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Skeptical Inquirer — Volume 36.1

Volume 36.1

January/February 2012

Civilizations Lost and Found: Fabricating History - Part Three: Real Messages in DNA

Civilizations Lost and Found: Fabricating History - Part Three: Real Messages in DNA

by Deborah A. Bolnick, Kenneth L. Feder, Bradley T. Lepper, and Terry A. Barnhart
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Article

The Lost Civilizations of North America documentary suggests that there is genetic evidence for a pre-Columbian migration of Israelites to the Americas. However, DNA studies provide no support for this hypothesis.

The Mysterious Meteorite of Chalk Mountain, Texas

The Mysterious Meteorite of Chalk Mountain, Texas

by Manfred Cuntz
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Article

In May 2009 a meteorite impact was reported just thirty miles south of Fort Worth, Texas, but the mysterious object was of a very unusual composition for a meteorite. Had an impact occurred, it would have caused widespread devastation-yet nothing of the sort happened.

The HPV Vaccine Controversy

The HPV Vaccine Controversy

by Shobha S. Krishnan
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Commentary

Ever since the FDA approved the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in 2006, its introduction has been embroiled in a medical, social, cultural, and political controversy.

Medicines Derived from Herbs

Medicines Derived from Herbs

by Edzard Ernst
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Commentary

The general public is frequently confused by controversies, by a plethora of misinformation, and by the bewildering categories of medicines derived from herbs. Here I will try to clear up some of this confusion by explaining what the different categories are.

Power Balance Bracelets a Bust in Tests

Power Balance Bracelets a Bust in Tests

by Jim Underdown
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Special Report

Members of the Independent Investigations Group and sixteen volunteers, including former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, conducted a test of Power Balance bracelets. The results will not be surprising to skeptics.

The Holy Mandylion: A Déjà-view

The Holy Mandylion: A Déjà-view

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Investigative Files

It was like déjà-vu. In 2008, in a traveling exhibition called “Vatican Splendors,” I had seen the Holy Mandylion, also known as the Image of Edessa, which was once held to be the miraculous self-portrait of Christ. Now, in Genoa the following year, I was seeing another such image...

The Case of a Weeping Orthodox Icon

The Case of a Weeping Orthodox Icon

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Notes on a Strange World

Last May, newspapers in Italy and abroad reported that the iconic image of a Madonna had wept tears in the Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas in Milano. It was the second time that this phenomenon had reportedly happened there.

In Multiple Sclerosis Treatments, Hope Trumps Reason

In Multiple Sclerosis Treatments, Hope Trumps Reason

by Steven Novella
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

The Science of Medicine

To patients suffering from an incurable disease a new idea represents one thing: hope. Science, by contrast, cares only about what works and is dispassionate, which is easily portrayed as heartlessness. Hopeful nonsense thus has a public relations advantage over pitiless science every time.

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Measuring Mythology: Startling Concepts in NCCAM Grants

by Eugenie V. Mielczarek and Brian D. Engler
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Article

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Laughing Goats and Scowling Sheep: Humor in Paranormal Discourse

by Jonathan C. Smith
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Article

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Information Literacy and Conspiracy Theories

by Kristin E. Harley
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Article

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Scientology under the Looking Glass

by Wendy M. Grossman
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Book Review

A review of Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman

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Turing Test for Human Beings

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Book Review

A review of The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us about What It Means to Be Alive by Brian Christian

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He Lets Other People Make Up Stories for Him

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Book Review

A review of The Real Men in Black by Nick Redfern

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NCCAM, No. CSIcon, Yes.

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

From the Editor

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Hume vs. Rousseau: The Limits of Human Reason

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Thinking About Science

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Comet Elenin “Self-Destructs”— Doomsday Postponed Again!

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Psychic Vibrations

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In Vitro Meat: An Imminent Revolution in Food Production?

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Science Watch

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The Bell Witch Mystery

by Ben Radford
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Skeptical Inquiree