Tangled Bank XXXVI

Tangled Bank XXXVI has been posted at B and B. Enjoy the best science blogging from the last two weeks!

My two favorites from this week's collection are:

Identifying the bullshit all around us


Why creationism will save the public schools

Yes, they're both a bit sarcastic. What did you expect? After all, I am the proprietor of the Skeptics' Circle.


  1. Sorry, the bullshit writer writes
    sometimes himself bullshit.
    Acupuncture is much more effective
    on pain alleviation than a placebo.
    The criticism is that the difference
    between pricking on the so-called
    "meridians" and another points (sham
    acupuncture) is negligible. There was
    a huge study in Germany called GERAC
    which show that acupuncture is *much*
    more effective than the standard

  2. PubMed citation, please?

    The vast majority of studies I've seen show that acupuncture is no better than placebo.





  3. Schmerz. 2005 Jun;19(3):201-4, 206, 208-10 passim.
    German Acupuncture Trials (gerac) address problems of methodology associated with acupuncture studies

    Endres HG, Zenz M, Schaub C, Molsberger A, Haake M, Streitberger K, Skipka G, Maier C; Leitungsgremium der gerac-Studien.

    Article in German, but abstract in

    The official release can be found
    under www.gerac.de, there is an
    English version in .doc Format.

    Another big study was the ART studies:

    Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2003 Aug;10(4):185-91.
    Acupuncture Randomized Trials (ART)
    in patients with chronic low back
    pain and osteoarthritis of the knee
    - design and protocols.

    Brinkhaus B, Becker-Witt C, Jena S,
    Linde K, Streng A, Wagenpfeil S, Irnich D, Hummelsberger J, Melchart D, Willich SN.

    I wondered why the results are not
    published in PubMed; apparently there was criticism because both studies have published information about the applied methods so that it
    is possible (but not very likely)
    that interested patients could identify them (unblinding).

    Looking for other findings, I have
    found very interesting (full-text
    available) summarization of
    different brain scans which found
    evidence of correlation between
    pricking certain points and
    activating certain brain areas:

    Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Sep;2(3):315-9. Epub 2005 Aug 10.

    Investigating acupuncture using brain imaging techniques: the current state of play.

    Lewith GT, White PJ, Pariente J.

    Now to the articles:
    That acupuncture seems not to work
    with blood pressure is completely
    irrelevant; I am talking about pain
    In the next article he rants about
    Qi and believed that it says nothing more than needling causes "pain
    modulation", what he completely missed is "pain modulation" causes an effective countermeasure against pain: releasing opiates.
    In the last article he even confirmed my viewpoint that it is
    effective against pain !

    "Acupuncture does not work"
    nor (correspondingly)
    "Acupuncture is as effective as
    hitting the head"
    are acceptable sentences. A honest
    answer were:
    "Acupuncture works, but the concepts
    of meridians and Qi seemed to be


Post a Comment

Popular Posts