Pet psychics’ get a boostContinue reading
Breast-pill maker bustedContinue reading
New Zealand a sceptical nation?Continue reading
Biologist expelled from ‘Expelled’
The Intelligent Design (ID) movie Expelled (Editorial, NZ Skeptic 86) has scored a spectacular public relations own-goal at a screening in Minneapolis (New York Times, 21 March). University of Minnesota developmental biologist PZ Myers, best known for his blog Pharyngula, was one of many who took up the offer to register on-line for the pre-release public screening.
A vocal critic of creationism, he appears in the film, and is even thanked for his participation in the credits. But, when he turned up at the theatre, a security guard refused him entry. Myers’ wife, his daughter and her boyfriend, and his guest were, however, allowed in. No one seemed to recognise the guest, who was … Richard Dawkins! He also appears in the film, along with Eugenie Scott from the National Centre for Science Education, and skeptic Michael Shermer. All say they were interviewed under false pretences, having been told it was a film about the interface between science and religion, to be called Crossroads. On Pharyngula, Myers recounts how Dawkins, who was in town to attend the American Atheists conference, used the question and answer session at the end to challenge the film’s producer, Mark Mathis, on Myers’ expulsion. What Mathis must have thought when he spotted Dawkins in the audience one can only guess. The irony of someone being expelled from a movie called Expelled-a movie which purports to defend intellectual freedom-has been lost on no one.
Except, possibly, the ID lobby group, the Discovery Institute. In full damage control mode, they’re accusing Myers and Dawkins of trying to sneak in without a ticket, in what they call a sophomoric stunt. But this was a screening where nobody had tickets, and Myers had registered, in the approved way, under his own name. Dawkins was not asked for identification, although he had his passport ready. In any case, surely these two are justified in attending a film they both appear in? The hypocrisy of the people behind this movie defies belief.
New Age fair does roaring trade
“Psychic medium” Sue Nicholson was picked out for special attention by the Nelson Mail (25 February) in their coverage of a recent New Age fair, the Festival of Opportunities. Best known for her appearances on Sensing Murder and TV One’s Good Morning show, Nicholson was selling copies of the book she has written to capitalise on her TV-enhanced fame. On the first page of each copy she wrote a brief message-two purchasers reported themselves happy with their messages, declaring them accurate and relevant. She also held psychic workshops on both afternoons of the fair.
The Wellington-based Mrs Nicholson said she had seen spirits from an early age but only “came out of the closet” as a psychic 13 years ago. She claims everyone is born with a sixth sense and just has to learn how to develop it and be open to it.
Festival organiser Debby Verdonk estimated the event attracted about 1800 people, despite the drizzly weather.
New twist on Nigerian scam
Nigerian scammers seem to be getting craftier (Dominion Post, 4 March). Dawn McKee, a US-born Auckland woman seeking a partner on the NZMatch.com website, was contacted by a man calling himself Robert Thomas, and claiming to be a 41-year-old, Italian-born man who had gone through a “messy divorce” in the US before coming to New Zealand. He provided photographs, including some with friends, and the pair developed a rapport.
Two weeks later, he said he was going on a business trip to Amsterdam … then Nigeria. And not long after that, Ms McKee received an email from him asking her to lend him money, saying his cheques were useless in the country as only cash was used there. She sent $400, then $900 to help with airline tickets. When he asked her for another $400 to cover “flight tax”, alarm bells rang and she cut off contact.
Ms McKee, a computer programmer, told her story to the paper to warn others against fraudsters during Fraud Awareness Week.
“He said all the right things,” she said. “I feel a bit stupid … and really angry. How could people be so non-caring that they hurt somebody else like that?”
Fraud Awareness Week was organised by the Commerce Commission and Consumer Affairs Ministry, who were promoting the message: “Fight the Scammers. Don’t Respond” to educate people about those trying to fleece them.
Commission spokeswoman Deborah Battell said it was impossible to say how many people were targeted as fewer than five percent reported their experiences-most were too embarrassed. Most scams originated from outside the country and probably cost the economy millions every year, she said.
“People have been scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They need to be extremely careful and not respond.”
