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Does Astrology Need to Be True? A Thirty-Year Update

Does Astrology Need to Be True? A Thirty-Year Update

by Geoffrey Dean
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Feature

Thirty years ago, although dozens of tests had been mostly negative, astrologers said critics had ignored serious astrology. Now there are hundreds of tests, some of them even heroic. Has anything changed?

A Skeptical Response to Science Denial

A Skeptical Response to Science Denial

by John Cook
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Feature

Science denial has a corrosive effect on deli- cately understood scientific concepts, and it is getting worse. But science itself holds an answer.

Artistic Provocations from 
Skeptical Inquirers: An Exhibit

Artistic Provocations from 
Skeptical Inquirers: An Exhibit

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Special Report

The question of the relationship between art and science remains fascinating and open.

Two Artists Combine Art, 
Science, and Skepticism

Two Artists Combine Art, 
Science, and Skepticism

by Russ Dobler
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Special Report

“Much of my work has been about what we see, what we don’t see, and what we think we see”

Jesse James’s ‘Haunts’: Legends, History, and Forensic Science

Jesse James’s ‘Haunts’: Legends, History, and Forensic Science

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Investigative Files

Before trying to explain something, first be sure that it really occurred.

The ‘Phoenix Lights’ Become an ‘Incident’

The ‘Phoenix Lights’ Become an ‘Incident’

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Psychic Vibrations

Until now, the Phoenix Lights were simply that: they were just lights in the sky, skeptics and proponents could agree.

Partisan Pandemics

Partisan Pandemics

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

The Science of Science Communication

Political Divisions Will Affect American Beliefs about the Zika Threat.

Heavy with Praise, Light with Skepticism

Heavy with Praise, Light with Skepticism

by James Alcock
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Review

Extrasensory Perception: Support, Skepticism, and Science by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

Creators of the Paranormal

Creators of the Paranormal

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Feature

A handful of twentieth-century figures “created” the modern concept of the paranormal and its leading topics, transporting fantasy, myth, or speculation into a kind of believable “reality.” Most proved to be a chimera.

Dissociation and Paranormal Beliefs, Toward a Taxonomy of Belief in the Unreal

Dissociation and Paranormal Beliefs, Toward a Taxonomy of Belief in the Unreal

by Matthew J. Sharps, Schuyler W. Liao, and Megan R. Herrera
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Feature

In a normal population, dissociative tendencies contribute to many types of 
paranormal thinking. Psychological dissociation, even at a subclinical level, is an important 
factor in the cognitive processing that leads to belief in the unreal.

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Bigfoot and I: Reflections on Forty Years of Skepticism

by Eugenie Scott
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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My Personal Odyssey in Skepticism

by Harriet Hall
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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From Tiny Acorns…

by Christopher C. French
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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A Glimpse Backward—and Forward—at Skepticism’s Big Tent

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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Spreading Skepticism

by Wendy M. Grossman
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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How I Got Hooked on the Skeptical World

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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The Day the World Changed . . . for Me

by Richard Saunders
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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Skeptical Activism from the Bottom Up

by Michael Marshall
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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Nuclear Power and the Psychology of Evaluating Risk

by Daniel A. Vogel
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Feature

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Dispelling Demons: Detective Work at The Conjuring House

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Investigative Files

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MUFON Gets into the Bigfoot Business

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Psychic Vibrations

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Winning the Vaccine War

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

The Science of Science Communication

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‘M’ Is for Mysterious Marks

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

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Houdini and the Cancer of Superstition

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Notes on a Strange World

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Superstition Masquerading as Science

by Rachel Ammirati, Scott O. Lilienfeld, and Dean McKay
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Special Report

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Michael Mann and the Climate Wars

by Mark Boslough
Volume 40.6, November/December 2016

Interview

Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces

Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces

by Craig A. Foster, Christopher K, McClernon, and Richard F. Reich
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Feature

We used a classroom experiment at the United States Air Force Academy to examine whether 
necklaces infused with microscopic-particle titanium, such as those sold by Phiten Corporation, 
improve emotional well-being.

