If religious believers had a better understanding of scientific methodology and nonbelievers had a better understanding of its parallels with religion, they could have more meaningful discussions with each other.
Here we look at a few of the unusual incidents that some have called “miraculous,” although none has been accepted as such by the Catholic Church.
Like many public controversies, the debate can be better informed by scientific evidence; however, there is no legitimate scientific controversy over the safety of GMOs.
In continuing our discussion on “mystery” paintings from the past: a special place is held by paintings that are said to hold hidden meanings—especially when they do.
Mount Rainier isn’t just where seminal UFO figure Kenneth Arnold saw “flying saucers” in 1947; the majestic mountain actually plays a more direct role in saucerology.
A study of federal funding advancing naturopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, and energy healing as acceptable medical protocols finds troubling misuse of taxpayer dollars.
It is for a literary endeavor, perhaps no less valuable than his scientific work, that Dr. Paul Offit is the 2013 recipient of the Robert P. Balles Annual Prize in Critical Thinking.
Bill Nye gives his own first-person view of this much-watched and much-discussed debate, the circumstances surrounding it, his preparations and strategy, and the reasons he decided to take part.
The rational part of my mind recognized almost immediately thereafter that the identification I had come up with was nonsensical. But was it?
Sparking an international media frenzy, a house in Gary, Indiana, was—according to two unnamed “clairvoyants”—besieged by over 200 demons.
Fear is a powerful emotion with clear protective functions. However, fear is not always adaptive.
A review of Intelligently Designed: How Creationists Built the Campaign against Evolution, by Edward Caudill.
A review of Inside the Real Area 51: The Secret History of Wright Patterson, by Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt.
The Houston doctor Stanislaw Burzynski has been using an unproven cancer cure, “antineoplastons,” for decades, but despite its lack of proven anticancer activity, he has still not been shut down. Here is a primer for skeptics on his career and claims.
A group of skeptical activists has been aggressively investigating and challenging the false claims of the Burzynski clinic and its dubious cancer treatments, presenting reliable information about them online. They even raised funds for a legitimate research hospital.
Skeptics, Humanists Come Together in Tacoma in First Joint Conference: Skepticism, Humanism, or Both?
Back from the CFI Summit, I am completely impressed. Not only was there no obvious twerking, but there was no drama, and in our tight little community of scientific skeptics that is a wonderful thing.
Here are the remarks by CFI President and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay at the CFI Summit in Tacoma presenting the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Eugenie C. Scott.
The 2013 scary movie The Conjuring was very loosely based on the story of Roger and Carolyn Perron and their five daughters who moved into a “haunted” Rhode Island farmhouse in January 1971. There, hysteria soon reigned, the flames of which were fanned by the infamous paranormal “investigators” Ed and Lorraine Warren.
A special preview from the current issue: 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.
A review of Think: Why You Should Question Everything, by Guy P. Harrison.
A review of The Turbulent Universe by Paul Kurtz
A review of Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future by Donald R. Prothero
A review of Science and Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics by Chris Carter
A Review of Studies on the Moon and Human Behavior and Lunar Beliefs
The works published under the name Harun Yahya promote “Islamic creationism.” A closer look at their internal logic reveals that their appeal lies in their capacity to mimic science.
Dean Radin’s new book claims that the scientific evidence for supernormal human abilities is now overwhelming. Radin relies upon meta-analyses and misrepresentations of published results to produce outlandish confidence numbers that work against the very belief he is trying to foster.
Demonology is one of the most misused terms in English, particularly by those relating the phrase to the occult. But what is it?
My experience suggests a contrarian view on the climate change debate that may be worth sharing with my fellow skeptics, including those of you skeptical of climate science.
Sweden is the home of a large and vibrant skeptics group and was the able host of the 2013 European Skeptics Congress, August 23–25, in Stockholm.
Called “America’s best-known poltergeist case,” Tennessee’s sensational “Bell Witch” affair of ca. 1817–1821 has gone unexplained, it is said, for two centuries.
