Category Archives: Skepticism

Testing, testing . . . .

In his book Bad Science, columnist and psychiatrist Ben Goldacre presents the following simple problem. (I have modified it a bit, but the basic idea is the same.) I have a deck of 100 index cards. On one side of … Continue reading

Posted in Crank science, Science and Medicine, Skepticism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Yipee! We’re gonna live a thousand years. No. Wait.

“We don’t know how old the first person who will live to 150 is today, but the first person to live to 1,000 is almost certainly less than 20 years younger.” Gerontologist Aubrey de Grey as quoted by Peter Singer, … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Medicine, Skepticism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The “science can’t . . . ” gambit

So you’ve demolished the arguments advanced by your woo-loving religious adversary: astrology trashed; homeopathy shredded; creationism flushed. But then your opponent’s eyes light up and a wry smile crosses his lips. You know what’s coming, don’t you? “Science may have … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism and Religion, Crank science, Religion, Science and Medicine, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

How not to make money at a casino — or watch that denominator!

First, be assured, there is a sure-fire method for making money at a casino, but you’ll have to wait until (or skip ahead to) the end of the blog. The associated problem of how not to make money at roulette … Continue reading

Posted in Chance, Mathematics and Logic, Probability, Skepticism, Statistics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

And here I was, trying to do the right thing

I just ran across three dismaying accusations against me and my fellow non-believers. Here I have been trying to live a moral life, and it suddenly turns out that all this time I’ve been a shifty, anti-intellectual devil worshipper, bent … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism and Religion, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Post-morbid effects of retro-active intercessory prayer

Does it help to pray for seriously ill patients? The results of well-designed clinical trials of intercessory prayer generally say no. But a not-so-recent study published by the British Medical Journal (22 December, 2001) brought a new twist to the … Continue reading

Posted in Hoaxes, Religion, Science and Medicine, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faster-than-light neutrinos update

Two months ago, I commented on the report by physicists at Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy who claimed they had observed neutrinos travelling faster than light. I pointed out that in real science (as opposed to crank science) anomalous … Continue reading

Posted in Crank science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment