Archive for February 9th, 2010

Hilarious homeopathic handbaggery

February 9, 2010

Over the weekend Lay Scientist blog master and 10:23 press supremo Martin Robbins took issue with the British Homeopathic Association over their presentation of the “evidence” on homeopathy to the House of  Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.

The BHA, it seems, have taken umbrage. (Let me say that again: definite umbrage).

They have responded by having a public huff at him.

I suppose Martin should be grateful they didn’t sue.

He has now responded.

Curiously Martin finds that the BHA seem to have quite a taste for selective quotation.

It’s a great film, if you like garbage

The selective quote is an art long practiced by publicists and PR types, especially when promoting book or films to which the reviewers have not been kind.

For instance, you might see, on the film poster, the line:

“Full of life and colour. McZ remains the doyen of fast action films”

the Guardian

– When the full quote from the newspaper’s film critic was something like:

“Despite it’s complete lack of anything resembling a story, the film is visually full of life and colour. McZ remains the doyen of fact action films – though the characters are utterly wooden, and they and the repetitive car chases, smashes and explosions left this viewer completely uninterested in the outcome”

Pro-Unreality Quote-Mining

Martin R has a special talent for spotting quote mining by the Pro-Unreality Community. You might remember his famous spot when the British Chiropractic Association quoted a study as saying:

“There was weak evidence to support the use of [chiropractic].”

When what the cited study actually said was:

There was weak evidence to support the use of hypnosis, psychotherapy, acupuncture and chiropractic but it was provided in each case by single small trials, some of dubious methodological rigour.”

I wonder if the BCA and the BHA use the same people to write their stuff?

Anyway, please go and have a read over at Lay Scientist. As Jack of Kent says, you have to love any post that starts with a line like:

“Over the weekend I received a rare honour, a press release directed at me with the full intellectual might of the British Homeopathic Association behind it.”