Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.
Fluoride: Still Not Poisoning Your Precious Body Fluids! (Grant Ritchey) Myths about the alleged dangers of fluoride refuse to die. New guidelines for children include fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth erupt, fluoride varnish every 3-6 months, and avoidance of fluoride rinse in young children. No, dentists are not trying to poison their patients.
Medicine past, present, and future: Star Trek versus Dr. Kildare and The Knick (David Gorski) TV shows and movies make us wonder how much of current medical practice will be considered barbaric a century from now. Contempt for doctors of the past is unjustified. Science advances incrementally, and doctors can only go by the best evidence available to them at the time. Science is what got us from the world of The Knick to where we are today.
Only two months until Skepticon (David Gorski) Dr. Gorski will be speaking at Skepticon in November.
The Human Mold: Another Example of Self-Deception (Harriet Hall) José Jarimba has convinced himself that our bodies are physically molded into an asymmetric form by our mothers’ sleeping positions during pregnancy, that this causes lifelong pain and illness, and that he can fix the problem with shoe lifts. He is a prime example of self-deception, scientific ignorance, poor critical thinking skills, and closed-minded hubris.
Privileged Antivaxxers (Steven Novella) Some LA communities have vaccination rates as low as third-world countries. Well-educated and well-to-do parents are rejecting science and responding to irrational fears. They are putting their own children at risk and endangering others; vaccine preventable diseases are coming back.
Missouri tackles primary care shortage with “assistant physicians” (Jann Bellamy) In Missouri, a new law will allow medical school graduates who have not completed a residency to practice in underserved areas. Their practice will be limited and supervised. This contrasts with the less cautious, less rational approach of licensing naturopaths or chiropractors as primary care physicians.
Rationalizing the Ridiculous (Mark Crislip) Promoters of acupuncture and naturopathy are attempting to integrate fantasies with science. They rationalize away the evidence and resort to logical fallacies. Our patients deserve better.
Announcement: “Integrative oncology” – Really the best of both worlds? Dr. Gorski has published a commentary on integrative oncology in a high-profile peer-reviewed medical journal. Link provided.