Author Archives: Eric Hall

About Eric Hall

My day job is teaching physics at the University of Minnesota, Rochester. I write about physics, other sciences, politics, education, and whatever else interests or concerns me. I am always working to be rational and reasonable, and I am always willing to improve my knowledge and change my mind when presented with new evidence.

Small Rocks Do Occasionally Float; It Doesn’t Make Me Wrong About Everything

I was wrong. I am wrong often. As an educator of science, I try to be careful about avoiding speaking in absolute terms. When the rule holds a majority of the time, it is hard not to just say something … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Is There a Scientific Reason to Make Foods More “Natural?”

Skeptics are very familiar with the use of the appeal to nature by pseudoscience peddlers such as the Food Babe and others. Foods with “chemical” ingredients are to be avoided according the these sellers of nonsense, which shows a basic misunderstanding … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Health, Nature, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

The FDA is Pushing a Big Pharma Agenda to Get Our Kids High

Outrage media is a big contributor to the scientific illiteracy of the general public. While it is true scientists have to do a better job of communicating science, the media needs to do a better job of balancing views and clicks with … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oh, The Organic Sweet Corn Irony

I must have laughed for a good five minutes the other day when I heard the news story I am reporting on today. I immediately thought about writing about it here, but then I paused for a moment as I … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Pseudoscience | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Amazing Stubbornness of a Vaccine Anecdote

Yes, yes: my usual story. I spent way too much time on social media fighting with the anti-science crowd. It’s always a difficult balance, since I have a few projects with looming deadlines, yet I feel obligated to see a … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Quick Skeptoid News: 18-Month Old Dies When Parents Refuse To “Use Chemicals”

Thanks to “the Skeptical Beard” for bringing attention to this story. An 18-Month Old girl in Pennsylvania died after what was likely a painful final couple weeks. The girl was brought to a local ER in cardiac arrest and later … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How Michelle Obama Helped Promote Anti-Science Sentiment

In February, Michelle Obama made news when she was featured in an article in Cooking Light magazine. In the article, the First Lady tells a story of her daughter Malia and an interaction with White House Chef Sam Kass, wherein … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Pseudoscience, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Finally! Real Research On Curing Autism!

OK, not really. For those of us in the skeptic community, we understand Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a complex set of brain-based disorders that share some common traits but can vary greatly in severity. In many cases, autism isn’t necessarily something that needs … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Health, Pseudoscience | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

The Glyphosate Zombie… Again

The sad truth of reading my social media feeds is that I see at least one article a day on glyphosate. Glyphosate, aka RoundUp, is an over 40-year-old herbicide that has the advantage of being toxic to plants in low … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tell GMO Producers To Stop Being So Organic!

One of the common arguments against the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO), specifically plant GMOs, is that it allows farmers to spray “toxic” chemicals to kill various pests from bugs to weeds to help maximize crop yields. Anti-science websites … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments