August 14, 2014
Paranormal investigators playing the role of “experts” and pretending to be scientific is not going to fly when the lack of deep knowledge is evident and there are actual scientists in the audience.
June 11, 2014
Some say the case for psychic ability has been made, others say it hasn’t. Yet others say someday it will be, or will never be. In 130 years, has there been progress in psychical research?
May 20, 2014
Attending events outside your own frame of reference involves getting into a suitable frame of mind. It’s often helpful to suspend judgement and just listen.
April 4, 2014
Question: How does an avid ghost hunter and true believer in paranormal phenomena turn into an avowed skeptical commentator?
February 28, 2014
A popular gambit in cryptozoology is to say that a cryptid is a real animal that was presumed long extinct but has lived on undetected. Here is why that sounds sciencey, but is bad reasoning.
January 10, 2014
Looking back on 2013, what was the most flawed sciencey story of the year? I pick antineoplastons—touted as a miracle cancer cure with little to no proof.
Scholarly Cryptozoology: Now, There’s Something You Don’t See Every Day
A review of Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero.
November 22, 2013
There is a small, elite group of skeptics who know their Bigfootery. That’s right, the Bigfoot skeptics.
October 25, 2013
First, it was found in Danish waters. And then France. Then in New Jersey. A fish, normally found in the Amazon, was scaring the pants ON fishermen around the world. Why be scared of a pacu? Teeth and what it was rumored to eat.
October 1, 2013
Why do paranormal investigations use EMF meters? Turns out, they don't even know why. This is what happens when the paranormal gets sciencey. It isn't pretty but there is beeping and flashing lights.
Science by press release is an unprofessional form and often is a bust upon peer review. Melba Ketchum asked the public directly to buy into an extraordinary claim: that she has categorized Bigfoot DNA and understands its origin, proposing not one but two unknowns—Sasquatch and an unknown ancestor of Sasquatch.
August 28, 2013
A few months back, a British anomaly investigation organization announced the possible death of UFOlogy. “No way! It's alive and well here,” said the U.S. UFOlogists. So it is. But what is the real status of the study of UFOs?
July 26, 2013
Science is great, one of the best processes humans have come up with. It has everything to do with how we live long, productive, healthy lives. It is not, however, the be-all and end-all method of how to solve every problem.
Bigfoot DNA Study: Making an End Run Around Science
May 29, 2013
I'm taking a step beyond sciencey with the following topic. What happens when science doesn't cooperate with your subject area? Researchers of unexplained events may get frustrated and disenchanted with the scientific process when the eyewitness accounts they collect are too weird to explain via conventional means. They go unconventional.
April 24, 2013
When paranormal investigators give up on sciencey stuff, what's the alternative? The spiritual. I take you on a tour of a recent paranormal convention.
March 29, 2013
The Skeptic is the unwanted visitor to the paranormal-themed discussion. Questions are unwelcome; they spoil the fun. “Why do you bother nagging on the ghost hunters, the Bigfoot believers, and the UFOlogists,” they ask, “Why not go do something to stop real harm?”
March 1, 2013
Does “skeptic” equal nasty, obnoxious and shouty? No? Then why do we get automatically tagged with those characteristics even when we are not? The word carries some connotations. But that ought not bar an exchange between skeptics and believers. We have some bridges to build.
January 30, 2013
Pseudoscience is what one might call a two-dollar word. Skeptics often throw it around because of its weightiness and the values it transmits. We need to talk about this word, where it came from, and why we should be cautious about using it.
November 14, 2012
Members of the public don’t know much about science, and they seem fine to leave science to the scientists. That’s Trouble.
Interviewing Indre Viskontas
September 13, 2012
Every day, I scour the Internet for news. Not just any news. Weird news. What bizarre thing was seen, heard, or found today?
July 25, 2012
Proponents have no plausible explanation for how astrology might work. Whenever you have to resort to “insert supernatural here,” your concept is no longer a scientifically testable hypothesis.
July 2, 2012
My memory may be biased, but doesn’t it seem like every unsolved mystery television program has ended with the proposition “you decide?”
A study of 1,000 websites shows how amateur groups use technical jargon and equipment as symbols of what is “scientific” while actually promoting the paranormal and not adhering to any real scientific principles of investigation.
May 25, 2012
I had a startling realization a few years ago: I discovered that not everyone thinks science is good for humanity. How can that be? Scientific discovery makes our lives better, richer, longer, and healthier.
When I was a kid, cryptozoology books repeatedly advocated the existence of creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster using the same dramatic stories. At first, I was swayed by these stories, but eventually I got bored with them. Something was missing. Stories only got me so far. . .
April 25, 2012
Once upon a time, not so long ago, I came across a website that provided “Bigfoot Facts” for kids. The site didn't say from where these facts were derived but they were commonly circulated in various books and all over the web.
April 2, 2012
On my regular stop to see the newest beverages one day, I noticed a slick, thin black bottle. The label read “Spring water enriched with Fulvic Acid.” Intrigued, I bought the 16.9 ounce bottle for $1.89.
March 7, 2012
They were science-based Doomsday agents, effective in scaring the bejeezus out of generally rational people. And the arrival of 2012—heavily weighted with (very commercially exploited) “End of the World” overtones—serves to popularize these stories even more.