Review of book: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake, by Steven Novella et al. There are many classics of skeptical literature. We often hear how someone became a skeptic because they read a book by Carl Sagan, James… read more "How to Know What’s Really Real"
For Discussion: Should I Write Only About Fake Stuff If It Is Well-Known?
A person who describes himself as a “pseudoscience fighter” e-mailed me to chastise me for writing about Prodovite last week. He felt compelled to offer me some advice. He made some good points; but they were things I had already thought about, and they didn’t change my mind. I thought it… read more "For Discussion: Should I Write Only About Fake Stuff If It Is Well-Known?"
Un exceso de tonterías
¿El mundo se está volviendo más loco? Parece que sí, pero quizá es que yo estoy más consciente de la estupidez. He aquí solo unas pocas cosas estrafalarias con las que me he cruzado recientemente. This article is available in English. La adivinación usando espárragos En enero de 2019 The Mirror y… read more "Un exceso de tonterías"
A Surfeit of Silliness
Is the world getting crazier? It seems so, but maybe I’m just more aware of the silliness. Here are just a few of the outlandish things I’ve run across recently. Divination by Asparagus The Mirror and several other news sources reported in January 2019 that a woman in Bath, England, named Jemima… read more "A Surfeit of Silliness"
Critical Thinking in Medicine
Rodin’s Thinker is doing his best to think but if he hasn’t learned critical thinking skills, he is likely to make mistakes. The human brain is prone to a multitude of cognitive errors. Critical thinking in medicine is what the Science-Based Medicine (SBM) blog is all about. Jonathan Howard has… read more "Critical Thinking in Medicine"
En el clásico artículo de James. E. Alcock, que se publicó en el Skeptical Inquirer en 1995, The belief engine (La máquina de creencias), el autor escribió: “Nuestros cerebros y sistemas nerviosos constituyen una máquina generadora de creencias, un sistema que evolucionó, no para asegurar la verdad, la lógica y la razón,… read more "Cómo creemos"
Better Than Dumbledore
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could actually meet a character from fiction and chat with him over dinner? Who would you choose? One character I would enjoy meeting is Dumbledore, the kindly wizard who is the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books.… read more "Better Than Dumbledore"
How we believe
In James Alcock’s classic 1995 article “The Belief Engine,” he said, “Our brains and nervous systems constitute a belief-generating machine, a system that evolved to assure not truth, logic, and reason, but survival.” Now he has expanded that thesis into a book, Belief: What It Means to Believe and Why… read more "How we believe"
A Feast of Science
Did you know that Samuel Hahnemann, the misguided father of homeopathy, was an accomplished chemist who developed the first chemical test for arsenic? His test was applied in a poisoning trial in England: it was positive, but the color of the sample had deteriorated by the time it got to… read more "A Feast of Science"
Not In Your Stars
Astronomy is science; astrology is superstition, mythology, and pseudoscience. Depending on how surveys ask the question, anywhere from 22 percent to 73 percent of people believe astrology is valid. Horoscopes still appear regularly in newspapers. Over 90 percent of adults know their zodiac sign. It never occurs to some people… read more "Not In Your Stars"