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Skeptical Inquirer

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."

Ideas and Insights, Inquiries and Investigations

Ideas and Insights, Inquiries and Investigations

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Conference Report

A Lively CSICon 2012 Nashville Eyes Latest Trends in Science, Pseudoscience, and Belief

Help! I’m Being Followed by Ancient Aliens!

Help! I’m Being Followed by Ancient Aliens!

by Kenneth L. Feder
Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Forum

The archaeological record shows clearly that our human ancestors were enormously intelligent and resourceful. They were more than capable of developing sophisticated technologies on their own.

Herbs Are Drugs

by Steven Novella
Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

The Science of Medicine

Herbal supplements are big business. The industry has managed to maintain a “mom and pop” image to the public, the righteous underdog constantly under attack by Big Pharma. In reality, the herbal product industry is just another drug industry, one selling products that are poorly regulated and likely don’t work for their claimed indications.

The Parameters of Pseudoscience

The Parameters of Pseudoscience

by David Morrison
Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Book Review

Skeptics often say they are trying to expose pseudoscience, but in reality we tend to use this term loosely. Creationism, homeopathy, alternative medicine, and cold fusion are clearly pseudoscientific, but what about ancient aliens, UFOs, alien abductions, Bigfoot, crystals, the Moon hoax, and many other claims investigated in the pages of the Skeptical Inquirer?

Flawed Look at Monsters

Flawed Look at Monsters

by Terence Hines
Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Book Review

The intent of Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite is to provide scientific explanations for various monsters found in historical legend and literature up through the monsters of today as seen, mostly, in film. Had Kaplan succeeded in this task, he would have produced an exciting and interesting book.

It’s the End of the World and They Don’t Feel Fine: The Psychology of December 21, 2012

It’s the End of the World and They Don’t Feel Fine: The Psychology of December 21, 2012

by Matthew J. Sharps, Schuyler W. Liao, and Megan R. Herrera
Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Article

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.

Indignation Is Not Righteous

by Gary Longsine and Peter Boghossian
Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Article

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.

Monsters and Dragons and Dinosaurs, Oh My: Creationist Interpretations of Beowulf

Monsters and Dragons and Dinosaurs, Oh My: Creationist Interpretations of Beowulf

by Eve Siebert
Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Article

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.

The Secret Life of J. Allen Hynek

The Secret Life of J. Allen Hynek

by John Franch
Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Article

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.

Miracle Dirt of Chimayó

Miracle Dirt of Chimayó

by Joe Nickell
Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Investigative Files

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.

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