Why the Plural of Anecdote is not Data

By: , Twitter

A common theme when I see bad science on the TV or internet is the personal testimony pitch – for me, this holds about as much water as a bucket with no bottom, but not everyone knows why anecdotes do not count as evidence. When talking to people about alternative medicine or psychics, I always get told “but it worked for me, how can you explain that?” It can be explained very easily actually – if I went around to a large enough number of people and gave them a vague Barnum statement, or asked them to pick a card and showed them all the same card, a few would guess correctly, and for those people magic has just happened, and they will go and tell their friends about a miraculous handsome man who did the impossible. That is exactly what alternative medicine quacks and psychics do; take credit for an event that is bound to happen eventually if enough chances are given.

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Myles Vs Hoefkens – Homeopathy

Can Homeopathy cure Chlamydia, Migraines, Infertility School phobia, etc? In short NO, in long NOOOOOOOO! Meet Gemma Hoefkens who became a registered homoeopath after she was diagnosed with cancer, tumours in her brain and down her spine. She clames that Homeopthy and Homeopthy alone cured her and not the Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy or the medication she was put on. Continue reading