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."
Unlike other mysterious phenomena such as psychic powers, ghosts, or Bigfoot, there is no doubt that crop circles are real. The real question is what creates them.
by Scott O. Lilienfeld and Rachel Ammirati
The widespread assertion that the world would be better off without religion is a reasonable hypothesis. Yet data suggest that skeptics should attach no more than a modest level of probability to it.
by Harriet Hall
The medical ethics principle of autonomy justifies letting competent adults reject lifesaving medical care for themselves because of their religious beliefs, but it does not extend to rejecting medical care for children.
by Ryan Shaffer
The modern practice of witch hunting in India includes violence and beliefs that have led to the torture and murder of alleged witches. State governments and rationalist groups are trying to address the problem but face big obstacles.
If religious believers had a better understanding of scientific methodology and nonbelievers had a better understanding of its parallels with religion, they could have more meaningful discussions with each other.
It is for a literary endeavor, perhaps no less valuable than his scientific work, that Dr. Paul Offit is the 2013 recipient of the Robert P. Balles Annual Prize in Critical Thinking.
by Joe Nickell
Here we look at a few of the unusual incidents that some have called “miraculous,” although none has been accepted as such by the Catholic Church.
Like many public controversies, the debate can be better informed by scientific evidence; however, there is no legitimate scientific controversy over the safety of GMOs.
In continuing our discussion on “mystery” paintings from the past: a special place is held by paintings that are said to hold hidden meanings—especially when they do.
by James McGaha and Joe Nickell
Mount Rainier isn’t just where seminal UFO figure Kenneth Arnold saw “flying saucers” in 1947; the majestic mountain actually plays a more direct role in saucerology.