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A ‘Nickell’ for Your Thoughts: A Conversation with Joe Nickell

A ‘Nickell’ for Your Thoughts: A Conversation with Joe Nickell

by Timothy Binga
Online Extras
August 29, 2016

What, in a given instance, causes people to think they are experiencing spirits? The debunkers—with their smarter-than-them attitude—speak only to their fellow doubters. They would apparently rather be right than effective.

New Superfoods: Kakadu Plums and Cockroach Milk

New Superfoods: Kakadu Plums and Cockroach Milk

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
August 26, 2016

“Put simply, it is magic!” In my opinion, the only thing magical about it is the magical thinking required to believe the claims for it.

El “Detector de mentiras”: gran ejemplo de ciencia chatarra

El “Detector de mentiras”: gran ejemplo de ciencia chatarra

by Morton E. Tavel, translated by Alexandro Borgo
Online Extras
August 25, 2016

¿Cuántas veces se probó que era falsa la “detección de mentiras por una máquina”?

Life as We Know It: An Interview with Jill Tarter

Life as We Know It: An Interview with Jill Tarter

by Leonard Tramiel
August 23, 2016

So the sorts of “weird life” considered by the NAS in their 2007 report “The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems” could in fact exist on Earth today or on distant real estate orbiting other stars. Now that we know that real estate is there, extremophiles suggest we should investigate worlds unlike Earth as well as looking for Earth 2.0.

Finding a Powerful (and Skeptical) Voice—Speaking Out with Tara Moss

Finding a Powerful (and Skeptical) Voice—Speaking Out with Tara Moss

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
August 22, 2016

Tara Moss is an author, journalist, TV presenter, and an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and children. Since 1999, she has written eleven bestselling books, which have been published in nineteen countries and thirteen languages.

Michael Mann and the Climate Wars

Michael Mann and the Climate Wars

by Mark Boslough
Online Extras
August 17, 2016

Not only can we teach young scientists how to function in the increasingly hostile environment they may find themselves, we must teach them to do so.

Thanks to CFI: Children can dream big again and humanism spread across Africa!

Thanks to CFI: Children can dream big again and humanism spread across Africa!

by George Ongere
August 16, 2016

Setting up the Humanist Orphan Center was a response to irrationality, to empower abandoned children, and to educate the community about HIV/AIDS.

Michael Phelps y sus moratones

Michael Phelps y sus moratones

by Luis Alfonso Gámez
¡Paparruchas!
August 9, 2016

El ‘cupping’ es una de las pseudoterapias más estúpidas. Forma parte de la llamada medicina tradicional china y, según el Papiro Ebers, uno de los tratados médicos más antiguos, se practicaba ya en Egipto hace unos 3.500 años.

Keeping Up with Paul Offit

Keeping Up with Paul Offit

by Susan Gerbic
Online Extras
August 9, 2016

Every year before the measles vaccine was first introduced in 1963, about 50,000 people, mostly previously healthy children, would be hospitalized with the disease and 500 would die. Sadly, I think it is going to take some of these diseases coming back to some extent in order for us to realize their importance. Vaccines have been a victim of their own success.

Perseid Meteor Shower

Perseid Meteor Shower

by Andrew Fraknoi
August 9, 2016

The Perseid meteors are cosmic “garbage” left over from a regularly returning comet, called Swift-Tuttle (after the two astronomers who first discovered it). The comet itself returns to the inner solar system every 130 years or so; it was last here in 1992.

Dream Meditation Is a Bit of a Snore

Dream Meditation Is a Bit of a Snore

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
August 8, 2016

Whatever Dream Reality Cinema is offering me, it isn’t science. It is a pleasant experience—the first time, anyway—but a costly one.

Stringing Us Along?

Stringing Us Along?

by Grant Ritchey
August 5, 2016

So when someone asks me “Does flossing work?”, my response is “It doesn’t not work.”

Cancer Miracle Mongering by City of Hope

Cancer Miracle Mongering by City of Hope

by William M. London
Renegades & Rascals
August 2, 2016

While I recognize that City of Hope offers cutting-edge cancer treatments and is a leader in making significant multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary scientific research advances, to claim that it works miracles is disgraceful hype.

Armed with a Misinformation Radar: Interview with Kavin Senapathy

Armed with a Misinformation Radar: Interview with Kavin Senapathy

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
August 2, 2016

For me, it’s all about opposing injustice, and sometimes that requires targeting religion, and sometimes it requires fighting anti-science interests—they’re all forms of fundamentalism when you peel back a few layers.

Giving Nootropics a New Try

Giving Nootropics a New Try

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
July 29, 2016

Nootropics, by definition, certainly exist. But when we talk about nootropics anecdotally, we often mean something else: drugs that exist on the fringe, not yet completely acknowledged by science, or outright sidelined by it.

A Conversation with George Hrab

A Conversation with George Hrab

by Susan Gerbic
July 28, 2016

George Hrab is a professional musician, author, and popular podcaster. The Geologic podcast is an intersection between music and scientific skepticism. George will also be our emcee at CSICon this year.

A Conversation with the SkepDoc

A Conversation with the SkepDoc

by Susan Gerbic
July 25, 2016

There have been anti-vaccine protests as long as there have been vaccines. And there have been doctor-bashers as long as there have been doctors. Before we had science-based medicine, all we had was “alternative” medicine: folk medicine and superstition. It’s sad that people are encouraging each other to return to that pre-scientific world.

Kitty Genovese: Revising the Parable of the Bad Samaritan

Kitty Genovese: Revising the Parable of the Bad Samaritan

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
July 21, 2016

The Kitty Genovese case became a troubling symbol of bystander apathy in the United States. According to the Times report, thirty-seven people witnessed Genovese being stabbed to death in three separate attacks over a period of thirty minutes, and none of them called the police or attempted to intervene.

The Man Behind the Makeup: An Interview with Captain Disillusion

The Man Behind the Makeup: An Interview with Captain Disillusion

by Susan Gerbic
July 18, 2016

Captain D’s catch phrase is “Love with your heart: use your brain for everything else.” I think it’s about time the community learned more about the man behind the makeup.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Do They Really Work?

Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Do They Really Work?

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
July 13, 2016

People want to believe in G/C, and they can easily find reasons to disregard the evidence. Hope springs eternal.

La “Física” de Deepak Chopra

La “Física” de Deepak Chopra

by Sadri Hassani, translated by Alejandro Borgo
Online Extras
July 12, 2016

Las ilusiones de la memoria

Las ilusiones de la memoria

by Elizabeth Loftus, Translated by Alejandro Borgo
Online Extras
July 12, 2016

Cuando comencé mi trabajo sobre las ilusiones de la memoria no me imaginaba que se iba a transformar en un tema tan relevante socialmente y tan políticamente explosivo.

Hot Drinks

Hot Drinks

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
July 7, 2016

The question remains: If I get a coffee at my local takeout or make tea from my kettle is it typically hot enough to raise my cancer risk?

Report From SkeptiCal, the Northern California Science and Skepticism Conference

Report From SkeptiCal, the Northern California Science and Skepticism Conference

by Susan Gerbic
June 27, 2016

I attend as many skeptic conferences as I can, and each one has its own “flavor” and style. SkeptiCal differs from others by being a no-frills event, but without you noticing that those frills are missing.

Genius Java: Memory Boosting Coffee

Genius Java: Memory Boosting Coffee

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
June 23, 2016

In one sense it might actually make you smarter: if you can understand why its claims are questionable and can apply those lessons to other marketing claims.

Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work—Interview with Kat Arney

Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work—Interview with Kat Arney

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
June 22, 2016

A look at the history, influence, mysteries, and misconceptions about the field of genetics.

Is the Scientology Personality Test Scientific?

Is the Scientology Personality Test Scientific?

