The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 6 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 6, no 1


’Twas Brillig…
Another Farce of New Age Technology Bites the Dust
by James Randi
Dumbth News from
This is True
by Randy Cassingham
The Evil Eye &
Its Influence on Medicine &
Social Customs
by George M. Bohigian, M.D.
Talking Twaddle
With the Dead
The Tragedy of Death —
The Farce of James Van Praagh
by Michael Shermer
Talking to the Living Loved Ones of the Dearly Departed
A Commentary on
a Bestselling Author
by Gary P. Posner


Best Skeptic Ever; More Subscribers Coming; Skeptic a Relief in Religion-Mad America; Open Debate is Refreshing; The Princess & the Poet; Suppose Pythagoras Did Steal Pi?; Gravity Explained by Relativity; Put Skeptic in Libraries; News Not Fit to Print; Magnetic Healing; Jaroff Responds; Facts are Facts; Numbers From Nowhere; The Real Heroes of Mars Effect; Wise Use Pseudoskepticism; Overactive God Modules; The Message & the Messenger
JFK Judgment in Dallas; Posner’s Questionable Scholarship; JFK Truth or Falsehood?; JFK Conspiracy Deserves More; Zapruder Revisionism; Nick Gerlich Responds
Crazy Making
The DSM is not Making Us Crazy; More Making Crazy
God/No God
Universe’s Cause Indetermined; Skeptic ≠ Atheist; Rand as a Secular Rationalist; There Was No Jesus
Person/Paradigm?; Mead & Castaneda; Orwellian Determinism
Militias and Skeptics; Militias & the Draft; Why Militias — Part II


Founder of the Skeptical, Scientific Twentieth Century
Huxley: From Devil’s Disciple to Evolution’s High Priest,
by Adrian Desmond
reviewed by Donald R. Prothero
Bigger Than Life
Even in Death
Houdini! The Career of Erich Weiss, by Ken Silverman and Notes to Houdini!, by Ken Silverman
reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss
A Slave To Facts
The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440–1870,
by Hugh Thomas by Christopher Malloy


Kids Rule
9-Year Old Emily Rosa Debunks Therapeutic Touch In JAMA; Junior Skeptic for Real; Lisa Simpson Continues Reading Junior Skeptic Magazine
You Must Disclose House Hauntings!; The End of the World … Again; Millennial Stew; NASA Reveals “Face” on Mars Another Mountain; Banachek Entertainer of Year; K.C. Cole Lecture
Stephen Hawking at Caltech; Stephen Hawking v. Frank Tipler
Revisionism Update
David Cole Recants/David Irving Says Churchill Knew About Pearl Harbor
More Doubts on Recovered Memory Therapy; Bible Banned Book; Church-State Wall Develops Crack; Sagan Suit Dropped; Internet Science Updates; Nonbelievers in Majority?; Plato on Prozac; Revising Native American History; Realtors Beware: Men and Directions; The Cryptozoologist; Aliens, Ghosts… & Earthquakes?; Ghost to Whip Skeptic Wankers Arses; 1997 Darwin Awards; UPN Alien Abduction Film Hoax; The Dangers of Acupuncture; Psychic Friends Network Goes Bankrupt — They Didn’t See it Coming; Freeman Clarification

Special Section:
Science & Society

Objectivity in Journalism Should We Be Skeptical?
by Alexandra Kitty
A Skeptic’s Guide to
The Drug Policy Debate
by Erich Goode
The GRE as Fringe Science
The Politics and Economics of the Graduate Record Examination by Kenneth Oldfield
The Free Exercise of Pseudoscience
A Quirk in the Supreme Court’s Free Exercise of Religion Jurisprudence Could Allow Purveyors of Pseudoscience to Evade Criminal Fraud Prosecutions by Michael Fried
The Ionian Instauration
An Interview with E.O. Wilson on His Latest Controversial Book: Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
by Frank Miele
Unity, Diversity & Evolution
A Review of Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, by E.O. Wilson
by Brian Siano

Books in Brief

Instinct and Revelation
Reflections on the Origins of Numinous Perception,
by Alondra Y. Oubré
by Frank Miele
The Cambridge Quintet: A Work of Scientific Speculation, by John L. Casti; The Ultimate Einstein, by Donald Goldsmith with Robert Libbon; The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty, by K.C. Cole; Naked to the Bone: Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century, by Bettyann Holtzmann Kevles; The Real Roswell Crashed-Saucer Coverup, by Philip Klass; Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is doing to People, by Tana Dineen; Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion, by Edward Larson; Evolution in Mind: An Introduction to Evolutionary Psychology, by Henry Plotkin; The Quickening: Today’s Trends, Tomorrow’s World, by Art Bell; Chemical Sensitivity: The Truth About Environmental Illness, by Stephen Barrett, M.D.; Defending the Faith: A Beginner’s Guide to Cults and New Religions, by Richard Abanes; Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the End of the Cold War, by Hugh Gusterson; Heavenly Knowledge: An Astrophysicist Seeks Wisdom in the Stars, by Fiorella Terenzi; Richard Feynman: A Life in Science, by John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin; The Meaning of it All: Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist, by Richard P. Feynman

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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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