Andrew Weil advocates cupping

UACIM

Andrew Weil is working to cheapen my degree, and yours if you’re a Wildcat. The director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Weil mixes good medical advice, most of which boils down to “eat better and get more exercise,” with rank bullshit. He advocates (among other nonsense) homeopathy, Ayurveda, and osteopathic manipulations for ear infections.  I’ve been on his mailing list ever since curiosity drove me to take his Vitamin Evaluation (which indicated that I need $147/month worth of supplements).  Honestly, most of it’s pretty unobjectionable: foods you should eat more of, healthy recipes, exercise advice…stuff like that. But, as I’ve said before:

I know Dr. Weil gives a lot of good advice. He also advises a lot of nonsense. A doctor who advises his patients to get their chakras aligned is a quack. A doctor who advises his patients to eat a healthy diet, get more exercise, quit smoking, and get their chakras aligned is still a quack.

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Where’s the revolution? More from Drs. Weil & Chopra

WeilChopra

Being on Andrew Weil’s mailing list is entertaining (see “Journey into bullshit“). His latest mailing advertises his upcoming webinar with Deepak Chopra. The website for this event (on chopra.com) starts off

Are Your Genes Your Destiny?

Until very recently, scientists would have said yes.

In fact, it was widely accepted that the genes we inherited at birth controlled everything – from our personalities to our health to our longevity. So if you were unlucky enough to inherit the gene for cancer or heart disease, you were expected – no matter who you were or how you lived – to develop that disease.

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Journey into Bullshit with Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil

ChopraWeil

From taking Andrew Weil’s vitamin evaluation*,  I am signed up for his email newsletter, which today included the above announcement of a “Mind-body wellness workshop” he is headlining along with Dr. Woo himself, Deepak Chopra (see “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit“). The workshop promises to help participants

…integrate easy-to-master Ayurvedic healing techniques, which originated in India over 5,000 years ago, into your modern lifestyle.

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A stuck mensch

    Journey into bullshitJourney into bullshit

I have never blocked a comment on this site that wasn’t straight-up spam. This should not be construed as a promise that I never will; it’s my site, and I reserve the right to block anything for any reason. So far, I just haven’t seen the need.

Not that I haven’t had some pushback in the comments, but I generally prefer to let the criticism stand. Sometimes I answer it. Sometimes the arguments are so inane that I think they have the opposite of their intended effect. And sometimes they’re so gloriously bad that I want to make sure my readers see them. This one falls into the third category.

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Dangerous nonsense

I may have to take back some of the things I’ve said about Andrew Weil (“Pseudoscience at the University of Arizona,” “Journey into bullshit with Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil,” “Andrew Weil advocates cupping“). Not that any of it isn’t true; he really does season his mostly sound health advice with some pseudoscientific bullshit. But damn, Dr. Weil is a paragon of rationality compared to these two:

The article the tweet links to is by Larry Malerba, DO, DHt, “Physician, educator, author, and pioneer of new paradigm medical thinking.” I don’t know what a DHt is: distributed hash table? Dihydrotestosterone? If anyone knows, please share in the comments.

Malerba

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Thoughts on a year of blogging

Facebook reminded me the other day that it’s been a year since I started the original Fierce Roller blog. I didn’t know back then if I’d stick to it this long, and I still don’t know if I’ll keep it up another year. One step at a time.

HelloWorld

My very first blog post.

What is Fierce Roller, exactly? I guess it’s a few different things. One of the ideas from the start was to be a service to the Volvox community, reporting new papers, meetings, and news relating to volvocine algae. But that has only been one aspect. It is also a place for me to talk about my research interests, both scientific and philosophical. Scientific usually means that it has to do with the so-called ‘major transitions’ or related evolutionary themes. I wish I could cover this topic more thoroughly, but it has become a big subfield within evolutionary biology, and I can’t possibly keep up with the relative flood of papers. Philosophical usually means that it has to do with the one discussion in the philosophy of science that I’ve contributed to, about the meaning of biological individuality. There is also, of course, a thread of skepticism, occasionally about ‘alternative’ medicine, but usually responding to creationist arguments.

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Pseudoscience at the University of Arizona

UACIM

The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine is an embarrassment. Its director, Dr. Andrew Weil, is a quack.

Let me get this out of the way first: I know Dr. Weil gives a lot of good advice. He also advises a lot of nonsense. A doctor who advises his patients to get their chakras aligned is a quack. A doctor who advises his patients to eat a healthy diet, get more exercise, quit smoking, and get their chakras aligned is still a quack.

[Read more…]