Episode 46 – 13th August 2010

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Susan Greenfield by Martin Robbins
Tom Watson MP interview by Salim Fadhley
Crohn’s Disease bleach treatment by Dr*T (ft Rhys Morgan)
Antidisestablishmentarian by Sean Ellis
Edinburgh Festival Preview by Misty

Pod Delusion LIVE – 14th September 2010. More info: here.

3 thoughts on “Episode 46 – 13th August 2010

  1. I watched Rhys’ experience unfold on the Crohn’s Forum. He did a good job in the face of complete and utter stupidity. He was up against it from the start. It’s unfortunate that the Crohn’s Forum is populated by so many idiots – people will, no doubt, die as a result of advice given by some of the “senior members”. MMS is just one of the woo-based “medications” suggested in many threads there.

    I certainly didn’t see any evidence, not even a suggestion that Rhys was being rude, arrogant, or anything other than polite.

  2. I’m only just catching up with this #bleachgate story, having been out of the UK (& therefore no internet) for the past 10 days and, again, I find myself absolutely astonished with yet another case of people disregarding hard-facts about risks of consuming products. At the Westminster Skeptics meeting on 2nd Aug, Frank Swain mentioned how Skeptics attack homeopathy users with regards to the lack evidence-based research, ye, with all the evidence proving that alcohol causes stomach/oral cancer, most Skeptics continue to drink. I believe, people make judgements on their personal risks in terms of effects of the consumable (drink/treatment/smoke) so make up their own mind, regardless of what the evidence reports. This is fair enough because some people may not really know (or want to know) or even understand the details about what they are ingesting, but surely in the case of the Crohn’s sufferer complaining of painful (natural) swallowing, major alarm bells should be ringing!!? And of the abuse Rhys faced in the forum? For what? A benevolent, yet important warning that MMS causes harm (and with facts!!).

    This makes me question why any of us, so driven by evidence, seem to want to spread the word so much when so much abuse is thrown back at us? Why can’t people see we are not trying to force a fabricated assumption or personal belief on whether something works or not? Potentially our evidence-based advice can save lives. By not voicing the facts, we would knowingly allow harm to others….in other worlds this would be manslaughter!! People should be grateful that others, particularly Skeptics (when the correct approach is adopted of course), are not the enemy. Soon, people of this good-natured mindset will stop issuing the warnings, stop caring so much about others and just look after themselves and other like minded people who digest the facts and avoid any health dangers if they choose to be guided by them.

    As a scientist myself, however, evidence is what I thrive on. It’s what all good scientists thrive on. It’s like Faraday once said, when asked what the secret of his success was, he said “Work, Finish, Publish.” Scientists work hard for evidence and then want it to be read by others; but there will come a crossroads where people don’t want to listen (as Rhys has experienced), but at least it’s always better to say we (and in the MMS case, Rhys) tried!!

  3. Before I start, I am a completely scientific person and I despise this “quackery,” as Rhys often puts it, of encouraging people to gargle bleach and other alternative nonsense.

    Although, merely as a counter point, people who are suffering from life-threatening and incurable diseases, such as AIDS and certain cancers, conventional medicine will offer them no salvation simply because there IS no salvation from things like that. This may push perfectly sane people to try alternative remedies out of desperation.
    I think it’s disgusting that people will try to take advantage of this desperation and sell them.. well.. random chemicals.

    Although Rhys did exactly what any intelligent campaigner should, this is not necessarily effective against the idiot population who seem to be willing to listen to “experts” who are somehow god because they’ve been on a forum for longer. Even records of people DYING don’t seem to deter people.

    You *do* need to make this as public as possible, it’s easy for an autocratic forum to dismiss a few people, but in the public eye this’ll be busted open.

    If there is enough governmental spotlight on this through MPs we might just start funding intelligent medicine such as stem cell research and take away the ridiculous amounts of money from alternative medicine.

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