Skeptical Fails and Wins this Week

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

Edzard Ernst on alternative medicine
After Steve Jobs death, which we now know may have been hurried due to his decision to choose alternative treatments over evidence based ones, Maclean’s chose to run this Q&A with alternative medicine expert Edzard Ernst. Several years ago Dr. Ernst set out to find out if there is evidence to support the most popular alternative treatments. His findings were that the vast majority of alternative medicine is quackery. I hope this interview will help sway some people on the fence about chiropractic and other placebo treatments.

Family Doc Says No To Perilous Chickenpox Pops
Anna spotted this story on NPR. Apparently, there is a mom in Texas selling chicken pox infected lollipops to parents who believe it’s better that their kids get it while young. Besides the fact that the virus probably won’t survive in the lollipop, it’s just a bad idea. This article does a great job at covering why.

The Oprah effect and why not all scientific evidence is valuable

Fred sent in this win from Maclean’s. Despite Oprah being off the air now, the effects of her pseudoscience peddling can still be felt. This article is a how-to guide at evaluating scientific information. It offers great advice for separating the wheat from the chaff when you hear about a scientific study in the news.

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

2 Responses to “Skeptical Fails and Wins this Week”

  1. DR says:

    A “win” from the climate denier-tea party huggers at Maclean’s?? Colour me shocked.

  2. Chicken pox pops? You’ve got to be kidding! Thanks for these links, Melany – I’ll keep my eyes peeled for some Fails and Wins for you.



  • 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.