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Is Science Self-Correcting? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Steve Novella   
Saturday, 19 October 2013 09:00

In theory, yes. In practice, we can do better.

An article published in The Economist reviews what skeptics have been talking about for years. There is a lot of crappy research out there that is unreliable. This means that just because you can find some studies that appear to support your position, it does not mean your position is correct. You cannot know the answer to a question by cherry-picking the studies you want. You have to do a critical analysis of all the research.

The full article is worth a read, and regular readers of skeptical blogs will probably recognize many of the points and references, but will also likely learn some new details. Here is my own summary of the major areas of concern regarding the quality and reliability of published scientific research.

The Honest Liar's Pseudoscience Collection PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamy Ian Swiss   
Thursday, 17 October 2013 17:00

The Honest Liar's Pseudoscience Collection! In this installment of The Honest Liar, Jamy Ian Swiss considers the differences between science and pseudoscience, and discusses some highlights from his vast and colorful pseudoscience collection, from Aromatherapy to Xenoglossy!

Moral Panic and the Witch Craze in Zambia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leo Igwe   
Thursday, 17 October 2013 09:00

You may want to describe the current state of Africa in another way. You may choose to qualify it differently. But it is evident that most parts of sub Saharan Africa  are currently being ravaged by the mindset of the dark ages, the type that prevailed in early modern Europe. Popular mentality is gripped by irrational fear and frenzy. Superstitious beliefs abound, driving people to attack and murder in cold blood those alleged to be witches, be they family or community members. Local authorities are doing very little to address this vicious phenomenon.

This is the case in Zambia.

You Too Can Be A Mindreader PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamy Ian Swiss   
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 09:00

Recently I came across a piece in “The New York Times” health and science section entitled “Can You Read People’s Emotions?” After a brief introduction, the reader was presented with a test claiming to measure your ability to assess people’s emotions by “reading” the expression of their eyes.

Drawing the line: This week in Doubtful News for October 15, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Hill   
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 09:00

Here is this week's summary of the questionable claims, supposed miracles and outright frauds courtesy of Doubtful News 

Another psychic found guilty of fraud charges. Sylvia Mitchell faces jail in New York.

And more of the Marks family are sentenced. 

A fight over vaccinating children ends up with parents in court in the U.K. The pro-vaccine parent has science on his side.   

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