Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science

top navigation:

section banner graphic
Share this page with friends online. Subscribe | Donate | Watch Our Lectures | Shop Our Store

Skeptic Magazine, Volume 18 Number 2
Table of Contents

Cover Articles: Gender

What Science Says and
Why It’s Mostly Wrong
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Gender and the Paranormal
by Anondah Saide

Cover illustration by Pat Linse. The complexities of gender identity are illustrated by contrasting two world-famous cross dressing personalities: Australian Dadaist and comedian Barry Humphries created Dame Edna to lampoon modern mores, while 19th century novelist Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin adopted the pseudonym George Sand and dressed in men’s clothing for comfort, and to protest sexual inequality.


The SkepDoc
“New Study Shows…” Why We Can’t Trust Science Reporting
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Bad Language
The Scientology Handbook
by Karen Stollznow
’Twas Brillig…
A Skeptic in Court, Part II by James Randi

Junior Skeptic

Alien Invaders!

In this issue, we look at the topic of alien invasions. Where did we get our ideas about being attacked from “outside”—from other lands, or from outer space? How has this idea been expressed in stories? How do exotic species here on Earth “invade” new regions? Can life forms from one planet really invade another? And, as we look at those questions, remember: the space slugs are our friends! Obey all space slugs!

Cover by Chris Wisnia and Daniel Loxton. Interior art by Daniel Loxton and Jim Smith. Story by Daniel Loxton.


Savage Science
An Interview with Napoleon Chagnon, the World’s Most Controversial Anthropologist
by Frank Miele


Magnetic Myths
Why Magnetic Fields Attract New Age Flimflam and Flapdoodle by Donald R. Prothero
An Analysis of Skeptical Protagonists
Four Recent Films Reveal that Society’s Attitudes Toward Skeptics Are Changing, But Still Negative by Randall Martoccia
What Science Really Says About the Soul
by Stephen Cave
Witch Doctors and Con Artists
A First-Hand Account of Witchcraft in Africa by Justin Chapman
Levels of Nothing
There Are Multiple Answers to the Question of Why the Universe Exists by Robert Lawrence Kuhn


Scientology Exposed
Three Reviews: Going Clear, by Lawrence Wright; The Church of Fear, by John Sweeney; Beyond Belief, by Jenna Miscavige Hill with Lisa Pulitzer.
reviewed by Jim Lippard
Grown Not Made
Two Reviews: Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over…, by Melanie Warner, and Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss.
reviewed by Michael Shermer
The Carl Sagan of Chemistry
A Review of The Right Chemistry: 108… Inquiries into the Science of Everyday Life, by Joe Schwarcz.
reviewed by Harriet Hall
Anthropology No More
A Review of Human No More…the End of Anthropology, edited by Neil Whitehead and Michael Wesch.
reviewed by L. Kirk Hagen
Contemplating Extraterrestrial Civilizations
A Review of Civilizations Beyond Earth, edited by Douglas A. Vakoch and Albert A. Harrison.
reviewed by George Michael
The Progressive War
on Science
A Review of Science Left Behind…the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left, by Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell.
reviewed by Kenneth W. Krause


Richard Dawkins has been added to an already outstanding lineup of speakers for the May 29–31 Skeptics Society Conference!

get eSkeptic
our free newsletter

Science in your inbox every Wednesday!

eSkeptic is our free email newsletter, delivered once a week. In it, you’ll receive: fascinating articles, announcements, podcasts, book reviews, and more…

Popular Articles

Here are the articles that people have been sharing over the last few days.

Carbon Comic

Carbon Comic (by Kyle Sanders)

Carbon Comic, which appears in Skeptic magazine, is created by Kyle Sanders: a pilot and founder of Little Rock, Arkansas’ Skeptics in The Pub. He is also a cartoonist who authors Carbon Dating: a skeptical comic strip about science, pseudoscience, and relationships. It can be found at

Help the
Skeptics Society
at no cost to you!

Planning on shopping at Amazon? By clicking on our Amazon affiliate link, which will open the Amazon Store in your Internet browser, the Skeptics Society will receive a small commission on your purchase. Your prices for all products remain the same, yet you’ll provide essential financial support for the work of the nonprofit Skeptics Society.

See our affiliate links page for,,, and iTunes links.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Topics include: chiropractic, the placebo effect, homeopathy, acupuncture, and the questionable benefits of organic food, detoxification, and ‘natural’ remedies.

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

Copyright © 1992–2015 Skeptic and its contributors. For general enquiries regarding the Skeptics Society or Skeptic magazine, email or call 1-626-794-3119. Website-related matters: Enquiries about online store orders: To update your subscription address: See our Contact Information page for more details. This website uses Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and AddThis tracking software.