Friday, February 16, 2018

Homeopathy and Autism in the Chronicle Herald

I came across this article via social media (a friend sent it to me as she saw it in the trending section).
http://thechronicleherald.ca/valleyharvester/1543179-considering-homeopathy-as-an-option-for-children-with-asd




Little did I know the rabbit hole I was going down...


I am really confused about it.  This is not even an article.  It seems to be some sort of endorsement for a book written by Amy Lansky.  This endorsement makes sure to add in PhD following the name, to of course add some credibility.  According to Wikipedia, Amy has a PhD (1983) in computer science from Stanford University.  I'm not sure how that applies to or makes her an expert in health concerns.  She apparently left the computer science field to study homeopathy.  Even though she took correspondence courses and some "clinical training" her biography does not claim that she is a homeopathic doctor (which is an oxymoron term if you ask me....more moron than anything else). Her timeline in her biography on her own website is confusing.   She started her studies in 1996. She didn't complete the advanced program.  She did clinical training for "several years."   She then edited a homeopathic journal for 2 years.  She then wrote about curing her son.  By her own admission the article she wrote about her son was in 1997.  I know I'm not good at math but even I can figure out that 1996 plus correspondence learning plus several years of clinical training and then 2 years of editing work equals more than 1 year later.





  Her book "Impossible Cure" is now used as a textbook for homeopaths.   Well that's kinda scary.  She didn't even complete the course but she is an expert enough to have a textbook?   Looking at her school's requirements are kinda scary as well.  No prerequisite is required as "Anyone can study homeopathy."  Their clinical training each year encompasses 2 day summer school in the UK or 20 hours in a program in Australia.  OK, so that makes her several years of clinical training suspect now.  Clearly, if one can so easily obtain a homeopathic degree, why would anyone trust them with their health?


Amy is also a proponent of other new-age quackery.  In her own words:  "1993. At that point, I became very interested in the possibility of higher-dimensions in space after watching an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."  She uses these ideas to support the use of homeopathy and other pseudo-scientific practices.  She seems to think that these practices work because of unknown (and untestable) psychic/supernatural type phenomenon.

It is interesting to note that on her "Impossible Cure" website, it carries a lengthy disclaimer (as do many quack websites because they know their stuff is bunk and they could be sued over it) "This book is not intended to be a replacement for good medical diagnosis and treatment by a licensed physician..."  Here I have to agree but would go one step further and state that it is to be avoided at all costs.

This endorsement in the Chronicle Herald is written by Sarah Trask, who calls herself a "homeopathic doctor."  So this is why it doesn't read like a real article and is merely an ad for her practice.  The article doesn't give any real information.  That is because it is not there to inform but to mislead, give undue credibility to quackery and to promote her own self-interest.   Her own biography is ambiguous with unnamed illnesses she was supposedly cured of by homeopathy.  Of course you will never see real proof of these cures.  And you will often never hear of other proper medical treatment used by the cured (because who wants to admit that they also did several rounds of chemo when they can attribute being cured by homeopathy alone?).  Sarah even admits in her own way that homeopathy is a faith-based practice.



It really is sad that Sarah got away with writing a personal endorsement in a newspaper and trying to disguise it as an informative article. To claim that water (homepathy is diluted in water.  At 23C there is often not even a single molecule of the "active" ingredient present.  In the article it is claimed a silica 30C solution is used) can cure ASD (autism) is despicable.   Shame on the editor of CH.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Interview on Skeptic Zone Podcast

Take a listen to the The Skeptic Zone Podcast with Richard Saunders from Australia as we discuss my appearance on CBC Marketplace
You can listen here:
https://youtu.be/9W-Or_5xXKU If you want to skip ahead, my part starts around the 12min mark
http://www.skepticzone.tv/

Tila Tequila, Vaccines, and Homosexuals...oh my!

Tila Tequila has some crazy things to say.  Check out the level of bigotry and anti-science (anti-reality) that she spouts in her post. 


Firstly, the picture there is not a real pic of a vaccination.  The needle is too big.  There is too much fluid in the syringe.  It's being put in the arm (for babies and infants, it is usually put in a thigh).  There are no rubber gloves.   Showing a fake picture to bolster a point will always make one lose credibility points ;)

The statement "stabbing them with sharp needles" I actually found funny as I then would question and ask "if one should stab with a dull needle?"  Of course, she is using "stab" to spread fear.   I know, because I have a phobia of needles myself and that is how my irrational fear can interpret it, but then I let my rational side win and realize it is not stabbing (violently piercing, thrusting gesture) but an injection and I calm myself down enough to get it done.

The whole idea of "early trauma" is questionable.  Babies go through a lot (like the birth process) and usually come out fairly resilient.  Early childhood trauma can be caused by stress from accidents, physical trauma, abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic and community violence.  A vaccination does not fit into any of these categories.  Physical trauma would be injuries severe enough to warrant medical attention. 

Calling it "satanic ritual abuse" is just nonsensical.  I think she is delusional in that her belief system allows her to call anything she disagrees with as the work of Satan.  I suppose she would fit right in with the Westboro Baptist Church folks.  Satan, of course, is a work of fiction and believing a work of fiction is that level of real is dangerous thinking.

This statement is just laughable: "You're just going to trust MAN". I don't know if she is referring to male or referring to man-made vs natural. Maybe both?

She uses the old "do you know what's in it" ploy about vaccines.   Yes.  Yes we do.   She uses the common claim about mercury.  This is sorta true.   Some vaccines (not all) may use Thimerosal which contains mercury bound as an ethyl which does not bioaccumulate.  The stuff to worry about is mercury bound as a methyl.  It is easy to confuse the two if one is not educated in such things.   The aborted fetus claim is simply not true.

She then goes off and states that some children are purposefully targeted " to inject them with chemicals that changes their DNA to turn them homosexual or transgender etc."  Conspiracy Theory much?  ;)  This doesn't even make sense.  How do they get hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists all in on this nefarious practice?   How do they decide which children to target?   The scope of this claim is just too huge that it is implausible.

Also, what chemicals are able to change DNA to cause a person to become homosexual or transgender?  All I can picture here is some Alex Jones level nuttiness

 Her Facebook page is splattered with other anti-LGBQT rants, obviously due to her extremely conservative religious views.  In an odd sense of irony, at least she isn't stating that they chose that lifestyle.  But then again, she's not saying they were born that way either.  Sigh.   It's amazing how much these people have to warp things to make it fit their silly narratives.

Her claim of unvaccinated children having stronger immune systems is just plain nonsense.  Her child may just be lucky to not have contracted any serious viruses.  There are so many cases of unvaccinated children losing their lives to preventable diseases, especially in the past decade as we see certain diseases make a strong comeback due to anti-vaccine proponents.

Taking medical advice from Tila is not a good thing. She clearly has little to no knowledge of the things she is against. She should just stick to porn and reality tv shows (and even that is debatable).

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Stranger Danger

Spreading misinformation, even with good intentions is not a good thing. We need the most correct information to make the best decisions instead of other mistakes. Don't spread this "abduction" video that has been debunked (3 years ago) and shown to spout false information. You could be adding to needless fears and causing greater anxiety.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/stranger-danger-viral-video-alarming-but-not-realistic-1.2359593