Critical thinking

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…

Preaching to the Choir: Social media sharing in “echo chambers” reinforces belief

Doubtful News would be useless if people weren’t interested in finding out what might or might not be true and correct. This site appeals to people who are willing to listen to a narrative framed in that way. But, SURPRISE (not), most people consult the internet guided by beliefs they hold dear – whether those tend towards…

Swords and sophistry: Questionable archaeology to the hilt (UPDATE: Not a Roman sword)

Welcome to 2016! I predict that this year we will continue to see the popularity of pseudo archaeology – a cracked spinoff of a science-based field that studies human long-past history. Yes, more out-of-place artifacts, ancient alien astronauts, Atlantis, etc. Today, we bring you the continuing saga of SwordGate and a heretic historian who is attempting to prove…

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…

YouTube-Google lends a welcome hand to UFO debunkers

It’s happened to lots of websites: criticism (or just a mention) of a product or a person results in an overreaction with an inappropriate claim of copyright infringement. How can you soundly explain the reasoning for why you think a certain photo is a bear, not a Bigfoot or that a UFO video is a hoax unless…

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…

Recovery water healing claim sounds like snake oil

NFL player makes claim regarding the healing properties of fancy, “sciencey” nano-bubble water. Russell Wilson Says Recovery Water Healed His Head Injury from NFC Title Game  At one point in the story, Rodrick mentions a moment where Wilson claimed Reliant Recovery Water—a sports recovery drink in which he is a personal investor—helped him recover from…

September asteroid impact lie results in NASA statement

Many media sites as well as mystery mongering rubbish sites are hyping the prediction that an asteroid will hit earth in September prompting NASA to issue a statement. What good will that do? None. Crap news reigns on the internet. NASA has denied viral internet claims that an asteroid will strike Earth next month wreaking…

Dear John Oliver: Preach it, brother

John Oliver of HBO’s Last Week Tonight takes it to greedy televangelists and those preaching the “prosperity Gospel” and “seeding”. Give money (seed) to get money. And people give… But it gets worse, some preachers push faith healing and collect money for their claims that God will heal. And people give… Oliver exposes the bizarre legality…

Sorry Charlie: Nobody DIED from the demon-summoning challenge

Fake news sites are a menace. They hide their disclaimers well, but even if they had disclaimers right up front, you could bet many readers would not notice them and still believe the crazy stories and pass them on as real. Especially if the stories appear shocking and fit with the person’s personal beliefs. The…

Shoddy evidence for “haunted” Liverpool property

A HAUNTED house has gone up for rent with the incredible disclaimer that its former occupants experienced “paranormal activity”. Haunted house: Rightmove list property where ‘paranormal activity’ happened The terraced three-bedroom home in Toxteth, Liverpool, is allegedly haunted by a 135-year-old spectre called the Pickwick Poltergeist. The poltergeist supposedly once lifted a former tenant out…

Some guy named Frank says “Earthquake”. People panic. Don’t.

When even the “Esoteric Metaphysical Spiritual Database” says an earthquake prediction is nonsense, then you KNOW you should not panic. Planetary Alignment To Cause 9.8 Earthquake Prediction for California On May 28th, 2015? : In5D Esoteric, Metaphysical, and Spiritual Database By now, many of you have heard about the 9.8 Magnitude earthquake prediction for May…

Support free speech in the public interest: Anti-SLAPP act proposed

It’s a shame that outspoken bloggers have to have lawyers at their disposal because of threats to take down pieces critical of some charlatan. This week, there is a new push to support anti-SLAPP lawsuits. Lawsplainer: The Proposed Federal Anti-SLAPP Act: What It Would Do, Why It’s Important | Popehat Last week, two members of…

Another “video games are dangerous” story – this time, misleading about Alzheimer’s

As one commenter put it, “don’t use your brain, because you may get Alzheimers” is a pretty fair summary of this article that suggests that “boys” playing “action video games” may have increased risk of Alzheimers. Yes, the jump to that is quite a big one. Call of Duty increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease –…

The scoop on the Roswell Slides: really pathetic hoax

Back in November 2014, we reported on a story from the UFO community – Thomas Carey told the audience at a conference that he had “smoking gun” evidence that extraterrestrials have been here – Kodachrome slides dated 1947 showing an alien. I don’t typically use Billy Cox as a source but he does note that people have…

Panera changing ingredients to be more “healthy”

Panera is the latest company to declare they are going to make their food sound healthier. While they portray it terms of simplicity and customer demands, really, it’s a marketing gimmick and may end up disappointing the consumer. Panera CEO says ‘no’ to unacceptable ingredients – Fortune The restaurant chain is doing away with or reformulating…

Loftus Hall heavily playing up the paranormal – now with added spookiness

The paranormal promotion continues at Loftus Hall. You may recall this story of a ghost photo that appeared last September. Photos are terrible forms of evidence of the paranormal since they are so easily misinterpreted or faked. So called investigators rarely attempts to recreate the event and are easily impressed when environmental variables are, well,…