Skeptical Inquirer — Volume 30.5
September / October 2006
Alleged Psychic Convicted of Murder
Susan Polk, a self-proclaimed psychic, was convicted on June 16, 2006, of second-degree murder.
Author, Professor Vern Bullough Dies
by Paul Kurtz
Scholar, author, and sexologist Vern Bullough died on June 21, 2006, after a brief illness. He was 78.
Behind the Mask
"A masked man lived in the Bastille for years and, still wearing a mask, there he died."
The Bloodless Fish of Bouvet Island: DNA and Evolution in Action
An obscure bloodless fish living in the remote subfreezing waters of the Antarctic vividly illustrates how evolution works...
British Defense Study Debunks UFO Sightings
In 1952, then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill said "What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean?"
Can Jim Berkland Predict Earthquakes?
by Roger Hunter
Jim Berkland claims to be able to predict earthquakes. Such earth-shaking claims, however, appear to be groundless.
Carla Baron, Psychic Detective? Not Quite
by Brian Hart
Psychic Detective. The very phrase conjures up an image of Peter Falk as Columbo, wearing his trademark raincoat...
The Fabricated Cosmonaut and the Nonexistent Prophecy
Soviet cosmonaut Ivan Istochnikov piloted Soyuz 2, disappeared in space in 1968, and faded from history.
by Joe Nickell
Belief that spirits of the dead exist and can appear to the living is both ancient and widespread.
Go, Go, Ghost Gadgets
"On the Sci-Fi Channel show Ghost Hunters, these guys run around with thermal imaging cameras, EMF detectors...
H.P. Lovecraft and ‘Extraterrestrial Genesis’
by Pat Harrigan
Review of The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture. By Jason Colativo.
Letters to the Editor
by The Editors
Responsis to SI 30.3, Is Anyone Out There? SETI and Astrobiology: Four Views
by Phil Plait
If you think that a star can be named after you, and that once one is, it’s all official, think again.
The Neural Substrates of Moral, Religious, and Paranormal Beliefs
by Marcello Spinella and Omar Wain
Recent research shows that moral, religious, and paranormal beliefs relate to specific workings of the brain.
New Psychic Detective (Un)Reality Series: Haunting Evidence
Following the success of Court TV's "documentary" series Psychic Detectives, the network has launched a new program.
One More Take on Reductionism vs. Holism
Do you think that nature is characterized by complex systems that interact with each other and whose properties are not...
Parade’s Rosenfeld Reprises Dubious Acupuncture Claim
by Gary Posner
In a July/August 1999 News and Comment Item, "Questioning Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld's China Acupuncture Story," I detailed...
Plunging into the Depths of a Mystery
Review of Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures. By Ben Radford and Joe Nickell.
“Protect the children.” Over the years that mantra has been applied to countless real and perceived threats.
Science Ain’t an Exact Science: Public Perception of Science in the Wake of the Stem-cell Fraud
As public awareness and trust of science appears to be waning in the U.S., scientists and supporters of science must be...
by Edzard Ernst
On May 23, Prince Charles addressed the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva...
Skeptic’s Lawsuit Stalls ‘Psychic’ Renier’s Book
by Gary Posner
"Psychic Detective" Noreen Renier's memoir, A Mind for Murder, has been pulled by the publisher in response to...
by Paul Kurtz
This issue of the Skeptical Inquirer marks the thirtieth year of publication of the official magazine of CSICOP
Tell It Like It Was
by Susan Bury
Some years ago, I attended a lecture by Jared Diamond at the National Academy of Sciences in Washingon, D.C...
Time Flies LIke an Arrow, but Fruit Flies like Bilked Bananas
At the 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science...
Update: Charges against Ontario ‘Healer’ Dropped
by Julia Lavarnway and David Park Musella
In the September/October 2005 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, we reported the arrest on June 14...
The Vigorous Science of Evolution
I received a letter the other day that got me thinking...
Why What We Know Isn’t Necessarily So
by Peter Lamal
Review of Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking. By Thomas Kida.