Tag Archives: Homeopathy

TheESP – Ep. #170 – Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Nonsense

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In this week’s episode we talk about ‘kwakzalverij’, the Pope’s new Olympic ambitions (and female football team) and other papal adventures. There are steep fines coming for German vaccination dodgers and a study finds that absence of evidence is evidence on non-sense.
MedWatch gets the Carl Sagan award, there is another example of vegan parents that jeopardize the lives of their children and French authorities are stepping up the fight against homeopathy (Boiron is not happy).
We also look into whether the code of the Voynich manuscript really has been broken and how another populist right wing party tries to score points by questioning climate change.
We end with awarding a Really Right to a football player for not wanting to take advantage of how hard it really is to understand the odds of gambling.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:49 Greetings

A correction about the Heinz Oberhummer award and special greeting from Pilip Schunke, the winner of the SkepKon raffle! Plus our Patreon page now have different levels of support, check it out!

00:08:01 This Week in Skepticism

On 15 May 2009, the Dutch organization Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (VTDK) won a court case regardning to use of the word Kwacksalver (‘quack’) when describing certain so called ‘health providers’.

00:14:35 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis goes for the Olympics, praises Mother Teresa and makes reporting abuse mandatory – but gets it wrong.

00:21:00 Skeptical News

GERMANY: A new bill aiming to threat parents refusing vaccination for their kids with fines

SWITZERLAND: Youtube health advice – The Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Non-Sense

GERMANY: The Carl Sagan Award (1000 EUR prize) goes to MedWatch – Award ceremony at SkepKon

SWEDEN: Another child suffer from parents insisting on vegan food

FRANCE: French authorities likely to stop reimbursements for homeopathic remedies soon

UK: Voynich manuscript deciphered?

GERMANY: AfD aims for political gains by denying climate change

00:57:21 Really Right

Football player Kim Källström, for not promoting gambling

01:02:53 Radio Spot

01:04:33 Quote and Goodbye
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
/Maria Skłodowska-Curie, 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934, Polish-born scientist and two-times Nobel laureate/

01:06:11 Outro

01:07:26 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #166 – A Black Hole, Two Popes and HPV vaccination works

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This week we celebrate the first picture of a black hole, Samuel Hahnemann’s birthday and the fact that we can poke two Popes in one week. HPV vaccination is shown to really work, a Spanish Bishop sells gay ‘cure’ courses, babies cannot live on sunshine and laughter and in Hungary you better follow the vaccination schedule for your child.
Also: Fines for Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edzard Ernst goes to a SCAM conference, Norwegian government anonymizes job applications and NHS in the UK takes further steps against homeopathy.
Finally, it turns out that Scotland has some strange rules that give the church a bypass on democracy.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope(s); 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

First picture of a black hole! Pontus argues with climate change deniers after a panel debate during the Science Festival in Gothenburg; The Uncertainty Handbook needs translators

00:15:19 This Week in Skepticism

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (German: [ˈhaːnəman]; 10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) was a German physician, best known for creating the pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.

00:24:01 Pontus Pokes the Pope(s)

Double whammy! Pope Benedict comes back for a rematch as Francis tells a student not to ask so many dumb questions

00:30:43 Skeptical News

SCOTLAND: HPV immunisation of 12 and 13-year-old girls has led to 89% decline in disease

SPAIN: Bishop in ‘gay cure’ controversy defended by church

SWEDEN: Baby almost dies from a diet of vegan food and sunshine

HUNGARY: Hungarian couple’s appeal rejected at the Constitutional Court regarding their vaccine exemption

SWEDEN: Follow up from 2 weeks ago: Jehovah’s witness who showed homophobic films gets 4000 Euro fine

FRANCE: Edzard Ernst on SCAM practice in France

NORWAY: Government wants to anonymize job applications

UK: Homeopathy prescribing set to be blacklisted under NHS England plans

00:57:19 Really Wrong

Unelected church representatives in local Scottish councils

01:03:19 Radio Spot

Laura Brennan, HPV vaccination champion

01:01:29 Quote and Goodbye
“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”
/Charles Darwin, 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882, English naturalist, geologist and biologist/

