Skeptical Inquirer — Volume 32.6
November / December 2008
Asteroids Named for Skeptics, Authors, Science Educators
by Jeff Medkeff
Asteroids named for P.Z. Myers, Philip Plait, Michael Stackpole and Rebecca Watson.
Charles Fort’s Life and Legacy of Strangeness
by Rob Boston
Review of Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural by Jim Steinmeyer
What would you think if street lamps kept turning off when you passed them by?
The Emperor’s Postmodern Clothes
A brief guide to deconstructing academically fashionable phrases for the uninitiated.
Firebombings Target University Animal Researchers
by The Editors
Fire bombings against biomedical researchers were called acts of domestic terrorism and attributed to animal rights extremists.
Georgia Bigfoot Hoax Draws Global Attention
In early August, Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer claimed to have found in the woods of Georgia something never known to exist.
Ghosts and Ion Counters
On a recent Friday night, the ghost hunters on the show Most Haunted were seeking specters in a creepy Welsh mansion.
by Joe Nickell
My introduction to Pennsylvania Dutch "hex" signs came when I was a teenager running my own sign-painting business...
Is ‘Knol’ for Knowledge or for Pseudoknowledge?
The runaway success of Wikipedia, which comes up first in many Google searches for information, has led to much criticism.
Jon Beckjord, Advocate of a Paranormal Bigfoot (1939-2008)
Jon Erik Beckjord, well known as a paranormal investigator focusing on Bigfoot, died July 22 from prostate cancer.
Keeping Ahead of the News
We have plenty of riches for you in this issue: five articles, four commentaries, three book reviews, two Forum columns...
Letters to the Editor
by The Editors
Responses to Volume 32, Issue 4
Love at First Sight
Science is exploring the "mystery" of love at first sight. As it turns out, our search for Mr. or Mrs. Right may simply be...
Mickelson, McKellar Tout Science, Math, and Being Smart
by Edzard Ernst
Kudos to two prominent celebrities who are championing science and math education and the virtues of being smart.
A Mind for Murdergate
by Gary Posner
"Psychic clues" audaciously altered in new edition of Renier memoir.
More Cool Careers for Dummies: Ghost Hunter
You can bet your sweet poltergeist that ghost busters will be in demand for years to come.
Mr. Belloc Objects
The Battered Silicon Press, a Canadian publishing house, has brought back into print an obscure little book by H.G. Wells...
Nocturnal Lights and Sounds Baffle Maryland Town…for Awhile
For more than two years, residents of Pikesville, Maryland, have been startled awake by bright flashes and loud explosions.
Purdue Panel Finds Scientific Misconduct in Researcher’s Bubble Fusion Reports
A Purdue University panel has found a researcher guilty of scientific misconduct in a case of bubble, or desktop, fusion.
by Paul Quincey
What Einstein called "spooky action-at-a-distance" is similar to "action-at-a-distance" that bothered people in Newton's time.
A recent article in a scientific journal argues that alleged footprints at the Patterson film site provide evidence for Bigfoot.
What explains the ability of some people to insert sharp spikes into their skin without bleeding or pain?
Secular Sunshine as the Best Disinfectant
Review of The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life by Austin Dacey
The Skeptic Meets the Moral Panic
by Erich Goode
Moral panics are collective delusions and behaviour that a threat posed by an evil agent is more serious than evidence suggests.
Statistically Significant Results vs. Oomph
by Peter Lamal
The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives by Stephen T. Ziliak
Unproven or Disproven Treatments—Why Would Anyone Want to Use Them?
by Edzard Ernst
A recent report suggests that the sales of homeopathic remedies in the UK have increased by 24% during the last five years.
Where’s the Responsibility? UK Broadcasting Code Prevents Re-Airing Psychic’s Failure
by Ryan Shaffer
In all of these television shows, not once has any psychic ability been demonstrated in a double-blind test.