More Options

Show Print-Only Articles

Skeptical Inquirer — Thinking About Science

Subscribe | Order One Issue | Subscribe (Digital)
Browse Skeptical Inquirer articles available for free »

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Futurology

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 38.6, November/December 2014

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Science and Skepticism, the Big Picture

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 39.1, January/February 2015

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Evidence in Science

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 38.5, September/October 2014

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Epistemology of Thought Experiments, Part 2

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Epistemology of Thought Experiments, Part 1

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 38.3, May/June 2014

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Epsitemology of Thought Experiments, Part 1

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 38.2, March/April 2014

Thinking About Science

Demarcation and Pseudoscience

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 38.1, January/February 2014

Thinking About Science

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.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Truth, Part II

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 37.6, November/December 2013

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Truth, Part I

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 37.5, September/October 2013

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Mathematical Explanations and Degrees of Impossibility

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 37.4, July/August 2013

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Whose Burden of Proof?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 37.3, May/June 2013

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Proper Role of Sociology of Science

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Physicists against Philosophers

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Singularity As Pseudoscience

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.6, November/December 2012

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

What’s So Bad about Ad Hoc Hypotheses?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Explanations in Search of Observations

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Psychoanalysis and Social Constructivism

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Human Nature

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.2, March/April 2012

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Hume vs. Rousseau: The Limits of Human Reason

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Hopeless War against Intelligent Design Creationism

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 35.6, November/December 2011

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

On Miracles–Again

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 35.5, September/October 2011

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Popper vs. Kuhn: The Battle for Understanding How Science Works

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 35.4, July/August 2011

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Science of Unique Events

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 35.3, May/June 2011

Thinking About Science

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

On Time Travel

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 35.2, March/April 2011

Thinking About Science

Where does the know-how to build time machines ultimately come from?

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Climate Denialism

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 34.2, March / April 2010

Thinking About Science

As I'm sure most Skeptical Inquirer readers are aware, November 2009 was "global warming denialism month." This is not an official United Nations...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Is There a Difference between Basic and Applied Science?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 34.1, January / February 2010

Thinking About Science

Humans like to classify things into discrete boxes. It helps us make sense of our complex and often chaotic world. A classic problem in philosophy is whether...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Moral Duty of a Skeptic

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 33.6, November / December 2009

Thinking About Science

I assume that most readers of the Skeptical Inquirer think that skepticism is a good thing...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Logophobia

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 33.5, September / October 2009

Thinking About Science

Logophobics have developed strategies to obfuscate clear thinking, which they deploy whenever pressed by a skeptic.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Hard and Soft Science: Physics vs. Psychology

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 33.3, May / June 2009

Thinking About Science

It turns out that the replicability of findings in psychology is no worse than that of findings in particle physics.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Tree of Life

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 33.2, March / April 2009

Thinking About Science

Darwin famously drew only one figure in The Origin of Species, which was published 150 years ago...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Experimental Philosophy, an Oxymoron?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 33.1, January / February 2009

Thinking About Science

Is it inconveivable, for instance, for an ethical philosopher to write a paper in that field as if he had never heard of...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Brain on Justice

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 32.5, September / October 2008

Thinking About Science

Justice, fairness and the efficient distribution of resources do not seem at first the sort of topics that should interest...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Alternative Science

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 32.4, July / August 2008

Thinking About Science

Theories and hypotheses are the outcome of creative thinking, and creative thinking requires imagination, not just knowledge.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Creationist Peer Review

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 32.3, May / June 2008

Thinking About Science

Arguing, teaching, and doing research means that one accepts the rule of rational, evidence-based discourse...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Toward a Consilience of Sciences and Humanities?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 32.2, March / April 2008

Thinking About Science

In 1998, biologist Edward O. Wilson published a controversial book titled Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Is Intelligent Design Creationism?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 32.1, January / February 2008

Thinking About Science

The fossils produced by the paleontologist make a compelling case because they are of the appropriate morphology...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Beyond Selfish Genes

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 31.6, November / December 2007

Thinking About Science

Richard Dawkins' classic book, The Selfish Gene (1976), presented to the public the astonishing idea that...

The Trouble with Memetics

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 31.5, September / October 2007

Thinking About Science

A meme, according to the by-now-standard dictionary definition, is "an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Is Dawkins Deluded? When Scientists Talk About Religion

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 31.4, July / August 2007

Thinking About Science

By some accounts, 2006 was the year atheists struck back. Three books in particular made headlines across the world...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Can There Be a Science of Free Will?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 31.3, May / June 2007

Thinking About Science

A splendid article by Dennis Overbye in The New York Times gave me the impetus to talk about...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Is There Such a Thing as Macroevolution?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 31.2, March / April 2007

Thinking About Science

Even creationists make progress.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Evolutionary Epistemology, Anyone

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 31.1, January / February 2007

Thinking About Science

Wittgenstein wrote that "Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other hypothesis in natural science."

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Neuro-philosophy of Regred

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 30.6, November / December 2006

Thinking About Science

For millennia, the study of the mind and the relationship between reason and emotions was the exclusive domain of philosophy.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

One More Take on Reductionism vs. Holism

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 30.5, September / October 2006

Thinking About Science

Do you think that nature is characterized by complex systems that interact with each other and whose properties are not...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

When Philosophy Matters

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 30.4, July / August 2006

Thinking About Science

Philosophy is often accused of being out of touch with reality, the esoteric pursuit of a vanishing academic elite that...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Is Physics Turning into Philosophy?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 30.3, May / June 2006

Thinking About Science

Physics is, by most people's—especially physicists'—accounts, the queen of the sciences.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Is Evolutionary Psychology a Pseudoscience?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 30.2, March / April 2006

Thinking About Science

Evolutionary psychology is the most current incarnation of what started out as sociobiology, a branch of evolutionary theory...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Planet X and the Issue of Definitions in Science

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 30.1, January / February 2006

Thinking About Science

Planet X, the long-hypothesized tenth member of the solar system, has finally been discovered by a group of astronomers...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Just the Facts, Ma’am: Empirical vs. Rationalist Approaches to Understanding

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 29.6, November / December 2005

Thinking About Science

Skeptics tend to be empiricists. They want the facts. Indeed, it is this emphasis on empirically verifiable statements that...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The Power and Perils of Metaphors in Science

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 29.5, September / October 2005

Thinking About Science

Humans apparently cannot avoid thinking, at least occasionally, by images and parallels to already known situations.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Are the Historical Sciences Sciences?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 29.4, July / August 2005

Thinking About Science

Are historical sciences somehow inferior to experimental ones? This attitude, sometimes referred to as "physics envy..."

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

The So-called Gaia Hypothesis

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 29.3, May / June 2005

Thinking About Science

Is Earth a living organism? Broadly speaking, this is the chief claim of a family of theories often referred to as "Gaia."

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Do Extraordinary Claims Really Require Extraordinary Evidence?

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 29.2, March / April 2005

Thinking About Science

Carl Sagan had a rare gift for making clear rather abstruse ideas.

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

Piltdown and How Science Really Works

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 29.1, January / February 2005

Thinking About Science

When one debates creationists, one is bound to run up against the infamous Piltdown forgery. This is the case of an alleged...

Available to Subscribers
Subscribe now Online, or to the Print Magazine.
Also available on our iTunes App, Android App, and other devices.

And the Mechanism Is ...

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 28.6, November / December 2004

Thinking About Science

Why do people fall in love? This ageless question has seen attempts at resolution by minds of the caliber of Aristotle and...