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Ben Radford

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Benjamin Radford, M.Ed., is a scientific paranormal investigator, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author or co-author of seven books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. His newest book is Mysterious New Mexico: Miracles, Magic, and Monsters in the Land of Enchantment. Radford is also a columnist for Discovery News and LiveScience.com.

Conspiracy-Minded Response to a Skeptical Crop Circle Explanation

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 21, 2014
Conspiracy-Minded Response to a Skeptical Crop Circle Explanation



Earlier this month I wrote a piece about a mysterious 310-foot-diameter
crop circle that appeared in a farmer’s barley field in California. In response I got an interesting, conspiracy-laden two-page reply from a crop circle believer….

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Paranormal Qualifications

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.6, November/December 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

Lessons From The Central Park Five: The Tragedy of False Accusations

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 2, 2014
Lessons From The Central Park Five: The Tragedy of False Accusations
In the newest installment of my occasional series Skeptical Cinema, I examine the recent documentary about false accusations and a miscarriage of justice in an infamous Central Park assault.

‘American Hustle’ Takes Dig at 1970s Cancer Alarmism

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 23, 2013
‘American Hustle’ Takes Dig at 1970s Cancer Alarmism
The new Oscar-bait film American Hustle, about two con artists (played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams) who get caught up in a corruption scandal in the 1970, contains an explicit, skeptical reference to a health scare fad.

Colin Wilson: A Case Study in Mystery Mongering

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 13, 2013
Colin Wilson: A Case Study in Mystery Mongering
 A brief look at the late Colin Wilson's work illustrates how misinformation about paranormal topics is perpetuated, and skeptical information is systematically ignored.

Gardasil, Katie, Merck, and I

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 10, 2013
While Couric sifts through what remains of her journalistic credibility, I thought I'd share my brief HPV vaccine story. 

Skeptical Cinema: ‘Bug’ and folie a deux

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 3, 2013
Skeptical Cinema: ‘Bug’ and folie a deux
In most investigations two eyewitnesses are better than one. The 2006 horror film 'Bug' shows whay this is not always true. 

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Did Psychic Visions Locate Missing California Boy?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.5, September/October 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

The Mystery and Investigation of the Moving Statue

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 22, 2013
 An ancient statue caught on camera turning in its locked display case in June 2013 unnerved many people, and it has been definitively debunked. More interesting, though, are the reactions to the solution. 

Secular Sacred Sites and Ghost Hunting

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 12, 2013
There is a natural and understandable human reverence for sacred and secular-sacred sites, but it can also lead away from critical thinking and skepticism. 

Thor: The Dark World

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 8, 2013
Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World is a beautiful mess, a visually stunning film badly in need of a rewrite.

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Investigating Plagiarism in New Age Books

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.4, July/August 2013

Article

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Psychic Failure and the Boston Marathon Bombing

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.4, July/August 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

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The Biography of America’s Lake Monster

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.4, July/August 2013

Book Review

A review of The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster by Robert E. Bartholomew

Confirmation Bias and Expectations Influencing Perceptions: A Micro-Case Study

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 23, 2013
As a skeptical investigator with a degree in psychology, I often encounter (and discuss) people whose expectations have colored their perceptions. We often see what we expect to see, whether it's there or not. Of course everyone does it, including me. Here's a personal account of my recent experience.

German ‘Wild Boy’ Sentenced for Fraud

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 3, 2013
In 2011 a young man wandered into a German police station and told office workers, "I'm all alone in the world, I don't know who I am. Please help me."

“Nothing But Bad News…”

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 13, 2013
Sometimes when discussing current events I will hear someone say "Oh, I hate the news... I don't follow the news anymore, it's nothing but bad news." It's just a depressing laundry list of death and war and problems, a daily documentation of the world's progress on its inexorable path toward hell.

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 23.1, Spring 2013

Briefs Briefs

BMI and the Argument from Antiquity Fallacy

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 26, 2013
Is pointing out that a medical procedure has been used by doctors for 150 years an example of a logical fallacy? Maybe, or maybe not...

Why Parents Don’t Vaccinate Their Children—And What We Can Do

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 2, 2013

There are several reasons why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children, though most of them come down to misinformation from anti-vaccine advocates. With the recent addition of Jenny McCarthy to the popular ABC television show The View, many people are wondering what effect, if any, this will have on vaccination rates. However there are some strategies than can fight the misinformation.

Sandy Hook School Shooting: The Adam Lanza Death Certificate Conspiracy

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.3, May/June 2013

Skeptical Inquiree
Sandy Hook School Shooting: The Adam Lanza Death Certificate Conspiracy

"Is there any chance you could put my mind at ease and explain why the Social Security Death Index would list [Sandy Hook shooter] Adam Lanza as having died on December 13, 2012, the day before the Sandy Hook shooting?"

The New ‘Best Case’ For Psychics: Did ‘Intuitive Visions’ Locate Missing Boy?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
July 14, 2013
The remarkable case of a missing California boy whose body was apparently located by a psychic is making headlines across the country as the 'best case' for psychics. But is it? 

How I Covered the Bangladesh Toilet Ghost Hysteria Story

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 26, 2013
I'm sometimes asked how my articles and columns come about; here's one recent example, about a ghost-haunted toilet in a South Asian factory.

Investigating Plagiarism in New Age Books

Online Extras
June 20, 2013
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.

Tracking the Chupacabra: The Wikipedia Page!

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 20, 2013
Tracking the Chupacabra: The Wikipedia Page!
My book solving the chupacabra mystery now has its own Wikipedia page!

Participating in a Brazilian Panel on Science Journalism and Skepticism

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 5, 2013
Participating in a Brazilian Panel on Science Journalism and Skepticism
Last July I was invited to São Paulo, Brazil, to speak on a panel about skepticism and the state of science journalism sponsored by Folha do Sao Paulo, the city's largest newspaper.

Infomercial King Kevin Trudeau Recycles ‘The Secret’

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 30, 2013
Kevin Trudeau, convicted felon and infomercial king, has made millions claiming to reveal important medical and dietary information kept secret by a conspiracy between the medical establishment and big drug companies. His most recent venture rips off the New Age best-seller The Secret.

Love Labyrinths

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 22, 2013
Love Labyrinths
A friend of mine is getting married next weekend and she wants to have the ceremony in a labyrinth. She asked me to write a short piece about a love labyrinth...

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Lessons from a Denver Fly

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

My Prediction of the Cleveland Abduction Situation, and the Tragic Failure of Psychics

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 9, 2013

In 2009 I predicted the recent Cleveland abduction situation, or one very much like it. 

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