Author Archives: Stephen Propatier

About Stephen Propatier

Stephen Propatier is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner specializing in spine and sports medicine. He is a member of the Society for Science Based Medicine and is adjunct faculty for both Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island College Graduate School of Nursing.

Jade Eggs for Your Kegels

There is no shortage of health fads and nonsense on the Internet, but when it comes to women’s health, actress Gwyneth Paltrow seems to lead the charge on the wackiest and most dangerous woo. Her lifestyle website and newsletter, called GOOP, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, New Age, Pseudoscience, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Son of Holiday Myths Debunked

Over the last few years, I’ve occasionally written posts on some myth or another. Every time I accumulate enough interesting ones, I tend to write a short article. So here we go. References to religious facts were gathered quickly. If … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, History, Urban Legends | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

Does Drinking White Wine Give You Melanoma?

Brown University put out a press release this month about some of its soon-to-be-published research. The study, named “Alcohol Intake and Risk of Incident Melanoma: A Pooled Analysis of Three Prospective Studies in the United States,” appears this month in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers … Continue reading

Posted in Health, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

If You Know Anyone Afraid of the Flu Shot, Show Them This!

Internet memes are constant reminders of how unstructured information sharing is. I see memes through the prism of scientific skepticism and critical thinking and the most frustrating aspect is how they can be used to disseminate dangerous ideology and disinformation. There … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Health, Pseudoscience | Tagged , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Alternative Medicine and the Post-Hoc Rationalization

If you follow me on the Skeptoid blog you’ll find that I take a dim view of complementary and alternative medicine. My opinion is based primarily on a rational evaluation of the research. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), as a whole, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Nature, New Age, Pseudoscience, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Theranos: Marketing Trumps Science

When I first heard of Theranos and its diagnostic testing breakthrough there were no immediate alarm bells or red flags that caused me to look closely. I was impressed. It appeared to be a elegant incremental improvement to diagnostic testing. I assumed, … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Ripoffs, Science, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Turmeric: What is it Good For?

The supplement industry historically is a conga-line of promoters selling unproven or disproven health products. Supplement claims are crank whack-a-mole for the most part—knock one down and another comes up. It is an industry that markets with a constant drone of miracle … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Food, Health, Nature, Pseudoscience, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 74 Comments

The Laboratory Fallacy

Medical treatment is based on data. Clinical data, statistical data and laboratory data are the main points of interest, though laboratory data is a kind of scientific anomaly in medicine. Although controlled laboratory conditions are the most rigorous kind of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Health, Pseudoscience, Science | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Bigfoot Is Racking Up Frequent Flier Miles

Bigfoot is the mythological ape-like creature of modern pop culture and cryptozoology. It’s popular enough that there’s even a show, Finding Bigfoot, dedicated to finding it. (I’m still waiting after nine seasons for them to find it!) Bigfoot is low-hanging fruit … Continue reading

Posted in Paranormal, Urban Legends | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments

Susan Gerbic: Vampire Slayer

Susan Gerbic at The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has put out the call for all vampire slayers. Does this mean that we should all stock up on garlic, holy water and get some really high collars for our shirts? No, … Continue reading

Posted in New Age, Paranormal, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments