Bill Nye, Science Guy, is an American Treasure. But did you know that after teaching a generation of kids basic scientific literacy, he made a show for teens (and I guess adults who watch PBS) tackling climate chage, race, sex, and other slightly more grown-up scientific themes? He did!
In this episode of The Eyes of Nye, he attacks pseudoscience. He goes after the “supplement” industry! He explains how to be skeptical! It is pretty great. Rest of the show below.
Coma Guy! He was in coma for 23 years, and then it turned out that he is conscious, and now he is totally answering questions and stuff! It is a wonderful story. If, as neurologist Steven Laureys says (and he seems legit), Coma Guy is conscious and not vegetative, than this new break in his case must be the single most frustrating thing to have ever happened to him. Because, as you can see, this woman has drihf bomytol oh hif hsnf abd us vurtyikknf hiud ghabf. (I typed the second half of that sentence with one finger, with my eyes closed, which is exactly how Coma Guy is currently composing his book. It works better with some lady “helping.”)
So. Facilitated Communication! It is a fraud, and, looking at that video, a fairly obvious fraud. If this guy is actually conscious, this story is incredibly depressing.
If you’re in the New York area, or if you have a great deal of disposable income and/or frequent flier miles and you can get to the New York area on short notice, please come by Union Hall in Park Slope next Tuesday, December 1, for a special lecture on the subject of “Those Who Are Trying to Kill You.”
Your humble author will investigate would-be-killers both familiar (Canada, Arianna Huffington) and new (men in comas), as part of the Adult Education lecture series. The whole night (theme: death) promises to be both terribly morbid and reasonably funny.
Oh, look what some enterprising bloggers found in the Senate HELP committee health care reform bill, sponsored by noted crank Senator Tom Harkin!
(D) The essential benefits provided for in subparagraph (A) shall include a requirement that there be non-discrimination in health care in a manner that, with respect to an individual who is eligible for medical or surgical care under a qualified health plan offered through a Gateway, prohibits the Administrator of the Gateway, or a qualified health plan offered through the Gateway, from denying such individual benefits for religious or spiritual health care, except that such religious or spiritual health care shall be an expense eligible for deduction as a medical care expense as determined by Internal Revenue Service Rulings interpreting section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as of January 1, 2009.
The IRS, of course, recognizes Christian Science prayer treatments as a tax-deductible medical care expense. (And acupuncture!)
But, you know, this isn’t all bad. If you die of praying instead of seeking real-life medical treatments, at least your next of kin will be reimbursed.
(More good news: the House Commerce health care bill includes matching language!)