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
June 17, 2016

We just wanted to see whether the OCA would give us any special insight that other personality tests, such as the famed Myers Briggs Type Indicator, didn’t offer… As we explained that we were there to take the personality test, voluntarily, rather than being prompted on the street, her eyes grew wider.

Attack of the 12-Foot Rats: Why Bad Math Runs Rampant

Attack of the 12-Foot Rats: Why Bad Math Runs Rampant

by Tamar Wilner
Media Mind
June 15, 2016

Another reason why we don’t fact-check math: there’s a tendency to ascribe truthiness to a claim with numbers in it.

Fate: Inventing Reasons for the Things that Happen

Fate: Inventing Reasons for the Things that Happen

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
June 10, 2016

You might guess there wouldn’t be much psychological research on belief in fate, destiny, or purpose, but you’d be wrong.

Isabela

Isabela

by Susan Gerbic
June 9, 2016

This is a story about the wonder of science and the power of connection.

Skepticism at the Center:  Event Report of NECSS 2016

Skepticism at the Center:  Event Report of NECSS 2016

by Russ Dobler
Special Report
June 8, 2016

“It’s why the skeptics’ movement was founded—to tackle the issues people think important but that mainstream science considers too ridiculous to bother with.”

The CAMphora: Health in a Jar

The CAMphora: Health in a Jar

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
May 18, 2016

My flabber was thoroughly gasted. Apparently you sit in the jar and put water and maybe Chinese herbs into it and it is connected to 220-volt electricity.

Notable Articles about the Creation of CSICOP and Skeptical Inquirer

Notable Articles about the Creation of CSICOP and Skeptical Inquirer

by Timothy Binga
May 17, 2016

A collection of early articles about CSICOP, compiled for our readers.

“Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories”  a review by Robert Blaskiewicz.

“Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories”  a review by Robert Blaskiewicz.

by Robert Blaskiewicz
The Conspiracy Guy
May 16, 2016

Whereas Barkun looks at the history and development of specific conspiracist narratives, Brotherton focuses on why such narratives arise in the first place and looks to psychology for those answers.

From Pop-Sci to Puppets - Quest For Wonder

From Pop-Sci to Puppets - Quest For Wonder

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
May 5, 2016

Can puppetry encourage a love of science?

Online Harassment: Citation Needed

Online Harassment: Citation Needed

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
May 3, 2016

No study is perfect, and any study will face its limitations. This is why we rely on reporters to analyze and accurately report on research, going beneath the headlines and press releases.

Syracuse, Apple, and Autism Pseudoscience

Syracuse, Apple, and Autism Pseudoscience

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
April 28, 2016

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and as it turns out it is the occasion for Apple Inc. to align itself with pseudoscience.

“Career” on Exorcism in Argentina

“Career” on Exorcism in Argentina

by Alejandro Borgo
April 26, 2016

Do you think that you are not going to be surprised taking a look at the paranormal world? You're probably wrong!

Una versión en español también está disponible

10 Astounding Moments in a Creationist Textbook: Revisting Of Pandas and People

10 Astounding Moments in a Creationist Textbook: Revisting Of Pandas and People

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
April 25, 2016

There’s a tricky thing about science. If you base your theory on gaps in scientific knowledge, your theory will only last until science closes those gaps.

The Clown in the Graveyard

The Clown in the Graveyard

by Mark Edward
April 20, 2016

As a so-called “psychic,” you can’t repeat the same readings over and over or fall back on old lines and platitudes. You have to seem fresh and appear to be picking up rapid-fire thoughts on a very personal basis. It has to look spontaneous.

The Truth About Cancer

The Truth About Cancer

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
April 20, 2016

I actually find it flattering when someone attacks me so stupidly. It means what I wrote was so accurate that they were unable to find anything they could legitimately criticize.

The Woman Who Took On Popoff: The Hidden Story of Crystal Sanchez, the Peter Popoff Whistleblower

The Woman Who Took On Popoff: The Hidden Story of Crystal Sanchez, the Peter Popoff Whistleblower

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
April 18, 2016

Peter Popoff says he's a healer and a prophet of God. His former employee says he's something quite different.

Tip the Canoe of Tyler Too!

Tip the Canoe of Tyler Too!

by Susan Gerbic and Mark Edward
April 14, 2016

Operation Tater Tot is a project I and others are working on to educate television viewers about the alleged accuracy and endorsements from celebrities of Tyler Henry on the E! Network.

David Helfand: On Evidence and Climate Science

David Helfand: On Evidence and Climate Science

by Derek C. Araujo
April 7, 2016

Any attempt to address climate change, we are told, plays into the hands of an inexplicably vast and powerful network of conspiratorial climatologists. Lost somewhere in the mix is the science that should inform and largely settle the discussion.

The Idiot Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head Is Really Up To

The Idiot Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head Is Really Up To

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
April 5, 2016

If you're on a beach drinking delicious cocktails on your four week holiday, that's a very nice sensation. You see someone walk past with a broken leg then you might think, 'Poor thing,' but you won't give up your holiday to go and help them.

I Like Pi

I Like Pi

by Susan Gerbic
March 31, 2016

It's a commonly known fact that skeptics are nerds, so we might as well embrace it and use it to our advantage.

Uninformed Consumers Are Treating Their Flu Symptoms with Muscovy Duck Offal (Minus the Duck)

Uninformed Consumers Are Treating Their Flu Symptoms with Muscovy Duck Offal (Minus the Duck)

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
March 23, 2016

Why on Earth do people buy a medicine with no medicine in it? The back of the box clearly says “Active ingredient Anas barbariae, 200 CK HPUS.” I suspect most customers don’t bother to read that, and if they do, they don’t know what it means.

Quack Busters’ Leader William Jarvis Dies at Eighty

Quack Busters’ Leader William Jarvis Dies at Eighty

by William M. London
Renegades & Rascals
March 22, 2016

Bill emphasized that quackery (also called health fraud) is not merely the use of false and unproven medical procedures. The key is their deceptive promotion in the marketplace as “alternatives” or “complements” to standard medicine—whether the deception is deliberate or done without adequate knowledge or understanding.

Malos tiempos para la homeopatía en España

Malos tiempos para la homeopatía en España

by Luis Alfonso Gámez
¡Paparruchas!
March 18, 2016

El 2 de marzo, la Universidad de Barcelona anunció la supresión de su máster en homeopatía, que ofrecía desde mediados de los años 90, porque 'no hay una evidencia científica clara'.

A Skeptic’s Woe over Margaret Cho

A Skeptic’s Woe over Margaret Cho

by Susan Gerbic
March 17, 2016

Being an atheist does not by default make you a skeptic. And the reverse is also true; being a skeptic does not make you an atheist.

Five Things I Learned Writing about Stanislaw Burzynski

Five Things I Learned Writing about Stanislaw Burzynski

by Tamar Wilner
Media Mind
March 10, 2016

“Newsweek published my feature about the cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski, who’s facing potential license revocation... And I got a reminder of how hard it is to write about controversial health issues.”

Good News for Grouches: Happiness is Overrated

Good News for Grouches: Happiness is Overrated

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
March 7, 2016

The pursuit of happiness is one of the inalienable rights established in the Declaration of Independence, and in recent decades an enormous happiness industry has risen up to help you succeed in your personal pursuit.

Operation Tater Tot: Following Up On A Grief Vampire

Operation Tater Tot: Following Up On A Grief Vampire

by Susan Gerbic
February 26, 2016

What people need to understand is that it is NOT my responsibility to disprove Tyler Henry or any other psychic. The burden of proof lies in the person who is making the extraordinary claim to prove they have the ability they claim to have.

Newborn Babies Don’t Have Sex, So Why Do We Vaccinate Them for a Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Newborn Babies Don’t Have Sex, So Why Do We Vaccinate Them for a Sexually Transmitted Disease?