Scams can be reported at www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scamwatch
Kennedy conspiracies still hold appeal
More than 40 years later and half a world away, the assassination of John F Kennnedy continues to fascinate. Now three young Palmerston North film-makers have concocted an 88-minute documentary, titled Imagining the Kennedys (Manawatu Standard, 10 March).
The film is the work of school friends Matthew Keenan and Seamus Coogan, now in their 20s, and Agnieska Witkowski, who “wandered into their lives from Nova Scotia, Canada.”
In the years immediately following World War II America was unquestionably The Good Guy, Coogan said. Now, this has eroded to distrust and events such as the assassination and 9/11 have become wreathed in conspiracy theories. “The result has been the birth of a conspiracy industry and the dehumanising of the victims.”
The trio point out their documentary doesn’t set out to solve any mysteries. Rather, it looks at the impact of the event on people like Coogan thousands of miles from Dallas. The documentary follows him as he travels to the US and talks to Americans about the event.
Seamus Coogan admits to having had a fascination with the assassination since he was about eight. He said he believed Oswald was set up to be caught as a cover for another shooter.
“My mother always said there was something more to it and the moment I saw the Zapruda film I said ‘Holy guacamole, there’s no way that shot came from behind.'”
In one of those coincidences science can’t explain, I watched an episode of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit! last night on conspiracy theories. The pair showed, with the aid of a honeydew melon, how a shot to the back of the head will propel the head backwards. Hard to see where any second gunman could have been standing, then. Certainly not on that grassy knoll.
Foreskins and the universe
There was plenty of interesting reading in the Sunday Star Times‘ Sunday magazine recently (23 March). First, a cover story on the circumcision debate-remember, you read it here first (NZ Skeptic 86).
Circumcision is still seen as a rite of passage in some Polynesian cultures, and there have been calls for the procedure to be publicly funded. But the Ministry of Health says that won’t happen any time soon. Says Auckland University of Technology pathology lecturer Ken McGrath: “We spent 50 years turning it [circumcision] off, and we don’t want to see that sort of nonsense again.”
The same issue also discussed Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling book, The Secret, which states the universe will give you anything you ask, if you truly believe. It recommends downloading a blank cheque made out to the universe from the book’s website, and believing the money into existence. Writer Angela Barnett wrote out a cheque for $100,000; all she got was a $25 library refund. The Secret has a handy explanation, she says-she must not have believed enough that she really deserved the money.
The article concludes by quoting Einstein: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not so sure about the universe.”
Exorcism leads to chargesContinue reading
Creationist Museum up and runningContinue reading
Female ‘sorcerers’ tortured and murdered
Four Papua New Guinea women, believed by fellow villagers to have used sorcery to cause a fatal road crash, were tortured with hot metal rods to confess, then murdered and buried standing up in a pit (Stuff, 25 January).
A local newspaper said that police had only recently uncovered the grisly murders, which occurred last October near the town of Goroka in the jungle-clad highlands some 400km north of the capital, Port Moresby. Black magic is widespread in the South Pacific nation where most of the 5.1 million population live subsistence lives. Women suspected of being witches are often hung or burnt to death.
Local police commander Chief Inspector David Seine told the newspaper that people in the village of Kamex accused the four women of sorcery after a road crash killed three prison officers. The women were reportedly tortured into admission by being stabbed with hot metal rods, said Seine.
It appeared the women were blindfolded with thick sticky tape strapped across their faces and mouths and their hands had been tied before they were murdered, he said.
Commander Seine said the women were buried in an old narrow toilet pit in the standing position. The pit was then covered with soil and two old vehicle tyres placed on the top.
“They planted a banana tree on top of the pit with fresh grass making it difficult for anyone to discover the site, but police got to it with the help of some elders from the village,” he said.
Red netting benefits ‘a myth’
A retired scientist is questioning the effectiveness of red horticultural shade cloth which is being erected on a growing number of orchards around the Nelson region (Nelson Mail, 17 March).
Orchardists use the red cloth because it is thought to enhance pipfruit crops. But the bright red netting has run into a storm of controversy with lobby groups and neighbouring land owners who say it is visual pollution.
Now Rob James of Motueka, who was involved in tobacco research at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research for 18 years, claims the benefits of red netting are a myth.
Mr James said he had been in touch with scientists in New Zealand and at Cornell University in New York and none of them knew of any research that proved that red netting was better than any other coloured netting.
