Notable Articles about the Creation of CSICOP and Skeptical Inquirer

Timothy Binga

Susan Gerbic, founder of the Guerilla Skeptics on Wikipedia Project, contacted CSI recently to have us upload some pictures and such for an update to the Wikipedia article about Skeptical Inquirer. Several of us were involved in making some content available for this endeavor, and Kendrick Frazier, our editor, created a bibliography of important articles concerning the origin of CSICOP and Skeptical Inquirer.

The biggest concern we had regarding this bibliography was the fact that very little of it was easily available, if available at all. As part of my role as librarian and archivist for the Center for Inquiry, we decided I should try to find these items and get them together in one place, either in links or by creating electronic copies for preservation purposes.

Below is Ken’s bibliography as written, and each article is linked to the text of the article and a pdf of the original article. These items now reside on our server in an effort to preserve the early history of CSICOP. The items were scanned from the originals, and text was created from the scans using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, and then manually corrected as needed.

I am hoping we can continue to preserve the history of our organization in this manner and provide our members with more and more of this type of information in the future.

Notable Articles about CSICOP and Skeptical Inquirer

(Chronological order. First two decades)

  1. Boyce Rensberger, “Paranormal Phenomena Facing Scientific Study.” New York Times, May 1, 1976, p. 26
  2. Kendrick Frazier, “Science and the Parascience Cults.” Science News (cover article), May 29, 1976, pp. 346–350.
  3. “Attacking the New Nonsense.” TIME, December 12, 1977.
  4. Kendrick Frazier, “UFOs, Horoscopes, Bigfoot, Psychics, and Other Nonsense.” Smithsonian, March 1978.
  5. Kendrick Frazier, “UFOs! Horoscopes! (And Other Nonsense).” Reader’s Digest, July 1978.
    (Condensed from Smithsonian. Also published in dozens of languages in Reader’s Digest’s international editions.)
  6. Douglas R. Hofstadter, “About Two Kinds of Inquiry: ‘National Enquirer’ and ‘The Skeptical Inquirer’.” Scientific American (“Metamagical Themas” column), February 1982.
    [Republished as Chapter 5, “World Views in Collision: The Skeptical Inquirer versus the National Enquirer,” with an eight-page “Post Scriptum” of further meditations on the topic, including a long exchange with M. Truzzi, in Hofstadter’s 1985 book Metamagical Themas (New York: Basic Books), pp. 91–114.]
  7. James Cornell, “Science vs. the Paranormal: Skeptics Fight an Uphill Battle in their Efforts to Overthrow the Forces of Pseudoscience.” Psychology Today, March 1984.
  8. Alan L. Otten, “People Will Believe Anything, Which Is Why Csicops Exist: These Defenders of Science Debunk ‘False’ Notions; How to Regard Astrology.” Wall Street Journal, July 19, 1985, pp. 1, 15.
  9. David F. Marks, “Investigating the Paranormal,” Nature (cover article), 120: 119–123, March 13–19, 1986.
  10. Carl Sagan, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection: How Not to Be Fooled,” PARADE Magazine, February 1, 1987, with a box titled “The Skeptical Inquirer.”

—Compiled by KF 3/31/16

Timothy Binga

Tim Binga is director of Libraries and IT manager at the Center for Inquiry and an adjunct instructor at the University at Buffalo. He holds a master's degree in library science and dual B.A.’s in history and humanities. He has written for Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry magazines and is a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Time (2009), the Dictionary of Early American Philosophers (2012), and the New Encyclopedia of Unbelief (2006). He is a passionate researcher and cataloger and has lectured on the RMS Titanic, digital libraries and R. V. Pierce.