This week in Doubtful News for March 4, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Hill   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00

Here is a rundown of the news stories of the week, fueled by archaic thinking, courtesy of Doubtful News.

Two of the best known Creationists are made waves this week with some rather dubious claims. Did the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate provide the impetus to fund the boondoggle Ark park? If you believe Ham it did. But would you believe Ham? The numbers don't add up.

JREF Gets Mail: Randi's Response to a Catholic Priest PDF Print E-mail
Written by JREF Staff   
Friday, 28 February 2014 12:00
1798440 10152219191390856 1668558611 nWe get mail: a Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago recently sent a veritable love letter to Randi for his decades of good work exposing supernatural fraudsters. It ends with an appeal for JREF staff to convert to Catholicism immediately. he included two objects with the letter: 1. An "Image of the Divine Mercy" (which we are told Jesus gave to St. Faustina Kowalska in pre-WWII Poland) and 2. a medal that he says the Blessed Mother gave to St. Catherine Laboure in LaSallette, France in 1832.
The priest's big point: "The Lord created the you without your consent, but he will not save you without your consent." 
Especially interesting was the talk of Randi's age and how right now is surely the best time for him to finally convert: "Mr. Randi, you doubt so much that I know you must want to believe!"
He also provides some helpful instruction: "Go into a nearby Catholic Church, sit before the Tabernacle (which Catholics believe the Risen Lord Jesus IS Truly, Really, Substantially Present in the Eucharist Host) and open your heart, saying "Lord Jesus, if You are real, give me the grace to believe." Then we are told we can "enter into the Divine Life of the Blessed Trinity!"
Our question is Since when have Catholics become so evangelizing?
We thought you might enjoy reading Randi's response: 
Spirits in the Pub PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Karen Stollznow   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 02:05

Bar staff at one of Britain’s oldest pubs believe they have captured a ghost on their surveillance cameras. The footage, which shows flickering lights and a shadowy figure, was filmed at the Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Bolton. The pub dates back to 1251, and is reputedly haunted by the Seventh Earl of Derby, James Stanley.

Manager Tony Dooley checked the CCTV one morning and discovered that they had stopped recording at 6:18am. “I came down and saw a glass smashed on the floor so I was instantly suspicious and went to check the CCTV and found it has stopped working. We checked the footage and it revealed this figure,” he said to the Manchester Evening News. “To be honest I was a bit concerned - I'm a bit of a sceptic when it comes to ghosts but you become more of a believer when you see things like that.”

Unfortunately, the article doesn’t investigate the video; it only retells the history of the pub in an attempt to support the haunted claims. Here is the video of the alleged ghost.

That old time religion: This week in Doubtful News for February 25, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Hill   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 11:45

It was a really rough week to be a true believer. Here is a rundown of the faith-based and fantasy news courtesy of Doubtful News.

A deranged woman attempts to kill her mother thinking she is the anti-Christ.

Another deranged woman tells police she killed 22 people as a member of a Satanic cult. The Satanists disavow all connections.

Last Week In Science Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harriet Hall   
Monday, 24 February 2014 11:37

Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.

The Canadian National Breast Screening Study ignites a new round in the mammography wars (David Gorski) - This large study compared mammography plus clinical breast exams to usual care in women aged 40-49 and mammography plus clinical breast exams to breast exams alone in women aged 50-59. It found that mammography did not reduce breast cancer mortality; the benefits were offset by overdiagnosis. Nevertheless, Dr. Gorski thinks it would be prudent to stick to current guidelines with perhaps more of a personalized approach to women between the ages of 40 and 49. 

Tylenol May Not Be As Safe and Effective As We Thought  (Harriet Hall) - Britain’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued a 600 page report analyzing the published evidence about Tylenol (acetaminophen or paracetamol) for the relief of pain in osteoarthritis. They initially warned that it should not be used because of serious side effects and low efficacy. After clinicians protested that eliminating acetaminophen would mean using more dangerous drugs, they revised their draft to recommend it as a first-line treatment for osteoarthritis. Tylenol is safer than other pain relievers, but this controversy is a good reminder that all drugs can have side effects.

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