David Colquhoun has just written an excellent Guardian article on Endarkenment (reproduced in full on his shiny new redesigned blog). Colquhoun attributes a notable role to our favorite bowel whisperer:
The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable…
The University of Bedfordshire (in its previous incarnation as the University of Luton) accredited a Foundation Degree course in ‘nutritional therapy’, at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition (IoN). The give-away is the term Nutritional Therapy . They are the folks who claim, with next to no evidence, that changing your diet, and buying from them a lot of expensive ’supplements’, will cure almost any disease (even AIDS and cancer).
The IoN is run by Patrick Holford, whose only qualification in nutrition is a diploma awarded to himself by his own Institute. His advocacy of vitamin C as better than conventional drugs to treat AIDS is truly scary. His pretensions have been analysed effectively by Ben Goldacre, and by Holfordwatch. See the toe-curling details on badscience.net.
Lots more toe-curling details on other aspects on endarkenment on Colquhoun’s Improbable Science blog, too.