“There’s no published research on the use of red netting in the world. If there was, we would have found it.”
If people did have scientific evidence on the benefits of the netting on pipfruit he would like to see it.
Pipfruit New Zealand chairman Ian Palmer agreed there was no scientific proof of the benefits of red netting, but said that was irrelevant. Fruit grown under red netting was “elite”, he said. “The evidence is in the fruit itself.
“It had the sort of appearance that made it some of the best fruit I’ve seen.”
Mr Palmer said the red netting seemed to enhance the colour of the fruit, giving it a pinkish finish. He said he had not seen the results of fruit grown under white netting.
Vitamins ‘do more harm than good’
Proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) may be attracting a lot of attention, but they have yet to convince anyone who counts that their ideas should be taken seriously. In the latest setback, school authorities in Kansas have deleted language from teaching guidelines that challenged the validity of evolutionary theory, and approved new phrasing in line with mainstream science (Guardian Weekly, 23 February).
The 6-4 vote by the state board of education is seen as a victory for a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats, science educators and parents who had fought for two years to overturn earlier guidelines. It reverses the decision taken by the same authorities two years ago to include language undermining Darwinism on the insistence of conservative parents and the ID movement. The board removed language suggesting key concepts, such as a common origin for all life on Earth and for species change, were seen as controversial by the scientific community. They have since received a petition of nearly 4000 signatures opposing the new decisions.
Herbal medicine perceptions studied
The perceptions that consumers of alternative medicines have about the treatments they use are to be studied by a Waikato University psychology student (Hamilton Press, 21 March). Kirsty Bell is concentrating her research on depression, and she is seeking people who are interested in sharing their experiences.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 75 percent of the world’s population uses some form of alternative medicine, and New Zealand statistics show that one in four New Zealanders over the age of 15 use them.
Alternative health industry setback
A letter from Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen has quashed the alternative health industry’s hopes of establishing a New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)-approved industry training organisation (Sunday Star Times, 23 February).
The Health Training Organisation (HTO) is now considering removing itself from the national qualifications framework. HTO executive officer Roger Booth said responsibility for setting standards in the industry was held by the NZQA, but it stepped down from this role on February 28. The HTO wanted to take on responsibility itself, but its application to establish itself as an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) had been turned down. The NZQA wanted the organisation to align itself with another ITO, Mr Booth said.
NZQA deputy chief executive, quality assurance, Mike Willing said alternative health standards and qualifications would eventually be removed from the framework if no ITO took over standard-setting for the sector.
Mr Booth said discussions with several ITOs had found no natural partner.
‘Used car salesman’ a ‘fraud of the worst kind’
John of God got short shrift in the Sunday Star Times (25 February). Described as a “faith healer and used-car salesman” by journalist Ruth Hill, the Brazilian otherwise known as Joao Teixeira de Faria was holding a four-day event in Lower Hutt.
He claims to cure cancer, Aids, and other conditions including ‘spiritual desperation’ by channelling 36 ‘spirit doctors’. New Zealanders are the biggest single group of foreign visitors per capita to his çheadquarters in southwest Brazil, largely through tours promoted by Wellington naturopath Peter Waugh.
NZ Skeptics chair-entity Vicki Hyde said she was unimpressed by what she had seen of his performance, which consisted of “old carnival tricks”.
“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a quack.”
She said the Skeptics were concerned the ‘healer’ was preying on vulnerable, desperate people. Victims of failed faith healings were often reluctant to speak out because they blamed themselves for not having enough faith-“another nasty piece of psychological manipulation” on which faith healers relied, said Hyde.
US stage magician James Randi, best known as a debunker of pseudoscience, is convinced John of God is “a fraud of the worst kind, making money from other people’s suffering. To any experienced conjuror, the methods by which these seeming miracles are produced are very obvious.”
Haden sticks to his guns
The passing of long-standing NZ Skeptics member Frank Haden was widely reported. Perhaps the best tribute came from Tom Scott’s cartoon in the Dominion Post (March 9). A voice booms from the clouds: “What’s all that swearing at the gate?” St Peter, standing at the Pearly Gates, replies: “Crusading journalist Frank Haden is refusing to come in. He says he didn’t believe in this place before and isn’t about to change his mind now…”
The disappearance of UFOs and little green men has been reported on once more, this time by the Dominion Post (3 April – see NZ Skeptic 77).Continue reading
‘Homeopathic’ malaria pills no good
Holidaymakers planning trips to the tropics have been warned to avoid homeopathic remedies that are claimed to prevent malaria after several UK travellers contracted the potentially fatal disease (NZ Herald, 14 July).
