Don’t Get Too Excited About the Coronavirus Vaccine
Nov 11, 2020

By Aaron E. Carroll and Nicholas Bagley The announcement that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 percent effective at preventing Covid-19 infections — much better than many anticipated — is cause for celebration. With a vaccine of this efficacy, suppression of the disease is entirely realistic. Unfortunately, this development doesn’t mean we can all relax and …

‘My faith is shaken’: The QAnon conspiracy theory faces a post-Trump identity crisis
Nov 10, 2020 · 1 

By Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg President Trump’s election loss and the week-long silence of “Q,” the QAnon movement’s mysterious prophet, have wrenched some believers into a crisis of faith, with factions voicing unease about their future or rallying others to stay calm and “trust the plan.” The uncertainty has been compounded by the abrupt …

James Randi, Magician Who Debunked Paranormal Claims, Dies at 92
Oct 22, 2020 · 1 

By Margalit Fox James Randi, a MacArthur award-winning magician who turned his formidable savvy to investigating claims of spoon bending, mind reading, fortunetelling, ghost whispering, water dowsing, faith healing, U.F.O. spotting and sundry varieties of bamboozlement, bunco, chicanery, flimflam, flummery, humbuggery, mountebankery, pettifoggery and out-and-out quacksalvery, as he quite often saw fit to call them, …

QAnon and Other Conspiracies
Sep 9, 2020

By Steven Novella I previously wrote that the flat Earth movement is the mother of all conspiracies – it essentially is the ultimate conspiracy in that, if you believe that the world is actually flat then you also have to believe that there has been a massive conspiracy involving millions of people all of the …

Grant Imahara, host of ‘MythBusters’ and ‘White Rabbit Project,’ has died
Jul 14, 2020

By Joe Sutton and Hollie Silverman Grant Imahara, host of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” and Netflix’s “White Rabbit Project,” has died, according to a statement from the Discovery Channel. He was 49 years old. The host was known in Hollywood for his work in electronics and animatronics. “We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about …

Perhaps More Than Ever – Truth Matters
Jun 10, 2020

By Steven Novella The following quote from a recent address to graduating student resonated with me: “What’s become clear is that social media can also be a tool to spread conflict, divisions, and falsehoods, to bully people and promote hate,” he said. “Too often, it shuts us off from each other instead of bringing us …

The Prophecies of Q
May 26, 2020 · 2 

By Adrienne LaFrance If you were an adherent, no one would be able to tell. You would look like any other American. You could be a mother, picking leftovers off your toddler’s plate. You could be the young man in headphones across the street. You could be a bookkeeper, a dentist, a grandmother icing cupcakes …

No Benefit from Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19
May 18, 2020

By Steven Novella In March Trump tweeted: “HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You!” He has continued to support this untested drug since, turning what should have been a minor footnote in …

The Nobel Disease: When Intelligence Fails To Protect Against Irrationality
May 12, 2020 · 2 

By Candice Basterfield, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Shawna M. Bowes, and Thomas H. Costello No scientific award is more coveted than the Nobel Prize. In the eyes of the public, this prize, especially in the three traditional science categories of chemistry, physics, and physiology or medicine, is virtually synonymous with scientific brilliance. At the same time, …

Here’s A Running List Of The Latest Hoaxes Spreading About The Coronavirus
Mar 17, 2020 · 1 

By Jane Lytvynenko An outbreak of the novel coronavirus around the globe has spawned countless online rumors and hoaxes, promising false cures and causing panic amid uncertainty. BuzzFeed News is keeping a running list of debunked hoaxes. For a previous list of debunks from when the outbreak started, go here. Before passing on any online rumor, …

Herbals Don’t Work for Weight Loss
Feb 21, 2020 · 1 

By Steven Novella One of the frustrating things I encounter as a practicing physician is listening to patients describe how they are motivated to improve their health, and then list all the things they are doing, none of which will improve their health. I am eating organic, taking probiotics, taking supplements, and “eating clean.” They …

The Broken Promise of Gwyneth Paltrow’s “The Goop Lab”
Feb 5, 2020 · 1 

By Daniel Albert Joslyn It is perhaps unsurprisingly rare for anyone to talk about Goop, New Agers, and the world of wellness as offering trenchant critiques of neoliberal capitalism. But let’s try. Netflix’s The Goop Lab (TGL), for the uninitiated (or those deaf to the waterfall of controversy surrounding it), is a series that features employees of actress-turned-New-Age-entrepreneur Gwenyth …