Category Archives: Woo

The problem with E.T.

It’s statistically possible (and likely even in our own solar system) for there to be life on other planets, even intelligent life for that matter. But because our universe is so vast, the likelihood of our species making any contact with another intelligent alien species is extremely remote… I’m just being realistic.

The next closest star Alpha Centauri takes 4 years for its light to reach us, this would make space travel very difficult for the long distances it would take to make physical contact. And even if they had the technology to visit, what would compel such a highly advanced alien race to seek us out?

Here’s the problem with our simplistic view on aliens in the universe. Typically pop culture displays them as being only about a few hundred years more advanced than we are. The reality is the universe is vastly old, 13.4 billion years and counting. It would not be entirely improbable that a potential visiting alien species would be millions of years more advanced than us.

A species that was theoretically 5 million years more advanced than us would be unfathomably ahead in technology and we wouldn’t even comprehend the advancements that they were making. There would be technology we would have no idea would be even possible. As for those ancient aliens conspiracy theories, it is laugh worthy to think that a highly advanced alien species would visit this planet and not leave a massive technological imprint on our species in the process; that is if they did decide to help us out.

It’s safe to assume that any reasonable person has at one time or another gazed up at the night sky and dreamed of what or  who was out there just waiting to be discovered. Afterall, it would be fantastic to finally answer the question “are we alone in the universe?” Optimistically most likely we aren’t, but chances are we will never meet. Even if they did visit us, would we even know it or be worth their time?

AAPN on Chiropractic

“Chiropractic is a freak offshoot from osteopathy. Disease, say the chiropractors, is due to pressure on the spinal nerves; ergo it can be cured by “adjusting” the spinal column. It is the sheerest quackery, and those who profess to teach it make their appeal to the cupidity of the ignorant. Its practice is in no sense a profession but a trade – and a trade that is potent for great harm. It is carried on almost exclusively by those of no education, ignorant of anatomy, ignorant even of the fundamental sciences on which the treatment of disease depends.”
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1913

Chiropractic is considered to be one of the most accepted forms of quackery practiced in alternative medicine and, unfortunately, ACTUAL medicine as well. It is responsible for major injuries like arterial tearing/strokes, major nerve damage, fractures, infections due to poor sanitation practices, haphazard and poor regulatory practices, poor or incorrect medical advice, and every year is associated with preventable death and serious bodily harm.

The history of chiropractic began in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer of Iowa performed an apparent neck adjustment on a partially deaf janitor, Harvey Lillard. Mr. Palmer claimed that this subtle neck adjustment completely restored Mr. Lillard’s hearing; although this makes absolutely zero anatomical sense as the nerves for your hearing do not intersect your neck. This experience led Palmer to open a school of chiropractic two years later. Rev. Samel Weed later coined the word “chiropractic” from Greek roots.

Similar to the idea of chi practice where they believe in energy flow disruptions causing the root of all illness, “vertebral subluxation” is the misalignment of the spinal column which leads to body dysfunction, disease, and interferes with the bodies “innate intelligence”. Granted many chiropractic care providers choose to ignore the origins and bases for chiropractic, the problem is there are major inconsistencies with care provided by Chiropractic clinicians.

Chiropractors are not medical doctors or medical professionals and have a very short schooling period that varies from school to school depending on that particular institution’s ideology and curricula. A United States Department of Education staff analysis found that the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) was not in compliance with 44 of the criteria for accrediting agencies outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations. This included failure to comply with regulations governing conflicts of interest, record keeping, processing of student complaints and the adequacy of its site review of accredited chiropractic colleges. The schooling they do receive has shown to be suspect and contrary to accepted scientific facts and evidence. A survey of a 1999–2000 cross-section of students of CMCC reported that fourth-year students opposed vaccination more strongly than first-year’s, with 29.4% of fourth-year’s opposing vaccination. So when it comes to being a “healthcare provider” this is extremely contradictory and dangerous.

Chiropractic Care and Placebo have historically scored about the exact same but there has been an egregious lack in clinical trials and studies. The research on chiropractic has been far from rigorous unsurprisingly. One of the problems is that studies of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) can’t be double blinded, and it is very difficult to even do single blinding. So most studies resort to non-manipulation control groups like “usual care” or “wait list” or “pain medication.” Those studies are practically guaranteed to lead to false positive conclusions: they make SMT look more effective than it would look if you could provide a control that patients couldn’t distinguish from real SMT. This has been one of the ways Chiropractic has been able to get away with their claims consistently without having to provide burden of proof and efficacy. Chiropractic usually goes hand-in-hand with naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbalism, holistic care, and other unfounded alternative medicine practices.
Therefore Chiropractic is not a recognized form of Medical Science and is not based upon empirical evidence but on anecdotal testimony.

