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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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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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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Gallows Ghosts? Mystery at Brisbane’s Tower Mill

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Investigative Files

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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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Theresa Caputo: The Fake Long Island Medium

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Notes on a Strange World

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Don’t Fear a Franken Public

by Matt Nisbet
Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

The Science of Science Communication

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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 Revisted: A Great Example of Junk Science

The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisted: 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

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The Science of Meaning

by Gleb Tsipursky
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature

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The Sixteenth European Skeptics Congress, London 2015

by Michael Heap and Chris French
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Conference Report

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The SkeptiCal Conference

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Conference Report

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Skepticism in Popular Music: The Art of Discourse

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Special Report

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Do We Really Want Science-Informed Candidates?

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

From the Editor

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Hanging Out with Hangar 1

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Psychic Vibrations

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Have You Seen the Toucan Man?

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

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Lincoln’s ‘Haunting’ Presence

by Joe Nickell
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Review

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Invasion of the Pod People

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Review

‘Reason for Change’: Quacks and Cranks, GMOs and Climate, Science and Philosophy

‘Reason for Change’: Quacks and Cranks, GMOs and Climate, Science and Philosophy

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Conference Report

CFI Conference Covers It All

‘Post-Materialist’ Science? A Smokescreen for Woo

‘Post-Materialist’ Science? A Smokescreen for Woo

by Sadri Hassani
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

Pseudoscience has been rapidly gaining ground in the past few decades. Dietary supplements and homeopathic preparations, advertised by the disgraced Dr. Oz and his ilk, now constitute a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The 1848 ‘Enormous Serpent’ of the Daedalus Identified

The 1848 ‘Enormous Serpent’ of the Daedalus Identified

by Gary J. Galbreath
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

A famous sea serpent sighting has been an enduring mystery 
of the sea since 1848. However, new information suggests a solution.

Encouraging Evidence-Free Enterprise: Business on a Bed of Sand

Encouraging Evidence-Free Enterprise: Business on a Bed of Sand

by Brian D. Engler and Eugenie V. Mielczarek
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

The former National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s use of two U.S. government grant programs for small businesses is examined and found to lend legitimacy to the lucrative business of non-evidence-based medicine.

Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained

Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Forum

Allow me to set the record straight. First off, Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that is trying to be the repository of all knowledge; it is not Tumbler or Reddit or some other social network. Wikipedia has rules. Some of them are open to interpretation a bit, but for the most part the rules are discussed within the community of editors and usually enforced evenly.

The Black Madonna: A Folkloristic and Iconographic Investigation

The Black Madonna: A Folkloristic and Iconographic Investigation

by Joe Nickell
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Investigative Files

One of the most famous of true icons (traditional religious panel paintings) is the so-called Black Madonna of Czestochowa, Poland (Figure 1). Its notoriety was boosted when, following his election to the papacy, the “Polish Pope” John Paul II prayed before it on a visit in 1979. For an international History Channel series, Miracles Decoded, I was asked to look into the icon’s origins. I

Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Skeptical Inquiree

Have you heard about this recent case of a young boy who says he lived a past life as a Marine? What do you make of it?

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Through Me, the Universe: A Stroll through the Curious Solipsism of Biocentrism

by Dale DeBakcsy
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

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The Devil and the Details

by Jérémie Harris and Edouard Harris
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

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From N-Rays to EmDrives: When Does Science Become Pseudoscience?

by David Koepsell
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Special Report

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Is the EmDrive Pseudoscience?

by Leonard Tramiel
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Special Report

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The Man Who Solved the Bermuda Triangle Mystery

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

From the Editor

Ten Distinguished Scientists and Scholars 
Named Fellows of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

Ten Distinguished Scientists and Scholars 
Named Fellows of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

by The Editors
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

News & Comment

Ten distinguished scientists, scholars, educators, and investigators from five countries have been elected fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), copublisher of the Skeptical Inquirer. CSI (formerly CSICOP) is one of the world’s leading organizations for the promotion of scientific thinking and the critical examination of extraordinary claims from a scientific point of view.

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The Rendle-Sham Case: Phony and Phonier

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Psychic Vibrations

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Beware Mesmer Thieves!

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Skeptical Inquiree

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Unlocking the Treasures

by David Kordahl
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Review

A Review of Great Calculations: A Surprising Look Behind 50 Scientific Inquiries by Colin Pask

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Memior of an Accused Satanist

by Mike Moran
Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Review

A Review of Life After Death by Damien Echols

A Brief History of Scientific Celebrity

A Brief History of Scientific Celebrity

by Declan Fahy
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

Science is personified by a handful of articulate, media-savvy scientists who stimulate new thinking, 
drive scientific controversies, enhance public understanding, mobilize social movements, 
and shape policy. To millions, these scientific celebrities are the public face of science.

Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience

Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience

by Stephanie Savage​
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

A skeptic sees no light at the end of the tunnel when she falls into a six-week coma and nearly dies.

ADVERLYING: Disliking Advertising from an Informed Perspective

ADVERLYING: Disliking Advertising from an Informed Perspective

by Steve Cuno
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

Some accusations levied against advertising are undeserved. But then, some are deserved, though perhaps not in ways you may have heard or assumed. Meanwhile, not a few bad apples engage in a heinous advertising tactic that goes largely unnoticed.

