Sunday, December 06, 2009

Bad advice for the winter.

Last Saturday I went out for a venue finding mission with some skeptical chums, and in between bars I was distressed to see that mad, bad and dangerous medical advice is never far away. Nearby to a possible venue we chanced upon a vegetarian health shop and in their window we found this:

I set out to find some Skepticism but I ended up finding more woo than the contents of a regency era romantic novel. Not everyone has the constitution of a ninja skeptic like myself, for instance the elderly may not take too well to this non-scientific claptrap. Please note that the advert points out that Mr. Moorhouse has been on Countryfile, but doesn't mention any qualifications that enable him to cure the common cold (let alone the flu!) This health shop should really have it's socks pulled up, this could be potentially deadly advice.

I would also like to know what kind of health shop is also a vegetarian shop? I would have thought it would be more appropriate that this place to advertise itself as a lifestyle shop, not a health shop! Based on what is said in this window, I think this place has more in common with a soup kitchen than a pharmacy.

-Alex Dennerly


  1. I'm reading Ben Goldacre's "Bad Science" at the moment.

    If I was feeling optimistic I might sardonically note that on the upside, maybe the pedlars of this dangerous nonsense actually believe it and when the virus comes they'll be first to the wall, so it may be a self-correcting problem.

    If I default to my natural pessimism, then of course the hucksters and charlatans don't believe in the shit they are shovelling.

    The pub across the road from us has a banner up advertising an evening with a clairvoyant, I'm tempted to go, just to watch them try to guess the names of my grandparents who are still alive and the pet dog we don't own. However I object having to pay money to do so.

  2. I really don't think these people will swallow their crap "medicine" either. Most hearbalists chiropractors will have a disclaimer on the tickets or products telling you to see a doctor if /when treatment doesn't work. Great isn't it, even the quacks don't have faith in their own products.

  3. I'd like to imagine that this guy actually believe that his herbal remedies work, but it's hard to say when I've never heard him speak.

    I just can't believe that anyone would be so immoral as to willingly place people in harm, but I'm definitely wrong on that one - these people do exist, they're everywhere!

    Bad Science is indeed great, I feel shamed that I still haven't finished it. I'll put that on my to-do list. I don't blame you for avoiding that clairvoyant, I wouldn't like any of my money to end up in the hands of a psychic, whether they truly believe or not.