Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Yet another worthless acupuncture study?

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 22, 2009

Another acupuncture study has come out showing that acupuncture appears to” decrease the number and distress of hot flushes in men receiving castrational treatment for prostate cancer“. I don’t have access to the actual study (hence the question mark on the title) so I will have to rely on what is briefly reported here.

The researchers tested the effects of traditional acupuncture (TA) and electrostimulated acupuncture (EA) in 31 such men, who were randomized to receive one of these treatments for 12 weeks. TA consisted of 12 needle points; EA consisted of 12 needle points, of which four were electrostimulated.

Twenty-nine patients completed the study. The number of hot flushes per 24 hours decreased significantly with treatment

First the sample size is too small. Maybe good for a pilot study but I think it’s way too small to be able to come to any conclusions either way, pro or con. Second, it appears there was no control group, the participants were simply divided in two groups and each group received one of the treatments. Controlling for the placebo effect is very important, especially given the recent studies showing that “real” acupuncture and sham acupuncture work just the same.

Especially if you’re going to claim that it is “in line with or better than medical regimens for these symptoms,”. I don’t buy this. If anyone can get their hands on the PDF and e-mail it to me at I would appreciate that very much.

Illinois moment of silence ruled unconstitutional

Posted in News by Skepdude on January 22, 2009


A federal judge has ruled that a state law requiring a moment of silence in public schools across Illinois is unconstitutional, saying it crosses the line separating church and state.

“The statute is a subtle effort to force students at impressionable ages to contemplate religion,” U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman said in his ruling Wednesday.

The ruling came in a lawsuit designed to bar schools from enforcing the Illinois Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. It was filed by talk show host Rob Sherman, an outspoken atheist, and his daughter, Dawn, a high school student.

Gettleman’s ruling was not a surprise. He had already ruled in favor of Sherman in two previous decisions.

As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the law allows students to reflect on the day’s activities rather than pray if that is their choice and defenders have said it therefore doesn’t force religion on anyone.

But Gettleman backed critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union, who say the law is a thinly disguised effort to bring religion into the schools.


University comes back to its senses

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 22, 2009

At least one of them did. University of Salford (UK I believe) has decided to stop giving alternative medicine courses in accupuncture and complementary medicine because they are  “no longer considered “a sound academic fit“.” It should never have been considered a sound fit in the first place, but what can you do. Better late then never!

Company sells devices to help UFOs avoid wind turbines.

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 22, 2009

So what’s the best way to avoid nonexisting aliens spacecraft from hitting our wind turbines at night? Little magic balls of course! But they only work if the UFO has a radar. You’d think someone who’s masterd interstellar flight would have mustered the technology to avoid hitting a freaking wind turbine, but no apparently they need help from us. Go figure.

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Amazing psychic infant

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 22, 2009

I think this person is misguided. How else can you explain such statements about their 6 week old child?

She is such a powerful little being, I sensed her presence several months before I became pregnant with her. 


On the day she was born she looked straight into my eyes, wide eyed and alert and I knew she chose me to be her mother.  Why, I am not 100% sure because I am only just beginning to understand the psychic abilities of my otherchildren and this little girl seems to be the most psychic yet.


I have noticed on a daily basis that she scans my energy and in recent days she has been looking over my left shoulder and having a conversation with someone.  I can feel his presence, Archangel Michael


She has already designed her plan for how we would meet her needs

Wow! I know we all have big plans for our little ones and see greatness in them, but this is taking it a little over board, don’t you think?



Win a date with Sylvia Browne

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 22, 2009

Get a load of this. You can win a free psychic reading with Sylvia Browne. Remember her? No? Well here’s how this website describes her amazing powers:

For 17 years, millions of people witnessed the power of Sylvia Browne’s psychic readings on The Montel Williams Show. In fact, psychic Sylvia Browne’s predictions are so amazing, there is a 7 year waiting list to get a psychic reading with her.

In fact her predictions are so amazing, they promted this segmet on Anderson Cooper:

Oh yes amazing indeed. By the way she claims she can’t be correct 100% of the time. I have an idea, why not do good on her promise to take Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge. I can pretty much guarantee he will not require 100% accuracy. Here’s proof of her accepting to take the challenge (which she’s has yet to take).

That was 8 years ago folks. 8 years! And her excuse is that she couldn’t get in touch with Randi. I sent Randi an e-mail a while ago and he answered to me personally within the hour. And he didn’t even know who I was. By the way great job Larry King who couldn’t even follow up on his promise of being the intermediary.