Saturday, August 9, 2014

#1138: Bruce Shelton

Bruce Shelton is a physician (a real one). But he is also a former Arizona homeopathic board chairman and one of the most active (and worrying) lobbyists for gettingstate boards to recognize quackery. Remember the Arizona homeopathic board? Yes, they were the ones who exonerated Gabriel Cousens for malpractice in 2001 – anything to avoid doing harm to a cherished form of quackery, I suppose (people, on the other hand ...). Shelton is also a signatory to the International Medical Council on Vaccination’s list of, well, people who question the safety and efficacy of vaccines, since denialism, anti-science zeal, and lack of understanding of scientific methods or critical thinking rarely restrict themselves to isolated topics. He is currently affiliated with the Valley Integrative Physicians in Arizona.

Apparently Shelton thinks a good justification for believing in the efficacy of crazy woo such as homeopathy is that these have been practiced for a long time, often “hundreds of years”. Like alchemy. And bloodletting. Words fail.

Diagnosis: Not the loudest or most obviously incoherent promoter of woo out there, Shelton is nevertheless among the more influential. Seeing his name in any context should raise a red flag for anyone. 

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