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88
votes
3answers
8k views

Does a car with a hybrid engine and Lithium batteries pollute more than a car with conventional technology?

You hear a lot of claims that, once you include manufacturing and battery replacement, hybrids pollute more than an efficient, more conventional engine. Are there any end-to-end studies measuring any ...
18
votes
1answer
636 views

Does echinacea reduce the length and severity of symptoms for the common cold?

Echinacea bottles at my local food supplement store claim that taking the pills will reduce the length and severity of symptoms experienced when infected with the common cold. Do these claims have ...
42
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it dangerous to have several vaccines at the same time?

As a parent, I often hear people say that they think it's bad for their children to have several vaccines in one go. Some parents pay for some vaccines to be given separately, and I wondered if there ...
22
votes
1answer
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 ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Can toddlers learn sign language?

The other day came across a commercial of a 'course for sign language' for infants and toddlers. I was a bit sceptical from the start and my suspicions only rose, then I discovered that there is what ...
25
votes
6answers
4k views

Do organisms have electromagnetic fields?

I doubt that organisms have electromagnetic (EM) fields. If we did have such a field, then we would certainly be susceptible to having electric currents induced in us by stronger EM fields. Or worse, ...
41
votes
3answers
3k views

Can microwaved water explode?

Some time ago I read a warning that microwaved water can "explode" under certain circumstances. There was one case as an example where someone heated water in the microwave, took it out and then it "...
13
votes
1answer
563 views

Have any “blockages” ever been observed in the body's EM field?

Crystal healing techniques speak of blockages in the body's electromagnetic field. Electromagnetic fields can usually be measured and observed. So, it seems to me, if a body's electromagnetic field ...
14
votes
3answers
478 views

Do products that contain antioxidants have any value over products that do not?

There are a wide variety of food, health, and beauty products that boast containing Antioxidants in order to convince consumers to buy them. Is there any scientific data that backs-up the need for ...
45
votes
3answers
4k views

Should a healthy adult take a daily multi-vitamin?

Is there any reason for a healthy adult to take a daily multi-vitamin? My intuition tells me that an adult eating a healthy and balanced diet will get all of the nutrients she needs and that taking a ...
38
votes
5answers
39k views

How dangerous is a broken compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)?

The energy-saving compact fluorecent lamps (CFLs) contain some amount of mercury. If they break, it might be released. I've heard claims that they are really dangerous, and claims that the amount of ...
30
votes
1answer
67k views

What happens when you mix Lysol and bleach?

My mother just forwarded an email to all her contacts (thanks, mom), warning us of the dangers of mixing Lysol and bleach together. Here's most the content, translated from French: Bleach and Lysol,...
32
votes
2answers
8k views

Is alcohol a good enough pain killer to allow for surgery without the patient noticing?

Some urban legends and myths revolve around surgery occurring to a person who has had too much to drink. Is it possible to, as a side effect of the patient drinking too much, reach a point where ...
37
votes
5answers
2k views

Are bees disappearing and why?

According to the web site of the film Vanishing of the Bees: Bees are dying in their billions. In the UK, around one fifth of honeybee hives were lost in the winter of 2008/2009. Is there evidence ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How reliable is the research behind the flu-vaccine?

There is significant noise claiming that flu shots are largely ineffective, especially against new strains of the flu (see, for example, this site). Both the arguments for, and against, flu shots, ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to influence the sex of a baby by controlling the mothers' diet?

Can a mother decide whether a baby will be born male or female through careful control of her diet?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Are more babies born during full moons?

I've heard from multiple sources -- a simple google search will confirm -- that significantly more babies are born during full moon periods. Are there any studies supporting or disputing the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Koch's postulates for judging if HIV causes AIDS

One of the most prominent proponents of the claim that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, Peter Duesberg claims in a PNAS article from 1989 the following The hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS is ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Chinese Birth Charts

A friend of mine recently became pregnant one of the more woo things she has come out with is Chinese Birth Charts. On the admittedly tiny data set of 5 the chart was 100% accurate. I in no way ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Is “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation” (TENS) effective?

I have recently become aware of TENS, but have yet to find any definitive evidence it is either a legitimate treatment or a full-blown pseudo-science. The closest was this BBC article: Some of the ...
28
votes
4answers
5k views

What is going to happen in 2012?

The Mayan calendar completes its 5,125 year cycle, on 21 December 2012. Is there any evidence they foresaw the end-of-the-world?
19
votes
1answer
3k views

How do Ouija boards work?

Have Ouija boards been explained by science? And have they been shown to work under controlled conditions?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Dichloroacetate (DCA) as a cure for cancer

A while ago I read about a cheap and safe drug that kills most cancers. It was the already known compound dichloroacetate (DCA) and the discovery was widely reported in the media. The results at that ...
10
votes
2answers
582 views

Are zinc supplements beneficial?

There is a lot of advertising for zinc supplements on the web, most of which seems indistinguishable from advertisements for ineffective alt-medicine cures. Are these ads a hoax, or is there any ...
27
votes
2answers
2k views

Are the “game” systems advertised by pickup-artists effective?

