The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Predict That "Psychic" Nikki Will Not Get One Million Dollars

Wow, I guess I'm back after damn near a month off. Looks good around here; thanks for not wrecking the place.

What has made me return to these hallowed pixels? Why "Psychic" Nikki, of course. She seems set to take Randi's Million Dollar Challenge. I predict (see what I did there?) that she'll find a way to weasel out of it because she knows she's full of shit.

Why do you say that, Mike?

Well, if you check the archives from 2009, you'll find a post illustrating how Nikki changed her website to "predict" things she never did, most notably, when Heath Ledger died. She made no mention of him in her "Death Watch" list until AFTER he died, and THEN she put his name in there as though she were...what's that word?... Oh, right, "psychic".

I'll be amazed if she actually takes the challenge - which she helps set up, agrees to ahead of time, and in which Randi has no actual part. Nikki says:
"I don't like skeptics...They not only put psychics down, they put everybody down. They don't know enough about predictions."
Well, I'm a skeptic and I don't put everybody down. I do put down people who lie for a living because they're scumbags. Also, I know that to be classified as a PREdiction, you have to say that a certain event will happen at a certain time at a certain place BEFORE it happens. Sort of what the prefix "pre-" means. If you, say, post on a website that Heath Leger is going to die AFTER he dies, that's not a PREdiciton, that's what we in the rational world call, "reporting the news".

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Part of the Problem

Today I was perusing twitter and found this link amongst the feed detritus. It's an article talking about how colonic irrigation is harmful and useless. I think that was shown quite definitively already, but hey, anyone who wants to pile on is more than welcome. The issue I have is with this quote:
“This is not a manifesto against complementary and alternative medicine, since I’m a big proponent,” says Georgetown family medicine physician and lead author Dr. Ranit Mishori. “But there is absolutely no evidence that it [colon cleansing] helps. Instead, we found that it can be harmful.”
This is, as it says, the lead author of the new study. She is a "big proponent" of CAM, but admitting she never knew how to answer patients when they asked her about colon cleansing, she studied it and now, with her findings in hand, does not recommend it.

How can you be a "big proponent" of CAM when not only is your study out there to educate doctors and lay-persons alike, but there are hundreds of quality studies about all manner of CAM modalities showing how few of them are in any way helpful? I don't get it.

Side note: Why am I not surprised that Gwyneth Paltrow is mentioned as someone who partakes of colonic "cleanses"? Goop, indeed.

(tip of the transverse colon to @edzardernst and his twitter feed)