Showing posts with label woo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label woo. Show all posts

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Parents Poisoning Their Autistic Kids By Putting Bleach Up Their Butts

What the hell is wrong with people?

First, I started posting about Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), which involves forcing your autistic kid to drink 28% sodium chlorite (textile bleach), which burns out their intestinal tracts! Luckily, governments including Canada have begun cracking down and shutting down MMS resellers.

Then, I posted about fecal transplants to try treating autism! This is when you take one person's feces -- say your own -- and stick it into, say, an icing gun. You then stick it up your poor child's rear and inject your bacteria laden waste products into them.

Astoundingly, parents are not ending up in jail for either of these things!

Now, as a cruel and unusual twist, parents have begun to inject MMS solution up the butts of their children.

This is so depressing, that I suggest you at least get a little snark and humour with the information. Go check out this article on Wonkette. Included is information about an MMS reseller in the US who's about to stand trial for selling poison in a bottle for children. He's got a GoFundMe page that's already raised over $120,000 for his defence. Isn't that grand?

Feeling depressed? Here's a bit of uplifting snark from the Wonkette article you need to read.
Has your child ever been diagnosed with autism? Have you ever had the inkling that the key to “fixing” your kiddie’s inborn neurological wiring was to bathe him in bleach, feed him bleach, or shoot bleach up his butt? Of course not, because you are not a FUCKING MANIAC. But not all parents are so enlightened as you, dear reader.
People who do this need to have their children taken away from them.  Another fantastic, yet graphic and depressing, resource to know more about this horrendous torture is Stop Bleaching Me (MMS/CD Awareness Ireland).

Correction: Originally I had put sodium chloride (salt!), instead of sodium chlorite.

"Earthing" Is The Most Ridiculous Woo I've Ever Heard

Ever hear about some piece of woo, go research it and find out it's such a big thing you start to wonder if perhaps you're the nutty one? That's sort of how I feel after running into this thing called earthing in the natural healing community.

Watch the following video:

I thought it must have been some sort of satire or comedy, but their website really looks like it's selling mats and blankets with wires that plug into the grounded part of your electrical socket -- which is hooked up to your house's ground wire.
Just as the sun gives us warmth and vitamin D, the Earth underfoot gives us food and water, a surface to walk, sit, stand, play, and build on, and something you never, ever thought about—an eternal, natural, and gentle energy.  Think of it perhaps as vitamin G—G for ground. What does that mean to you?  Maybe the difference between feeling good and not so good, of having little or a lot of energy, or sleeping well or not so well.  
Ahhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrgh!  You're just connecting up to the ground wire in your house! If it's connected properly to ground -- they're selling most likely legit detectors for this too -- then any excess energy in the form of electrons are flowing down into the earth. That's why it's a ground wire!

Look, I like walking barefoot on the grass too -- it's been months, but someday I shall again! -- but I don't need to buy a stupid pad to hook myself up to the ground wire of my house, to get energy -- whatever the hell that is -- from the ground.

Their website even includes a medication advisory!

Research indicates that Earthing the body affects physiological functioning in a variety of ways. Because of this, we strongly recommend that any individual taking medication to thin the blood, regulate blood sugar, control blood pressure, or to supplement thyroid activity should consult with their doctor before using Earthing products, and then monitor the medication. An adjustment in medication may be necessary.

And what happens if the house gets struck by lightening while you're on your pad? That would be a hot mess.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

JP Sears Will Tell You How to be "Ultra Spiritual"

JP Sears (source)
I could be late to the game, but yesterday I stumbled unto a series of videos from emotional healing coach JP Sears. If you take a look at his website, Inner Awakenings, it looks like this is yet another woo woo sort of teacher -- and he could very well be.
JP Sears is an emotional healing coach, international teacher, world traveler, and curious student of life.  His work empowers people to live more meaningful lives.  JP presents classes, workshops, online seminars, and leads retreats at numerous locations around the world on inner healing and growth.  He is also very active on his YouTube channel AwakenWithJP, where he encourages healing and growth through his entertainingly informative and inspiring videos.
To say entertainingly is to put it mildly. A lot of people, me included, are having a hard time figuring out what JP is all about. It's because his videos contain a whole lot of humorous treatment of the New Age movement and the latest eating fads. Although I think that at some level he's legit woo, and he's got some views about porn addiction and depression which I disagree with, many of his videos are pretty amusing.

Here's his intro where he admits that nobody has any idea what spiritual means anyway:

Then there's Newer Age vs. New Age:

Regardless of anything else. A lot of the videos are rather amusing.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Nobel Laureates & Dozens of Scientists Worldwide Decry Support of Homeopathy at University of Toronto

More fallout after it was revealed that a homeopath instructor at the University of Toronto at Scarborough was presenting students with science denying anti-vaccine information -- including a video featuring Andrew Wakefield!

Scientists and doctors from the Canadian Alliance to Support Immunization sent a letter to the university's president asking him to investigate Beth Landau-Halpern, who happens to be married to the dean of the school.
The Canadian Alliance to Support Immunization, a coalition of doctors and public health experts from across Canada, sent a letter to university president Meric Gertler this week urging him to scrutinize the alternative health course taught by homeopath Beth Landau-Halpern, which includes a video interview with disgraced anti-vaccine researcher Andrew Wakefield as required viewing. And on Tuesday, Howard Hu and Trevor Young, the deans of U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and its faculty of medicine, wrote an open letter stating that vaccine hesitancy and refusal is contributing to a rise in outbreaks of preventable diseases.
In response, the university promised they would examine the academic rigour of her course. Although it really seems to me they ought to have some sort of ongoing quality control mechanism to protect their standards of education. 

Meanwhile, this same instructor is apparently also involved in a study testing how effective homeopathic medicine is at treating childhood and adolescent ADHD. The university's appui has concerned many scientists across the world.
A University of Toronto study on homeopathic treatment for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is being heavily criticized by scientists who claim it legitimizes a pseudoscience.

Two Nobel laureates are among 90 scientists from universities around the world who have signed an open letter calling the clinical trial into question.

