWEDEN: Bewilderer of the year 2018: Thomas Erikson
https://www.vof.se/blogg/arets-folkbildare-och-forvillare-2018/

00:57:39 Quote and Farewell

00:59:35 Outro

01:00:48 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #117 – Attack on our website, great minds, MMS, apitherapy and other quackeries

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

00:06:40 This Week in Skepticism

00:14:47 Skeptical News

00:40:59 Really Wrong

00:47:04 Quote

“If many a man did not feel obliged to repeat what is untrue, because he has said it once, the world would have been quite different.”
/Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, writer and philosopher/

00:48:22 Outro

00:49:37 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #107 – Memories & predictions, LSD, disease outbreak prevention & animal brothels

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This week we make predictions regarding upcoming books by Edzard Ernst, talk about the future of fact-checking, discuss the works of Peter Boghosian, remember the father of LSD Albert Hofmann, then go on to our news items including the wrong-doings of Paolo Macchiarini, the measles epidemic in Sweden, the latest Swedish Skeptic Awards, how Facebook could be used to prevent disease outbreaks, the ‘Turmeric story’, Psiram the German wiki of irrational believes turns 10, year review of Retraction Watch, a book review on Science Based Medicine, The Conservative Tribune spreading misinformation about migration and ‘aminal brothels’. We finish with an important quote from Galileo Galilei.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; The Week in Skepticism; News; Farewell; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:28 Greetings

Edzard Ernst to release two books this year:

Peter Boghossian’s and James Lindsay’s Conceptual penis controversy:

00:20:09 This Week in Skepticism

Creator of LSD Albert Hoffman was born on 11 January 1906

00:27:25 Skeptical News

  • SWEDEN:Macchiarini may be prosecuted after all – twice!

https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/macchiarinis-operationer-ska-granskas-igen/ https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/lansstyrelsen-anmaler-macchiarini-for-djurplageri/

  • SWEDEN:Measles epidemic far from over in Sweden

https://omni.se/ledare-stor-skandal-att-bebisar-har-utsatts/a/6nkz6W https://www.sydsvenskan.se/2018-01-03/vardpersonal-ska-fa-vaccin-mot-masslingen https://www.sydsvenskan.se/2018-01-03/ytterligare-ett-masslingsfall–13-smittad

  • SWEDEN:Swedish Skeptics awards for 2017

http://www.vof.se/blogg/arets-folkbildare-och-forvillare-2017/

  • INTERNATIONAL: Facebook could stop disease outbreaks?

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-facebook-disease-outbreak.html http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/15/138/20170783

  • UK:“The cancer industry is a medical conspiracy against humanity” (The Turmeric story)

http://edzardernst.com/2018/01/the-cancer-industry-is-a-medical-conspiracy-against-humanity-the-turmeric-story/

http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2017/bcr-2016-218148.full

  • GERMANY: Psiram, the German wiki of irrational belief is 10 years old

https://blog.gwup.net/2017/12/28/zehn-jahre-psiram/

https://www.psiram.com

  • INTERNATIONAL: Retraction Watch in review for 2017

http://retractionwatch.com/2017/12/29/2017-retraction-watch-year-review-hint-database-nearly-done/

http://retractiondatabase.org/(X(1)S(trnfzk5z331gydcynym02pqc))/RetractionSearch.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

  • INTERNATINAL: (BOOK) Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/rigor-mortis-whats-wrong-with-medical-science-and-how-to-fix-it/

00:55:36 Really Wrong:

ConservativeTribune.com spreading misinformation about migration

01:03:30 Quote
“I have never met a man so ignorant that I could not learn something from him.” /Galileo Galilei/

01:06:08 Outro

01:07:22 Outtakes