Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 12.16

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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26 Comments

  1. Rewritten to more clearly indicate the idiocy: “Acupuncture ‘worked’ for me and my husband, 2 people obviously inclined to believe such things, for the subjective experience of pain and a habit that can be overcome with willpower. Amazing! AND other people use it too, so that means we aren’t morons. I don’t like that someone called me gullible for using acupuncture, especially when he’s in the pocket of Big Pharma, because drugs are BAD mmmkay. Not to mention a bunch of anonymous people posted non-peer-reviewed opinion comments SUPPORTING this ancient Chinese (and therefore correct) practice so…there you go. They can’t ALL be wrong.”

    Let’s see (maybe not exhaustive):
    appeal to popularity
    appeal to antiquity
    appeal to consequences
    bandwagon fallacy
    post hoc ergo propter hoc
    genetic fallacy

    But then we know that their argument isn’t false simply because of their fallacies. It’s false because of the mountains of evidence saying acupuncture is garbage.

  2. Re: Blacklight Power.
    Ugh. Another “prepetual motion” type scam. Send them back to Physics 101 and remind them about the Laws of Thermodynamics. As Bob Heinlien so eloquently put it, “TANSTAAFL! There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!”

  3. Never heard of Mannatech, so I googled. Found this on the first page of results: Mannatech Sued for Fraud and Invasion of Privacy.

    According to the complaint, their marketing claimed that it helped someone of Tay-Sachs and that they continued to make that claim 7 years after he died.

    I also like the quote on here: “it doesn’t really do anything except increase flatulence.” Ah, well, I can see where that would be beneficial to anyone with Tay-Sachs, cancer or heart disease.

  4. Re Mannatech mania.
    I have dealt with a number of cases of children being permanently disabled or nearly killed because of parents using herbal/natural/folk cures for real diseases. Any parent who does this needs to go to jail for looooonger than six months. However the parent in question has his own cognitive impairments because of a brain injury. Tough issues for all involved. Then again it appears the mother was given 12 months suspended sentence and parole. Not sure of the justice in that except if the mother needed to care for the child she was responsible for permanently disabling. I would think if you had done this to your child a second chance is not in order.

  5. @Gabrielbrawley:

    Thousands of years of chinese medicene can’t be wrong? Why not?

    Why, because it’s thousands of years old. And because it has millions of followers. Sheesh, some people just refuse to understand simple fallacious reasoning.

    (Funnily enough, I once ran across an astrologer who claimed astrology was true because of those very reasons, and all the while he disparaged the Catholic church, about which the very same things can be said. Is there a fallacy for using fallacies in a selective, inconsistent way?)

  6. Did anyone see the Three Sheets episode where Zane’s in Hong Kong?

    He gets a traditional chinese/HKese hangover cure remedy, where they put massive suction cups on his back and give a bunch of diesel hickeys.

    Great show.

  7. Re:Mannatech
    This is just so… so sad. How can those parents live with themselves?

    Addendum: “[…] severe, ongoing cognitive and fine motor skills.
    Is it just my English skills, or is something missing from that sentence? Severe skills?

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