Evolution of the Conspiracy Theorist

June 13, 2014

The conspiracy theorist is, of course, not a new breed of human. All the basic psychological building blocks of conspiracy thinking are inherent in the human psyche, including distrust of authority, wanting "inside information," and real or imagined persecution-and, to be fair, often a dearth of critical thinking skills such as the ability (or desire) to separate anonymous rumor from established fact.

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Amazing Spider-Man 2

May 10, 2014

Like many teenage boys I was a fan of comic books, and my favorite superhero was Spider-Man... Sadly the film version leaves much to be desired. 

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The Pseudoscience of Baby Gender Prediction

April 29, 2014

It's springtime and thoughts turn to romance and babies... And along with those thoughts are various superstitions about predicting the gender of those babies.

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Haunted Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: ‘Oculus’  Film Review

April 14, 2014

There is a long history of folklore and legends about magical mirrors, ranging from the Bloody Mary urban legends to the sycophantic mirror in Snow White to the centuries-old practice of covering mirrors in the room of a dying person lest either Death or the Devil be seen in them. The new horror film Oculus tells the story of a cursed mirror.

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Charles Darwin, Skeptic

March 31, 2014

Charles Darwin was much more than just a scientist and author; he was also a devoted family man and an explorer. Steeped in the ways of science, he was also a skeptic who demanded good evidence for extraordinary claims.

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“Question of Astral Projection of Non-Believer”

March 14, 2014

I recently got the following email with the subject line, "Question of Astral Projection of Non-Believer." 

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Can Hair Turn White Overnight?

March 03, 2014

For centuries, it has been widely believed that fright can turn hair white. They say that the hair of condemned prisoners (such as Thomas More and Marie Antoinette) turned white the night before their executions. They say that many people who have terrifying experiences with ghosts find that their hair has turned white as... snow. Of course, "they" say a lot of things.

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The Anatomy of False Accusations: A Skeptical Case Study

February 26, 2014

False accusations are of particular interest to skeptics because skepticism has often been at the forefront of giving voice to the wrongly accused. Here's a recent case study. 

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The Ethics of Free-Market Kidneys, Part 2

February 11, 2014

In some countries selling one’s organs is perfectly legal. In the United States, it is against the law, although many people have suggested that legalizing the trade would save lives and offer real social benefits. Others find it an ethically dubious proposition. Part 2.  

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The Ethics of Free-Market Kidneys, Part 1

February 04, 2014

In some countries selling one's organs is perfectly legal. In the United States, it is against the law, although many people have suggested that legalizing the trade would save lives and offer real social benefits. Others find it an ethically dubious proposition. A look at the ethics behind organ sales. 

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