The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 5 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 5, no 1


The Return of
Ancient Astronauts
Zecharia Sitchin Rekindles
an Old Pseudoscience
by Eric Wojciehowski
Dumbth News
by Randy Cassingham
The Legacy of Salem
Demonology for an
Age of Science
by Frederick Crews
SWIFT — The Newsletter of the James Randi Educational Foundation
James Randi’s 1996 Pigasus Awards; Test of Dowsing in Germany, by Robert König, Jürgen Moll, and Armadeo Sarma; The Human Magnets, by Massimo Polidoro; Predicting the Past, by Bob Park


An Open Letter from Steve Allen to Heber Jentzsch, President, Church of Scientology; The Sagan Addiction; Sagan and Asteroid Impact Clarifications; Rekindled Scientism; In Black and White; Randi’s 10 Astrology Answers to 10 Embarrassing Questions; The End of Science or Science Education?; Punctuated End of Science; Forbidden Hidden History; Lepper Responds; Bad Rap on Mesmer
Can History Be a Science?
Are Skeptics Laterborns?; Birth Order Not Scientific; Rushton a Radical?; Sulloway Responds
Julian Simon Interview
A Triumph of Journalism; Skeptics’ Statist Slant; Privatize Everything; Miele Responds; Appalled by Lack of Skepticism; Hat and Horns — “It’s a Jersey Thing”; A More Appropriate Prop?
The PC Debate Continues
Playing the Victim Card; Industrial PC; PC Strangeness; Siano’s Own PC: By Glenn Ricketts; Siano Responds; I’m No Co-Conspirator, by Norman Levitt; Siano Responds; Siano Fudged More Than a Bit, by William Irons


Coincidence & Synchronicity
Synchronicity, Science, and Soul-Making: Understanding Jungian Synchronicity through Physics, Buddhism and Philosophy, by Victor Mansfield
reviewed by By J.I. (Hans) Bakker
Spotting Fakes
Detecting Forgery: Forensic Investigations of Documents,
by Joe Nickell
reviewed by Peter Huston


What’s the Harm in Believing in UFOs & Pseudoscience? — Heaven’s Gate Cult Mass Suicide Answers the Question; The Mysterious History of the Hale-Bopp UFO “Companion”; Polls Show Americans Are Still Deeply Spiritual; Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report Show that Otherworldliness is Alive and Well in America; UFOs and the Ghostdance; Alien Autopsy “Manhunt”; World Will Not End 2012; Alien Autopsy “Manhunt”; Alien Abduction Insurance Payout a Hoax; NBC’s Asteroid Sweeps Ratings; Sagan Memorial, Correction, and Coppola Lawsuit; Roswell Proponent Recants; Australian Creationist Lawsuit; Anti-Evolution Legislation; King + Ray = Conspiracy; Supreme Court Environmental Decision; AAAS Warns of Environmental Doom, Overpopulation

Special Section

Souled Out or Souled Short?
An Introduction to the Debate Between Ecologists and Economists on How Many People the Earth Can or Should Support Goes Beyond Our Knowledge of Nature and Directly to the Nature of Knowledge and the Nature of Humankind
by Frank Miele
World Scientists’
Warning to Humanity
An Ethical Statement Sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists
Living Without Limits: An Interview with Julian Simon
An Economist Explains What’s Wrong with the Environmental Doomsayers, the Union of Concerned Scientists … and Skeptic Magazine!
by Frank Miele
No One is Immune
A Risk Assessment Approach to Worldwide Population Stabilization
by Elie A. Shneour
Counterscience & Conservation
The Not-So-Wise Use Movement
by Paul J. Lindholdt
The Myth of
the Beautiful People
Why The Grass is Always Greener in the Other Century
by Michael Shermer

Books in Brief

Weird Water & Fuzzy Logic, by Martin Gardner; But Seriously … Steve Allen Speaks His Mind, by Steve Allen; Extraterrestrial Intelligence, by Jean Heidmann; Scams From the Great Beyond: How to Make Easy Money Off of ESP, Astrology, UFOs, Crop Circles, Cattle Mutilations, Alien Abductions, Atlantis, Channeling, and Other New Age Nonsense, by Peter Huston; Astrology: What’s Really in the Stars, by J.V. Stewart, M.D.; Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection, by Harold Bloom; The Quotable Einstein, edited by Alice Calaprice; Tools of Critical Thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology, by David A. Levy; Darwin. Multimedia CD, created by Pete Goldie; Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex, by Robin Baker; The Mismeasure of Man, by Stephen Jay Gould, revised and expanded
Environment Section
How Many People Can the Earth Support?, by Joel E. Cohen; The End of the World, by John Leslie; Rain of Iron and Ice: The Very Real Threat of Comet and Asteroid Bombardment, by John S. Lewis; Yellow Fever, Black Goddess: The Coevolution of People and Plagues, by Christopher Wills; Eco-Facts & Eco-Fiction, by William H. Baarschers; Green Backlash: Global Subversion of the Environment Movement, by Andrew Rowell; Environmental Strategy and Sustainable Development: The Corporate Challenge for the 21st Century, by Richard Welford

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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.

FREE PDF Download

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.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

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.

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 can you 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

Mind altering experiences 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

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.

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