01:04:05 Outro

01:05:20 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #165 – April fools, Rigvir Scandal and Unicorn Awards

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This week we talk about some great April Fools’ pranks, we look at the Vatican’s new child abuse law, mumps outbreak in Madrid, climate change models being validated in new observations. We get a first report on why the fake cancer cure Rigvir is being banned (look out for more Rigvir news in the future), we look at how Catholic priests are burning books in Poland, how there’s a battle between Russian homeopaths and skeptics and whether the recent Swedish CAM inquiry is good news or not. The French academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have suddenly discovered that homeopathy is not a thing, Portuguese Skeptics COMCEPT has presented this year’s Unicorn Awards and the new Italian government again demonstrates that they are anti-science.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

More dodgy research on homeopathy for Dengue Fever; Elections in Ukraine; Does health matter in the European Parliament elections?; COMCEPT Manifesto; Debating Anthroposophs in Sweden; Reminder of the SkepKon raffle – Send an email to us and you can win a ticket!

  • https://edzardernst.com/2019/03/more-dodgy-research-on-homeopathy-for-dengue-fever/
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47767440
  • https://epha.org/does-health-matter-in-the-european-parliament-elections/
  • http://comcept.org/2019/03/26/manifesto-saude/

00:15:36 This Week in Skepticism

April Fools’ 2019: Internet Pranks

00:22:07 Pontus Pokes the Pope

New Vatican law against abuse – not going far enough

00:26:09 Skeptical News

SPAIN: Mumps outbreak in Madrid: Dozens of cases reported at Pontifical University of Comillas

UKRAINE: Rate of measles in Ukraine is rising again: 35K cases reported year-to-date

SWEDEN: Climate change: Average temps in the north rising faster than global temps

LATVIA / WORLD: Fake cancer drug Rigvir banned

POLAND: PONTUS: Catholic Priests in Poland Burn Harry Potter Books to Eradicate Evil

RUSSIA: Russian homeopaths strike again (twice) in virology journal — and a skeptic strikes right back

SWEDEN: Government Inquiry about CAM

FRANCE: The French Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have just ousted homeopathy

PORTUGAL: Prémio Unicórnio Voador 2018 (Unicorn Awards)

00:59:59 Really Wrong

Italian Government to stop issuing vaccination certificates

01:03:19 Quote and Goodbye
“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”
/ Oscar wilde, Irish poet and playwright /

01:04:32 Outro

01:05:47 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #162 – Canali on Mars, Pell in jail and the Daily Mail gets it right

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No shortage of interesting topics after two interview episodes in a row!

In this episode: ‘Canali’ on Mars (or rather not), we catch up on the Pope and especially Cardinal Pell, a huge study that disproves the link between vaccines and autism, Amazon and Facebook take a stand against anti-vaccers, successful Swedish fights against colloidal silver and anthroposophy, the Hungarian government stabs science in the back, Elsevier gets further pushback on their outrageous pricing models and Hungarian pharmacies will inform all customers that homeopathic preparations have not effect.
Plus, by mistake or divine intervention, The Daily Mail publishes a scientifically correct article!
Leonardo da Vinci sends us off by reminding us that even 500 years ago, some people realised how necessary it is to conduct experiments.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:02:09 This Week in Skepticism

Astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, born 14 March 1835, believed he had discovered ‘canali‘ on Mars, which started long-lived speculations about life on Mars.

00:09:33 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Lots of developments to catch up with, mostly about sex. Also Francis makes clear that he is NOT a feminist… (shocker!)

