Posts

January 30, 2015

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3:00 PM | Antivaccine cardiologist Jack Wolfson and the resurrection of false balance about vaccines
Yesterday, I wrote about false balance in reporting on vaccines in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak. For those who’ve never encountered this blog, what I mean by false balance is when journalists, in a misguided belief that there are “two sides” (i.e., an actual scientific controversy) about the safety of childhood vaccines and…

January 20, 2015

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1:00 PM | No, Wi-Fi exposure is not killing your kids
Last week a blog post at Forbes on Wi-Fi devices went viral. That post, by fellow Forbes contributor Robert Szczerba, claimed that Wi-Fi exposures from cell phones, iPads, microwave ovens, and other mobile devices are "more dangerous to kids than previously thought."Szczerba claimed that Wi-Fi devices might be causing cancer, especially in children." It was illustrated with a photo of a toddler playing with a tablet PC, possibly an iPad.Well, that got some attention.The problem is, it's all […]
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2:27 AM | R.I.P. Makayla Sault
The First Nations girl with leukaemia who had refused to continue her course of chemotherapy and instead elected to be treated with blatant pseudoscience in Florida has passed away. She was 11 years old when the story was first reported half a year ago. The typical question one gets when criticizing wishful thinking and pseudoscience is, … Continue reading →
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2:27 AM | R.I.P. Makayla Sault
The First Nations girl with leukaemia who had refused to continue her course of chemotherapy and instead elected to be treated with blatant pseudoscience in Florida has passed away. She was 11 years old when the story was first reported half a year ago. The typical question one gets when criticizing wishful thinking and pseudoscience is, … Continue reading →

January 19, 2015

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12:34 AM | Conspiracy deathmatch
I realized recently that, in the best tradition of fighting fire with fire, it’s possible to counter some conspiracy theories by invoking other conspiracy theories. The best two examples I’ve come up with so far are as follows: The anti-vaccination … Continue reading →

January 15, 2015

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3:35 PM | Don’t Trust the Headlines
Too often it is difficult to know what is reliable information and what’s junk. If you read this blog with any regularity then you know I strongly emphasize the importance of going to the primary source because there is a lot of bad, bad, bad stuff out there. While it’s easy to dismiss a one-off…

January 14, 2015

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6:25 PM | 8 Logical Fallacies That Fuel Anti-Science Sentiments
We need science more than ever, yet many people find it hard to get accurate information about the scientific method and its achievements. Making things more difficult, their misconceptions about science are often driven by logical fallacies, or errors in deductive reasoning. Here are eight of the most common anti-science fallacies.Read more...

January 09, 2015

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8:31 PM | Will TV be less worse from now on? We are skeptically optimistic!
We’re seeing a trend. First, Cosmos does well. Then, SyFy announces that they will cut development on “reality” paranormal shows. Now there is news that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is getting his OWN TV TALK SHOW and the new Discovery Channel president is saying some very interesting and positive things. This may be something… As we linked… Source: Doubtful News Related posts:Discovery Channel: Jumped the shark long ago, now just despicable (Update: More […]
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2:49 AM | Read: Weight-Loss Pills on the Market and Their Downsides
Here’s an interesting look at the various weight-loss pills available on the market, published recently in the Montreal Gazette: “This benefit has to be weighed against the risks, which are considerable. Any pill that ‘boosts your metabolism’ will put more strain on your heart. Blunting appetite is all well and good until you realize that most … Continue reading →
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2:49 AM | Read: Weight-Loss Pills on the Market and Their Downsides
Here’s an interesting look at the various weight-loss pills available on the market, published recently in the Montreal Gazette: “This benefit has to be weighed against the risks, which are considerable. Any pill that ‘boosts your metabolism’ will put more strain on your heart. Blunting appetite is all well and good until you realize that most … Continue reading →

January 06, 2015

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8:36 PM | Ancient interplanetary planes create disruption at Indian Science Congress
What a strange topic for “science” conference. This is possibly another indication of India’s problem separating science fact from fiction. Or just rampant nationalism propaganda? ‘Ancient Indian Planes Could Travel From One Planet to Another’. Aeroplanes existed in India 7,000 years ago and they travelled from one country to another and from one planet to… Source: Doubtful News Related posts:Marketing Ayurveda in India I get that cows are sacred and […]
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7:59 PM | App Records Dreams, 'Tests' ESP
A new phone app is designed to help record dreams and interpret their significance -- some say it might reveal ESP.
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6:20 PM | Teen treated for “environmental sensitivity” commits suicide, doctor reprimanded
On December 15, 2014, the Disciplinary Committee of the Ontario College found that a medical doctor committed an act of professional misconduct, in that she has failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession with respect to one patient. She treated her for environmental sensitivities when she instead had psychological problems. There seems… Source: Doubtful News Related posts:Amputee patient sues osteopath who provided holistic treatment Vitamin therapy substituted […]
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6:20 PM | Teen treated for “environmental sensitivity” commits suicide, doctor reprimanded
On December 15, 2014, the Disciplinary Committee of the Ontario College found that a medical doctor committed an act of professional misconduct, in that she has failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession with respect to one patient. She treated her for environmental sensitivities when she instead had psychological problems. There seems… Source: Doubtful News Related posts:Amputee patient sues osteopath who provided holistic treatment Vitamin therapy substituted […]
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1:34 PM | Ancient Indian Airplanes
Being an activist skeptic means being reminded, almost on a daily basis, that there is no idea so absurd that there will not be those who fervently believe it. At the most recent meeting of the Indian Science Congress Association, Captain Anand J Bodas, apparently under the aegis of Mumbai University, gave a lecture in [...]
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10:00 AM | Science and the AAAS (not to mention the WHO) sell their souls to promote pseudoscience in medicine, part 2
The holidays must truly be over. I say this because, starting around Sunday, the drumbeat of blogging topics that I haven’t covered but that apparently you, my readers, want me to cover has accelerated. However, before I can move on to what might or might not be greener blogging pastures, material-wise, I feel obligated to…

January 05, 2015

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11:00 AM | Science and the AAAS sell their souls to promote pseudoscience in medicine
The holidays are over. Time to start dishing out fresh Insolence, Respectful and, as appropriate, not-so-Respectful for 2015. I do, however, feel obligated to deal with one painfully inappropriate action by a major science journal left over from 2014. It happened in an issue that came out just before Christmas, and, with all the festivities,…

January 03, 2015

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6:30 PM | Watch: Comedy and Skepticism… via That Mitchell & Webb Look
A recent exchange on Twitter brought back to mind a hilarious British comedy sketch show entitled That Mitchell and Webb Look, starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. If you are not familiar with it (or want to watch clips of it again), here are some skits of theirs that pertain to pseudoscience and medicine: Continue reading →
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6:30 PM | Watch: Comedy and Skepticism… via That Mitchell & Webb Look
A recent exchange on Twitter brought back to mind a hilarious British comedy sketch show entitled That Mitchell and Webb Look, starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. If you are not familiar with it (or want to watch clips of it again), here are some skits of theirs that pertain to pseudoscience and medicine: Continue reading →

January 01, 2015

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4:21 PM | Solving biology’s mysteries by learning about ecology and pseudoscience
All biological energy comes from the sun. See: Solving Biology’s Mysteries Using Quantum Mechanics Excerpt: “The holy grail is to find that quantum effects stimulate biological processes that are relevant to medicine,” says Al-Khalili. “Looking to the long term, if...Read more
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