Another Sylvia Browne Failure

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 09, 2013

I cannot get over the horrific revelations in Cleveland where, for a decade, three girls—now young women—were held as sex slaves by a vicious sociopath. As I reflected on the case, however, I said to my wife Diana that once again “psychics” had failed to locate missing persons. Wouldn’t three victims in a single location have provided increased stimulus for the mystics’ touted powers?

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My Prediction of the Cleveland Abduction Situation, and the Tragic Failure of Psychics

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
May 09, 2013

In 2009 I predicted the recent Cleveland abduction situation, or one very much like it. 

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Skepticism and Religion

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
May 09, 2013

So the Skeptic "movement" really can't comment on what religion is all about, it seems. 

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The Tidy-Up God

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 09, 2013

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.  

Well here's a thing. Jessica Ahlquist just won herself a First Amendment Award. Oh, let me clarify: She's won the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award.

You can't make this stuff up: Three folks found guilty of breaking into a National Security Complex, including an 83-year-old nun:

The trio spent about two hours inside the Oak Ridge facility in July, cutting through fences to reach a facility known as the “Fort Knox of uranium.” Once there, they painted slogans, chipped off a part of a wall with hammers and splattered human blood on the exterior.

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Bigfoot School

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 08, 2013

Life is continuing education, and in that spirit I keep seeking new experiences, tutelage, and personas. I achieved all of these on Saturday, April 27, 2013, by becoming a Bigfoot School Graduate and receiving my handsome Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot School Diploma—signed by several of the field’s luminaries. It now has an honored place next to my Ph.D. diploma and various forensics certificates.

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The Most Dangerous of All Possible Delusions

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 08, 2013

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.  

Stop whatever you're doing. Like, don't even read the Heresy right now. Because Point of Inquiry has a special video edition this week with both hosts (swoon!) and! And! Guest Jared Diamond (double-swoon!), author of books like Guns, Germs, and Steel and The World Until Yesterday. Go now! Click! Watch!

Oh, Sylvia Browne. Being a fake psychic is not paying off like it used to. After determining with her magical mind powers that kidnap victim Amanda Berry was dead, Browne isn't talking to anyone about how her super-magic-brain could have been so entirely, ridiculously, and thankfully wrong.

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Does Spiraling Sex Abuse Mean Gender Integration in the Military Has Failed?

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
May 08, 2013

Usually when I blog here, I argue for something with great confidence and bluster. This time I'm just posing a question -- an uncomfortable question, but one that I'm amazed no one else seems to be asking. There's a vast sex abuse crisis in the U. S. military, with incident rates skyrocketing year to year. Might this mean that America's great experiment in creating a gender-neutral military has failed?

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Skeptical Commentary Following Tragedy: Exploitation or Education?

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
May 08, 2013

Recent tragedies such as the Boston marathon bombing and the horrific case of three women rescued in Cleveland brought skeptical commentary highlighting the failure of psychics. However some people feel that skeptics should not comment on such events because it smacks of exploitation.

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Mostly False

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 07, 2013

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.  

Whoa! Eugenie Scott is stepping down as head of NCSE! Oh no! 

Here's an interview I did with Scott before last year's CSICon. She was awfully nice.

PZ Myers declares his disaffiliation from the skeptic movement (so he is now only an atheist, and not what I call a "skepto-atheist"). Massimo Pigliucci will not miss him, but sees trouble within the movement:

I think the primary problem with the skeptic movement — of which I am and remain a proud member — is that too many people, both among the “leaders” and the rank-and-file, seem to be in it for the sheer pleasure of calling others out as idiots. 

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The Joy of Sects

Hollywood Reality Check with Jim Underdown
May 06, 2013

Specifically – obviously – women (who are over ½ the U.S. population) have been getting screwed by religion since well before whatever fiction writer dreamt up the story of The Fall in Genesis. (There, Eve is forever blamed for original sin because she... what now? Ate from the Tree of Knowledge? Oh, please. If God were just, he would have given her a medal instead of kicking her out of the Garden.)

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