In the pick-up artist community, there is much advertising and hype around "game" systems. These are systems which, as far as I understand, consist of sets of guidelines, advice, strategies, ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What makes a naturopathic massage naturopathic, and is there any significant benefit to it or is it a hoax?

I've seen advertisements for naturopathic massage, with claims of health benefits that apply to a wide range of conditions and diseases. Is a naturopathic massage significantly different from a ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and does it work?

Is there any evidence for emotional freedom technique? How do you get qualified? Is it used in more traditional therapy?
53
votes
3answers
3k views

Have there been unusual disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle?

An unusual number of ships and planes are said to have disappeared without a trace in the area called the Bermuda Triangle. This has caused some people to claim supernatural causes for these ...
48
votes
1answer
3k views

Do polygraphs (lie-detectors) work?

Polygraphs are often used in fiction, but also sometimes in court or by government agencies and corporations. Physiological reactions from the subject are recorded and an operator interprets them to ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Do scar gel products work to reduce or soften the appearance of scars?

Products like Mederma Scar Gel claim that they are "clinically proven to improve the softness, texture and overall appearance of scars." Mederma in particular promises to improve both old and new ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Chelation therapy effective for autism?

Especially in connection with claims that thiomersal in vaccines is responsible for cases of autism, I've read that removing mercury through chelation can help autistic children. Is there evidence ...
29
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there an autism epidemic?

The number of diagnosed cases of autism has increased substantially in the last decades as seen in the following graph. Bar chart of the number (per 1,000 U.S. resident children aged 6–17) of ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Do contrails last long enough to explain chemtrails?

I often hear the claim that "chemtrails" have to exist, because normal contrails don't linger very long. Is there a definitive scientific explanation for why normal contrails sometimes do, in fact ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

Does blood type affect what type of food is best for you?

I remember that, a few years ago, my parents were told that different blood types need to eat differently. From a quick look online, it seems to be called "Eat Right For Your Type." It claimed that, ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Supermarket “Membership” Cards and Data Collection

Stores more and more frequently offer better prices to customers who obtain one of their "membership" cards. Obviously such cards can be used to identify the shopper, collect data based on their ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Can an electronic device reduce scale buildup in waterworks?

I have recently received an ad for a device attaching to my inlet water pipe and a power socket, and claiming to massively reduce the scale build-up. This compact, computerised limescale remover ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Can blood group affect behavior?

In Japan, blood group is believed to have ties with behavior. Is there scientific evidence for it?
23
votes
7answers
7k views

Are there technologies that provide unlimited free energy?

Many different sources claim to be able to produce "unlimited free energy". For example: UNLIMITED FREE ENERGY IDENTIFIED Company claims to have developed new technology that provides unlimited free ...
20
votes
3answers
13k views

Do anti-sea-sickness bracelets work?

I've seen anti sea-sickness bracelets, but the mechanism of action is unclear to me, as well as the physiological reason behind them.
31
votes
2answers
6k views

Does drinking milk lead to osteoporosis?

The China Study authors state that: osteoporosis is linked to the consumption of animal protein because animal protein, unlike plant protein, increases the acidity of blood and tissues. They add ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Is “Your Baby Can Read” effective and helpful?

I have seen these videos advertised online and on TV, and they make some pretty fantastic claims, showing kids as young as 2 reading complicated words. From what I can find online, it uses a ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it reasonable to assume that volunteers in stage-magic shows are aides?

I think anyone who’s seen a magic show has witnessed conversations between the magician and a supposedly-randomly-chosen audience member that goes something like this: Magician: What’s your name? ...
12
votes
3answers
792 views

Is cholesterol a significant factor in Heart Attacks?

When you watch most commercials for cholesterol drugs, they always have the disclaimer "Not proven to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke". If the drugs which reduce cholesterol do not reduce ...
39
votes
2answers
6k views

Is the Bates Method for improving eyesight efficacious?

The Bates Method is often cited by people looking to avoid wearing glasses, or as an alternative to LAZIK surgery for improving/correcting eyesight. Is the method at all effective? Can eyesight truly ...
30
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
231 views

How can I tell if a listed adjuvant is no longer toxic due to a vaccine's composition?

Frequently there is some banter about the risk associated with adjuvants by people who consider vaccines more dangerous than beneficial. If a given vaccine lists an adjuvant that is toxic in isolation,...
36
votes
2answers
2k views

Did a nocebo study find that rashes could swap hands?

In an answer to another question, the following story was cited. Another interesting one that demonstrates both the placebo and nocebo effect in one study is a study done by Japanese researches on ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

What is Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)?

Promoted by Jim Humble, Miracle Mineral Solution is claimed to cure a wide range of ailments. But what exactly is it, chemically speaking?
11
votes
2answers
774 views

Is “House of Numbers” an AIDS denialist film?

The film House of Numbers has had some quite mainstream backers including (for a brief time) an journalist at the New Humanist magazine. In House of Numbers, an AIDS film like no other, the HIV/...
59
votes
5answers
9k views

Does “The Fossil Record” evidence sufficiently support evolution?

According to Darwin, the absence of intermediate fossil forms “is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” What new fossil finds, if any, have occurred since ...

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