Maher is no stranger to illogical belief

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Bill Maher insists the President is a secret atheist (starts about 3:45m in). If Obama says he is a Christian, writes about his acceptance of Christian religion and raises his children as Christian, than I believe he is a Christian. Maher’s routinely insists that Obama is practicing deceit when he proclaims to be a Christian and he is as cynically deluded as right wingers who proclaim Obama is a secret Muslim. Maher’s insistence on Obama’s secret atheism allows Obama to fit into Maher’s view as religious = idiot, atheist = smart. I would rather Maher say: this President is foolish because he believes in God than say: this President must be lying because he can’t be foolish enough to believe in God. Regardless, Maher is alarmingly prone to being misled by alternative medicine frauds.

It is hilarious that Maher is saying religion “cock blocks science” when Maher, an avowed atheist, smugly believes vaccines are innefectual and cause autism and that the “Master Cleanse” laxative of cayenne pepper, water and lemon should be a daily elixir to help maintain health. His atheism still allows him to engage in completely warped support of alternative medicine quackery. He practices a naturalist fundamentalism that is illogical and is also a “cock block” to scientific, evidence based health and medical practices.  (Video’s is audio excerpt from Skeptics Guide to the Universe Podcast 218  9/23/2009 discussing Maher’s blind embrace of quackery).

Bad Ideas: Aromatherapy for PTSD

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Gates touted possible treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during a meeting with the wives of servicemen at Fort Riley, Kansas, when one woman asked him to explain why chiropractic and acupuncture therapies were not covered under her military health care plan.

“We have an experimental unit … treating soldiers with PTS (post-traumatic stress) and using a number of unorthodox approaches, including aroma therapy, acupuncture, things like that, that really are getting some serious results, and so maybe we can throw that into the hopper as well,” Gates said.

via Pentagon tries aroma therapy to ease combat stress | Reuters.

Yes. Let’s use non-proven psuedo scientific garbage to treat real illnesses. Good idea. Except that it’s not.

Anti-Vaccine nuttery from the right

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Anti-vaccine from anti-abortion groups…

There is another group that has been around for a while but about which I have not written before – some elements of the right-to-life group. What is their connection to vaccines? – the false belief that vaccines contain cells from aborted fetuses.

via Science-Based Medicine » The Other Anti-Vaccinationists.

A dangerous conversion could occur between natural healers and these anti-abortion cooks. Not good for public health.

Vaccines don’t cause autism, but quacks hurt children

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The quack where Oprah, Arianna and Jenny McCarthy get their Autism causes insert malady here nonsense has finally been censured for his quackery.

In 1998, Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist at London’s Royal Free Hospital, published a study in the prestigious medical journal Lancet that linked the triple Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism and bowel disorders in children. The study — and Wakefield’s subsequent public statements that parents should refuse the vaccines — sparked a public health panic that led vaccination rates in Britain to plunge.

Wakefield’s study has since been discredited, and the MMR vaccine deemed to be safe. But now medical authorities in the U.K. have also ruled that the manner in which Wakefield carried out his research was unethical. In a ruling on Jan. 28, The General Medical Council, which registers and regulates doctors in the U.K., ruled that Wakefield acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” during his research and with “callous disregard” for the children involved in his study.

[…]

The General Medical Council, which will now decide whether to revoke Wakefield’s medical license, highlighted several areas where Wakefield acted against the interest of the children involved in the 1998 study. It criticized Wakefield for carrying out invasive tests, such as colonoscopies and spinal taps, without due regard for how the children involved might be affected. It also cited Wakefield’s method of gathering blood samples — he paid children at his son’s birthday party $8 to give blood — and said that Wakefield displayed a “callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer.”
The panel also criticized Wakefield for failing to disclose that, while carrying out the research, he was being paid by lawyers acting for parents who believed their children had been harmed by the MMR jab.

The panel’s ruling follows a refutation of Wakefield’s research from the scientific community. Ten of 13 authors in the Lancet study have since renounced the study’s conclusions. The Lancet has said it should not have published the study in the first place, and various other studies have failed to corroborate Wakefield’s hypothesis.

via Doc Who Tied Vaccine to Autism Ruled Unethical – TIME.

If it  takes over a decade to discredit this quacks cooked up research and appropriately discredit his professional credentials, something needs to change about how the scientific and medical experts build public consensus regarding its findings. Wakefield is currently in Austin running an autism research center, so believe that there a bunch of unvaccinated kids running around due to the effective ground work of the marketing firm of Winfrey, Huffington and McCarthy. I doubt we’ll hear any retraction from any of them soon. Meanwhile Winfrey’s final season is being celebrated, the Huffington Post has been held up as the future of journalism and Jenny McCarthy is being exalted as a font of motherly advice and as far as the children who follow the quackery they promote:

Vaccination rates among toddlers plummeted from over 90% in the mid-1990s to below 70% in some places by 2003. Following this drop, Britain saw an increase in measles cases at a time when the disease had been all but eradicated in many developed countries. In 1998, there were just 56 cases of the disease in England and Wales; by 2008 there were 1,370.

Public health has been set back decades.

Where have I seen that sweat lodge cult leader before?

Oprah Supports cooking people. (Shh. It's the Secret)
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Oh yeah! It was when Oprah told the world what The Secret was all about! Thanks for letting us in on it Oprah! Master people cooker James Arthur Ray knows how you can be a smashing success!

The answer to your burning question? Yes, you will burn in here

Oprah Supports cooking people. (Shh. It's the Secret)

From JamesRay.com:

  • You simply (and deeply) want to make more money and become more successful…
  • You want to double, triple, even multiply by ten the size of your business…
  • You’ve already achieved at least a modest level of success and want to use that as a springboard to greater things…
  • You suspect there’s got to be something more to life…

You want all of this? Get in this pressure cooker disguised as a tent and bake yourself ’til your organs fail! Trust me, you’ll be in a better place! Your loved one in a rut, can’t find a job, recession got ‘em down? SET THEM AND FORGET THEM!

“They couldn’t come back into their bodies because their bodies weren’t alive” -Beverly Bunn, Sweat Lodge Survivor. Yes she said that. She really said that. Want to know how gung ho James Arthur Ray was about “self help”:

“I can’t get her to move. I can’t get her to wake up,” Bunn recalled hearing from two sides of the 415-square-foot sweat lodge. Ray’s response: “Leave her alone, she’ll be dealt with in the next round.”

Loose lips sink ships. Keep that secret to yourselves. I hope they can charge and convict this quack and get these people some real help. One can hope can’t he?

Maher and Jenny McCarthy share a Faith

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It’s an irrational faith in natural foods and yoga as all we need to protect against viral infection. He’s had this faith for a while. In 2005:

Bill Maher has again discussed his anti-vaccination views, this time on Larry King. Among other claims, Maher says that polio was wiped out due to better sanitation, and that getting the flu shot increases your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Orac has more detail on the claims and the dubious source of the “Alzheimer’s/flu shot” link. I wonder how Maher would explain the decrease in African measles that’s followed an increase in measles vaccination there?

via Bill Maher and his anti-vaccination claims. Again. – Aetiology

It continues today:

I had a Spanish teacher in high school whose leg was ravaged by polio and a friends father who was missing a leg from the knee down due to his bout with polio as a child. No one my age had polio, we all had vaccines, I would venture to guess not all of us ate healthy food.

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