All Posts in Category "Social Sciences"

Toronto Media, false balance, and the lack of evidence for claims about MIA vet John Hartley Robertson

Toronto Media, false balance, and the lack of evidence for claims about MIA vet John Hartley Robertson

16 May 2013 by Karl Mamer

Is there any evidence for the claim? The short story: very little. Many skeptical of the claim have a very hard time believing a person can forget to speak English. Oddly this is the most believable and easy to verify of all the claims made by the movie. First language attrition is a real phenomenon. Anecdotally, […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, History, Skepticism3 Comments

How Western journalists in Vietnam and POW NGOs were not fooled by tales of MIA Vet back from the dead

How Western journalists in Vietnam and POW NGOs were not fooled by tales of MIA Vet back from the dead

15 May 2013 by Karl Mamer

The known facts: John Hartley Robertson went down in a chopper crash in Laos. Over flight suggested no one could survive the crash and burn. Over flight by other Green Berets saw no survivors and the crash did not look survivable. JHR was declared MIA, presumed KIA. His name is on the memorial wall as […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, History, SkepticismComments Off

Did a Canadian filmmaker find a left behind Vietnam vet or did credulous Toronto media give new life to an old scam?

Did a Canadian filmmaker find a left behind Vietnam vet or did credulous Toronto media give new life to an old scam?

14 May 2013 by Karl Mamer

A man approaches you and claims he has a box with a dragon in it. He offers to sell you the box with the dragon. There is one caveat. You cannot open the box to see if there’s an actual dragon in it. You can hold the box. Shake the box. Smell the box. Weigh […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, History, SkepticismComments Off

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Darwin Day: Modern Creationism Still Threatens Education

13 February 2013 by Michael Kruse

This is cross-posted from the Huffington Post Canada In his new play The De Chardin Project, playwright Adam Seybold has the Jesuit priest and paleontologist Father Teilard De Chardin describe his witnessing of a terrible natural event whereby he arose from his cabin aboard a steamer on route to China to find a fire raging […]

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Posted in Canada, Culture, Evolution, Skepticism1 Comment

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I Got Rhythm…or not….wait, yes I do! Beat Deafness, or a Poor Understanding of Music?

14 January 2013 by Steve Thoms

This is a science and music story that I’ve wanted to do for a while, and although it’s over a year out of the news cycle, it’s still reflective of a widespread musical myth that I bet many readers are familiar with: Beat Deafness. Beat deafness is a form of amusia characterized by an inability […]

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Posted in Cognition, Culture1 Comment

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Skeptic Movie Review: Lincoln (2012)

10 January 2013 by Ethan Clow

  Movie fans are no doubt aware that the Academy Award nominations came out today (Thursday the 10th) Leading the pack in total number of nominations with twelve is Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis’ and ‘Best Director.’ I’ve seen it. It was an impressive film, with high quality acting […]

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Posted in History, Media, Reviews2 Comments

Ten Books for Skeptics

Ten Books for Skeptics

12 December 2012 by Scott Gavura

There are probably as many paths to becoming a scientific skeptic as there are skeptics. Admittedly my framework for skepticism was in the background for decades, but it’s only been over the past several years that I’ve started to really understand skepticism as a way of thinking. It was driven by my work as a […]

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Posted in Cognition, Critical Thinking, Logic and Fallacies, Probability and Statistics, Reviews, Skepticism, Social Sciences16 Comments

What Does Creationism Say About Our Culture?

What Does Creationism Say About Our Culture?

27 November 2012 by Gem Newman

According to a 2007 Angus-Reid poll, 59% of Canadians accept evolution and common descent, while 22% are convinced that God created human beings within the last 10,000 years (with acceptance of evolution being correlated with youth and with higher levels of education, and belief in special creation being more prevalent on the prairies). While it […]

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Posted in Culture, Evolution, Pseudoscience2 Comments

Skepticism in a Small Town

Skepticism in a Small Town

28 September 2012 by Scott Gavura

The following is a cross-post from Science-Based Pharmacy, contributed by a Canadian pharmacist who blogs under the pseudonym “Sara Russell”. In my last post, I introduced myself as a pharmacist in a small-ish town, eager to combat the growing acceptance of pseudoscience into the mainstream. I love living where I live for a multitude of […]

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Posted in Canada, Culture, Environment, Featured, Guest Post, Pseudoscience, Skepticism3 Comments

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The New Enlightenment

29 August 2012 by Ethan Clow

To imagine a world that was poor, nasty, brutish, and short (a world Thomas Hobbes imagined) we modern Westerners, might turn to fiction. Fantasy, science fiction, and horror all have their dystopias which serve as a dark inspiration for a world like the one described by Hobbes. We could also look in history books and […]

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Posted in Critical Thinking, History, Skepticism, Social Sciences15 Comments