The woo of Chopra and Sheldrake

Jerry Coyne has a justified pop at Rupert Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra and the uncritical support from the BBC on woo:

A quote from Carl Sagan comes to mind:

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) criminally negligent?

David Colquhoun’s damning indictment of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and certain other organisations:


The main conclusion from all of this is that the General Pharmaceutical Council is almost criminally negligent. It continues to allow pharmacists, Anthony Pinkus among them, to endanger lives. It fails to apply its own declared principles. The members of its Council are not doing their job.

Individual pharmacists vary a lot, from the superb to those who believe in quackery. Some, perhaps many, are embarrassed by the fact that their employer compels them to sell rubbish. It’s too much to expect that they’ll endanger their mortgage payments by speaking out about it, but the best ones will take you aside and explain that they can’t recommend it.

The GPhC itself is regulated by the Professional Standards Authority, the subject of my last post. We can’t expect anything sensible from them.

In the USA there is a shocking number of pharmacists who seem to believe in quackery. In the UK. nobody knows, though judging by their failure to vote against the daftest of all scams. homeopathy, there is no cause for complacency here.

It seems that there will have to be big improvements in pharmacy education before you can have much confidence in the quality of the advice that you get in a pharmacy.

It seems to me that society, in general, is not informed and that various businesses push their agenda to generate more revenue and increase profit. This has created a weak and flawed regulator.

Dangers of self diagnoses

This article at SBM clearly explains the mistakes that some people make with regards to understanding what treatments work, and the delusions that seem to consume them.

It’s a long article but it is extremely important for those who care about truth and rationality.

The nonsense in medicine

A great article from Scott Gavura on the growth of nonsense and the acquiesce of rationality all too evident with the scam medical treats promoted, consciously or not, by pharmacies, celebrities, the deluded, and other con artists. But Dr. Paul Offit stands as a candle in the dark, and should be applauded for his stance against the nonsense and the threats of violence directed at him.

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2013

The scam of the fake “bomb detectors”…no happy ending.

I’ve previously posted articles on the disgraceful behaviour of governments in a bomb detector scam. I’ve seen these fake “bomb detectors” being used in Iraq and I was not pleased to say the least.

Basically there was no quality control in assessing the efficacy of the product by governments. And it took a long time for any official response despite warnings from a number of sources over a number of years. A combination of corruption, greed, gullibility and incompetence. This sad story could have been stopped a long time ago if people were given the tools to think critically and ask questions.

Steven Novella has just posted his concerns on what seems to be a rather lenient sentencing of Jim McCormick for fraud:

How many lives have been lost?

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2013

Catholics attack rationality…no change there then!

Catholics attack rationality…no change there then!

The religious do not have a real concept of reality, of common sense. They are cocooned in their little fantasy world and feel threatened when someone points out weaknesses and other nonsense that the religious live in. So to protect their world, to hold onto power, the entrench further against reality, the religious lash out even it means that they make themselves even more fools.

I would go further and say that some of the religious know that some things are not true and deliberately delude and scam the people. How else can you explain the actions of these Catholic?

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012

Fake bomb detectors in Iraq – January 2012

Corruption and credulity are enemies of reason and lead to violence, misery and slavery of the mind. Whoa! Where did that come from?

I’d previously written on the scam of fake bomb-detectors being used in Iraq after my trip there:

That article has a number of links to websites that provide information on these fake bomb-detectors and their ilk. It’s been a while since my article and, unfortunately, I had not kept myself up-to-date. Peter at reported in December 2011 that Major General Jihad al Jabiri, who signed the order(s) for the ADE651, had been released from prison earlier in the year due to what I call a pro-corruption bill…! The full story is here:

The buyers of these types of devices are one thing. The peddlers are another; people like Gary Bolton and Charles L. Christensen. They’re not in jail either. Why? Corruption isn’t just in Iraq. Full stories and updates at these sites:


Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012

Fake bomb detectors still used in Iraq

Following the hard work of JREF et al over several years, there has been much media publicity over the last year or two over the sales of useless (fake) bomb detectors :

Also see the petition

It is a pity that JREF does not get more recognition for their hard work from the mainstream media (eg BBC).

I’ve just returned this month from Iraq and those fake bomb detectors are still being used extensively at nearly all the myriad of security checkpoints in that country. The picture below shows one of these devices being operated in April 2011 around Baghdad.

fake bomb detector in Iraq

It was laughable in a macabre sort of way, but I also felt angry. The Iraqi government are aware that these devices are fakes but have not done anything. The whole setup is immoral and criminal; all those who’ve promoted, bought and allow continued use of these devices are despicable and need to be prosecuted. Lives are at stake.

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2011