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33 votes
4 answers
23k views

Was the virus which causes COVID-19 made in a Chinese lab?

This idea was discussed in the Washington Times (no longer available at the original site: on archive.org. The article discusses whether SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) could have been ...
Matas Vaitkevicius's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are African Americans victims of a disproportionate number of police killings?

Many people are currently arguing that African Americans are being killed by police disproportionately to their percentage of the US population. An example of the claim is given at Mapping Police ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 9,830
32 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are saturated fats unhealthy?

I've been taught since I was a kid that eating fat is bad for my health. Later on, I found out that unsaturated fats (especially ones containing Omega-3 and Omega-6) are actually good for your health. ...
StackExchange saddens dancek's user avatar
31 votes
1 answer
7k views

Can running a fan while sleeping in a closed room cause death?

It is a widely held belief in South Korea that you can suffocate if you leave a fan running in a closed room while you sleep. Is there any truth or science behind this? (See Wikipedia on Fan Deaths)
jjnguy's user avatar
  • 575
31 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does 5G pose health risks?

Among others, the website RadiationHealthRisks claims: Second, according to experts, because of the shorter length of millimeter waves (MMV) required by 5G to support the bandwidth, these shorter ...
Christian's user avatar
  • 33.8k
31 votes
4 answers
3k views

To what degree do facemasks protect against COVID-19?

I've seen this picture multiple times on social media. Every time I see it, it has numbers that vary wildly, and usually with no source. Examples: Advert for facemasks Twitter comments Actors ...
tuskiomi's user avatar
  • 1,572
31 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the use of parachutes supported by peer-reviewed papers?

While googling about Ben Goldacre, I came across the following reductio ad absurdum argument: Nerd, can you point me to the data that shows that wearing a parachute increases your life expectancy ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 39.1k
31 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Richard Stelling's user avatar
31 votes
1 answer
18k views

Is running the engine for five minutes before driving beneficial for the car?

There is a belief among a lot of people that you should start your car and leave it on for 5 minutes before moving it in the morning. Is this practice good for the car in any significant way, or it is ...
TheTechGuy's user avatar
  • 2,762
30 votes
1 answer
4k views

Did Trump's inauguration draw the largest ever audience to a US inauguration?

Referring to Donald Trump's inauguration, the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, claimed This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the ...
lemon's user avatar
  • 931
30 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Joseph Weissman's user avatar
30 votes
4 answers
3k views

Do magnets have verifiable effects on humans?

Do magnets have statistically significant effects on humans? Some example claims are in the Wikipedia article on Magnet therapy. Which says: Practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of ...
blueberryfields's user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
4k views

Does gender affect driving skill?

Are there any differences in either sex which are provably beneficial and/or detrimental to their driving abilities? Also, is it possible that stereotypical gender roles make any difference in ...
zzzzBov's user avatar
  • 533
29 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is some level of radiation "good for you"?

"With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably ...
Monkey Tuesday's user avatar
28 votes
1 answer
18k views

Does putting an ice pack on an injury reduce swelling?

It has been taught for a long time (and appears to be mainstream "knowledge", such as documented here in Wikipedia) that applying an ice pack to an injury reduces the severity of swelling, and it also ...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
4k views

Are there studies clearly illustrating the great discrepancies in programmer productivity?

There exists a widely held (and frequently asserted) belief that there is a very big (relatively to other professions) discrepancy between the top tier software developers and the non-top-tier. ...
user5341's user avatar
  • 31.3k
28 votes
3 answers
12k views

Does grass alone produce enough oxygen for life?

Over a work happy hour tonight, two employees were talking about their different lifestyles -- one likes riding four wheelers, which the other considers to be recreational pollution. Somehow the fact ...
Hendy's user avatar
  • 21.7k
27 votes
3 answers
12k views

Can blue light from LCD panels cause damage to the eyes?

In Japan there is quite a fad about LCD blue light filtering and how they might help reduce eyestrain, etc. The web site of a major computer accessory manufacturer has an English-language press ...
Ken Y-N's user avatar
  • 2,306
27 votes
1 answer
90k views

Do ion bracelets work?

