News: 27 March- 2 April 2017

FSM Newsletter No 15: This newsletter highlights FSM’s recent activities.

Professor Brian Cox: “It’s Very Difficult To Argue With An Idiot”: His new book “Universal: A Guide To The Cosmos” discusses how to apply the scientific method to the world around you.

The Three Phantoms of Homeopathy: Homeopathy claims it works through a variety of mechanisms which, when explored, merely demonstrates just how little homeopaths actually know about science.

AMA accuses Pete Evans of endangering lives with unscientific health advice Australia’s peak medical body criticises: My Kitchen Rules star’s ‘extreme advice’ on fluoride and calcium, saying celebrity chefs shouldn’t ‘dabble in medicine’

Pete Evans provides ‘evidence’ for his fluoride claims: Evans, by spruiking poor misinformation, is not only being wilfully ignorant of the actual “whole body of evidence”, but this detracts from the good health advice he has to offer.

Why are some people more gullible than others: Not everything we hear from others is useful or even true. There are countless ways people have been misled, fooled and hoaxed, sometimes for fun, but more often, for profit or for political gain.

Carrots and pumpkin might reduce your risk of cancer, but beware taking them in pill form: The vast majority of this mass consumption, often helped along by celebrity endorsement, is just generating oceans of very expensive urine; relatively few people have medical conditions requiring specific nutrient supplements.

Fluoride in water doesn’t lower IQ or cause cancer, says health agency: Adding flouride to drinking water is a safe and effective measure for preventing tooth decay, National Health and Medical Research Council analysis finds.

Intense targeting of anti-vaxxers misguided: most under-vaccinated Australians are adults, experts say: The children of anti-vaxxers and vaccine-hesitant people form a tiny subset of Australia’s under-vaccinated population.

Under vaccination in adults a key concern: MJA: While focus has primarily been on children and the vociferous anti-vaccination lobby, a large proportion of adolescent and adult Australians still remain undervaccinated.

‘Cure for cancer’ rumour killed off Vietnam’s rhinos: The belief that powdered rhino horn cured cancer is being blamed for surge in demand that has wiped out three species