Patrick Holford and the Goldacre Law of BS Dynamics

Patrick Holford adopts a certain triumphalist tone when praising the academic and scientific gravitas of Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs:

Every single section, on arthritis, on diabetes, hormonal imbalance, depression, attention deficit, etc. Every single chapter was checked by a professor who specialised in that area.

For reasons we’ve previously explained, Holford Watch begs leave to express polite disbelief about this claim. A commenter writes:

Ben Goldacre notes a perpetual motion machine is

validated as working by eight unnamed independent scientists and engineers “with multiple PhDs from world-class universities” (although sadly they’ve declined to name them, citing mutually binding non-disclosure agreements).

I would imagine you would be told that something similar precludes you learning who reviewed which sections of the book but I hope I’m wrong.

Goldacre also posits a

first law of bullshit dynamics, which I suspect this invention may well obey, as follows: “there is no imaginable proposition so absurd that you cannot find at least one person, somewhere in the world, with a PhD or professional post, who is happy to endorse it”.

The nervology (the science of the acquisition of chutzpah for the purpose of peddling woo) of it all. You might think that: Holford Watch couldn’t possibly comment.


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Filed under Ben Goldacre, Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs, Holford, Jerome Burne, nervology, patrick holford

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