idoubtit

Editor and owner of Doubtful News. Writer, specializing in science and society, science policy and education.

Mothman “reappears” coincidentally close to the 50th anniversary date

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A man driving along State Route 2 in West Virginia near Point Pleasant, legendary home of the bad omen, Mothman, says he captured pictures of the creature. The local news covered the story. Man photographs creature that resembles legendary ”Mothman” of Point Pleasant | WCHS He said he stopped when he saw something jumping from tree…

15 Credibility Street #4: A virtual flood of news – bad, good, real, fake and otherwise

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In this episode, after a disheartening election result, we spend time catching up on other questionable claims reviewing all the news stories posted since last time. Alaska river monster Canadian ping Quack loses license in Florida American eagles down the drain Earthquake lights over New Zealand Nostradamus and others “predicting” election results Fake News never…

Fake news gets real

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Fake news is a hot thing and trendy topic right now. But as we’ve shown through the years, and is now COMPLETELY obvious, fake news is bad for society, kind of like street drugs, it comes with some nasty side effects that touch everyone in the community. Here are the dealers, making money like crazy…

Give us a nod

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Hey everyone: If you appreciate the website and podcast, we hope you also appreciate that it takes our personal funds and efforts to host such ventures without sacrificing access, reliability, and download speed, and to make the quality as good as we can manage. Free hosting simply can not work for us. We surpassed that capability years ago,…

FTC and Homeopathy: 15 Credibility Street extra

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The FTC issued a policy statement on November 15, 2016 regarding the marketing of homeopathic “drugs” to consumers. The statement was the culmination of research and analysis incorporating information gathered from a workshop last year where various parties – homeopathy advocates, organizations and producers along with science-based medicine advocates – provided comments. The policy changes…

Michelle Obama would never go this low

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Everyone is sharing an apropos if inappropriate image of Michelle Obama holding a sign that says “An immigrant is taking my job”. Some people will undoubtedly think it’s genuine but for the record, let’s be clear that it is NOT. The photo originated back in May of 2014 when FLOTUS called attention to the plight…

Dead or alive psychic experiment results pulled from neuroscience journal

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Some paranormal proponents are crying foul and “censorship” over the retraction of a paper claiming to support clairvoyance. The paper: Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics by Delorme, A., Pierce, A., Michel, L., and Radin, D. (2016). Front. Hum. Neurosci. 10:173. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00173 was published in May of 2016 and officially retracted in early October. The…

Earthquake lights reported associated with New Zealand event

Kimyo earthquake lights. Photo Credit: Karl V. Steinbrugge Collection, Earthquake Engineering Research Center.

Flashing lights have been recorded on video supposedly occurring in conjunction with the shaking from this weekend’s strong quake in New Zealand. The strong event occurred just after midnight on Monday and caused massive damage, a small tsunami and several deaths. We’ve covered EQ lights before and I have done some research on natural anomalies…

Updated Media Guide to Skepticism

I’ve updated the Media Guide to Skepticism with a few changes to the orgs and resources section. Now is a good time to bookmark the site and download the PDF so you can have it handy to supply to journalists and reporters, throw it into comments, etc., when someone states they are “skeptical” about science conclusions…

Continue, we must: US needs critical thinking advocates to step up and be heard

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The DN/15 Credibility Street crew took a break yesterday because writing and talking about most things besides the election results seemed frivolous. We postponed our scheduled recording of the podcast because we weren’t in the right frame of mind, but by the end of the day, I saw many of the dejected pick themselves up,…

Medical license of holistic doctor in Florida revoked in court ruling on patient death

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The Florida medical board has taken decisive action against a doctor who convinced a young woman to forgo chemotherapy for stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma by concluding her symptoms were likely due to allergies and other non-cancer related causes. Stephanie Sofronsky died under the care of Kenneth Woliner who ran Holistic Family Medicine in Boca Raton. …

Igloolik mystery sound sounds mysterious, but the story leaves us cold

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Stories about strange sounds are always suspicious. This recent news about a very northern mystery noise is no exception. In this piece from CBC news (Canada) – Mysterious ‘ping’ sound from sea floor baffles Igloolik – I found a number of assumptions, guesses, and no good data to support the allegations that there is a strange…

Episode 2: Rather Rigged

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Stopping by at 15 Credibility Street this week are our pals Bob Blaskiewicz and Karl Mamer. Because, they rock. But first, since this is Halloween, I mention ghosts. The hot news this week was not that ghosts are any more plausible or better documented than in the last 300 years but that the guy who makes…

Chena River “monster” is no mystery: Video shows icy objects moving in the current

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Remember the Lagarfljótsormurinn – the Icelandic “wurm” or serpent that was a viral story from 2012? Another example of the same phenomenon has appeared in an Alaskan river. Here is the Iceland worm to jog your memory. Note that the object does not move through the river – it stays in the same place. The…

It’s the season for the word “skeptic” to be overly used and abused

Oh, dear. Every Halloween-themed story out this week about ghosts and monsters and the people who seek them will invariably have the term “skeptic” in it. This person is the group’s “skeptic” or this person “was a skeptic until…” Most egregious are those who are completely gullible and pooh-pooh the skeptical process as being “closed-minded”…

Creator of gadgets for Ghost Adventures show says he does not believe in ghosts

Ovilus 5 ITC device that "translates environmental energy into words".

Ghost hunters have been played by promoters of pricey ghost tech gadgets. Out in Popular Mechanics is a detailed article on the dubious history of ghost hunting gadgets. Three skeptics and a seasoned paranormal scholar chime in on the pseudoscientific basis behind these instruments but, in a revealing twist, two well-known “gadgeteers” of Ghost Adventures refused to talk. And…

Patients loved board-certified doctor who administered weird vaccines (Updated: Hearing November 21)

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UPDATED According to a new piece in the Chicago Tribune Dr. Lin’s hearing will be November 21. This unfortunate piece by the Tribune showcases testimonials from patients, providing them the same weight as those statements from medical professionals, a fallacy that commenters here have also embraced. A boatload of anecdotes that “it worked for me”…

Chiropractic “accident” resulted in death

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34-year old Katie May died after visiting a chiropractor last February. The coroner calls it an “accident” that she suffered an “infarction of the brain, a type of stroke, and a vertebral artery dissection” due to neck manipulation. Chiropractors regularly do neck manipulation – not by accident. Playboy model’s death ‘ruled an accident’ after suffering…

Spiers’ outlandish conspiratorial claims gain new life months after his sudden death

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Today, the story of the death of British UFO investigator, conspiracy theorist and supernaturalist, Max Spiers, is splashed all over tabloids and mystery mongering sites. Headlines scream that Spiers was close to exposing secrets and may have been murdered instead of dying of natural causes as the death certificate says. He may have even warned his…

Episode 1: The Phantom Clown Menace

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OH! Have you got a podcast?!?! Yes. We’ve jumped into the fray, starting out with an episode that features discussion about stories you’ll have read here and a chat with a longtime friend, colleague, and occasional contributor to DN, Ben Radford. The podcast is embedded at the very bottom of this post but you can…