Doctor Oz officially endorses woo while Steven Novella does his best to speak on the merits of science-based medicine...you know, the kind everyone wants when they're really sick. It was an uneven contest of course, but maybe Dr. Novella (who really should have chosen a coloured shirt and a more complimentary tie) got through to someone who will benefit from real medicine. Dr. Novella is the President of the New England Skeptical Society and the host of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe and The Skeptic's Guide 5 x 5. He blogs prodigiously at Neurologica and Science Based Medicine. Dr. Novella has offered Doctor Oz a opportunity to be interviewed for the SGU podcast and - unlike the conditions on The Dr. Oz Show - to have his entire unedited interview made available to the public. We'll see if Oz takes the SGU up on its offer.
I've been thinking on which books would make good texts for a course on critical thinking. I come up with three straight away:
- The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan
- Snake Oil Science: The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine, by R. Barker Bausell Ph.D.
- Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway.
In the mean time another excellent podcast dealing with SCAM - Supplements, Complimentary, and Alternative Medicine - is Dr. Mark Crislip's Quackcast.
Remember, it's effective and it's safe, it's not alternative medicine, it's just medicine.