Anatomy of a quack
My latest Naked Skeptic column in Australasian Science magazine deals with cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski and how well he fits Bob Park’s “Seven signs of pseudoscience”.
In his book Voodoo Science, physicist Bob Park lists seven signs of pseudoscience. They are:
- Discoveries are announced to the media, not in peer-reviewed journals
- A powerful establishment suppresses the discovery
- The effect is at the limits of detection and usually only demonstrated by torturing statistics
- Evidence is anecdotal
- The knowledge has been known for centuries, because people who lived in the past knew more than we know today
- The pseudoscientist works in isolation, not as a part of any establishment research facility
- New laws of nature need to be proposed to explain what is happening.
Recently I have had my interest in Houston cancer curer Dr Stanislaw Burzynski revived and I thought it might be instructive to see how many of these signs he shows. But first some background.