The end is definitely not nigh, say NZ Skeptics

By Celeste Gorrell Anstiss

It's official. The world will not end in 2012.

That's the good oil from NZ Skeptics which is holding its annual conference in Auckland this weekend.

"This idea that a large, unknown planet is going to swing by and take out Earth in just a couple of years' time ... there are a lot of people who genuinely believe this is going to happen," said NZ Skeptics chairwoman Vicki Hyde.

"There's certainly no scientific evidence to show this."

Hyde said she knew people who planned to have pets euthanased because they believed the world was ending.

"The problem is ignorance has its consequences," she said.

Also getting a caning from NZ Skeptics were homeopathic therapy, Power Balance sports bracelets and TV's Paul Henry.

"It's easy to get sucked into things, you don't have to be a fool to be foolish."

Rural Women of New Zealand won this year's Bent Spoon, an award which recognises the failings of a person or group "who should have known better".

"They endorsed the use of homeopathic treatment for sick animals and gave their 'enterprising woman' award to a company that sells the stuff. But it's just water, that's what homeopathic means," Hyde said.

"People think it has active ingredients but the truth is you will pay $10 or more for a teaspoon of water. Research has shown it is no more effective than a placebo."

Power Balance bands - which claim to improve sport performance by interacting with the body's magnetic field were debated and Breakfast's Henry got another towelling for last year having a psychic find the location of missing 3-year-old Aisling Symes.

"The psychic was over here from Australia to tout ticket sales for her upcoming tour.

"She said Aisling's body was in a ditch, and when she was found in an enclosed drain they all patted themselves on the back and thought it was a terrific hit."

- Herald on Sunday

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