Skeptical Fails and Wins this Week

Bonjour skeptifans. Here are the media Fails and Wins you sent me last week.

Because putting bull crap in a flowchart makes it sciency! Dear can't just put arrows from one box to have to prove that the arrow is a real mechanism! Like this: FACE-->PALM

America’s Toxic Flu shots: 250 times EPA mercury limit
Lorne sent in this link. If you have followed the vaccine “controversy”, you are probably familiar with thimerosol. Thimerosol is a preservative used in vaccines, and according to this article it is poisoning us with dangerous levels of mercury. However, pretty much everything in this article is false. It is not true that most flu vaccines use it, it is not true that the levels of mercury in the vaccines exceeds EPA standards, and it cites studies showing harm, but from a different form of mercury not relevant to thimerosol. Dr. Steven Novella does a fantastic take-down of this article if you’d like more details. At this point themerosol is old news. We have lots of data showing it is safe. So why are news sites still printing total falsehoods?

The Waldorf Way: No Tests, No Grades, No Shots?
Anna sent in this opinion piece from Slate. Why can’t we have rational conversations with people who disagree about vaccination? Why is the issue so polarizing, when people are just trying to do the right thing for their kids with the information they’ve heard. Why do we shy away from this debate and write-off non-vaccers. As outspoken as I am on this subject, when I’m in a social setting I often feel weary about debating the issue if it comes up on conversation. Food for thought.

Spinal Fusion: Chiropractic and Subluxation
The Science Based Medicine blog posted a great article about Chiropractic and Subluxation. Subluxation refers to the idea that a misaligned spine can cause other illnesses. It is one of the quackier ideas related to chiropractic. Some chiropractors still buy into this theory, but not all. The SBM article takes a look at how widespread this theory still is amongst the chiropractic community.

That’s the Fails and Wins this week, folks. See you again soon. Send me your links at

Comments are closed.

  • 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.