One of the best ways to see this is by using what is known as Hill’s criteria. Sir Austin Bradford Hill established contemporary epidemiology as strength (strength of association), consistency, specificity, temporality (temporal sequence), dose response, experi-
mental evidence, biological plausibility, coherence, and
analogy. They form the fundamental prerequisites and assessment criteria of the cause-effect relationship. In reguards to Chiropratic, Hill’s criteria are the most commonly used epidemiologic model for suggesting a causal link for any diagnostic or treatment approach. There is a significant lack of evidence in the literature to fulfill Hill’s criteria of causation with regards to the chiropractic subluxation. No supportive evidence is found for the chiropractic subluxation being associated with any disease process or of creating suboptimal health conditions requiring intervention. Regardless of popular appeal this leaves the subluxation construct in the realm of unsupported speculation. This lack of supportive evidence suggests the subluxation construct has no valid clinical applicability.

Sources:

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/chirostroke.html

Coroner’s Jury Concludes That Neck Manipulation Killed Canadian Woman.

Did chiropractic neck manipulation kill Katie May?

http://www.chirobase.org/15News/lewis.html

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X08009511?via%3Dihub

Dept. of Education to Council on Chiropractic Education: “Straighten Up!”

An epidemiological examination of the subluxation construct using Hill’s criteria of causation, 2009

https://chiromt.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1746-1340-17-13?site=chiromt.biomedcentral.com

A Credible Placebo Control for Chiropractic Research

The David Wolfe Formula to social media success

You probably have a contact among your Facebook friends that has shared some of Wolfe’s content, as some of it is quite interesting for people who don’t follow fan pages specialized in science and technology, it could be a post about a weather-proof bag, camping equipment made with top-notch technology, a quote, a motivational unfunded phrase with a false analogy as its premise or a way-too-good-to-be-true bag that makes marshmallows out of thin air.
These kind of posts are what make most of his social media posts, and this is not a simple coincidence, by making a seemingly trustworthy page people who don’t usually fact-check what they share get engaged with him and his content, which sooner or later will include some of his pseudoscientific nonsense that made him famous in skeptic circles a few years ago (which we will be referring to as core content), but, as most of his regular content seems to be true and interesting, people that discovered his page through the “other content” will end up accepting the core content without much questioning.
People tend to trust well composed videos and rich multimedia content that is both visually pleasing and easy to understand, that’s why many sites try to sum up studies in 1 minute videos with stock footage of semi-related things to the topic, that’s why David Wolfe keeps taking content from other creators while just adding his watermark.
Yet, convincing people that his content is worth sharing is not his only reason to keep publishing so many unrelated things, Facebook’s algorithm has been changed many times in the last few years, orienting it into a more profit-centered platform, showing a fanpage’s newest post to a fraction of its followers, asking the administrators of said page pay to get the whole exposure, reason enough to get as many people engaged as possible, because the more a person shares or interacts with a page, the more the algorithm will keep feed him/her with the page’s content.

Now it’s activity time, let’s check how well you’ve learned so far by doing the following activity to create your very own pseudoscientific Facebook fanpage, this is all you need:

  1. Videos taken from pages like Futurism with your watermark covering the original and credits removed.
  2. Quotes from famous and successful people.
  3. Poorly interpreted scientific studies that validate what you promote.
  4. Outrageous click-bait articles written by yourself about something that is trending. “How this crystal helps you to get more Pokémon per walked kilometer, the developers cannot believe how efficient this method is, hurry up before they patch it”.
  5. And finally, the post that gets you gullible people’s money, “Did you know that churros are shaped like a 1/11378 of the Earth’s silhouette? You can buy freshly baked non GMO organic churros in here”.

Whooping In Washington

KitsapPeninsulaAreaMap02
In Washington state, here in the United States, pertussis (whooping cough) caused nearly 200 campers to be sent home early after whooping cough prompted the YMCA of Greater Seattle to close the overnight camp on the Kitsap Peninsula. This is yet another dangerous example of the rejection of vaccine uptake. The rise of misinformation and alternative medicine has been increasing and the rejection of science-based modern medicine has been gaining momentum. As we know, vaccines work by stimulating our immune system to produce antibodies (substances produced by the body to fight disease) without actually infecting us with the disease. They trigger the immune system to produce its own antibodies, as though the body has been infected with a disease. There have been many factors leading to this decline: a lot of this has to do with celebrities endorsing fallacious claims; Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz, Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy, for example. All this was due to a former British Gastroenterologist named Andrew Wakfield and his fraudulent study published in the Lancet articles.

