Despite being exiled from his home country of India because of blasphemy charges and the recent murder of one of his fellow skeptical activists, rationalist Sanal Edamaruku remains optimistic about the future of skepticism and rationalism in India.
Category Archive: Skepticism
Sep 21 2013
Sep 21 2013
Slate has an article that says something I’ve been saying for years, that all those people out there searching for the lost city of Atlantis are wasting their time because there is no such place and there never was. It was written as a myth and stayed a myth for nearly 2000 years before people …
Sep 18 2013
Kyle Hill asks an interesting question in the Skeptical Inquirer: What if astrology were true? It wouldn’t just mean that more people would check their horoscope every day to find out what their fate is, it would have enormous implications for human nature and, especially, psychology and sociology.
Sep 18 2013
Dave Gorski reports the disturbing fact that the U.S. Senate has declared the second week of October to be Naturopathic Medicine Week in order to “recognize the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.” His reaction:
Sep 17 2013
America isn’t the only country that has a serious problem with “psychics” making false claims about all the important work they’ve done helping police solve crimes. A psychic in New Zealand has enraged the family of a woman who disappeared a decade ago by claiming that she helped solve what turned out to be a …
Sep 16 2013
Cracked has a list of the six most humiliating psychic failures and I could watch the videos all day. The most famous was when Uri Gellar went on the Tonight Show and failed to show any of his “powers” because James Randi had helped Johnny Carson, himself a former magician, understand how to block his …
Sep 13 2013
Slate has an interview with University of California–Irvine psychologist and law professor Elizabeth Loftus, who has spent her career studying the problem of false memories and how easily they can be planted in our brains, deliberately or not, and seem totally authentic and accurate to us even if they’re really a combination of accurate memory …
Sep 10 2013
Chris Mooney reports on a new study that I don’t find surprising in the least. The study, called Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government, finds that our political beliefs can even undermine our ability to do basic math when we encounter data that does not fit those beliefs. It’s really quite a clever study, as Chris …
Sep 08 2013
One of the more irritating features of Facebook these days is the “sponsored post” that appears throughout your news feed. This one from Thursday is really annoying because it’s just a blatant scam, as obvious as Miss Cleo or Benny Hinn. Here’s a screengrab of it:
Sep 06 2013
In what is clearly becoming a trend, a husband and wife “psychic” team in the San Bernardino, California area have been charged with grand theft for allegedly swindling thousands of dollars from people in exchange for ridding them of evil spirits.
Sep 05 2013
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been known to say some really dumb things from time to time. Here’s another. In a letter to organizers of the National Buffalo Wing Festival, PETA says eating chicken wings could cause a future child to have a smaller penis.
Sep 05 2013
Julia Galef has a video about the commitment effect, one of the many ways that our ability to think clearly and rationally is easily undermined. Many studies show that once we commit to a position, it is much harder for us to think critically about it. We devote more of our energy to defending it …
Aug 31 2013
On Wednesday night, my friend Dr. Greg Forbes gave a talk to CFI Michigan about alternative medicine and all the absurd and unproven claims found in supplements and “homeopathic” medicine. He had us all cracking up when he brought up a product called Get Tall 1000, which actually claims to make you taller — with …
Aug 29 2013
The New York Times has an article about Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, a prominent Indian skeptic who was murdered last week. The identity and motives of the murderers is not yet known, but the Times notes that Dabholkar had a long list of enemies because he routinely debunked the tall tales and myths that gave them …
Aug 22 2013
Doubtful News reports that Heel, Inc., a company that makes homeopathic “remedies” with outlandish and unsupported claims of their effectiveness, has agreed to pay a measly $1 million fine for exaggerated and false claims about its products.