Lessons from the Space Shuttle Challenger
October 13, 2020 by

In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff from Florida’s coast, an accident that laid bare not only institutional flaws in the application of high technology but also flaws in the public’s understanding of science. Many myths have emerged in the years since the accident, such as that the shuttle exploded—it didn’t, …

Darwin's Hawk Moth (Xanthopan morganii praedicta)
The Orchid and the Moth | Why Scientists Are the True Prophets
October 8, 2020 by

In 1862, Charles Darwin received a sample of orchids from Madagascar. Among them, he noticed, was a flower with an unusually long nectary, the orchid’s nectar-producing gland. At nearly a foot in length, this would keep the nectar from any known insect looking to partake. It got Darwin wondering. Days later, Darwin made a prediction: …

‘Plandemic’ Asks Questions—But Won’t Answer Them
May 21, 2020 by

Earlier this month, a YouTube video for an (apparently) upcoming documentary titled Plandemic was released by Mikki Willis (credited onscreen as “father/filmaker” [sic]). The video features a lengthy interview with virologist Judy Mikovits, who offers scattershot conspiracy-laden assertions about the “truth” behind the COVID-19 pandemic, prefaced by claims of having been framed for a crime …

trust covid
COVID-19 Pseudoauthorities
May 13, 2020 by

This is the fifth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, which was created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does …

Data Divisions: Projections, Uncertainty, and Unknowns
April 15, 2020 by

This is the third in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There’s nothing quite like an international emergency—say, a global …

Can Naturopathic Doctors Combat COVID-19?
March 31, 2020 by

Last week, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) announced that it urges government officials coordinating the national COVID-19 pandemic response to utilize all licensed healthcare professionals, including naturopathic doctors (NDs) “to support other medical professionals in changing the trajectory of this public health crisis.”  Yes, we’re facing shortages of health care workers to respond …

Browne 2004 covid excerpt
Sylvia Browne’s Bogus Coronavirus Prophecies
March 24, 2020 by

In recent weeks there’s been many rumors, myths, and misinformation about the current coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. One of the most curious is the recent resurrection of a posthumous prediction by psychic Sylvia Browne. In her 2008 book End of Days, Browne predicted that “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, …

Equatorial Misinformation Misadventures
February 19, 2020 by

Last month I was editing a piece by Rob Palmer (perhaps better known as “The Well-Known Skeptic”) on the subject of misinformation he encountered in the middle of the world. Or, put another way, bogus information on the equator in Ecuador (a country named after the equator). I had a particular interest in the topic, …

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.

Are 1 in 4 Americans Going Into Debt Buying Food?
June 5, 2019 by

It’s a scary, dismaying headline that made the social media rounds over the past few weeks: “Nearly 25% of Americans are going into debt trying to pay for necessities like food.”   The piece, which appeared on CNBC, began with the following: “American have an average of $6,506 in credit card debt, according to a …