The best way to prevent pertussis (whooping cough) is to get vaccinated. There are vaccines for babies, children, preteens, teens, and adults. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP, and the pertussis booster vaccine for preteens, teens, and adults is called Tdap. Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease. Initial symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough, followed by weeks of severe coughing fits. After a fit of coughing, a high-pitched whoop sound or gasp may occur as the person breathes in, and may last for 10 or more weeks, hence the phrase “100-day cough”. A person may cough so hard that they vomit, break ribs, or become very tired from the effort. Children less than one year old may have little or no cough and instead have periods where they do not breathe. Infection in newborns is particularly severe.

Pertussis is fatal in an estimated 1.6% of hospitalized US infants under one year of age. First-year infants are also more likely to develop complications, such as: pneumonia (20%), encephalopathy (0.3%), seizures (1%), failure to thrive, and death (1%) perhaps due to the ability of the bacterium to suppress the immune system. Pertussis can cause severe paroxysm-induced cerebral hypoxia, and 50% of infants admitted to hospital suffer apneas. Reported fatalities from pertussis in infants increased substantially from 1990 to 2010. There is no excuse for these kind of vaccine preventable diseases.

Sources:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/state/washington/article93698202.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pertussis

https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/

A Beginner’s Guide to David Avocado Wolfe

https://www.facebook.com/SkridjetPersonal/videos/1347400945289579/

 

I put this video together because I don’t think enough people truly understand who and what David Avocado Wolfe is. He has somehow amassed over 7,000,000 Facebook followers, and I’m sure many of those followers aren’t aware that they’re essentially supporting dangerous ideas that border lunacy. Some may argue that he’s just a guy who has strange beliefs and we should leave him alone, but the ideas he pushes become hazardous and have real-world consequences when he starts giving ‘medical advice’ to people who are suffering from diseases that require real medical treatment.

Daniel Bennett of AAPN has also written a great article that completely dismantles David’s claims on salt.

#DontCryWolfe

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Here is a great explanation on the David Avocado Wolfe phenomenon.

Here is another great article on David Wolfe.

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Video clips taken from:

JonasSunshine

Chris Rathouz

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Music: CFCF – Oil

When woo memes get DANGEROUS and DEADLY!

When woo memes get DANGEROUS and DEADLY!

woo memes

Woo memes like this need to be pointed out as being dangerous nonsense, gullible people can actually die from bad advice such as this.

According to the World Health Organization:
Cardiovascular disease is number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. An estimated 17.5 million people died from CVDs in 2012, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke .Over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. Out of the 16 million deaths under the age of 70 due to noncommunicable diseases, 82% are in low and middle income countries and 37% are caused by CVDs. Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies. People with cardiovascular disease or who are at high cardiovascular risk (due to the presence of one or more risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia or already established disease) need early detection and management using counselling and medicines, as appropriate.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/

According to a large case study in the Journal of the American Collage of Cardiology on Short- and long-term mortality for patients undergoing primary angioplasty for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack): .METHODS: New York’s coronary angioplasty registry was used to identify New York patients undergoing angioplasty within 6 h of AMI between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 1996. Statistical models were used to identify significant risk factors for in-patient and long-term survival and to estimate long-term survival for all patients as well as various subsets of patients undergoing primary angioplasty. RESULTS: The in-hospital mortality rate for all primary angioplasty patients was 5.81%. When patients in preprocedural shock (who had a mortality rate of 45%) were excluded, the in-hospital mortality rate dropped to 2.60%. Mortality rates for all primary angioplasty patients at one year, two years and three years were 9.3%, 11.3% and 12.6%, respectively. Patients treated with stent placement did not have significantly lower risk-adjusted in-patient or two-year mortality rates. CONCLUSIONS: Primary angioplasty is a highly effective option for AMI.
http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1126729

Five years after the procedures, 90.7% of the bypass patients and 89.7% of the angioplasty patients were still alive -source Web MD
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20071015/bypass-angioplasty-similar-survival

It is absolutely imperative that woo like this is pointed out as the dangerous nonsense that it is.