Lessons From The Space Shuttle Challenger
October 15, 2020

By Benjamin Radford, A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff from Florida’s coast, an accident that laid bare not only institutional flaws in the application of high technology but also flaws in the public’s understanding of science. Many myths have emerged in the years since the …

The Orchid And The Moth | Why Scientists Are The True Prophets
October 11, 2020

By Angel Eduardo,  Guest Contributor In 1862, Charles Darwin received a sample of orchids from Madagascar. Among them, he noticed, was a flower with an unusually long nectary, the orchid’s nectar-producing gland. At nearly a foot in length, this would keep the nectar from any known insect looking to partake. It got Darwin wondering. Days …

Covert Anti-Vaccination In ‘Children’s Health Defense’
October 3, 2020

Both the OAP and federal courts have been clear: There’s no evidence that vaccinations cause autism or that thimerosal causes autism. Claiming otherwise is a misrepresentation of the proceedings.

‘SF Weekly’ ‘Helps’ Readers Tell Real From Fake Psychics
October 3, 2020

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper By Benjamin Radford, October 1, 2020 Skeptics are known for warning the public about the perils of psychics (ranging from exploitation to fraud), but it may surprise to know that “real” psychics sometimes join in as well, offering advice about how to avoid those “fake psychics.” Sometimes they do it directly …

When Anti-Vaccination Fears Come From Inside The House
September 12, 2020

By Benjamin Radford, A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper This is the eighth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Check back often for updates and new information.  While some may …

Leaving Oppression: A Secular Rescue Story
September 9, 2020

Matthew Cravatta is coordinator of Secular Rescue, a program of the Center for Inquiry that identifies those writers, activists, and everyday citizens in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iraq who live under the threat of violence and death and provides financial and diplomatic assistance to help them escape to safety. Jana (an alias) is a …

Trump Puts The Squeeze On Science At The FDA
September 4, 2020

Guest Contributors, Jason Lemieux, September 1, 2020 Those of us intrepid enough to still follow the news probably already know that a recent reversal by the FDA in the face of pressure from Donald Trump has experts alarmed that the agency’s reliability and political independence is in jeopardy. I don’t have to tell you how bad that is, …

Zip Tie Abduction Rumors Spread, Lead To Panic And Arrests
September 4, 2020

By Benjamin Radford, A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper, August 31, 2020   False rumors of roving bands of abductors using plastic zip ties to identify their victims have been circulating on social media since around 2018 and recently surged in popularity. The warnings, often appearing on Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor, and WhatsApp, warn people about plastic zip …

SQUARING THE STRANGE, Episode 128 – ¡Feliz Cumpleaños, el Chupacabra!
August 22, 2020

First, Ben, Pascual, and Celestia discuss the recurring social media uproar about why something isn’t being covered by the media, as well as the recent public concern over disappearing mailboxes. Then for our main segment, Ben celebrates the 25th anniversary of his favorite cryptid beastie, the chupacabra, and we examine it’s past, present, and future …

Conspiracies Grow As COVID Spreads
August 22, 2020

By Benjamin Radford, August 21, 2020 Conspiracies are common, especially during times of stress and social upheaval. So far in 2020, America has seen a confluence of stressors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and race riots across the country. As of this writing, there’s no clear end in sight for either. There are many facets to …