Fate: Inventing Reasons for the Things That Happen
You might guess there wouldn’t be much psychological research on belief in fate, destiny, or purpose, but you’d be wrong.
Pseudorelatos sobre el chupacabras
La mayoría de la gente da por sentado que el chupacabras, como sus hermanos Piegrande y Nessie, apareció hace décadas o siglos. Sin embargo, el origen de este misterioso vampiro bestial se remonta a un testigo portorriqueño que vio la película Species en 1995, en la que aparecía un monstruo casi idéntico.
“That Doesn’t Mean It Really Happened”: An Interview with Elizabeth Loftus
This kind of work can help us appreciate a lot of the things that the skeptic community cares about. How is it people think that they saw UFOs? How is it that people can think they were abducted by aliens? Or, how is it that people see Jesus in toast?
Skeptics Can Be Conned Too: An Interview with Maria Konnikova
I think I’m fighting against overconfidence, right? This belief that all you need to do is be cynical and skeptical to avoid being conned… And what I say to that, and this is a point that I may or may not make in my actual talk, is that con artists get conned all the time—the best con artists in the world!
A ‘Nickell’ for Your Thoughts: A Conversation with Joe Nickell
What, in a given instance, causes people to think they are experiencing spirits? The debunkers—with their smarter-than-them attitude—speak only to their fellow doubters. They would apparently rather be right than effective.
El “Detector de mentiras”: gran ejemplo de ciencia chatarra
¿Cuántas veces se probó que era falsa la “detección de mentiras por una máquina”?
Michael Mann and the Climate Wars
Not only can we teach young scientists how to function in the increasingly hostile environment they may find themselves, we must teach them to do so.
La búsqueda de evidencia negativa
A todo el mundo le gustan los misterios. Resuelva uno en el campo científico y enseguida vendrán los elogios.
Las ilusiones de la memoria
Cuando comencé mi trabajo sobre las ilusiones de la memoria no me imaginaba que se iba a transformar en un tema tan relevante socialmente y tan políticamente explosivo.
Dillinger’s Ghost and Hoover’s Vendetta against G-Man Purvis
Although there were other “public enemies” of the Depression Era, John Dillinger had daring and style to spare. But so did a tenacious G-man named Melvin Purvis, an agent so effective and so adored by the public and press that his boss, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover, seethed with jealousy.
Rest in Peace, Sylvia
One of the world’s most popular alleged psychics and spiritual mediums in history, Sylvia Browne, died on November 20, 2013 at age 77 (although she predicted on CNN that she would live to age 88).
Investigating Plagiarism in New Age Books
I recently uncovered rampant plagiarism in a HarperCollins title The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires: An A–Z of the Undead, “written” (more accurately “cut-and-pasted-from-the-Internet”) by Theresa Cheung.
Indignation Is Not Righteous
The Twin Fallacies of Appeal to Righteous Indignation and Appeal to Sanctity.
Appeals to righteous indignation or sanctity—which attempt to shield ideas from contemplation, discussion, investigation, or criticism—are common, impede rational discourse, and should be recognized as logical fallacies.
Disputing ‘Seven Deadly Medical Hypotheses’
The article “Seven Deadly Medical Hypotheses” by Reynold Spector, MD, in our March/April 2011 issue prompted considerable comment and controversy.
Does the ‘Arab Spring’ Herald a Renaissance in Science and Open Inquiry?
SKEPTICAL INQUIRER editor Kendrick Frazier reports from Doha, Qatar.
Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier reports from Doha, Qatar
More than 700 science journalists from ninety countries—half of them from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East—are meeting on the outskirts of Doha …
Live Report: Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear, a Plea for Reason
Dr. Benjamin Wolozin shares his thoughts and photos from October’s Washington, DC event.
Sidestepping the Litigious Consumer: How to Survive in the Lucrative Toning-Shoe Market
A recent lawsuit argues that “the scientific community has rejected [Skechers’s] claims” of enhanced fitness effects.
‘Power Balance’ Bands Shown Worthless
Power Balance bracelets achieved global popularity, in part because they were embraced by a parade of celebrities.
Review of “Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be” by Daniel Loxton
Two very different books about evolution crossed my desk recently. The first, by Richard Dawkins, is titled The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence…
The War of the Weasels
Or “How an Intelligent Design Theorist was Bested in a Public Math Competition by a Genetic Algorithm!”
Edmund (Pseudo) Scientific Sells ‘Ghost Detectors’
Edmund Scientific is actively marketing and selling paranormal woo-woo on their Web site.
2012: Not a Complete Disaster
One might be excused for wondering what, exactly, German director Roland Emmerich has against the United States…
Court Vindicates Doctor Who Questioned Fertility Study
A study was published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine claiming that prayers from the USA, Canada, and Australia…
Creation: A Cinematic Look at Charles Darwin
The new film Creation, which opens January 22, tells the true story of the circumstances surrounding Charles Darwin’s crowning creation…