An investigation by the charity Sense about Science found ten homeopathic clinics selected at random on the internet offered a researcher unproven homeopathic products which were claimed to prevent malaria and other tropical diseases including typhoid, dengue fever and yellow fever.
In all ten consultations the researcher was advised to use the products rather than being referred to a GP or travel medicine clinic where orthodox anti-malarial drugs are available. Tropical medicine specialists have condemned the practice.
The UK Health Protection Agency warned last year that travellers from Britain had fallen ill with malaria after taking homeopathic pills claimed to prevent it.
Oxford University Professor Nicholas White said this was very dangerous nonsense and needed to be stopped. “The prescribing of homeopathic remedies to prevent malaria is a reprehensible example of potentially lethal duplicity.”
Although conventional anti-malarial drugs had some side effects, they provided excellent protection.
“These decisions require discussion with a knowledgeable person who can assess the risks and benefits,” according to Professor Brian Greenwood, president of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine. “The use of homeopathy creates a more dangerous situation than taking no precautions if the traveller assumes that they are protected and does not seek help quickly for any illness that might be malaria.”
The Faculty of Homoeopathy said it did not recommend homeopathic remedies for the prevention of malaria.
Peter Fisher, clinical director of the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital said “Malaria is a life threatening disease and there is no published evidence to support the use of homeopathy in the prevention of malaria.”
Timothy Leary was right
Mystical experiences induced by hallucinogenic drugs are in essence no different from the ‘genuine’ article, say scientists at Johns Hopkins University (NZ Herald, 12 July). They argue that the potential of such drugs, ignored for decades because of their links to illicit activities, must be explored to develop new treatments for depression, drug addiction and the treatment of intolerable pain. They are not, however, interested in the “Does God exist?” debate. “This work can’t and won’t go there,” they say.
In the study, 30 middle-aged volunteers who had religious or spiritual interests attended two eight-hour sessions two months apart, receiving psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) in one session and a non-hallucinogenic stimulant-Ritalin-in the other. They were not told which was which. One third described the experience with psilocybin as the most spiritually significant of their lifetime and two-thirds rated it among their five most meaningful experiences. In more than 60 percent the experience rated as a “full mystical experience” based on established psychological scales. A third of the volunteers became frightened during the drug sessions with some reporting feelings of paranoia.
Huston Smith, America’s leading authority on comparative religion, writes that mystical experience “is as old as humankind” and attempts to induce it using psychoactive plants were made in many cultures. “But this is the first scientific demonstration in 40 years, and the most rigorous ever, that profound mystical states can be produced safely in the laboratory. The potential is great.”
Creation Museum Coming Soon
Journalist Alec Russell was treated to a personal guided tour of Ken Ham’s under-construction Creation Museum in Kentucky by Ham himself, but did not seem persuaded by his arguments (Dominion Post, 30 June).
The NZ$42.7 million museum, which has been paid for mostly from donations, is scheduled to open early next year. It features animatronic garden of Eden scenes of children and young tyrannosaurs playing happily together, vegetarians all in a world without death. Since Genesis says Adam didn’t ‘know’ Eve until after they were driven from Eden, children in a pre-Fall world would seem to be at odds with scripture. But never mind, the ‘Wow’ factor is the important thing, says Ham. There’s also a 1/48th-scale Noah’s Ark with stegosaurs being loaded along with the giraffes, and multimedia presentations on the wonders of creation.
A few hours later, Russell had dinner with three scientists who were campaigning against the museum. They were thinking of marching up and down outside waving placards, and running ‘alternative’ tours of the exhibits, much in the style of evangelical protesters against the scientific establishment.
After having endured two hours of his “machinegun delivery”, Russell didn’t think the scientists stood much chance in any confrontation with the “gruff Australian”. When he put the gist of their arguments to Ham later, Ham turned to him “with an air of triumph mixed with pity” and delivered his trump card: “When it comes to the past, you weren’t there.”
