News headlines from Europe about skeptical activism, mythbusting, science related policy decisions, consumer protection, frauds, health scams, alternative medicine, bad scientific practices, pseudoscience etc.
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.
Prof. Zsolt Boldogkői, molecular biologist, head of Department of Medical Biology at University of Szeged (Hungary) launched a petition among fellow scientists and physicians today with the title: Homeopathy is pseudoscience.
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.
Two of Norway´s foremost skeptics have condemned Michael Winger´s supposedly finding of a body earlier in 2014.
Winger claimed he used his powers to locate the body of a missing man in Nes county in Norway. He found the body of the man in the woods together with a local dog owner.
Skeptics Gunnar Tjomlid and Didrik Søderlind picks the claims apart in the news article and Tjomlid also wrote a longer blog post which is more precise.
In short terms, the skeptics showed that Winger already had been in the area, and that he knew where the search parties, yet hadn’t looked.
Dr. Hanna Tuomisto explains the results of her meta-analysis regarding environmental impacts of conventional and organic farming. The researchers analysed data from 71 studies published in peer-reviewed journals that compared organic and conventional farms in Europe. The results suggest that organic farming is more marketing hype than real life benefits for the environment, especially considering land use, eutrophication potential and restrictions of modern technology.
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.
Norwegian skeptics have since 2009 been meeting regularly at pubs or taverns in Oslo. Their website can be found in the link or you can search the phrase “skeptikere på puben” at Facebook.
Meetings are usually once a month, but will be held at different dates or venues depending on different circumstances.
In a tv interview the norwegian princess claims to communicate with horses. Having previously competed in showjumping on a high level, the princess has started to dabble in pseudoscience.
She also claims to communicate with angels, offers courses for communicating with angels, animals or simple healing.
She and her associate have also collaborated with Lisa Williams.