Paranormal

Category archives for Paranormal

Elissa Meininger argues that homeopathy is better than vaccines, going so far to ask the question, “Is this the end of vaccines?” Vaccines have nothing to worry about from homeopathy, although those of us who don’t want to see the return of vaccine-preventable diseases have to worry about antivaccine cranks like Meininger.

I must admit that the last couple of weeks have been rather grim here on the old blog. Betweemn Donald Trump’s White House spewing , an unfortunate patient embracing quackery, pseudoscience at the VA, and more. So it is that I feel as though it might not be a bad idea to step back for…

2016: The year bullshit was weaponized

Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, quackery, and belief in things that can be objectively demonstrated not to be true have always been with us. Unfortunately, 2016 was the year that this bullshit was weaponized, and we may never recover.

I’m sure that most of you watched the Presidential debate on Monday night, just as I did. Over the years, these debates have always always painful for me to watch, given the candidates’ tendency to answer the question they want to answer rather than the question actually answered; to find ways to spew prepackaged talking…

Hard as it is to believe, it’s been seven months since the Conspira-Sea Cruise, or, as I called it when I discovered it before it set sail, The Woo Boat. After it set sail and I started reading reports about it from two reporters who took the cruise in order to report on it, Anna…

After over 11 years at this blogging thing, I periodically start to fear that I’m becoming jaded. In particular, after following the infiltration of quackery in the form of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), now more commonly known as “integrative medicine,” because it integrates CAM with evidence-based medicine. Of course, in reality, what “integrative medicine”…

Contrary to what some of my detractors think, I don’t mind criticism of my viewpoints. After all, if I never encounter criticism, how will I ever improve? On the other hand, there are forms of criticism that are what I would call less than constructive. One form this sort of criticism takes is obsessive repetition…

The rise of a new grief vampire

I don’t write about psychics that often. Most commonly, when I do, it’s about psychics making claims that could be construed as medical claims, such as when America’s Quack, Dr. Mehmet Oz brought psychic scammers like John Edward and the “Long Island Medium” Theresa Caputo, even going so far as to imply that psychics can…

Even though I’ve taken on the ‘nym of a fictional computer in a 35-year-old British science fiction series whose key traits were an arrogant and condescending manner and the ability to tap into every computer of the galactic federation any time he wanted to, in reality I am just one person. That means, try as…

The Woo Boat

File this one under the category: You can’t make stuff like this up. (At least, I can’t.) Let’s say you’re a die hard all-conspiracy conspiracy theorist and alternative medicine believer (a not uncommon combination). You love Alex Jones and Mike Adams and agree with their rants that there is a New World Order trying to…

Deepak Chopra isn’t very happy right now. In fact, he appears downright pissed off right now, particularly at skeptics, so much so that he’s issued a hilariously fatuous “challenge” to James Randi (a.k.a.) The Amazing Randi on You Tube entitled Deepak Chopra’s One Million Dollar Challenge to Skeptics: Yes, apparently with The Amazing Meeting (a.k.a.…

When it comes to Twitter, I run hot and cold. I’ll frequently go weeks when I barely touch my Twitter account, and nothing gets posted there except automatic Tweets linking to my new posts. Then something will happen, and suddenly I’ll post 20 Tweets in a day. Rinse, lather, repeat. I guess I’m just too…

Dr. Oz descends further into psychic quackery

Regular readers have probably noticed that I’m taking it easy this week, at least compared to my usual ridiculous level of output. It is, after all, the holidays, and last night I even went to see my cousin’s son play basketball and then hung out at the local Knights of Columbus hall. (No, it didn’t…

Will it never end? First we had “America’s Doctor,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, credulously featuring psychic medium scammer John Edward on his show last year. Sadly, but typically, Dr. Oz was completely taken in by Edward’s cold readings, even the most transparent ones. Even if his previous shows featuring Joe Mercola and a faith healer weren’t…

Ever since starting my blog nearly seven (!) years ago, I’ve concentrated mainly on skepticism in medicine, in particular examining various implausible medical claims that proliferate on the Internet and in our media like so much kudzu choking out science and reason. The reasons are two-fold. First, it’s what I’m interested in. Second, it was…

I must admit, I’m rather happy that October is over, as that means that the local news stations doing all sorts of brain dead fluff stories about the paranormal. On the other hand, if I were still living in Cleveland, I’d miss out on awesome pareidolia like this: Here’s what they’re talking about:

A contest you don’t want to win…

…is to be among the 5 most fraudulent psychics of all time. Still, this is as good an excuse as any to post one of my all time skeptical demolitions, namely that of Uri Geller on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson: Yeah, now that’s an oldie but a goodie. Still, I wonder: Who are…

The return of the living Choprawoo

With all the anti-vaccine nonsense going on and my feeling the obligation to fire a broadside at “America’s doctor,” there was a tasty bit of woo that totally escaped my attention from an old “friend” of the blog. Actually, he’s an old “friend” of many skeptical blogs, both here on ScienceBlogs and around the blogosphere.…

Area 51 veterans speak: No space aliens

One of the most persistent and prevalent examples of a modern myth that will not die is the story of Area 51. So ingrained in our culture has it become that nearly everyone (at least in the U.S.) knows what you are talking about when you refer to it. It’s been featured in movies as…

Over the holidays, I stayed at home for a combination of some relaxation and some grant writing. (I know, weird.) As I was perusing some of the links I saved during that time, it occurs to me that I totally forgot about one particularly amazing bit of hilarity, courtesy of our old “friend” Deepak Chopra.…

The role of faith summarized

I love this guy’s explanations of skepticism and critical thinking. In this installment, it is quite clearly and cleverly why it’s impossible to “prove” the existence of God or any god and thus why such gods are always a matter of faith and belief without evidence:

How can one know?

If there was one thing about going to TAM7 last week, it was the opportunity to contemplate among a thousand fellow skeptics just what critical thinking and reason mean. If there’s one thing about woo, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories in all their forms, it’s not just a lack of critical thinking and a plethora of…

The Kitty of Doom

Today, I’m leaving for The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas. I can’t wait to get there. Believe it or not, I’ll even be on a panel! While I’m there I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting…

Last night, I was sitting on the couch, my laptop, appropriately enough, on my lap creating my paean to Homeopathy Awareness Week in which I had a little fun discussing homeopathic plutonium. Because Homeopathy Awareness week is not yet over, I’ll probably have one more bit of fun at the expense of The One Woo…

Pet psychic finds blown away Chihuahua?

Well, the weird news just keeps coming in from my hometown. This time around, consider the case of Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell is a tiny Chihuahua weighing all of five pounds. This poor little creature met nature in a most unfortunate way on Saturday, when some rather heavy storms swept through southeast Michigan. It turns…