Deniers, cranks, worriers, and more…

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

The Great Barrington Declaration – COVID-19 deniers follow the path laid down by creationists, HIV/AIDS denialists, and climate science deniers: Across social media, those opposed to pandemic related restrictions are pointing to “The Great Barrington Declaration” (GBD). The GBD purports to be a document signed be health care ‘experts’ from around the world opposing lockdowns and restrictions. The GBD was produced with the support of a political think tank, and was introduced to the Trump administration within a day of being signed. In this, Covid deniers get a document with many signatures telling them that there are experts and authorities who agree without their major talking points. 

Covid deniers are following the same tactics that have been used (relatively successfully) for HIV denial, Evolution denial, and Climate Change denial. If political movements produce an impression of scientific division, even in the face of strong scientific consensus, predictably the popularity of alternative and conspiracy thinking will boom. As such, we should all become familiar with arguments based on the GBD. And we should be familiar with the manipulations, tactics, and falsehoods that such political documents are based on.


AMPFest – Anti-vaxxers team up with QAnon and COVID-19 cranks: “If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made crystal clear, it’s that the anti-vaccine movement is at its heart driven by a conspiracy theory—multiple conspiracy theories, actually. It should surprise no one how easily anti-vaxxers fit in with QAnon.”

Today’s Abused Health Concept  

Routine multivitamin use – Multivitamins don’t necessarily make you healthier. Here’s why: This a drum well beat, but it never ceases to surprise us how many people simply assume that taking vitamins is ‘healthy’. While it seems intuitive to want to ensure that one is not missing any nutrients, most people who take routine vitamins already have a quite high intake of micronutrients, and lack underlying health concerns that would indicate vitamin use. There is little evidence that these ‘worried well’ receive any significant benefit from taking vitamins. “But way back in 2006, a comprehensive review looking at only randomised-controlled clinical trials found that taking a multivitamin did not reduce the risk of any chronic disease compared to people taking a placebo pill.” Some people may ask “what’s the harm? It can’t hurt can it?” Eating a diet rich in fortified foods can easily elevate micronutrient intakes above the recommended upper dietary limits. In fact, some supplements can be harmful or cause unintended consequences. Some have even been correlated to increased cancer risk. Multivitamins have their uses. But there is no need for the ‘worried well’ who have adequate diets to take them. In such case multivitamins are unlikely to provide a benefit, and may contribute to harms.

Great Moments in Health and Science 

An Introduction to the Autoclave Sterilization Process: Sterilising medical equipment was an important step in safer practice and reducing infections for patients.