‘Psychic’ Sylvia Browne is Dead

Sylvia Browne, the “psychic” whose appearances on talk shows like “Montel” and “Larry King Live” made her a well-known celebrity despite her not-even-close-to-the-truth predictions, died earlier today at the age of 77.



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Can Quora Be Inoculated from Pseudoscience?

For those who don’t know, Quora is a question-and-answer web platform where anyone can log in, ask any question to the community, and potentially have it answered. It’s kind of a Wikipedia for Q&A. The questions can be on any topic, from the highly technical, to the superfluous, to the hilarious (see my posts on Quora questions regarding Starbucks on the Death Star and the geopolitics of Super Mario). As on platforms like Reddit, users can upvote and downvote both questions and answers to better curate the content. It’s a great way to get yourself lost for hours on end and destroy your productivity.

Anyway, this question came up anonymously about Quora itself, and it’s relevant to our little skepto-atheist community:

Are there any Quora policies regarding pseudoscience? If not, should there be one? Let’s discuss. . . . this question is directed towards a Quora moderation perspective.

Wow, what a great question. Quora can’t and doesn’t make any claims to hosting “definitive” answers to anything, but it’s true that an open platform like this easily provides those who shill nonsense, from homeopathy to the paranormal, with a soapbox and with an air of legitimacy.

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Indian Doctor Launches Nation’s First Homeopathy Magazine

You’ll all be thrilled to learn that one Dr. Mukesh Batra has launched a magazine called Homeopathy & You:

I can’t top Paul Fidalgo‘s take on it:

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New Age Author Marianne Williamson Announces Bid for Congress

You know what we haven’t seen enough of lately? Oprah Winfrey‘s show “Super Soul Sunday.” I heard it’s good.

Last year, Winfrey interviewed the author of several bestselling spirituality books, Marianne Williamson.

Let’s see how long you last watching this, starting at the 1:14 mark:

It’s all a lot of nonsensical spirituality, where you say so much and so little all at once. Like this excerpt from one of her books:

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Sanal Edamaruku Debunks the Tricks of Indian Gurus

Sanal Edamaruku is the Indian skeptic who found himself at the center of a firestorm last year after he was called in to explain how a statue of Jesus was “miraculously” dripping water. After debunking the “miracle” claim, he was charged with blasphemy and faced jailtime.

Over the summer, he spoke about his experiences at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas, and video of his talk has now been released:



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