Conspiracy-Minded Response to a Skeptical Crop Circle Explanation

January 21, 2014

Earlier this month I wrote a piece about a mysterious 310-foot-diameter crop circle that appeared in a farmer's barley field in California. In response I got an interesting, conspiracy-laden two-page reply from a crop circle believer....

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Lessons From The Central Park Five: The Tragedy of False Accusations

January 02, 2014

In the newest installment of my occasional series Skeptical Cinema, I examine the recent documentary about false accusations and a miscarriage of justice in an infamous Central Park assault.

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‘American Hustle’ Takes Dig at 1970s Cancer Alarmism

December 23, 2013

The new Oscar-bait film American Hustle, about two con artists (played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams) who get caught up in a corruption scandal in the 1970, contains an explicit, skeptical reference to a health scare fad.

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Colin Wilson: A Case Study in Mystery Mongering

December 13, 2013

 A brief look at the late Colin Wilson's work illustrates how misinformation about paranormal topics is perpetuated, and skeptical information is systematically ignored.

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Gardasil, Katie, Merck, and I

December 10, 2013

While Couric sifts through what remains of her journalistic credibility, I thought I'd share my brief HPV vaccine story. 

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Skeptical Cinema: ‘Bug’ and folie a deux

December 03, 2013

In most investigations two eyewitnesses are better than one. The 2006 horror film 'Bug' shows whay this is not always true. 

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The Mystery and Investigation of the Moving Statue

November 22, 2013

 An ancient statue caught on camera turning in its locked display case in June 2013 unnerved many people, and it has been definitively debunked. More interesting, though, are the reactions to the solution. 

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Secular Sacred Sites and Ghost Hunting

November 12, 2013

There is a natural and understandable human reverence for sacred and secular-sacred sites, but it can also lead away from critical thinking and skepticism. 

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Thor: The Dark World

November 08, 2013

Thor: The Dark World is a beautiful mess, a visually stunning film badly in need of a rewrite.

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Confirmation Bias and Expectations Influencing Perceptions: A Micro-Case Study

October 23, 2013

As a skeptical investigator with a degree in psychology, I often encounter (and discuss) people whose expectations have colored their perceptions. We often see what we expect to see, whether it's there or not. Of course everyone does it, including me. Here's a personal account of my recent experience.

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