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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."

Searching for the Yowie, the Down Under Bigfoot

Searching for the Yowie, the Down Under Bigfoot

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Investigative Files

The Yowie is becoming increasingly standardized in its appearance. It is sometimes said that it resembles “depictions of the American Bigfoot” or that “America’s Bigfoot would be an identical type”

In Search of Mary Magdalene

In Search of Mary Magdalene

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Notes on a Strange World

But why today is there so much discussion about Magdalene? What’s so special about this woman to attract the attention of fans of mysteries?

Shifting the Conversation about Climate Change

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

The Science of Science Communication

As we educate the public about scientific consensus, evidence suggests we also need to reframe the focus of debate. Americans tend to view climate change as a scientific or environmental issue, but not as a problem that affects them personally or that connects to issues that they already perceive as important.

Clear Thinking About Cancer

Clear Thinking About Cancer

by Harriet Hall
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Review

He doesn’t blame people who go off in pursuit of a promised miracle cure. He understands their desperation and the comfort of having a hope to cling to. Rather, he blames those who offer that anything without a fair, accurate, and accountable foundation.

Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories of the Chupacabra

Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories of the Chupacabra

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature

As well-known monsters go, the chupacabra is of very recent vintage, first appearing in 1995. However, some writers have created pseudohistories and claimed a false antiquity for the Hispanic vampire beast. These examples provide a fascinating look at cryptozoological folklore in the making.

Deepak Chopra’s ‘Physics’

Deepak Chopra’s ‘Physics’

by Sadri Hassani
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature

Deepak Chopra attempts to connect fundamental concepts of physics to consciousness and spirituality. He started (ab)using physics with his book Quantum Healing. But does he pass the first test of a true scientist: professional integrity?

Illusions of Memory

Illusions of Memory

by Elizabeth Loftus
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Commentary

These are remarks by psychologist and CSI Fellow Elizabeth Loftus accepting an honorary doctorate at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

The Brown Mountain Lights: Solved! (Again!)

The Brown Mountain Lights: Solved! (Again!)

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Investigative Files

As with UFOs, some lights will remain unidentified—not because they are inherently mysterious but because they are just eyewitness reports or snapshots with so many variable factors.

The X-Files Effect? Research Suggests We Shouldn’t Worry so Much over the Hit TV Series

The X-Files Effect? Research Suggests We Shouldn’t Worry so Much over the Hit TV Series

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

The Science of Science Communication

These findings came with an important caveat: The relationship between TV viewing and belief was only significant among those viewers who reported prior personal experience with the paranormal.

The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisited: A Great Example of Junk Science

The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisited: A Great Example of Junk Science

by Morton E. Tavel
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature

Although the polygraph can be useful in coercing confessions, it is based on scientifically implausible assumptions of accuracy and is biased against the innocent. The scientific community justly considers it pseudoscience, and it should be abandoned.

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