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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."

‘Post-Materialist’ Science? A Smokescreen for Woo

‘Post-Materialist’ Science? A Smokescreen for Woo

by Sadri Hassani
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

Pseudoscience has been rapidly gaining ground in the past few decades. Dietary supplements and homeopathic preparations, advertised by the disgraced Dr. Oz and his ilk, now constitute a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The 1848 ‘Enormous Serpent’ of the Daedalus Identified

The 1848 ‘Enormous Serpent’ of the Daedalus Identified

by Gary J. Galbreath
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

A famous sea serpent sighting has been an enduring mystery 
of the sea since 1848. However, new information suggests a solution.

Encouraging Evidence-Free Enterprise: Business on a Bed of Sand

Encouraging Evidence-Free Enterprise: Business on a Bed of Sand

by Brian D. Engler and Eugenie V. Mielczarek
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

The former National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s use of two U.S. government grant programs for small businesses is examined and found to lend legitimacy to the lucrative business of non-evidence-based medicine.

Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained

Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Forum

Allow me to set the record straight. First off, Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that is trying to be the repository of all knowledge; it is not Tumbler or Reddit or some other social network. Wikipedia has rules. Some of them are open to interpretation a bit, but for the most part the rules are discussed within the community of editors and usually enforced evenly.

The Black Madonna: A Folkloristic and Iconographic Investigation

The Black Madonna: A Folkloristic and Iconographic Investigation

by Joe Nickell
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Investigative Files

One of the most famous of true icons (traditional religious panel paintings) is the so-called Black Madonna of Czestochowa, Poland (Figure 1). Its notoriety was boosted when, following his election to the papacy, the “Polish Pope” John Paul II prayed before it on a visit in 1979. For an international History Channel series, Miracles Decoded, I was asked to look into the icon’s origins. I

Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Skeptical Inquiree

Have you heard about this recent case of a young boy who says he lived a past life as a Marine? What do you make of it?

Ten Distinguished Scientists and Scholars 
Named Fellows of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

Ten Distinguished Scientists and Scholars 
Named Fellows of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

by The Editors
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

News & Comment

Ten distinguished scientists, scholars, educators, and investigators from five countries have been elected fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), copublisher of the Skeptical Inquirer. CSI (formerly CSICOP) is one of the world’s leading organizations for the promotion of scientific thinking and the critical examination of extraordinary claims from a scientific point of view.

A Brief History of Scientific Celebrity

A Brief History of Scientific Celebrity

by Declan Fahy
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

Science is personified by a handful of articulate, media-savvy scientists who stimulate new thinking, 
drive scientific controversies, enhance public understanding, mobilize social movements, 
and shape policy. To millions, these scientific celebrities are the public face of science.

Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience

Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience

by Stephanie Savage​
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

A skeptic sees no light at the end of the tunnel when she falls into a six-week coma and nearly dies.

ADVERLYING: Disliking Advertising from an Informed Perspective

ADVERLYING: Disliking Advertising from an Informed Perspective

by Steve Cuno
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

Some accusations levied against advertising are undeserved. But then, some are deserved, though perhaps not in ways you may have heard or assumed. Meanwhile, not a few bad apples engage in a heinous advertising tactic that goes largely unnoticed.

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