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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptic > 23.4 > Calling SCAM a Scam

Calling SCAM a Scam

Review of SCAM: So-Called Alternative Medicine by Edzard Ernst
Societas/Imprint Academic Ltd., 2018, 220 pp. $29.90 PB, ISBN-13: 978-1845409708

AS THE WORLD’S FIRST PROFESSOR OF complementary medicine, Dr. Edzard Ernst set out to apply rigorous scientific standards of evidence to find out which alternative medicine treatments worked and which didn’t. After 25 years of research and a torrent of published studies, he had determined that most of them didn’t. A lot of people were unhappy about his conclusions, and Ernst was forced into early retirement. If his enemies were hoping to silence him, their plan backfired. He no longer has to worry about political correctness or unhappy employers. Retirement freed him to devote all his time to thinking about all he had learned and communicating his findings to the public. In a profusion of books, articles, blogs, and public talks, he has become ever more willing to speak out strongly and call a spade a spade.

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About Skeptic

WHY IS THERE SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING? COLUMNS The SkepDoc: Health Freedom, Right to Try, and Informed Consent, by Harriet Hall, M.D. • The Gadfly: Do You Have Traits or Are You a Type? by Carol Tavris • SPECIAL SECTION ON TACTICS FOR DISCUSSING CONTENTIOUS ISSUES Personhood and Abortion Rights: How Science Might Inform this Contentious Issue, by Gary Whittenberger • How to Teach Evolution to Religious Students, by Surat Parvatam • The Arguments for Creationism and the Arguments for Evolution: A Study in Contrasts, by Ralph M. Barnes • Meeting Our “Enemies” Where They Are: The Advantage of Understanding Your Adversary’s Arguments, by Andrew Cooper-Sansone ARTICLES The Grandest of Questions Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? by Michael Shermer • Reports of Mysterious Attacks on U.S. Diplomats Continue: Separating Fact from Fiction by Robert E. Bartholomew • The God Damners: The Now Not-so-New Atheism by Michael Cohen • Quackery in America: An Inglorious and Ongoing History, by Morton Tavel, M.D. • What Is It like to Be a Human? by Colin McGinn REVIEWS Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress • The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution • The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will • SCAM: So-Called Alternative Medicine • Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life • The Biological Mind: How Brain, Body, and Environment Collaborate to Make Us Who We Are JUNIOR SKEPTIC Secrets of the Ouija Board, by Daniel Loxton