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You’ve Got a Degree in Baloney

At least some universities have come to their senses:

From this year, it will no longer be possible to study homoeopathy to degree level in a British university.

The number of bachelor and masters degrees in subjects such as reflexology, aromatherapy, acupuncture and homoeopathy has halved since 2007, from more than 40 to 21. Many of the surviving courses are under review.

This is great news for science-based medicine. In case you were not aware, you can receive a degree in homeopathy, which dilutes any active ingredient out of existence, reflexology, which relies upon pre-scientific ideas that claim that poking your foot can improve your eyesight, aromatherapy, which claims to cure ailments through the power of good smells, or acupuncture, which does not work beyond placebo and has been shown to have nothing to do with needle placement or insertion, from an actual university.

After pressure from various scientists and rationalist groups like Sense about Science, numerous courses in UK universities have been closing down because of their lack of any evidence to support their inclusion in a science-based curriculum. Frighteningly,

In 2007, when alternative medicine was highly popular, 16 state-funded degree-awarding institutions were offering 42 fully accredited BSc/BA courses in 12 non-evidence-based forms of medicine. These included ayurveda, naturopathy, therapeutic massage and homoeopathy.

Don’t weep for these closed courses. This is taxpayer money spent on teaching students about “crystal therapies” and illusory “energy fields.” In short, baloney. It’s not like we are losing physics or chemistry, we are losing degrees with zero basis in science. If it is without evidence or plausibility, you should not offer a degree in it.

When universities are “suggesting that amethysts emit high ‘yin energy’,” you know that something is off. Chalk this up as a small win for science.