Skepticism

Pharyngula

Category archives for Skepticism

The featured speaker at this year’s National Science Teacher Association conference in Boston is…Mayim Bialik. The lucky ones among you are saying right now, “who?”. Others may know her from her television work, but maybe don’t know the full story behind her ‘science’ activism. She’s an actor who plays Sheldon’s girlfriend on Big Bang Theory.…

The climate change denialists are a bit thin-skinned; they’ve also been exposed as a bit on the wacko side. The journal Frontiers in Psychology is about to retract a paper that found that denialists tend to have a cluster of weird beliefs (NASA faked the moon landings, the CIA was in charge of the assassination…

Cystic Fibrosis is all your fault

Cystic Fibrosis is a serious genetic disorder caused by the inheritance of a defective transporter protein. It leads to an accumulation of mucus and fluids in the lungs that can cause progressive scarring and damage to the tissue, and eventually loss of so much lung function that respiration is inadequate, and the victim dies. It’s…

The New York Times has an article on the rise of predatory, fake science journals — these are journals put out by commercial interests with titles that sound vaguely like the real thing, but are not legitimate in any sense of the word. They exist only for the resource that open access publishing also uses,…

Another conversion story

Richard Muller used to be a doubter — he didn’t think global warming was a concern, and he didn’t think people were responsible for it. Now he has changed his mind, and he explains why. Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw…

No. One other event I participated in was a “debate” with an ancient alien theorist. It was very peculiar, as you might guess. The way this came about was that Scotty Roberts, the alien astronaut fan, proposed a session on his wacky speculations, and the conference organizers didn’t want such lunacy to sail through without…

WTF, NatGeo?

Oh, it’s another crappy television show put on by a purported science-positive network that I completely missed. National Geographic ran a show called “Chasing UFOs” on Friday, and since about the only television I ever watch any more is commercial-free movies on Netflix, I wasn’t tuned in. Fortunately, Robert Sheaffer did, and found it “lurid…

The wages of pseudoscience

I completely missed the disgraceful hokum the Animal Planet channel aired last week, Mermaids: The Body Found, a completely fictional pseudodocumentary dressed up as reality that claims mermaids exist. You can watch it now, though, until Animal Planet takes it down. It’s genuinely awful. Total nonsense, gussied up with more nonsense: would you believe it…

Dear Jezebel

There’s a reason I promote atheism and skepticism coupled with feminism, and it’s not because I’m trying to foist a feminist ideology on skepticism. It’s because skepticism drives me to consider discrimination and injustice as wrong, not just in an abstract moral sense, but unjustifiable and invalid. If I am in any sense a feminist,…

Andrew Wakefield lashes out

Poor Andy. Once upon a time, he had the power to kill children just by doing some very bad science and writing a few very bad papers, and now he’s reduced to living in Texas and being supported by mobs of New Age cranks. He’s powerless and bored, but his ego is still being inflated…