“Cowboys and Aliens” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
August 25, 2011

It's a cross between True Grit and War of the Worlds—with sequences of fine acting and great special effects worthy of either movie.

Why, then, is Cowboys and Aliens such a failure?

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False Rape Claim Sinks Real Rape Case

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
August 24, 2011

Rape charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn were dropped yesterday; the wealthy French banker had been accused of raping a housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, in an upscale Manhattan hotel in May. The accused didn't even have to defend himself in this case; instead the accuser's lies caused her case to implode.

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Egyptian man arrested for alleged blasphemy

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
August 22, 2011

A 23-year-old Egyptian man has been arrested by Cairo police for allegedly "insulting Islam" in postings on his Facebook wall. 

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Celebrating Science

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
August 18, 2011

Religion's accusation that science strips humanity of all significance couldn't be further from the truth. 

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Boiron, Please Sue Us

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
August 17, 2011

As you know, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) have publicly rebuked Wal-Mart for marketing homeopathic junk, in particular a product called Oscillococcinum, a purported remedy for flu. We are now inviting the product’s manufacturer, Boiron, to sue us. Here’s why.

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Science Is Self-Correcting ... Sort Of

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
August 16, 2011

One of the claimed advantages of scientific inquiry as a mode of acquiring knowledge is that it is a self-correcting enterprise.  For example, if someone claims to have discovered a process for cold fusion, that incorrect claim can be shown to be false or unwarranted by further research and scientific testing.  This rosy picture of the scientific enterprise suggests that scientific errors will be recognized and corrected, with false claims falling by the wayside during science’s inexorable march forward. 

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Midnight in Paris (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
August 15, 2011

Ah, midnight in Paris!

Or anytime in Paris if you ask me—a place where I once had a magical time, until the Orient Express whisked me away, like a magic carpet, to Istanbul.

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School voucher bills swamp statehouses, face legal challenges

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
August 15, 2011

Statehouses across the U.S. this year have considered more bills than ever before to fund school voucher programs, though legal challenges await.

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Fright Night: The Vampire Genre That Won’t Die

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
August 13, 2011

A remake of the cult classic vampire film Fright Night comes to theaters. 

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Is It Permissible To Question A Candidate About Her Religious Beliefs?

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
August 12, 2011

Some have criticized the reporter who asked Michele Bachmann during the GOP debate last night whether she would be “submissive” to her husband were she elected president. I think this criticism is unfounded. Given Bachmann’s own statements, this was a legitimate question.

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