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Skeptical Inquirer Volume 39.5

Skeptical Inquirer

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Skeptical Inquirer is the official journal of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. It is published by the Center for Inquiry in association with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Six times per year Skeptical Inquirer publishes critical scientific evaluations of all manner of controversial and extraordinary claims, including but not limited to paranormal and fringe-science matters, and informed discussion of all relevant issues. In addition to news, articles, book reviews, and investigations on a wide variety of topics, Skeptical Inquirer has a stellar stable of regular columnists including Joe Nickell (“Investigative Files”), Massimo Polidoro (“Notes on a Strange World”), Massimo Pigluicci (“Thinking About Science”), Robert Sheaffer (“Psychic Vibrations”), and SI managing editor Benjamin Radford's reader-driven (“The Skeptical Inquiree”). Yale University neurologist Steven Novella, M.D., founder of the New England Skeptical Society and executive editor of the Science-Based Medicine blog, contributes a new "The Science of Medicine" column, and contributing editor Kenneth W. Krause adds a regular science column, "ScienceWatch."

Skeptical Inquirer is an unusual hybrid, part semi-popular magazine, part scientific journal. It’s fair to say that we not only help to cross disciplinary barriers within scientific fields but bridge the gaps between the hard and soft sciences and between science and the general public.”

Kendrick Frazier, Editor, Skeptical Inquirer

“I know of no greater antidote to pseudoscience than the contents of Skeptical Inquirer magazine. I wait with high anticipation for the arrival of every next issue. And when it arrives, I read every word. And when I am done, my fuel tanks are once again topped off for my next round of encounters with all those who have yet learned how to think.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and Director Hayden Planetarium, NYC

“When so many of our fellow citizens are igniting brushfires of irrationality and then fanning the flames, Skeptical Inquirer is a great fire extinguisher to keep handy: trustworthy, effective, and a pleasure to read. Don’t leave home without one!”

Daniel Dennett, Director, Center of Cognitive Studies, Tufts University

“If only the Skeptical Inquirer could be distributed to every home in the land! There would be fewer idiotic dinner-party conversations about ghosts, crop circles and ‘uncanny’ coincidences. More importantly, people might learn by example how to think for themselves, to the enormous benefit of the world.”

Richard Dawkins, Ethologist and Evolutionary Biologist, Oxford University

Skeptical Briefs

Skeptical Briefs is the quarterly newsletter of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. It is available by subscription. A subscription to Skeptical Briefs is independent of your subscription to the Skeptical Inquirer. It is published four times per year (in March, June, September, and December), and includes articles; news from skeptical groups across the country and around the world; and regular columnists Joe Nickell ("Investigative Files"), Lewis Jones ("Inklings"), Victor Stenger ("Reality Check"), Henry Huber ("Group News"); and Benjamin Radford ("Briefs Briefs"). It also includes a Hidden Messages puzzle in each issue by New Mexico physicist and skeptic David E. Thomas.

Special Articles

Web exclusives from CSI contributors

  • SkepDoc's Corner

    A column by Harriet Hall

  • All Info All Ways

    A Column by Barrett Brown

  • ¬°Paparruchas!

    A column by Luis Alfonso G√°mez

  • Circumnavigations

    A web column by Austin Dacey

  • This Week in Conspiracy

    This Week in Conspiracy is an ongoing series of news items from around the web relevant to connoisseurs of conspiracism.

  • Counterclockwise

    A web column by Kentaro Mori

  • Curiouser and Curiouser

    A column by Kylie Sturgess

  • Doubt and About

    A column by journalist Chris Mooney

  • Media Mind

    Media Mind looks at the "why"s and "how"s of media messages: why they take the form they do, how they spread, and how we make sense of them to form a picture of our world. But these days, media isn't just newspapers and TV: it's you and me. Media Mind will look, too, at how we communicate with each other - and how we can do it better. A column by Tamar Wilner.

  • Generation sXeptic

    A column written by Matt Nisbet in 2000 and 2001

  • Online Extras

    Skeptical Inquirer Online Extras

  • Renegades & Rascals

    A column by William M. London, College of Health & Human Services, Department of Public Health, Cal State L.A.

    A favorite quotation among epidemiologists comes from Michael Gregg: "We are always dealing with dirty data. The trick is to do it with a clean mind." I try hard to pull off Gregg's trick; many people don't.

  • Reductio ad Absurdum

    Exploring what happens when you take paranormal and supernatural claims into the real world.

    Suspend your disbelief for a moment and turn skepticism inside-out. Instead of first looking for evidence, let's give pseudoscientists the benefit of the doubt. How would the world be different if these claims were true? How would the food industry deal with people who can live on air alone? How would a hospital stay be different for someone who was really was magnetic? With Reductio ad absurdum I want to present the real world implications of out-of-this-world claims. With some science, and some fun, I hope that you will see that when the absurd really does bump up against reality, skepticism is well-warranted.

    A column by Kyle Hill

  • Psychic Predictions

    Our annual list of failed psychic predictions

  • Responding to Public Questions and Misconceptions

    A new column by Dr. David Morrison

  • Science and the Media

    A Column by Matt Nisbet

  • Skepchick

    A column by's Rebecca Watson

  • Sounds Sciencey

    Unmasking "scientifical" claims, sham inquiry, and science imposters in popular culture. A column by Sharon Hill.

  • Special Report

    Special Reports from CSI

  • The Good Word

    A column by Karen Stollznow

  • The Skeptics UFO Newsletter

    The Klass Files, by journalist and UFO researcher Philip Klass. Download the full collection (PDFs, ~40 MB) or browse individual volumes.

  • Voice in the Dark (theater)

    Movie reviews by LaRae Meadows