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← Homeopathy & Nutritionists vs Real Science!

Homeopathy & Nutritionists vs Real Science! - Comments

mattincinci's Avatar Comment 1 by mattincinci

lol i posted this yesterday very funny video...along with god moments

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 07:18:00 UTC | #381690

augustomonster's Avatar Comment 2 by augustomonster

I don`t think that this topics are part of the thinking of this great movement.

I`m a MD Gastroenterology Department Chief of a German Hospital and the Nutricionists here are fundamental and very scientifically prepared.

Don`t waste our time laughing about something we don´t have proved.

Greetings and Up the free thinkers!!

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 07:47:00 UTC | #381706

Ankou's Avatar Comment 3 by Ankou

I could not comprehend what you posted augustomonster.....

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:16:00 UTC | #381711

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 4 by Chrysippus_Maximus

He said that in his gastroenterology dept. in Germany, they work with nutritionists, and he thinks they are very scientific. He's trying to say that he doesn't think a movement that denies the existence of God(s) should be wasting its time laughing about perceived folly of homeopathy, etc. because we haven't actually proved that these things don't work.

Charitably interpreted, he's not speaking about homeopathy in particular (I think it's pretty obvious no one in their right mind thinks it does anything except placebo effect), but rather the augmentation of traditional healthcare with nutritional and behavioural advice (perhaps even from nutritionists, who may, in his dept. work with doctors and scientists to develop advice that actually does work).

Anyway, I think there's just a misunderstanding of what's being laughed at.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:32:00 UTC | #381712

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 5 by Jos Gibbons

If Spinoza's linguistic skills have correctly translated augustomonster's message, I can finally respond to something which once left me in the same position as it left Ankou. I'd start by pointing out to him that a group of RD fans may be united more by rationalism in general than atheism in particular, so our anti-homeopathy feelings are due to it not being rational at all. Perhaps he'd like to trawl out his evidence.

Let me speed up the process:
Double blind trials 1, anecdotes 0.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:36:00 UTC | #381714

Lemniscate's Avatar Comment 6 by Lemniscate

This was great at the 'Night of 400bn stars' event, and I was pleased by the extra snippet at the start where he asked if anyone knew what exp(i*Pi) was.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:37:00 UTC | #381715

Thomas Byrne's Avatar Comment 7 by Thomas Byrne

:D Love Dara O'Brien. One of the best this country has.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:41:00 UTC | #381717

iainmacl's Avatar Comment 8 by iainmacl

Yes I'm sure its a simple linguistic/cultural clash too in that 'nutritionist' has no official meaning in the UK and so anyone can set themselves up as such with or without any training and simply propagate nonsense, although many people don't realise this and take the term on trust to imply training in some vaguely rational medically relevant science. Of course it is possible to get qualifications from made up organisations, something you can learn more about on the holfordwatch blog. But in some other countries it might well be the case that there are specialists who offer coorect dietary and health advice to patients that are locally refered to as nutritionists. This must be frustrating for proper health professionals trying to separate themselves from the pseudoscientific claptrap.

As for homeopathy, one might legititmally ask why is has proven to be a particularly virulant meme, particularly it seems amongst the otherwise 'educated' middle classes.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 09:00:00 UTC | #381721

Sciros's Avatar Comment 9 by Sciros

So, uh, what is a nutritionist? There is such a thing as nutrition science, right? And it presumably involves chemistry, physiology, and scientific research? Maybe?

EDIT: looked up the different kinds of 'nutritionist.' Can be scientific, can be not-so-scientific. If it's a public health nutritionist, sometimes the science relied on just isn't complete/good enough but meh

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 09:06:00 UTC | #381722

Ian's Avatar Comment 10 by Ian

I watched this last night on BBC iPlayer, where it is billed as Dara O'Briain Talks Funny. The rest of the show is as good.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 09:08:00 UTC | #381723

Disbelief's Avatar Comment 11 by Disbelief


"Get in the sack"

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 09:27:00 UTC | #381725

MrPickwick's Avatar Comment 12 by MrPickwick

"Get in the fucking sack!": This has to be remembered.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 09:59:00 UTC | #381730

bewlay_brother's Avatar Comment 13 by bewlay_brother

"science knows it doesnt know everything...thats why it hasnt stopped."


Thu, 23 Jul 2009 10:15:00 UTC | #381731

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 14 by Chrysippus_Maximus

I'm a bit worried by the use of 'rationalism' by a bunch of people who are clearly empiricists.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 10:57:00 UTC | #381737

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 15 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #399147 by Spinoza

Then you'd really dislike any of Popper's works in which he surprisingly classifies himself as a rationalist. What next? Would you like us to give up the word "idealist" just because we're not referencing the esse est percipi hypothesis? If you insist on us avoiding the term, perhaps "rationality proponents" would help. It'll take longer though. :(

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 11:09:00 UTC | #381741

iMissDouglas's Avatar Comment 16 by iMissDouglas

I'm a bit worried by the use of "rationalism" and "empiricists" by people who are clearly pedants.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 11:55:00 UTC | #381751

Corylus's Avatar Comment 17 by Corylus

Well, I just had Spinoza down as making a funny there.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 11:59:00 UTC | #381752

ukvillafan's Avatar Comment 18 by ukvillafan

Essentially, in the UK, dietitians are legit, nutritionists need to have had no special training. Dietitian is a term that is legally protected. In Britain, a dietitian has to be accredited. A registered dietitian must have a relevant degree/post graduate qualification. Degrees are normally four years.

For references see

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 12:14:00 UTC | #381754

Three of Nineteen's Avatar Comment 19 by Three of Nineteen

I have a feeling augustusbomber is just not very good at English (far too common among "older" Germans I am afraid). Also as ukvillafan notes, there seems to be confusion over dietitian vs nutritionists, a seperation I wasn't aware of either.
Let me see if I can straighten this out:

"I don`t think that this topics are part of the thinking of this great movement."

What I think he would have said in German:
Ich glaube nicht dass diese Themen Teil des Denkens dieser grossen Bewegung sind

Which in English would be:
I don't think that these topics are representative of this larger movement (likely referring to the examples the comedian makes about nutritionists).

"I`m a MD Gastroenterology Department Chief of a German Hospital and the Nutricionists here are fundamental and very scientifically prepared."

Ich bin Arzt und Leiter der Gastroeterologie Abteilung eines deutschen Krankenhauses und die Ernaehrungsexperten hier sind sehr erfahren in den Grundlagen der Wissentschaft.

I'm a Chief MD of the Gastroeterology department of a German hospital and the nutritionists (he propably actually means "dietitians") here are fundementally experienced in science.

"Don`t waste our time laughing about something we don´t have proved."

Verschwendet nicht unsere Zeit ueber undbewiesene Sachen zu lachen.

Don't waste our time laughing at unproven things.

"Greetings and Up the free thinkers!!"

Viele Gruesse und auf die Freidenker!!

Greetings and cheers for the free thinkers!!

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 12:55:00 UTC | #381768

Bad Bishop's Avatar Comment 20 by Bad Bishop

Laughing is almost never a waste of time.

Very funny video, I 'wasted a lot of time' watching it.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 13:06:00 UTC | #381773

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 21 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #399179 by Three of Nineteen

Thank you. Your English-German-English translations are eye-opening. They show we may have fundamentally misread augustusbomber. Oops.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 14:06:00 UTC | #381783

german-atheist's Avatar Comment 22 by german-atheist

this guy talks extremly fast and will be difficult to understand for most germans.maybe augustomonster did not hear the part where dara explained the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist.the german word would be:diet-adviser.a qualified person that your doctor would send you to for example if you are extremly overweight i am sure augustomonster is working with people like these in his clinic.
the voodoo nutrition stuff is not so popular here as in the US of course if you look for them you could find books by female celebs like :-stay young and beautiful with my secret diet-usually bought by readers who are not young anymore and were never beautiful.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 17:03:00 UTC | #381817

windweaver's Avatar Comment 23 by windweaver

Here in Australia, alternative medicine, especially homeopathy, is a multi billion dollar industry (sigh). I have a friend who's a big believer in reiki. The other day she sent me an article on a Tour de France rider (see below) who was supposedly cured of a life threatening heart ailment by a reiki practitioner. She's challenged me to explain what happened from a scientific (or non believer) perspective.Be interested to hear what RDnet readers have to say about this.