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
February 17, 2016

So babies don’t have sex, abuse drugs, or share razors. And mothers can be tested for the virus; if they don’t have it, there is no risk of them transmitting it to their babies. So are there any valid reasons to vaccinate newborns?

¿Nos visitan seres de otros mundos?

¿Nos visitan seres de otros mundos?

by Luis Alfonso Gámez
¡Paparruchas!
February 16, 2016

Mucha gente cree que la Tierra ha recibido visitas de extraterrestres. ¿Es posible? Para empezar, no hablemos de avistamientos de platillos volantes ni de cosas parecidas, sino de dónde vivimos, desde cuándo y de cómo somos.

A Skeptic on the ConspiraSea Cruise—Interview with Colin McRoberts

A Skeptic on the ConspiraSea Cruise—Interview with Colin McRoberts

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
February 15, 2016

If you're a skeptic and you want to talk to people about conspiracy theories and talk them out of being conspiracy theorists, you've got to find them. You've got to know who they are and where they're coming from, and that really requires a personal face to face conversation. The idea of a 'conspiracy cruise' is great because it makes that easy and it makes it fun.

A Chiropractor’s Dinner Seminar Promoting Laser Treatment of Arthritis

A Chiropractor’s Dinner Seminar Promoting Laser Treatment of Arthritis

by William M. London
Renegades & Rascals
February 10, 2016

Chiropractors often present themselves as addressing the underlying cause or causes of health problems while suggesting that medical doctors only treat symptoms.

Nudging People to Save the Planet

Nudging People to Save the Planet

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
January 29, 2016

It is difficult enough to get people to cut back on French fries, floss their teeth, or stop smoking—all of which have more direct effects on their lives—and much harder still to convince people to take immediate action for the benefit of other people in the murky future.

Understanding Evolution—Naming Matters but Not That Much

Understanding Evolution—Naming Matters but Not That Much

by Penny Higgins
Use and Abuse of the Fossil Record
January 28, 2016

One of the first things I teach in any of my paleontology classes is that taxonomy underpins nearly every subdiscipline of paleontology. I then go on to explain that taxonomy is also very subjective and, at times, even seemingly arbitrary.

Screening Tests and Primum non nocere

Screening Tests and Primum non nocere

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
January 22, 2016

Nonmaleficence says don’t harm the patient; beneficence says help the patient. There’s a trade-off, since almost every treatment carries some small degree of risk. Not treating may do more harm than treating.

Grief Vampires Don’t Come Out Only at Night

Grief Vampires Don’t Come Out Only at Night

by Susan Gerbic
January 20, 2016

These people come and go fame-wise. His flame might be bright for the moment, but it could quickly fade into obscurity, or it could ignite a fire that will burn the memories and interrupt and corrupt the grieving process for parents who go to him in desperation and loss.

The Unseen (But Often Heard) World of Welcome to Night Vale - An Interview with Joseph Fink

The Unseen (But Often Heard) World of Welcome to Night Vale - An Interview with Joseph Fink

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
January 12, 2016

While many skeptics may deride conspiracy theories and the paranormal, you cannot deny the creative inspiration such claims provide to shows like Welcome to Night Vale.

The Wikipediatrician’s Whirlwind Australian Tour

The Wikipediatrician’s Whirlwind Australian Tour

by Susan Gerbic
January 11, 2016

I encourage everyone to not just visit a place but use social media to find our community. Skeptic groups in areas all over the world have Meetup.com and Facebook pages; reach out to them and make your own mini-tour. I’m sure that they are as interested in meeting you as you are in meeting them.

I’m an ENFP: We’re Confused by Personality Tests

I’m an ENFP: We’re Confused by Personality Tests

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
January 6, 2016

As far as confirmation bias goes, it had been working against Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs had won. I was impressed. But is impressive enough to make it useful?

