“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 03, 2012

"Ah, Watson, do come in. I see you have just been to that latest, ah, ‘movie,' supposedly based on what you so faithfully romanticize as my ‘adventures.' And I perceive you were extremely dissatisfied with it.

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Plantinga’s Closing Argument

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 03, 2012

Alvin Plantinga’s latest book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism, has received a fair amount of attention. Plantinga has even been written up in the New York Times. Having read most of his book, I will acknowledge that it confirms he is a clever polemicist. He can present a thoroughly fallacious argument with confidence, dressing it up so it appears superficially impressive.  God may not have a more skilled advocate. 

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Rebecca and Riley: Tempest in a Doll’s Tea Party

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
January 02, 2012

Skepchick blogger and skeptical colleague Rebecca Watson wrote a scathing blog about a column I wrote on a viral video starring a girl named Riley, and her rant about gender-stereotyped colors and toys. How valid are her criticisms? Decide for yourself. 

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A New Year’s Resolution: Admit You are an Atheist

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
December 31, 2011

For so many people, it’s really about time.

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Personhood arguments fail, but fight for reproductive rights goes on

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
December 30, 2011

Proposals to change the legal definition of personhood to include fertilized human eggs are rightly doomed, but reproductive rights advocates should remain vigilant in defending and promoting access to safe, legal health care.

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Investigating Life as a Poet

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 29, 2011

Given that my main persona is investigator—of historical and literary mysteries (see my "Did Shakespeare Write ‘Shakespeare'?" in the Nov./Dec. 2011 Skeptical Inquirer), as well as homicides, and, most extensively, of paranormal enigmas—relatively few know of me as a poet—in which role I investigate life and attempt to shape the results into art.

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Five Solved ‘Unexplained Mysteries’ of 2011

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
December 27, 2011

Each year brings new puzzles and mysteries to challenge skeptics and put our wits to the test. Sometimes mysteries take weeks, months, or even years or decades to solve, and while most of the public's attention naturally focuses on the still-mysterious, it's always worth reflecting on former mysteries. Here are five high-profile (temporarily) unexplained mysteries that were finally solved in 2011.

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Turin “Shroud” Called “Supernatural”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 22, 2011

As reported in the UK Independent of December 21, 2011, scientists working for the Italian government have claimed to find evidence that the image of Jesus crucified appearing on the notorious Shroud of Turin was not produced by a medieval artist but instead was likely caused by a supernatural event.

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CFI Welcomes UN Resolution Excluding “Defamation of Religion” Language—But Again Remains Cautious

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
December 21, 2011

CFI is pleased to recognize that, for the first time in more than a decade, the UN's General Assembly has approved a resolution aimed at combating religious intolerance that does not include language referring to the harmful “defamation of religions" concept. Unfortunately, the new resolution has its shortcomings.

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The Skepcook: Regarding “No Substitutions”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 19, 2011

The "no-substitution" policy of some restaurants is not a customer-friendly way to help one address his or her dietary concerns. Of course, sometimes substitutions cannot reasonably be made, but where they can be, restaurateurs should be encouraged to adopt a more flexible policy.

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