A. Picazo: On Homeopathy, Health Canada Must End The Double Standard

This column appeared on the CBC on December 11, 2016. Until recently, homeopathic remedies sold in the United States enjoyed many of the same privileges — including the freedom to claim they could treat or cure specific ailments or diseases — as real, science-based medicine. The difference? Peddlers of homeopathy weren’t required to provide the ...

A. Picazo: Re: Death By Pseudoscience – The Misinformation Campaign

First, a quick review of the facts: David and Collet Stephan are on trial for failing to provide the necessaries of life — for failing to seek medical care for their son in a reasonably prudent time/manner. They are NOT on trial for murder or manslaughter. Ezekiel Stephan died from bacterial meningitis, the kind which ...

A. Picazo: Legitimizing Pseudoscience: What’s The Harm?

This column ran in The National Post on March 24, 2016. After weeks of trying “natural” extracts and homemade remedies like smoothies cut with ginger root and horseradish to cure a suspected case of meningitis, 19-month-old Ezekiel Stephan’s tiny body had so deteriorated that he was too stiff to bend. Unable to be sit in his car seat, Ezekiel’s ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Extraordinary Claims

As the poster for the Centre for Inquiry notes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It’s a popular catchphrase for the skeptical movement, but should be an intellectual policy for everyone. Regardless of what is being claimed, it requires evidence at the same level of the claim. Anecdote is not evidence, please note, especially personal anecdote ...

Death By Trolley: What does it mean to be openminded?

A few weeks ago I was considering going to a dinner party called “Conscious Collective Gatherings: Non-Denominational Conversation”. It sounded pretty new age hippie-esque, which is totally not me, but I figured “hey, I might meet a few people there that are intellectually curious and not necessarily the left-wing equivalents of young earth creationists”. Since ...

Five of Five: Rebecca Watson on Harassment

 Rebecca Watson speaking at the Humanists of Florida 2012 Conference. The talk discusses sexism, harassment and threats directed towards many visible women in the atheist and skeptic communities. Youtube comment threads are one of the last warm refuges for complete asshats.

On the riddles of induction.

Red Tory v.3.0.3: Are You a Climate Change “Denier”?

Did you know that according to some folks, if you accept the scientific premise of climate change but happen to disagree with the fatuous and practically ineffective approaches to mitigating its effects by present means of harmful economic tinkering (mostly for political effect), you are now considered to be a “denier”? I used to just ...

On ethotic arguments.

On belief and the unprovable.

On reducing risk.

On the (alleged) effects of strikes.

On crime.

A. Picazo: Facts Matter In The Debate Over Water Fluoridation

It’s known as one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century; a “classic example of clinical observation leading to epidemiological investigation and community-based public health intervention;” Remaining “the most equitable and cost-effective method of delivering [health benefits] to all members of most communities, regardless of age, educational attainment, or income level.” It’s ...