The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 4 Number 4
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 4, no 4


In Memory of Carl Sagan 1934–1996
Star Stuff
by Tom McDonough
Carl Leaves Us
by James Randi
An Awful Hole.
A Wonderful Life.
by Michael Shermer
In Sagan’s Own Words
excerpts from
Carl Sagan’s work
’Twas Brillig…
How to Convince the Media You are Psychic & That They Need You: Sometimes a Scheme is Just So Delicious You Can Taste it!
by James Randi
1996: Dumbth is
the Year that Was
by Randy Cassingham
Early Ghostbusters
by David Alexander
The Millennium is Coming!
Cosmic Disaster in 2000
or Another Failed Prophecy? by John Mosley
What Ever Happened
to n-rays?
Robert Wood’s 1904 n-ray Letter in Nature — a Classic in Skeptical History by Terence Hines
Creationism: Bad Science
or Immoral Pseudoscience?
by Joyce Arthur


A Light in the Darkness; A Christian Skeptic; Atheists Decline into Oblivion; A Cultural Black Hole; Islamic Evolutionism; Impact Artifact; New Age is Not All Good News; The Best Win Out; Bravo Tipler!; Which Side Are You On?; Thank You Mr. Siano; Siano’s Fiction; Siano Not True Defender of PC; Siano Cracks on Bell Curve; Siano and Skeptic on Far Left ; My True Views on PC and IQ—Siano Responds; Religion Does Odd Things; No Morals in Morality; Ethical Inadequacies; Provisional Means Provisional


Darwinian Literary Science?
Evolution and Literary Theory, by Joseph Carroll
reviewed by Michelle Scalise Sugiyama
The Not-So-Amazing Kreskin
A review of How to Be a Fake Kreskin, by The Amazing Kreskin
reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss
Killing Clio Softly
with Their Siren Song
The Killing of History: How a Discipline is Being Murdered by Literary Critics and Social Theorists, by Keith Windschuttle
reviewed by Frank Miele


Darwin’s Debt; Pope Acquits Darwin; Militias American Style; Multiple Personalities; A Rebel With a Cause; Geller Tours America With New Book & Same Old Tricks; Relive the Civil War Through Regression Therapy; School Superintendent Glues Big Bang Pages in Science Text Together; If Glue Doesn’t Work Try Magic Markers or Razor Blades; Psychic Network Does Not Foresee Lawsuit; Pierre Salinger Becomes a Conspiracy Theorist; Taiwan Guru Busted For $70 Million in Fake Miracles; Mars Face Believers Stage Protest at JPL; Germany Squelches Scientology; Scientologist Purchases Assets of Cult Awareness Network; What is a Cult?; Another Recovered Memory Lawsuit Settled for $1 Million; Aromatherapy Smells Fishy; Errata Farrakhan; Afrocentrism Challenged in Milwaukee Schools; 1996 Ig Nobel Prizewinners; Extraterrestrial Highway
Detecting the
“Human Energy Field”
$742,000 Says Therapeutic
Touch is Bogus

Special Section:
Can History Be Science?

History at the Crossroads
Can History Be a Science?
Can it Afford Not to Be?
by Michael Shermer
Rebel With a Cause
An interview with Frank Sulloway
Can We Know What Really Happened in the Past?
Vivid Historical Examples Encourage Students to Think Critically
by Mark Leier
More Higher Superstitions: Knowledge, Knowingness & Reality
One of the Authors of Higher Superstition Answers His Critics
by Norman Levitt
Where is Knowingness
to be Found?
A Reply to Norman Levitt
by Richard Olson

Books in Brief

Auschwitz, by Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan Van Pelt; History Wars: The Enola Gay and Other Battles for the American Past, by Edward T. Linethal and Tom Engelhardt (Eds.); The Disappearance of God: A Divine Mystery, by Richard Elliott Friedman; Seven Theories of Religion, by Daniel L. Pals; Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft, by Robin Briggs; Climbing Mount Improbable, by Richard Dawkins; Evolutionary Naturalism, by Michael Ruse; The Myth of the Framework: In Defense of Science and Rationality, by Karl R. Popper. M.A. Notturno (Editor); In Search of Nature, by Edward O. Wilson; Eros and Evolution: A Natural Philosophy of Sex, by Richard E. Michod; The Edge of the Unknown: 101 Things You Don’t Know About Science and No One Else Does Either, by James Trefil; This is True: Deputy Kills Man With Hammer and 500 Other Bizarre-but-True Stories and Headlines from the World’s Press, by Randy Cassingham; The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations: Cutting Comments on Burning Issues, by Charles Bufe (Editor); Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky, by Charles Ginenthal; Stephen J. Gould and Immanuel Velikovsky, by Dale Ann Pearlman (Editor)
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