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NEW EPISODES

The Way of the Mister: Evidence & Change, Parts I and II

In Evidence & Change, Part I below, Brian Dalton asserts that there not only could be evidence of God’s existence, but that — just based upon the Bible itself — there should be mountains of it! But, where is it?!

After Part I was released, a viewer challenged Mr. D to respond to several criticisms, which Mr. D did in the following two videos:

Watch Mr. D’s response, Part I

Watch Mr. D’s response, Part II

Following his two responses to the criticisms of Evidence & Change, Part I, Mr. D asks “When the evidence for your beliefs is lacking, what then?” in this, the second part of Evidence & Change:

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ABOVE: The Fountain of Youth, 1546 painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The media love to hype “Fountain of Youth” claims. Many diverse treatments being promoted as “anti-aging” remedies are not grounded in science, are misleading, and sometimes even illegal. In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. discusses some of the those treatments. This column was originally published in Skeptic magazine 21.4 (2016).

Anti-Aging Claims
The Fountain of Youth is Still Only a Legend

by Harriet Hall, M.D.

The Spanish explorer Ponce de León wasn’t really looking for the Fountain of Youth when he trekked through Florida. That’s only a legend that wasn’t attached to his name until after his death. The idea of anti-aging remedies dates back to at least 3500 BCE, and the hope is alive and well today. Who wouldn’t like to turn back the clock and regain their lost youth? Who wouldn’t want to ward off death?

Longevity clinics have proliferated in recent years. They offer everything from “age optimization services” to “aesthetic facial rejuvenation,” from “youth maintenance” to “hormone optimization,” from supplements to stem cells. The claims they make are not grounded in science; they are misleading and sometimes even illegal. Jerry Mixon, M.D., of the Longevity Medical Clinic in Washington State, was disciplined for improperly diagnosing and treating four patients for growth hormone deficiency after advertising “comprehensive hormone supplementation as an anti-aging remedy.” Many diverse treatments are being promoted as “anti-aging” remedies. What does the scientific evidence say about them?

No currently marketed intervention—none—has yet been proved to slow, stop or reverse human aging, and some can be downright dangerous.

Antioxidants. Eating foods high in antioxidants may help reduce the risk of cancer and other disorders; but there is no good evidence that taking anti-oxidant supplements is helpful, and in some cases it causes harm. There is no evidence that people taking those supplements will live longer or age more slowly.

Hormone treatments include estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, human growth hormone, and diet supplements that claim to increase the body’s production of these hormones. These hormones have legitimate uses for treating diagnosed medical conditions, but they all carry risks and side effects and they do not slow the rate of aging. Estrogens were widely promoted to “keep women young” until studies showed they did more harm than good. Testosterone is being hyped as a cure-all for aging men, but it is useful only for men with diagnosed hormone deficiency. […]

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

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Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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