All Questions

30
votes
2answers
3k views

Shroud of Turin — is it absolutely and definitively debunked?

A little context on this famous myth: The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with ...
29
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a deep, hot biosphere?

Thomas Gold claims that oil is not aging vegetal or animal matter, but rather made continously from bacteria deep in the Earth's mantle (a 'deep hot biosphere') so that we would effectively never have ...
28
votes
5answers
4k views

Are there fewer accidental deaths at nuclear power plants than others?

I have seen the stats on this website saying that the number of death caused by nuclear accidents was way smaller then those caused by any other energy production factory. Do you have any information, ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Feminism and Attitude Towards Pornography

Some sociologists have claimed that there is significant disagreement among feminists regarding pornography. There are disagreements among academics working in Women's Studies and Sociology, but ...
16
votes
1answer
977 views

Are elections bad for the economy?

Since 2008, whenever the possibly of an election is brought up, the Conservative Party of Canada repeats the same point: elections are bad for the economy. For example, here's an excerpt of Jim ...
25
votes
1answer
20k views

Does solving Sudoku puzzles improve your mental abilities?

A lot of people I know see solving Sudoku puzzles as a way to train their minds. howtoincreasememorypower.com recommends doing a Sudoku puzzle a day to increase brain power. Researchers rank ...
20
votes
1answer
14k views

Do we lose 7 pounds when we die?

I often hear people claim that it is a fact that humans lose seven pounds when they die. Some people believe that this is 'proof' of the existence of the 'soul'. Is there any truth to this claim? I ...
103
votes
3answers
42k views

Do coal plants release more radiation than nuclear power plants?

As a response to the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant I've heard the claim that fossil-fuel power plants using coal release more radiation than a nuclear power plant. I searched for some ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Kobe Bryant jump over a car?

There is a YouTube video that went viral about a sports star, Kobe Bryant, jumping over an Aston Martin. I'm really skeptical that his management would let him attempt that, but is there any evidence ...
87
votes
2answers
20k views

Does polyphasic sleep work? Does it have long-term or short-term side effects?

Cutting sleep down to 6, or 4, or 2 hours per day sounds fantastic. It also sounds like something that should have evolved naturally if it were possible. From the Polyphasic Society: Humans are ...
15
votes
3answers
844 views

Can submerging into water be used to replace defibrillation?

Many years ago I saw an episode of ER where there was a person who suddenly experienced some heart rhythm problems in the hospital. There was a qualified doctor nearby and a defibrillator, but the ...
25
votes
1answer
46k views

Is there a risk of drowning if you fall asleep in the bath?

Are there any documented events of people drowning in slippery baths after falling asleep? I've tried to Google it but wasn't able to find anything. Probably just used wrong terms, or maybe there ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

Does addictive behavior exist?

There are widespread claims that you can get addicted to video games, shopping, internet, whatever, even sex. Not merely "like it very much", but addicted, as in addicted to alcohol. According to ...
31
votes
1answer
8k views

Can HAARP affect weather or earthquakes?

Project HAARP is a favorite target of conspiracy theorists. It has been blamed for causing the Haiti earthquake, the recent Japanese earthquake and many, many other events. The High Frequency ...
69
votes
5answers
6k views

Is gun control effective?

I have seen numerous arguments about gun control, in the sense of laws restricting gun ownership or possession, and whether widespread gun possession affects crime rates, and each side is happy to ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Do people exposed to high levels of radiation pose any risk to their children or other individuals?

An article from the Los Angeles Times regarding the concerns of individuals who live near the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant that appeared in my local newspaper this morning contained this interesting ...
2
votes
1answer
602 views

Studies on reincarnation of Ian Stevenson

Some people claim that reincarnation is "scientific", since there were scientific studies of reincarnation. They refer especially to Ian Stevenson's reseach. Is this still considered "scientific"? ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Does standardized testing cause ADHD?

I hear students, parents, and -- some -- teachers pull this claim all the time: standardized tests causes a rise in ADHD in children. I know Sir Ken Robinson mentioned something like that in one of ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

Are we eating too many carbs? And do we need to switch to the primal/paleo diet?

TL;DR Accepted knowledge is that high carb low fat diet is good. Paleo diet says opposite, the claims seem solid for the Paleo diet but I am still skeptical as Science seems to think that ...
151
votes
5answers
30k views

Was Einstein a poor student?

I've heard this repeatedly over the years, that Einstein was bad at math, that he was bad at history, that he was dyslexic. I also read somewhere in my youth that some of the " bad at math" stuff was ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

Can Jim Berkland predict earthquakes?

Jim Berkland claims that he can predict earthquakes. Can he or other people predict earthquakes better than chance?
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Did a NASA study show that arsenic-based bacteria are possible?

A while ago a NASA funded study claimed that they could get bacteria to incorporate arsenic into their DNA. Life forms based on different elements than life on earth have been speculated about in ...
30
votes
1answer
5k views

Are more crimes committed during a full moon?

It is a common belief that more crime is committed during a full moon. I rationalised this by assuming criminals used the increased moon light to aid them in their criminal activities with out really ...
30
votes
2answers
20k views

Pirates with a prosthetic hook: Lore or Truth?

Was it common practice for pirates to replace a lost hand with a prosthetic hook? Or was this lore perpetrated by fiction and Hollywood? It does seem like a reasonable choice, since a hook is a ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Telling the difference between anabolic steroid use vs dieting and exercise

A lot of seemingly busy celebrities have rather well developed muscles, at least better than mine. So my question is: Is it possible to tell the difference simply by looking at pictures between ...
36
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the G-Spot exist?