Trump-Rage: How Political Anger Clouds Our Thinking

Trump-Rage: How Political Anger Clouds Our Thinking

by Tamar Wilner
Media Mind
January 4, 2016

The solution is not to seek some Platonic ideal of pure rationality, which is neither achievable nor desirable. Anger, managed correctly, can drive ethical action. The key is to focus on the informational content of those anger states and find the most effective ways to fashion and spread correctives.

Burzynski in Court Again

Burzynski in Court Again

by Robert Blaskiewicz
The Conspiracy Guy
December 29, 2015

Dr. Burzynski and his witnesses will describe the frontier of science as a place where the end justifies the means. The frontiers may be the range of true pioneers such as Dr. Farber, Dr. Frei, and Dr. Freireich, but it is not the Wild West.

What if Alternative Health Fixes Are Making You Unhealthy? Interview with Dr. Garth Maker

What if Alternative Health Fixes Are Making You Unhealthy? Interview with Dr. Garth Maker

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
December 22, 2015

The medical community is not aware of the scope of use of these particular compounds, and then at the same time when things go wrong people often don’t go to their GP or they don’t fully disclose what has potentially caused the adverse reaction, so we also have considerable under reporting of these adverse reactions.

Zombie Criticisms of Conventional Medicine

Zombie Criticisms of Conventional Medicine

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
December 18, 2015

Critics of modern medicine would do well to follow my “SkepDoc’s Rule:” Before you accept a claim, try to understand who disagrees with it and why.

Guns: Feeling Safe Does Not Equal Being Safe

Guns: Feeling Safe Does Not Equal Being Safe

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
December 16, 2015

Sadly, buying a gun does not make you safer. To the contrary, the evidence suggests that bringing a gun into your home increases the chances you will be killed.

No Jab, No Pay–Now the Australian Way: Interview with Julie Leask

No Jab, No Pay–Now the Australian Way: Interview with Julie Leask

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
December 8, 2015

The Australian federal government’s no-jab-no-pay laws will remove childcare benefits, rebates, and the end-of-year Family Tax Benefit A supplement from parents who don’t immunize their children.

Psychology’s CAM Controversy

Psychology’s CAM Controversy

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
November 23, 2015

Poor psychology. Times have been tough lately for both psychological science and for the profession of clinical psychology.

“Biomagnetism Therapy”: Pseudoscientific Twaddle

“Biomagnetism Therapy”: Pseudoscientific Twaddle

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
November 20, 2015

In a television interview, a practitioner of biomagnetic therapy claimed she had cured her own breast lump and the metastatic cancer of another person. I wonder how many viewers believed her.

What’s Wrong with Dr. Phil

What’s Wrong with Dr. Phil

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
November 18, 2015

I went to visit Dr. Phil myself last week. The show is taped just a mile from my home in Los Angeles. Obtaining tickets was one website visit and a phone call away. In no time, I had two tickets to be in the audience the very next week.

Science Surveyor and the Quest for Consensus

Science Surveyor and the Quest for Consensus

by Tamar Wilner
Media Mind
November 17, 2015

Why do journalists insist on trumpeting the findings of the latest, anomalous study-ignoring the weight of all the evidence that came before?

Does your cat want to kill you?

Does your cat want to kill you?

by Rebecca Watson
Skepchick
November 11, 2015

Some of my friends, including the very editor of this article, felt vindicated recently when mainstream news outlets reported "Your cat might actually want to kill you." It brings me no joy to report that they are wrong. Okay: a little joy.

Continuing Education in the Toxin Haunted World of the Cancer Control Society

Continuing Education in the Toxin Haunted World of the Cancer Control Society

by William M. London
Renegades & Rascals
November 9, 2015

The Cancer Control Society (CCS) describes itself on its website as “a non-profit organization, dependent upon donations for its mission: to prevent and control cancer and other diseases through Nutrition [sic] and Non-Toxic [sic] Therapies [sic].”

“Gorgeouspil” Didn’t Make Me More Gorgeous

“Gorgeouspil” Didn’t Make Me More Gorgeous

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
November 4, 2015

Starting to feel age tugging at your jaw line? Does your doctor tell you that you have a case of the uglies? You need a little Alex Chiu.

