One would like to think of human history as an unbroken march toward enlightenment in which superstition and magical beliefs are gradually discarded in favor of rational thought and evidence-based decisions. One would like to, but then one remembers the media's obsession with Mayan doomsday predictions never actually predicted by actual Mayans, and the scandalous failure of most Nova Scotia health care workers to get the 'flu vaccine (thus depriving themselves, their families, and their patients of the most effective life-saving advance in medical history), and today's numerological media trope-de-jour: the fact that today's (arbitrary) date can be rendered as 12-12-12. So...

Contrarian would not have thought it possible for a defense of quackery to set me chuckling and nodding my head, but my old pal Warren Reed has done it. [Previous installments here and here.] Knowing that the best defense is a good offense, Reed began by catching me in the act of scientific error:
[caption id="attachment_4217" align="alignright" width="230" caption="Amedeo Avogadro"]avogad[/caption] One of the few things I remember from Nat. Sci. 3 is Avogadro's Number — 6.023 x 10**23.  So it isn't roughly 10**23 as you state — it's actually 6 times that.  Six is called The Republican Constant - any Republican can stretch the truth by a factor of six without raising an eyebrow on Fox News.  Journalists often get the same exemption. But we don't read Contrarian just for the science.  More puzzling is the notion that a group of pub-crawling Brits is claiming to know what constitutes "proper medical assistance."  Of the reasons for healing—the passage of time, the placebo effect, natural defenses—"proper medical assistance" is on the list, but is an evanescent concept at best.  It depends on many of the same principles for success as Homeopathy.  Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.
More after the jump.

A Contrarian reader who is also a public health nutritionist responds to our post about Fralic's foolishness: This Globe and Mail article convinced me of the importance of getting the H1N1 vaccination.  There is so much misinfomation out there, and I hold health reporter Andre Picard's coverage in high regard. Nova Scotians can find the location and schedule of immunization clinics in their District Health Region here. [On the map, click on your DHA.] I plan to take [my children] to the Baddeck clinic and get us done before the rush. Contrarian expects tomorrow's Baddeck clinic, the first in Cape Breton, to be a...