00:18:07 Skeptical News

DENMARK: Major study shows no link between measles vaccine and autism

ICELAND: Measles epidemic reaches Iceland

INTERNATIONAL: Amazon takes down ‘Vaxxed’ from their store… but not in Europe

INTERNATIONAL: Facebook to take steps against antivaxx content

SWEDEN: Colloidal silver banned from major distributor ‘Life’ after scandal

UK / GERMANY: Millions spent on useless alternative cancer “treatment”

SWEDEN: Anthroposophical hospital “Vidarkliniken” will close down

HUNGARY: It’s a deal – the Hungarian Academy of Sciences loses control over funding research

INTERNATIONAL: University of California boycotts publishing giant Elsevier

HUNGARY: Pharmacies to inform patients about the lack of efficacy of homeopathic products upon selling them

00:48:17 Really Right

The Daily Mail (!) for bashing statin deniers

00:50:43 Quote and Goodbye
“Experiment is the interpreter of nature. Experiments never deceive. It is our judgment which sometimes deceives itself because it expects results which experiment refuses. We must consult experiment, varying the circumstances, until we have deduced general rules, for experiment alone can furnish reliable rules.”
/Leonardo da Vinci, famous Italian guy/

00:52:55 Outro

00:54:10 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. #157 – Oliver Lodge, 10 years of Merseyside Skepticism and more Macchiarini

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The band is back together for a new week of skeptical reports.
On this week: Oliver Lodge did not manage to prove psychics right, Pope Francis still believes in in celibacy (although his priests do not seem to), Natalie Grams is awarded Die Goldenen Blogger Prize, PSIRAM starts a skeptical blog series, Merseyside Skeptics celebrates 10 years in July and Spanish researchers (nobody expects the Spanish researchers!) tries to convince us about homeopathy.
Meanwhile, nobody has noticed(!) that the Macchiarini investigation has gone missing.
Enjoy!

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

Susan Gerbic and Mark Edward are coming to the UK in April. Stewart Adams, inventor of a working(!) hangover cure, Ibuprofen, dies a 95.

00:05:55 This Week in Skepticism

On 10 February 1947, Oliver Lodge‘s last letter was opened, failing to prove that psychics are real. https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/science-and-technology/physics-biographies/sir-oliver-joseph-lodge

00:16:58 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Pope agrees with pope: Celebacy is “more important than life“. Sex abuse investigator of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Hermann Geissler, is (surprise, surprise) a sex offender himself and has to leave his position. Obviously he didn’t get the memo.

00:25:04 Skeptical News

GERMANY: Natalie Grams wins Die Goldenen Blogger Prize

GERMANY: The PSIRAM blog just launched a series of skeptical articles (Guide for Skeptics)

UK: Merseyside Skeptics celebrating 10 years (and what a fruitful 10 years it has been)

SPAIN: Spanish researchers publish seemingly convincing study on Homeopathy

00:38:10 Really Wrong:

SWEDEN: The Macchiarini investigation has gone missing

00:43:07 Radio spots

00:44:51 Quote
“We must trust to nothing but facts: These are presented to us by Nature, and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.”
/ Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, French chemist.

00:47:09 Outro

00:48:24 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. #150 – Antivax Italian politicians, Russian homeopathy and baby acupuncture

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Intro

00:00:55 Greetings

00:06:16 This Week in Skepticism

1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon (or any other planetary body outside Earth).

00:09:45  Pontus Pokes the Pope

Cardinal George Pell in court for charges of sexual misconduct towards children.

00:15:58 Skeptical News from around Europe

  1. Italy: Italy’s anti-vax health minister fires 30 experts from Higher Health Council
  2. Russia: Homeopathy in disguise
  3. Sweden: Macchiarini charged in court after all
    • https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/overaklagaren-fattar-beslut-om-paolo-macchiarini/
  4. UK: Charity Commission publishes new guidelines for CAM charities
  5. Spain: The Skeptical Circle of Spain announces winners of the Pepe Cervera and the José Carlos Pérez Cobo prize.
  6. Sweden: Baby Acupuncture against Colic
  7. Belgium: Belgian authorities investigate case of autistic woman’s euthanasia

00:43:20 Really Right

  • Ovidiu Covaciu, educating people about vaccinations in a Facebook group.

