Mike McRae considers artificial intelligence, and critiques physicist Stephen Hawking’s opinions on the topic as “expert creep”—the phenomenon of scientists celebrated within one discipline choosing to make public statements on matters outside of their field of experience.
Mike McRae considers the ever-changing fashions of the public face of science presenters—fatherly and professional, wacky and fun, and so on—and reflects on the necessarily varied audiences such tropes seek to reach.
Blake Smith examines the history of pasteurization as a case study in the accretive process of invention—and reflects on the extraordinary interconnectedness necessary to push the boundaries of human accomplishment forward.
The Skeptics Society is proud to announce the creation of our brand new group blog, INSIGHT at Skeptic.com. Dedicated to the spirit of curiosity and grounded in scientific skepticism’s useful, investigative tradition of public service, INSIGHT will shed light, offer critical perspective, and serve as a broadly accessible, evidence-based resource on mysteries of science, paranormal claims, and the wild, woolly, wonderful weirdness of the fringe.
In this week’s eSkeptic, we announce Skeptic magazine issue 19.3 on The Multiverse; Michael Shermer discusses how the survivor bias distorts reality in his Scientific American column for September; Daniel Loxton gets shortlisted as a Finalist for a National Literary Prize; and Chris Impey lectures on the intersection between science and Tibetan Buddhism.
In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer interviews Pope Francis in the sixth release of our “Skeptic Presents” satirical video series; Skepticality interviews rights activist Sikivu Hutchinson; MonsterTalk interviews Brad Voytek and Tim Verstynen about zombies; Donald Prothero discusses the Mind of the Science Denier; and Edward Slingerland discusses the Art and Science of Spontaneity.
In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an article from Skeptic magazine issue 7.4 (1999) in which three psychologists examine in detail the most recent scientific evidence (at the time) regarding the efficacy of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. The authors consider strategies employed by EMDR’s proponents to deal with negative findings, and note historical parallels between EMDR and other controversial treatments. This scientific and historical analysis of EMDR may help shed light on a variety of other potentially pseudoscientific practices in the field of clinical psychology. In this respect, EMDR serves as a useful object lesson in the study of pseudoscience.
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…