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."
by Harriet Hall
A review of Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine by Paul Offit, MD.
What causes the startling, unbidden perception of something that seems very real but has no material existence outside of our own minds? The “poet-laureate of medicine,” Oliver Sacks, takes us through the looking glass and into the fascinating world of hallucinations.
The famous “Mansi photo” of the Lake Champlain monster has been held up for decades as strong proof for cryptozoology—the so-called best evidence for the existence of a hidden animal. Yet, newly uncovered documents reveal troubling questions about the photo and the circumstances surrounding it.
by Barry Fagin
What do you do when your heart says one thing and the data says another? When science conflicts with values, which wins the battle for your soul? Which, for that matter, gets your vote?
What a privilege to be living through a time of such miracles. These are not literal miracles, of course, in the sense of divine intervention, and so miracles is not the correct word.
by Joe Nickell
Joe Nickell continues his investigation of Scottish enigmas—based in part on his excursion following the 2012 skeptics QED conference in England, with intrepid skeptical investigator Hayley Stevens and her father Andy, who is a photographer and professional guide.
"Is there any chance you could put my mind at ease and explain why the Social Security Death Index would list [Sandy Hook shooter] Adam Lanza as having died on December 13, 2012, the day before the Sandy Hook shooting?"
We very likely have Katie Holmes to thank for the timing of this latest crop of books on Scientology, the belief system so notably promoted by her ex-husband, Tom Cruise. Yes, at least two of these authors have been researching their books for many years, but for promotional opportunities you can’t beat a good celebrity crack-up.
by Joe Nickell and James McGaha
Allegedly invisible entities—popular belief notwithstanding—are indistinguishable from imaginary beings.
Indian astrologers claim they can tell a person’s intelligence from his or her horoscope. But twenty-seven astrologers failed to perform better than chance when given forty horoscopes of intellectually bright subjects and mentally handicapped subjects.