Learn to Edit Wikipedia like a GSoW Editor–Backwards Editing

Learn to Edit Wikipedia like a GSoW Editor–Backwards Editing

by Susan Gerbic
October 21, 2015

So you might have heard about this awesome website called Wikipedia. It’s the sixth most viewed website worldwide. It is where most people find out information about the weird in the world. I’m going to explain a Wikipedia editing technique that I call Backwards Editing and how you can help out without joining my Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project.

Does a New Documentary Prove Shaken Baby Syndrome Doesn’t Exist?

Does a New Documentary Prove Shaken Baby Syndrome Doesn’t Exist?

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
October 20, 2015

The Syndrome Sabotages Its Credibility.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Didn’t Win a Nobel Prize, Scientific Medicine Did

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Didn’t Win a Nobel Prize, Scientific Medicine Did

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
October 19, 2015

Tu Youyou, a Chinese researcher, was awarded half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of artemisininin, a malaria drug. This has been touted as a victory for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and herbalism. It is anything but.

Alex Tsakiris, Psychic Detectives, and Bad Science

Alex Tsakiris, Psychic Detectives, and Bad Science

by Benjamin Radford
October 13, 2015

Good science requires good data, and to get valid results scientists must consider all of the evidence. If a researcher chooses to exclude some of the information available in an experiment, for example, he or she should offer a rationale for doing so. When researchers present to the public or their peers data that only supports their conclusions, that’s called bad science (at best) or outri

Welcome to the Season of Conspiracy Theories

Welcome to the Season of Conspiracy Theories

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
October 8, 2015

The 2016 Presidential campaign is well underway, and perhaps because fear mongering is such a popular political strategy (see Donald Trump on immigration), conspiracy theories are back in season. Coincidently, several new studies have emerged to shed more light on why people endorse conspiracy theories.

Going Clear: Interview with Tony Ortega

Going Clear: Interview with Tony Ortega

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
October 7, 2015

A documentary about Scientology is now distributed worldwide, after successfully screening on HBO in the USA. Written and directed by Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology and the Religion of Belief

Science, Podcasting (And a Little Nudity Doesn’t Hurt) - The Naked Scientists

Science, Podcasting (And a Little Nudity Doesn’t Hurt) - The Naked Scientists

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
October 5, 2015

The Naked Scientist podcast is a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University who use radio, live lectures, and the Internet to strip science down to its bare essentials and promote it to the general public. They’ve been around since the early 2000s—making them one of the very first podcasts.

Superfood Silliness

Superfood Silliness

by Harriet Hall
SkepDoc's Corner
September 24, 2015

Someone is always trying to tell us what to eat. It's like religions: they can't all be right, and they might all be wrong.

The Sept. 27, 2015 Total Eclipse of the Moon

The Sept. 27, 2015 Total Eclipse of the Moon

by Andrew Fraknoi
September 22, 2015

Fact sheet about the lunar eclipse on September 27th, 2015.

My Ninety Seconds of Cryotherapy

My Ninety Seconds of Cryotherapy

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
September 10, 2015

The emails were adamant. Everyone wanted me to undergo cryotherapy: step into a -260°F stall, alone and naked, for three minutes, and feel the toxins flutter away into the ether.

Hanging Out at the Café: Cultures of Skepticism and Belief

Hanging Out at the Café: Cultures of Skepticism and Belief

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
September 4, 2015

Whereas Chris Mooney’s 2005 book detailed an organized conservative campaign against science, my California experience was something quite different—a fairly coherent culture that includes both pro- and anti-science viewpoints.

Online Tools for Skeptical Fact Checking

Online Tools for Skeptical Fact Checking

by Tamar Wilner
Media Mind
August 24, 2015

While we’re arguably awash in more misinformation than ever before, online media have also enabled tools and sources that help us evaluate dubious claims.