Stick It In Your Ear! How Not To Do Science

Stick It In Your Ear! How Not To Do Science

by Harriet Hall
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Feature

Ear acupuncture claims to relieve sore throats. A new study seeming to support that idea is so poorly done that it provides a textbook example of how to distinguish between good and bad science.

Gallows Ghosts? Mystery at Brisbane’s Tower Mill

Gallows Ghosts? Mystery at Brisbane’s Tower Mill

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Investigative Files

Residents in the neighborhood in the mid-twentieth century reported that “sometimes when they looked up at the small window facing the street they could see a faint glow and a figure inside the tower, swinging gently from side to side.”

Theresa Caputo: The Fake Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo: The Fake Long Island Medium

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Notes on a Strange World

Today mediums really have an easy life.

Don’t Fear a Franken Public

Don’t Fear a Franken Public

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

The Science of Science Communication

Certainly if the food industry were to support mandatory GM labeling, the precise impact on consumers remains unkown. But to continue to battle against labeling rules is also risky business.

Pseudorelatos sobre el chupacabras

Pseudorelatos sobre el chupacabras

by Benjamin Radford, traducido por Alejandro Borgo – CFI/Argentina
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Online Extra

La mayoría de la gente da por sentado que el chupacabras, como sus hermanos Piegrande y Nessie, apareció hace décadas o siglos. Sin embargo, el origen de este misterioso vampiro bestial se remonta a un testigo portorriqueño que vio la película Species en 1995, en la que aparecía un monstruo casi idéntico.

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Promote Reason, Prevent Climate Catastrophes: Let’s Get ’Er Done

by Bill Nye
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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What Science Is and How and Why It Works

by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Why Skepticism?

by Steven Novella
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Science and Skepticism

by Lawrence M. Krauss
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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How Can Skepticism Do Better?

by Scott O. Lilienfeld
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Time to Upgrade the Skeptical Operating System. Reboot.

by Sharon Hill
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Why I Am Optimistic about the Future of Skepticism

by Richard Wiseman
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Authority and Skepticism

by Daniel C. Dennett
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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The Better Angels of Our Nature vs. the Internet

by David J. Helfand
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Skepticism Evolves—and So Does the Paranormal

by Martin Bridgstock
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Alternative Medicine Is a Playground for Apologists

by Edzard Ernst
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Feature

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Issues in Science and Skepticism

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

From the Editor

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Ley Lines: Investigating on Site

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Investigative Files

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William Tell: Myth or Reality?

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Notes on a Strange World

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‘UFO Disclosure’ Happening Again This Year

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Psychic Vibrations

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The Science Literacy Paradox

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

The Science of Science Communication

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Fate: Inventing Reasons for the Things That Happen

by Stuart Vyse
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Online Extra

 

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Dog Behavior: Beneath the Veneer of ‘Man’s Best Friend’

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Science Watch

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Playing to an Empty Room: Ghost Hunting and ‘Singapore Theory’

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

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Our Conspiracy-Generating Brains

by Steven Caldwell Brown
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Review

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Why Science and Religion are Irreconcilable

by James M. Clark
Volume 40.5, September/October 2016

Review

La búsqueda de evidencia negativa

by Joe Nickell & James McGaha, translated by Alejandro Borgo
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Online Extra

A todo el mundo le gustan los misterios. Resuelva uno en el campo científico y enseguida vendrán los elogios.

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Does E = mc2 Imply Mysticism?

by Sadri Hassani
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Feature

No word stolen from physics is (ab)used in the woo literature more than energy. The most fa- mous equation in physics is often cited as proof that matter and soul are one and the same, a tenet of mysticism.

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Does the Universe Revolve around Me?

by Matthew P. Wiesner
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Feature

A Critical Review of the Geocentrism Documentary The Principle

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Dear Readers, This Is about You . . . and Us

by csicop.org
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Commentary

Skeptical Inquirer’s 2016 Reader Survey Results

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Trusting Science

by Faye Flam
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Feature

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Obesity: ‘Fat Chance’ or Failure of Sincerity?

