The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptic Magazine, Volume 3 Number 3
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 3, no 3


Scientology v. the Internet
Free Speech & Copyright Infringement on the Information Super-Highway by Jim Lippard and Jeff Jacobsen
’Twas Brillig…
The “Curse” of King Tut and of the Princess-in-a-Box by James Randi
Satanic Panic Update:
The Dangers of Moral Panics
What Skeptics (and Everyone Else) Need to Know by Jeffrey S. Victor
Believing the Unbelievable
Linking “Recovered Memories” to Hypnosis, Dreams, Sleep Paralysis, and Panic Attacks by Mark Pendergrast
The Question All
Skeptics are Asking
What is the Proper Way
to Eat a Light Bulb? by Bernard Leikind


Poll Finds Americans Believe The End is Nigh; What Skeptics Believe; 2nd Annual Skeptics Awards Ceremony and Conference a Success; Dr. Randi I Presume?; Who Owns Ramtha?; Ramtha Advises the FAA; Repressed Memory; Conviction Reversed; Scientology Joins the Boy Scouts; The Devil Made Nixon Do It; Physicist Wins Million Dollar Religion Prize; Harvard Professor Investigated for Alien Beliefs; Philadelphia Skeptics Association; History of Skepticism Course
Pseudohistory News
Japanese Magazine Folds After Running Revisionist Article; Harvard Subscribes to Revisionist Journal; Neo-Nazi Headquarters Goes Up in Flames; Holocaust Revisionist Locked in Nazi Gas Chamber, Second Revisionist Denies the Event; Police raid Home of JHR Founder
Lite News that has been Riding the Information Superhighway
How Many Philosophers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? and Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Books in Brief

Common Sense, Science and Skepticism: A Historical Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, by Alan Musgrave; At the Fringes of Science, by Michael Friedlander; Entities: Angels, Spirits, Demons, and Other Alien Beings, by Joe Nickell; The Science Masters Series from Basic Books: The Origin of the Universe, by John D. Barrow; The Last Three Minutes, by Paul Davies; The Origin of Humankind, by Richard Leakey; River Out of Eden, by Richard Dawkins


The Dirt & the Details
Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend,
by Jeffrey S. Victor
reviewed by David Alexander
Houdini Escapes Again
The Life and Many Deaths of
Harry Houdini
, by Ruth Brandon
reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss
The Many Victims
of False Memories
Victims of Memory: Incest, Accusation and Shattered Lives, by Mark Pendergast
reviewed by David Bloomberg

Special Section:
Race and Intelligence

Curves & Cycles
An Introduction to the Special Section on The Bell Curve
by Michael Shermer
A Place in the Sun
The Error in The Bell Curve is to assume that genetic variation, which can account for differences among individuals within a group, is also the reason for differences between groups.
by Carol Tavris
The Skewed Logic
of the Bell-Shaped Curve
The authors leap from data to unfounded conclusions. The Bell Curve is really a book about how we should be spending our tax dollars. by Diane Halpern
An Interview with Robert Sternberg: on The Bell Curve
Even though it was written for the media, Herrnstein and Murray’s book has greatly increased public confusion and misconception about the relationship between heritability and environment.
interview by Frank Miele
Insult to Injury — The Use & Abuse of The Bell Curve
The Bell Curve has contributed to a renaissance of enthusiasm for some of the most dubious accomplishments of the human imagination — Social Darwinists, eugenicists, sterilizationists, racists, polygenecists, anti-amalgamationists, and elitists of every stripe.
by G. A. Elmer Griffin
In Defense of The Bell Curve: The Reality of Race and the Importance of Human Differences
We can begin this trip out of political correctness by noting that on genetic grounds alone there can be no doubt of the existence of a substantial number of human races. Races are, if you wish, fuzzy sets.
by Vincent M. Sarich


Bravo Siano; Pathological Credulity; What’s So Bad About Religion?; Religion is Irrational Nonsense; Religion Not Off Limits; Hal Lindsey Creates Atheist; Can’t-Know or Don’t-Know?; Is Schrödinger’s Cat Psychic?; Self-Deception; New Age Crapola; Skeptics No Killjoys; Not So Unsolved Mysteries; Nicole Is Not Crazy; Mystery Fumes, Phantom Gas; Skeptical of Nerve Gas; Interstate Highways in
Hawaii?; I’ll Take the Money Dr. Murray; Taking the Murray Challenge; Unfair Attack is Vintage Gould; Stasis is Data-Missing the Point About Punctuated Equilibrium; The Emperor of Rationality Has No Clothes; Randi Responds
Hume Forum
Existence Exists; The Miracle of Hume’s Contradiction; The Hume Conspiracy; Schick Responds
AIDS Forum
Harris Clarifies AIDS; The Wrong Skepticism; AIDS and Reich; Just the Facts, Please; AIDS Scam; Harris Sells HIV Lie; How An HIV-AIDS Skeptic Really Thinks: Robert S. Root-Bernstein Responds, Selected Root-Bernstein Bibliography & Publications On Cofactors in AIDS; A Response to Robert S. Root-Bernstein From the Publisher; Dr. Steven B. Harris Responds
Pseudohistory Forum
Anti-German Bias; The Forgotten History; A Consilience Cable; White Nationalism v. White Supremacy; Skeptic Superficial and Slanted; Afrocentrism Still Needs Debunking; Population Revisionism; Save Some Skepticism for Revisionists’ Detractors
Randi/Geller Update
Geller’s Lawyer; Responds to Randi; Randi Responds; Science v. The Law: From the Publisher

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

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Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

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Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

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The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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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 can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

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The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

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Top 10 Myths About Evolution

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

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Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
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Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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