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

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

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

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…

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

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)

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

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

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

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…

Demonic leaders: Ain’t that something

It’s not uncommon for hyperbolic religiously-inclined commentators to refer to people they mightily disagree with as the Devil. We might view it to be the ultimate display of desperation – you have no real defense that will stick against this person, so let’s call them bad names. In the case of Alex Jones, promoting the…

Blobsquatch caught on Michigan webcam

Here is a fun story with video. A live web camera trained on a bald eagle nest revealed a dark figure walking among the trees below. The object is too far away to be in clear focus but there is little doubt it is not a bear. Speculation erupted that it is Bigfoot who ever so conveniently…

Robert Todd Carroll of The Skeptic’s Dictionary has died

Skeptical Inquirer Facebook page announced just yesterday that uber-Skeptic Bob Carroll passed away on August 25 of pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. He was 71. A former professor teaching Philosophy and Critical Thinking at Sacramento City College for over 30 years Bob shared his knowledge in the form of the HUGE compendium of skepticism, The Skeptic’s Dictionary. From…

Facts may no longer matter in this election but fact-checking and skeptical activism works

It’s the day after the big debate and media outlets like Politifact, Factcheck.org, AP, and NPR have their fact-checking (FC) machines churning at full speed since 9PM last evening. As a Skeptic who values solid evidence and empirical facts, I deeply appreciate FC but I strongly suspect that facts and examinations of truthfulness and accuracy…

The real Cicret may be that the device promised what can’t be delivered

Curious about that heavily hyped new bracelet that promises to turn your arm into a smartscreen? Many fund-raising campaigns promise outcomes that sound and look too good to be true. In comparison to current technology, the Cicret (pronounced ‘secret’) bracelet just may be that kind of empty promise. The Cicret bracelet is a revolutionary product that…

Jellyfish “sprite” sparks paranoia from “earth changes” websites (UPDATE: More sprites, from Hurricane Matthew)

UPDATE (2-Oct02016): Frankie Lucena has captured more incredible sprites, this time as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Check it out from the Weather Channel. A sprite (lightning) captured on camera from the Caribbean on September 18, 2016 has triggered posts on mystery-mongering fringe “news” sites that cater to end-of-the-world paranoia. Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that…