Search found 850 matches

by qetzal
Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:29 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

I know that all homeopathic preparations are required to carry the standard FDA disclaimer: "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." That's the same thing that goes on vitamin supplements and so fort...
by qetzal
Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:09 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

A placebo might make the patient feel better, or think they feel better, or say they feel better (which are not all equivalent!), but that doesn't mean they objectively are better. I think this bears some teasing apart; I'm under the impression that in some cases, placebo's speed recovery or amelio...
by qetzal
Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:05 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

In instances of anti anxiety, and depression for that matter, prescribing placebo will generally get a license revoked and is also generally considered negligence/malpractice. That isn't supported by anything we've come across either. Just to clarify, I wasn't making that claim. I was quoting Zcorp...
by qetzal
Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:26 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Zcorp, a suggestion. Don't write: It is illegal to prescribe a placebo. if what you really mean is: In instances of anti anxiety, and depression for that matter, prescribing placebo will generally get a license revoked and is also generally considered negligence/malpractice. (Emphasis added) Not the...
by qetzal
Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:56 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

A placebo won't stop a bacterial infection, but it may have a measurable effect on recovery time (if, for example, other treatment is not available). But that's the point. A placebo won't have a measurable effect on recovery time for a bacterial infection. At least, not if you accept the data such ...
by qetzal
Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

It's actually not clear that placebos have any real effect on disease. Remember - just because someone gets better when given a placebo, doesn't mean the placebo made them better. In many (most? all?) cases, they would have gotten better just as fast if given nothing at all. Also, just because someo...
by qetzal
Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:25 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

There have been studies that used sham acupuncture needles that retract when they contact the skin, and don't actually pierce. One such study did indeed find more improvement in the sham group than in the real acupuncture group. See here for a non-scientific description with a link to the actual stu...
by qetzal
Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:27 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

The conclusions weren't about SMT though. It was whether or not anesthesia could be used as a blinding technique. The important conclusions were more that the people didn't recall anything that occurred when under the anesthesia. Money quote from the Conclusions section of the cited abstract: Short...
by qetzal
Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:46 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

This may have already been answered somewhere else, but I haven't been able to find out. In studying the efficacy of synovial spinal manipulation for the treatment of back pain, how would one begin to control for the placebo effect? The identification of areas with inflammation or low ROM is made b...
by qetzal
Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

On the other hand, if you claim you can cure cancer or whatever, but you have no sound evidence, AND you claim your treatment works through some highly implausible method like chanting at crystals, or diluting things 10^20 fold, or manipulating subluxations that don't appear to objectively exist, th...
by qetzal
Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:29 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

I concede the number may be higher. How high do you think it is? I've found a handful of articles by chiropractors condemning orthopractors as 'untrained chiropractors', it's pretty easy to see that chiropractors don't hold them in high esteem. Not that I particularly expect them to. Regardless of ...
by qetzal
Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Here's the problem with chiropracty, IMO. Historically, it's based on complete bunk: Chiropractic was invented by D. D. Palmer on September 18, 1895 when he adjusted the spine of a deaf man and allegedly restored his hearing (a claim that is highly implausible based on what we know of anatomy). Base...
by qetzal
Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!
Replies: 275
Views: 21856

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

If memory serves me right, different things are sold under the banner of 'chiropractor', some of which are complete quackery and some of which kinda make sense. Just like some homeopathic medicines actually work, because they are just plant extracts sold under the banner of homeopathy, and some of ...
by qetzal
Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:06 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: End Government Funding of Science?
Replies: 187
Views: 30906

Re: End Government Funding of Science?

Alternative Treatments in concert with Modern Western Medicine add to the Quality of Life of The People. I know this to be True. Remember the Placebo Studies? It was not the sugar pill, it was the Human Contact. That is the same reason Massage did work and Remote Prayer did not. Yeah, that's not re...
by qetzal
Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:41 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: DNA, gene modifications...how do they do it?
Replies: 11
Views: 3172

Re: DNA, gene modifications...how do they do it?

I picture the scientist doing the mods to the cell under a microscope. Once done they put the cell into, let's say a mouse. If this single cell is put into the mouse how does it make all the other regular unmodified cells in the mouse take on the characteristics of the new modified cell? I know cel...
by qetzal
Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:56 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: End Government Funding of Science?
Replies: 187
Views: 30906

Re: End Government Funding of Science?

