Jan 16, 2008

Skeptics' Circle #78 - The "Still High From The Chelation" Edition

Our dearly beloved PBS is under attack! After doing a superb job of smacking the snot out of Intelligent Design, someone has managed to sidestep the science department and slip in a credulous Mercury Militia piece about the miracles and magic of alternative medicine in treating autism.

Fortunately for us PBS has an ombudsman, Michael Getler, who is there as a gatekeeper to ensure PBS’s broadcasts embrace logic, reason, science, and journalistic integrity. Please take a moment to drop him a line and ask that Beautiful Son, due to air in April, be reviewed thoroughly for scientific accuracy before being allowed on our precious public television station.

Whew. Now that we've got the serious business out of the way, let's have a little fun!

I’m a surfer, so I can tell you that the water is cold in San Francisco. But that doesn’t stop Greta Christina from dipping her toes into the ocean of credulity once in a while. Greta has created a astrological chart based on movie stars rather than on massive luminous balls of plasma. She calls it Oscarology, and it’s all good clean fun. (I’m not making this up!!) But Greta’s a skeptic too and she’s written this nice think piece about SCAM... that is Supplements, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. Enjoy.

Next up is Seth Manapio broadcasting from deep within his fortified and armed anarchist/separatist compound. Seth has written this excellent piece on why the president should be a skeptic. I agree!

The milkman delivers! Zoo Knudsen delivers this healthy dose of skepticism in the form of a satire. It's beautifully written and I suggest you read it. But don't show it to your new age friends. They might think it's real!!

Next up is Andrea Ray Chandler broadcasting live from deep inside her hyperbaric oxygen tank. She recently underwent 350 “dives” and has been completely cured of her autism. With her newfound awareness on reality, she’s become a skeptic and has written this nice article about autism quackery. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you lose the ability to memorize telephone books.

After spending two years in prison for verbally brutalizing his colleagues with skeptical tirades, Daniel Kinsman writes articles about how to be a nice skeptic as part of his probation.

Still confused after his alien abduction (and anal probing), Sam Wise has written this article about the Roswell UFO Museum.

Want to rewrite creationist history? Here's your chance! Join Bing McGhandi over at Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes in his effort to create/submit/bullshit his way through creating creationist science!

My momma always said, don’t sit too close to the television. PodBlack Cat was sitting too close one day while watching Harry Potter, and with one misguided swing of the wand - poof! - he turned her into a skeptical black cat! Somehow, she’s managed to paw this excellent piece on why girls like me better with my eyeglasses.

Imagine being a skeptic... then imagine that your parents loved you so much they decided to name you Christian when you were born. I think I'd call myself Bob. Well, this lucky devil is named Christian Bachmann (Turner Overdrive not included) and he's written a skeptical article questioning health and obesity.

As a young boy, Greg was a fan of kung fo movies, that is until he nearly cut his arm off in a demonstration of ki. After recovering from his injuries he became a skeptic and has taken the time to write this article questioning kung fu woo.

Vampires Vampires Vampires Vampires Vampires!

Karen Stollznow calls herself Skepbitch, and this is probably true if you believe in woo. But she doesn't seem so bitchy to me when she reheats this old chestnut about hauntings vs natural explanations.

Thaddeus Nelson writes this article about why you should not buy Jesus' toilet bowl or Noah's deck mop at your local flea market, unless it's got legitimate provenance.

DAMN! I was just about to buy one of those magnetic bracelets to cure my insanity until I saw this article! A nice consumer protection piece to pass along to your woo woo friends.

The digital cuttlefish is a poet, don't you know it. Our little fishy friend has written this nice skeptical poem... read it to see how it ends.

I was hoping that people would submit good blog postings for this episode of skeptics' circle. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you a placebo instead.

Part of my job as the host is to adjudicate for you. But... this article is just too deep for my little brain. But, I'm posting it because it's interesting. You'll have to decide if it's right or wrong.

Who's your buddy? PAL M.D. is, that's who! PAL M.D. had a 123 degree fever and was completely delirious when he wrote this article on flu woo.

Will supplements make your kids smarter? I guess you'll have to read this article from Jon at Holford Watch to find out.

Eric is a newbie blogger. He's only got three posts. But he's got a nice little piece. Hopefully he keeps up the blogging.

I'm supposed to triage the posts with the most timely/pertinent postings appearing first... but I broke ranks and listed them in the order they were received. And since I'm not playing favorites...

...last, but certainly not least, we've got submissions from our very own Orac. He's recommended two blog postings from his very own blog. The first is a recent "Friday Dose of Woo" about Magical Water. The next posting is a sad tale of how alternative medicine is basically a death sentence when you have cancer. Sad sad sad.

Next, Orac submits two articles from Dr. Steve Novella's Science Based Medicine blog. Steve is a rock star in the skeptical world and he's putting in unbelievable amounts of time and effort to spread the knowledge. He's recruited only the best to contribute to this blog and the quality of the articles really reflect this. The first article is authored by Steve Novella and it's called Can Magnets Heal?. I'm guessing no.

The second article is by a relative newcomer to the blogging world, Dr. David Gorski. He's a noted surgical oncologist and he's written this article on Woo woo cancer cure claims.

Well, that concludes our little carnival. I hope you made some new skeptical friends this week and enjoyed the articles. Don't forget, in two weeks time, January 31, 2008
The 79th Skeptics' Circle, to be hosted by Podblack Blog. Email her your submissions at podblack@gmail.com

And don't forget to visit http://skepticscircle.blogspot.com