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 Deborah A. Bolnick, Kenneth L. Feder, Bradley T. Lepper, and Terry A. Barnhart
The Lost Civilizations of North America documentary suggests that there is genetic evidence for a pre-Columbian migration of Israelites to the Americas. However, DNA studies provide no support for this hypothesis.
by Manfred Cuntz
In May 2009 a meteorite impact was reported just thirty miles south of Fort Worth, Texas, but the mysterious object was of a very unusual composition for a meteorite. Had an impact occurred, it would have caused widespread devastation-yet nothing of the sort happened.
by Shobha S. Krishnan
Ever since the FDA approved the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in 2006, its introduction has been embroiled in a medical, social, cultural, and political controversy.
by Edzard Ernst
The general public is frequently confused by controversies, by a plethora of misinformation, and by the bewildering categories of medicines derived from herbs. Here I will try to clear up some of this confusion by explaining what the different categories are.
Members of the Independent Investigations Group and sixteen volunteers, including former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, conducted a test of Power Balance bracelets. The results will not be surprising to skeptics.
by Joe Nickell
It was like déjà-vu. In 2008, in a traveling exhibition called “Vatican Splendors,” I had seen the Holy Mandylion, also known as the Image of Edessa, which was once held to be the miraculous self-portrait of Christ. Now, in Genoa the following year, I was seeing another such image...
Last May, newspapers in Italy and abroad reported that the iconic image of a Madonna had wept tears in the Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas in Milano. It was the second time that this phenomenon had reportedly happened there.
To patients suffering from an incurable disease a new idea represents one thing: hope. Science, by contrast, cares only about what works and is dispassionate, which is easily portrayed as heartlessness. Hopeful nonsense thus has a public relations advantage over pitiless science every time.
by Joe Nickell
Anti-Stratfordians start with the answer they want and work backward to the evidence—the opposite of good science and scholarship. They reverse the standards of objective inquiry, replacing them with pseudoscience and pseudohistory.
by Bradley T. Lepper, Kenneth L. Feder, Terry A. Barnhart, and Deborah A. Bolnick
The documentary Lost Civilizations of North America presents a distorted picture of American prehistory. The archaeological evidence presented to support notions of ancient pre-Columbian contact consists of long-discredited frauds.