Anaximperator blog

Blogging against alternative cancer treatments

Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons is a free 40 minute video introduction to critical thinking. It is suitable for general audiences and is licensed for free distribution and public display.

Most people fully accept paranormal and pseudoscientific claims without critique as they are promoted by the mass media. Here Be Dragons offers a toolbox for recognizing and understanding the dangers of pseudoscience, and appreciation for the reality-based benefits offered by real science.

Here Be Dragons is written and presented by Brian Dunning, host and producer of the Skeptoid podcast, author of Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena, and Executive Producer of The eptologists.

10 responses to “Here Be Dragons

  1. cryptocheilus February 11, 2009 at 9:53 am


  2. beatis February 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Thank you!

  3. Rich February 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    “By the way – there might be a relationship between fungus and cancer, but not quite in the way Tullio Simoncini is trying to make us believe.”
    — That new drug is just acidified bleach(hypochlorite), which by the way, kills candida.

  4. Rich February 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    On the concept of complimentary medicine, I would not recommend putting anything in your body without scientific research from a reliable source. Most alternative medicine is quackery, and potentially dangerous.

    That being said, there are many alternative remedies, for instance garlic, which has been scientifically demonstrated to selectively kill cancer cells, also fungus. Of course that doesn’t mean there is a protocol that has been developed for the use of a garlic to treat any disease.

    Additionally, something like a cancer, you better go to your real doctor first. But absolutely, many alternative medicines have a solid scientific basis for helping with many diseases.

    Not all doctors are good doctors… any professional doctor is better than some amateur pseudo-doctor, but one should be vigilant about health problems before they get out of hand, and should look up brand new research, and print out articles from respectable websites like NIH and Mayo Clinic, and show them to their doctor. That is my 2 cents.

  5. Rich February 15, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Thank you very much for showing my last message. I hope I will be able to contribute to the debate in the future. I’m no naturopath and not a doctor, just an average joe who has spent some time studying some of these strange cures, and every once in a while I do happen to find some scientific basis in some of them. Perhaps we can compare notes, and maybe learn from each other.

  6. beatis February 15, 2009 at 11:10 am

    @ Rich,

    You are very welcome.

  7. beatis February 15, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Mr Tony Isaacs has also been posting on this blog. We have spammed all his posts but two, because we do not allow people to use this blog as a soapbox for advertising dubious health products, which is just what Mr Isaacs tried to do. Here is some more information on the way Mr Isaacs tries to push his products:

  8. beatis February 16, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Regarding Metastasized colon cancer – this information is from a scientist oncologist who is a specialist in colon cancer:

    “Without metastases in other organs (not lymph nodes) there is a chance of about 50% of the disease not recurring after primary treatment such as surgery. The other 50% of patients is confronted with recurrence of the disease. A small number of those patients can be treated surgically with a chance of recovery.

    When there are metastases in the organs, we try to find out whether it is possible to remove these metastases. This depends on a number of conditions: the nature of the cancer, the primary tumour must be under control; the number of metastases (usually no more than three) and the size. If we succeed in surgically removing these metastases, combining this with adjuvant chemotherapy offers the best chance for long-term survival.

    There has never been any scientific evidence that alternative therapies, supplements, diets or high intake of vitamin supplements are helpful. There is evidence however that high intake of vitamins, such as vitamin C, can adverse the effect of chemotherapy.

    Nowadays, 75 % of people diagnosed with metastasized colon cancer having received treatment for it, are still alive one year after this diagnosis. Some years ago, this was no more than 35 %.”

  9. natalie February 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I know these are “only” testimonials, but i actually know one of the gentlemen who has written a testimonial and he is alive and well many years later…..

  10. beatis February 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Testimonials, or anecdotal evidence, are often used in many areas of life, including medical science. A physician will use the testimonies of his or her patients to draw conclusions about certain medications or procedures. For example, a physician will take anecdotal evidence from a patient about a reaction to a new medication and use that information in deciding to adjust the prescribed dosage or to change the medication. He will register meticulously what the condition of his patient is during the entire treatment and which medication was used during this time. The physician cannot be selective in listening to testimony, by registering only those claims that fit his or her own prejudices or expectations, for this could harm the patients.

    For a testimonial to be credible, it has to be complete. Just like the doctor’s registration, a reliable testimonial should give full information about everything that was done during the entire treatment. This means that there should not just be scans taken at the end of the treatment, but there should also be scans that show what the condition was like at the start of the treatment, so that a good comparison can be made. It should be made clear which medication was used during the treatment. The composition of the Chinese herbs should also be stated. Chinese herb mixtures are famous for containing many different ingredients. Sometimes they even contain conventional western medication, without this being made known. If nobody knows what was in the herb mixture, no conclusions whatsoever can be drawn about its efficacy. It is also important that all these elements can be verified, for example by the patient giving his full name and allowing scientists to contact the physician who gave the treatment. All these things help to render testimonials credibility.

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