Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week

Hello Skeptifans. Here are your Fails and Wins this week.

Brushing your teeth with soap
John sent in this Fail from Dr. Gifford-Jones. He’s a writer we’ve had turn up in the Fails a few times. This article recommends that you ditch your toothpaste and brush with soap. The evidence? Some smart guy told him it works better. Oh, and he’s anti-fluoride too. “Doc Giff” as he goes by on his website, gets syndicated in many Canadian papers. He’s one to keep an eye on.

Drink your vitaminwater, skip your flu shot?
From the title, I’ll bet you’re thinking this article is a Fail. Actually, it’s calling attention to a recent ad campaign by Vitamin Water that suggests it will boost your immunity and says “Flu shots are so last year”. A consumer protection group filed a complaint about the ad to the FTC. Nice work! And nice work on the article as well. Instead of creating a false debate, it just states clearly that “There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that vitamin C and zinc will protect you from the flu and keep you from ever getting sick.”

Tapped out?
Jason sent in this story. It seems that in the past year the fluoride “debate” has really heated up. We heard how recently Calgary will stop fluoridating its water, and now it seems London might be next. This article certainly did present both sides of the story, but overall I’d say it was positive. In fact, it made the anti-fluoride side sound like conspiracy theorists. Read it and let me know what you think.

Anxiety and addiction
I cringe especially hard when an Epic Fail of a story is from my home province. The article suggests that anxiety shouldn’t be treated with drugs, because they only make it worse. Not only is this story just plain crap, it’s also woovertising. It’s written by a naturopath and uses anecdotes in place of evidence. How did this naturopath cure one patient’s anxeity? She put her on a regimen of woo to “balance out the body”. Of course the article does not suggest what the evidence for this style of treatment is. It’s a shameful Fail.

Delusions and dilutions: homeopathy confronted
Here’s a win from the U of Waterloo paper. It covers the recent 10-23 homeopathy challenge that many skeptical groups took part in, including a group in London, Ontario.

That’s the Fails and Wins for this week, folks. Keep ‘em coming to links [at] skepticnorth [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.