Scientific Solidarity

I’m a bit dirty at WordPress right now. Apparently, a fellow blogger criticised a US naturopath, Christopher Maloney, for giving bad advice (Christopher lives in Maine, which enables him to label himself a naturopathic doctor). Christopher decided that the best course of action was to whinge to WordPress to get them to shut down the blog, which they did. Here’s a sample of Christopher’s claims:

Parents waiting for vaccinations can provide their children with black elderberry, which blocks the H1N1 virus. A single garlic capsule daily cuts in half the incidence and the severity of a flu episode for children.

Care to provide a citation for those claims, Chris?

Maloney probably means well with his advice and treatments – I think that a good diet and healthy lifestyle is great – but needs to learn a lesson: if someone criticises your advice, you shut them up by showing them you’ve given good advice. Good advice from a doctor should be based on up-to-date medical opinion – in his short article, Maloney casts doubt on the usefulness of vaccines (which may be justifiable for the current swine flu vaccines) and turns around to proclaim, in remarkably firm terms, the efficacy of herbal supplements (claims which are not supported by available evidence).

You don’t silence people by complaining to their web host. Christopher Maloney is a fool.

EDIT: More information has come to light! It wasn’t Maloney who complained to WordPress – he’s only guilty of misrepresenting facts about the flu. It was an even bigger idiot, Andreas Moritz, who threatened legal action (and against Pharyngula, who blew this issue up in the blogosphere). Here’s Andreas on cancer:

Damaged or faulty genes do not kill anyone. Cancer does not kill a person afflicted with it! What kills a cancer patient is not the tumor, but the numerous reasons behind cell mutation and tumor growth. These root causes should be the focus of every cancer treatment, yet most oncologists typically ignore them. Constant conflicts, guilt and shame, for example, can easily paralyze the body’s most basic functions, and lead to the growth of a cancerous tumor.

Maloney’s misguided but (at least) doesn’t prescribe treatments that are likely to cause harm. Moritz, on the other hand, is a deranged charlatan whose words and recommendations actively undermine evidence-based cancer treatment.

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Categories: Things people do | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Scientific Solidarity

  1. M@

    It’s only a matter of time they develop an iPhone app for debunking wingnut theories, fringe/pseudo-scientific justification and crackpotery… Coincidentally there’s already one for climate science; http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/336841/tired_climate_change_sceptics_there_an_app_/?fp=4194304&fpid=1

    • I saw that, it’s great! There’s also apparently one for rebutting creationist claims against evolution which has just come out.

      I hesitate to blast naturopaths too much because most of them seem to genuinely believe they’re helping people and I have no problem with ‘prescriptions’ to exercise more, eat less processed food etc. It’s when they stray into dealing with serious disease, as Moritz does with cancer and (I believe) AIDS, then it’s an extremely dangerous situation where his advice could stop people from getting appropriate treatment for otherwise terminal illnesses.

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