Skeptical Inquirer is the official journal of 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."
by Matthew J. Sharps, Schuyler W. Liao, and Megan R. Herrera
Cognitive science research on belief in the 2012 “apocalypse” demonstrates that dissociative processes contribute directly to this belief through reduction of the “feature-intensive” cognitive processing that would engender appropriate skepticism.
by Gary Longsine and Peter Boghossian
Appeals to righteous indignation or sanctity—which attempt to shield ideas from contemplation, discussion, investigation, or criticism—are common, impede rational discourse, and should be recognized as logical fallacies.
by Eve Siebert
There is no field of inquiry that young-Earth creationists can’t distort. In the area of literary and linguistic studies, they misinterpret, misrepresent, and mistranslate Beowulf to fit their agenda.
by John Franch
According to legend, the astronomer J. Allen Hynek was a skeptic before becoming an outspoken UFOlogist, but is the legend true? This article takes a look at Hynek’s unusual life and career.
by Joe Nickell
El Santuariò de Chimayó in New Mexico is a place of pilgrimages. Scores visit the little adobe church daily, while thousands walk miles to worship there on Good Friday. Many come seeking a cure for their afflictions, scooping from a small pit in the church floor a reddish soil that they rub on afflicted areas of their bodies or even sprinkle on their food or brew in tea.
“Searching for Hitler’s DNA in Antarctica.” This is the bizarre headline that made the news a few months ago, launched by Russian news agency Ria Novosti and picked up by the world media after scientists were able to successfully drill into Antarctica’s Lake Vostok.
A review of Solving the Communion Enigma: What Is to Come by Whitley Strieber.
In the nineteenth century, phrenology was hugely influential despite being totally invalid. Its history shows why we must be skeptical of any belief based solely on experience.
by Edzard Ernst
An evaluation of the clinical research by the group that has published most of the papers in homeopathy, 2005–2010, finds numerous flaws in the design, conduct, and reporting along with a tendency to overinterpret weak data.
Of the many aspects of alternative medicine, one of the most bizarre is live blood cell analysis. This unapproved blood test supposedly identifies nutritional deficiencies and other nebulous conditions.