Skeptic Fails and Wins This Week

Are streaks fact or fiction?
Erin spotted this skeptical baseball story about “streaks”. It’s an interesting read about the statistics and emotions behind winning streaks.

No child cancer, cell tower link: study
Marion spotted this story about the (lack of a) link between cell phone towers and childhood cancer. The story goes on to talk about the fact that there is no science showing a risk, and most of the fear has come from personal beliefs. Definitely a win.

Inferior Blood
Erik spotted this story criticizing the policy of disallowing gay men to give blood. It’s an interesting read.

Skeptical win on the Michael Coren Show
Check out skeptics Behzad Elahi and our own Michael Kruse taking down alternative medicine. Great work guys!

Breathing easier, thanks to salt
It wouldn’t be a Skeptic Fails and Wins column without a little bit of woovertising. Check out this story about the healing power of sitting around in a salt cave. Yep, you read that right.

I’ll leave you with this win that Erik spotted on the excellent web comic xkcd:
Public Opinion

Did you spot a skeptical fail or win?  Send it to me at

3 Responses to “Skeptic Fails and Wins This Week”

  1. Lorne says:

    The unfortunate thing about the Coren show was most of the time was taken by the Naturopaths.

  2. DS Chapman says:

    I admire Dr. Behzad Elahi and Michael Kruse for having the courage of their convictions to appear on the Michael Coren Show. When representing the skeptical community in events like this, there is a battle over public opinion. The two naturopaths did a good job of redirecting the discussion to the areas of their practice (diet and nutrition) which made them seem most reasonable and fellt the need to constantly mention their association with MD’s. These two naturopaths obviously are experienced in interviews and are examples of some of the least extreme versions of naturopaths I have ever seen. They disavowed homeopathy, reiki and even to some extent chiropractic. Every time one of the skeptics or the moderator brought up one of these naturopathic practices, a natururopath would say, “well, we don’t believe in that”.

    Funny thing is the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine clearly states on their website:

    Naturopathic medicine is: a distinct system of primary health care that addresses the root causes of illness, and promotes health and healing using natural therapies. It supports your body’s own healing ability using an integrated approach to disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention that includes: acupuncture/Asian medicine, botanical medicine, physical medicine (massage, hydrotherapy, etc.), clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine and lifestyle counseling.

    It might have been interesting to hear the one practicing naturopath explain how he laughs what the other one teaches at his school (homeopathy, specifically).

    BTW, I live in Seattle and Bastyr University is about as close to a real university as “Whatsamatta U” (Bullwinkle being the most famous graduate). The only good thing to come out of Bastyr University is the yearly Beer Festival held on its grounds. (

    • gmcevoy says:

      Thanks for this info. I was going to post something quite similar. The un-naturopaths seemed to come off as quite reasonable and the skeptics seem like they don’t play nice – due to the unfortunate disadvantage skeptics have in debates like this.

      We don’t do homeopathy! No two greater skeptics of it than Tardik and Rouchotas ND.

      Rouchotas is also part of the Naturopathic Foundations Health Clinic which does do homeopathy as a separate service and under naturopathy –

      According to the clinic site, Rouchotas is responsible for the second year curriculum at the CCNM. Here it is-

      The homeopathy course the “good doctor” is so skeptical of is worth 4 credits.

      Another of which he is overseer is PHM201 – Naturopathic Manipulation I.

      No doubt to get your marks, I mean patients to fall for your line of patter.

      And there’s the advantage sCAM has. They can say whatever they want and sound quite reaonable at it.

      Couldn’t find much on Tardik(?) other than being listed as a homeopath/naturopath which keeps him up at night…


  • 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.