by Bob Ladendorf
Recent news and sources of interest, with brief summaries and a rating of the content:
1 = Pro-skeptical; 2 = Leaning skeptical; 3 = Neutral, presenting sides equally; 4 = Leaning paranormal or pseudoscience; 5 = Pro-paranormal or pseudoscience.
"The New Creationism: Biology Under Attack." Barbara Ehrenreich and Janet McIntosh. The Nation, June 9, 1997, pp. 11-16. Slams the academic left for "secular creationism," which denies that "...any biologically based commonalities cut across cultural differences." Selected quote: "The new creationism is not simply a case of well-intended politics gone awry; it represents a grave misunderstanding of biology and science." Rating: 2
"More are seeking treatment for sexual addiction." Karen Thomas. USA Today, May 14, 1997, p. 5D. Basically a printed infomercial for the Sierra Tucson treatment center for sexual addiction. Sole source for information in the main article and two sidebar articles is Carol Ross, "senior sexual recovery therapist" at the center. No scientific basis is given for the treatment of "sexual addiction." Cost for treatment is $600-$700 a day. Selected quote: "One of the fastest growing populations seeking treatment: doctors, nurses and clergy; professions with governing boards. 'They come to us saying, "Help me, Im about to lose my job,"' Ross says." (Editor's Note: Remember that Seinfeld episode about the lusting dentist and assistant? You better watch out!) Rating: 5
"To bee or not to bee? : Many doctors warn against apitherapy, but some pain victims swear by it." Holly Ramer (AP). (Springfield, Illinois) State Journal-Register, June 9. 1997, p. 15. Bee sting therapy cures all sorts of ailments, advocates have claimed. One woman gets about 100 stings a week for her multiple sclerosis. Selected quote: "Such stories trouble Patricia OLooney, director of research and medical programs at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which is funding a study that involves injecting laboratory animals with purified bee venom.
"The difficulty with any of these reports is that they're anecdotal,' O'Looney says. "The individuals or physicians who claim there's a benefit haven't followed up with the proper scientific studies." Rating: 3