Skeptical Fails and Wins

Thanks for all of the links this week!
Kelly sent in a skeptical fail from the Vancouver Sun about balancing the body’s pH. However, the story has since been removed from the website. If anyone can track down a new link it would be appreciated! It would be nice to think that they took it down because it’s pseudoscience…but I think it would have been much better for them to post a retraction than just silently remove the article.
Parrot found this credulous article about a homeopath who cured himself of cancer. Instead of asking critical questions, the Ingersol Times chose to turn this article into an ad for homeopathy, even posting the number and website where people can find out more. This is a doctor claiming to cure cancer with water, and they didn’t ask a single skeptical question. This one really got me seething with rage, how about you?
Matt heard this song by Lee Ann Womak on the radio at a Northern Ontario country music station. Lyrics like “Hear the doctor say he can’t explain it, but the cancer is gone.” make this song a skeptical fail. Matt offered up NOFX’s Best God In Show as a skeptical win counterpoint. What do you think?
Marion found this subtle skeptical win. The CBC reported this poll as a tie, even though the Liberals had 0.5% on the Conservatives, this is less than the margin of error of the poll and so should be treated as a tie and not a win. It’s some subtle but correct statistical reporting.
I’m going to also plug an article that I found about a UFO sighting in Newfoundland. For me, this was a skeptical win because of what the article did not include. Although people are unsure what the object was, there was not one single mention of visitors from another planet. I don’t think I’ve ever read a UFO story where there wasn’t a token mention of aliens.
Another skeptical win at the CBC was this article which turned a critical eye on the “Rich Dad” seminars. It would appear the only rich dads are the ones raking in the admissions fees. Thanks Marion for finding this one.
Jonathan found this skeptical win in the Ottawa Sun. It’s a moving story about the human cost of alternative medicine, and the snake-oil company behind it. In this case it looks like the snake-oil salesmen involved are getting punished and the bogus cancer treatment company is now defunct, but I wonder how many more lives were affected while they were in operation?
It’s great to see so many wins lately. Keep those links coming to skepticnorthlinks [at] gmail [dot] com.

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  • Melany Hamill

    Melany proudly uses the titles of both geek and nerd. As a science-enthusiast and fan of debate, Melany likes to get her facts straight. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Since then her career path has meandered to its current spot as a project manager at a video game studio. Melany lives near beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. She is not seeking treatment for her caffeine addiction.