No Reason to Believe That Sykes’s Yeti-Bear Cryptid Exists

No Reason to Believe That Sykes’s Yeti-Bear Cryptid Exists

by Ronald H. Pine and Eliécer E. Gutiérrez
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Special Report

Sykes, named “Cryptozoologist of the Year 2013” according to the blog CryptoZooNews, seems to be gaining more and more prominence and respect among cryptozoologists. However, certain of his pronouncements seem highly dubious to his fellow scientists; he has reached some embarrassingly incorrect conclusions, and a number of his statements as to his credentials are thought to be misleading.

Homeopathy ‘Unsupported, Ineffective, Dangerous’: CFI Testimony to FDA

Homeopathy ‘Unsupported, Ineffective, Dangerous’: CFI Testimony to FDA

by Michael De Dora
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Commentary

The full text of invited testimony by the Center for Inquiry at the April 20, 2015, hearing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on “Homeopathic Product Regulation: Evaluating the FDA’s Regulatory Framework After a Quarter-Century.”

The Return of Facilitated Communication

The Return of Facilitated Communication

by Terence Hines
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Review

Review of The Horse That Won’t Go Away: Clever Hans, Facilitated Communication, and the Need for Clear Thinking by Thomas E. Heinzen, Scott O. Lilienfeld, and Susan A. Nolan

The Mystery of TJIPETIR

The Mystery of TJIPETIR

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Notes on a Strange World

Mysterious rectangular rubber-like blocks, with the enigmatic word TJIPETIR engraved into them, have been washing up for the past few years on the beaches of northern Europe.

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The Pope’s Encyclical on Climate and the Planet: Will It Change the Debate?

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Special Report

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Is the Pope Catholic?

by Kenneth R. Miller
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Special Report

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The Future of the Center for Inquiry

by Ronald A. Lindsay
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Special Essay

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Correlations: How Do We Ever Establish Definite Causation?

by Morton E. Tavel
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Forum

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‘Reason’ Topics and Real Science vs. False Mysteries

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

From the Editor

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The ‘Roswell Slides’ Fiasco: UFOlogy’s Biggest Black Eye

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Psychic Vibrations

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The Case of the Haunting Handprints

by Joe Nickell
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Review

The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham

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A Textbook Case in Georgia Remembered

by Glenn Branch
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Review

God Sent Me: A Textbook Case on Evolution vs. Creation by Jeffrey Selman

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World-Changing Genius, Creativity, and Teamwork

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Review

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

The ‘Food Babe’: A Taste of Her Own Medicine

The ‘Food Babe’: A Taste of Her Own Medicine

by Mark Aaron Alsip
Volume 39.3, May/June 2015

Medical Misinformation

While “Food Babe” Vani Hari’s pseudoscience has been widely debunked by qualified doctors and scientists, a more sobering fact seems to have escaped everyone’s attention: one of America’s most notorious bloggers is earning sales commissions from products that contain the very same ingredients she says are dangerous.

WHO’s Strategy on Traditional and Complementary Medicine

WHO’s Strategy on Traditional and Complementary Medicine

by Thomas P.C. Dorlo, Willem Betz, and Cees N.M. Renckens
Volume 39.3, May/June 2015

Medical Misinformation

The World Health Organization once again advocates for implementing complementary and alternative medicine in national health services, jeopardizing global public health and evidence-based medicine.

Pesticides: Just How Bad Are They?

Pesticides: Just How Bad Are They?

by Harriet Hall
Volume 39.3, May/June 2015

Medical Misinformation

Scientific balance and objective assessments of evidence are necessary to avoid biased and misleading answers to concerns about pesticides.

Vaccines and the Anti-Vaccination Movement: An Interview with Dr. Paul Offit

Vaccines and the Anti-Vaccination Movement: An Interview with Dr. Paul Offit

by Lindsay Beyerstein
Volume 39.3, May/June 2015

Interview

In an interview with Lindsay Beyerstein on the Point of Inquiry podcast, Offit spoke about the early 2015 measles outbreak at Disneyland, the anti-vaccination movement, and the importance of vaccination.

It’s Time for Science-Based Medicine

It’s Time for Science-Based Medicine

by Steven Novella
Volume 39.3, May/June 2015

The Science of Medicine

In the pages of the Skeptical Inquirer and elsewhere in the skeptical literature, you can read about a seemingly endless array of snake oil remedies, dubious health claims, questionable practices, ineffective regulation, and shortcomings of mainstream medicine.

Truth, Trouble, and Research Exposing Alt Med

Truth, Trouble, and Research Exposing Alt Med

by Chris French
Volume 39.3, May/June 2015

Review

A Scientist in Wonderland: A Memoir of Searching for Truth and Finding Trouble by Edzard Ernst

The Meaning of Consensus in Science

The Meaning of Consensus in Science

by David Morrison
Volume 39.3, May/June 2015

Review

Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth by James Lawrence Powell

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Do We Really Want to Believe in UFOs?

by Klaus Brasch
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

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Treemonisha: Scott Joplin’s Skeptical Black Opera

by Bruce A. Thyer
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Feature

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Today’s Celebrity Scientists

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

From the Editor

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Dillinger’s Ghost

by Joe Nickell
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Investigative Files

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UFO Conspiracies at the UFO Congress

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Psychic Vibrations

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Diet-Heart: A Hypothesis in Crisis? Part 3: The Modern Macronutrient War Rages On

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 39.4, July/August 2015

Science Watch