Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week

Hello Skeptifans. I hope you had a wonderful, critical thinking filled weekend. Todays collection of stories is a nice batch of Wins!

Turning stem cells into snake oil
Lorne found this Win in the Globe and Mail. From disease treatments to beauty creams, stem cell technology is being touted as a miracle cure. While researchers have hope that stem cells can be used to treat some currently incurable conditions, real cures aren’t yet there. That hasn’t stopped bogus treatments from hitting the market in the form of creams, pills, injections, and even dangerous surgery. This lengthy article separates the facts from the hype.

Psychologists predict outrage over ESP ‘evidence’
Mark spotted this win. Apparently The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology will be publishing a paper showing evidence of ESP, or Extra-Sensory Perception. The paper passed the review process, but this article points out that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It’s nice to see a journalist treat this kind of story with the skepticism it needs.

Power Band bracelets ‘a scam’ professor says
Martin and Lorne both sent in this Win. You may have seen adds for the Power Band bracelet. It’s a piece of rubber with a hologram on it, that manufactures claimed could make you more, well, powerful. Athletes from all over the world, including star Shaquille O’Neal, have been wearing them in the hopes it would give them an edge. Thanks to the hard work of some skeptics in Australia, they forced the manufacturers to admit there is no science behind their claims, and the company is now providing refunds to customers. However, some people have swallowed the holographic Kool-Aid. Despite these admissions, some people still swear by it. You can’t win ‘em all.

N.B. girl youngest to discover supernova
Kennedy sent in this Win about a 10 year old Canadian girl who discovered a super-nova. It’s nice to know that the kids today are about more than just hula-hoops and rock and roll music.

I received a lot of links from you all this week! I didn’t have room to include all of them, but I appreciate your support! Without you, I’d have to do all the work and go look for links myself! Seriously though, it’s really nice to see a full inbox. Keep ‘em coming to links [AT] skepticnorth [DOT] com.

One Response to “Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week”

  1. Chris says:

    What no Wakefield? Well I found out where he was this past week, and saw the list of speakers. I though you would be interested in inviting this guy to a Skeptics in the Pub: “Dr. Christopher Shaw is a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia and holds cross appointments with the Department of Experimental Medicine and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience.”


  • 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.