Critical thinking

Doubtful News’ “Beyond Doubtful” list of no-go-to sources

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The purpose of Doubtful News is to expose questionable claims in stories you find on the internet. Mostly we deal with major news outlets because those are the stories that people will search on to find additional information. We get those searchers who then can see some science-based, rational takes on paranormal, anomalies and alternative…

No wiki woo woo

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We sent the link to this story out yesterday in leftovers but Guy Chapman has written it up for us in a post worth reading. Thanks, Guy.  If there’s one thing proponents of SCAM (Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine) cannot stand, it’s objective unbiased information. Wikipedia’s policies have long mandated against giving undue weight to…

Did NASA fund controversial study? Not really. Click-bait? A bit.

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A study regarding “the end of civilization” was picked up by many major news outlets who emphasized involvement of NASA. NASA has seen fit to issue a clarifying response to this association. NASA Clarifies Role in New Civilization-Collapse Study | Space.com. NASA officials released this statement on the study today (March 20): “A soon-to-be published…

Thanks to Essex non-panther, skeptical viewpoint gets noticed

Photo from Lynn Lacy

Recall the story about the Essex panther a week or so ago? It turned out to be a great example of skeptical investigation. David James who helped figure out it was likely just the neighbor’s dog has his own piece this week at the same paper. Support investigation into the truth by clicking on this…

California businesses looking for water with divination

Dowsing has been tested for centuries. It's never been proven to work better than chance.

Dowsing is based on magical thinking. In desperate times, people will reach for anything. California farmers hire dowsers to find water – The Washington Post. With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches. Practitioners of…

Dowsing for hepatitis NOW cures AIDS too!

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Somedays, it actually does amaze me what seemingly sane people will think is real. The fake bomb detector/drug detector/dowsing devices are now claimed to cure AIDS and hepatitis C. It’s creating an international embarrassment for Egypt. Egyptian army’s AIDS-cure claim gets harsh criticism – CNN.com. Egypt’s army claims it has invented a cure for AIDS…

120 papers in scientese, I mean gibberish

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More gibberish than usual? I’m joking… Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers : Nature News & Comment. The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense. Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph…

Smoking gun shark photo that was doctored by Discovery

FAKETY FAKE FAKE

There were plenty of allegations about what was faked in the fake documentary by Animal Planet about Megalodon. Here is a piece of clear evidence. Did Discovery Channel fake the image in its giant shark documentary? | George Monbiot | Environment | theguardian.com. The suspicion that the Discovery Channel had abandoned its professed editorial standards…

Early morning strange sound recorded in St. Paul

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We’ve covered dozens of stories of strange sounds. This is a new situation, reported by NPR. Strange howling sound awakens St. Paul- Minnesota Public Radio News. [...] a distant, howling scraping sound woke people up about 4 a.m. this morning in St. Paul’s Highland Park and Mac-Groveland neighborhoods. Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/mprnews/morning-sound The best guess is that…

The Great Debate: Science trumps Creationism

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Ham on Nye: Deny deny deny… In a sometimes frustrating, sometimes boring, but consistently civil discussion about the definition and importance of science, two speakers with opposing worldviews presented their evidence to a sellout crowd and hundreds of thousands of online viewers. Who Won Bill Nye’s Big Evolution Faceoff? – NBC News.com. Bill Nye the…

Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures buys “demon” house in Indiana (UPDATED)

Photo credit: Larry DP (facebook)

This Indiana exorcism story has been the hot topic all week. It’s been everywhere. The people involved claim they didn’t know it would blow up like this. Oh really? Hmm… I think that was exactly the intent. Otherwise why tell the extraordinary story if you didn’t want people to be impressed by it and ask…

Society for Science-based Medicine is launched!

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Nearly every day we post stories here at Doubtful News about the horrible, misinformation that abounds on the Internet, TV, radio and print regarding alternative medicine or CAM. Complementary and alternative medical treatments account for plenty of lost money, misplaced hope, empty promises, and sometimes even death. There was no organization that addressed these issues…

Expert debunks Fukushima radiation as link to starfish catastrophe

Pisaster ochraceus, Ochre sea star is affected by the wasting disease (Wikipedia)

In November, we brought you links to the disturbing story of the starfish wasting syndrome. The cause is unknown. The cause is STILL unknown. However, blame has fallen on Fukushima radiation for a huge array of real and imaginary problems noted in the Pacific. Here’s why this problem is NOT related to the Fukushima disaster.…

“Nose on a chip” handheld device claims to be able to monitor your food

Tellspec prototype. (It's chocolate, probably has nuts, lots of sugar and fat, BEWARE.)

Big promises with regards to identifying pesticides, allergens and nutrients in food. Is this real or fantasy? Time to be skeptical… Handheld Device TellSpec Can Detect Allergens, Chemicals, and Nutrients In Food | Singularity Hub. For this particular ill of the post-War era, there’s now a 21st-century workaround: a hand-held spectrometer that can determine exactly…

Some funny quantum entanglement business on Deepak Chopra’s Wikipedia page

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We posted recently about the kerfuffle between Rupert Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra and the head of the Guerrilla Skepticism project on Wikipedia, Susan Gerbic. The rantings of Chopra took an interesting turn when people started looking into his own Wikipedia page. He who lives in glass houses, yada yada yada… Quantum variations in Wikipedia rules –…

Rebutting bad info on the Internet

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A great feature on Shane Greenup of RBUTR, a terrific plugin! This is skeptical activism at its finest. Rebuttal alive on the net | St George & Sutherland Shire Leader. ENTREPRENEUR Shane Greenup of Engadine spent the best part of 12 months convinced his latest idea was available already. After searching the internet and realising…