Merry Christmas! I hope all you skeptifans are having a good Boxing Day recovering from your turkey comas, sleeping off your eggnog hangovers, or doings some sale shopping. Here are the Fails and Wins for this week!
Miracles of 2010
Lorne found this strange Fail at the CBC. It’s a count-down of the “Top 10 Miracles of 2010″. I don’t even know what to say.
Herbal medicines may be risky for kids
Jodie and Marion both sent in this Win in the CBC. The article discusses a recent Australian study that showed how alternative therapies can have deadly side-effects, but are not monitored in the way proper medical treatment is. The Australian study found four deaths which were due to alternative therapies being used in place of proper treatment. The article did not admonish alternative medicine completely, but hopefully the story is a wake-up call for some people. Alternative and natural medicine has risks.
Solstice-eclipse overlap first in 372 years
I’m sure all of you are aware that there was a special lunar eclipse last week. It was special because it coincided with the solstice. So what’s wrong with this story? Well, instead of talking about what the solstice means, or how an eclipse works, the bulk of the story is about the special spiritual energy associated with this event. At least it ends on a reasonable quote, “It’s quite rare, but there’s no profound significance. It’s luck of the draw; you got dealt four aces,” said Robert Dick, an astronomy instructor at Carleton.”
Echinacea no help for colds: study
A story about a scientific study, proving yet again that echinacea is ineffective at curing colds..must be a win, right? It’s not too bad, but there is a few credulous statements. The study showed no positive results for curing colds….yet a representative of an herbal medicine council said “The findings are not convincing in either direction”. Right, that’s because it didn’t show the results you wanted. Fail.
Chronic fatigue virus study tainted: scientist
Apparently everyone has been reading nothing but the CBC this week! Greg found this Win about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which calls into question the theory that it is related to a virus. CFS is controversial. It is difficult to diagnose, and has been diagnosed inconsistently over the years. Some say it is simply a mis-diagnosis of depression, while others still theorize that it could have a viral cause. The important thing is that science is being done to test these assumptions and self-correct as most information comes out.
Thanks for the links! Send me more to help ring in the new year! links [at] skepticnorth [dot] com.