15 Credibility Street #18: Crystal clear consideration of claims

June 16, 2017

I?ve had enough of this nonsense.

News items:

Crystal healing at Edith Cowan Uni in Australia. Kudos to the Australian Skeptics to making their views crystal clear on these bogus claims about healing properties of rocks.

Electrosensitivity UK makes doubtful claims. Electrosensitivity UK is a nonprofit organization that placed advertisements in public places around London claiming ?More and more research is starting to show potential health risks from mobile and cordless phones, WiFi and other electromagnetic fields,? when exactly the opposite is true. Here is a review of such studies from 2012 in ?Electromagnetic sensitivity ? Can?t escape it, but here is the science?. Research since then has shown even more evidence to disregard fear-mongering rhetoric about electronic devices.

Conspiracy claims blossomed in the media regarding the death of Seth Rich. New York magazine has a must-read article on the background. Fox News personality Sean Hannity digs in to defend his hollow reputation for accuracy.

For more on the state of journalism these days, check out this episode of On the Media titled ?The Trouble with Reality?.

The featured discussion this week is about educational outreach promoting critical thinking skills. How can we teach kids and young adults to question the doubtful claims they encounter.

With misinformation coming at us all the time, we must learn to be critical consumers of the media. Where best to start the skill-building but as EARLY as POSSIBLE. I wrote a post based on new research that shows that kids can pick up these skills very naturally. They should be reinforced and rewarded before they are drowned out by evidence-free news-entertainment. I contend that ?Education is the key place we should be focusing efforts?. I speak to Skeptoid Media?s Brian Dunning who is about to launch a big project that aims to reach just that audience.

Principles of Curiosity: The Three C?s. Visit the project website to attend a screening and keep up on the progress.

And that concern about a false vacuum destroying the universe? Don?t worry about it.

This episode is dedicated to our friend who has passed, Shane Brady. We were appreciative of his support.

My Room ? By Shane Brady

Filled with music
Lit by sun
A single desk
Enough for one

No warriors
or even a troll
Reading good people
With whom I roll

Filled with books
Covered in sun
It?s all for me
It?s enough for one

???????-
Additional information or comments can be sent to [email protected] Follow on Twitter: @doubtfulnews

Music courtesy of Cherry Teresa (Intro & Outro) and Joe Fernandez (piano).

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