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Skeptical Inquirer — Volume 36.4

Volume 36.4

July/August 2012

Neurologic Illness or Hysteria? A Mysterious Twitching Outbreak

Neurologic Illness or Hysteria? A Mysterious Twitching Outbreak

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

Six cases were reported, then twelve, then fifteen and counting as the story captured attention across the United States and beyond. I twice visited Le Roy on behalf of the Skeptical Inquirer, to talk with parents and others involved, visit relevant sites, and otherwise investigate this strange outbreak.

The Social and Symbolic Power of AIDS Denialism

The Social and Symbolic Power of AIDS Denialism

by Nicoli Nattrass
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

AIDS denialism has proved socially resilient because dissident “hero scientists” provide legitimacy, “cultropreneurs” offer fake cures in the place of antiretroviral treatment, and HIV-positive “living icons” seem to provide proof of concept.

Eyewitness to the Paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained’

Eyewitness to the Paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained’

by Matthew J. Sharps
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

Research in experimental psychology has shown that many paranormal sightings fall directly within the realm of eyewitness memory. Experiments reveal that such “sightings” derive from the psychology of the observers rather than from supernatural sources. Experiments show these proclivities.

Enfield Poltergeist

Enfield Poltergeist

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Investigative Files

In August 1977, a series of disturbances that were soon characterized as a case of poltergeist phenomena or even demonic possession began in Enfield, a northern suburb of London.

The Non-Mysterious Mass Illness in Le Roy, New York

by Steven Novella
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

The Science of Medicine

The “mystery illness” has become a Rorschach test of sorts: people see in the illness a diagnosis that fits their worldview or pet cause. But now that the dust has settled somewhat on this outbreak, what can we reliably say about it?

What’s Going On in Our Minds?

What’s Going On in Our Minds?

by Paul Brown
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Book Review

A review of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

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‘Mystery Illness’ in Western New York: Is Social Networking Spreading Mass Hysteria?

by Robert E. Bartholomew
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

The recent outbreak of twitching, facial tics, and garbled speech—symptoms of a form of conversion disorder—at a school in Western New York may signal a growing trend in the United States.

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The Top 20 Logical Fallacies

by Jesse Richardson
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

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Political Myths that Influence Voters

by Jeffrey S. Victor
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

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Dinodang: The Melon Rex Myth

by Phil Senter
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

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Why the GOP Distrusts Science

by Chris Mooney
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Special Report

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Dr. Phil Gives Psychics a Pass

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

From the Editor

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Explanations in Search of Observations

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Thinking About Science

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Stairway to Heaven: A Firsthand Account of a UFO Sighting

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Notes on a Strange World

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Flying Saucer or Fly: The Case UFO Skeptics Have Been Dreading?

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Psychic Vibrations

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Besieging the Last Bastions of Race

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Science Watch

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Diving HeadOn into Pseudoscience

by Ben Radford
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Skeptical Inquiree