Posts Tagged ‘bad science’

Visual Snake Oil diagram!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Here’s a great site that a friend of mine pointed out – http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/

I’ve been pretty interested in the whole homeopathy/alternative medicine debate – Ben Goldacre has written a great book called “Bad Science” on this subject. I’m firmly on the side of the “homeopathy doesn’t work” – in fact, there’s very little real science done in Homeopathy. Alternative remedies are a bit different, there are some natural compounds which when taken in suplement form (not diluted out of existence) do seem to have some beneficial properties in certain cases. The site above shows this off very nicely, so that you can see the difference between the scientifically tested remedies that may have benefit (and therefore are not really counted as ‘alternatives’ – forming as they do part of the collective group of remedies that we can call ‘medicine’) and those that are just snake oil (and therefore aren’t ‘alternatives’ either – they’re just useless).

More than anything, the geek in me just loves the way this visualisation has been put together, and the methodology has applications for all sorts of things – in fact, I’m very tempted to apply it to ranking Anti-virus products – gotta be more interesting than another bar chart.