Yeah, homeopathy isn't necessarily an argument for govt research funding, or even for the value of FDA, for the reasons you've noted. I just cited it to show that people will, indeed, pay for supposed remedies that don't work and haven't undergone appropriate testing (contra Arariel's implied claim).
by qetzal
Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:58 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: End Government Funding of Science?
Replies: 187
Views: 30906

Re: End Government Funding of Science?

Which, while somewhat popular, is outside of the mainstream, not at all recommended by physicians, and most of them at least haven't been shown to be particularly harmful. But there are plenty of interests involved in actually keeping the patients alive if only to keep that stream of revenue. Dead ...
by qetzal
Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:30 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: End Government Funding of Science?
Replies: 187
Views: 30906

Re: End Government Funding of Science?

Do you honestly believe most consumers would buy a drug that hasn't been tested? And for those who would, why should anyone prevent two parties from making what they see as a mutually beneficial exchange? Yes, there's risk, but the consumer would evidently feel the risk is justified if they were to...
by qetzal
Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:46 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is the best way to deal with complexity?
Replies: 23
Views: 8892

Re: What is the best way to deal with complexity?

If we truly have no way to evaluate the consequences of geoengineering, then we also have no way to evaluate the consequences of not geoengineering. In which case, #3 has no bearing on the question, no?
by qetzal
Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:27 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is the best way to deal with complexity?
Replies: 23
Views: 8892

Re: What is the best way to deal with complexity?

Sure, incomplete data is always a problem. But I think it's a different kind of problem when you're looking for correlations in a database such as idobox is proposing, versus when you're pursuing conventional research approaches to finding cancer cures. As for ways to identify important variables, I...
by qetzal
Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:56 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is the best way to deal with complexity?
Replies: 23
Views: 8892

Re: What is the best way to deal with complexity?

We have used big organizations and human experts to try to cure cancer, with mitigated results. It makes sense to try a new method. Asking oncologist to enter symptoms and other patient data (gender, weight, other conditions) in a dedicated database, as well as the treatment and results would provi...
by qetzal
Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: End Government Funding of Science?
Replies: 187
Views: 30906

Re: End Government Funding of Science?

Just end patent law, then. Governmental barriers to entry in a market do little but discourage competition; that's why the pharmaceutical industry is close to an oligopoly (if not one already), same for banks, and it seems like agriculture is slipping the same way. Would you also end drug regulatio...
by qetzal
Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:49 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: End Government Funding of Science?
Replies: 187
Views: 30906

Re: End Government Funding of Science?

Getting back to the Cato essay cited in the OP, I think it's very poorly argued. For example, it claims: For the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, the empirical evidence is clear: the industrial nations whose governments invested least in science did best economically—and they didn’t do so ...
by qetzal
Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:05 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: End Government Funding of Science?
Replies: 187
Views: 30906

Re: End Government Funding of Science?

indeed, if it was ever real, the distinction between pure and applied science is now largely defunct Indeed? So what's the application of string theory, or the Higgs' Boson, or Fermat's last theorem, or a survey of French medieval poetry? Actually, I agree with that claim. Science, by definition, s...
by qetzal
Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:55 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What, no biological sciences?
Replies: 75
Views: 19614

Re: What, no biological sciences?

OK, first I have to laugh at the "ad hominid" comment. Second, I have to correct it. First, it's "ad hominem," unless you are calming (sic) to be some ancestral species. Is there some Internet law saying that any comment where you criticize someone else's stupid language error i...
by qetzal
Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:51 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547797

Re: Religion: The Deuce

The Bible is neither written for nor intended to be read by those not educated in the context, and that's the main reason Judaism and Christianity have priests. And later: If you want to start claiming about following the "book itself", the book itself sets up a priestly system and exhort...
by qetzal
Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:59 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547797

Re: Religion: The Deuce

The idea that an omniscient, omnipotent, omni-benevolent god would choose to create a book as flawed as the Bible to be his primary means of communicating with his cherished humans - that strikes you as plausible? Possible, perhaps. But not plausible. If it were plausible, it wouldn't be necessary f...
by qetzal
Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547797

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Or else, being God and omnipotent and all, you might choose a more convincing way to interact with people in every time period, so that they'd actually have a good reason to believe in you and understand what you want. IOW, you wouldn't write one book, one time, that was full of apparent contradicti...
by qetzal
Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:00 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Texas Abortion Laws
Replies: 223
Views: 28735

Re: Texas Abortion Laws

Yeah, Texas legislators are really doing this out of concern for women's health! That's why they've all taken such pains to be well informed on the facts. Just like Republican Jodie Laubenberg, lead TX House sponsor of the abortion bill, who explained that rape exceptions aren't necessary because : ...
by qetzal
Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: A moral thought experiment (St Matthew's Island Reindeer)
Replies: 60
Views: 21003

Re: A moral thought experiment (St Matthew's Island Reindeer

I don't think it makes sense to talk about completely non-existent entities "missing out" on the good of living because they never came into existence in the first place. There are countless entities that could potentially start existing, and if we assign moral weight to their "depri...
by qetzal
Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: A moral thought experiment (St Matthew's Island Reindeer)
Replies: 60
Views: 21003

Re: A moral thought experiment (St Matthew's Island Reindeer

CorruptUser suggested spaying/neutering about 15 posts upthread, and Tyndmyr suggested contraception in the 3rd post. On top of that, spaying/neutering/contraception were not among the options given in the OP. Ignoring all that, I agree that unborn reindeer don't experience the moral evil of suffere...
by qetzal
Fri May 24, 2013 3:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Cigarettes and cancer
Replies: 7
Views: 4433

Re: Cigarettes and cancer

I found a really interesting study on exactly this point. Here's the key conclusion: Our results show that the EOR/pack-year increases with intensity for subjects who smoke ≤20 cigarettes per day and decreases with intensity for subjects who smoke >20 cigarettes per day. At lower smoking intensities...
by qetzal
Mon May 20, 2013 9:59 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: "Zombie" Apocalypse
Replies: 61
Views: 25606

Re: "Zombie" Apocalypse

@ThirdParty,

That was downright chilling! I was really enjoying it, thinking it was just a light-hearted tale. Then I read the shock line:

Rand Paul, the last President of the United States


Jeez, you really got me! I'm gonna have nightmares for a week!

:wink:

(Apologies to Rand Paul fans!)
by qetzal
Tue May 14, 2013 8:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26284

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

But here again you illustrate my point - there is no non-subjective measure of complexity; do you measure 'arm-chair' phenomena? genetic phenomena? behavioral phenomena? morphological phenomena? A mixture of those? Something else completely? I would amend this slightly: there is no single non-subje...
by qetzal
Mon May 13, 2013 2:34 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: facts about RF and health
Replies: 75
Views: 20788

Re: facts about RF and health

Transmitter distance by itself is actually pretty meaningless.
by qetzal
Sun May 12, 2013 10:26 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26284

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

Technical Ben wrote:if those arguing for evolution cannot describe complexity and how it's required/trending upwards, then how can they ask me to accept larger claims?


Once more, with four part harmony and feeling: EVOLUTION DOES NOT REQUIRE INCREASING COMPLEXITY!
by qetzal
Sat May 11, 2013 12:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26284

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

Oh my, I never thought of this. That makes things a lot more interesting. Would the claim "adaptation of the species" have to be removed from the description of evolution, if it really means something else in the instance of bacteria/etc? Evolution isn't really about adaptation of species...
by qetzal
Thu May 09, 2013 10:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26284

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

I think the problem with precisely defining complexity is not that there's no consistent way to do so. It's that there are too many self-consistent definitions: non-redundant functional base pairs number of functional molecular entities encoded genetically (e.g. proteins, functional RNAs) number of ...
by qetzal
Thu May 09, 2013 9:41 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question: Why DON'T niches get filled
Replies: 61
Views: 8938

Re: Evolution question: Why DON'T niches get filled

Evolution takes time and is contingent. What an organism can evolve into depends heavily on what it already is. When it comes to evolving to fit some new niche, sometimes it's a situation of "you can't get there from here." Or if you can, it might take so long and so many steps that "...
by qetzal
Thu May 09, 2013 9:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26284

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

Alright, so propose some definition. What's complexity? I've already acknowledged that I don't have a good, articulate definition of complexity. My whole point is that we can make at least some useful statements about relative organismal complexity even in the absence of a well-articulated definiti...

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