Category Archives: Science

IMO: What would it take to change your mind?

As critical thinkers and skeptics, it is important that we understand our own beliefs and accepted facts. Take to heart the words of physicist Richard Feynman who observed, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are … Continue reading

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Captain Cook and the Impossible Cotton

Shortly before Captain James Cook was killed on the island of Hawaii in 1779, one of his botanists, David Nelson, made a single four-day excursion up Mauna Loa and collected 136 species of plants. From Reader’s Digest‘s 1986 book, Mysteries of the Ancient … Continue reading

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Gravitational Waves and the Value of Errors

Imagine a fat guy doing a cannonball into a calm swimming pool. We can predict that a minute later the surface of the pool will be mottled with waves: ridges and valleys, peaks and pits. The Standard Model of cosmology … Continue reading

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Yes, the Dose Really Does Make the Poison

One thing that frustrates me in conversations about “harmful chemicals” on Skeptoid and elsewhere is when individuals display a complete lack of understanding of dosage. This comes in two forms. The first form is the passive argument that completely omits”dosage” … Continue reading

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Can Zinc Help My Cold?

I’ve had a cold since Sunday and it’s pretty miserable. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing to do but wait it out. I’ve tried various treatments for symptoms, with limited results. Looking through the rack at the drugstore … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Health, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Heavy Cost Of Weight Loss Supplements

Weight loss is one of the most lucrative areas of commercial chicanery in the United States. Complicated health issues like obesity and weight loss have no easy answers. That fact doesn’t stop the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry from spending millions in marketing … Continue reading

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Please Don’t Tell My Daughter There are ‘Chemicals’ in Her Soda

I had a special moment with my daughter, Dawn, the other day. I shared a Faygo Creme Soda with her. Faygo’s a Michigan thing — a local bottling company who makes a wide variety of soda drinks. When I was … Continue reading

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A Lucky Find in Egypt

I really liked the following news item, and for two reasons. Well three, actually, because it’s about archaeology (favorite subject of mine), but also because it features a really lucky once-in-a-lifetime find and because it features experimental archaeology (trying to … Continue reading

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Ebola and Enterovirus D68, Pandemic or Panic Part II

  Recently, fear of infectious disease has become a constant drumbeat on the Internet and television. This is primarily due to two viral diseases. Disease one is the deadly West African Ebola Virus. Disease two is Enterovirus D68. Mike Rothschild did a nice … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Ebola and Enterovirus D68, Pandemic or Panic Part I

American news media outlets love a good scary story. If a scary story involves deadly diseases and children, you have media gold. Media outlets tap into the primal fear of infectious disease to draw your eyes to their screens. Recently, the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments