Crazy science letter of the week part 4

This is a long one, but a good one as crazy science letters go. Almost made me choke on my xtra trim milk! From Healthy Options magazine.

Source: Healthy Options, April 2010
Source: Healthy Options, April 2010


  1. Grant Jacobs

    and they have someone commenting on vaccines

    An extended infomercial to sell a homeopathic “vaccination”.

    The vitamin “story” is an extended quote-mine to attack science as whole, presumably to market their products as the “safe” alternative.

    Seems the pattern here is that this magazine serves those who want to sell their wares through distortions and fear-mongering.

    I suppose it’s a market for the publishers, but a pretty dishonest one.

  2. drmike

    correction, I just checked the healthy options magazine web site and I must have been thinking of a different magazine, as some issues have articles on a homeopathic cure for breast cancer – sigh.
    Not sure if a letter to the editor would do much good with such a magazine.
    Peter, I think you may have found an ongoing source for more crazy science letters – sigh again.

  3. drmike

    I’ve got a couple of issues of healthy options at home which I picked up because it had some interesting articles. I think it is worth writing to the editor and saying how disturbing it is to see them publishing pseudoscientific infomercials (perhaps with a bit more tact though)

  4. Alison Campbell

    I liked the bit where they say ‘I recommend (but have no commercial interest in)…’ I mean, really???? With the details that follow? The whole darn thing is a thinly disguised infomercial 🙂

  5. multispork

    I’ve seen precisely this brand of woo in relation to human breast milk, from somebody claiming that it had a magical ability to adjust itself to the precise needs of the baby, even in the case of identical twins, and that in the case of twins the breast could somehow sense which baby was put on, and would change the formulation of the milk accordingly.

  6. Darcy Cowan

    I don’t know what is more disturbing, that this person has formulated this hodgepodge of science-pseudoscience-conspiracy-mysticism or that it was considered so good by the editors of the magazine that it should be promoted!

  7. kiwiski

    Eureka! So all disease is really psycho-cytomatic. Personally, about a million of my cells are schizophrenic.

    ps. I’m thinking of starting an institute of Phrencytology.

  8. drmike

    I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry, I’m sort of caught between the two states at the moment. As well as the membrains comment its interesting to see that the writer believes that milk is pasteurised to supposedly kill the “germs”. Sounds like borderline conspiracy theory.
    Given that we are a supposedly a conglomerate of sentient cells, I wonder what happens if one group of cells gets annoyed with another. Could an ear get sick of what the mouth is saying and wander off for a bit of piece and quiet?
    I remember reading in the book “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell (I think) about a American guy who has a extremely high IQ but no formal science training. He has come up with some fascinating theories about how different things work but because he has no accepted scientific framework on which to hang his ideas they end up as a mix of science and pseudoscience.
    With people like this around it certainly demonstrates the need for mre science communication.

  9. Peter Griffin

    Oh, I don’t know, I’ve got a bit of a backlog of crazy science letters building up, this series could run until Christmas and there are some wacky ones to come…!

  10. Aimee Whitcroft

    I think my favourite comments are the ones in which our cells are sentient (apparently due to their ‘mem-brains’), and the fact that cow mothers’ bodies sense what their calves need and change their milk accordingly. (For the uninitiated, I’d like to point out out that breast milk is best because of the immune factors in it!)

    What he appears to have missed are that the mechanical model and sentient cell model are, in fact, pretty much the same model! The only difference is that cells are not ‘making a choice’, per se.

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