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."
A medium made a seemingly impressive guess about a hummingbird on a national television talk show. A follow-up investigation finds it not so striking after all—for the birds, in fact.
by John Eades
Norman Mailer coined the word factoids to describe facts that have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, but once they do appear they are accepted without question. Some global warming deniers are especially fond of them.
by Matthew J. Sharps, Schuyler W. Liao, and Megan R. Herrera
Research on belief in the 2012 “apocalypse” demonstrates that specific psychological processes contributed directly to the maintenance of paranormal apocalyptic beliefs, even after the apocalypse did not occur.
by Josh Zepps
We present a condensed version of an earlier interview about Ann Druyan’s experience with the first and the new Cosmos series by Josh Zepps for our Center for Inquiry’s Point of Inquiry podcast.
Although unfamiliar to many skeptics, rhetorical analysis can provide a useful complement to the traditional critical thinking approaches that comprise the “skeptic’s toolbox.”
by Harriet Hall
A brief guide to a popular alternative system of remedies based on a nineteenth-century concept that has no scientific validity.
A much-hyped two-hour Discovery Channel “documentary” delved into a decades-old pseudo-mystery known as the Dyatlov Pass incident in which nine Russian skiers died under unclear circumstances in the Ural Mountains.
by Joe Nickell
In October 2013, led by a professional guide, I visited Mount Rainier and its vicinity, the locale of numerous alleged sightings, track discoveries, and photographs of the elusive creature.
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.