Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week

Happy Sunday Skeptifans.  I’m enjoying a rainy Sunday in my pj’s, and I have a great roundup of Fails and Wins this week.

Patients’ anecdotes are not evidence
This win comes from the Ottawa Citizen. It compares the anecdotes about Zamboni’s experimental MS treatment to those that led to the hysteria around silicone breast implants.

Electronic device radiation lurks everywhere
Last week I posted a Fail involving “dirty electricity”. Commenter Whyhi pointed me to this fail in the Sault Star on a related topic. As Whyhi pointed out, the article references a World Health Organization article about the dangers of cell phone use in teens, that actually does not prove any danger. This article was written by Dr. Gifford-Jones. The name rang a bell with me, and I realized that they have popped up in the Fails and Wins before.  Looks like he is a serial failer to look out for.

The Public’s Quiet Savior From Harmful Medicines
Commenter Chris turned me on to this story.  It’s about Canadian born Dr. Frances Kelsey, who had a big impact on establishing proper drug safety measures in the US that have been adoted worldwide.

Is Cold FX a saviour or a scam?
Scott found this win criticizing the claims or should I say vague and leading statements made my the manufacturers of Cold FX.

6 Bizarre Forms of Discrimination That Can Lose You a Job
Think your blood type, your handwriting, or your astrological sign should impact your ability to land your next job? Mitchell found this skeptical win on Cracked discussing some of the woo that is out there in the job market.

N.L. to fund research into MS vein surgery
Martin found this fail at the CBC. It’s yet another story about MS vein surgery that completely misses the point. Yes, we need more evidence about this treatment, but no that doesn’t mean that funding trials right now is a good idea.

Lemme sum up the problem in 3 simple points: 1. This treatment is dangerous, potentially fatal. 2. We have a limited supply of funds for medical research. 3. We have other treatments with more evidence behind them to spend this money researching.

No doubt the media will drag out this “controversy” as long as it can, but it’s too bad that it’s only the minority of articles that are really putting this in the right perspective.

That’s all the Fails and Wins this week! Thank you to my loyal skeptifans who sent me links. Keep them coming to links [at] skepticnorth [dot] com.

2 Responses to “Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week”

  1. Michael5MacKay says:

    Sorry Melany. I can’t take the credit for the article on Dr. Frances Kelsey. Thank YOU for pointing it out to me.


  2. Woops! I should have actually credited that to commenter Chris! Makingt the correction now. Sorry Chris, and thanks Michael!


  • 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.