There's a lack of reason this season: This week in Doubtful News for December 10, 2013

Here is a rundown of the anti-science, pro-superstition stories of the week courtesy of Doubtful News.

A number of themes emerged in the news this week in the U.S. and around the world. First, vaccines. As the CDC released a statement about the return of measles in the U.S. a new study estimated that the country experienced 103 million fewer cases of preventable illnesses thanks to vaccines. Meanwhile, chalk this up to ignorance or need to revive ratings with sensationalism, Katie Couric gets backlash for anti-vaccine program.

Treatment of serious illness is hampered in areas of Africa due to superstition. Pentecostal ministers are advising patients to reject their HIV medicines for prayer.  Doctors in Tanzania are seeing religious beliefs interfere with medical treatments as well.

Two examples of how NOT to do inquiry. Two amateur archaeologists attempt to prove their silly theory by vandalizing an Egyptian pyramid  

Ghost hunters in Gettysburg are detained by police when they are caught poking around a business at night.

Gettysburg is one of the most "haunted" places in the U.S. but it will soon be usurped by Ground Zero in NYC. TheFreedom Tower moans in the wind with a ghostly sound And the twisted metal even has a frozen face. Creepy.

Exorcism preys on the innocent as seen in these two stories: The death of a 2 yr old in Malaysia earns perpetrators jail time. A rapist in France is jailed for crimes described to be part of an exorcism. Horrendous stuff.

Paranormal writer and prolific author Colin Wilson died at the age of 82.

The media loves stories about aliens, even if they have to hype it as a completely off-base idea having to do with grey big headed spindly creatures. Because bacteria is boring, I guess.

The biggest weird hoax of the week was played on people in Bristol harbor in the U.K. as they filmed a luminescent underwater creature. Anymore, we always must consider that it may be for a TV show.

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Hey, it's the holiday season. What better gift to give then books! We have a book recommendations page for a selection of the best skeptical picks to add to your library or give to others.

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