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Science Watch

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Good News for Grouches: Happiness May Be Overrated

by Stuart Vyse
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Online Extra

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Egging the Equator

Egging the Equator

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

So it was that I spent several long minutes trying to balance the same egg on the same stake and nail.

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Bad Medicine

by Bernard M. Patten
Volume 40.4, July/August 2016

Review

The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife by Eben Alexander

A Numerate Life

A Numerate Life

by John Allen Paulos
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Feature

The man who brought us Innumeracy and touted the benefits of mathematical thinking 
begins his ‘anti-memoir’ by conveying concerns and questions we should have about 
biographies... or our own lives.

A Celebrity’s Experience in Scientology

A Celebrity’s Experience in Scientology

by Wendy M. Grossman
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Review

In her new book, Troublemaker, written with Rebecca Paley, Remini interweaves stories of her personal and professional life with her history in and growing doubts about Scientology.

Biological Race and the Problem of Human Diversity

Biological Race and the Problem of Human Diversity

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Feature

Is biological race a mere myth or a troublesome fact better left unexplored?

Searching for the Yowie, the Down Under Bigfoot

Searching for the Yowie, the Down Under Bigfoot

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Investigative Files

The Yowie is becoming increasingly standardized in its appearance. It is sometimes said that it resembles “depictions of the American Bigfoot” or that “America’s Bigfoot would be an identical type”

In Search of Mary Magdalene

In Search of Mary Magdalene

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Notes on a Strange World

But why today is there so much discussion about Magdalene? What’s so special about this woman to attract the attention of fans of mysteries?

Shifting the Conversation about Climate Change

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

The Science of Science Communication

As we educate the public about scientific consensus, evidence suggests we also need to reframe the focus of debate. Americans tend to view climate change as a scientific or environmental issue, but not as a problem that affects them personally or that connects to issues that they already perceive as important.

Clear Thinking About Cancer

Clear Thinking About Cancer

by Harriet Hall
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Review

He doesn’t blame people who go off in pursuit of a promised miracle cure. He understands their desperation and the comfort of having a hope to cling to. Rather, he blames those who offer that anything without a fair, accurate, and accountable foundation.

Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories of the Chupacabra

Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories of the Chupacabra

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature

As well-known monsters go, the chupacabra is of very recent vintage, first appearing in 1995. However, some writers have created pseudohistories and claimed a false antiquity for the Hispanic vampire beast. These examples provide a fascinating look at cryptozoological folklore in the making.

Deepak Chopra’s ‘Physics’

Deepak Chopra’s ‘Physics’

by Sadri Hassani
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature

Deepak Chopra attempts to connect fundamental concepts of physics to consciousness and spirituality. He started (ab)using physics with his book Quantum Healing. But does he pass the first test of a true scientist: professional integrity?

Illusions of Memory

Illusions of Memory

by Elizabeth Loftus
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Commentary

These are remarks by psychologist and CSI Fellow Elizabeth Loftus accepting an honorary doctorate at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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A Testament of Belief Masquerading as Science

by Michael J. Reynolds
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Feature

Need there be a conflict between science and religion? Francis S. Collins thinks not, but his "evidence for belief" disintegrates under scrutiny, revealing instead a personal testament of belief.

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CRISPR-Cas9: Not Just Another Scientific Revolution

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Special Report

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New X-Files Renews Cover-Up Conspiracy Claims

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Psychic Vibrations

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U.K. Viral ‘Ghost Photo’ Explained

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

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The Nature of ‘Nature’

by Paul Brown
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Review

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Hallucination or Revelation?

by Harriet Hall
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Review

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The Art and Science of the Scam: Implications for Skeptics

by Scott O. Lilienfeld
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Review

The Brown Mountain Lights: Solved! (Again!)

The Brown Mountain Lights: Solved! (Again!)

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Investigative Files

As with UFOs, some lights will remain unidentified—not because they are inherently mysterious but because they are just eyewitness reports or snapshots with so many variable factors.

The X-Files Effect? Research Suggests We Shouldn’t Worry so Much over the Hit TV Series

The X-Files Effect? Research Suggests We Shouldn’t Worry so Much over the Hit TV Series

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

The Science of Science Communication

These findings came with an important caveat: The relationship between TV viewing and belief was only significant among those viewers who reported prior personal experience with the paranormal.

The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisited: A Great Example of Junk Science

The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisited: A Great Example of Junk Science

by Morton E. Tavel
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature

Although the polygraph can be useful in coercing confessions, it is based on scientifically implausible assumptions of accuracy and is biased against the innocent. The scientific community justly considers it pseudoscience, and it should be abandoned.

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Skepticism and the Nature of the Mind

by Daniel A. Vogel
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Feature

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The Mote in Thy Brother’s Eye

by Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Feature

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Does the Scientific Method Have Biblical Origins?

by Brian Bolton
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Feature

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Another Really Bad Week for the Supplements Industry, Including Criminal Charges

by Steven Salzberg
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Special Report

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Divine Providence or Divine Malfeasance: A Skeptical Inquiry

by Nicholas S. Molinari
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Forum

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Missiles and Saucers

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Psychic Vibrations

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Cyptozology and Global Warming

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

Guns: Feeling Safe Does Not Equal Being Safe

Guns: Feeling Safe Does Not Equal Being Safe

by Stuart Vyse
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Sadly, buying a gun does not make you safer. To the contrary, the evidence suggests that bringing a gun into your home increases the chances you will be killed.

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The Physics of Martial Arts

by Peter Huston
Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Review

The Charlie Charlie Challenge

The Charlie Charlie Challenge

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Notes on a Strange World

This is the latest web craze known as the “Charlie Charlie Challenge,” perhaps dating back to an ancient Mexican tradition, an experience that intrigues kids and scares adults. Through a sort of séance, some claim people can ask questions to some unseen entity that should be able to reply.

Poltergeist Scribbler: The Bizarre Case of Matthew Manning

Poltergeist Scribbler: The Bizarre Case of Matthew Manning

by Joe Nickell
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Investigative Files

What has been called “one of the most extraordinary outbreaks of poltergeist phenomena” of the twentieth century began with an English schoolboy, aged eleven and a half years, Matthew Manning.

The Search for Negative Evidence

by Joe Nickell and James McGaha
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

By their nature, paranormal claims depend not on positive but negative evidence, by which proponents attempt to use mysteries (“the unexplained”) to support their beliefs. In contrast, scientists seek to use positive evidence to solve mysteries.

We Are All GMOs

by Matan Shelomi
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Increasing evidence that gene transfer across huge evolutionary distances is common in animals, including humans, provides a strong retort to the claim that GMOs are “unnatural.”

The Bermuda Triangle Mystery Delusion: Looking Back after Forty Years

The Bermuda Triangle Mystery Delusion: Looking Back after Forty Years

by Larry Kusche
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

The man who solved the Bermuda Triangle “mystery” looks back after four decades on his investigations into the missing flight that started it all and the shoddy research, gullibility, and distortions that created this mystery.

A Protopian View of Moral Progress

A Protopian View of Moral Progress

by Daniel Grassam
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Review

A Review of The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom by Michael Shermer

The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming

The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming

by James Lawrence Powell
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

In 2013–2014, only four of 69,604 publishing climate scientists rejected anthropogenic global warming. The consensus on anthropogenic global warming is not 97 percent, as is widely claimed; it is above 99.9 percent.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Saucers

On Her Majesty’s Secret Saucers

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Review

A Review of How UFO's Conquered the World by David Clarke

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Trends in Scientific Knowledge, Education, and Religion

by Charles S. Reichardt
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature