News headlines from Europe about skeptical activism, mythbusting, science related policy decisions, consumer protection, frauds, health scams, alternative medicine, bad scientific practices, pseudoscience etc.
In 1943, David Karel de Jongh M.D. defended a Ph.D. dissertation on homeopathy, which he ended by concluding that homeopathy should be abolished. He based his judgment on his meticulous examination of many hundreds of articles and books and his experiences while working for quite some time in a homeopathic hospital in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
The dissertation has been is digitised in its entirety by Stichting Skepsis, because, according to secretary Jan Willem Nienhuys, ‘de Jongh’s conclusions [on homeopathy] are still as valid as ever’. A summary of de Jongh’s research can be read in English here, in Dutch here and in German here.
Until March 2016 graphologists had been used as forensic experts in Hungary. Graphologists used their unproven methodologies even in serious cases. For example in a child abuse case based on the parents’ handwriting they established that those could not have committed crime. Graphologist claim that hand writing analysis can be used to detect lies and to determine personality trades. Now the online portal Index.hu reported that the Ministry of Justice had removed graphology as a method to be used in the court rooms.
Joralf Gjerstad is an alleged healer from Norway. In January of 2016 norwegian documentary movie maker Margreth Olin released a documentary about the ageing healer. The movie depicts Gjerstad apparently applying his abilities on several subjects.
Dutchman Wim Hof earned his nickname ‘The Iceman’ for his world records involving the cold – standing for almost two hours in a crate full of ice cubes, that sort of things. But in recent years he is promoting the methods that he claims enabled him to achieve these records as a method for achieving better health as the ‘Wim Hof Method’. Lacking scientific evidence, Hof is careful not to claim explicitly that his method can cure diseases like cancer, but he definitely suggests that improving the immune system can achieve this. Already he has gained a lot of enthusiastic followers and he has been training many people to propagate his method. But how is it supposed to work, and does it? Skeptic Pepijn van Erp investigates…
A norwegian healer have been found guilty according to norwegian quackery laws.
The healer originally started to treat a middle aged woman for migraines in 2008. When the woman two years later was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, she kept using the healer for help. The local cancer ward advised chemotherapy, which supposedly was halted due to the healer claiming that the therapy interfered with his treatment.
The healer continued his treatment even after the hospital asked the healer to discontinue the treatment.
The woman died in 2010 and the healer was given a suspended sentence of 30 days in 2014. After a retrial in 2015 the court doubled the sentence to 60 days. This is one of the few times the norwegian court system have implemented the quackery laws.
During the last two years Boldogkői had written many articles, was invited to several media programs and participated in quite a few debates on homeopathy and on other controversial medical practices. He is very active on the social media. It is very promising that he had already gathered many physicians, scientists and university students around him. Most of them had been in silence about these topics before, but now ready to drop what was considered as “political correct” behavior toward these unscientific ideas and towards colleagues practicing alternative medicine.
Hungarian Skeptics had registered the chemtrail.hu domain and created a portal about the science based evaluation of the so called chemtrail conspiracy. The sites explains basic science about aircraft contrail generation, ideas about geoengineering and examines many rumors, interesting pictures and videos.
István Vágó, former President of Hungarian Skeptic Society, former television host for the Budapest-based TV2, best known as the host of “Legyen ön is Milliomos” the Hungarian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” launched a TV series on a cable TV channel Fix TV. Vágó is discussing controversial topics as UFOs, energy healing, chemtrails, GMOs, astrology etc. with his invited scientist and skeptic guests. The series provides a sharp contrast to the esoteric series Enigma aired on the same TV channel. In 2007 Vágó had a similar 11 episode TV series on ATV called X-Aknák together with current president of Hungarian Skeptic Society, Gábor Hraskó.