“We are curious about why, given the need to investigate natural therapies that may actually have a potential for benefit, and saddled with a scarcity in funding, a Department of Pharmacy is interested in investigating a subject that has been … found wanting both in evidence and plausibility,” reads the letter addressed to Heather Boon, dean of the U of T’s Faculty of Pharmacy, who is leading the study. ...
... The instructor, Beth Landau-Halpern, is a homeopath and one of the clinicians involved in the ADHD study. As of Wednesday, she had taken down her website, which included posts about avoiding vaccines.
That doesn't make the University of Toronto look good at all. This is what happens when you let the woo into the door.

Last year, the University of Saskatchewan supported a conference all about animal telepathy. Just last month, Queens University had to stop an anti-vaxxer from teaching a health course.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

University of Toronto Supporting 'Alternative-Vaccines' Instructor

Beth Landau-Halpern (source)
In November, we learned from an excellent CBC's Marketplace documentary that homeopaths are really into dissuading mothers from vaccinating their babies and Beth Landau-Halpern was one of those homeopaths. She responded publicly in in a fairly predictable manner and the story really would have ended there, except...
Toronto-based homeopath Beth Landau-Halpern is a health studies instructor and teaches a course in alternative medicine at U of T’s Scarborough campus, where her husband, Rick Halpern, is dean. Last year, she wrote a blog post on her clinic’s website about teaching fourth-year health studies students to have “a healthy degree of skepticism about the limits of science in understanding health and disease.” On her website, Ms. Landau-Halpern has also written that “normal childhood illnesses like measles and chicken pox are almost always followed by massive developmental spurts” and to “avoid vaccinations” because they are “of questionable efficacy, full of ingredients that definitely should not be in the blood stream, and may compromise your general immunity irreparably.”
What the hell is wrong with our universities? The University of Toronto is totally down with her instructing at their Scarborough campus and is even sponsoring an event where she'll be speaking along with some naturopath who claims they can treat cancer! I've heard that claim before -- it was made to the late Makayla Sault's mother and motivated them to end life saving chemotherapy.
On Saturday, Ms. Landau-Halpern is slated to speak at the Population Health and Policy Conference at the Scarborough campus. The event – sponsored by the University of Toronto International Health Program, a non-profit student organization, the anthropology/health studies department, and others – also features a naturopath who claims to treat cancer, heart disease and fibromyalgia with vitamin injections.
The university is defending itself by saying it is promoting student engagement in controversial topics! Except, wait! It's established science and is not controversial at all. They also say it's freedom of speech! Except, wait! Nobody's preventing these people from having their conference at the local Sheraton, for goodness sake! Should universities let any rubbish in?
Across Canada, more academic institutions are offering alternative health courses . The problem is that alternatives to evidence-based medicine are not rooted in science, says Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health. He worries about the consequences of holding events such as U of T’s alternative health conference. “It’s problematic when a university, an institution, lends credibility to these kinds of presentations with its name and support,” he said. “Having University of Toronto’s name next to their names on these [promotional] posters legitimizes their position and can be used to legitimize their unscientific views.”
Last year, the University of Saskatchewan supported a conference all about animal telepathy.  Just last month, Queens University had to stop an anti-vaxxer from teaching a health course.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mother of First Nations Leukemia Patient Claims She Is Now Cancer-Free

Screen grab from video below of 11 year old First Nations girl who replaced chemotherapy with unproven alternative therapies.
Last night, I got a comment to one of my posts about the two First Nations girls with leukemia who were taken out of chemotherapy and brought down to a Florida massage centre for traditional and alternative medicine treatment.

(I'm not linking to that particular post because of a publication ban on the girl's name.)

The commenter linked to a January 16th update -- by Hippocrates graduate Jane Schweitzer -- announcing that the girl has been cured of her cancer. Here's the Google video version along with update text:

Such wonderful news...This family had to endure so much, the doctors said she would die if she did not have chemo, then they had the audacity to scoff at alternative medicine, then they had the audacity to try to take away this precious child from her family, then they made it a political issue, then the media started spreading lies to further their own agenda. Well people, this family did what it took to get Jada better including having to hide out in the USA for quite a period of time for fear of apprehension. Have the media checked in to see how she is doing? You can bet they would be all over this, if Jada's health was grave....but do you think they will report good news? The answer is abundantly clear, BIG PHARMA cannot make money off of natural medicine, so they will bury the info, or twist the info, and do whatever it takes to CONTROL you. Take your health into your own hands people.
I've been checking on their condition and I'm all over this. If Hippocrates Institute is truly capable of curing some forms of leukemia, I think we should all know.

 An article in Two Row Times has a little more background:
The 11 year old Kanienkeha’ka girl from Six Nations who was under threat to be removed from her territory and forced back into chemo has undergone testing which reveals she has no visible signs of cancer.

The child, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, went to an Ontario hospital earlier this week for a biopsy. Her family pursued the testing and received a call from doctors Thursday night giving preliminary results that showed both her bone marrow and spinal fluid to be free of cancer.
Specimens from the biopsy are being fully analyzed at another clinic in the United States for further analysis and the child will pursue the current indigenous medicine and alternative therapies protocol for another 2 years to ensure that she remains in remission.
I've never had any ill will for this child. I'm happy to hear the results of this test! If this is a spontaneous remission, then this is fantastic news! Hopefully, the cancer will continue to not be present with subsequent tests.

Even if this is spontaneous remission, the odds are some 1/100,000 for this, while the odds of positive outcome with chemo were over 85%. Chemo has been shown scientifically to work. This was still an irresponsible action that could have -- and may very well still -- lead to grave consequences.

I also have some questions about whether what little chemo she did get -- some 10 days, I believe -- might have also somehow contributed to her present condition.
On the other hand, for the past 100 years almost all cancer patients have been treated in one way or the other, such that the influence of treatment cannot always be excluded.
Whatever the situation, here's hoping the girl continues to be well.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Enlightening Discussion About Recent Medical Ethics Stories In Canada

Arthur Schafer is Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, at the University of Manitoba.
There is an awesome interview with University of Manitoba Ethics Professor Arthur Schafer on the latest the Legion of Reason podcast.

Episode 127 – Ethics with Prof. Arthur Schafer
He is also a full professor in the Department of Philosophy and an ethics consultant for the Department of Paedatrics and Child Health at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He has also penned numerous articles for The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Winnipeg Free Press, The Medical Post, and The Sunday Times (London). In addition, he frequently appears on CBC, CTV and The Discovery Channel to discuss matters ethical in science, technology and medicine. I finally made good on my threat to invite Professor Schafer on the podcast to give us his perspective on recent developments in medical ethics in Canada and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medical practice.
In the interview hosts Randy Tyson and Christine Shellska talk with him about recent prominent medical ethics cases here in Canada like the the Calgary doctor who refused to prescribe any birth control pills. He also discusses the recent court ruling allowing a First Nations family to substitute life saving chemotherapy for their daughter with leukemia with alternative medicine administered at a Florida-based massage center by quack doctors.

He covers many other relevant bio-ethical questions as well. It's well worth the listen.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Lives of Two Sick First Nations Girls vs. Group Rights & 'Faith Healing'

By LaurMG. (Own work.) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
We all know how that court case went down on Friday. I think it's rather depressing that our country allows children to receive unproven, unscientific treatments for life-threatening conditions like cancer.

The state is no longer in the business of defending gravely ill First Nations children from hucksters who would sell them ridiculous woo cures. First Nations parents can now forgo real medical treatment for their children and go off to massage establishments in Florida to be treated by a bogus 'naturopathic doctors' -- who are neither even licensed naturopaths nor doctors... nor even First Nations traditional healers!  These believe vitamin C and raw food can cure people of cancer. What have we come to here?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Health Canada cracks down on 'Bleach Cure' for Autism

Portion of image from OxyChem's Sodium Chlorite Handbook (p.6) technical information guide for the compound.
One of the most horrendous and despicable things I've covered is Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), which is a completely unproven and harmful quack therapy used to treat children with autism. It involves giving 28% sodium chlorite -- not technically bleach but a bleaching chemical -- in distilled water to your kid to drink for weeks, months, years.

And at 28%(!), giving this to your kid is child abuse, full stop.
When citric acid or other food acid is used to "activate" MMS as described in its instructions, the mixture produces an aqueous solution containing chlorine dioxide, a toxin and a potent oxidizing agent used in the treatment of water and in bleaching. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has set a maximum level of 0.8 mg/L for chlorine dioxide in drinking water. Naren Gunja, director of the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, has stated that using the product is "a bit like drinking concentrated bleach" and that users have displayed symptoms consistent with corrosive injuries, such as vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea.
Canada has finally issued a warning about MMS and has begun seizing the product. About freaking time.
Health Canada says anyone who bought a product called Miracle Mineral Solution should stop using it immediately.

The agency says the unauthorized product, sold over the Internet as a treatment for serious diseases such as cancer, poses serious health risks if ingested.
Here's the official release on the agency's webpage.
Health Canada is warning Canadians of the serious risks to health associated with use of the unauthorized drug product Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), which was sold as a treatment for serious diseases such as cancer through the website MMS contains sodium chlorite, which is a chemical used mainly as a textile bleaching agent and disinfectant and may pose serious risks to health if ingested. An alternate format of MMS, labelled as CDS, is also available for sale on the website and would pose a similar risk.
They specify two products: MMS (28% sodium chlorite and 50% citric acid) and CDS (chlorine dioxide 8000 ppm). The release goes on to specify that Health Canada has never approved the seller,, to sell this stuff.
No drug products containing sodium chlorite have been approved by Health Canada for consumption by humans. Sodium chlorite is authorized in Canada for use as a germicide by veterinarians and as a hard surface disinfectant. Sodium chlorite is commonly used for bleaching textiles, pulp and paper, as well as in the generation of disinfectant for water treatment.
Never buy medicine from a .BIZ domain for you kids!

So now people who insist on feeding this poison to their kids need to be charged with abuse.

Health Canada also advised anyone who did drink this stuff to see a doctor, because it's POISON. They also more or less shut the business down by seizing their stock and production equipment.
Following an inspection of the business premises, Health Canada seized bottles of MMS, packaging, labelling and raw materials used to produce MMS. Health Canada will continue to monitor this company.
I'm sure conspiracy theorists and anti-big-pharma will have a field day with this one. Let them have their fun -- at least this crap is off the market.

(Parts of this post have been expanded since original posting.)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

University of Saskatchewan Endorses "Animal Telepathy" Workshop

Want to communicate with your long deceased pet, even from across the country? No problem, the publicly-funded University of Saskatchewan is endorsing a workshop just for that! The cost is $200, but there are (likely tax-subsidized) bursaries if you can't afford to come!

Poster: Learn how to communicate with animals (original link)
Mind-to-mind (telepathic) communication with animals is a skill that you can learn. It will increase the bond and understanding between you and your pets and other animals, help you deal with behaviour problems and address important issues. Do you want to know what animals want or need? Why not ask them directly? Find the joy and communion that comes from reconnecting the link with other species in this workshop
If you take a look at the bottom of this poster, you can see it's being endorsed by several university organizations:

University of Saskatchewan Office of Community Engagement and Outreach, University of Saskatchewan School of Environment and Sustainability and a nice grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The workshop is all part of 2014-2014 Sabbatical research by Dr M.J. Barrett who teaches at the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) at the university.
The Animal Communication presentation and workshop is the start of my research program examining how communication with animals may help contribute to a deeper appreciation and affinity for the environment, and greater environmental sustainability. It is part of my larger research program examining how Indigenous and other ways of knowing can be recognized, valued and establish their place as legitimate forms of knowledge in academic and modern Western contexts. Indigenous Peoples often have a way of knowing and communicating with nature, animals and the environment as a whole that is very different from main-stream and Western society. 
I know some of you might claim that you communicate with animals. I've had pets and I know what you mean, you can sort of guess what they're thinking sometimes by the expression on their faces or their physical comportment. However, that's not what's meant here. Barrett really means animal telepathy and she's pulling in a real animal communicator, Mary Getten, all the way from Bradenton, Florida to put on this workshop.

Check out a little information from the What Is Animal Communication section of her website to get an idea of what we're talking about here.
Telepathy is the universal language and the way that all animals speak to each other. We've all seen two animals communicate on a non-verbal level, resulting in play or a disagreement. They were speaking to each other telepathically.

Telepathic communication is an ability we are all born with. Unfortunately we are socialized out of this skill as we develop speech. You can regain your skills by taking a workshop with an animal communicator and practicing - all it takes is some guidance and commitment.

Time and space are not barriers in animal communication. It's just as easy for me to speak to a dog in New York as one in my living room. You can even contact animals that have passed on.
Animal telepathy is mind-to-mind communication. It is feeling across a distance. We are all made of energy and connected by a vast web of energetic pathways. When I talk to a person on the phone, we link up energetically. That person also has a link to their animal, so I get to the animal through the person. To speak to an animal telepathically, you just tune in to the right energy channel.
Woo factor nine, Mr. Sulu! Oh, and she's charging for this too. As I said, $200 a pop but you can pay less if you score a bursary -- which I suppose Saskatchewan taxpayers are paying? Isn't this wild?

Let's get back to Dr Barett. I went to her university homepage to see what sort of research she does. Here's a summary on her page that strikes me as vaguely Chopra-esque.
My research is highly interdisciplinary and weaves together expertise in environmental education, animism and multiple ways of knowing.  I focus on ‘epistemological stretching’ – the expansion of the ways of knowing that someone respects, understands, and/or engages with. As we expand our ways of knowing, we are able to at the very least appreciate, if not directly access, insight and wisdom that emerges from a shifted consciousness that includes intuitive, affective, spiritual and embodied ways of knowing.

While on sabbatical, I am collaborating with Indigenous Elders and professional animal communicators to explore ways to deepen the human-nature connection through mind-to-mind (telepathic) human-animal communication.

The goal: transformative sustainability learning that traverses worldviews and generates innovative solutions to complex problems.

My research and teaching is embedded in epistemologically and ontologically pluralistic perspectives, creating a shared ethical space where worldviews and ways of knowing of Aboriginal Peoples are recognized and valued. Without a deeper understanding of the many different forms of knowledge, and the many legitimate ways there are to know, effective engagement with IK will remain elusive.

My background includes environmental education, qualitative and decolonizing research methodologies, transformative learning, and energy healing. I am currently learning to teach mind-to-mind animal communication.
Other than perhaps fostering better understanding and recognition of Indigenous cultures -- a noble cause -- I cannot understand what the above paragraphs mean. The video on her page -- which I believe features students in her graduate program -- looks like a relaxation video I once watched while chilling out at the spa. I suppose I need to attend one of these classes, as I have no idea what any of this means. It looks like a lot of the stuff I was into when I considered myself a Wiccan.

Perhaps it would be more efficient for a school dedicated to sustaining the environment to focus on actual science-based research and not multiple ways of knowing?

This was brought to my attention by reader Jack Austin, who shares my opinion that there is nothing wrong with doing proper scientific research into whether telepathy exists, but it's a sham to offer to teach this to people for a fee with university endorsement. In his email Jack summed it up like this.
It's okay to do research on claims of telepathy to verify whether or not they are true, but it's not okay to tell the public that they can learn to communicate via telepathy with animals in a $200 workshop offered by the University of Saskatchewan when there is no scientific proof of this and when the instructor even claims to be able to talk to dead animals.
I would endorse studying this scientifically -- although how would we ever be able to confirm successful communication with or between non-human animals? It is also be acceptable to study First Nations ideas about telepathy, animism and animal communication in an Anthropology or Native Studies class at a university. I just don't see what this has to do with environmental sustainability!

The two day workshop is scheduled to happen August 22nd and 23rd and seems to be pretty much an all-day affair. It's likely too late to demand this be cancelled, but perhaps spreading the word will help raise questions about the university's attitudes about telepathy!

I have no idea what they will do at this class but I am curious. It would be a hoot if we had a couple of moles attend.

via email from Jack Austin

Friday, 2 May 2014

Pasadena's Health Director Anti-Evolution, Anti-Gay, Anti-Disney etc. & Satan's Everywhere...

Pasadena Public Health Director and fundamentalist, conspiracy theorist, anti same sex marriage, 
homophobic, islamophobic, anti-Disney, witchcraft-fearing, anti-evolutionist  and who knows what else, Eric Walsh

Here's a story about Pasadena Public Health Director, Eric Walsh, who's also a minister at a Seventh Day Adventist church. It's a very interesting story because Walsh is a very interesting person. Apologies, I meant to say «interesting» person.

Pasadena's anti-evolution, anti-gay health director has some explaining to do

He's got some fascinating opinions about evolution - and a bunch of other kooky stuff. Honestly, I don't think most people could offend more people if they tried. And he seems to do it so naturally.
In videos that came to light this week and that record him delivering a series of sermons, he denounces homosexuality as a sin, describes evolution as a “religion created by Satan” and says the prophet Muhammad was a Satanist. He contends that God does not recognize any second marriage following a divorce unless the first was destroyed by adultery. He’s also no big fan of plastic surgery or Disney.
More specifically, he believes Disney is a "dark empire" of superstition and witchcraft. Just thought I'd clear that up.

I bet I could correctly guess his opinion about climate change!

Well, he was going to do the commencement speech over at the Pasadena City College - but now the school and likely most students no longer want him. College kids today and their progressive ideas, I'm telling you! Incidentally, the original speaker they had in mind was uninvited because a sex tape made with his boyfriend was leaked. To be honest, in this day and age, what's the problem with this? Doesn't everyone who's anyone have a leaked sex tape? I think they should ask him back - at least he's not Eric Walsh.
It does seem the burden is on Walsh, however. He might start by explaining how a person holding a position that requires some scientific knowledge can dismiss the fact of human evolution. Someone ought to look up what grade he got in biology.
One only hopes he had some belief in germ theory at least, right? It would put him back a century or so, but at least he would clear the Middle Ages.

I think the city would be better off without him.

You'll find the good doctor at least purportedly pushing a 30-Day Health Recovery Program over at The Original Plan which describes itself as a Bible-based Health Ministry Medical Missionary Network. You'll find suggestions bordering precariously on woo. However, I'm not certain about the legitimacy of this site. Honestly, after reading about the sermons - it's hard for me to tell what's likely or unlikely here.

Edit 2014-05-02: Just after hitting 'Publish' I find this more detailed account over at the Pasadena Star-News: Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh placed on administrative leave after homophobic sermon furor

Monday, 17 March 2014

Flight MH370: Doesn't Supernatural Conspiracy Woo Make It Even Worse?

