The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 5 Number 4
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 5, no 4


’Twas Brillig…
Applied Kinesiology & Bell Labs:
The Embrace of Nonsense by the Otherwise Well-Informed
by James Randi
Dumbth News from
This is True
by Randy Cassingham
November in Dallas
Thoughts on the JFK
Assassination Conference
by Nick Gerlich
Roswell: An Insiders Report
by D.B. “Duke” Gildenberg

Special Section:

Acupuncture’s Secrets Revealed
From Cult of QI to Evidence-Based Acupuncture by George A. Ulett
A Not-So-Psychic Detective
A Case Study of Noreen Renier’s Latest and Greatest “Success” Story
by Gary P. Posner
The Myth of Egyptian Pi (π)
Did Archimedes Steal Pi?
by George M. Hollenback
When the Mermaid
Came to Charleston
by Marc Mappen
What’s Your Sign?
Astrology: What’s Really
in the Stars?
by J.V. Stewart
In Search of the
Chinese Fountain of Youth
Sex and Immortality
by Monty Vierra
The Belief Module
How We Came to Believe in Magic
by Michael Shermer


Shame on You; Can You Top This?; Beautiful People Park; Don’t Dismiss All Conspiracies; More on Militias
The God Question Revisited
Refreshing and Intriguing; Fake Quotes; Thanks for Leikind’s Article; The Burden of the Proof; Science Works, Proofs of God Don’t; Proofs of God are Plausible; God and Secular Religions; Praise for the Middle Ground; Gardner’s God; God Exists in Zero Time; Imbecilic Irony; Another Creationist Fallacy; The Fossils Still Say Yes!; Religion is More Than a Meme


Psychic Predictions for 1998
Skeptical Oracles Predict … Home Alien Abduction Kit; HMO Execs Believe Prayer Aids Healing; Florida’s Virgin Mary Still Draws the Faithful
by Nick Gerlich
Thank You:
Skeptics Fund Raising
Drive a Success
Biblical Humor; Firing Line Debate Resolved: Evolutionists Should Acknowledge Creation; Weird Things Makes “Top 100” Books of 1997, Also Up for National Book Critics Award; Alternative Therapies Increase in Canada; Signs of the Times; Mass Suicide Feared in Dallas; New U.K. Skeptics Group; Inside the Scientology/IRS Battle; Scientology’s Mysterious Death; South American Aliens Have Olive Skin; 60 Minutes Exposes False Memory Disaster; Creating Crazy; Psychotherapy on Trial; Nobelists Challenge Science Standards; Skeptics Society Supports Amicus Brief v. Creationism; Archeologist Says Turin Shroud is No Fake; The God Module; The Astronomer’s Wizard; The Death of Big Foot; Remote Viewer Ed Dames Says Sun will Explode in 1998; Miracle Laundry Ball Soaks Suckers; Simpsons Debunks Angels; Acupuncture Works Says NIH Panel


Tabloid Journalism
Grossed Out Surgeon Vomits Inside Patient! An Insider’s Look at Supermarket Tabloids by Jim Hogshire
reviewed by Peter Huston
Is This Your Card?
Penn & Teller’s How to
Play in Traffic

reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss
IQ in Review: Getting at
the Hyphen in the Nature-Nurture Debate
Intelligence and Social Policy, a special issue of the journal Intelligence, edited by L. Gottfredson; The Scientific Study of Human Nature: A Tribute to Hans Eysenck at Eight, edited by H. Nyborg; Uniting Psychology and Biology: Integrative Perspectives on Human Development, edited by N. Segal, G. Weisfeld and C. Weisfeld; Intelligence, Heredity, and Environment, edited by R. Sternberg and E Grigorenko; Intelligence and Lifelong Learning, a special issue of the journal American Psychologist, guest edited by R. Sternberg
reviewed by Frank Miele

Books in Brief

The Best of Annals of Improbable Research, edited by Marc Abrahams; Dr. Strangelove’s America: Society and Culture in the Atomic Age, by Margot Henriksen; A Glorious Accident: Understanding Our Place in the Cosmic Puzzle, by Wim Kayzer; The Life of the Cosmos, by Lee Smolin; Would-Be Worlds: How Simulation is Changing the Frontiers of Science, by John L. Casti; A Bedside Nature: Genius and Eccentricity in Science 1869–1953, edited by Walter Gratzer; Beyond Star Trek: Physics from Alien Invasions to the End of Time, by Lawrence M. Krauss; The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and its Implications, by David Deutsch; The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain, by Terrence Deacon; How the Mind Works, by Steven Pinker; Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind, by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen; Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others, by Martin Rees; The Mistaken Extinction: Dinosaur Evolution and the Origin of Birds, by Lowell Dingus and Timothy Rowe; Immortality, edited by Paul Edwards; Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds, by Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini

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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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