00:46:38 Quote

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”
/Taylor Swift, American singer and songwriter/

00:48:01 Outro

00:49:16 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #147 – Frankie eats lasagna, heroes of science comm & Spanish government fighting CAM

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This week our three hosts discuss a great number of things including how a delusional German physician got away with killing people, and how Pope Francis thinks right to tackle poverty.
Loads of good news this week:
The John Maddox Prize goes to Britt Hermes and Terry Hughes this year, ARP-SAPC reaches 20 years of activity, the Spanish government moves against pseudo-therapies in health care, the BBC upholds the Good Thinking Society’s complaint about a homeopathy-related phone-in and ComCept awards journalist Vera Novais for advocating science as opposed to nonsense. Also, on the less positive side, we report on child marriages no longer being recognised in Sweden, no matter what the culture of the country of origin is, authors of a paper based on a national survey into CAM use in the UK suggest NHS funding for bogus therapies and christian parents threatening legal action for something that wasn’t what it looked like.
And the Norwegian Labour Party gets this week’s Really Right prize for suggesting the revoking of VAT excemption for alternative medicinal practices.

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

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

00:06:21 This Week in Skepticism

Josef M. Issels (November 21, 1907 – February 11, 1998) was a German physician known for promoting an alternative cancer therapy regimen, the Issels treatment. He claimed to cure cancer patients who had been declared incurable by conventional cancer treatments.

00:15:59 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis eats lasagna with the poor and then says the world will end.

00:26:23 Skeptical News

UK: John Maddox Prize announced for 2018

SPAIN: ARP-SAPC publishes number 50 of The Skeptical magazine for the promotion of reason and science, it was published the first in June 1998, more than 20 years ago.

SPAIN: Spain moves to ban pseudo-therapies from universities and health centers

UK: BBC upholds Good Thinking complaint against BBC Radio Leeds homeopathy phone-in

UK: National survey of CAM-use ends up suggesting NHS funding for alternative therapies?

SWEDEN: Child marriages no longer recognised in Sweden

PORTUGAL: ComCept Award for Science Journalism goes to Vera Novais

UK: Legal action from Christian parents to stop school’s LBTQ-parade

00:49:58 Really Right: Norwegian Labour party suggests revoking Alt Med VAT exemption

00:55:46 Quote

“Every time we let ourselves believe for unworthy reasons, we weaken our powers of self-control, of doubting, of judicially and fairly weighing evidence. We all suffer severely enough from the maintenance and support of false beliefs and the fatally wrong actions which they lead to, and the evil born when one such belief is entertained is great and wide.”
/William Kingdon Clifford/

00:57:46 QSoW Ad

00:59:17 Outro

01:00:32 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #144 – No Zero Tolerance for Abuse

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Join us to hear about Pope Francis’ failing October synod, Galileo and how homeopathy is getting a really hard beating in Spain. In other news the Good Thinking Society fights Goop, EU tries (but fail) to get statistics about the anti-vaxx movement and how science is hard: Contrary to what you have heard humans have not wiped out 60% of all vertebrates and an organic diet has not been proved to prevent cancer.

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

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

Show Notes:
00:00:28 Greetings

00:03:45 This Week in Skepticism: Galileo was right! (31 October 1992)

00:07:10 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis called for a synod in October that refused to agree on “zero tolerance” against abuse.

00:12:54 Skeptical News

UK: The Good Thinking Society reports Goop to UK authorities on 113 (at least) counts

EUROPE: Anti-vaxxers in Europe – important but flawed EU report

INTERNATIONAL: Organic food does not prevent cancer

WORLD: Statistics is hard: We may not have wiped out 60 % of animals after all

SPAIN: Homeopathy needs evidence to be sold in Spain

00:35:40 Really Wrong: Social media stops sex ed campaign

00:38:26 Farewell

00:43:00 Outro

00:44:15 Out-takes