Critical thinking

15 Credibility Street #31: Put some feathers on those dinosaurs

First, we have an update on two previous stories then we have a bit of a theme going regarding new fossil finds and the distinction between dinosaurs and birds and report on thylacine DNA and the Pope’s personification of Satan ideas. Brett Talley nomination is withdrawn ABC on the white matter brain change in Cuban…

15 Credibility Street #29: Amateur Hour

Trump nominates Brett Talley, an unqualified lawyer and former paranormal investigator, for Federal Court in Alabama. Being a former ghost hunter is the least of his problems. Bigfoot gets another “official” name: Kryptopithecus gimlinpattersonorum. What does this all mean? Can you name a species from a photo? Yes. A classic case of taxonomic vandalism: Raymond…

15 Credibility Street #28: Defense against the dark art of scare-mongering

It was just Halloween, the media is out to scare you into believing dumb things. Don’t. Tricks in treats? Not-too-deep-thinking about marijuana-laced candy warnings will bring quick realization this hazard is not worth worrying about. One incident in New Brunswick, Canada may have been nailed down but who would eat that anyway? The condition called…

15 Credibility Street #27: It’s not right, it’s surrealism

Jumping right into news of the same dumb TV schtick being sold to audiences, what paranormal beliefs are popular with American’s today, two former rock stars now exist at the fringes, and DNA test failed a psychic who thought she was the offspring of a famous painter. Caution: Some people might find the sounds a…

15 Credibility Street #25: A spray a day keeps monsters away

In this jam-packed episode, we run through updates on still active news stories, discuss some current cool and not so cool things from the last two weeks, and check out a hyped anomaly that probably wasn’t as described. Closing out the episode is a great conversation about what transpired at Cryptid Con 2017 – a…

15 Credibility Street #24: Feeling out of this world

This shorter episode is heavy on the theme of “people really believe this stuff” and why that’s not something to scoff at. I (Sharon) am off to attend a cryptozoology event this weekend that might prove to be a bit weird. I also express some thoughts about the years worth of content on Doubtful News…

15 Credibility Street #23: The sound and the fury

This episode, Sharon and Torkel discuss several recent news events and how they reflect on social views of science and credible sources. First, an eclipse recap: Nothing bad happened and we were not overwhelmed by alien or occult forces. The Hopkinsville aliens did not reappear. New Age spiritualism at a Mt. Shasta festival The media…

What happens now?

From my personal blog: I wonder about this site’s place in the world of fake news and what happens to it now that I can’t keep up with the deluge. What happens to ‘Doubtful News’? – Sharon A. Hill If you have thoughts about preserving the content of the site or making it more useful…

15 Credibility Street #21: Exaggerated and Unlikely Evidence

Follow up: Grand Canyon Creationist Update – NPS relents New Skeptoid episode on the case Fyre Fest Organizer arrested and Blink-182’s Matt Skiba Claims His ‘Witchy Ways’ Doomed Fyre Festival Tom DeLonge’s Sekret Machines News items: Amelia Earhart dubious photo History Channel documentary Extreme Tech regarding the Japanese theory. Debunked Slate: The “lost” Earhart photo was…

15 Credibility Street #19: Leaping to doubtful conclusions

News items: A news blast from the paleo world made top science headlines this week saying the great and powerful T. Rex is unfeathered. Read the study that caused the news headlines and controversy. Washington Post piece Fantastic feathers Some paleobiologists said “told ya”! Others not so much. Check out this video by Trey the…

15 Credibility Street #18: Crystal clear consideration of claims

News items: Crystal healing at Edith Cowan Uni in Australia. Kudos to the Australian Skeptics to making their views crystal clear on these bogus claims about healing properties of rocks. Electrosensitivity UK makes doubtful claims. Electrosensitivity UK is a nonprofit organization that placed advertisements in public places around London claiming “More and more research is starting…

15 Credibility Street #5: UFOs over Turkey and I ain’t too surprised

We’re back with another news chat episode. The news is weird, as usual. Strange days indeed… Mothman reappears close to the 50th anniversary. Howard suspects pecuniary interests might be involved in the promotion of these local legends. The same can be suggested for the many YouTubers and websites that promote “weird news” like anomalies, natural…

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

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…

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

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…

Big snake loose in Maine or is Wessie a hoax?

Cross posted from DOUBTFUL. Back in June, locals of Westbrook, Maine said they saw a large snake slithering around. After no sign of the beast a week later, a Westbrook police officer witnessed it eating something near Riverbank Park on the Presumpscot River. A second officer called in also saw it. From their Facebook page: On…

Scottish poltergeist story is highly questionable, even if the police say they saw something

Cross posted from Doubtful by Sharon Hill A story about a family in Rutherglen, Scotland, who called in police to report paranormal phenomena, rode the media wave yesterday into today. The original source was the local Rutherglen Reformer paper that appears digitally on the Daily Record (UK) website. Here is the main story: Rutherglen family call in police…

Are people really this dumb to be scared of solar panels? (Update)

So, the top story shared on my social media today is a point-and-LOL chortle-fest at a North Carolina town who has rejected a solar panel farm project. There are DOZENS of stories that make fun of the people who provided public comment against the rezoning decision in Woodland, NC because of their apparent ignorance of…

Change starts with Sheriff Hanlin

The shooting at Umpqua Community College was Oregon’s deadliest shooting in history. Nine people were killed. Many more injured. The gunman’s death was declared a suicide. As with every mass shooting in the U.S., which come at an astonishingly alarming rate (Shooting in Oregon: So far in 2015, we’ve had 274 days and 294 mass…