June 27th 2008, 15:38
Lorenzo died a month ago, just one day after his 30th birthday. Doctors had told his parents he would die at the age of 8 from a rare disease called ALD (adrenoleukodystrophy). It was their refusal to accept this prognosis that led them on a ceaseless quest for a cure, which was championed in the award-winning movie Lorenzo's Oil.
Throughout, they were discouraged by doctors and scientists, who told them their quest was pointless because no cure would ever be found.
June 20th 2008, 11:08
You are Edzard Ernst, esteemed professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, and I claim my lb10,000. Please wire my payment to: Bryan Hubbard@Dunworkin.
As you may have heard, Edzard has done a Randi, and has announced a lb10,000 prize to anyone who can produce evidence that homeopathy works.
Magician James Randi is another gallant quack-buster, who has offered a $1 million for proof that the paranormal exists. Randi has never coughed up, of course, and he never will, despite the many cases he has seen that should see him parted from his loot.
June 13th 2008, 12:04
One of the first rules of political power is to create a bogey-man (BM). As we all fear the BM, we're relieved when our political leaders are prepared to stand up to said BM, even if it means removing our civil liberties. After all, it's for our own good.
Drug companies do something similar, although they call this object of fear the bogey-man disease (BMD). Fortunately, the drug companies are on hand to protect us against BMDs, even though it means removing our common-sense or critical thinking. After all, it's for the drug comapnies' good.
June 6th 2008, 10:54
Instead of the usual rant, this week I want to make an appeal. It's an appeal for reason, for true science without commercial restraints, and for funding to carry out a simple, and inexpensive, experiment that may have enormous positive implications for all of us.
This line of thinking has been inspired by two pieces of paper that have landed on my desk this week. The first is from the Society of Occupational Medicine, which has just completed some expensive research that reached the astonishing conclusion that people who go to work are less depressed than people who are unemployed. The second is a letter from a gentleman who has seemingly successfully treated his prostate cancer by using a machine that was developed in the 1920s and 30s by an American called Royal Raymond Rife.
Rife, who died in 1970, has marginalised opinion between those who are convinced he was a genius who had discovered a cure for cancer and a range of other systemic conditions, and those who believe he was one of the biggest frauds of the last century.