Do Essential Oils Cure Everything?

Do Essential Oils Cure Everything?

by Carrie Poppy
Poppycock
August 13, 2015

My understanding of essentially oils was essentially (sorry) that they were concentrated versions of various smelly things: lavender, eucalyptus, rose. And that aromatherapy enthusiasts used different smells to evoke different emotions or mental states. But aromatherapy turns out to be only a small part of the essential oils movement.

Neuro-Pseudoscience

Neuro-Pseudoscience

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
July 29, 2015

As the population ages, concerns about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have created a demand for anything that might stave off the course of mental decline. Brain training programs have a kind of simple plausibility. They sound scientific, and the analogy to physical exercise makes intuitive sense.

SkeptiCal: The Northern California Conference of Science and Skepticism

SkeptiCal: The Northern California Conference of Science and Skepticism

by Rebecca Watson
Skepchick
July 22, 2015

When Skeptical Inquirer asked me to report on a skeptical conference happening in my backyard of San Francisco, I was, well, skeptical. I’ve been attending and occasionally speaking at skeptics’ conferences for the past decade, and with that investment of time in a relatively tiny subculture, one tends to see the same “big ticket” speakers over and over again.

From the Whole Pantry to the Whole Health Hoax

From the Whole Pantry to the Whole Health Hoax

by Kylie Sturgess
Curiouser and Curiouser
July 7, 2015

For over a month now, I have read over Belle Gibson’s The Whole Pantry–a book that reportedly has been removed from the shelves, but is readily available at my local bookstore and the local library–and find myself repeatedly going back to the disclaimer on the back of the title page.

Report from the Skepsis Congres on 8 November 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands

Report from the Skepsis Congres on 8 November 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands

by Leon Korteweg
June 29, 2015

The Skepsis Congres is the best example of a skeptical conference in the Dutch-speaking world: it is accessible for lay people, there is a lot of interaction with the audience, and they address any and all skeptical issues without specialization.

Has Science a Problem?

Has Science a Problem?

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
June 18, 2015

For science to stand as a shining alternative to the unending waves of irrationality, its reputation must be strong. Unfortunately, science’s reputation has taken a bewildering number of blows in recent years.

Dillinger’s Ghost and Hoover’s Vendetta against G-Man Purvis

Dillinger’s Ghost and Hoover’s Vendetta against G-Man Purvis

by Joe Nickell
Online Extras
June 11, 2015

Although there were other “public enemies” of the Depression Era, John Dillinger had daring and style to spare. But so did a tenacious G-man named Melvin Purvis, an agent so effective and so adored by the public and press that his boss, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover, seethed with jealousy.

Physician Wallace Sampson, Expert on False Medical Claims, Dies at Eighty-Five

Physician Wallace Sampson, Expert on False Medical Claims, Dies at Eighty-Five

by Harriet Hall
June 1, 2015

The skeptical community has lost a shining star. On May 25, 2015, Wallace Sampson, MD, died in California at the age of eighty-five from complications of heart surgery; he had been in the hospital since February.

Facilitated Communication: The Fad that Will Not Die

Facilitated Communication: The Fad that Will Not Die

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
May 11, 2015

Many readers will remember facilitated communication (FC). Back in the early 1990s, a new treatment came rushing onto the scene making promises that were enormously attractive to parents of children with autism.

The Founding of NMSR: A Look Back after Twenty-Five Years

The Founding of NMSR: A Look Back after Twenty-Five Years

by Kendrick Frazier
May 8, 2015

New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR) has been proudly on its own for twenty-five years. But it had its origin in a national and even international movement to help spread science-based skepticism around the country and the world.

Are Skeptics Psychic?

Are Skeptics Psychic?

by Jim Underdown
April 27, 2015

It might seem odd to choose a hotel full of skeptics to be the subject of a test of psychic ability, but then again, who’s to say that skeptics themselves aren’t endowed with such talent—one perhaps they would themselves be loath to acknowledge?