I have no idea what possessed Action Skeptics to use the Sham Wow guy to present this week's entries, but it's amusing. Check it! In particular I like ICBS everywhere on this thermography nonsense, and Living better skeptically on yet another cancer quack. It's very upsetting when quack modalities defraud people of hard-earned money. It's even more upsetting when people encourage quackery to replace an legitimate and important screening procedure such as mammography or effective treatments for cancer. These people are the most dangerous kind of quack, if they continue unchallenged they…
Please check out this week's skeptics' circle at Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes. Of note, I liked Dr Austs' post on the human toll of HIV/AIDS denialism, it is stirring. I also found the Skeptic's field guide particularly interesting. I would have two suggestions. One would be to prioritize by frequency of use or rhetorical appeal rather than alphabetical, and second would be to include a section on conspiracy (like the ones the Lay Scientist and Dubito Ergo Sum describe in this issue ), which I believe is the hallmark of all denialist arguments. If you need a non-parsimonious conspiracy…
The big anniversary edition is up at Orac's place! Don't miss it!!!11!!
The 95th addition is up at Skeptimedia---go and learn!
It's up over at Martin's place. His blog came out of nowhere (don't they all) a few months back, and he's hit the ground running. Just, please, when you get to my section, try not to use your imagination too well. Trust me.
...is up at Sorting Out Science. Go and read it. Now.
This time from Africa! (Which doesn't help explain the blog's name at all, but it's good.)
It's up at Jyunri Kankei. Go and visit!
It's a must read over at action skeptics. Dirty limerick skepticism! Of note, Orac on quackademic medicine, and Greta Christina on the science of sexuality.
It's a really good edition up at Skepbitch (who is surprisingly nice). Don't miss it!
Andrea's Buzzing about the latest skeptic's circle. I'd point out in particular Blake Stacey's discussion of the real expelled, scientists who challenge creationism. And I'd also recommend the Pap smear to Skepchic. It makes sense in context.
The new Skeptics' Circle is up at Archeoporn. Never miss an episode!
...at Mike's Rant, and quote-mining is the rule of the day...don't miss it!
OK, I never really liked Joe Mercola, but when I read about this story on his website, I was encouraged. Boy, do I feel like a sucker. He started out so well, telling us about the tragic case of a child who died of influenza this year, and how health officials rapidly responded by increasing vaccine availability. Yea! He finally gets it! Or not. After the reasonably good piece of journalism, Mercola hops back on to the bat-shit insane wagon. Joe's commentary starts thusly: This tragic story is, unfortunately, being used for all the wrong reasons; namely to promote the "universal…
At Conspiracy Factory. In particular I like Skepchik's take on a pretty horrifically sexist Oprah poll which seems to present the only options for women in a stressful situation are to cry now or cry later or act like a big strong man. Hmm. PalMD has really been fighting the good fight lately with this piece on antivax, but really it's worth your time to explore his other stuff on Morgellon's and other crankery. Good stuff as always, check it out.
White Coat Underground has the overmedicalized edition. I'm pleased to see Happy Jihad House of Pancakes arguing for more skepticism in the humanities as part of the circle. And a great post on epidemiology and autism from Andrea. Orac had some important things to say about consensus, and just to clarify my position on how a skeptic should regard consensus it's simple. It is a sign of crankery to attack consensus as a concept, for example see this nonsense from creationist John West whining about consensus on evolution. However, a big part of being a scientist is challenging various…
Good for Martin Hosting the Skeptics' Circle and keeping out the cranks. I'm fond of Whiskey Before Breakfasts' entry on just whether the 20th century truly was the bloodiest, and Knudsens News straight-faced description of the failure of doctors to meet chiropractic standard of care. Enjoy!
Skeptics Circle 76 is out.
Med Journal Watch has it up. I must admit some sadness that yet again one of my skeptic colleagues has fallen for Sandy Szwarc's nonsense though. People, figure this out, she's not a real skeptic. They don't make blanket statements like this: Hearing that a study found some food, exposure or physical characteristic is associated with a 5% to 200% higher risk for some health problem seem like a frightening lot. It's easy to scare people half to death by citing relative risks that sound big but aren't actually viable. Such modest risks (RR=1.05 - 3.0) don't go beyond a null finding by more…
Holford Watch has a form letter for us to fill out for this week's version of the circle. My favorite from this week is Action Skeptic's essay, which I think describes a character flaw common among cranks. That is, it's not so important for them to operate with scientifically valid rules of evidence or inquiry, but as long always perceive themselves to be right. It was right then that I realized a major difference between skeptics and woos, between those dedicated to using and promoting the scientific method and those whose ignorance, nihilism, and epistemological hedonism lead them to…