Posts

September 18, 2014

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10:18 PM | Monster news from Russia continues to be just as awful as ever
Endlessly optimistic Russian scientists say they have evidence of the existence of almas/almasty. Has the Yeti Come to the Moscow Region? | The Moscow Times. OK, I’ll say it. NO. You may or may not have noticed that we don’t carry Bigfoot news much anymore. For one, the typical news stories are downright absurd consisting… Source: Doubtful News

September 15, 2014

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3:39 PM | Homeopaths get professional accreditation in UK – PSA gets a FAIL
In other words, the foxes guard the henhouse. This is a terrible and stupid idea that opens the door to tacitly endorsed quackery. Independent quality mark for homeopaths. The Society of Homeopaths’ voluntary register has been accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, the… Source: Doubtful News
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9:16 AM | Wondering about water
One day back in the last century (literally) while I was working on my PhD, I went on an expedition into the University’s library archive. I remember it as a dusty cavern with rows of metal shelves creaking under the weight of volumes that smelled of old paper. You had to get a special key to get in, and I remember nervously looking over my shoulder just in case the lights flickered out and my life turned into a cheesy horror movie. I can’t remember what I was actually looking for […]
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12:48 AM | Pseudoscience techniques rampant in schools because they sound like quick fixes
A skeptical parapsychologists tells it like it is at an education conference – teachers embrace nonsense learning ideas because quick fixes are appealing. Long-term meaningful changes are hard. ‘Pseudoscience has nested in schools’ – news – TES. When Nick Rose worked as a parapsychologist, his job was to investigate why people believed they had been… Source: Doubtful News
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12:48 AM | Pseudoscience techniques rampant in schools because they sound like quick fixes
A skeptical parapsychologists tells it like it is at an education conference – teachers embrace nonsense learning ideas because quick fixes are appealing. Long-term meaningful changes are hard. ‘Pseudoscience has nested in schools’ – news – TES. When Nick Rose worked as a parapsychologist, his job was to investigate why people believed they had been… Source: Doubtful News

September 14, 2014

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5:30 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: Hobbies v. Crafts, Vaccines, Scottish Independence, and the End of the Forced Apology
Categories: Meta StuffTags: coming out storiescraftsDBTElizabeth FriedmanEscepticaforced apologiesgrounded parentshobbiesLucyMad Art LabmathNOVAphysicsplacebo effectpseudoscienceQueerekaReviewsschool of doubtScienceScottish independenceslut-shamingteachingTeen SkepchickvaccinesSunday Funny: SMF (via SMBC) Teen Skepchick DBT Skills: The Calm Yo Tits Edition Olivia provides the keys for interpersonal effectiveness. The Physics Philes, lesson 114: We Got da Beats ...(Read more...)

September 12, 2014

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12:35 PM | Features of Denialism
Denialism is a thing. What I mean is that denialism is a definable intellectual strategy, with consistent features that tend to cluster together. I first wrote about denialism 12 years ago, before global warming denial made the term more widespread. I pointed out that certain beliefs tend to follow the same fallacious arguments – HIV [...]
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7:00 AM | Has Dr. Oz become antivaccine?
When last we left “America’s doctor,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, in June, he was having his posterior handed to him by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in a Senate hearing about the deceptive marketing of supplements in which his over-the-top promotion of supplements like Garcinia gambogia, green coffee bean extract, and raspberry ketone. It was an unexpected…

September 06, 2014

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2:09 AM | Cracked Science Videos: Here’s a Tease
As I wrote earlier, I am producing an on-going series of educational videos based on the content of this blog (i.e. science education, science criticism, and pseudoscience). The first two videos will be released later this month. For now, please enjoy this outtake. Special thanks to Stephen De Four-Wyre.   Continue reading →
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1:21 AM | Komodo dragon acupuncture – Is this cruel?
Since acupuncture has not been shown to be effective or have any basis in reality, should it be used on animals? Perhaps the humans who are invested in the belief that it does something have all good intentions but when it comes down to brass tacks, acupuncture DOES NOT DO ANYTHING. Putting an animal through… Source: Doubtful News

September 05, 2014

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6:46 PM | Second Madoff Son Dies: Why Some Blame Karma
Is karma responsible for the misfortunes of the famous and infamous? Many people think so -- here's a closer look. Continue reading →

September 04, 2014

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11:03 PM | GMO foods cause cancer–pseudoscience says it’s so
Let’s make something clear right here, at the beginning of the article–there is a vast amount of legitimate scientific literature that describes evidence that GMO crops are safe to both human health and the environment. In the world of scientific research, the absolute highest quality evidence are meta reviews, which are methods to contrast and combine results from a […]Continue reading «GMO foods cause cancer–pseudoscience says it's so»

September 03, 2014

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2:00 PM | Nuance versus certainty: The disadvantage scientists and physicians have in communicating risk
This post, although it is about an interview with a CDC scientist named William W. Thompson that resulted from the whole “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy that’s been flogged relentlessly for the last two weeks, since antivaccine “heros” Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker released a despicable race-bating video flogging Hooker’s utterly incompetent reanalysis of a ten year…
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12:32 PM | US Patent Office approved a cure for cancer
Our tipster received a copy of this U.S. patent and assumed it was a hoax. It’s real, issued last December. What does this say about the competency and purpose of the US Patent Office? Why not just buy a rubber stamp and not bother reading the applications? This kind of stuff is abuse of the system.… Source: Doubtful News

September 02, 2014

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2:06 PM | What is going on at the James Randi Educational Foundation?
And now for something completely different… Due to the holiday and suddenly being informed that my revised manuscript for a certain journal (more on that later) is needed NOW, I don’t have time for much of a post. However, a certain bit of bombshell landed over the weekend that should keep those of you interested…

September 01, 2014

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2:00 PM | The CDC whistleblower William W. Thompson: One last word
I know that when last I commented, I expressed the desire to move on from the topic of the CDC whistleblower case after having covered it for a week. And so was my intent. However, this being a holiday in the US and my having had an odd experience on Friday led me to think…

August 31, 2014

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10:43 PM | Universal Medicine group gets more bad press and parliamentary hearing
Woman files a complaint after overspending for questionable treatments in Australia. Doctor sent woman for two years of new age healing in a galaxy far, far away for a cough — costing her $35,000 | dailytelegraph.com.au. When a doctor referred Ira McClure for further treatment she had no idea the health facility was supportive of… Source: Doubtful News
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5:00 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: “Poorly Written, Abusive Erotica,” Racist Color Names, Scottish Independence, and Boy/Girl Sleepovers
Categories: Meta StuffTags: 000 Genomes Project10050 Shades of GreyAndrew CutlerATLASautismbook reviewsboy-girl sleepoverscatscernchelationFabiola Gianottifact-checkinggrounded parentsice water challengelhcMad Art LabmathmusicParentingphysicsprofessionalismpseudoscienceracismschool of doubtScottish independenceTeen SkepchickSunday Funny: Love Your Body (HT: io9) and Writing Skills (via xkcd) Teen Skepchick The Physics Philes, lesson 112: Sea Shell Resonance Why do hear the ocean in sea shells? […]

August 30, 2014

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5:38 PM | Listen: Dr. Brian Goldman’s Soft Take on Alternative Medicine
Dr. Brian Goldman (@nightshiftmd), host of a great CBC radio show called White Coat Black Art that dares to pull back the curtain on the hidden world of medical practice, seems to be the latest victim of integrative medicine (IM). This IM movement has been gaining traction with Western physicians and medical institutions: many North American hospitals … Continue reading →
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5:38 PM | Listen: Dr. Brian Goldman’s Soft Take on Alternative Medicine
Dr. Brian Goldman (@nightshiftmd), host of a great CBC radio show called White Coat Black Art that dares to pull back the curtain on the hidden world of medical practice, seems to be the latest victim of integrative medicine (IM). This IM movement has been gaining traction with Western physicians and medical institutions: many North American hospitals … Continue reading →
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1:15 AM | Victor J. Stenger dies at 79
A physicist, author and renowned skeptic has passed away. Dr. Victor J. Stenger was an advocate against psychics, pseudoscience and religion. Stenger, a retired elementary particle physicist and author of thirteen books, was a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Center for Inquiry. He served as President of the Colorado Citizens for… Source: Doubtful News

August 29, 2014

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1:35 PM | The CDC whistleblower William W. Thompson: Final (for now) roundup and epilogue
It is as I had feared. I must do one more post on a story that I’ve been blogging about for one solid week now. Hopefully after this, I will be able to move on to other topics last week, but after spending this whole week writing just about this, I figured, “What the heck?…

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 24, 2014

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6:03 PM | Genome Dynamics Events: the end of evolutionary events
Among my most vocal antagonists is one who appears to think that anyone else who merely mentions mutations, natural selection, or any other pseudoscientific nonsense linked to the evolution of biodiversity supports his ridiculous opinions. Note this specific complaint: “…Kohl...Read more

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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