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."
So, how did The Amazing Randi escape not only from the cell that kept him a prisoner but also from the building of the police station in Valleyfield Quebec? Here is the ingenious solution devised by Randi.
by Harriet Hall
Supporters of alternative medicine and purveyors of quack remedies love to criticize conventional medicine and science. They keep repeating the same tired arguments that are easily rebutted. This handy guide will help skeptics answer common criticisms from doctor-bashers.
The popular online dating site eHarmony claims that its matching methods are both successful and scientific. But a closer look at the evidence suggests otherwise.
Research continues to find that violent video games play a negligible role in societal violence. But the politics of a culture war won’t let the idea go.
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.