Alternative route back for Roulston
21 July 2009 |
A chance meeting in a pub with an alternative healer is the last place you would expect a Tour de France rider to pin-point as the moment he got his career back.
Having been diagnosed in 2006 with a rare and incurable heart disease known to cause sudden death in athletes - Hayden Roulston's cycling career was over at just 25 years old.
After a handful of seasons competing for professional teams Cofidis and Lance Armstrong's Discovery Team, Roulston was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) in 2006 and told to stop competing.
Bad news for a professional cyclist with ambitions to succeed on the Tour de France's 3,500 kilometres.
Yet three years on 28-year-old Roulston is an Olympic silver-medallist and last Saturday he claimed third on stage 14th of the Tour.
And before March's Tour of California, he got the confirmation from a doctor telling him what he already knew: he has a healthy heart.
"Three years ago, I was diagnosed with (ARVD), but before the Tour of California a doctor told me I have a healthy heart," said the 28-year-old.
"It's like a second life and I have got my dream back as a cyclist."
Four months after he was first diagnosed with ARVD, he met alternative healer Julie Reid in a Christchurch pub. Their conversation disrupted his beers with mates but it put Roulston back on the path to the Tour.
A quick five-minute session of reiki - an ancient Japanese healing practice which is said to channel negative energy out of the body - failed to produce any obvious results until his next bike session.
"I had finished with cycling, all my dreams were gone. I had nothing to lose," he said.
"Next day I went training and felt something different.
"I wasn't missing a heart beat and I was getting 300 beats per minute on a heart-rate monitor.
"A 300 rate means virtual death - my normal heart-rate is 170 to 180 - so, for me, 300 was a massive, massive issue.
"I had another treatment, but what is amazing is that Julie was still learning about reiki herself and the energy she has which is super powerful.
"I was totally sold after that - it blew me away to see her response: her hands were shaking and she was sweating from taking the bad energy out of my body."
Regular reiki sessions saw Roulston improve to the extent he returned to competition, and left him standing on the podium in Beijing after winning silver in the individual pursuit and bronze in the team pursuit.
But a return to the Tour de France was his ultimate ambition so when Cervelo, with 2008 winner Carlos Sastre as their leader, offered him a contract last September he jumped at it.
"Going from having to retire from the sport to come back and get both Olympic success and be back in the pros again has been incredible," he said.
"It's hard for a New Zealander, or anyone outside of Europe, to get a shot at the pros, but I am very lucky to get a second chance.
"It was only nine months ago I was at (New Zealand's) Tour of Southland questioning whether I could win that race, now I am at the Tour de France and fighting for a stage win a few days ago."
He finished third on Saturday's stage behind Katusha's Sergei Ivanov after the Russian made a stage-winning breakaway move 11 kilometres out to hold off Ireland's Nicolas Roche, who came second, just ahead of Roulston.
"It was a great achievement, I was initially disappointed and I still fully believe I can win a stage, but third is pretty good," he said.
As a domestique, Roulston's role is to give support to Cervelo's leaders Sastre and Thor Hushovd.
"My job is to support our two leaders whenever they need it, whether it is to try and lead out or get water bottles," he said.
But with a new lease of life and a second chance at Tour glory, Roulston refuses to waste a single opportunity.
"I am just beginning now, this time I will use all my potential," he said having now studied and become qualified in reiki.
"I have changed, it has fully changed my attitude to life, everything happens for a reason.
"I could have accepted the first diagnosis and said 'that's it', but I kept my mind open for a second alternative and I started to learn about the real me."
And with his partner due to give birth next Tuesday, Roulston is hoping for plenty to celebrate when the Tour finishes in Paris on Sunday.

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 17:31:00 UTC | #381818

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 24 by Adrian Bartholomew

Comment #399230 by windweaver
I just hope he was misdiagnosed…

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 02:41:00 UTC | #381854

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 25 by bendigeidfran

Comment #399230 by windweaver

300 beats a minute???! Theyve got hearts the size of horses as it is. Miguel Indurains ticked over at 28 a minute. Mostly they take EPO and wear alarms to wake them up when they get a bit clogged with all the red blood cells. A quick fifty on the rollers and its pumping around again nicely.

He should have left it at 300 and entered the Grand Prix.

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 02:50:00 UTC | #381855

stephenray's Avatar Comment 26 by stephenray

Well, obviously the reiki magical woo-vibrations re-aligned his chakras (or chi; it's different in different countries, I understand) and the median lines channelled his own, zero-energy healing forces through his dicky heart.

I mean, he had reiki waffle, he got better - that's the only explanation, right?

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:03:00 UTC | #381856

phatbat's Avatar Comment 27 by phatbat

24. Comment #399230 by windweaver

If you successfully rule out misdiagnosis. There is no reason to think that the Reiki caused the condition to disappear. With all the people in the world consuming "alternative" medicine/treatment for every ailment under the sun (except missing limbs) it would be surprising if some people didn't get better around the same time as consuming such treatments. Imagine if this lady in the pub had said "if you stroke a black cat it will heal you." If he had then stroked a black cat and got better, would we find the anecdote compelling evidence for the efficacy of stroking black cats to treat illness? Nearly everyone would (hopefully) just say it was a coincidence.

We should never lose sight of why "correlation doesn't equal causation" is such an established fallacy. It is extremely easy to find yourself falling for it (i'm not saying you did windweaver).

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:14:00 UTC | #381857

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 28 by Quetzalcoatl

Misdiagnosis is a possibility.

it blew me away to see her response: her hands were shaking and she was sweating from taking the bad energy out of my body

Either she was ill herself or she's a great actress. And I wonder what she did with this "bad energy" once she'd removed it.

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:38:00 UTC | #381859

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 29 by Tyler Durden

phatbat -

PM for ya!

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:52:00 UTC | #381860

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 30 by hungarianelephant

29. Comment #399273 by Quetzalcoatl

And I wonder what she did with this "bad energy" once she'd removed it.

They exhale it as fairy dust. Didn't you see The Green Mile?

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:56:00 UTC | #381861