Journals and Magazines

The idea that four placebo pills are more powerful than two sounds magical – because it isn’t true,Mike Hall,The Skeptic

In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study titled Is The Placebo Powerless? An Analysis of Clinical Trials Comparing Placebo with No Treatment. This was an influential review, prompting follow-ups in 2004 and 2010, the latter of these being for the Cochrane Collaboration. Each of these papers draws comparable conclusions: there is …

The idea that four placebo pills are more powerful than two sounds magical – because it isn’t true,Mike Hall,The Skeptic Read More »

The Story of Rishvin Ismath, the Only Outspoken Ex-Muslim of Sri Lanka,Peter Bjork,TheHumanist.com

Rishvin Ismath, the Co-founder and Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka, is currently living in hiding after he escaped multiple murder attempts by Islamic fundamentalists in his country. Humanists International recently had the privilege of interviewing him for this article. Rishvin’s story shows the global humanist community the urgency of supporting Humanists …

The Story of Rishvin Ismath, the Only Outspoken Ex-Muslim of Sri Lanka,Peter Bjork,TheHumanist.com Read More »

The Bewilder Gambit: a conspiracy theorist tactic designed to distract,Dave Hahn,The Skeptic

Conspiracy theorists often employ a range of tactics that do not argue for their position, so much as perform sleight of hand tricks that only seem to point to their conclusion. Most of these tactics we label as informal fallacies. Whether they are cherry-picking results of studies, suppressing counter-evidence, or tossing out red herrings, we …

The Bewilder Gambit: a conspiracy theorist tactic designed to distract,Dave Hahn,The Skeptic Read More »

Why We Should End Religious Exemptions for Vaccines,Peter Bjork,TheHumanist.com

One and a half years after the first round of pandemic lockdowns, we’re starting to see history repeat itself. COVID-19 cases are spiking across the US, with some states reporting numbers higher than ever and restrictions like mask mandates beginning to be re-implemented. So, as vaccines are increasingly available across the country, how are we …

Why We Should End Religious Exemptions for Vaccines,Peter Bjork,TheHumanist.com Read More »

Rhyme and Reason: a Rael expert takes a look at the Raelian movement,Steve Donnelly,The Skeptic

This article originally appeared in The Skeptic, Volume 15, Issue 2, from 2002. To quote the broadcaster, Terry Wogan: “Is it me?” or is the world just going mad? I am an inveterate listener to BBC Radio 4, especially the flagship Today programme. In particular, I am always interested to hear scientific topics being addressed …

Rhyme and Reason: a Rael expert takes a look at the Raelian movement,Steve Donnelly,The Skeptic Read More »

Representation Matters: Spotlight on State Senator Julie Mayfield,Peter Bjork,TheHumanist.com

This is part of theHumanist.com’s monthly 2021 series highlighting openly nonreligious elected officials across the nation. There are now more than 80 elected officials who identify with the atheist and humanist community. Prior to the 2016 election there were only 5 public nontheist state legislators but, because of our efforts, we have over 60 today—more …

Representation Matters: Spotlight on State Senator Julie Mayfield,Peter Bjork,TheHumanist.com Read More »

Fire, malfunction, North Korea, or something else: What really happened to flight MH370?,Brandon Ang,The Skeptic

Often, the difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth is who said it. Let us look at Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The inconclusive search for the airliner and the lack of an official consensus regarding its disappearance has set the world buzzing for the truth. In the seven years since its disappearance, we have …

Fire, malfunction, North Korea, or something else: What really happened to flight MH370?,Brandon Ang,The Skeptic Read More »

When it comes to research, so-called alternative medicine is hostile to progress,Edzard Ernst,The Skeptic

Research is the process of discovering new knowledge. There are three somewhat overlapping types of research: Exploratory research tackles a problem that has not yet been clearly defined and aims to gain a better understanding of the nature of the issues involved with a view of conducting more in-depth investigations at a later stage.Descriptive research …

When it comes to research, so-called alternative medicine is hostile to progress,Edzard Ernst,The Skeptic Read More »

Behind the slick production values of “The Reason I Jump”, lies Facilitated Communication,Janyce Boynton,The Skeptic

If we set aside for a moment that the foundational underpinnings of the new documentary “The Reason I Jump” is a pseudoscientific practice called Facilitated Communication (FC), it is quite a cinematic and emotional movie. It is arguably the best pro-FC film to date. The imagery and sound score are gorgeous, as are the passages …

Behind the slick production values of “The Reason I Jump”, lies Facilitated Communication,Janyce Boynton,The Skeptic Read More »

Coming to terms: the words believers, skeptics and the general public use differently,Mark Horne,The Skeptic

English is a wonderfully flexible language, and modern lexicographers tend towards descriptivism rather than trying to stem the tide of new meanings. Definitions change with usage, with one most notable example being “literally”, which in English dictionaries has both the original meaning, and also the sense often employed today, in which literally is used to …

Coming to terms: the words believers, skeptics and the general public use differently,Mark Horne,The Skeptic Read More »