In “Challenging Challenges” (Swift, Oct 17), Jeff Wagg posted a video with weird sounds and the voice of John Benneth, who is challenging Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge. I recently had an e-mail exchange with Benneth that was very illuminating. A former unsuccessful applicant for the MDC, he is considering re-applying. He… read more "Delusions About Dilutions Never Cease"
People who drink red wine in moderation tend to live longer than those who abstain from alcohol completely. Unfortunately, alcohol comes with certain other unwanted effects that you may have noticed from your own experiences late at night or the morning after. Wouldn’t it be great if we could figure… read more "Resveratrol – Wine Not Take a Miracle Pill to Live Longer?"
In a recent press release http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/54591417.html the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing announced that they had suspended chiropractor Judith Yager’s license for one year. Her transgressions? Practicing with a lapsed license Using a banned device to treat patients (device not named in press release) Hiring an unlicensed chiropractor to treat patients… read more "Diagnosis by Handwriting and Dreams"
Victor Stenger is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and an accomplished quantum physicist who has written numerous books explaining physics, analyzing religious claims, and debunking popular ideas supposedly derived from quantum physics. In the foreword to Stenger’s latest book, Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic… read more "“Quantum” Arguments Can’t Explain Consciousness or the Supernatural"
As we discussed in the Anti-Anti-Vax Panel at TAM7, scientifically illiterate activists are endangering our public health. Now they have a new target: the fast-track program to develop a swine flu vaccine in time to prevent a possible pandemic. A correspondent in the Netherlands wrote me, forwarding this article a… read more "The Anti-Vax Movement and Swine Flu"
The current issue of Reader’s Digest has an article on “The Trouble with Celebrity Science.” “What happens when stars weigh in on medical topics?…Celebrities may be perfectly qualified to evaluate sneakers, but that doesn’t mean you want to learn biochemistry from them.” They mention Tom Cruise’s sweeping condemnation of modern psychiatry, then… read more "Celebrity Science"
Chiropractors are already capitalizing on people’s swine flu fears. This webpage http://www.planetc1.com/cgi-bin/n/v.cgi?c=1&id=1240864592 reproduces the text of a Swine Flu Handout chiropractors are giving their patients. It boils down to 6 recommendations: Build your immune system by getting adjusted. Limit the amount of sugar in your diet because sugar depresses the… read more "Chiropractic’s Answer to Swine Flu: Get Adjusted!"
Oh no! My favorite mischievous monkey, Curious George, has been co-opted to brainwash children with pseudoscience. Is nothing sacred? See http://everydayskeptics.com/psuedoscience-in-childrens-cartoons/ On the DVD, an innocent CG cartoon segment is followed by a “real life” segment where children visit a naturopath. He tells them oregano seems to be helpful for fighting germs,… read more "Monkey Business"
I have received a personal message from beyond the grave, in the form of an audio file. It was posted at http://www.transgallaxys.com/~kanzlerzwo/showtopic.php?threadid=5229 under the heading American Chiropractors apply for the Zerobrainer Award. It seems that D. D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, has been monitoring the Quackwatch Healthfraud discussion list and… read more "A Message from the Spirit World"
I’m always on the lookout for skeptical depictions of mediums in fiction, such as Robert Browning’s delicious poem “Mr. Sludge the Medium.” I just found another example where I least expected, and I wanted to share it with readers of Swift. Latin American literature is famous for “magical realism” and… read more "Medium Contacts Nonexistent Brother"