This is Ham’s catchphrase. It’s like saying a detective can’t solve a crime if he wasn’t there to witness it. Russell should have pointed out that Ham wasn’t there either. Nor was he there when Genesis was written, so he can’t be sure it was the work of God. The Statement of Faith of Ken Ham’s own ministry, Answers in Genesis, declares that all humans are fallible; he needs to be aware this applies to himself. When he says Genesis is the divinely inspired word of God, he could be wrong about that.
Psychic helps in Manawatu mystery
Personal items belonging to a missing Alzheimer’s sufferer were found near the Manawatu River after police were directed to the site by a local psychic (Dominion Post, 3 July). James Alexander, 73, had wandered from his rest home a week previously and had been sighted only once. Sergeant Bill Nicholson said a local woman contacted them and described a location which was familiar to police, though she said she had never been there. A search began late on Friday and the items were found on the riverbank soon after 11am on Saturday. Requests from the NZ Skeptics for details of what the psychic actually disclosed have met with no response, but it seems clear the police still had to do quite a bit of searching before finding the items, which were on the riverbank close to the rest home. Mr Alexander’s body was eventually found at Pukerua Bay on 17 August, after apparently being washed down the river.
Rita leaves ‘psychic imprint’
A Massey University artist-in-residence living in Rita Angus’s two-bedroom Wellington cottage has hired a clairvoyant to contact the former resident’s ghost (Dominion Post, 18 August).
Dane Mitchell said he hired the clairvoyant because it was a way of exploring a different kind of knowledge. A recording of the reading would be displayed alongside pencil rubbings-including one of Angus’s paint-splattered studio floor-at his exhibition, ‘Thresholds’.
The clairvoyant determined that although “the entity that was Rita Angus” had long moved on, she had left a huge psychic imprint on the house, especially on an old armchair and chest of drawers used to store artwork.
“I’m feeling a huge vortex of emotions, which started as I came up the path,” the psychic, identified only as Penny, said on the tape. Angus, regarded as a pioneer of New Zealand modern art, loved the house and felt safe in it, but used it to isolate herself from the world, she said. Googling the artist might have been more informative.
Why are we not surprised?
This just in from Blenheim’s Marlborough Express (known colloquially as the Marlborough Excuse, we are informed), 7 October:
“The visit to Blenheim of clairvoyant Jeanette Wilson has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances”!
Elephants in Loch Ness?
Nessie’s an elephant, says a leading British palaeontologist (Dominion Post, 7 March).
Neil Clark, curator of palaeontology at Glasgow University’s Hunterian Museum, spent two years investigating the Loch Ness myth and suggested the idea for Nessie was dreamt up as a “magnificent piece of marketing” by a circus impresario after he saw one of his elephants bathing in the loch.
In 1933, the same year as the first modern ‘sighting’ of Nessie, Bertram Mills offered £20,000 to anyone who could capture the monster for his circus, sparking international interest. Most sightings could be explained by floating logs or waves, but there were a number, particularly from 1933, were more difficult to account for.
He believed some were elephants belonging to circuses – which visited Inverness and stopped along the banks of the loch to allow their animals to rest. When they swam in the loch, only the trunk and two humps could be seen – the first hump being the head and the second the animal’s back.
University fears cancer from wireless internet…
Lakehead University, in Ontario, Canada, won’t allow campus-wide internet access because of health worries (Dominion Post, 1 March.)
President Fred Gilbert told a university meeting that some studies showed links to carcinogenic occurences in animals, including humans, related to energy fields associated with wireless hotspots – “whether these hotspots are transmissions lines, whether they’re outlets, plasma screens or microwave ovens that leak.” The university has only limited Wi-Fi connections, in places where there is no fibre-optic internet connection. The decision, apparently, was a personal decision by Gilbert.
The stance has caused a backlash from students and Canadian health authorities. “Considering this is a university known for its great use of technology it’s kind of bad that we can’t get Wi-Fi,” student union president Adam Krupper said.
…but cell phones are OK
Meanwhile, according to a new study, cell phones do not increase the risk of developing brain tumours, the Dominion Post reported (21 January.)
