Understanding Believers’ Cognitive Dissonance
Closing the Book on ‘Open-Mindedness’
May 6, 2013
Every day in Indonesia you will hear or see psychics, paranormalists, parapsychologists, and pseudoscientists spreading, scaring, and scamming the nation with irrational beliefs and pseudoscience through the media. You will be able to see them planting thoughts into peoples’ heads so that they can offer solutions and take people's money.
Cognitive science research on belief in the 2012 “apocalypse” demonstrates that dissociative processes contribute directly to this belief through reduction of the “feature-intensive” cognitive processing that would engender appropriate skepticism.
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.
Mystics, Mycobacterium, and the Gospel of Matthew
The Math Behind the Myths
Paul Kurtz and the Virtue of Skepticism
The Return of Repressed-Memory Satanic Ritual Stories
A review of Twenty-Two Faces by Judy Byington.
End of the World Looms According to Maya’s Calendar
January 17, 2013
When I became a senior in high school, I finally recognized that no one had launched a repeal of the LSEA and no one was going to. For my high school senior project, I decided I had to stand up and take on creationism in Louisiana. I partnered with Senator Karen Carter Peterson, who has now sponsored two bills to repeal the LSEA.
There we sat, listening, scanning, searching, and adjusting. While Alec worked with the equipment, I kept a watchful eye for anyone who might interfere. The time dragged. Now the service inside the auditorium was about to start; we had searched for more than an hour, and we still hadn't found what we were looking for.
A Golden Age of Harmony? Misrepresenting Science and History in the 1001 Inventions Exhibit
The Higgs Boson and the Future of Physics
Four Realms of Inquiry
A review of Handling Truth by William Gardner.
Can Carry-On Explosives Bring Down an Airliner?
Nighthawks State of Mind
Confirmation Bias and Art
XKCD: A Perfect Marriage of Snark and Skepticism
The Puzzle of the Implausible
A review of Power and Illusion: Religion and Human Need by David W. Wilbur
Citing irregularities in photographs posted on the About Us page on the official NASA website, Northern Virginia resident Brian Williams is calling the space agency’s employee and family picnic, allegedly held this last summer, a complete hoax.
Research in experimental psychology has shown that many paranormal sightings fall directly within the realm of eyewitness memory. Experiments reveal that such “sightings” derive from the psychology of the observers rather than from supernatural sources. Experiments show these proclivities.
A review of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
The Top 20 Logical Fallacies
Political Myths that Influence Voters
Dinodang: The Melon Rex Myth
October 10, 2012
My name is Uiwon, Hwang, 35 years old. I majored in railroad engineering at university and worked as a rolling stock driver after graduating. I always had some interest in the global scientific skepticism movement, a rare case in Korea. This is how I started to work in the field of scientific journalism.
An analysis of four classic flying-saucer incidents reveals how debunking can send a mundane case underground, where it is transformed by mythologizing processes, then reemerges—like a virulent strain of a virus—as a vast conspiracy tale. Defined by the Roswell Incident (1947), this syndrome is repeated at Flatwoods (1952), Kecksburg (1965), and Rendlesham Forest (1980).