Skeptical Thoughts

21st December 2020

Here are the topics I chose to talk about on RadioLive for the week. Some of them may not have been mentioned on the radio due to a lack of time.


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  • Crystal Healing that works?

    In one of our Facebook groups this week there was a recent discussion started by Donald Pettitt about his visit to a “crystal healer” to help with issues he’s been having with his balance:

    3 min read, 550 words. Continue Reading...

    Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Alternative Medicine, Crystals

  • Does anyone know what Dark DNA is?

    Retraction Watch have written a nice summary of the year in retractions for The Scientist magazine. Unsurprisingly many of the scientific articles that have been retracted this year are on the topic of COVID-19, but there was one that caught my eye from the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences titled:

    4 min read, 756 words. Continue Reading...

    Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Mystery, DNA, Dark Matter

  • Glittery Just Desserts

    As Skeptics we're not very fond of scammers, and we often try to protect the public from those who would rip them off with dodgy devices and ineffective products. The video below documents a feat of engineering, a device that targets the problem in the US of people who steal people's parcels - and it targets them in a pretty funny way. Although theft is not really a scam, it's still enjoyable to see unethical people get their comeuppance - and it's mentioned later on in the video that this device has also recently been used against scammers. And to be honest, I needed a good excuse to share this video!

    1 min read, 115 words. Continue Reading...

    Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Scam, Glitter

  • A Sikh Visit

    I mentioned three weeks ago that I was going to visit the Ancient Mystical Order of Rosicrucians, and I can report that I survived the meeting intact. My friend Tim and I had a great chat with three of the group’s members about their beliefs, and about the history of the organisation. Much of what we heard sounded very familiar, with an organisational structure that reminded me of Scientology (making your way up the “Bridge”) and a belief in visualisation that was akin to Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret”, where if you imagine something enough it will come true for you.

    2 min read, 258 words. Continue Reading...

    Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Religion, Sikhism, Evangelicals

  • We have our own Monolith

    In the news this morning, it’s been reported that our very own New Zealand monolith has appeared at Adventure Park in Christchurch. I’d love to think that this monolith could stay until I get a chance to visit it, but given that the original monolith mysteriously disappeared, and that a bunch of young Christians destroyed a similar monolith in California and replaced it with a cross, I worry that our version may not last long.

    1 min read, 140 words. Continue Reading...

    Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Mystery, Monolith