So Sunday, a panel on Fox News CNN got tired of doing real journalism and went into woo crackpot supernatural conspiracy mode. I'm sure that just what the friends and families of the missing need to hear.

This part of the discussion is between CNN anchor Don Lemon and Decoded host Brad Meltzer. I've never seen this Decoded program but it seems to be a television version of Coast to Coast which would make it entertaining in very small doses.

There is also, apparently someone from Toronto on the right side but I am unable to identify him.

Brad Meltzer:
That makes it a mystery and mysteries are like any story. A story is not what did happen but what could happen.
Don Lemon:
Brad, I'm glad you bought that up. Because we have been talking about this. I have been getting questions from viewers on social media, though email and even on the streets. Especially today, on a day when we the deal with the supernatural, when we go to church,  the supernatural power of God. You deal with all of that. People are saying to me 'why aren't you talking about the possibility' and I'm just putting it out there, that something odd happened to this plane. Something beyond our understanding. 
Brad Meltzer:
I'm not one of those believers that aliens came down or anything like that...
Oh right, because -- aliens! Pfft! -- that would be completely unreasonable. Supernatural something or other did it is way more plausible. We've got this nice God/Supernatural gap here with no concrete facts! Better fill it in with woo.

Yes, something spooky and supernatural is apparently worth considering here, evidently. What's really ironic to me is that between the ridiculously improbable supernatural cause and the ridiculously improbable alien abduction, the aliens are actually slightly more likely because at least these would not require the introduction of some supernatural realm.

The Wonkette summed this up well:
And Meltzer readily agreed. Oh, sure, “People roll their eyes at conspiracy theories, but what conspiracy theories do is they ask the hardest, most outrageous questions sometimes, but every once in a while they’re right,” he said. And so apparently, we really do have to consider the possibility that something freaky-weird happened, because somehow it’s supposedly unlikely that a 200-foot airplane might be hard to find in a search area comprising thousands of square miles.

Monday, 6 January 2014

5 Ways Parents Abuse Their Autistic Children

Okay, first-off, I need to get one thing off my chest here.

As a blogger, I really cannot stand the formulaic list post that tell you N Ways or N Most or N Best, etc. It brings back horrible memories of those terrible countdown television programmes back when I used to watch it outside the safe confines of Netflix or Crackle.

Okay, so here's an article in Forbes that my wife pointed out to me. Given my utter revulsion at the alternative Autism treatment racket, I cannot help but pass it on. Read the woo and feel sorry for the children.

The 5 Scariest Autism 'Treatments'

This is a really good article that sums these dangerous and abusive treatments up really well. Author, Emily Willingham also provides links to her own scientific demonstrations of just how harmful or insane they are.

I'd quote more from the post but it seems like I'm unable to actually select any text on the page. No matter, I actually manually transcribed this part since so few horrendous treatments still rise up to be surprising to me and this one was one nasty surprise.
2. Chemical castration. Burning off the lining of an autistic child's intestines might seem pretty horrific, but it can pale in comparison to the tragedy that is chemical castration to "treat" autism. I have previously broken down the background of this concept, introduced to the world of autism treatment by the now notorious father-son team of the Geiers. These two, in a 20-year-long run of damage, might now be reaching the end of their particular race. The father has had his medical license stripped in several states. That didn't stop the Geiers père et fils from recently filing a patent for the chemical castration protocol.
How utterly nonsensical and ghastly. Have we fallen back into some kind of eugenic nightmare?

And it hits me at a personal level. Both my son and wife are autistic.

Anyway, go check it out and prepare yourself for the next time you run into someone who's convinced feeding bleach to children or injecting their own feces into their kid's butt is a good idea.

Friday, 13 December 2013

My Manic Mailbag: The Psychics Came Knocking

The Merry Mailman (source)
Few things make me happier as a blogger than receiving emails from readers, or even strangers who are not robots or people trying to scam me into something.

A couple of days ago, I got this interesting message. I'll just say it came from Suzanne but I'll leave out the last name.
I hope you don't mind me contacting you today. I currently work alongside a client who provides psychic readings and clairvoyancy services and came across while looking for blogs and websites who may be interested in working with us.
 Ideally we would be looking to feature an article on your website. This could be in the form of either an article written by our professional in house copywriters or one of our specially made collages which our team would put together.
We would also be happy to provide examples of our previous work to assure you that it is up to the standards of your blog. 
If this sounds of interest to you please don't hesitate to contact me. 
Look forward to to hearing from you.
Now there's nothing new with messages like this one, format-wise. In the past year, I've gotten about a half dozen people emailing me to promote their freelance writing. They are always generic writers who research and write about just about anything for anyone. They're usually ready to provide content for free just to expand their exposure and portfolio.

It was the content that intrigued me. It seemed obvious to me that she must be sending this email out to pretty much any blogger out there, but didn't she see the title of my blog? Or was this a computer spamming me and simply inserting my domain name into the e-mail. How sad is that.

I responded to her:
Hi Suzanne, 
Thanks for your e-mail. 
My blog caters mostly to atheists, humanists and the skeptical community. So the only possible "fit" I could see would be an article where the psychic/clairvoyant would be in defense of psychic abilities and services, or addressing why no psychic has been able to win James Randi's $1,000,000 challenge ( I, myself, and many readers, do not believe in claims of psychics and we often see them as either being themselves deluded or (even worse) as being scam artists. 
Hope none of that offended you and I sincerely hope you have a good day!
I sort of hope that my response reaches a human on the other end and they agree to submit a clever post defending psychic powers or volunteering for James Randi's 1,000,000 prize!

Incidentally, I did a little research on Suzanne and it looks like she may have graduated from the clairvoyant program at Psychic Horizons Center in Boulder, Colorado. Okay, it might not be her, just someone with the same name, but there's enough of a coincidence that I'll just throw it in here as a definite possibility.

With this in mind, I have a few questions.

If Suzanne is a clairvoyant or psychic then why must she email me (and presumably others) asking if they would host posts on their blogs? Wouldn't she just know who to go to?

For this twelve-month clairvoyant course at their Center, which costs $2,400 if you pay upfront for the year, does everyone pass? What I mean is, do they have a 100% success rate? If they do not, then I assume they will turn the ungifted ones down at the start of the course and not take their money -- because they would know who's got the gift ahead of time and to take their money would be unethical.

This clairvoyant course will help you!...
  • Receive validation for your clairvoyance
  • Gain conscious awareness of your wisdom as a spirit
  • Learn to attract the job, relationship and peace you’ve always wanted
  • Develop the certainty to communicate what you see
  • Participate in a community of like-minded souls
  • Access the Akashic records
  • Heal yourself and others without giving away your energies
  • Create and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Heal unwanted patterns

Out of all of the graduates of the program, any care to get scientifically tested for the above claims?

From their website.

And I'm not kidding about the graduates of the program. The school itself offers Graduate Classes. The ways you can fritter away your money on woo are manifold. They have "Pealing the Onion, Graduate Training", which might involve some tears, "Teachers Training", "Ministers in Training", "Trance Medium Program" and "One on One Training".

They also have their own Church of Inner Light.

Well, all this has me about has depressed as when I found out Toronto has it's own Homeopathic College. The woo is strong, Luke.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Calgary Mom Let's Sick Son Die: No Excuse Given. Homeopathy "Just Her Belief System"

So here's another story about the perils of alternative medicine after my other post today about homeopathy. Special thanks to the anonymous tipster on that previous post.

THIS is so disgusting that I wouldn't have it any other way. Mother apparently let her seven year old son lie in bed and suffer for ten days before his poor body finally gave up and he died of a perfectly treatable disease - the treatment's been with us for decades.
"The treatment rendered at home was homeopathic in nature. This would include herbal remedies. The mother refused to take the child to a medical professional. No excuse given — just her belief system," said Staff Sgt. Mark Cavilla.
This is more proof that belief systems, when they are not actually grounded in any form of reality, kill innocent children.

And this isn't some crazy religious lot in the US Bible Belt or anything. This is happening right here in Canada in Calgary, Alberta.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Deepak Chopra... My Brain!

Deepak Chopra (source)
I'm sure you've read about this elsewhere -- I believe Jerry Coyne has been interacting directly with him online -- but I've been a little out of touch lately and just ran into these little essays by Deepak Chopra on The Rise and Fall of Militant Skepticism. I think I can even hear Edward Gibbon rolling in his grave.

I had just collected the first two quanta of Chopra's nebulous work a few days ago.

The Rise and Fall of Militant Skepticism

The Rise and Fall of Militant Skepticism - Part 2

Only to be greeted by yet another yesterday.

The Rise and Fall of Militant Skepticism - Part 3

Goodness! Will he ever end? I'll be referring to these three parts. Just read them in order with me. If I can keep my brain from hemorrhaging long enough to formulate some comments about them in the next few paragraphs then I think we both deserve a cookie.

His first installment isn't so interesting. I guess it's sort of a mise en scène for later on in the series. It starts out with Chopra declaring that skepticism is in a real pickle (because it admits there is no evidence for a god). He slings the requisite amount of muck at Dawkins (it's what everyone's doing these days, you know), and then moves on to an interesting conspiracy theory about how a band of Wiki-terrorists have gained control of Wikipedia and are out to destroy him one edit at a time.
A distressing example has been occurring at Wikipedia, where a band of committed skeptics have focused their efforts to discredit anyone whom they judge an enemy. The problem has been slow to gain traction in the public arena, because Wikipedia has constructed an elaborate set of rules to minimize editorial bias. Ironically, the skeptics have turned these rules, which run to hundreds of pages, to their advantage. They have become so skilled at thwarting anyone who disagrees with their point of view that a small swarm of skeptical editors is capable of outnumbering, bullying, and even banning all those who oppose them.
This looks ugly. I don't know about this. I really haven't been paying attention. However, it's clear that this concerted attack on Deepak and his colleague, Rupert Sheldrake, is threatening Wikipedia itself! Science! Perhaps the world!
Skepticism has gotten itself into a pickle - perhaps something a lot more serious than a pickle - that is undermining its good name. The credibility of Wikipedia may be at stake (see below). 
Really? I mean, really? I took a look at this Wikipedia page on Sheldrake. Apparently, he's debated(?) for the existence of telepathy. Wow.

In the second part of his ever more confusing series, Chopra starts out saying that atheism has clothed itself in science. But that atheism has no scientific basis:
But there's no scientific basis for atheism, since God isn't subject to experimentation.
Checkmate! Atheists!

Okay, listen, there are many things, actually, that are not subject to experimentation -- like everything that doesn't exist!

But this doesn't phase Chopra one bit! He moves on and begins to clothe his own interesting ideas in science himself within a few paragraphs!

But first he gives a couple of zingers like "After all, no scientific discovery was ever made by negative thinking." Since when does scientific discovery require positive thinking? Is this the Secret? Do scientific discoveries hang in the rafters waiting for the scientist to lighten up a little before fluttering down into his brain-box? Come on!

Chopra goes on to mention that the 'standby of the scientific method - gathering objective data to prove objective facts - has been undermined.' 

Objective facts? Do we really have those in science? And is the scientific method gathering objective data to prove these facts? Sounds a little more like cherry-picking to me. How about working on hunches, experimental results, hypotheses and theories? Let's leave the objective facts to mathematicians and logicians.

And this is where we get to his main point, if it can be properly quantized at any finite point in time. It seems to be that Quantum Theory is so gosh darn hard and mystical and stuff that science just cannot get a proper grip on it anymore and we need to save it with a little woo.
  • Quantum theory just killed Science's objectivity!
  • The Uncertainty Principle affects out brains!
  • "The emergence of time and space, either through the Big Bang or at this very moment, remains mysterious. The pre-created state of the universe is a deep mystery." - I have no idea! But it sounds bad!
  • "... if consciousness is more like a field effect than a unique human trait, the universe itself could be conscious, or at least possess the qualities of proto-consciousness, just as DNA possesses the possibility for Homo sapiens even at the stage when life forms were only single-celled organisms." -- I have no idea! Perhaps because science is broken and the uncertainty principle pooched my brains and time and space, so now WHO KNOWS? UNCERTAIN! NO MORE OBJECTIVITY!
Chopra says that these four mysteries basically demolish militant skepticism because science is broken now, or something. Science is now really confused or uncertain so don't bother trying to get any help from it now.