I recently came across a new kind of sports enhancement bracelet. Apparently it emits positive ions that are good for you. The bracelet is also a watch. There are credible scientific studies on ...
Tjaart's user avatar
  • 1,378
27 votes
2 answers
26k views

Did a plane hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001?

Is it possible that a plane hit the side of the pentagon, but did not even scuff up the grass? There are some claims of other anomalies that don't quite match the idea of a plane hitting there; like ...
geoff's user avatar
  • 713
27 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is HIV the cause of AIDS?

"If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such ...
user avatar
26 votes
1 answer
7k views

Are some laundry detergents better than others?

As we were looking for laundry detergent yesterday, I noted that my wife was quite swayed by brand reputation/impressions than price. She stated that she didn't think one type of detergent really ...
Hendy's user avatar
  • 21.7k
26 votes
1 answer
3k views

Were 3 million votes cast by non-citizens in the 2016 US presidential election?

Various websites are repeating the claim in this tweet, which says: Completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registrations. Number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million. ...
user21795's user avatar
  • 1,111
25 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do weather changes affect arthritis?

My father always claims he knows when a storm is coming by the pain in his knee. It turns out he might not be as crazy as I thought. Many people with arthritis report varying pain levels as a result ...
Patches's user avatar
  • 8,152
25 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the human menstrual cycle related to the lunar cycle?

I've heard that the female menstrual cycle follows a pattern of the lunar cycle, mostly as an evolutionary adaptation so that menstruation (and hence detectability by predators because of the smell of ...
Brian M. Hunt's user avatar
25 votes
1 answer
17k views

Was there a giant red-haired race in North America?

The other day, I saw a show on the History channel about "giant skeletons" being found in North America. It also said that, for some reason, these findings have been hidden from people, maybe due to ...
isJustMe's user avatar
  • 2,510
25 votes
5 answers
7k views

Is Soy bad for you?

The internet is full with stories about how soy contains phytoestrogenes, how the protein is actually not readily used by our bodies etc. I especially remember quite a long rant in Tim Ferriss's ...
Lagerbaer's user avatar
  • 12.3k
25 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is a coin toss fair?

I've just seen a referee use a coin toss to decide who will start a match which got me thinking, coins aren't perfectly symmetric. Our euro coins have the value on one side, a country specific image ...
Carra's user avatar
  • 1,971
25 votes
5 answers
12k views

Were babies found with their heads decapitated in Israel after the Hamas attack?

According to this tweet by CNN, The Israel Prime Minister spokesman just confirmed babies and toddlers were found with their "heads decapitated" in Kfar Aza in southern Israel after Hamas ...
Evan Carroll's user avatar
  • 30.6k
25 votes
1 answer
32k views

Does home-WiFi expose you to less radiation than using the 3G on your cell-phone?

Are there any studies that compare WiFi and cellular data usage, in the home, over time? Mainly I've heard that WiFi uses more battery (so it should emit more radiation) but OTOH it feels like 3G/...
Macke's user avatar
  • 520
24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are 95% of Ashley Madison dating site's accounts male?

The hackers who procured and recently published Ashley Madison's internal databases, the so-called "Impact Team," have claimed that the accounts in the databases were predominantly, in fact "90-95%" ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
13k views

Has 99% of the western continental Europe banned water fluoridation?

I keep seeing this claim about the unpopularity of water fluoridation parroted. Despite dental pressure, 99% of western continental Europe has rejected, banned, or stopped fluoridation due to ...
Evan Carroll's user avatar
  • 30.6k
24 votes
3 answers
8k views

Do 80% of gender-dysphoric children grow up deciding not to change their gender?

A Wall Street Journal article makes the following claim: ... a high percentage—up to 80% in a study of 44 gender-dysphoric boys—grow up to be not transgender, but bisexual, gay or lesbian ...
David says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
24 votes
4 answers
54k 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 ...
endolith's user avatar
  • 3,299
22 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the Obama administration halt processing of Iraqi refugees back in 2011?