There's a lot of talk in magazines about a woman's G-Spot. But does it exist? Or is it a trick to keep men searching?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Can carbon in hair be proven to originate from corn?

I recently watched the film King Corn. The filmmakers had their hair tested to determine how much of the carbon originated from corn. They estimated that over 50% of the carbon in their hair was ...
24
votes
1answer
10k views

Do you need to twist a tick out counter-clockwise?

I was told many times when I was little that if you don't twist ticks counter-clockwise and instead just jerk them out, the head goes into your bloodstream and can be dangerous. It wasn't until ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Insects as food: Is it feasible for humans to replace traditional “livestock” meat with insects?

I have heard of some benefits of insects as food, but are there any drawbacks? I've never heard of a human culture whose primary protein intake came exclusively from insects. Would someone ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Meditation - Is it just spiritual practice or something more?

Meditation is tightly associated with religious practices, but beside that it may be practiced for many other reasons, such as to increase calmness and physical relaxation, to improve psychological ...
12
votes
1answer
539 views

Can big earthquakes trigger a domino effect?

Can one earthquake trigger another? For instance, the quake in New Zealand, then the one in China and finally the big one in Japan. This does not count aftershocks, but separate earthquakes in ...
91
votes
5answers
10k views

Are women underpaid relative to men?

Many articles, such as this one, report a significant wage gap between men and women of 15% or more as evidence of discrimination. On the other hand, some sources, such as this one, claim that the gap ...
62
votes
4answers
9k views

Is the death penalty an effective deterrent?

There is a lot of clutter from anti-death penalty sites, which makes it hard to find all the research. They often cite statistics like those explained in this website, including the chart below that ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What formal education did L Ron Hubbard have?

There are various claims that L. Ron Hubbard (the creator of Scientology) had degrees and doctorates. What formal education and qualifications did he have?
34
votes
1answer
2k views

Is potassium iodide useful in preventing the harmful effects of radiation?

The Los Angeles Times reports sales of Geiger counters and potassium iodide in the United States are skyrocketing: Sales of Geiger counters and potassium iodide supplements that can block some ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there any real benefit in the everyday use of surgical masks to protect oneself from radiation?

A lot of pictures from Japan showing radiation testing with patients wearing surgical masks. The impression one gets is that they must think it is protecting them, in some way. Is this a legitimate ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

Can locally produced honey help to build an immunity to hayfever?

I suffer quite badly in the summer months with hayfever and I've been told by numerous people that eating a spoonful of locally produced honey a day in the months leading up to summer will help me ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Crystal glassware contains lead. What health advice are reasonable?

This article describes why crystal glasses (made from lead crystal) contain lead. Do the safety rules at the bottom of the article seem reasonable? Or is this excessive? If crystal glassware ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Classical music in public places: does it affect violence?

This article explains some British experience on playing classical music in public places and the effect on behaviour of people. It seems that the feeling (was it measured?) was that it prevented ...
28
votes
2answers
16k views

Does music affect the growth of plants?

According to a very old study plants that “listen” to music have a better growth than other plants. For her next experiment, Mrs. Retallack used two chambers (and fresh plants). She placed radios ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Methadone - remedy that cures or drug that kills?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid. It is prescribed to dependent users of heroin and other opioids as a substitute for these drugs. Methadone is approved for different indications in different countries....
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a fungus or other parasites turn a high order animal into a zombie that carries out specific actions?

The discovery of several new ant zombie fungi got a lot of media attention over the last two weeks. The fungi take hold over ants and cause them to carry out specific actions beneficial to the ...
11
votes
0answers
2k views

In the economic crisis of 2008, were some companies truly “too big to fail”?

During the first of the half of the current economic crisis, some companies began to collapse due to the subprime mortgage crisis or from the cascading economic damage that it entailed. A danger was ...
25
votes
4answers
45k views

Does homeopathic zinc (Zicam) help with the common cold?

I'm sick, and my friend had me buy store brand Zicam to help with it. Looking at the bottle after taking it, I thought the ingredients were written strangely. "Zincum Aceticum 2x", it says, when I ...
44
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the scientifically established effects of Daylight Saving Time?

Since the US recently went on to DST, I thought it'd be appropriate to ask this: I've heard many claims made about DST, ranging from "It saves electricity" to "It balances out daylight hours" to "It ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Does offshoring ultimately help the offshoring-country's poor and middle classes?

Are claims about the positive economic effects of offshore outsourcing for the poor and middle class of the outsourcing country verifiable? The main argument for Offshore Outsourcing, is the common ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a “second Chernobyl” happen at the nuclear reactors damaged by the tsunami in Japan?

In the media, you hear predictions that the events in the damaged nuclear power plants could be "the next Chernobyl", but this sounds like hyperbole to me. Are the events at those nuclear reactors ...
15
votes
2answers
7k views

Does gas training simulate altitude training?

I think the benefits of altitude training are well known, but a popular trend (especially in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)) is simulating altitude training with a gas mask or other device to restrict ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Has there ever been a case of a Manchurian-Candidate-style sleeper agent?

Pretty popular in fiction is the sleeper agent who is "activated" by a particular phrase, picture, or sound, and who then carries out a pretty complex mission or terroristic act. Are there any real ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Does celery help you lose weight?

I have often heard people say that celery will help weight loss because digesting it consumes more calories than is contained in celery itself. Is this true and, if so, is the weight loss significant?...

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