Posts

August 27, 2014

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4:54 AM | The CDC “whistleblower” manufactroversy: Twitter parties and another “bombshell” e-mail
Remember yesterday how, I referenced the ever-awesome bit about the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and how after pulling the pin you must count to three, no more, no less, before lobbing the grenade at thine enemies? The implication was, of course, that I was on my third…

August 26, 2014

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3:03 PM | Doctor claims to have a homeopathic, electronic treatment for Ebola
There was a good bit of justifiable outrage on social media this week as a medical doctor claimed that his homeopathic nonsense was a way to supplement cure and prevention of Ebola. American doctor proffers technology cure for Ebola. American doctor, Dr. Bill Gray MD claims he has technological remedy to help people infected with… Source: Doubtful News
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4:07 AM | Hey, where is everybody? The “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy continues apace
Here it is, Tuesday already, and the antivaccine underground is still on full mental jacket alert over the biggest story the antivaccine movement has seen in a while. Fortunately, it’s a story that’s been largely ignored by the mainstream media, which tells me that maybe, just maybe, the mainstream media has figured out that it…

August 25, 2014

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8:10 PM | Why Pseudoscience Belongs in the Psychology Classroom If...
Why Pseudoscience Belongs in the Psychology Classroom If instructors want students to think like scientists, they have to teach them about decidedly nonscientific ways of thinking, argues Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emory University, in his APS—David Myers Lecture for the Science and Craft of Teaching Psychology at the 2014 APS Annual Convention.

August 21, 2014

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5:02 PM | Jonas Salk and the Polio Comeback
Jonas Salk, you should know this name, but chances are you don’t. He was the inventor of the polio vaccine, a disease that was feared more than the atomic bomb. […]

Drexler JF, Grard G, Lukashev AN, Kozlovskaya LI, Böttcher S, Uslu G, Reimerink J, Gmyl AP, Taty-Taty R, Lekana-Douki SE & Nkoghe D (2014). Robustness against serum neutralization of a poliovirus type 1 from a lethal epidemic of poliomyelitis in the Republic of Congo in 2010., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25136105

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2:30 PM | This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick...
This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick Burr Opper. It depicts Uncle Sam participating in the blue glass craze described in this audio clip. (Library of Congress)
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2:30 PM | This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick...
This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick Burr Opper. It depicts Uncle Sam participating in the blue glass craze described in this audio clip. (Library of Congress)
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1:20 PM | Everything You Need To Know About Lemuria, The Lost Continent Of Lemurs
In 1858 a young zoologist, playing around with an idea, came up with a possible lost continent. This led to one of the longest and weirdest pseudoscience theories of all time, as Lemuria became a lost island of lemurs that had everything from sanskrit to sasquatch.Read more...

August 20, 2014

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2:57 PM | Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James...
Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James Pleasonton, a general in the American Civil War, certainly believed so. In 1876 he  published The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky. In this audio clip, Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS Corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, describes how his team dug up a pipe bowl during an archaeological survey of I-95 in Philadelphia. The pipe bowl was completely […]
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2:57 PM | Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James...
Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James Pleasonton, a general in the American Civil War, certainly believed so. In 1876 he  published The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky. In this audio clip, Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS Corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, describes how his team dug up a pipe bowl during an archaeological survey of I-95 in Philadelphia. The pipe bowl was completely […]

August 17, 2014

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5:00 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: How Not to React to a Suicide, Lunar Influence, Male Circumcision, Safe Sex, and the Politics of the Emergency Room
Categories: Meta StuffTags: artback-to-schoolbook reviewscollegedoctor-patient relationshipEscepticafood allergiesgrounded parentsHIVhospitalsLGBTMad Art Labmale circumcisionMaria AgnesimathParentingphysicspseudoscienceQueerekaquillingReligionRobin Williamssafe sexschool of doubtSciencesex educationsexismSkeptabilitysuicideteachingTeen Skepchickthe moonSunday Funny: The Science Channel (via SMBC) Teen Skepchick The Physics Philes, lesson 110: Ring My Decibel Mindy is all about wave intensity. 5 […]

August 12, 2014

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7:00 AM | Homeopathy for Ebola virus disease: Too quacky even for Mike Adams!
Over the last decade that I’ve been at this blogging thing, I’ve come across some incredibly irresponsible quackery, but what I saw about a week and a half ago took the cake. I’m referring to practitioners of The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, demonstrating a sense delusion that was as massive as the…

August 11, 2014

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12:20 AM | Breakfast TV Touting Pseudoscientific Adrenal Fatigue
This morning on the Breakfast show on TV1 there was a piece on “adrenal fatigue” and how more and more people are displaying symptoms. The moment I heard the vagueness of this term, I had to wonder if it was a real medical term or pseudoscience. Minutes later another pseudoscience red flag went up when [...]

August 10, 2014

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8:03 PM | Regarding the “science made mistakes” tropes? Debunked by real science
I know I shouldn’t use the conspiracy theory fallacy when talking about the pseudoscience-pushing science deniers, who are the bread and butter of topics for skeptics. But, when I keep observing the same ridiculous and insanely illogical arguments used in the same manner by all of the deniers, I begin to wonder if they don’t […]Continue reading «Regarding the "science made mistakes" tropes? Debunked by real science»
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7:03 AM | Gluten Free & Pseudoscience
There is little doubt that some people have an intolerance to gluten and that a gluten free diet is an appropriate way to address this. However, the gluten free diet is also associated with pseudoscience in terms of what it can achieve and how it is diagnosed. Take, for example, the recent news that tennis [...]

August 07, 2014

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8:02 PM | Chiropractic manipulation of neck may cause stroke
I usually don’t dwell too much on chiropractic, because so many other bloggers mock them so well. Chiropractors are generally antivaccination, they practice junk medicine in areas in which they are not trained, and they are essentially quacks utilizing some mystical alternative medicine, taking money from people who think they’re getting real medical treatment. Basically, chiropractic is […]Continue reading «Chiropractic manipulation of neck may cause […]
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9:08 AM | Beware genetically engineered T4 bacteriophage nanobots!
Every so often I come across something in the world of woo that catches my attention because it’s so completely batshit loony that it demands my attention, either for the sheer delusion on display or for the extreme cleverness with which the pseudoscience and conspiracy theories are woven together. No, this time, I’m not talking…
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3:24 AM | Dogs Behave Jealously… in 1871
This chart appeared in “Mental Evolution in Animals” “Mental Evolution in Man”, both published in the 1880s; Romanes depicts the emotional and cognitive development starting with unicellular. On the left, at level 21, Romanes lists “Jealousy. Anger and Play.” On the right side, at level 28 we see “Anthropoid apes and dogs” at the same…

August 06, 2014

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10:00 AM | Read: The Food Babe’s Friends… and Critics
If you listen to my podcast, Within Reason, you know my thoughts on Vani Hari’s crusade against ingredients whose  names she can’t pronounce. On her blog, FoodBabe.com, she regularly commits logical fallacies in her attempt to “educate” the public on what constitutes healthy food. Kathleen Purvis of the Charlotte Observer recently wrote a fairly lengthy article addressing the … Continue reading →
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8:05 AM | The makers of Harmonized Water (a.k.a. drinkable sunscreen) do a “clinical trial.” Hilarity ensues.
About a week ago, my good bud Steve Novella noted a tasty bit of silly pseudoscience finding its way around the usual places, such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like. It was one of those times where I smacked myself on the forehead (metaphorically speaking, of course) and asked, “How on earth did I miss…

August 03, 2014

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2:57 AM | there’s the alarming news about ebola, & then there’s this
Over on Sciblogs, Siouxsie Wiles has been writing about the spread of an Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa (here  & here, for example). It's alarming stuff: a virus with a high mortality rate, in combination with the potential for infected...

August 01, 2014

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12:24 PM | Ebola outbreak out of control and misinformation helps it spread
The Ebola outbreak is putting plenty of people on edge and creating problems. Now we have faith healers saying they are treating it. GREAT! THIS IS ALL WE NEED! Nigerian official warns pastors and healers to stop making false Ebola-cure claims. African governments are doubling down on efforts to contain the widening Ebola outbreak in… Source: Doubtful News

July 31, 2014

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1:30 PM | The fantasy of cryonics in an unexpected place
We all seek immortality in some way. Death has been a terror of nearly all since humans first started realizing that everybody dies. After all, no one wants to face the end of everything that one has been, is, and will be, so much so that a key feature of many religions is a belief…

July 30, 2014

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3:22 PM | Dowsing claimed as successful method in finding pipe leak
Of all the special skills tested by skeptics, dowsing is the most common claim. And it has NEVER passed a controlled test. Why is that? The most obvious answer is that rods in your hands do not really indicate water. Yet, it remains pretty much impossible to convince dowsers that there is nothing special or… Source: Doubtful News

July 28, 2014

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5:06 AM | gmo myths & mythinformation
The GMOLOL group on Facebook regularly posts on the subject of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and more recently - like many other pages - about the outrageous claims by the self-styled "Health Ranger" about Monsanto, likening the company &...
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