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Bad Medicine: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Distance Healing to Vitamin O: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Distance Healing to Vitamin O (Wiley Bad Science Series) Paperback – 3 Oct 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (3 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047143499X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471434993
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.8 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 854,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

For skeptics, always fans of science: The first two books in a series devoted to "bad science," Bad Astronomy by Philip Plait and Bad Medicine (Wiley, $15.95) by Christopher Wanjek, may warm even a Scrooge′s heart. In short chapters, Plait tackles misperceptions about why the moon looks larger on the horizon and why stars twinkle before moving on, dismantling conspiracy kooks who doubt the moon landing and offering a top 10 list of bad science moments in movie history. Wanjek, a science writer who has also written jokes for The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, takes an edgy and funny tack in debunking myths such as humans using only 10% of their brains, the utility of "anti–bacterial" toys and the safety of "natural" herbal remedies, ones often loaded with powerful chemicals. ( USA TODAY, December 3, 2002)

"...Bad Medicine is an enjoyable romp through a host of biomedical misconceptions..." (New Scientist, 21 December 2002)

"...Wanjek shoots and scores when he tackles the major myths of medicine..." (Focus, February 2003)



"...Bad Medicine is an enjoyable romp through a host of biomedical misconceptions..." (New Scientist, 21 December 2002)

"...Wanjek shoots and scores when he tackles the major myths of medicine..." (Focus, February 2003)

From the Back Cover

"Christopher Wanjek uses a take–no–prisoners approach in debunking the outrageous nonsense being heaped on a gullible public in the name of science and medicine. Wanjek writes with clarity, humor, and humanity, and simultaneously informs and entertains."
–Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher, Skeptic magazine; monthly columnist,
Scientific American; author of Why People Believe Weird Things

Prehistoric humans believed cedar ashes and incantations could cure a head injury. Ancient Egyptians believed the heart was the center of thought, the liver produced blood, and the brain cooled the body. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates was a big fan of bloodletting. Today, we are still plagued by countless medical myths and misconceptions. Bad Medicine sets the record straight by debunking widely held yet incorrect notions of how the body works, from cold cures to vaccination fears.

Clear, accessible, and highly entertaining, Bad Medicine dispels such medical convictions as:

  • You only use 10% of your brain: CAT, PET, and MRI scans all prove that there are no inactive regions of the brain . . . not even during sleep.
  • Sitting too close to the TV causes nearsightedness: Your mother was wrong. Most likely, an already nearsighted child sits close to see better.
  • Eating junk food will make your face break out: Acne is caused by dead skin cells, hormones, and bacteria, not from a pizza with everything on it.
  • If you don’t dress warmly, you’ll catch a cold: Cold viruses are the true and only cause of colds.

Protect yourself and the ones you love from bad medicine–the brain you save may be your own.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
We DON'T know everything! This book is so easy to read. The approach is logical and cuts to the bone. Our writer spends his time talking to the layman rather than showing off his expertise and blinding us with babble(as happens in so many 'science' texts). I enjoyed it thoroughly. It'll worry you at least once. If not, make you gasp out loud to the nearest ear. I've no doubt that many old wives will be shaken to hear her tales undone. Aside from pointing out some dangers we (who believe everything we read) can so easily put our health in, we are informed in very much the style of a concerned friend. The sharp wit is peppered about -brightening the pages just when it feels a little dark/serious. Health IS serious afterall and now I know SO much. I can't wait to get down the pub and put a few know-it alls right with a smug grin. Worth every penny. I could give it 5 stars but there's so much it didn't cover which, of course, means loads of room for sequels. I also read BAD ASTRONOMY, switching between the two. Please, PLEASE build this series.
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Format: Paperback
An essential read in our crazy times, this book will help you understand many of the myths surrounding medicine and science, enabling you to form a much more balanced view of some of the wacky claims made via the tabloids and glossies.

A refreshing read which should be included in the National Curriculum as part of science teaching. Do not read this if you do not wish your prejudices to be challenged!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book hilarious and informative. It shows how most of this "alternative medicine" was founded in history. What I did not agree with was his assertion that it is fat that makes us fat and gives us diabetes. That may have been the myth in the last decade and earlier, but we now know that it is carbohydrate and especially refined carbohydrate and sugar that makes us fat and causes diabetes. Sure, if you eat too much fat you will get fat, but most people these days actually do not eat that much fat. Sure, That apart I have not let that detract from giving this book 5 stars.
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There is fortunately a growing trend in debunking and demolishing the nonsense of the alternative therapies market (and it is a market making money just like any other products). This book puts the drivel of those therapies into context by giving an overview of old beliefs in humours, bloodletting, and numerous other out of date belief systems. He then goes on to talk about misconceptions such as us only using 10% of our brains. It's well written and engaging book and one that is bound to enrage the true believers of the alternative therapies congregation because it puts facts before belief.
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Format: Paperback
This book did a good job at debunking or supporting some of the Old Wives Tales and New Age Tales that surround health and medicine, in a very readable way. No doubt it will not convince dyed in the wool new age fanatics, but for the open minded and generally interested I would highly recommend it.
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