How We Believe
Beliefs guide all our thoughts and behaviors, from brushing our teeth to voting for a particular political party.
The War on Science, Anti-Intellectualism, and ‘Alternative Ways of Knowing’ in 21st-Century America
The decades-long academic assault on science has bewildered the American public about the role and function of science, promoted anti-intellectualism, and politically empowered purveyors of supernaturalism and paranormal beliefs.
Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened
Here’s a geologist’s critical analysis of false perceptions held by many creationists about the origin of the Grand Canyon and the age of the Earth.
JonBenet Murder Mystery Solved? (Not by Psychics)
The death of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey went unsolved for two decades. Psychics were worse than useless, but the author’s proposed solution resulted from evaluating the best evidence.
Theresa Caputo: The Fake Long Island Medium
Today mediums really have an easy life.
Why Do People Believe in Gods?
… And Ghosts, Angels, Demons, Fairies, Goblins, and Other Imagined Conspiracies?
The ‘200 Demons’ House: A Skeptical Demonologist’s Report
Sparking an international media frenzy, a house in Gary, Indiana, was—according to two unnamed “clairvoyants”—besieged by over 200 demons.
The Psychic Defective Revisited: Years Later, Sylvia Browne’s Accuracy Remains Dismal
An update of our “Psychic Defective” analysis examines developments in eleven cases Sylvia Browne made predictions about, explores a new reading, and scrutinizes her other failed predictions about the papacy and American politics.
The Secret Life of J. Allen Hynek
According to legend, the astronomer J. Allen Hynek was a skeptic before becoming an outspoken UFOlogist, but is the legend true? This article takes a look at Hynek’s unusual life and career.
The 9/11 Truth Movement: The Top Conspiracy Theory, a Decade Later
After ten years, the pesky 9/11 Truth movement has refined its arguments but still hasn’t proved the attacks were an inside job. Their key claims are refuted on multiple grounds. The conspiracy theories started flying just days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC. Over the decade since, several …
This brief guide by psychology professor Ray Hyman, a member of the CSICOP Executive Council from the beginning, has for many years been used by Skeptical Inquirer’s editorial staff and widely distributed to authors and others. It was printed some years ago in the CSICOP newsletter Skeptical Briefs, and it appears in Hyman’s book The Elusive Quarry, …
The Burden of Skepticism
What is skepticism? It’s nothing very esoteric. We encounter it every day. When we buy a used car, if we are the least bit wise we will exert some residual skeptical powers—whatever our education has left to us. You could say, “Here’s an honest-looking fellow. I’ll just take whatever he offers me.” Or you might …