From "Muslim ban" hypocrisy: Left quiet when Obama also halted visas by Andrew Bolt: But why was the Left silent when the Obama administration refused to issue visas to Iraqis for six months? ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 39.1k
22 votes
1 answer
7k views

Is rape a crime about violence and power, or a crime of passion?

Adam Carolla, from the popular radio show Loveline, and in the Guiness Records for the most downloaded podcast of all time made the following claim (1 min mark): rape is not a sexual crime, you ...
user1873's user avatar
  • 8,949
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

6-meals-a-day strategy

It is commonly suggested, in the body building world, that the following eating strategy rises metabolism and inhibits the production of fat tissue: Eat a substantial meal every 2 to 3 hours (six ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
  • 78.7k
22 votes
1 answer
3k views

Has Noah's ark been discovered in Turkey?

I found this website claiming that noah's ark has been found. Is there any archaeological or historical evidence to support or deny this claim? Related Question: Could a Great Flood have happened?
Dale's user avatar
  • 653
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do fruit/vegetable washes effectively remove pesticides?

Is there any evidence to suggest that commercially available fruit/vegetable washes can effectively remove pesticides from produce? Here are some example claims: Veggie Wash uses natural cleaners ...
InquilineKea's user avatar
  • 1,069
21 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do high-fat diets causes heart disease?

This article in The Guardian alleges that the nutritional science establishment has spent the last 4 decades claiming that fatty diets cause heart disease when in fact sugar is largely to blame. The ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
  • 16.6k
21 votes
3 answers
999 views

Does Roundup harm mammals?

In the anti-GMO debate, it is frequently suggested that the use of Glyphosate (trade name: Roundup) on Roundup-ready GMO crops causes environmental harm. Example claim: Natural News Monsanto's ...
DrinkJavaCodeJava's user avatar
21 votes
7 answers
2k views

Can a society become unhappier with an increase in wealth?

People like to claim that less developed countries are happier, because they live the simple life and stronger family ties. We've all heard the saying: Money can't buy you happiness. Which is easy ...
Kit Sunde's user avatar
  • 18.6k
21 votes
3 answers
9k views

Man using "water as fuel" for a welding machine? (H₂O → "HHO")?

I saw a while back a YouTube video that appears to show a news report of a man who patented technology to turn water into "HHO". The video makes some big claims — 161 km (100 mi.) on 0.1 L (4 ...
SeanKilleen's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
2k views

Ultrasound pest control devices

A couple times I've seen advertised on TV and in supermarkets electronic devices that allegedly irritate all sort of insects and rodents, such as mosquitoes, mice, and rats, forcing them away from the ...
deprecated's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Do you feel pain in a life-threatening situation?

Let's say you are in a war-situation, and both you and your opponent are out of bullets. When I was in the army, I learned that the most efficient way to kill your opponent would be to kick him in the ...
Painkiller's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do airplanes release biological or chemical agents, forming trails?

Since the topic of the week is conspiracy theories, here's one that I've had re-iterated at me a few times. Supposedly these white stripes after airplanes is created by airplanes releasing biological ...
Kit Sunde's user avatar
  • 18.6k
20 votes
1 answer
18k views

Does eating greasy foods 'help soak up alcohol'?

I've heard that eating greasy foods while drinking or while hungover is good because it helps 'soak up the alcohol'. This is common advice it seems while drinking. Is there any truth to it?
GBa's user avatar
  • 1,561
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does hydraulic fracking endanger the drinking water supply?

According to an industry website the process of Hydraulic Fracturing (or "fracking") is safe. According to an article in the Huffington Post the process is not safe. At least, there is evidence the ...
user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
5k views

Does wifi stunt cress growth?

A couple of weeks ago there were reports of an experiment by schoolchildren that appears to demonstrate that wifi router radiation adversely affects cress. There's been time now for the leading ...
Ken Y-N's user avatar
  • 2,306
19 votes
1 answer
11k views

Is it possible to do the things Derren Brown does with just psychology or linguistic suggestion?

Edit2: I'm revising the question again. Please note that I am not talking about card tricks like THIS. I'm talking about specific examples below which are at least portrayed as far more complex, ...
Hendy's user avatar
  • 21.7k

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