After a four-year survey, scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and British universities in Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham found no link between regular, long-term use of cellphones and glioma brain tumours.
The results were consistent with the findings of most studies done in the US and Europe, although this survey was bigger than any previous research and involved 13 countries.
The researchers questioned 966 people with glioma and 1716 healthy volunteers about how long they had used mobile phones, the make and model, how many calls they made and how long the calls lasted. Earlier mobile phones used analogue signals, which emitted higher power signals than the later digital models. Any health danger would be more likely to result from the earlier models, but the scientists found no evidence of it.
Ghosts keep the tourists away
The existence of ghosts may be debated, but the impact of traditional Asian beliefs on Thailand’s tourism trade since the December 26, 2004, tsunami appears indisputable (National Geographic News, January 6).
Tourism from Europe, Australia, and the United States has rebounded since the disaster, but tourist arrivals from elsewhere in Asia have not. Industry observers cite Asian tourists’ fears of ghosts in tsunami-stricken areas as the main reason for the decline.
Buddhism and other Asian belief systems hold that if bodies are not properly buried, their spirits restlessly wander the Earth, and may try to drag living beings into a spiritual limbo.
“Please tell your fellow Japanese and Chinese back home to stop fearing ghosts and return to this region again,” Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra reportedly told tourists after a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the tsunami.
Since the disaster, tales of ghost sightings have become endemic. Foreign ghosts seem to be particularly common, and many of the accounts are being covered in local newspapers.
One Phuket taxi driver reportedly said he was hailed by four western tourists who asked to go to the airport. The driver chatted as he drove, but when he pulled up at the airport to let the passengers out there was no one there.
Police procedure allows for sorcery concerns
Maori should not be forced to give DNA samples because of concerns over sorcery, says a report in the Dominion Post (5 December 05). A new police manual says Maori have spiritual beliefs about samples taken from the body, and that “a person should not be forced to provide samples for testing purposes”. Police management said the direction would be amended or deleted in future editions.
‘John of God’: it’s all been seen before
Chair-entity Vicki Hyde is gnashing her teeth over the upcoming visit to New Zealand of Joao Teixeira de Faria, ‘one of the world’s most powerful spiritual healers.’
In a full-page feature on the ‘healer’ in the Dominion Post (28 January) Vicki told reporter Stefan Herrick she was convinced Teixeira de Faria, who goes by the name John of God, was a con man “who peddles miracle cures that don’t withstand even light scientific scrutiny.
“Sad to see this chap coming here as it just means more exploitation of vulnerable people.”
Hundreds of foreigners visit Abadiania, the small village in Brazil where Teixeira de Faria has established a clinic where ‘miraculous cures’ take place. He is promoted as “the greatest healer of the past 2000 years”, and claims to be guided by 35 healing spirits.
Vicki Hyde said if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, “it’s probably just another duck…”
John of God, the report said, doesn’t charge for visits to his clinic (although the Wellington sessions will cost $115) but he appeared to be well off. The ABC network reported that he owned a 400-hectare ranch down the road from his clinic.
Magnets attract support
Magnet therapy, said to be favoured by Cherie Blair, is to be made available on Britain’s National Health Service (NZ Herald, 11 March).
The 4UlcerCare – a strap containing four magnets that is wrapped around the leg – is available on prescription from GPs. Its maker, Magnopulse, claims that it speeds the healing of leg ulcers and keeps them from coming back.
The announcement has created excitement in the world of alternative medicine. Lilias Curtin, one-time therapist to Cherie Blair, sent a poster-sized announcement to newspapers declaring her “sincere belief that, in the next five to 10 years, magnets will be seen in first-aid boxes”.
Other experts are sceptical. Professor Edzard Ernst, head of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, said that he was puzzled by the NHS decision. “As far as I can see, there hasn’t yet been enough research to prove that these magnets help people with ulcers.”
More powerful electromagnets could help to heal tissue injuries, but that was different, he said. His own study of small magnets on arthritis sufferers had failed to yield compelling results.
In January, researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, in California, published a paper in the British Medical Journal that cast doubt on the therapeutic use of magnets. “Patients should be advised that magnet therapy has no proven benefits. If they insist on using a magnetic device, they could be advised to buy the cheapest – this will alleviate the pain in their wallet,” they wrote.