In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, MD, (aka “The SkepDoc”) reviews Joe Schwarcz book entitled, The Right Chemistry: 108 Enlightening, Nutritious, Health-Conscious and Occasionally Bizarre Inquiries into the Science of Everyday Life (Doubleday Canada, 2012, ISBN 9780385671590).
In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. (a.k.a. the SkepDoc) takes a look at antioxidants. What are they? How do they work? How much is enough? What happens when we ingest more antioxidants than we need? Is the excess excreted? Does it just sit there doing nothing? Does it do something we didn’t intend? And, if they’re so good for us, wouldn’t more of them necessarily be better? Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Find out why. This article appeared in Skeptic magazine volume 16, number 4 (2011).
There is certainly no shortage of diet fads and weight loss myths. The plethora of contradictory information can make it difficult for us to distinguish between sound nutrition science and plain old nonsense. In our second review of the year of Gary Taubes’ latest book Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It (read the first review here), Harriet Hall, M.D. (the Skepdoc) advises against jumping on any bandwagons.
In 2007 Skeptic magazine ran an article debunking the myth of the connection between vaccines and autism, and we were hoping that by now this sad tale of pseudoscience would have died a slow death as researchers continue to find no link whatsoever between the two. Sadly that is not the case. In fact, thanks to Playboy model Jenny McCarthy, mother of an autistic child, the myth has gained cultural traction as never before, as she and her partner, the comedian Jim Carrey, make the media rounds and appeal to the heart strings of the public, burying the science in a tsunami of emotion. So we return again to the topic with our SkepDoc, Harriet Hall, M.D., demolishing the myth once and for all.
So much has been written and said about the placebo effect. In this week’s eSkeptic, we thought we should put our SkepDoc on the trail of finding out what is fact and what is myth about placebos and their effects. You will be surprised by some of Dr. Hall’s findings.
Carbon Comic, which appears in Skeptic magazine, is created by Kyle Sanders: a pilot and founder of Little Rock, Arkansas’ Skeptics in The Pub. He is also a cartoonist who authors Carbon Dating: a skeptical comic strip about science, pseudoscience, and relationships. It can be found at carboncomic.com.
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Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?
What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?
Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…