Updated Media Guide to Skepticism

I’ve updated the Media Guide to Skepticism with a few changes to the orgs and resources section. Now is a good time to bookmark the site and download the PDF so you can have it handy to supply to journalists and reporters, throw it into comments, etc., when someone states they are “skeptical” about science conclusions…

Continue, we must: US needs critical thinking advocates to step up and be heard

The DN/15 Credibility Street crew took a break yesterday because writing and talking about most things besides the election results seemed frivolous. We postponed our scheduled recording of the podcast because we weren’t in the right frame of mind, but by the end of the day, I saw many of the dejected pick themselves up,…

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…