Not all claims have equal value. For instance we all can believe that gravity exists without question, however we should ask for a little more evidence when an “expert” tells us that the Moa is alive and well and living in Moana!
The Society was started in 1986 by Denis Dutton and Bernard Howard, amongst others. Our annual subs are only $40 for waged and $20 for unwaged. Please take a look around, and we would be delighted if you would like to join.
- Palm Reading claims – our response
We were asked today to comment on an article on Stuff about palm reading, and how seeing the letter M on your non-dominant hand is a sign of future success. Luckily, despite it being Christmas Eve, our new Media Spokesperson (and Secretary) Craig Shearer was able to put together a solid response on short notice! Here’s the response in full:
People are good at seeing patterns in everyday life, even when no actual pattern exists. Suggesting a pattern to somebody will greatly improve the chances of them seeing it, even if it’s just one of many equally valid interpretations of what they are looking at. Think about when you ...
- Herman Petrick’s Ghost-busting Claims
The Taranaki Daily News published an article about Herman Petrick, who claims to be able to help people by removing harmful negative energy. The author of the article, Taryn Utiger, asked the NZ Skeptics to respond to five questions about Herman’s claims. Here are our responses in full:
- Is there any scientific proof that negative energy exists or does not exist?
There’s no evidence that the type of negative spiritual energy Herman talks about exists, and no scientific basis for the concept of these energies. Although it can never be positively proven that this kind of energy doesn’t exist, every attempt so far to prove that it ...
- NZ Skeptics announce 2015 Awards
The Pharmacy Council has been awarded the 2015 Bent Spoon Award from the NZ Skeptics for proposing a change to their Code of Ethics that would allow the sale of healthcare products that have not been shown to work.
The Pharmacy Council is responsible under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act for setting standards of ethical conduct for pharmacists in New Zealand.
Section 6.9 of their 2011 Code of Ethics states that pharmacists can only supply or promote products where there is no reason to doubt their quality or safety, and when there is credible evidence of efficacy.
Groups such as the NZ Skeptics and the Society for Science Based ...
- Pharmacy Council Response Submitted
The NZ Skeptics sent a submission to the Pharmacy Council last Friday in response to the Council’s consultation on a suggested change to their Code of Ethics. Thanks to all our members who took the time to visit pharmacies and send us your reports about what they had to say about homeopathy.
We know of at least three other submissions that were in a similar vein to ours, including a submission from the Society for Science Based Healthcare, one from Edward Linney and a great response from the New Zealand Medical Association.
- Skeptical Thoughts on the Radio!
Graeme Hill’s Weekend Variety Wireless radio show on RadioLive is a Sunday night fixture where two prominent skeptics, Siouxsie Wiles and Mark Honeychurch chat about current skeptical topics and events.