I just know I'm right

Apart from death and taxes, the next most certain thing in life is how social media will suddenly light up with self-proclaimed experts on whatever topic grasps the public interest at the time. Over the past few years we’ve had upsurges in confident opinion on everything from economics, British constitutional law, international trade, vaccines andContinue reading “I just know I'm right”

Subjective experience is not evidence

We all have our own idiosyncrasies and habits which we learn mostly from personal experience. Formulating a useful mental model of the world is what’s kept our species alive over evolutionary time. If eating a particular plant made you ill, then you knew to avoid it in the future. The problem with this is thatContinue reading “Subjective experience is not evidence”

Who will buy my supplement?

If I were unscrupulous and cared more about money than my reputation then I recon I could do well in the world of dietary supplements. Allow me to sell you my wonder supplement Metalo-Lappin-Detox. The industrial age has seen an unprecedented increase in heavy metal pollution that can lead to mental and physical deterioration andContinue reading “Who will buy my supplement?”

CAM preys on the vulnerable – and I should know

Those who know me, readers of this blog, or followers on Twitter know I am not a fan of so called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). When asked why I care about CAM and why I spend my time attacking it in the way I do, it’s because of my own vulnerability. I should startContinue reading “CAM preys on the vulnerable – and I should know”

Everyday use of the Scientific Method

About a year ago I had an experience of how the scientific method could apply to a simple domestic situation. I thought I would share it as there are parallels between science and pseudoscience in this story of everyday folk. I rented a house in Lincoln (UK) whilst I was an academic at the University’sContinue reading “Everyday use of the Scientific Method”

Pseudoscience versus science – is there an answer?

I first became aware of pseudoscientific nonsense when I was a student back in the 1970s. I remember many of my fellow students buying little plastic pyramids in the belief it gave them more ‘energy’ or made them smarter – particularly around exam time. A good friend of mine was an acupuncturist and was proneContinue reading “Pseudoscience versus science – is there an answer?”

Homeopathy – whatever it is, it's not science

Homeopathy is one of the most prevalent and pernicious forms of alternative medicine in existence. There are many who steadfastly believe in homeopathy even though the foundations not only have no basis in reality, they are really quite bizarre. Preparation of a homeopathic remedy involves taking a substance which causes similar symptoms to some diseaseContinue reading “Homeopathy – whatever it is, it's not science”