He then tells us how we can fix Science. We need to some of his philosophy! Put down your beakers and atom-smashers and study some ontology or epistemology. And this is when we reach the Holy Mountain of Woo that only Chopra could bring us to. The scene has been set and we are now at the pièce de résistance. Gasp now, my friends, in awe!
The positive pole is located at the horizon of particle physics and cosmology, where figuring out what is real has become urgent business, now that the solid, tangible world of the five senses has been thoroughly undermined. It has become an object of fascinated study to look beyond our perception of space and time, and since the human brain operates in space and time, this new horizon requires sophisticated thinking about thinking itself.
What... the... he.. he.. hell...?

I tried to read the surrounding bits to get more context. I think it has something to do with epistemology.

I think he might be saying that we can just sit down and think really hard -- perhaps with some soft music and a crystal on our heads -- and because we're all part of one big mind, man, the answers will just flutter down into our mind cages.

Okay, I don't have the stamina to go on to part three. Perhaps another time, my friends. I need to lie down now.

Thank goodness Jerry Coyne can keep his mind together long enough to combat this onslaught of nonsensical pseudo-scientific woo-babble. No cookie for me. Just read what he says.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Jenny McCarthy Is Working For Big Tobacco Now

Jenny McCarthy blowing smoke from an e-cigarette that
contains tobacco and anti-freeze.
My four year old son has high functioning autism. So I've heard both sides of the whole Jenny McCarthy MMR vaccines-cause-autism fiasco.

We got our son vaccinated because there is no credible scientific proof that vaccines do cause autism. In fact, the original study that prompted all this was retracted three years ago.

We wanted our child to be vaccinated against diseases that could seriously harm him or even kill him.

Well, now Jenny McCarthy is saying: tobacco good and vaccine bad. Have we just landed back into the 1950s?

Sullivan (Matt Carey) over at Left Brain Right Brain has this excellent commentary:

Jenny McCarthy, shilling for big tobacco

In addition to pure nicotine, the e-cigs contain propylene glycol, which is what Jenny and her anti-vaxer ilk claim to be a cause for concern in vaccines. I understand that newborns aren't going to be smoking e-cigs but it's more than a little ironic. And then there's second hand smoke.
“Propylene Glycol“. That’s a form of antifreeze. A form that has been approved by the FDA for some food uses. Ms. McCarthy and her team falsely claimed that vaccines contain “antifreeze”. It’s scary in vaccines but OK in an e-cigarette. Is propylene glycol scary? No. But there is heavy irony in her promoting a product using an antifreeze after using this term (falsely) as a scare tactic about vaccines.
Go read it and prepare to be infuriated.

Editor's Note 2013-08-12: Here's another excellent article at the Globe and Mail: Why there’s nothing sexy about Jenny McCarthy’s e-cigarette commercial

Editor's Note 2013-08-12: I realized that I added "second hand smoke" which may actually not be nearly as bad as regular cigarettes. The science still hasn't been done on this yet so nobody really knows.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Plea To Autism Theorists: Test Your Theories! But Should It Be Them Doing The Testing?

Bottle of Household Bleaching Solution.
Some of you may remember reading my posts about the epidemic of outright quackery in the autism community. Eventually, I just got fed up with the extreme level of woo when it comes to untested treatments of autism out there: In Need of Woo-Less Help For Parents of Autistic Children.

Here is my rant.
Then there is the insane den of woo that is Autism One.  It decks itself out as being a legitimate scientific convention and forum for parents to have access to the latest in therapies.  But it turns out to be a forum for self-serving entrepreneurs to peddle unscientific, abusive and dangerous so-called treatments for Autism. Downright dangerous woo. 
But what's my point here?  My point is, it would be nice to have an organization out there to help support parents of children with Autism who are skeptical and rational.  Those of us who are not prone to jump onto the woo and religious bandwagons and for whom these crutches that people often reach for in times of utter desperation are no better than smoke and mirrors. 
Fellow skeptics, humanists and atheists, lend me your ear.  Does such a group exist?
Well, there is a similar sentiment in a recent article by Andrew Whitehouse, professor Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia.

Dear autism theorists, please stump up or shut up

For anyone else out there who doesn't know, stump up means to unwillingly pay for something. Essentially, it means pay your dues.

Like what I've been saying, much of the woo seems to be sincerely believed by its providers. There is an extreme desperation by loving parents and sympathetic people to find proper treatments for autistic children. Often, the mainstream medical community - the faces of which are doctors who are often improperly educated concerning autism - have unwittingly stood in their way.

My wife had to fight for two years with health professional after health professional until she was able to find a trained psychologist who could even diagnose our son's condition. And then there are the endless lines for government provided therapies that force us to seek out private providers.  It's no wonder parents of autistic children often give up hope in science based medicine as they watch their children's development flag and fall behind their peers, as they stand hopelessly while the window of optimal treatment opportunity closes before them with each passing day. It's not medical science itself, it's the implementation - the machine - that is at fault.

Whitehouse points out this problem. The problem of woo.
Taking autism as an example, there exists theories that vaccines, wi-fi, electronic media, and milk, cause the disorder. We also have people claiming that diet changes, bowel bleaching, and homeopathy can ‘cure’ the condition. 
All of these theories are scientifically unproven.
Like me, Whitehouse has serious problems watching families be worn down with untested treatment after treatment. Some waste thousands into unproven pseudo-science.
It is troubling to see families believe theory after theory, and try treatment after treatment, in the hope that these may help their child. It’s distressing to see hopes dashed time and again, but only after significant amounts of money has been expended. The needless drain on the energy, time and emotional capital of families breaks just about every code that we, as health practitioners and researchers, stand for when we seek to help those in need.
Whitehouse then offers a challenge - test your scientific theories.
But what people must do is test their theories. It is no longer acceptable to begin and end with the proposal of a theory. If you have a theory, then scientifically test it.
I agree completely with the sentiment! Believe me, these theories need to be either scientifically demonstrated or clearly shown to have no benefit whatsoever. And our family has even taken up this approach by limiting our intake of gluten - both parents and child.

But I understand that my little experiment is not a scientific study.
Here’s my challenge to those who have a theory: scientifically test your theories, or stop promoting them.
Again, I agree with the principle. But I would be very careful to qualify this appropriately. I would wager that the majority of people promoting alternative autism treatments actually do believe they are being scientific! Like the person who believes in scientific evidence of his daily God-affirming experiences, many of these people are also likely to be feeding off their own subjective confirmation biases and do not possess a firm enough grasp on the nuts and bolts of proper scientific method to truly do meaningful scientific research.

