Mad Science, Bad Science and the Cure for Everything (Originally published August 4, 2009) August 26, 2015 August 28, 2015 Posted in Christianity and Science Tagged christianity , Crusades , education , enlightenment , history , Inquisition , Joseph Mengele , ken ham , Nazis , politics , science , skepticism , violence By Ben Goldacre. Not only were there more lung cancers among the people receiving the supposedly protective ß-carotene supplements, compared with placebo, but this vitamin group also had more deaths overall, from both lung cancer and heart disease. This excellent book written by the intelligent and entertaining doctor and health communicator Ben Goldacre is a must read for anyone who has an opinion about any health issue you've seen, heard or read about in the media. To see what your friends thought of this book, This version actually has a chapter which starts with: "This chapter did not appear in the original British edition of this book..." [because of a law. The hole in our culture is gaping: evidence-based medicine, the ultimate applied science, contains some of the cleverest ideas from the past two centuries, it has saved millions of lives, but there has never once been a single exhibit on the subject in London’s Science Museum.”, “More than that, these adverts sell a dubious world view. Goodreads – GoodReads is a book discovery site and online book club community. His emphasis is on making people question "facts" and double check the evidence. Inspired by Goldacre’s work on debunking the … Eighteen thousand participants were due to be recruited throughout its course, and the intention was that they would be followed up for an average of six years; but in fact the trial was terminated early, because it was considered unethical to continue it. Stories are important. Secretly, deep down, perhaps they resent the fact that they have denied themselves access to the most significant developments in the history of Western thought from the past two hundred years; but there is an attack implicit in all media coverage of science: in their choice of stories, and the way they cover them, the media create a parody of science. Science is a way of life. To stop them trying to work out if we’d invented anything clever like radar (which we had), the British instead started an elaborate and entirely made-up nutritionist rumour. Risk, Chance, and Causation: Investigating the Origins and Treatment of Disease by Michael B. Bracken Paperback CDN$36.34 He is the author of The Guardian newspaper's weekly Bad Science column and a book of the same title, published by Fourth Estate in September 2008. But the tone of the book... the author is a jackass (sorry, not sorry). I am so incredibly disappointed by this book. There are millions of reviews and people buzzing about new books coming out. Let us divide them into half, let us cast lots, that one half of them may fall to my share, and the other to yours … We shall see how many funerals both of us shall have.”, “At school you were taught about chemicals in test tubes, equations to describe motion, and maybe something on photosynthesis – about which more later – but in all likelihood you were taught nothing about death, risk, statistics, and the science of what will kill or cure you. Why? The media create a parody of science. This item: Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion by Gary Taubes Hardcover CDN$84.24 Ships from and sold by Ergodebooks Ships from USA. 77,211 120 Goodreads Unforgettables. In terms of content: many of the points raised by the author are good, and I think that more people need to read and understand how the world around them works (esp. This book was way out of my comfort zone. If I drink too much in one go, will it leak out off my arsehole instead? Each undermines and distorts science in its own idiosyncratic way.”, “you cannot reason people out of positions they didn't reason themselves into”, “First up, Blackwell [1972] did a set of experiments on fifty-seven college students to determine the effect of colour—as well as the number of tablets—on the effects elicited. Just a big hoax. Anyway. A mix of both (it’s the history of one particular strain of bad science). AbeBooks.com: Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill (9780465020140) by Whitaker, Robert and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books available now at great prices. I am so incredibly disappointed by this book. They are detached from reality; they do work that is either wacky or dangerous, but either way, everything in science is tenuous, contradictory, probably going to change soon and, most ridiculously, ‘hard to understand’. Carotenes in carrots, they explained, are transported to the eye and converted to retinal, which is the molecule that detects light in the eye (this is basically true, and is a plausible mechanism, like those we’ve already dealt with): so, went the story, doubtless with much chortling behind their excellent RAF moustaches, we have been feeding our chaps huge plates of carrots, to jolly good effect. This book is both fascinating and frustrating, and illustrates that the only way to get the real info on anything is to be a scientist. Since colours in themselves have no intrinsic pharmacological properties, the difference in effect could only be due to the cultural meanings of pink and blue: pink is alerting, blue is cool. No – more of it may actually be even bad for you. Even a bigger hoax. by Fourth Estate, Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Useless and waste of money if your diet is half decent. This is not news, hot off the presses: it happened well over a decade ago.”, “We are talking about a programme which claims that ‘processed foods do not contain water’, possibly the single most rapidly falsifiable statement I’ve seen all week. On this template, science is portrayed as groundless, incomprehensible didactic truth statements from scientists - who, themselves, are socially- powerful, arbitrary un-elected authority figures. When you click these links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. Not really. An extension of his blog, this is a collection of basically rants about how science and statistics are abused by a variety of people. Having created this parody, the Commentariat then attack it, as if they were genuinely critiquing what science is all about.”, “Transparency and detail are everything in science.”, “My basic hypothesis is this: the people who run the media are humanities graduates with little understanding of science, who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour. Death by Food Pyramid, by Denise Minger. No one is spared in this delightfully infuriating tour of the myriad ways we can be duped by bad advice on health and medicine. The audience for “bad” science, and, by extension, for the more accessible forms of science fiction, including science fiction romance, is much broader than we tend to think. Antioxidants slow down aging? [column in fact but that does not alliterate. I would recommend them to anyone with an intelligent and questioning mind. Audiobook. Jeez, Becky, pace yourself. Just a big hoax. Enter to win a free advance copy of Soonish! One was in Finland, where 30,000 participants at high risk of lung cancer were recruited, and randomised to receive either ß-carotene, vitamin E, or both, or neither. It was called the ‘Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial’, or ‘CARET’, in honour of the high p-carotene content of carrots. This version actually has a chapter which starts with: "This chapter did not appear in the original British edition of this book..." [because of a lawsuit at the time] - so presumably it is an American edition. This is the kind of the book that I would make everyone read when I get to rule the world. +++++ 21 Responses. Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? That is a sure way to alienate everyone who is looking for answers in a world of misrepresented science. So he decided that other factors, such as overall body weight, should also be taken into account when measuring brain size: this explained the larger Germanic brains to his satisfaction. I had a lot inspriration from the book and enjoyed the reading very much. I was struck by an amazing coincidence from the very first page. Vitamin C prevents and treats cold? DTA is my blog of science, statistics, and humor.I find much in science that is fascinating or fun, and more that needs to be made-fun-of. They sell the idea that science is incomprehensible, with all their might, and they sell this idea mainly to attractive young women, who are disappointingly under-represented in the sciences.”, “Paul Broca, for example, was a famous French craniologist in the nineteenth century whose name is given to Broca’s area, the part of the frontal lobe involved in the generation of speech (which is wiped out in many stroke victims). Although this book is really informative, interesting and at times funny, it also has an elitist edge to it, one that I can see Goldacre really tried not to give. 10 Happy Things To Do When Having A Bad Day. Science stories generally fall into one of three categories: the wacky stories, the ‘breakthrough’ stories, and the ‘scare’ stories. For Sale By Proprietor - Remarkable Discussing Tips when trying to buy or sale a home by owner. He is scientifically oriented, so he was just flabbergasted when the procedure left a brown sludge in the foot bath, but the treatment removed all the pain in his knees from some injury for a couple of weeks. “I'd like to submit to Bad Science my teacher who gave us a handout which says that 'Water is best absorbed by the body when provided in frequent small amounts.' Dr. Dodes visited Radio Boston/WBUR to debunk the "bad science" of 12 Step programs; Dr. Dodes is the subject of an article on The Chicago Tribune; MinnPost.com includes Dr. Dodes in an article on varying opinions of 12 Step programs; A piece by Dodes appeared on BASIS, Harvard's addiction newsletter OK. Whee! They do work that is either wacky, or dangerous, but either way, everything in science is tenuous, contradictory, probably going to change soon and - most ridiculously - hard to understand. There’s so much nonsense going around these days in the name of science and research that a lot of people would be quite shocked with this book. 26,197 100 120 Books You Just Can't Put Down. So I have a few nights in, reading at home, and eating more salad than usual. After reading 'Bad Science' I don't think I will believe another health fad ever again. They suggest, instead, with all the might of their international advertising budgets, their Microcellular Complexes, their Neutrillium XY, their Tenseur Peptidique Végétal and the rest, that science is about impenetrable nonsense involving equations, molecules, sciencey diagrams, sweeping didactic statements from authority figures in white coats, and that this sciencey-sounding stuff might just as well be made up, concocted, confabulated out of thin air, in order to make money. The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients, I Think You'll Find it's a Bit More Complicated Than That. They sell the idea that science is not about the delicate relationship between evidence and theory. It also looks at faulty science behind some nutritionists and some of their dodgy "credentials". All those fancy and expensive cosmetic products that supposedly do magic to your skin? Another study suggested that Oxazepam, a drug similar to Valium (which was once unsuccessfully prescribed by our GP for me as a hyperactive child) was more effective at treating anxiety in a green tablet, and more effective for depression when yellow. In his words: ‘before my very eyes, the world's first Detox Barbie was sat, with her feet in a pool of brown sludge, purged of a weekend's immorality. The people having the antioxidant tablets were 46 per cent more likely to die from lung cancer, and 17 per cent more likely to die of any cause,* than the people taking placebo pills. . Just a waste of money. This is a doctor with a bee in his bonnet, a snarky tone and no qualms about telling it like it is and who he might offend. In terms of content: many of the points raised by the author are good, and I think that more people need to read and understand how the world around them works (esp. I knew a lot of it, but the only statistics class I took was quite a while ago. It won’t cost you anything, but it helps me to run this site. A readable romp through the misuse and abuse of health related science in the media. Very likely, the placebo effect was working. Having created this parody, the commentariat then attack it, as if they were genuinely critiquing what science is all about. I would have given it a 5 star rating if I had anything to do with medicine, but for an average person who knew nothing of MMR & MRSA, four stars would suffice. "Just as the Big Bang theory is far more interesting than the creation story in Genesis, so the story that science can tell us about the natural world is far more interesting than any fable about magic pills concocted by an alternative therapist." 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