Jim Lippard reviews two books: Janet Reitman’s book Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, ISBN 978-0618883028) and Hugh Urban’s The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion (Princeton University Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0691146089). This article was published in Skeptic magazine 17.1 in 2011.
In this week’s eSkeptic: Shop Skeptic: Show Your Skeptical Colors! Follow Michael Shermer: The Reality Distortion Field Skepticality: Interview with Mike McRae Feature Article: Bogus, Bunk, and B.S. (a review by Dr. Peter Boghossian) The Amaz!ng Meeting 2012: July 12–15 in Las Vegas, Nevada DIMENSIONS: 11.5″ wide × 3″ high1 for $4 or BUY 2 […]
Despite the best efforts of skeptics and teachers to advance scientific thinking, paranormal beliefs and pseudoscientific thinking continue to be commonplace. It is a common popular stereotype that knowledge of science and belief in the paranormal are like opposite ends of a teeter totter: with one tending to rise as the other falls. However, the landscape of belief is considerably more complicated than that. Science education may not be enough when we lack the ability to critically evaluate the evidence for claims. In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an article from Skeptic 9.3 that examined the relationship between science knowledge and paranormal beliefs.
In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an article from Skeptic magazine’ (volume 1, number 4) in which Kevin Todeschi, the Director of Public Information at the Edgar Cayce Association for Research and Enlightenment, responds to Michael Shermer’s investigation of the A.R.E.’s extraordinary claim regarding proof of ESP (which we published last week in part one of this two-part series). Following Kevin Todeschi’s response, we present a reply from Michael Shermer, Arthur Benjamin and James Randi.
In this week’s eSkeptic (the first part in a two-part series), we present an article from Skeptic magazine’ (volume 1, number 3) in which Michael Shermer investigates an extraordinary claim regarding proof of ESP made by the Edgar Cayce Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.). In their study, two classic (but extremely common) blunders were committed: (1) misinterpreting statistical results, and (2) ignoring a basic tenet of scientific testing—repeatability.
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 carboncomic.com.
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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?
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…