The demarcation problem is a serious one because science has extraordinary social cachet and commands huge sums of public financing, as well as because pseudoscience maims and even kills people.
The evil eye is a lucrative business for many psychics and charlatans. However, the risks run by those who decide to rely on these frauds are often much worse than just a bloodletting to their pocketbooks.
A review of Medical Philosophy: Conceptual Issues in Medicine by Mario Bunge
A review of Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking by Daniel Dennett
A review of Extra Sensory: The Science and Pseudoscience of Telepathy and Other Powers of the Mind by Brian Clegg
A review of The Alien Abduction Files by Kathleen Marden and Denise Stone
A review of The Unexplained Files on The Science Channel
Neuroscience and its new brain imaging tools are great achievements of modern science. But they are vulnerable to being oversold by the media, some overzealous scientists, and neuroentrepreneurs.
Our difficulty accepting evolution isn’t just because some religions oppose it or that it is complicated—it isn’t. The problem may be a result of how our minds work.
What did he see? The missing piece of the puzzle in a strange ‘UFO’ case involving the crash of a young pilot off Australia has been identified.
The story of the Jersey Devil has become layered with myths and variations, obscuring the original events that gave rise to it. Not surprising considering the story comes from colonial-era political intrigue, Quaker religious infighting, and a future Founding Father.
I want to give some brief historical perspective about the skeptical movement, take a look at some new trends, and revisit a theme I’ve emphasized before, reminding ourselves why we do this: the higher values of skeptical inquiry.
While the evidence they provide is scientifically debated, some tools such as audio recorders have become popular mainstays of the paranormal investigator.
I knew that it was possible to create all manner of digital UFOs in photographs. What I did not realize was just how easy it has become.
A review of Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium by Mark Edward.
A review of Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero.
A review of Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs by Stuart A. Kirk, Tomi Gomory, and David Cohen.
The myth of the mad genius began with a misinterpretation of Plato’s “divine madness” and has since gathered support and credibility because of public fascination, media distortion, and enthusiastic pseudoscience.
An update of our “Psychic Defective” analysis examines developments in eleven cases Sylvia Browne made predictions about, explores a new reading, and scrutinizes her other failed predictions about the papacy and American politics.
Europe’s diphtheria outbreaks in the 1940s provide a sobering context for modern anti-vaccination claims.
The latest public confusion about climate change involves an apparent slowing of the rise of global temperatures. What is the reality concerning this putative temperature ‘plateau’?
Miracles are pretty rare events. Except on television’s Dr. Oz Show, where they appear with astonishing frequency.
Over my years as a skeptical cryptozoologist, I have looked for real, natural lookalikes to explain various reported “monsters.” Are there animals that might be mistaken for Bigfoot?
Leonardo da Vinci not only epitomizes genius and creativity, but he is also one of the most sought-after sources of mysteries, both real and invented.
On February 15, 2013, the million inhabitants of the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk experienced a half-megaton explosion from a disintegrating space rock. What happened, and how did the people of Chelyabinsk react?
A review of Wonders Without Number: Created with Purpose or Conceived in Chaos? by David Rives
A review of The Nazi Occult by Kenneth Hite
A review of The Marvelous Learning Animal: What Makes Human Nature Unique by Arthur W. Staats
A Navy neurologist’s credulous venture into acupuncture advocacy serves as a useful case study. Here are twelve mistakes he made rambling down the garden path of self-delusion.
Acclaimed Harvard psychologist and best-selling author Steven Pinker was interviewed by Indre Viskontas and Chris Mooney in a rare live edition of Point of Inquiry, the flagship podcast of our Center for Inquiry. Here is the majority of that interview.
The RMS Queen Mary, a ship of enormous historical import, has been transformed into a roadside attraction whose owners profit off the allure of “ghosts.” Her glorious factual history has been brushed aside in a bid to pander to eager ghost-hunting tourists who aren’t thinking critically about the claims.