Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Huffington Post launches "health" section

The Huffington Post unveiled its new "health" section yesterday, and quickly made it clear that its divergence from the "living" section won't change the type of authors its willing to publish. Dr. Dean Ornish is to head the section, which he promises will  be a "clear and balanced resource to provide a comprehensive view of the state of health and health news in a given day. [and] will provide a forum for intelligent discourse and divergent but respectful points of view."

To kick off the forum for intelligent discourse, the Huffington Post moderators have been extremely heavy handed in censoring opinions critical of alternative medicines in the comments section of the article.  Censorship is another issue with the Huffington Post which is being documented at the Banned From Huffpo blog.  Homeopath and Huffington Post blogger Dana Ullman was quick equate the censorship of science based medicine proponents, to homeopathy's inability to be recognized as scientifically legitimate, offering his opinion in the comments section:

"It is so interesting to note that some of the critics of natural medicine and integrative health care have expressed concern about the abundance of articles on these subjects and that many of the criticisms of these natural treatments are being deleted. Now, perhaps, these people will know how many of us who are involved in natural healing feel by being shut-out of many medical journals, despite presenting high quality studies to them.

To me, it is amazing that anyone would be against "integrative health care" where the best of natural therapies and conventional medicine become a reality. I hope that the "medical fundamentalists" realize their scientism and medical religiosity in order to get safer health care for more people.."

The fault in his logic is that the Huffington Post is censoring comments despite them adhering to the guidelines set forth in the Huffington Post's commenting policy, while homeopathy doesn't fulfill the standards adhered to by modern science journals. Ullman's studies he likes to quote aren't as "high quality" as he'd like you to believe.  This has been pointed out here, here and here.  For those unfamiliar with homeopathy, Kimball Atwood IV, MD has written an excellent series titled Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting started

This blog contains a collection of bad science in articles published and promoted by the Huffington Post, as well as articles criticizing the site on science related topics.  Expect occasional blog posts and eventual new sections, but for now visit our Articles and Criticism sections for links relevant to the subject.

If you have any links to bad science articles on the Huffington Post, or articles criticizing the Huffington Post's poor science reporting, feel to send an email to huffpoantiscience@gmail.com.