May Puzzles

1 May, 2014

banner-best-android-puzzle-applistThere are seven new Picture Puzzles and twenty “Mixed Bag” Questions at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE. You might like to use the Mixed Bag Questions as practice for the Tenth Annual Vic Skeptics Trivia Extravaganza on May 19. (See the EVENTS PAGE for further details)

To mark the NHMRC’s recent demolition of Homeopathy as a serious medical system, this month’s
MAY 2014 Skeptical Crossword
has Homeopathy as its theme.It’s necessarily a smaller crossword than usual – but it still comes with both “straight” and cryptic clues.

To stretch your brain just that bit more, try the
MAY 2014 Logic & Maths Puzzles



18 May, 2012

by Ken Greatorex

This is a collection of odds, ends and newsy bits that have taken our attention in the last month.

  • The Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne was as big an event as predicted. There was even an appearance by both militant Christians and Muslims. HERE. For Dick Gross’s review, see HERE

    Eugenie Scott

    The GAC was big enough to have its own fringe, in fact. Our own April Skeptics Café was billed as just such an event, featuring  the delightful Eugenie Scott. It may not have represented an enormous crowd for Ms Scott – she is much in demand internationally as a speaker – but it set a record for La Notte’s Club Room. Read the rest of this entry »

Skepticism in the Bush

1 November, 2011

by Russell Kelly

There is plenty to keep a skeptic busy in the bush; alternative medicine abounds and belief systems involving the weather and animals are plentiful.  The recent drought spawned a plethora of water diviners but lacking confidence in the Bureau of Meteorology, many believe that the best indicator of impeding precipitation is the squawking of Black Cockatoos. The myth has been around for at least 100 years but for some reason the squawking during the drought seemed to have less effect than the nude dance in the paddock.

Emu oil is currently very fashionable to cure a wide variety of maladies and snake-oil salesmen find easy pickings especially with weight loss scams. A long-running study has confirmed that rural women are more obese than their city cousins and they are more likely to use alternative medicines, so there are plenty of candidates for the wacky products.

Medical conditions triggered by pollens and sprays are endemic in the bush and so are the charlatans who peddle ‘natural’ allergy therapies including the instruments to test allergy susceptibility. The TGA has recently closed down the web site of one of our local operators who with her gadgetry could diagnose the offending allergen and then provide a rapid cure using the latest in homeopathy potions.

Read the rest of this entry »

The writings of Samuel Hahnemann

8 March, 2011

I admit to a certain curiosity about old homeopathy books. What do they contain? Is there any science in these books?  Exactly what did Samuel Hahnemann write that gained him such a dedicated following?

If you’re unfamiliar with Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, or the alternative medicine practice of homeopathy, you might like to read this introduction before reading any further with this post.

Generally, Hahnemann’s writings about homeopathy were translated into English not long after the publication of the original German versions. In all my reading about homeopathy, I’ve seen almost no comments taken from these translations of Samuel Hahnemann’s work.

My approach to this material will be: just because a book is old, that doesn’t mean I’ll ignore poor reasoning and throw away everything learnt in the last 200 years.  I’m looking for good evidence and logical reasoning to back up any claims.

Critics might suggest I’ve only looked into Hahnemann’s writings with the idea of cherry picking it and then dismissing it. Not so: if I find good science I’ll change my mind.  Hahnemann claimed to have done experiments. Read the rest of this entry »

Vic Department of Health’s “Better Health Channel”

7 March, 2011

by Graeme Hanigan

This is the background to a petition addressed to The  Minister of Health, David Davis MLC, calling for a review of the Victorian Department of Health’s Better Health Channel

Penelope Dingle was 45 years old when she died of colorectal cancer on the 25th of August, 2005. Had her cancer been detected and treated when symptoms were first observed 4 years earlier, she may still be alive today.  Instead of seeking medical treatment, Penelope put her health into the incompetent hands of a deluded Homeopathic quack.

At the conclusion of the inquest into the sad death of Penelope Dingle, the W.A. State Coroner made two recommendations. Read the rest of this entry »

A Critical Look at Homeopathy

10 July, 2010

Graeme Hanigan of “The Celestial Teapot” reviews Homeopathy.  Graeme writes:

The following explanation for homoeopathy is taken from the Australian Homeopathic Association.

Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine developed by German physician and chemist, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), based on the principle of “let likes cure likes”. This law or principle is based on a long held belief as far back as Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, and other ancient healers such as Paracelsus, that substances that produce symptoms in a healthy individual can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person.

Let’s take a critical look at this statement.

Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine

This is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence to support it.

developed by German physician and chemist, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843).

This statement is supported by historical data and can be considered Read the rest of this entry »

Homeopathy … In Pictures

4 July, 2010

Remember Darryl Cunningham’s excellent graphical treatment of The Wakefield Saga?

Well, Daryl’s done it again … this time tackling Homeopathy in his insightful and entertaining fashion.

It includes a nice summary of the basics of homeopathy, as well as revealing why it’s so ridiculous and how it can actually be dangerous.

This is essential reading!



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