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.

Does Turmeric Need a Warning Label?

Many of the more popular pseudoscience websites have a standard article about the powerful benefits of turmeric. Claims about its benefits range anywhere from treating cancer to diabetes, and they abound in these articles, usually followed by a tiny warning … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Food, Health | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Don’t Worry, You Can Still Give Your Rat that New Phone for its Birthday

By now, most people have read something from one or both sides of the story regarding new preliminary data published about cell phones and cancer, which Mother Jones referred to as “game changing.” As I would expect, David Gorski wrote … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Science, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

We’re All Bad at Math; or, Should Skeptics Play the Lottery?

  The image above has come across my Facebook feed at least a dozen times. It appears that most people are sharing it without a critical look. And yet I am the one that gets vilified when defending the ideas behind … Continue reading

Posted in Events, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Kevin Folta Silenced, Skeptics Mourn

I haven’t signed into my Skeptoid blog account in about a month now. My responsibilities to my students, my family, and my own well-being make it difficult at times to write a well thought-out piece. It is even more difficult … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Food, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

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 , , , , , , | 36 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 , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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 , , , , , , , | 13 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 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