Skeptic (Altadena, CA)

Magazine promoting scientific method, critical thinking and the skepticism of the paranormal and superstition.

Articles from Vol. 17, No. 1, Fall

9/11 and the Science of Controlled Demolitions: Is There Any Scientific Validity to the Claims of 9/11 Controlled-Demolition Conspiracists about the Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings?
EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE ALREADY PASSED THE TENTH anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a group of 9/11 conspiracists are working hard to claim scientific validity for their conjecture that the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed through controlled demolition....
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Bad Language: Body Language-(Don't) Read My Lips
"WHEN YOU RUN YOUR HANDS THROUGH your hair like that it makes me think you're flirting with me" a colleague once said. Someone's been reading those self-help books about so-called "Body Language" "Maybe I'm not flirting" I replied, "but instead...
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Fossil Fakes: Part Two
HELLO! I'm Daniel, the Editor of JUNIOR SKEPTIC. Welcome to Part Two of our look at Fossil Fakes! In Part One we learned about some Famous Fossil hoaxes, accusations of hoaxes, and tricks For creating hoaxes. In this issue, we'll look at more...
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Is Psychology a Science?
THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION'S spokes-persons have a number of favorite phrases when they discuss psychology. They often refer to the "the basic science of psychology," or to the "scientific research" that helps to provide the foundations...
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Is Scientology a Cult?
THE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY IN Southern California is the home of many of the world's leading scientists and engineers who launch spacecraft deep into the solar system to find out what's out there. Apparently they could save taxpayers a lot of money...
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On Visions and Resurrections: Can Hallucination Account for the Post-Crucifixion Appearances of Jesus?
IN RESPONSE TO ADVANCES IN HIGHER BIBLICAL criticism, science, philosophy, and skepticism, over the past half century many Christian thinkers have retreated from biblical literalism, arguments from authority, and blind faith in scripture. Instead they...
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Religion in Harry Potter: Do J. K. Rowling's Novels Promote Religion or Undermine It?
GIVEN THE RUNAWAY POPULARITY of J. K. Rowling's novels and the related films, readers of the works, parents of readers, and those interested in cultural trends may wonder about the religious themes of the stories. Do the novels promote sorcery, as...
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The Mortals and the Immortals: Can Science Deliver What Religion Has Long Promised for Eternal Life?
THE CHRISTIAN PRESCRIPTION FOR ETERNAL LIFE IS remarkably simple. Although theologians have debated the exact articulation of this prescription since its inception, it can be summed up quite briefly; Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Do this and...
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The SkepDoc: Evidence-Based Medicine, Tooth Fairy Science, and Cinderella Medicine
THE TERM EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE (EBM) first appeared in the medical literature in 1992. There were two previous EBMs: Expert-Based Medicine and Experience-Based Medicine. In the 4th century BCE, Aristotle said men have more teeth than women. He was...
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Three Cheers for Teachers: Educational Reform Should Come from within the Classroom and Science Can Inform Our Reforms
I HAVE SPENT A DECADE IN THE CLASSROOM teaching U.S. History, World History, and Advanced Placement World History (half in middle school and half in high school). This experience, along with ten years of higher education in the study of content, curriculum,...
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'Twas Brillig ... Crystal Healing 101, Humanist Activist Victory, Scientology, a Letter to James Van Praagh
Crystal Healing 101 THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE Island (CCRI) has proudly announced that this fall, a "reiki master" will be holding a seminar on "crystal and mineral healing" at the college. This, we're told, is "a type of alternative therapy...
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What Is the Purpose of a Sponge? A Biologist Contemplates the Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything
A WHILE BACK DURING A ZOOLOGY LAB ON SPONGES, jellyfish, corals, and related animals, I was asked by one of my students what purpose sponges serve. Though this was the first time sponges had been the subject, I have received the same question numerous...
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