Being Too Open-Minded

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. “Well, I think you have to [...]

NESS Participates in Randi Psychic Challenge

May 2004 by Steven Novella, MD Armchair skepticism is fine as far as it goes. It is helpful to be conversant with skeptical philosophy, the principle of Occam’s razor, and the many mechanisms of self-deception. It is important to be able to identify where the burden of proof for a claim properly lays, and to [...]

The Proper Targets of Skepticism

May 2004 by Steven Novella, MD Why, as activist skeptics, do we do what we do? What claims and beliefs deserve the attention of our cold analysis and sharp criticism? Why should NEJS readers care about a careful dissection of the silly paranormal belief du jour? Shouldn’t we restrict our activities and attention to serious [...]

Teller – Magic’s Silent Man of Mystery

April 1998 by Sheila Gibson You may know Teller as the singly-named “smaller, quieter half” of the comedy-magic team Penn and Teller. What you may not know is both he and his partner are longtime committed skeptics whose views are evident on stage and off. Both are on the masthead of Skeptic magazine and are [...]

Where the Girls Aren’t

October 1999 by Sheila Gibson Next time you attend a skeptics’ meeting, look around. What you don’t see will be as obvious as what you do see—a white, older, largely professional group, with few to no women. Sadly, this pattern repeats across the country. This skeptical chick has gone to conferences in Washington, D.C., Los [...]