The Sciences

Calling Dr. Oz: defend alt-med on Skeptics' Guide

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitApr 27, 2011 10:53 PM


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The other day, noted skeptic Dr. Steve Novella appeared on the Dr. Oz TV show. Steve is a promoter of medicine based on solid science, proven techniques, and reproducible results. Dr. Oz, um, not so much. In fact, on his show Oz has promoted questionable (at best, if not outright dangerous and provably false) things like homeopathy, faith healers, and even talking-to-the-dead guru John Edward. Oz has had such anti-science leanings of late that the James Randi Educational Foundation gave him their 2011 Pigasus Media Award. Steve did a great job on the show, the best he could, but was hamstrung by the format of the show which gave Oz the last word and allowing him to frame the entire situation. You can read Steve's synopsis of the episode on his site, and Orac has an excellent summary as well. As a followup to this, Steve has invited Dr. Oz to appear either on his blog or on Steve's podcast, the excellent Skeptics' Guide to the Universe. I think this is a fantastic idea, since that would remove Oz's ability to frame things the way he wants, and would force him to defend his alt-med claims on their actual merits. I liked this idea so much I tweeted about it:

That link goes to the short invitation mentioned above. I encourage my readers to retweet that tweet

, write about this, and (politely!) contact Dr. Oz

about it as well. It's easy to defend alt-med when you control the venue. But I think it would be interesting indeed to hear Dr. Oz defend it when he's a) given enough time to fairly and completely make his point, and then 2) have educated, intelligent, well-informed skeptics questioning it.

Related posts: - Steve Novella goes to Oz - Homeopathy slammed by Australian TV news show - 2011 JREF Pigasus awards - Homeopathy: there's nothing to it

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