Crackpots, Serial Killers and Flat Earthers
November 6, 2019 by

Things are a bit different now. Any crackpot with a 6th grader’s knowledge of computers can design and launch a website, shoot, edit and post a You Tube video that is wrong in every sense of the word, and search the world for people who share their same fetishes, dopey ideas, or sick fantasies.

How to Live Your Best Life, No Pseudoscience Required, in ‘Skeptical Inquirer’
October 23, 2019 by

Self-help gurus are unavoidable on bookstore shelves, daytime talk show panels, and sometimes even presidential debate stages, and each promises to help you “live your best life,” as long as you buy their pseudoscience-saturated books, supplements, videos, and power crystals.  The latest issue of Skeptical Inquirer, the magazine for science and reason, offers a reality-based alternative …

Skeptics of CSICon: A Tight and Clever Pack
October 19, 2019 by

Many skeptics know what it is to feel alone. If you’re the only parent in your social circle who accepts the science of vaccines, or you’re an atheist in a deeply religious family, or you’re the bubble-burster to refuses to concede that your friend spoke to their dead relative through a psychic medium, a skeptic …

Flaws, Courage, and Conviction at CSICon
October 19, 2019 by

If nothing else, to be a skeptic is to be willing to accept the universe as it is. That’s not the same as being apathetic or content with the status quo, but it does mean that we have to start with the facts as they are, not as we would have them be. So if …

Don’t Blame Yourself: Exposing Deflection and Shame at CSICon
October 18, 2019 by

Did you know that it’s all your fault? For women, if they’re not living their best life, it’s because they’re buying unwholesome, unnatural products. Also, any hardships their children face are because they didn’t breastfeed them enough. Oh, and climate change? That’s also your fault because you took a plane to get to CSICon. On …

Who is Doing the Pointing? CSICon Watches the Watchers
October 18, 2019 by

Who watches the watchers? The morning session for CSICon 2019 featured three speakers who all, in their own ways, asked us to consider where the information we take in is actually coming from and what it is we’re doing with that information once we’ve got it. The implications are incredibly significant.  Behavioral scientist Gordon Pennycook …

CSICon 2019 versus the Fantasy-Industrial Complex
October 18, 2019 by

In Post-Truth America, at a time when “modern secular government is in greater jeopardy than ever before,” as CFI board chair Eddie Tabash put it at the CSICon 2019 opening reception, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The kickoff of this year’s CSICon was a kind of diagnosis of …

Astrology and Racism
September 17, 2019 by

There are many scientific and skeptical objections to astrology, including the fact that the constellations have shifted since astrology was devised, that many real-world tests have failed to find statistically meaningful patterns in the lives of people born under certain zodiac signs, and that there are multiple—and in fact contradictory—versions of astrology that adherents fervently …

Consumers Feel “Scammed” by Walmart and CVS over Homeopathic Fake Medicine, Survey Shows
September 17, 2019 by

Survey Respondents Lose Trust in Megaretailers, Express Confusion and Betrayal, Favor Clearer Labeling Being presented with the facts about homeopathic products leads Americans to lose significant trust in the two largest drug retailers, Walmart and CVS, both of which are the subject of a lawsuit over their sale of homeopathic fake medicine alongside science-based remedies. …

Skeptical Inquirer: In The Trenches against Fake Medicine
August 27, 2019 by

The Health Wars in a Special Expanded Issue Medical pseudoscience is rampant, promoted not only by obvious snake oil salesmen and self-help gurus promising all manner of cures from “natural” and “alternative” remedies, but even by vaunted institutions of legitimate science such as the World Health Organization and the National Geographic Society. In a special …