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Skeptical Inquirer — Volume 39.5

Volume 39.5

September/October 2015

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‘Reason for Change’: Quacks and Cranks, GMOs and Climate, Science and Philosophy

‘Reason for Change’: Quacks and Cranks, GMOs and Climate, Science and Philosophy

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Conference Report

CFI Conference Covers It All

‘Post-Materialist’ Science? A Smokescreen for Woo

‘Post-Materialist’ Science? A Smokescreen for Woo

by Sadri Hassani
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

Pseudoscience has been rapidly gaining ground in the past few decades. Dietary supplements and homeopathic preparations, advertised by the disgraced Dr. Oz and his ilk, now constitute a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The 1848 ‘Enormous Serpent’ of the Daedalus Identified

The 1848 ‘Enormous Serpent’ of the Daedalus Identified

by Gary J. Galbreath
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

A famous sea serpent sighting has been an enduring mystery 
of the sea since 1848. However, new information suggests a solution.

Encouraging Evidence-Free Enterprise: Business on a Bed of Sand

Encouraging Evidence-Free Enterprise: Business on a Bed of Sand

by Brian D. Engler and Eugenie V. Mielczarek
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Feature

The former National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s use of two U.S. government grant programs for small businesses is examined and found to lend legitimacy to the lucrative business of non-evidence-based medicine.

Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained

Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Forum

Allow me to set the record straight. First off, Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that is trying to be the repository of all knowledge; it is not Tumbler or Reddit or some other social network. Wikipedia has rules. Some of them are open to interpretation a bit, but for the most part the rules are discussed within the community of editors and usually enforced evenly.

The Black Madonna: A Folkloristic and Iconographic Investigation

The Black Madonna: A Folkloristic and Iconographic Investigation

by Joe Nickell
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Investigative Files

One of the most famous of true icons (traditional religious panel paintings) is the so-called Black Madonna of Czestochowa, Poland (Figure 1). Its notoriety was boosted when, following his election to the papacy, the “Polish Pope” John Paul II prayed before it on a visit in 1979. For an international History Channel series, Miracles Decoded, I was asked to look into the icon’s origins. I

Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Skeptical Inquiree

Have you heard about this recent case of a young boy who says he lived a past life as a Marine? What do you make of it?

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The Pope’s Encyclical on Climate and the Planet: Will It Change the Debate?

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Special Report

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Is the Pope Catholic?

by Kenneth R. Miller
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Special Report

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The Future of the Center for Inquiry

by Ronald A. Lindsay
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Special Essay

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Correlations: How Do We Ever Establish Definite Causation?

by Morton E. Tavel
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Forum

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‘Reason’ Topics and Real Science vs. False Mysteries

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

From the Editor

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The ‘Roswell Slides’ Fiasco: UFOlogy’s Biggest Black Eye

by Robert Sheaffer
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Psychic Vibrations

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The Case of the Haunting Handprints

by Joe Nickell
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Review

The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham

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A Textbook Case in Georgia Remembered

by Glenn Branch
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Review

God Sent Me: A Textbook Case on Evolution vs. Creation by Jeffrey Selman

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World-Changing Genius, Creativity, and Teamwork

by Kendrick Frazier
Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Review

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson