alternative medicine is a form of "religion"):
"Just as the Big Bang theory is far more interesting than the creation story in Genesis, so the story that science can tell us about the natural world is far more interesting than any fable about magic pills concocted by an alternative therapist."
About the placebo effect (it's not a full definition, but it's an elegant way to put it):
"The placebo is not about the mechanics of a sugar pill, it is about the cultural meaning of an intervention, which includes, amongst other things, your expectations, and the expectations of the people tending to you and measuring you."
About publication bias (an example of Ben Goldacre's sense of humor):
"Not only has publication bias been demonstrated in many fields of medicine, but a paper has even found evidence of publication bias in studies of publication bias. Here is the funnel plot for that paper. This is what passes for humour in the world of evidence-based medicine."
"Intuitions are valuable for all kinds of things, especially in the social domain: deciding if your girlfriend is cheating on you, perhaps, or whether a business partner is trustworthy. But for mathematical issues, or assessing causal relationships, intuitions are often completely wrong, because they rely on shortcuts which have arisen as handy ways to solve complex cognitive problems rapidly, but at a cost of inaccuracies, misfires and oversensitivity."
About criticizing both "big pharma" and alternative medicine:
"Just because big pharma can behave badly, that does not mean that sugar pills work better than placebo, nor does it mean that MMR causes autism."