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Sample the Skeptic's Dictionary

shark cartilage

Powdered shark cartilage has been touted as a cancer cure, especially by William Lane, Ph.D., whose company produces the stuff under the name of BeneFin. Lane has written two books, both with the false claim that sharks don't get cancer in their title. Sharks do get cancer, even cancer of their cartilage. On June 29, 2000, Lane was prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission from claiming "BeneFin or any other shark cartilage product prevents, treats or cures cancer," until he has substantial evidence to support his claims.>>more

sample Mysteries and Science (for kids 9 and up)


In a nutshell: Some natural things are good, but so are some unnatural things, like vaccines. Some natural things are harmful, like poisonous mushrooms. Knowing that something is natural doesn't tell you anything about whether it's good or bad for you.

Many people think that if something is natural it must be good. They might try to have you take a medicine because it's natural. They might even try to get you to not take a medicine because it's not natural. Just remember that some natural things are poisonous, so if a medicine is good for you it isn't good because it's natural. It's good because it does something to make you better. Also, if a medicine is bad for you, it isn't because it's not natural. It's because it does something that makes you worse off.>>more

a blast from the past

Can Science Decide the God Question?

"...belief in an omnipotent omniscient creator of the world does not in itself have any moral implications—it's still up to you to decide whether it is right to obey his commands." --Steven Weinberg

"...if human beings are anything special, we are the creatures that must ponder and talk." --Stephen Jay Gould


In Stephen Jay Gould's 1997 essay "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," he innocently wrote:

The lack of conflict between science and religion arises from a lack of overlap between their respective domains of professional expertise—science in the empirical constitution of the universe, and religion in the search for proper ethical values and the spiritual meaning of our lives. The attainment of wisdom in a full life requires extensive attention to both domains—for a great book tells us that the truth can make us free and that we will live in optimal harmony with our fellows when we learn to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

Then, all hell broke loose.>>more


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