Is Magic Real?

April 2002 by Perry DeAngelis and Robert Novella Modern Attacks on Harry Potter and Roleplaying Games Here is your character on your character sheet: NAME:  Bob the Fighter RACE:            Halfling HEALTH:       10 STRENGTH:  10 SMARTS:       2 Carries a big club that does 1 to 10 points of damage. Here is your first adventure: Gamemaster (GM): [...]

The Hero Myth, Transcendence, and Joseph Campbell

April 2001 by Jon Blumenfeld When you go to the movie theater, does it sometimes seem as though you’re seeing the same film over and over again? Are you tired of seeing a hero with hidden talents called reluctantly to greatness, guided by a knowledgeable mentor, faced with a series of challenges and with his [...]

The Problem With Being Too Open-Minded

November 2004 by Steven Novella, MD I listened patiently as the UFO enthusiast explained how humans were transplanted to the earth from another world by our alien forebears. “Then how do you explain the fact that humans share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, and a genetic code will all life on earth?” I asked. [...]

Bloodletting Works

May 2002 by Steven Novella, MD Science is rediscovering this ancient healing art.  Warning: The following is a work of complete fiction intended as satire. Jane suffers from an uncommon blood disorder called polycythemia – which means that she has too many red blood cells in her blood. As a result her blood is too [...]

How Strong Are Your State’s Science Standards?

April 2000 by Sheila Gibson The Kansas State Board of Education (BOE) greeted the coming millennium by voting its state science curriculum into the 19th century. Virtually all references to evolution-not just in biology, but in geology and cosmology as well-were ripped out of the draft update curriculum presented to the board last May. The [...]

What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

April 1998 by Steven Novella, MD How many times have you heard the rumor that “They have a cure for cancer?” Have you ever wondered who “they” are, or how anyone could be so callous as to suppress a treatment for such a deadly disease, or how vast such a conspiracy of silence would have [...]

Alternative Engineering

October 1999 by Steven Novella, MD A new phenomenon is sweeping the country, gaining the attention of both consumers and manufacturers alike. Increasingly disenchanted with the cold metallic world our modern technology is producing, people are beginning to take a close look at more natural alternatives. Collectively called Alternative Engineering (AE), a host of new [...]

X-Files and X-Fictions

January 2000 by Sheila Gibson Kill your television. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore. Everyone has heard these sentiments. Many people agree with these sentiments. But how many people live these sentiments? I’ve been off the plug-in drug cold turkey since July of 1998. As a child, I’d watch [...]

Carl Sagan – A Journey’s End

January 1997 by Robert Novella The candle in the dark dimmed this past December 20 with the passing of Carl Sagan, world-renowned scientist, author, educator and skeptic. He unexpectedly lost his two-year battle with bone cancer, succumbing finally to pneumonia at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. He was 62 years old. [...]