idoubtit

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

The Strange remains the same for 22 July 2014

Megaloptera specimen found in China

If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos. ~E. O. Wilson Why the Malaysian Jet Crash Sparks Conspiracies : Discovery News. 40 Mexican bishops are taking an ‘intensive’ exorcism…

Billions of mayflies swarm the Mississippi valley

gas station mayflies

A mass hatching of mayflies, also known as shadflies, invaded the LaCrosse, Mississippi area Sunday night and hatched all along the Mississippi river valley. Mayflies hatch along Mississippi. The hatch was so large you could see it on radar maps. The bugs are harmless and they’re actually a sign of a healthy river because they can…

The Strange remains the same for 21 July 2014

giant rubber duck

Monday is like a math problem. Add the irritation, subtract the sleep, multiply the problems, divide the happiness. ~Unknown Robert Kennedy Jr.’s belief in autism-vaccine connection, and its political peril – The Washington Post. Student filmmakers find themselves drawn into the vaccine/autism fray – LA Times. Sixth-Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists : NPR. Creationist…

Beware of scams regarding the victims of flight MH17

mh370

This excellent consumer warnings website out of Australia warns of fraudulent activity online surrounding information on the MH17 tragedy – dubious ads, malware and fake charities. Beware of scammers taking advantage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy. Scammers have set up false Facebook profiles for Australian victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy…

Those pesky goblin infestations! Burn the house down!!

Goblin

I’m wondering if there is anything for which “goblins” isn’t a kickass excuse. Sangoma in court for torching goblins’ house. A self-styled sangoma from Chief Nyajena area in Masvingo yesterday appeared in court for allegedly setting his uncle’s house on fire because it had goblins. Mike Musiiwa of Mutadzo Village pleaded guilty to arson before Masvingo…

UFO researcher Jacobs profiled – Relies on weak evidence and fallacies

ufo night

This article falls for the appeal to authority, saying Jacobs is a tenured professor and “makes his case with well-reasoned, articulate explanations and applies a scholarly approach to his research, which he has shared in four books – printed by well-known and academic publishers.” Since when are there well-reasoned arguments for aliens visiting earth and…

Doubtful News is changing

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Life moves forward. Dear Readers: Thank you for the many years of support and growth of Doubtful News. It’s been a very satisfying experience and I’ve learned so much and intend to keep learning and supplying information to the public in support of scientific reasoning and evidence-based skepticism. I’m not going anywhere. In fact, I’m…

The clouds parted

Photo credit: Joe Zuniga

A man captures an interesting phenomenon during a rain event. Motorist captures parting of the storm. As Zuniga drove along Interstate 75, the clouds suddenly shifted in a peculiar way, creating an large square-shaped sunny patch through which motorists passed. It was as if rain clouds had parted over the motorists for a reason. “They…

A rare case of Munchausen By Proxy does not mean the syndrome is increasing

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Last month, we posted the shocking story of a mother who apparently poisoned her own child in order to gain sympathy and attention. She now faces court. The case will likely be studied by psychologists to gain more insight into Munchausen By Proxy syndrome. Experts: Lacey Spears Case May Shed Light On Munchausen By Proxy…

Witnesses say man catching on fire was “supernatural”

fire

This headline is slightly deceiving. For hits, I suspect. Man wakes up on fire in Edmonton home; witnesses call it spontaneous combustion. The truth is there seems to be nothing to connect this to spontaneous HUMAN combustion. That is, people just bursting into flames for no obvious reason does not really happen. A man suffered second…

The Strange remains the same for 18 July 2014

Jackalope, Nelson NV

Both your DN editors are back in their respective headquarters in the US and Europe. We managed to spot both a “chupacabra” and a jackalope. We now return you to your regular leftover links. ‘Persecuted’ Focuses on a TV Evangelist – NYTimes.com. Seaplane almost lands on whale – CNN.com. Pop star’s ‘haunted’ Sussex house up…

Backwards evolution busted: People walking on all fours do not have “apelike” gait but have adapted

quadrupeds

A new study shows that a group of humans made famous by a 2006 BBC documentary called The Family That Walks on All Fours are not exhibiting backward evolution to that of our ape ancestors, but have just adapted to this strange means of locomotion due to their brain conditions. The family from remote Turkey,…

Discovery Channel: Jumped the shark long ago, now just despicable

Fake shark used in Discovery media hoax in Lake Ontario

Once again, Discovery Channel shows they are not science-based and will even pull unethical stunts to get ratings. Epic. Fail. We posted the link in the leftovers of 16-July to the story in Canada’s National Post about a video that purportedly showed a bull shark spotted in Lake Ontario. The best answer at the time…