Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week

Hey there skeptifans. I hope you are having a great holiday season.

The Turin Shroud could not have been faked, say scientists
Lorne sent in this immense Fail. Don’t you love when headlines like this refer to “scientists” like every scientist the world is on board? Some quacks say the shroud of Turin couldn’t have been made in the 14th century, because apparently no one could cover a dude in paint and wrap him in a blanket. The marks could only be made by ultraviolet lasers. Of course, this was published in a peer reviewed journal, right? Who knows. The article doesn’t mention where it was published, what other shroud experts have to say about it, or acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that has already been gathered that proves the shroud is a fake. Even the Catholic Church won’t claim it’s real. The Skeptic’s Dictionary has a nice page about the shroud of Turin if you’d like to know more.

Canadian-developed HIV vaccine approved for human testing
This is an exciting Win based on Canadian research. It was also nice to see that this article explained how long the different trial phases will take, and didn’t overhype the potential of the vaccine. So many of these stories are reported as “AIDS cure 5 years away”.

Bird flu research worries WHO
New research demonstrating how the H5N1 flu virus could mutate to an airborne strain has sparked debate on the ethics of this type of research. The scientists behind the research make the point that their research can help prepare us to better handle a natural born strain, while critics are worried about how this research could be misused or the risk of lab strains escaping. What do you think?

Did you spot a media Fail or Win? Send it to me at

One Response to “Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week”

  1. Michael Bourque says:

    I love the Shroud of Turin “debate”. It is particularly interesting that this is being talked about at Christmas, while the Catholic church is experiencing drastic declines in credibility. I also love the resoning that they are using: The marks can be duplicated with modern technology, therefore that is the only way they could have been made, therefore God. Nevermind the facts that the shroud is an admitted forgery, and has been reproduced using methods available then. Even if the shroud could not have been made without modern technology, why therefore God? Why not time travellers, space aliens, people from Atlantis or the FSM?


  • 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.