Remember, not eating wheat is one thing - that kind of scientific (or rather anecdotal) experimentation is rather harmless. It's when the stakes are even more high - when the experiment could be seen as abusive to any ethics committee, that we run into a serious problem.

Like when parents poison their children with bleach, or when they inject their children's anuses with their own fecal matter, or when they stop vaccinating them and compromise heard immunity.

Scientists should be doing the real science. But I'm also all for parents experimenting with alternate remedies. My only concern is with the stakes so high, with emotions of desperation so strong, who will serve as their objective ethics committee?  Who will be there to make sure they don't go too far?

Children standing in front of Kasese Humanist Primary School.
I've started a fundraiser to help build classrooms on newly purchased land for the Kasese Humanist Primary School.

Please consider donating!

Build a Humanist School in Uganda!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hold The Phone: More Interesting Remarks From Yet Another Autism Foundation Head In Turkey

While trying to find the contact information for Fehmi Kaya, who claimed atheism is a form of autism, I just ran into more exciting insight into the state of autism understanding in Turkey.

Autistic children not atheists, go directly to heaven: Foundation head

I'm really not sure what the headline has to do with the contents of the article which seems a bit muddled.
All children with Down syndrome will directly go to heaven according to Islam, the director of an autism foundation said April 24 ...
This is coming from the head of the Anatolia Autism Foundation, Burhan Özfatura. I don't know what that has to do with autism. It looks like either he or the reporter is confounding autism with down syndrome - two completely different things. This doesn't bode well.

Özfatura also says this:
“Someone with very basic religious knowledge knows that there is a concept called ‘pubescent intelligence.’ In other words, the condition that the mind reaches a determined level is sought. All these children will directly go to heaven, according to the Islamic faith,” the head of the Anatolia Autism Foundation, Burhan Özfatura, said during a partnership protocol between the association and Aegean University in İzmir. 
Uhm, what does this have to do with autism or science in general? This seems like an exercise in religion to me. Are there any scientists working on the whole autism thing in Turkey? Could I possibly get any more depressed about this?
Özfatura, a former politician who served twice as mayor of İzmir, said Kaya’s remarks could not be taken seriously. “We don’t want to popularize [Kaya] more than that. If they take the most basic manual of Islamic faith and read it, they will see that it in detail,” he said.  
Yeah, that Kaya guy is such a quack with all his outlandish theories about autism that do not conform with even the most basic manual of Islamic faith. What a pseudoscientist. Unbelievable. But Özfatura doesn't appear to have any real credentials for his job either. He appears to be a politician.

What scientific basis does this have at all? If this is what the experts on autism are talking about in Turkey than I'll stay here in Canada to have my son helped, thank you very much.

And what does any of this have to do with atheists? Perhaps autistic children actually have down syndrome and so they go to heaven while atheists do not? I'm so confused.

But maybe I've got all this wrong? If anyone knows how, please enlighten me.

Editor's Note: It just occurred to me that 'Down Syndrome' could be a mistranslation from the original Turkish. If anyone can help me out with this it would be fantastic.

Turkish Sociologist Who Declared Link Between Atheism And Autism Apologizes (Sort of)

So around a week ago, I posted about Turkish sociologist Fehmi Kaya, head of the Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children who made the crackpot declaration that all autistic children are atheists and that atheism is actually a form of autism. Ironically, I was too busy today bringing my atheist son (un-indoctrinated) to an interview at a special school for autistic children to comment on the latest developments in this sad story, but here it is now.

Turkish Sociologist Fehmi Kaya Apologises For Suggesting Link Between Atheism And Autism

Right, so I think The Huffington Post left out the word NON from the front of Apologises in their headline, because if any apology exists there than it must be an absolutely perfect specimen of the genus non-apologetica. I'm sure the apology botanist readers will agree with me once forage through the article and present to you what's not merely rehash of previous reports.

Wikepedia has this to say about non-apologies:
A non-apology apology is a statement that has the form of an apology but does not express the expected contrition. It is common in both politics and public relations. It most commonly entails the speaker saying that he or she is sorry not for a behavior, statement or misdeed, but rather is sorry only because a person who has been aggrieved is requesting the apology, expressing a grievance, or is threatening some form of retribution or retaliation. 
An example of a non-apology apology would be saying "I'm sorry that you feel that way" to someone who has been offended by a statement. This apology does not admit that there was anything wrong with the remarks made, and additionally, it may be taken as insinuating that the person taking offense was excessively thin-skinned or irrational in taking offense at the remarks in the first place.
Now, observe exhibit #1:
The comments have caused a media storm in the country, with Turkish autism charities condemning the statement.
“This is a statement that could upset around 3.5 to 4 million people." 
Adem Kuyumcu, A Life Without Disabilities Association chairperson, told bianet: "We can't sue the association chair for his remarks, but we fear that the unscientific therapy practice could spread across the country," he said.
This demonstrates that his remarks are unfortunate in that they caused a veritable shit-storm of controversy across the country and drew some very negative international attention towards Turkey as well. This media shit-storm is key characteristic #1 in the formation of any good non-apology.

Observe exhibit #2:
Kaya, whose organisation is based in the southern Turkish city of Adana, said in a statement, intended for broadcast on Turkish television, that his remarks had been taken out of context, but apologised to families he had offended.
Notice how he isn't admitting he was wrong in any way or that he was doing anything wrong or misguided. He is only apologizes to families he had offended. This is classic non-apology makeup. I'm sorry what I said offended anyone. Now perhaps his words were taken out of context and we was misrepresented. But I see no alteration in his original course. The Huffington Post re-iterates his plans to  treat autism with a little good-ol' churchin'.
He explained plans for his organisation to hold sessions to help autistic children embrace religion, set to begin in June, according to Hürriyet.
The articles gives a couple of good follow-up comments from president of Atheist UK psychologist Mark Embleton and Carlos Diaz, president of the Atheist Alliance International. It ends to a link to a 2011 University of Boston study suggesting a higher propensity towards atheism amongst high functioning autistics. This is an intriguing study, but I have yet to hear of any other collaborating studies.

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