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Skeptical Inquirer — Volume 38.4

Volume 38.4

July/August 2014

Would the World Be Better Off Without Religion? A Skeptic’s Guide to the Debate

Would the World Be Better Off Without Religion? A Skeptic’s Guide to the Debate

by Scott O. Lilienfeld and Rachel Ammirati
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Science and Religion

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.

Faith Healing: Religious Freedom vs. Child Protection

Faith Healing: Religious Freedom vs. Child Protection

by Harriet Hall
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Science and Religion

The medical ethics principle of autonomy justifies letting competent adults reject lifesaving medical care for themselves because of their religious beliefs, but it does not extend to rejecting medical care for children.

Modern Witch Hunting and Superstitious Murder in India

Modern Witch Hunting and Superstitious Murder in India

by Ryan Shaffer
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Science and Religion

The modern practice of witch hunting in India includes violence and beliefs that have led to the torture and murder of alleged witches. State governments and rationalist groups are trying to address the problem but face big obstacles.

Scientific Methodology and Its Religious Parallels

Scientific Methodology and Its Religious Parallels

by Charles M. Wynn Sr.
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Science and Religion

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.

CSI Announces Paul Offit As Winner of the 2013 Balles Prize

CSI Announces Paul Offit As Winner of the 2013 Balles Prize

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

News & Comment

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.

The ‘Miracles’ of Father Baker

The ‘Miracles’ of Father Baker

by Joe Nickell
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Investigative Files

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.

No Health Risks from GMOs

No Health Risks from GMOs

by Steven Novella
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

The Science of Medicine

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.

The Lure of Mysterious Paintings, Part 2

The Lure of Mysterious Paintings, Part 2

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Notes on a Strange World

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.

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The Secular Are Skeptics: The Worldviews of Today’s University Students

by Barry A. Kosmin
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Science and Religion

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Raelism: Christianity for the Space Age

by Mark Rubinstein
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Science and Religion

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Thermal Imaging: Cold Hard Facts or Just Hot Air?

by Everett A. Themer
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Forum

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Science and Religion: New Questions and Issues

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

From the Editor

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The Epistemology of Thought Experiments, Part 2

by Massimo Pigliucci
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Thinking About Science

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MUFON Jumps the Shark

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Psychic Vibrations

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Childhood Obesity, Fast Food, and the Overstuffed Elephant in the Room

by Kenneth W. Krause
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Science Watch

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Did Television Introduce Anorexia to Fiji?

by Ben Radford
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Skeptical Inquiree

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The Brain and Religious Belief: Analysis Disappoints

by Terence Hines
Volume 38.4, July/August 2014

Book Review

A review of The Believer’s Brain, by Kenneth M. Heilman and Russell S. Donda