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.

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 …

Why Chupacabra Reports Only Go Back to 1995
August 5, 2019 by

I recently came across a blog by a fellow cryptozoology writer, Nick Redfern, which began with a well-deserved rant about armchair debunkers. The shabby state of research into Fortean topics is widely acknowledged by skeptics—and some “believers” (for lack of a better word). In this particular case it was unnamed “debunkers” that he vented some …

Nazis, the KKK, and The Angriest Yoga Master: Another Day at the Office
July 24, 2019 by

Now hold on. Am I a Nazi or a Klansman? Make up your mind.

Homeopathy in the House
July 19, 2019 by

Homeopathy isn’t discussed much in the halls of Congress. So when last month, a pro-homeopathy amendment was considered on the House floor, I thought it would be a good opportunity to peek at the man behind the congressional curtain. Our longtime supporters will recall that, in 2015, former CFI Director of Government Affairs Michael DeDora …

Eight Hours in a Room with the Anti-Vaxxers
March 14, 2019 by

On March 12, I went to give testimony at a hearing to support Maine’s L.D. 798, a bill to end non-medical exemptions to the state’s vaccination requirements. Little did I know, the issue has become so heated, that the office building that houses the committee room was packed to the gills with advocates on both …

Spontaneous Human Combustion? Coroner Solves London Mystery
February 15, 2019 by

Under the heading, “Man spontaneously combusts in streets of London,” Fate magazine in late 2018 resurrected the fiery bogeyman of spontaneous human combustion. That is a pseudoscientific term for an unexplained fire injury or death. I have since followed the case to its final resolution at a coroner’s inquest, and have here placed it in …

Another Abducted Girl, Another Psychic Fail
January 16, 2019 by

Psychics and fortunetellers are often seen as relatively harmless, dispensing shopworn advice about tall handsome strangers, a brighter future, and reassurances that departed loved ones are indeed watching over us. For $100 or less we can gain a temporary feeling of control over our destinies, armed with the foreknowledge (foreguessing?) of what will (might?) happen. …

“Bigfoot” Is Endangered Species
January 10, 2019 by

A federal judge on August 30, 2018, temporarily blocked the hunting of grizzly bears outside Yellowstone National Park. This was in response to the Trump administration’s removal of those animals’ endangered species protection. I said “grizzly bears” but I was also thinking of Bigfoot, and therein is a story. For more than four decades grizzlies …

Stonehenge Assumptions
December 17, 2018 by

In my years of media and science literacy I’ve repeatedly encountered cases where people have failed to question their premises and simply forged ahead without bothering to make sure that the assumptions were grounded in fact. Premises often seem self-evident—and who wants to waste time verifying or fact-checking something that’s obvious? About six or seven …